The fine art of making words count
In the 1950s, "twenty-five words or less" was a catch-phrase as well known as "I'll be back" became to a later generation. In the age before the internet and its attendant social media, the producers of everything from soup to washing machines needed a way to engage with their customers. The new media of the future was television, and they all hit on the same scheme (copied each other? Planned it together? It doesn't matter.) You could use the back of a boxtop, or tear a coupon from a pad on the supermarket display, and mail in an essay, invariably of "twenty-five words or less," explaining why the company's product was the best detergent, shampoo, ketchup, chicken soup, or whatever, that civilization had ever produced. Winners received everything from cases of pork and beans to household appliances. There is even a book: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How my mother raised ten kids on twenty-five words or less by Terry Ryan.|
I have long admired the art of the haiku. Its strict form of syllables, rhythm, meter, and theme blow me away. It's also far too difficult for my shoot-'em-up loving brain to master. I know, I tried, but it occurred to me that I could combine the beauty of Oriental poetry with the direct, straight-shooting style of an American gunslinger (wordslinger?) to create a new art form, one accessible to ordinary Joes like me. Will it catch on? Let's find out! I'll start it off, and if anyone would like to join in, I'd love to read what you have! Follow the format, at least generally, and if you want to post something bawdy, advise me, and I'll up the rating; right now, at least, it's family fare.
This isn't a contest, and the only prize I offer is the satisfaction of peer admiration. With no more jibber-jabber, then, let's get started!