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.



  1. What a great firehouse toast!!!! Love it. you really outdid yourself on this one, Tom!

  2. Judging from the picture Helen already got a whiff of the backdraft. Well done, Tom!

  3. Hahahaha! Only you could get away with this, Tom! On occasion, my brother-in-law would pull the bedcovers over my sister's head and tell her,
    "If you love me, you won't struggle."

  4. perfect!!! And the perfect photo to go with it!!

  5. Loved your word choices amusing, Tom!

    I've missed you!!


  6. You had me going with this one. You little stinker. ;)

  7. This was a fun read, and quite a toast!

  8. You are a nut! I had a tooth pulled on Friday and it hurts to laugh and smile, but I can't help myself!

    Darn you, Tom!

    You always lift my spirits even when I'm determined to be miserable!

    This was fabulous! And probably appropriate for the guy my sister actually did marry - ha!


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