Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Not-So-Perfect Gift, A Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

Well here it is, week 32 of Saturday Centus (fashionably late again, as usual) and time to whip out another 100-word short story based upon a supplied prompt.  Or I could just go to Starbucks and play solitaire while pretending to write the great American novel.  Nah, that gets old after a while.  Probably better to write the story.  After all, what would Jenny do?  (WWJD?)

For those who don’t know who Jenny is, she is Jenny Matlock of the blog, off on my tangent, and the spiritual leader of us Centusians,  a ragtag collection of literary folk from around the globe who enjoy making up stories and shopping at Walmart dressed very inappropriately just for the attention.   Perhaps you've even seen photos of some of us online.

Okay, so not all Centusians like to do the Walmart thing (you know who you are), but they do all like to make up stories.  And many of them do it very, very well.   In fact, there might even be a future congressman amongst them.     

Each Saturday morning we assemble at Jenny’s blog where the divine Ms. M shares with us our writing assignment for the week.   Then we set about making up our little stories which must include the prompt as written and no more than 100 extra words.  It sounds easy but it can be challenging at times, particularly since vulgar illustrations and filthy cuss words are not allowed.  (Fear not, maybe next year.) 

After we are done writing our stories, we link our contributions to Jenny’s meme post so that the whole world can read them.  The world, in turn, then contacts their friends who work in the publishing industry.  Then publishers offer us six-figure book deals and we go on 50-city book tours riding in pimped out luxury buses while dining on caviar and champagne, desperately trying to remember the little people who first told us to follow our dreams.  I don’t know what happens next because the drugs usually wear off by this point.

Anyway, if you haven’t participated in Saturday Centus by now you really should.  It’s what your fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Henkle, would have wanted if she were still alive and had not perished in that tragic blimp accident.  This week Miss Jenny handed us a doozy of a prompt to use in our stories.  The prompt is “An involuntary gasp of shock escaped my lips when I opened the shoebox and saw the pointy-toed shoes…”  

Here is my Saturday Centus contribution for this week.  I have entitled it:

A Not-So-Perfect Gift

I’ve never been a big fan of white elephant gift exchanges, but my office has one every Christmas.  While others unwrapped cool stuff like Chia Pets or glow-in-the-dark armadillo flashlights, I always seemed to end up with the ugliest, most useless crap you could imagine.

This year, to avoid getting something lousy like a crocheted toilet paper cozy, I planned to choose a package that had the right size and weight, because bigger is generally better.

Well, at least less sucky.

Crossing my fingers, I chose a nicely wrapped box.  An involuntary gasp of shock escaped my lips when I opened the shoebox and saw the pointy-toed shoes.

“Pink stilettos,” I said glumly.  “Merry Christmas to me.”

Jenny Matlock

He who laughs last thinks slowest



  1. I think pink stilettos would be perfect on you! lol

  2. Serves you right, LOL!
    Merry Christmas.

  3. I've never participated in a white elephant gift exchange but just hearing about one gives me the shivers I know it's something I wouldn't enjoy, ha. Loved this take on the prompt. Good job.

  4. Too freakin hilarious!!! I love those white elephant/Chinese Christmas gift exchanges. I don't really what the gift just a good laugh. I did what you did and went in the opposite direction by selecting the smallest box. What I got was a pair of guady dangly pink earrings with a note that read "Who said the 80's weren't groovy!" I got a chuckle out of your post Tom! Merry Christmas! Enjoy those pointy toed shoes. Now that would be a picture to see!~Ames

  5. You've got me wanting a glow-in-the-dark armadillo flashlight. Another very humorous piece, Tom. xo

  6. Hahahahah! Just wait until next year when you re-gift the stilettos.

    I'm usually the one with the crap gift at the end of those things. A friend just had one called "Dirty Santa". I'm sure you can guess at some of the "gifts" that people brought... I wasn't able to go but if I had I probably would have been stuck with the wooden Santa with a stick. Oh, wait. I bet that wasn't a stick...

  7. I'll just bet you'll rock those shoes!

  8. So very funny! I never do those silly office exchanges. Now I know why.

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  10. How totally annoying. I wrote this incredibly clever, witting comment and saw some typing errors. So I cut my comment so I could paste it into a new comment without looking like a moron.


    The joke is totally on me...because somehow you can cut and paste from comment to comment...

    ...and now I'm annoyed and can never reconstruct the full magnifence of my first comment which involved a reference to Campbells Bean and Bacon soup, failed childhood memories and dreams and a weiner dog.

    So...I shall simply say...

    Tom, you rat!

    I saw a can of Campbells Bean and Bacon soup at the store and it brought back fond memories of my Mother's gourmet childhood cooking and while I was attempting to eat it, I read your SC and started laughing so hard I knocked the bowl off the corner of my desk and my weiner dog went nuts in a frenzy of Campbells soup lust and I only got one bite which is probably OK because it was pretty disgusting.

    But it doesn't really matter. Cuz this comment is not nearly as cool as the first one and now my fingers are tired so all I can say now is...

    I bow to the genius of your writing.

    And, no, I wasn't just trying to clean up smashed in beans from the carpet.

  11. Next time, take the small gift. They're all going to suck, but at least the small ones are easier to carry (or dispose of).

    Great Centus. =)

  12. hilarious!!! and yeah, what Sue said!

  13. Put 'um on Ebay and tell people they belonged to Lady Gaga. When they go for a gazillion dollars, split that money with me for the idea!!
    Thanks for your comment on my post. Merry Christmas!!


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