Friday, May 23, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week Fourteen

This is week 14 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: flamingo, monster trucks, Darth Vader, cucumbers, sugar-free, banking, determinate, thurible, sarcasm, drums And for the Mini Challenge: procrastinate, memory lane, alley cat, argument, Florida

I'm not at all happy with any of my contributions this week (except maybe the vanity one), but they are all I have to offer, so here's my ten-word offering for this week.

Frank Smith drove monster trucks for a living and made enough money doing so that he had bought his family a house in a pretty nice neighborhood. His front yard was the neighborhood nightmare, littered as it was with, empty sugar-free soda cans, toy drums, a variety of Darth Vader dolls in different sizes, not to mention the three hideous pink flamingoes. Despite this horror, Katherine (like others on the block) held her tongue, bit back complaints and controlled her sarcasm because she was banking on Frank’s generosity with his amazing garden. His extraordinary flowers ranged from roses that were size of oranges and smelled like heaven on earth, to peonies, gladioli, tulips… each more magnificent than the other. Then there were the vegetables: cucumbers so big and succulent you could make a meal out of them, string beans, determinate tomatoes (yes, there was such a thing as determinate tomatoes - she had learned this from another neighbor, Jay Simser, who was also an enthusiastic gardener). Anyway, nobody could figure out quite how Smith did it, though there were rumors that he paced the garden at night swinging a thurible, chanting prayers, singing and talking to the seeds and shoots. Whatever he did, the final results were magical – the flowers beyond beautiful and the fruits and vegetables so succulent and tasty that eating them was a religious experience. In the end, the vegetables were worth the eye sore of Smith’s front yard and even the potential decline in property value.

And here's my mini challenge:

Dealing with the yowling alley cat interrupted Hal and Sandra forcing them to procrastinate finishing the argument that had erupted during their trip down memory lane. She was positive that they had met in Florida, New York, while he was certain it was Alabama, New York. Truth was, it turned out, they had met in the town of Ohio, New York. “I knew it was a state,” she laughed. “I guess we both thought it was a southern state because it was so dreadfully hot that day. I remember that and I remember that I knew you were “the one” within minutes of meeting you. Glad to say I was right about that, at least.”

And the mega challenge:

Jimmy Martin was a fairly typical teenager. He loved monster trucks, played the drums, thought sugar-free soda was girly, and still had a great fondness for Darth Vader and all things Star Wars. His favorite band was a group called Determinate Sarcasm and he and the three hottest girls in school had formed a hip band that they called Three Flamingoes and an Alley Cat. He and the flamingoes were all applying to colleges in Florida not so much for the education, but so they could go on one of those wild Spring Break parties that they had heard so much about. Actually, Jimmy hoped college in Florida would be one continuing party. He was banking on his mother’s general cluelessness but was procrastinating telling her his plan in hopes of avoiding an argument. His mother was – to say the least – a bit flakey. She never made a meal which didn’t include cucumbers because she believed them to be a “perfect” food and a weight loss aid, she considered herself to be a vegetarian despite the fact that she consumed, eggs, milk, butter and fish, and she meditated for exactly an hour every day. Of course she had to make a big drama out of it. Every afternoon she filled an old thurible she had bought at a thrift shop and walked around chanting and swinging it back and forth to “cleanse the space.” Lights, music and computers had to be turned off in order not to disturb the “energy” of the house while she sat chanting or meditating in the lotus position. That was followed by dreadful, boring, cucumber-ridden dinners where conversation was almost exclusively his mother’s memory lane monologues… she rambled on and on about her youth, how perfect his father had been, and told dozens of dreadful humiliating stories about “cute” things he had done. It was a teenager’s nightmare. He could not wait for graduation, Florida, and wild times.

This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: Godzilla, sneeze, torturous, Cool, Groovy, top hat, marshmallow, tyrant, gift, easy

Godzilla sneezed, not a gentle, easy sneeze, but a groaning, torturous heavy sneeze, made all the more disgusting for the thick white snot that dropped like perverted marshmallows from his huge nose. The tyrant who held him captive grinned malevolently. He was a man with a knack for cruelty and he had made the poor creature wear what he called “gifts”: a hideous chartreuse T-shirt with the words “Cool, Groovy!written across his chest in neon pink letters and a formal top hat which he was forced to wear at all times. The humiliation was overwhelming. No matter how fierce or disgusting poor Godzilla tried to be, tourists looked at his ridiculous outfit and burst out laughing. Now, to top it all off, he had a cold. The monster business was just not what it used to be.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: perpendicular, carpentry, garage, lute player, radishes, tin roof, wild flowers, stop light, gargantuan

And for the Mini Challenge: gravy boat, cat carrier, Madison, Wisconsin, March Hare, gratitude

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


18 comments: said...

Well, I liked them and wasn't it fun to add to our vocabulary this week. I thought thurible was a turrible word. - I KNOW but it's my job. Thanks again for doing this. j

Raven said...

Hi Jay - Thanks. Yes, it is always fun to add to vocabulary. When I was doing the wordzzles, I certainly regretted thurible. and would agree that it was a turrible word.

Akelamalu said...

I love the names of the bands! I had to look thurible up and I agree it is a turrible word! :)

Richard said...

Hi Katherine, I liked the band names as well. I used a different definition of thurible, maybe incorrectly, but oh well.


Dianne said...

LOL youse guys! And I love that Jay gave a wee homage to Craig Ferguson in his comment. And Jay made an appearance in the story.

Raven - you preface your stories with your disappointment in them and then hit them out of the park. Loved all of them but the vanity (do NOT stop doing them) was priceless. You made snot poetic! How many can say that.

Jeff B said...

I joined in on the fun this week and posted a Wordzzle too.

I loved determinate tomatoes. didn't know ther was such a thing until today! (snicker)

Your vanity Wodzzle was just nasty...I loved it.

My dictonary didn't have thurible listed, so I cheated and used it as part of a name. "When life gives you lemons..."

Jay said...

HA! I used determinate tomatoes too! I was stumped how to use that word and couldn't come up with anything else.

You're stories rocked!

Any story that starts out "Godzilla sneezed" is going to be awesome!

Raven said...

akelamalu - thanks. I liked the band names too. I love naming bands. You can pair up absurd things and make it work... also a great way to deal with words you don't know what to do with.

richard - I have no idea why thurible popped into my head when I was making the list last week. It's such a weird, obscure word. Don't know why I even know what one is. I will say I regretted its presence when I was trying to do the stories. Jay Simser is responsible for determinate, another one I had trouble with. I loved your wordzzle as always.

Raven said...

dianne - you are always so kind. Jay appeared in the story this week because HE was responsible for the addition of determinate to the list of words... a result of his nephew buying seeds for "determinate tomatoes," I think. I was kind of fond of the godzilla one. I think I was funnier in the old days when I wrote the "vanity" pieces.

jeff b - so glad you have joined in. If you note my reply to dianne - I learned of determinate tomatoes from Jay Simser who added determinate to the words list. I welcome word suggestions from others, by the way.

jay - I loved your story this week (but I always love them). I kind of like the godzilla story myself. As I said above, I think I used to be funnier than I am now. I want that back.

Anonymous said...

Raven, min's up! Your 10-word and Mini were excellent! Great use of the thurible in a non-church way. I give you great credit for doing the mega wordzzle. I'm too tired after I do the 10-word and the mini... :D

Anonymous said...


Raven said...

Happy almost birthday, Mary! Heading over to read yours.

Betty said...

Great stories! I especially loved Godzilla, the poor old thing.

Raven said...

Hi betty - I've missed you. Glad you liked the stories.

Odat said...

Great stories! I keep threatening to do this....I just may next week...:-)


Raven said...

Hi odat - I hope you'll join in. It's lots of fun and not as hard as everyone expects it to be before they do it.

Unknown said...

WOW playng catch-up here Raven loved all three of yours, I think I'm going stick with the trainer wheels for now! But will have a stab and both main and mini :)

Unknown said...

Well I managed both major and minor wordzzle think I left link (lol)