Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crazy About Christmas, A Saturday Centus

Well I'm back again, this time to post more Saturday Centus 100 word (106 actually) silliness for week 138 of this fun writing meme from the creatively fertile mind of our dear Ms. Jenny Matlock from her blog, off on my tangent.  

This week's assignment was to incorporate the six words "On the 13th day of Christmas" into our written pieces, which must be in the style of song lyrics.  This week's tardy submission is called:

Crazy About Christmas

On the first day of Christmas 

My girlfriend gave to me, 

A dead squirrel in a tree. 

On the second day of Christmas 

I couldn’t believe my eyes 

her outstretched palm held 

two frozen French fries. 

On the ten days that followed 

the gifts were just as weird: 

three rolls of pennies 

four cigarette butts 

five grocery bags 

six clumps of dirt 

Seven cans of beets 

Eight stinky socks! 

Nine cardboard tubes 

Ten used Q-tips 

Eleven dryer sheets 

And twelve rotten eggs. 

On the thirteenth day of Christmas 

I’d finally had my fill, 

To a psych ward she went 

She was clearly mentally ill. 

Jenny Matlock

I wrapped my Christmas presents early this year, but I used the wrong paper. See, the paper I used said 'Happy Birthday' on it. I didn't want to waste it so I just wrote 'Jesus' on it. 

                                                          Demetri Martin 


Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Father's Torment, A Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

For this week, the 133rd week of Jenny Matlock's fun and challenging literary meme Saturday Centus, our beloved memista (probably not a word but it should be) has given us the assignment of writing a story or poem with a maximum of 104 words using the phrase "the pain was excruciating."   I'm still a bit rusty from having been away from writing these short, fun stories for so long, but I decided to give it the old Centusian try anyway.  My contribution this week is entitled:

A Father's Torment

Darkness swept across the night sky on raven’s wings like a murky veil blanketing the landscape.  Chill gusts of wind buffeted Steve’s family home, seeking entry into its warm and cozy confines.  He awoke shivering with cold. Walking down the hallway to adjust the thermostat he suddenly felt such an intense pain seize him that he fell to the ground, fighting to hold back a scream as tears filled his eyes.  The pain was excruciating, a horrible, unimaginable pain that sent shock waves through his body as if he had stepped on a landmine. 

Clutching his foot in agony he bellowed “$@%&# Legos!”

Don't talk to me about pain.
I used to have a foreskin.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Heeeeeere's Johnny! A Saturday Centus

Guess who?

I’m back from my bloggy hiatus and wanted to post something to this week’s SC to get my creative juices re-started after years of mind-numbing academic punishment pushed it to its’ limits.

I have missed all my bloggy buds here at Saturday Centus and look forward to reading your wonderful works and settling down on Saturday mornings once more to have a little literary fun.

It’s been a long while since I posted a Centus. I took a short break because the pressures of work and finishing up my college degree were spreading me so thin with the endless term papers that the prospect of any additional writing, even writing for fun, became more than I could muster. Thankfully I am happy to report that I am finally done with school (YAY!) and can once again return to my poor, neglected blog!

This week our beloved Ms. Jenny had quite a challenging prompt to work with. Our task was to write a maximum 108 word story or poem that incorporated the phrase “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November.” Wow! If this doesn’t kick start my creativity, nothing will! I have entitled my story this week:

Heeeeeere’s Johnny!

He sat quietly in thought before his computer screen, stroking his graying goatee and crinkling his brow.

“Aww, darn!  Well, I guess some of you will have to die!"

Wielding his axe he joyfully chimed:

“Thirty days hath September,

April, June, and November.

December has thirty-one as I remember;

one more day to kill and dismember.

Putrid smell of death and decay,

Chop the babies, slay, slay, slay!”

“No, daddy, no! Your words are your babies!” his daughter screamed.

“But Lissa, I have to chop my babies…I’m above the word count.”

“Okay, But what’s the axe for?”

“Oh, this? It makes me a better writer.”

                                   Jenny Matlock

Dedicated to Ms. Jenny Matlock

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Family Thumb, A Saturday Centus


Jenny Matlock

Greetings my old bloggy friends!

I can’t believe it has been so long since I have posted a Saturday Centus.  What had become a regular weekly activity of mine for so long has been relegated to an occasional visit.  Unfortunately academic life and work life continue to demand a high toll on my time, but I am happy to report that there is finally a light at the end of that tunnel! 

I am taking a short break from my studies this afternoon to once again join the Centus fun that our illustrious meme mistress, Jenny Matlock of the blog “Off on my tangent,” has presented for our entertainment.  Plus, who could resist the opportunity to SPLIT A PROMPT!  Come on, now…that’s just so unprecedented and fantastic.  It’s like a crazy dream, but without the giant purple flying penguins singing opera while shooting lasers from their eyes.

(Right, like you never have that one!)

Anyway, this week’s challenge is to write some dialogue incorporating the prompt “he said, she said” and a maximum of 100 additional words.  Here is my effort for this week.  I have entitled it:

 The Family Thumb

“Daddy, why are my thumbs so flat looking?” she said inquiringly.

“Lissa, you are describing what is known in our family as the Goette thumb.  It is a proud family trait passed down from generation to generation,” he said

“So we are the only ones who have it?”

“Yes.  Other people have normal, round pointy thumbs.  Ours are unique in the world. They are a sign of high intellect.”


Thus, he set into motion a practical joke in which the punch line wouldn’t be delivered for nearly twenty years.  But the look on her face when the truth was finally revealed – priceless.  

Jenny Matlock

told my daughter that she can't have a boyfriend till her age is off the clock. 

*puts military clock on wall* 


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Does This Mean You're Not Interested?

It's week 108 of Saturday Centus, Jenny Matlock's weekly writing challenge from her blog, off on my tangent.  This week's exercise is to write a story or poem with only 100 words using the photo below as the prompt.  How fun!  I decided to take advantage of the skewed photo to try a little visual perspective narrative this week.  I hope it works.  Here is my effort for this week.  I have entitled it: 

Does This Mean You're Not Interested?


That was uncalled for. Third time this week, too. 

If they didn't want to be hit on, then why are they here in the bar? 

I guess women today aren’t interested in a funny line.

Too bad, I kind of liked “Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?”

No sense of humor.

“You are hotter than my daughter” is another favorite.

It’s just not one of theirs.

Maybe I need to find new pick-up lines because these aren’t working. 

Whatever will stop them from knocking me onto the floor.

“Can someone help me up?”

Jenny Matlock

“According to a recent survey, men say the first thing they notice about a woman is their eyes, and women say the first thing they notice about men is they're a bunch of liars”

- Unknown


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wrath Of A Pooh Bear

Hello to my bloggy friends and to fans of my short (somewhat twisted) fiction.  

It's been awhile!

I am back once again to try my hand at another of Jenny Matlock's 100 word writing challenges. You all know Ms. Jenny, right?  She's the reigning queen of succinct story writing with her popular ongoing meme, Saturday Centus.  This is week 107, so if you missed any you can go catch up here at her blog "off on my tangent."

In lieu of a supplied phrase as a prompt this week Jenny has given us this photo from which to base our 100-word stories and poems.  Admittedly mine is a bit dark and macabre, even for me, but this doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to go shoot up a Walmart or anything.  

Well, not today anyway.  I've got too much homework.  

And in response to your inevitable question, no, I don't know where these weird ideas come from.  Just be thankful that I don't live in your town.

Here is my submission for this week's Saturday Centus.  I have entitled it:

Wrath Of A Pooh Bear

Smoke rose from the Hundred Acre Wood as flames pranced about the forest like blazing nymphs chasing the wind.   The acrid stench of death hung heavy in the air, mixed with smoke and gasoline.

He thought about Rabbit, Owl, Piglet, Christopher Robin and the rest.  They were all dead, of course.  He heard their tortured screams for help as they tried to escape, but they never had a chance. The fire surrounded them, its flickering fingers reaching out to them in a fiery embrace.

In Pooh’s eyes the glow of the fire raged on and had infected his soul.

He couldn’t wait to start another.

With profoundest apologies to A. A. Milne

Jenny Matlock

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”

                                                                               - Winnie the Pooh  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

For The Love of Babies, A Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

Hey Centusians and blog peeps!  I wanted to dash off another quickee Saturday Centus this week and try and get my writing mojo working again.  I've been so wrapped up in academia lately that it's been near impossible to post anything, but here goes.

This is week 103 of Saturday Centus, hosted by that brilliant bloggess of off on my tangent fame herself, Jenny Matlock.  This week's meme challenge is to write a short piece using a total of 105 words including the prompt "Not for profit.  For comfort."   Here is my effort for this week.  I have entitled it:

For The Love of Babies

With a pitcher of sweet tea and a box of yarn at her side, old Hattie Benson would sing hymnals while she crocheted on her porch swing. Slowed by age and arthritis, she worked through the pain and finished three pairs of baby booties each day.

“Good morning Mrs. Phillips!  And ain’t it a blessed day?”

“Yes, it sure is Hattie.  My, your baby booties are always so beautiful.  I know you could fetch $25 a pair if you sold them instead of giving them away.”

“No child, these booties are made for love, not for profit. For comfort to babies that needs them.”

Jenny Matlock

Not only am I redundant & superfluous, but I also tend to use more words than necessary.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Frustrated Hallmark Writer Poetry


Jenny Matlock

One hundred and one weeks of Saturday Centus!

That is a lot of weeks of mini-fiction!  

This week our Miss Jenny has thrown us another one of her famous literary curve balls.  

As regular followers of this meme (aka Centusians) are well familiar, our illustrious teacher, Ms. Jenny Matlock of her blog off on my tangent, often challenges us by inviting us to either write stories and poems using photos as prompts or giving us a tiny word count.  

This week she did both.

Thank you Jenny!   My brain needed a good flush of creativity after all the crud that it has been processing lately!   

Our assignment this week is to create some type of creative literary piece using the following photo:

and 25 words of text.  The theme of this weeks meme challenge is "Greeting card innards."  

Here is my short but sweet holiday offering for this week.  I have entitled it:

Frustrated Hallmark Writer Poetry

While a dog on a card can be a “flaw-wah”

With a holiday greeting composed,

Remember nothing rhymes with Chihuahua

So just be happy with prose.

Jenny Matlock

I just bought a Chihuahua. It's the dog for lazy people. You don't have to walk it. Just hold it out the window and squeeze.

Anthony Clark


Friday, April 6, 2012

Dad's Tall Tales

Jenny Matlock

Wow!  The 100th week of Saturday Centus!

I just had to put school work on hold for a bit to post this week, even though I'm a long way from Saturday!  This week the host of this wonderful literary meme, our dear Jenny Matlock of her blog, off on my tangent, has gone all the way back to week one for this weeks prompt.  This works out just fine for me as I didn't discover Saturday Centus until week two!  

This week our prompt is 53 words long and reads "My untied shoelace changed my life.  As I leaned down to re-tie it, I kicked away a few leaves.  When I turned my head slightly to look where the leaves had been, I was astonished to see a rubber-banded wad of hundred dollar bills nestled in a little indention in the muddy ground."  This week for our stories we just need to add our 100 words to the prompt and any pictures we want.  

I have named my week 100 effort:

Dad's Tall Tales

“Dad, I found this shoelace in your desk.” 

“Lissa, that’s not just any shoelace. It is the reason I am alive today.”


“Twenty years ago I was living in the Bronx working for Frankie the Thumb. I had just buried a snitch in Pelham Bay Park when I noticed my shoelace was untied.

My untied shoelace changed my life. As I leaned down to re-tie it, I kicked away a few leaves. When I turned my head slightly to look where the leaves had been, I was astonished to see a rubber-banded wad of hundred dollar bills nestled in a little indention in the muddy ground. It was $20,000, enough to pay off my gambling debts to Vinny “the Weasel” Bonanno and cancel the hit he put out on me!”

“Sigh. Dad, you've never lived in New York.”

"Oh. Well in that case it’s just an old shoelace.”

Jenny Matlock

The only man a girl can trust is her Daddy!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chloe's Big News, A Saturday Centus


Jenny Matlock

It’s been so long since I posted anything I fear that the blog powers that be are surely seriously contemplating stripping me of my blogger status and preparing to throw me out into the cold, wet and dark world of...eek…normal society.

Well I can’t have that.

So I’m back once again to try my hand at yet another of Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus challenges. You too are invited to give this a try if you haven’t already! It’s a lot more fun than a Sudoku puzzle and you don’t need a calculator! Just head on over to Jenny’s blog, off on my tangent, by clicking on this link or her button and let the literary fun begin!

This week marks Jenny’s 97th such exercise in short, short story writing. And speaking of short story writing, this week our challenge is to write a story using 5 sentences of only 5 words per sentence. So we have 25 words total to write about anything we want (just not the vulgar, disgusting stuff…save that for your journal) with no prompt to work from. Whoopee! This sounds so easy I might just write a couple of them!

Chloe's Big News!

Newborn puppies have just arrived. 

Chloe had six adorable pups. 

I hear them softly squeaking. 

Rufus and Ringo are overjoyed. 

Ours has become a doghouse.

Rick Santorum For Grand Inquisitor

Our family values are right. 

Why let others act differently? 

We say, “It’s God’s Way.” 

Santorum will make America God-fearing. 

He will cleanse this land.

A Special Puppy Video

Jenny Matlock

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That's almost $7.00 in dog money.

-- Joe Weinstein


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tom's Story, A Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

This week’s Saturday Centus is all about me!

That’s right!  For week 94 Jenny Matlock, our hostess with the plentitude, has made this week’s assignment autobiographical. Regular visitors to this blog will remember that Jenny hosts this weekly challenge at her blog, off on my tangent, and that we are typically given 100 words plus a supplied prompt to create a story or poem.

Not this week though.

In something she labeled as “Autobriefagraphical” Jenny has chopped our word count so small you can count them on two hands (one hand if you live near a former nuclear test site.)  

Six words, people!  Can you imagine describing your life with six words?  I mean you really need ten or twelve words to do a respectable job now, don’t you? 

Here is my effort for this week’s Saturday Centus.  Those of you who know me will understand.  I have labeled this week's six-word epic "Tom's Story."

Looking at life through Groucho glasses.

I'm writing an unauthorized autobiography.
- Steven Wright 


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Best Man's Speech, A Saturday Centus


Jenny Matlock

Hello my bloggy brethren!

I’m back once again to participate in week 93 of that popular literary mental workout known as Saturday Centus.  Hosted by that legendary litterateur, Jenny Matlock, from her blog off on my tangent, Saturday Centus is a fun, weekly writing exercise where participants are challenged to create a short story or poem using no more than 100 words plus the words from a supplied prompt.

Writing a Centus can be an ambitious proposition, particularly when we have an odd prompt to begin with.  But what Centusians will tell you is that chopping your story down to just a hundred words plus the prompt words can be just as demanding, if not more so, than writing it.

As writers we often let our imaginations run free to paint elaborate images with words.  To edit a story down to its bare essence to hit a word count like with Saturday Centus is as much an exercise in personal sacrifice as it is in concise writing.  

For me that is the real crux of this challenge…letting go of those creative elements that you desperately want to keep.  It’s maddening sometimes, but it’s taught me something important about writing.  You don’t need all the words to tell a story, just like you don’t need all the colors to paint a picture.  You just need the right ones.

Thank you, Jenny, for showing me the way!

If you haven’t tried writing one of these you really should.  You would be amazed at what you can do with just one hundred words!  Our prompt this week is “the wedding was at the firehouse.”  Here is my take on this week’s assignment.  I have entitled it:

The Best Man’s Speech

“When I first heard Bob was getting married I was alarmed.  

Sure, he could extinguish a ten-story structure fire, but marriage?  That’s a lot of pressure.  

But Helen is special.  

Bob’s burning affection for her is out of control and no sprinkler system can damper their love for one another. 

However, since the wedding was at the firehouse I felt it was appropriate to alert Helen about a safety concern we’ve nicknamed ‘Bob’s Backdraft.’

Noxious fumes, Helen. 

I’m just saying a hazmat suit might not be a bad idea.    

Nonetheless, please raise your glasses in a toast to the happy couple!”

Jenny Matlock

My wife suggested a book for me to read to enhance our relationship.  It’s entitled Women are from Venus, Men are Wrong.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Breaking the Silence, A Saturday Centus


Jenny Matlock

Don’t pay the ransom, I’ve escaped!

I wish I had been kidnapped.  Then I wouldn’t have been forced to write all those term papers for school and maybe have had time to play each Saturday.  I missed you all, my Centusian pals!  Although academia is tapping its toes and staring at its watch right now, I just had to dig out from under it for just a few minutes and scare up a short story for week 91 of Saturday Centus.

For the random, unenlightened blog hoppers who find themselves here for the first time and have never heard of Saturday Centus, it is essentially a cult where we sacrifice Twinkies to the Goddess Centusia every Saturday (unless there’s a game on, in which case it switches to nachos) before laying down in bed for a few hours to “meditate.”

Or it could be a fun literary meme hosted by Jenny Matlock every Saturday from her blog “off on my tangent” where Jenny gives us challenging writing assignments using a supplied prompt and we have to write stories using the prompt and only an additional 100 words.  You decide.  You may want to do both just to be safe.

Gosh, it’s been so long since I have written one of these. I feel so deCentusized!

Nonetheless, I think I’m going to go all Ron Paul-y around here if I can’t write something for fun for a change.  Thanks Jenny for your email and for waking me out of my coffee/energy drink/sleep-deprived coma long enough to post something on my horribly neglected blog once again.  I hope I can keep it going for next week too!

This week’s prompt comes to us from Miss Nonna from her wonderfully delicious blog, Tasty Tales.  We have 100 words plus the prompt to play with and can add a picture.  No naughty talk or splitting the prompt.   This week’s prompt is “We know where all the bodies are buried.”  Thanks Miss Nonna!

Here is my effort for this week.  I have entitled it:

Breaking the Silence

 Freddy’s Bar.

The stench of stale beer, cigarettes and cheap cologne filled the small, dimly-lit room. A jukebox in the back played Jerry Reed as two old boys, Gator and JB, laughed and drank beer at the bar. 

Today marked the 50th anniversary of the Hamilton brother's mysterious disappearance walking home from school in 1962.

“It’s a shame they didn’t look ‘round the Okefenokee Swamp,” smiled Gator.

“Yeah, that’s a damn shame,” winked JB.

The bartender nervously leaned in and whispered to them “You boys know anything about where they are?”  

“Son, this here is Waycross.  We know where all the bodies are buried.”

Editors Note:

I apologize to anyone who feels offended by the stereotypical characterization of Southerners as dirty, smelly, lazy, annoying, gun-toting, stupid, rude, racist, ball-cap wearing, illiterate, anti-Semitic, drunk driving, homophobic, foul-mouthed, white trash, religious hypocrites with cigarettes perched between their few remaining yellow-stained crooked teeth, screaming obscenities at their out-of-control children to “git back inna truck” as they head out to the prison to visit their kin.

Obviously this stereotype is inaccurate, cliche and couldn't be further from the truth.

Especially in Waycross, GA.

Again, sorry Goober.

Jenny Matlock

“I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”   
                                                                                                -  Rush Limbaugh


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