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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Creative Writing

Last week I came across Cindra's Weekly Word Game blog via Avitable. Each week she gives a list of words that must be used in a story, rant, poem, or whatever you want to write. I haven't written anything creatively since probably 1974, so I thought I'd dust off the cobwebs and actually try to use my brain more creatively. It was fun, though, I don't like my story one bit. The time for voting is over for, but you should still go check out the stories submitted last week. Very funny stuff!

I'd sent my story to Jim and Patrick just to make sure I wasn't going to humiliate myself too much (I think they're too kind). Anyway, Patrick's first assignment in English this semester was to write a story about the origination of something -- except it had to be completely fictional rather than a research paper. He called yesterday to get an idea of what he should write. I said, "How about football?" He said that Jim had aleady suggested that. I suggested the wheel, and dammit, Dad had already suggested that one too. "How about the beer keg?" I suggested. "Aw, I don't know, I'll think of something." He said.

We got off the phone then because we wanted to watch the BIG GAME -- YAY!! COLTS!

He e-mailed me this morning and attached his story. I think it's evident that he did not inherit his creative writing talent from me. With his permission, I proudly present it below:

The Legend of Larry Weiner

By Patrick Brooks

Many years ago not long after the creation of the Earth, there was one
sprawling metropolis where all the people of the planet lived. Sure, there
were outlying settlements and what not, but for the most part, if anything ever
happened, it happened here, in Gateway.

Gateway was located in approximately the same place as what we now call Atlanta. Everywhere you looked, something was happening, day and night. Everyone had friends, and almost everyone got along with one another, much more than can be said for society today.

During the day, all the men and boys worked in the shops, restaurants, and fields taking care of business like people do today. The women on the other hand, generally stayed near the house, gossiping, taking care of children…doing those womanly duties that for some reason the men just couldn’t seem to get right.

Up until now, life had stayed pretty much the same since the wheel had been invented around 100 years before, and the horse-drawn carriage not long after that. One day, a large, and I mean large, commanding man named Larry had an accident. But, before I can get into details about the accident, it must first be understood who Larry was and where he came from.

When Larry was born, he weighed 22 pounds and was just over a foot tall. His mother, Irene, a small woman who worked at one of the neighboring Waffle Cottage’s didn’t have much money, thus couldn’t afford proper medical care during pregnancy. Had she the money, she would have known to get a C-section, and, well, she would have. But, that wasn’t in her cards.

The way it was, she gave a “normal” birth. To this day, it is widely recognized that
this woman had a tolerance for pain unmatched by a paraplegic getting hit in the
legs by a stick. After being in labor for 56 hours, she finally managed to poop out that beastly man-child of hers. But she didn’t see him that way.

She took one look at her “little” blessing and decided his name would be Larry. “A name fit for royalty.” she whispered. Then she died. Sad? Yes. But this isn’t her story so we must be moving on. Take a moment if you need to. Tears gone? Okay good.

Now Larry’s father, whom he graciously referred to as “Sperm-Donor”, was a traveling shoe salesman/cobbler. He would spend his days traveling about, duping
simple-minded country folk into buying “new” (refurbished) shoes that only fell
apart. No one really knew his name, but it is believed in some cultures that his name was Ted P. Scuzzlebum. Larry of course took his mother’s last name of Weiner (pronounced Wine-er).

Any who, Ted was a man on the move. He possessed a cunning wit, and a childish charm. Always able to talk himself out of a bind, he usually got what he wanted, including women. In fact, he was so flaky, all that was really known about him was
that he sold crappy shoes for high prices. And, time permitting, impregnate
bubbly-eyed country girls with dreams of life in the city, and of course, his
incredibly fertile seed. I suppose that’s why his shoes cost so much.

Since his mother died, and Ted was off planting seeds, Larry was raised by his mother’s sister Cholera Vestibule. Now she was a strange woman. Since her husband Mucky had left her five years ago, all she liked to do was sit at home and watch her
cats, all ten of them. When she was bored with them, she would lay in bed
with her chicken, or roll in the mud with her hog. Strange as she was, she
did what she could, and made sure Larry got his education. And, when he
was 18 years old, he left her cottage for the city of Gateway, to continue his
education at the Gateway College of Learning New Stuff.

Now, by this point, Larry had lived a pretty tough life. He was made fun of at
school for being the bastard child of Touchy-Ted, killing his mother by
damn-near disemboweling her at birth, and for living with Cat-Lady
Cholera. Not to mention he was a towering giant who at school had to stand
because they didn’t make seats large enough to fit his beastly-body. On top of
that, his nickname was “Larry Greener Beastly Weiner.” (like the hot-dog) But, bad as things were, Larry was an optimist. Some say he got that from his gentle mother.

Anyway, Larry was excited. He took what he could and set off for his new life in the big city.

It didn’t take long for Larry to get used to his new life. In no time at all he had more
friends than he had pounds, including quite a number of lady friends. It seems that old Larry picked up some of Touchy-Ted’s tractor beam. At school he studied the pre-cursor to what we now call physics. He especially liked the wheel, and trying to find different uses for it. Most of the things he tried didn’t really work, but that was okay, he got to do what he loved.

One day, Larry was experimenting with a new type of hand cart. Instead of having
two large wheels at the back, and wheel-barrow like handles at the front, this one had four small wheels, evenly spaced at the edges of the box-shaped cart. In the back, there was a handle for pushing. “This new cart will surely be of good use.” Larry thought. Now, this brings me to the accident.

As Larry was testing his new cart for strength and durability, the top broke off, leaving just the base plank of wood and the wheels that were connected. Since Larry had been sitting on the cart at the time it broke, he was sent whizzing down the street on this board with wheels, much faster than anyone had ever gone before. People who witnessed the event swore it was a demon-beast from hell sent to terrorize the kindly townsfolk. But no, it was just Larry.

While in physical therapy recovering from the crash, Larry realized that what he had accidentally created could be quite useful. Excited, he counted the days until his release, where he could finally resume his work. After many careful adjustments to
his cart, Larry created the world’s first “Wooden Plank on Wheels”. What was in store for Larry was destined to change him, and the world forever.

Stories of Larry were soon being told throughout the city, and carved into stone tablets everywhere. In no time at all, Larry was the most famous man to walk the Earth.

One day in his shop, a beautiful, cunning young woman by the name of Juanita Worm stopped by to ask him to dinner. Being the ladies’ man he was, he obligingly accepted. From that evening on the two became inseparable. Not long after, the two were married.

As Juanita was clever, she came up with a new name for Larry’s invention and they opened up a shop together for full scale production. “Larry’s Plank Skates” they were called, and they sold like hot-cakes. The Weiner’s shortly became the richest people in the city. They were destined for each other…

Then about six moons later, or months as we call them now, a stranger walked in from out of town. A devilishly handsome man about Larry’s age, his name was Rodrigo Hernado Enrique-Hamslapper. He had muscles like an ox, crystal-clear-sky blue eyes, chiseled jaw, and saw-dusty hair. The son of a beautifully enchanting Latina princess, and a shifty shoe salesman, he had the appeal of a chocolate-covered diamond necklace, at least in eyes of the ladies.

Like Larry, Hernando, which he preferred to be called, also worked with wheels, but being a shorter man, he liked inventions which made him bigger. Not long after his arrival, he revealed his invention: the world’s first bicycle. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, everyone forgot about their jolly friend Larry and his Plank-Skates. Hernando Hamslapper and his bicycle were all the rage.

Heck, Larry’s damsel wife divorced him a week later and married Hernando. Now they were king and queen of the city. Hernando, and his wife Juanita Worm Weiner-Hamslapper were on the loose like Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie at an all-you-can-snort cocaine buffet.

Meanwhile, our friend Larry drank away his lonely existence at the pub. Although a few true friends remained loyal to Larry, it wasn’t enough. Soon, all the hurt that people threw at him like fecal matter overcame Larry, until he resembled nothing more than a steamy pile of doo. Even his Aunt Cholera fell ill and died. Apparently, it was all the years of chicken cuddling and hog wrestling that did her in. They even named the disease after her.

Now Larry, being the large man that he was, had been drinking for so long that the little bottles from which he drank his beer were no longer sufficient. Unable to get drunk anymore, he had nothing to do but work. So, he developed the world’s first beer keg. Oh and it was a hit. All the taverns in town wanted kegs. He even caught Juanita Hamslapper’s eye with his ability to drink a whole keg in one sitting by himself. What can I say? She was a sucker for talent.

By this time, Larry had regained much of his fame, although much fatter, and a bit
grungier, his plank-skate sales increased steadily until he had about half the
town rolling around like a bunch of hoodlums.

Gateway had now become a city divided in two. On one half, you had the trendier,
more affluent young crowd zipping around all smug-like on their bicycles, drinking beer from bottles. And on the other side of town, there was the young crowd without much money, rolling on their plank skates, drinking beer from kegs.

Hernando didn’t like this too much. He was a greedy man, and he wanted all the fame. So, he challenged Larry to a beer drinking contest, at his own game. The two spent weeks preparing for the contest, drinking as much beer as they could. Hernando even got a little fat.

And not a minute too soon, the contest began. Backed by their crowds, the two started drinking. They drank, and drank, and drank. That night, in a rare moment of collaboration, the two collectively invented the keg-stand, when one person holds the drinker’s legs in the air while yet another person pumps beer directly into the drinker’s stomach, straight from the keg. They drank throughout the night and throughout the day for two days straight, never once stopping to relieve themselves.

By the time they finished, they had drunk the town dry. There was no beer left. Because the contest went on so long, no one was really sure who drank more. But that was quickly overshadowed by what would become the longest pee-swordfight known to man. When they concluded this epic duel, they had created the largest inland body of water anyone had ever seen.

As a result, both men died in the first-ever recorded case of alcohol poisoning. Juanita Worm Weiner-Hamslapper spent the rest of her days in the first-ever rehab, eventually dying of liver failure at the age of 28.

The largest inland body of water? Well, now we call that Lake Lanier, and true to it’s creation, it’s as dirty as it ever was. Lending it’s waters to absolutely no form of wildlife, rich folk from Atlanta now serenade about the waters…clueless to it’s origin.

As for the clash of cliques, well, their remnants can still be seen in downtown Atlanta. Except now, they call plank boards “skateboards” and the bicycles have evolved into “ten-speeds”.

Make no mistake; under no circumstances should these groups be put together. They still hate each other with a passion.

UPDATE 2/2/07: Just got word that Patrick got an A on this paper. Yes!!!

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