Yesterday, I tackled an assignment for an on-line college course series. The instructions, in part:
“Write a scene of 250-350 words featuring a character with one concrete want (a table, a moose, a toothbrush, anything physical is fine!) and one weakness. Use these two features to drive the action of the plot. Set up the story where every other sentence is a rising action. To help you come up with rising actions, use one word from the following list of twelve words in each sentence that has a rising action.
“You must use at least 6 of the 12 words[.]”
What follows is a revised version of the three-hundred-and-fifty-word story that I wrote on the spot and submitted; you judge if I fulfilled the assignment.
The Filthy Carrot
“Your complete ignorance is, like, bumming me out, dude,” my husband Blaine said in that parodic California surfer accent he would use to piss me off.
Blaine had a blog called The Filthy Carrot, where he chronicled our experiences as gay Millennial farmers in the wilds of downtown Detroit.
“Then educate me, dude,” I said. “Tell me why I should pretend that we can win this.”
“Anything’s possible, with the right publicity,” Blaine said, sans accent. Six months earlier, he had climbed aboard the video podcast train, releasing Filthy Carrot’s first and so far only episode, an hour’s worth of agricultural advice and political commentary.
“You can’t win just preaching to the choir,” I said.
The episode had featured a three-minute clip, the porridge speech, from that lame superhero movie, Tiger Claw 2—a clip that Blaine had altered by overdubbing dialogue in which Putin has intimate congress with the most powerful orange guy in the world.
“Come on, lots of people hate Trump,” Blaine said.
“Including Tricky Rick?”
“How much do you think we’d get, selling our mood rings on eBay? They’re, like, freakin’ collectibles, and we need to pay the wireless bill.”
Patrick “Tricky Rick” O’Leary was the ultra-right-wing zillionaire who ran the megacorporation that had released the movie; within a week, the corporation’s fierce legal department had sent Blaine a letter, ordering him to delete the clip immediately or get sued.
“We don’t have to part with our heirloom jewelry. I’ll sell appliances or insurance or something. I’ll earn a living some normal, average way, so we can continue rocking together.”
Blaine, insanely foolhardy, had refused to take down the altered clip; in a Facebook posting that the site’s overseers have since removed, he cited “the First Amendment and fair-use doctrine and, by the way, Tricky Rick [redacted due to legal reasons], plus he has the nastiest crow’s feet around his eyes.”
The megacorporation has sued us for five million dollars and won’t offer us a deal.
“Anyway, whatever happens, remember that I love you,” Blaine said, the perfect line that shines in my memory.
Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews
August 18, 2017