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29 November 2005 at 06:17

tag tale

I have been tagged by carslemane, to write an example of awful writing.

Carslemane has already tagged everyone I know, but if you're someone else feel free to tag yourself. There are some helpful ideas at the Bulwer-Lytton site.

Carslemane lives in Australia. On landing at Sydney airport, a Qantas captain once announced over the P.A. to his passengers, "welcome to Australia, please set your watches forward 11 hours. Then set them back ten years."

In honour of Carslemane, I did a story set in the past.




These words are formed with the sharpened penguin beak with which I write with difficulty with ink made from blood and powdered seaweed, with no light save only but for the flicker of a seal-oil lamp, in this the last month of the tenth year of my exile in captivity at Guano Bay on Flat Island.

It was on a rainy Edinburgh night, in the third week of November in the year 1828, as I stood in the Royal Mile, its cobbles as wet and slippery as a wet fish, after several jugs of ale (me, not the fish), at an hour's distance from my place of residence near the School of Medicine, when a horse-drawn carriage of the constabulary screeched to a halt beside me.

As I stood aside, a head came out the window and cried out, "in the King's name, desist at once, dude!"

I turned to watch Vincent climb drunkenly down from the statue of John Knox. He opened his mouth (Vincent, not John Knox), and I knew too well the sort of thing he intended to say. Vincent has a natural gift for insulting constables and soldiers. "Awa' and dae a man's job!" had once earned him a merciless police beating outside a Forfar fyshe and chyppe shoppe.

Before Vincent could mouth the dastardly insult that would land us both in the cells, I volunteered a more diplomatic greeting - "be not alarmed, good officers, for we are medical students."

With a resigned sigh, the constable stepped down from the carriage and strode towards me. In the street light's glow I saw that he held in his hand a black pudding wrapped in a copy of The Scotsman. He pulled out his truncheon, or maybe it was another black pudding, and the last thing I recall before losing consciousness is the headline on the newspaper - "Burke And Hare Trial - More Witnesses Disppear."


Copyright 1842. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rebroadcast, rewritten, or deconstructed.




1842 Maritime Chart showing the location of Guano Bay on Flat Island.

Sources acknowledged.

Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Zeig! After Mein Kampff I thought you'd bowed out of the literary scene. But this example of writing was superb! Are you looking for an agent? Hope this helps. Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Just checked a previous post of mine, Adolf! Zeig! You asked what a viking het was. A viking het is a helmet a viking would don if he was one of the royals. They don't wear hats. They wear hets! Hope that helps. Hotboy  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Excellent help, thank you. Can we get a cross-promotion thing going? You do blurbs for my back cover and vice versa? Whoever gets published first lays on the home brew.  

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Blogger robmcj said...

HB - are you saying the writing isn't bad enough for the competition? Or that it's so bad that it's good? Clarification would help.  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Zeig! I had a look at the site with the winners and they're all brilliantly written. But very short. If you want to ignore my advice enter the first and the last paragraph. Surely, it's better if it doesn't make sense. Hope this helps. It didn't help me! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Zeig! I had a look at the site with the winners and they're all brilliantly written. But very short. If you want to ignore my advice enter the first and the last paragraph. Surely, it's better if it doesn't make sense. Hope this helps. It didn't help me! Hotboy  

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Blogger Squid Vicious said...

I just finished the NaNoWriMo.org contest, so I'm done writing for a while...  

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Blogger Lee Ann said...

I am a terrible friend. I got tagged and didn't do anything with it. My mind is just not thinking of anything worthwhile!
Sorry Carslemane!  

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Blogger robmcj said...

HB - good advice, thanks.

HB - I heard you the first time.

Squid - good name - I'll saunter over to your place for a read.  

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Blogger robmcj said...

HB - help me decide - use the Guano Bay or the Royal Mile para?  

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Blogger Lee Ann said...

No HNT?  

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Blogger Carslemane Foraix said...

Robbo,

Good on yer, mate.

Your entry has been added to the pile, and will be judged in the near future.  

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