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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Martello posted:

Deadline for submissions is Friday, 9 August, at 0200.
Because of timezones, someone gimme a ballpark for how far away this is? Because that was like 12 hours ago for me.

e: Dammit, got 6th/9th mixed up. I'm very good at reading. Still, what timezone are we talking?

I'm in. The chips are down.

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


LET'S DO THIS.

Horticulture at the end of the world
(nothing better to do in Invercargill)


Mashed or baked?

Wait, don't answer that; I know a physicist. Every time he gets drunk, his eyes go glassy and he tells me he's seen the angels that dance on the head of a pin in a field of pins, soaking in a rain of pins leaving little rose-bloom pricks on the skin but he says, "but" he says, "I've never seen a pincushion."

He says it in the measured tones of a priest, never once looking at me or his drink. I think I see the pincushion every day. I ventured this once and he didn't talk to me for a month. I see little tiny bits of pincushion. Millionths of billionths. Scraps of tinfoil, melted butter, mashed potatoes. All part of a GREAT COSMIC WHOLE.

If a potato is part of the GREAT COSMIC WHOLE and a potato can be mashed, what does that say of the GREAT COSMIC WHOLE? We are yet to meet our masher. Every poet and banker, every great love and quiet indignity, every dog, cat, rock, tree, broken cigarette and poorly-hidden cumstain could be crushed down to component atoms in an instant by the stainless steel Costco masher of God and we wouldn't know until the Great Weight pushed our shoelaces through our teeth.

If we must fear potatoes and be ruled by fear, we are ruled by potatoes; brown-jacket tyrants with buttery crowns. Every potato I mash is a victory, for I still have an arm with which to mash. I am the culinary Robespierre, the Agent of God; the carrier of the cosmic punchline. Mashed or baked?

There is no real choice. I can no longer eat potatoes, nor drink with physicists.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Thought; if someone loses and gets an embarrassing custom title, if they WIN another week, it gets taken away.

Incentive to improve and all that.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Hoedown or Throwdown.

Thought: Everyone has to sign up by some arbitrary date. Those who promise and don't deliver get a custom title to that effect.

I say this as someone who didn't post here until I had a near postable draft so I could chicken out if need be.
I like this, because if it's weekly, missing the deadline isn't that big a deal.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Nautatrol Rx posted:

Would you like to know more?
I would!

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


The Potato Bugs attacked Rio! We're going to war!

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Nautatrol Rx posted:

Martello says that he feels this way about entries just under the wire:

That little dude looks pretty happy. Does that mean people should endeavour to be as close to late as possible?

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Is ... is this death? Are you the devil?

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


I think you mean tater, tubers.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


You all love my terrible puns.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


drat, I gotta cut close to the wire next time.

Thunderdome continues to amaze.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


You have used the emote! I invoke the Rite of Devo, to demand haste.

Devo, who we hold most highly posted:

Now whip it
Into shape
Shape it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Now that judging is out of the way I have to ask, how obvious was it that the narrator was meant to be massively stoned and the joke was "holy poo poo this guy"?

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


In. Got a great idea. Post-apocalypse counts as dystopian, right?

and thank you pipes! Your name is hard to use in sentences but you make it worth writing.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


You forgot to put me in the signed-up post.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


the world is broken and i am meat

Just when I meet a doctor with a big chin and a sense of humour, his neck swells up like an inner tube and his fluids run out the corners of his eyeballs. "'livya," he said to me, choking on his blackening tongue, "forgeth me, ty too luth again."

Thanks George. Solid advice from the only handsome man in this dead-horse town. I tried, I really did. I looted some really cute ballet flats from the place with the European doorman who used to sneer and this gorgeous apricot sun-dress from Sarah's washing line. She's got no use for it any more. On friday night, I went into town and saw a procession of pipers with golden tongues and twisted feet, chanting litanies of dust as they swayed through the shattered street. Their hair was pure white, standing on end and growing ever-upwards until it joined with the tendrils of cloud in spidersilk umbilicals. As I approached, I felt their music tunneling under my fingernails and eyes.

They ignored me, lurching puppetlike and making their dreadful music. You are a grown woman, Olivia Dryden, and perfectly capable of making the first move. "Hey," I said.

They turned as one, pulled from above. When they spoke, it was in a dead tongue that I understood perfectly. "One walks, it pumps and sluices. One remains?" they said.

"They're flats, actually," I said. The one on the left was kinda cute. His red eye, his dead eye and his white eye formed a fractal that I couldn't look away from. I could see the whole universe, turning infinitely inward. Take me now!

The group looked confused. "One is not flat, as it walks. One remains and this troubles. The scythe was sent and now no men walk," they said. My mind filled with images of rot and dark places. Typical. "No, the shoes are fl- look, do you want to grab a drink or not?"

Their eyes shuttered and their mouths broke open. Inscribed on their tongues was something from the corner of my eye. The drone was a wave that crushed, twisting me inward. I am twelve, playing in the mud with boys. I am a desiccated husk, hung from a lamp-post. I am in the womb, a monstrous heart singing me to sleep. The wave broke and I stood again in the street.

The eyes opened. In them, I saw fear. "One remains! One remains!" they screamed. The sky cracked and roared, belching dead leaves and sickness. "Alright," I said. "I can take a hint."

Just my luck. Last girl on Earth and I still can't get a date.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Openoffice has deceived me and a second look at my piece reveals two typos.

quote:

They ignored me, lunching puppetlike

quote:

They sky cracked and roared, belching dead leaves and sickness.
As there are no backsies in the THUNDERDOME, I will shave off my malapropisms and wear them as armour.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


I am putting on The Big Lebowski now. If there are no results by the time it is finished I will be a little bit disappointed but mostly not really because Jeff Bridges makes me happy.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


The Big Lebowski is over and there are no results. I am a little disappointed but mostly not because Jeff Bridges makes me happy.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


If I ever win, I promise to write all my judge commentaries in blank verse (or haiku, if appropriate).

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Stuporstar posted:

SurreptitiousMuffin
the world is broken and i am meat




This was loving amazing.
I slotted you for winner for this, even though it barely meets the criteria, but BudgieInspector's was in my top three and the other judges liked it better.
aaw shucks. It was one of those cases where I set out to make something pretty sounding and weird, and the rest magically happened on its own.

Can I go back and edit the typos out now the round's over?

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Edits done to make it nicer.

e: I referenced Fringe in there and only just noticed it myself. Weird.

Also you guys are getting good at writing things short and sweet you should check out the Daily Poetry Thread because I crit everything that gets posted.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


quote:

Points accrue the further away you get from your own cultural group, which you must specify for full points.
What do I do if I'm a cultural mutt with a little bit of a lot of things?

What can I say? My family gets around.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Did you just write gay, Hispanic noir?

Dammit. I've been doing actual research this week, so damned if I'm going to start again because someone got to my idea first. Onward, to glory!

By the by, Puerto Rican swearing is amazing. They've got that poo poo down to an art.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Martello posted:

It's so when foreigners discover our Puerto Ricans.

I'm gonna have the two Puerto Rican officers I work with read your story, and if even one foul word is out of place, automatic -50 points.
Well, poo poo. I honestly don't speak a word of Spanish and I'm using wikipedia and my high-school knowledge of French grammar to fill in the gaps. You did tell me to go out of my comfort zone.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Just to check, deadline's about six hours away? I'm done writing but I want to let it sit for a while so I can do a last round of edits.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Both my internet connection and the SA database are being crazy today and I'm terrified they'll wig out at just the wrong moment, so here it is. About 1300 words. I'm an NZ Pakeha/Maori/Greek straight male.

Bring-your-daughter-to-work day

Bereft of an ashtray, Marco leaned over the Castillo wall and tapped his cigarette, sending the flecks of black and grey floating downwind, over La Perla and out of sight. There would be another murder tonight, the fifth; young, pretty, gutted like a fish and left on the beach to rot. Maybe the police would send a man, maybe not. They only came down to La Perla if they thought it was important.

Someone cleared their throat behind him. He knew it was Paulo without turning around. The man had gone at his wife's new husband with fists and got back a box cutter in the throat. Some-say-lucky bastard made it but he could never talk right afterwards. Always cheating husbands; that was the gig. Cheap digital camera, a little bit of skulking and in return, steady pay and a sign on the door that says Private Detectives. Like a movie. Like a big game. They'd agreed Day One to never let it get personal. If only it were that easy.

"Daddy?" a voice piped up. Marco groaned inwardly. He turned and saw a sandy man, white short-sleeve shirt and a two-dollar haircut, with a little girl poking out from behind his legs. She wore a pink dress. "Sonia, chiquita, not now," said Paulo. His voice was broken glass and sandpaper. The girl stomped her foot. "but I wanna see the-"

"Paulo, a minute?" said Marco. He pulled the man aside and glared at him. "The gently caress, loca? Estas del carajo. You're bringing your loving kid along?" he said. Paulo shrugged. The scars on his neck moved unpleasantly. "I only get her on weekends. Besides, she can cover her eyes if we find anything," he said.
"Oh. Oh. Cover her- cover her eyes? Jesus chacho, you're like a monkey loving a burro. If you got any dumber, they'd ask you run for office," said Marco. He wasn't shouting yet.

"Language in front of Sonia, man."

Despite himself, Marco felt the wind leave him."She sees something she can't unsee, it's on your head," he said. "We've got the internet at home, acho. She's seen plenty and if she can't find worse, I'm sure that rear end in a top hat Carlos will help her out," said Paulo. His throat went red at memory of the man's name. "Well, cabron, someone had to be loving your wife," said Marco. The men laughed. There was no humour in it.

Sonia had been inspecting the brickwork, brow furrowed. She wandered over and poked Marco's thigh. "Are we going on an adventure, daddy?" she said. Marco bent down shook his head. "I'm not your daddy, hun." Paulo laughed again, like a banana in a blender. "Never though I'd hear you say that, acho. C'mon. Let's go find a killer."

---

There were only a handful of ways into La Perla; the best was through the cemetary. The district was established so the Spanish never had to look at dirty things; freezing works, cemetaries and slums. La Perla was too used to corpses. Marco fingered his rosary as he walked through the graves. Sonia was singing quietly, counting and touching each stone angel. "Dos y dos son cuatro, cuatro y dos son seis, seis y dos son ocho, y ocho diez y seis," she sang, then, seeing another angel, she shouted "Five! Five angels!" Paulo looked worried.

Marco elbowed him and grinned. "Better hope she don't practice Santeria," he said. "She don't," spat Paulo. He was shaking a little. Marco grabbed his arm and gave it a quiet squeeze. "It was a joke," he said. "I know, just Maria was into that Bruja sh- stuff. I don't know what they're teaching her, acho," said Paulo. Marco sighed and squeezed a little harder. "Nothing you can't unteach, eh? C'mon, no point in looking for bodies in a graveyard," he said.

They went to move, then stopped dead. Sonia wasn't singing any more. The men turned slowly and saw her standing completely still, her hands pressed firmly over her eyes. "dad?" she said. "Yes?" the two men answered at once. "I saw something scary," she said. Marco drew his gun and checked the safety. No use shooting your foot over a bump in the night. "What did you see, chiquita?" he said. She took a hand very carefully from her face and pointed off into the darkness between the graves. She was shaking. "A ghost," she said, "all white with no face."

There was a pregnant pause, which gave birth to another pause and raised a tiny, awkward family. Then Paulo laughed, snorting like a bag of rocks in a garbage disposal. Marco slid his gun back into its holster and took a deep breath. "poo poo, girl, you were nearly right- you just about gave me a heart attack," he said. Paulo's face was caught between laughing and crying. After a moment, he pulled himself upright. "don't swear in front of Sonia," he said but his heart wasn't in it.

"On the plus side," he continued, "if our killer was nearby, he's probably heard us and wigged it. I'm likely to follow suit. Too much excitement for one night." He was looking at Sonia. She'd wrapped herself around his leg again. She was still shaking. Marco nodded quietly. "You want me to walk you guys home?" he said. Paulo slept in the office mostly but he had a two-room shack down near the water. Worse than ghosts could be out tonight.

Paulo looked pained. He turned his head up the hill, toward Old San Juan. "Not sure I want to be down in La Perla tonight, know what I mean?" he said. The leather couch in the office smelled like old dog and didn't fold out but it had a foetal-Paulo dent in it from sheer persistence. "Si, Cabron," said Marco. He searched his pocket, pulled out the keys and threw them to Paulo. "I'm going to stick around a while. See if our ghosts left any footprints," he said, winking at Sonia. Paulo shook his head. "No seas pendejo. You're not going down there alone, not tonight," he said.

As they talked, Marco thought he saw movement in the corner of his eye; something white. Maybe a ghost, maybe an angel, maybe a man in a white suit with a wicked smile. "Callate la boca. Shut up," he said, putting a hand on his holster. Paulo moved to speak again and Marco shot him a look. "Hablas cuando las gallinas mean," said Marco. His gun was out now. He caught another movement, spun and fired. The barrel pointed directly at Sonia. Marco felt every skin cell on his finger close over the trigger and pull it down, felt his pupils shrink, felt a bloody part of him screaming. There was no noise but a soft click. The safety was still on.

They were all shaking now, close to crying. Paulo broke the silence. "Guess luck runs in the family, eh loca?" he said. Beyond words now, Marco grunted in agreement. He forced his gun back into the holster, holding his arm steady to stop the shaking. He'd seem something out in the dark between the graves. Maybe a ghost, maybe an angel, maybe a man in a white suit with a wicked smile. Either way, it wasn't tonight's problem.

Marco looked up at the reassuring lights of Old San Juan and then down to La Perla. A girl would die tonight; young, pretty, gutted like a fish and left on the beach to rot. Five angels, nearly six. Enough movie, enough big old game for the night. Enough for a lifetime but he knew they'd be back. Private Detectives, like it said on the sign on the door. Paulo grabbed Marco's arm and squeezed. "C'mon cabron," he said, his voice honey and broken glass. "Let's go home."

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Because I know I'm gonna get reamed on accuracy points and because we totally need more dramatic readings, I've done Chairchucker's story in my hammiest fake Australian accent.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


By my count, there's about an hour left and we're still waiting on the following:

Black Griffon
Radioactive Bears [motorcycle gimp]
Fanky Malloons (dramatic reading only)
Genetic Toaster
Hat Thoughts

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Martello posted:

What are you, a judge now? Yer lucky it's the weekend and I won't be calling the Puerto Ricans just to determine how awful your slang is.
I am helpful.

also bored because it's Saturday arvo and there's nothing to do so I'm refreshing the thread like a crazy person waiting for new stories.

Radioactive Bears posted:

I've never actually seen any of the Mad Max movies. I'm just assuming this is a bad thing to be.
Dude, knock out a dirty limerick in half an hour. Martello loves dirty limericks. He never actually told me that, I just assume it's true.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


On the contrary, I think their mercy is used up. There's only so much they've got per week and the extension burnt it all away. Be afraid.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Oh just post the loving things.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


I think he liked my story.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


How will the style of David Foster Wallace be met?

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


budgieinspector posted:

SurreptitiousMuffin -- "Bring-your-daughter-to-work day"
Setting: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Under-represented group(s) to which the main character belongs: Puerto Rican, gay(?)

because I honestly can't tell if you used the feminine "loca" to signify that he's calling Paulo a "crazy bitch".
because I honestly can't tell if I'm missing shitloads of subtext in the dialogue, or if I'm trying to add subtext where there isn't supposed to be any.
because I have no loving idea what Sonia saw in the cemetery.
for the dramatic reading.

FINAL SCORE: a can with no label. Could be peaches, could be spinach.
Wait, that's actually right? Yeah, I was trying to imply they were gay by using the feminine ending but my only source of that being a thing is wikipedia.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


My source is here. Not the most trustworthy place of info but no, you weren't reading too deeply into that subtext.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Just to clarify, I'm not in this week. I'm moving cross-country* and I've got to get all my poo poo in order.


*yes I know my country is small. It's still like moving from New York to Chicago.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


sebmojo posted:

Where are you heading - Auckland?
Christchurch but half my poo poo's going to Nelson temporarily and some of it's going to Blenheim for reasons. It's not for another week but I've got to pay debts/grab references/sort out too many boxes and basically erase myself from the local fabric.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


The thing the All Blacks do before a game is often erroneously referred to as the haka when it is in fact a haka. Make of that what you will.

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


[Serious post]

I know there's a whole shitposty machismo thing we've got going here but maybe TD needs a safe word, so the judges know if it's gone a bit far. The whole point of the thread is to do some writing and have fun. If the rules get too restrictive, it starts being a chore. There seems to be a trend starting of each judge one-upping the last in terms of difficulty, which can only drive people away if taken much further.

[/serious post]

EASE OFF OR I WILL STEAL YOUR CAT AND GLUE TWIGS AND BRANCHES TO ITS FUR, SO YOU THINK YOU'RE BEING FOLLOWED BY A HUNGRY BUSH, YOU WHOREMONGERING PIGFUCKER.

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