Friday May 20th, 2011

The exercise:

Four lines of prose about: the reporter.

The Canucks lost tonight, but I'm hoping for them to bounce back hard on Sunday.

We're heading to the market tomorrow morning with a lot of tomato and herb plants, along with a hearty helping of rhubarb. We know it won't be a big business day, but we're excited to get back there.


With the daily deadline minutes away and his editor wearing a trench in the hallway outside his office, Eric continued to fight a losing battle against fatigue. The perfect phrases and descriptive words that normally came so easily to him appeared to be hiding behind leaping sheep and fluffy pillows.

With a shake of his head, he forced his attention back to the screen in front of him and wiped a bead of sweat away from his forehead. He had no choice but to come through for his newspaper; he knew his job depended on getting the report on the traveling poodle ballet show impeccably immaculate.


Greg said...

The Canucks are still 2-1 up right? So this is just one of those moments that makes everything all the more exciting :)
Rhubarb! Rhubarb is fantastic, both as crumble and cake. In fact, I'm going to recomment this recipe for Rhubarb and Custard cake. I've made it a few times and it always turns out well. Pouring the pint of cream over the top before putting it in the oven seems a little odd, but it really works!
Damn it, I was going to write about the travelling poodle ballet show! And you've done it so well I'll have to pick something else now.

The reporter
Sylvestra could hear voices coming from the Council of Nastiness's meeting chamber. She slithered her way along the corridor, sliding from shadow to shadow like a snake until she reached the doorway.
"Well yes, batrachianally I run the Corsage of Nastiness," said the Green Lightbulb to the reporter, "with Sylvestra ribbeting to me on a quotient bassinet."
The reporter smiled like he was mildly concussed and wondered what on earth he should write down.

Watermark said...

Marc: That really made me laugh - just the mental image of a travelling poodle ballet show! :)

Greg: I want to know more about the Council of Nastiness and the Corsage of Nastiness! More please :)

Here's mine:

The Reporter

Mick rolled his eyes, as his boss placed an envelope on his desk, and shook his hair with his fingers, making him look scruffier than his already two-day, sleep-deprived look. He really didn't want to admit defeat but his boss had been right about the lead being false; he just hadn't wanted to risk losing out on this story.

Minutes later Mick was watching footage from the interview with the thief of the famous "Blue Globe" painting. He frowned and thought of the anonymous phone call that he had received two days ago and someone's idea of a practical joke; the person being interviewed - the 'thief' - was none other than his twin brother.

Marc said...

Greg - yup, still up 2-1. Which is okay, since I didn't really expect them to sweep the series. If they can go up 3-1 I'll be really happy though.

That recipe looks delicious. I'll let you know if we try it :)

That poor reporter. I sympathize completely.

Watermark - glad to hear it! I think the key to it was the fact that it's a traveling show. I don't know why, but that makes it so much funnier to me.

There's a story lurking in those four lines, and I'd be happy to read more of it.

Greg said...

@Marc: as it happens, I made that recipe with pineapple instead of rhubarb (I had cut up a fresh pineapple for a Malay stir-fry and had some left over) and it works just as well!

@Watermark: There'll be more, don't worry. Dr. Septopus still has a small chance of making it back to the Council of Nastiness. Maybe even alive :)

Aholiab said...

The Reporter

Sam always remembered his grade school teacher who told her class, "There is no such thing as a stupid question". At the time he had felt that it was a rather stupid statement. Now, as he picked up his microphone, looked somberly into the camera, and addressed the woman standing next to him, he realized the wisdom of her guidance.

"Mrs. Smith, did you feel any sense of loss when you saw the tornado destroy your home and those of your neighbors?"

Marc said...

Greg - pineapple? Yum.

Aholiab - I find it incredibly difficult to watch most interviews these days (sports ones being some of the worst). And it's because of the stupid questions.

I think it's safe to say by now that there is very definitely such a thing as a stupid question.

Heather said...

Johnny was an icon in the investigative reporting world. Known for his tough questions, persistence at getting the responses no one wanted to give, and making his subjects want to scamper into hiding, his meticulous practices won him every conceivable award in journalism except the IRE. He probably would have won that too, if he hadn't decided to investigate mob boss Frankie Costello. Instead, he received a pair of concrete shoes and a one way trip to the bottom of the East River.

Marc said...

Heather - alas, poor Johnny. We hardly knew ye.

Loved how much story you packed into those four lines :)