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Kevin Smith Enters The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest


his might be fun. I checked the link, and it is still good. There are new faces and smart people amongst since I put this up last year.
          Try your wit against filmmaker and raconteur Kevin Smith. In this video from The New Yorker, Smith takes on the handicap of working off of the top of his head. After the video displays each of the seven cartoons full-frame, pause it and take your shot just ahead of him.
         Perhaps your results will be more even than my hit-or-miss rejoinders, listed below.
         And, if you don't like Smith, or you just want a do-over, search "new yorker caption contest". Alternates include Jim Gaffigan, Bill Hader and an amazing nine year-old girl.

Of course, I really want to see your captions. Please comment below.

"Why, for all the buzz and the stinging commentary."
"Next week on Survivor Hades ..."
"In your case, we can't be too literal about the process."
"If we really did get along so well, I might never crack."
"All we can do now is compare notes."
"Not deep enough. At least, it wasn't when I was a kid."
"... in my twelve year-old daughter's bedroom at two in the morning. What would you have done?"
         Or, "The meat was fantastic!"

This is a very cool idea, runoffscribe .
Every time I turn on the television ...


ou don't need an attorney, but here I am.
         I am here to sell you whatever you want, just tell me. Give me a hint and I'll give you a pitch.
         You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and PornHub.
         I will never take more than your judgment. When you find out how small those monthly settlement payments will be, my unlisted partner will buy out your annuity for dimes on the dollar.
         I know six ways to spell "shyster", including the Yiddish words and my last name.
         My dog will roll over, heel, sit and beg, but he will never speak to the police.
         At the end of the day, you will have learned so much about the law that none of it will make sense.
         You can't say "NDA", no you can't even say ...

Disclaimer(s. voce): I am a non-attorney spokesperson. I went to law school, but I blew the bar exam.

Just keeps us even. I haven't yet found your strike zone.
         I was going for dark humor. I'm fearing I stumbled in the dark and fumbled the humor.
No. No fumble, it was hilarious. You had me at PornHub. *Delight*

But I honestly wondered if you finished this, sat back for a second and thought, I gotta work a disclaimer in here, somehow. Or was it the plan all along?

For my comment, I was playing the part of that ridiculous, humorless person (you know they're out there) who would find a causal connection between their misfortune and your satirical portrayal of an attorney.

All kidding aside, did you really go to law school?

Through about six edits, this bit actually started with "I am a non-attorney ..." In the first three decades, or so, of the television era, lawyers were not allowed to advertise on the tube. The law had to change, after a long debate. And, of course, they decided it wrong.
         Imagine a character in the Runoffs called the Non-Attorney Spokesman. He wanders the tunnels, mad as an oracle. Ask him a question and he becomes quiet. Then he says something cryptic and turns away. Minutes or months later, his words prove insightful, if not prophetic. Every fantasy world ought to have one.
         I never went to law school. That was "said" in character.


rom the Carpenters' cover of I Can Dream, Can't I?

As we eye the blue horizon's bend,
earth and sky appear to meet and end.
But it's merely an illusion.
Like your heart and mine, there is no sweet conclusion.

From the Horizon album, 1976. Original by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal, 1937. Recorded by the Andrews Sisters.

The most admired singers have always had the best arrangers and producers. Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion get the backup of a full orchestra.
         You always get your album's worth with these vocalists. The two big collections of Karen's and Richard's work doesn't cover half of the good stuff.
         Richard usually did not change the arrangement of their cover work. Instead, he broke the instrumentation down and rebuilt it with the full resources of the concert hall. Even then, nothing built by hand could overwhelm Karen's voice.
Ah, if we're talking lyrics, I find this hard to beat:

Such Great Heights

I am thinking it's a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images and when
We kiss they're perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate
That God himself did make
Us into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay

They will see us waving from such great heights,
"Come down now," they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away,
"Come down now," but we'll stay...

That's just the first couple of verses and the chorus. The rest is just as good.

Beholden ! It is good to hear from you.
         I like the symmetry in the verses, and the way it evolves into a view from on high in the chorus.
         This is a new one on me. I get the impression that it got more radio play in your neck of the world than in mine. Thank you, my friend.
 APHORISMS: This I Believe   (E)
Previously published at Sidelong Socrates. A work in progress.


it at a time, it has grown. Nothing to call for a grand announcement, but I think I have found the right one to complete the "bookend" pair, the right notes to open and close the composition.
         One reviewer urged me to make all of the aphorisms the same length. I tried. Adding spaces did not work. Adding exes and ohs made it a little breathless. Emojis, well ...
         Every piece should have an internal rhythm. Progress of further work.
A stitch in time saves nine?

Always, but that's not one of mine. All of mine are original.


n the days when even Ape served Man, Horse came to the Creator.
         "How is it that I serve Man?"
         "Tolerably well."
         "I am larger, stronger and faster. How am I bound?"
         "Man has hands."
         Horse had prepared. "I do not serve Ape."
         The Creator considered. "Man has seen that you do not lie down."
         Horse went meditating on his ways.
         Dog came to the Creator. "How is it that I serve Man?"
         "Tolerably well."
         Dog settled on his haunches, briefly whined.
         "Man has seen that you run alone, but walk at his heel."
         Dog went meditating on his ways.
         Woman came to the Creator. "How is it that I serve Man?"
         "Sit and have tea. It is most sublime."
         Over the dregs, Woman asked again, "How is it that I serve Man?"
         "How progresses the naming of My creatures?"
         "He named Jackass, which should be his own. How is it that I serve Man?"
         "Exceptionally well."
         "Damn it, Dad."
         "Daughter of mine, Man has seen that you love."
so the daughter would curse Heavenly Father to Hell?
Don't like this one

Correction: from "Damn you, Dad." to "Damn it, Dad."
         This was a fair objection. Making the revision did not damage the flow. In fact, by eliminating a provocative expression just before the sinking line, this revision improves the tale.
         Thank you, LinnAnn nano 10 winner





tyle Review of James Munz's A Plagued Land
 A Plagued Land  (E)
Short story, flash fiction
#2221251 by James Munz

And then to layer onto the bones.

Review of "A Plagued Land"


She had a gift for truth, if not for fact.


his is not an aphorism. It's just a wisecrack that tells why I use to lose most of our arguments.
         It's built like an aphorism in that it poses an apparent contradiction. Anyone who's ever been in a relationship for more than few weeks will see right through the words.
         Then there's this little quirk in English. I like to call it Shakespeare's Secret. The emphasis commonly falls on the first syllable. English words that take the primary accent on the second, or even third, syllable stand out like chives in cream sauce.
         So what? Ah-h. This quirk lends to English a subtle sing-song quality. Whatever songs may spring from prose, this is the rhythm track. Count the syllables to detect pentameter. In this sentence of monosyllables, the emphasis naturally falls into alternation. Iamb automatic.
         Maybe it is an aphorism. She was a passionate creature above all. To think I would concede just to restore our truce ... She would have had none of it.
         And, looking toward the back of my head, I find a deep blind spot.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander. People would say. However, in my experience, my woman has a habit of telling the truth and bursting my bubble on a daily basis. She makes me think.




tyle Review of Scottiegazelle 's The Ballad of Mrs. Claus

The Ballad of Mrs. Claus  (E)
Ever wonder what Mrs. Claus does during Christmas?
#786586 by Scottiegazelle

The work of a woman never to be done.

Review of "The Ballad of Mrs. Claus"





tyle Review of Soare's Harem Story
 Harem Story(TBD- Suggestions welcome)  (18+)
Miya is burning inside with the hope to take revenge. How will she take revenge?
#2220557 by Soare

One night in Ancient Moradabad.

Review of "Harem Story(TBD- Suggestions welcome)"
Agreed on your distinction between hope and lust. But what a neat trail that would be to follow. Imagine fleshing out a character who yearns for revenge, not for the sake of retribution, but to restore their dignity. You can see little shimmers of this idea in the Quranic concept of humiliation. It's a Rube Goldberg mechanism for justifying a single noun but it might be a thread worth following. You could end up with one hell of an anti-hero.


abin fever breeds the most surreal nightmares. I am bobbing amid waves of red ball caps. I have a flask to share, a flask of bourbon, bourbon laced with pentothal.
         I offer a few sips to a middle-aged woman who has decorated her hat with photobuttons of her cats, stick-on flowers to match her muu-muu, and a fiendish plaid pattern in needlepoint.
         How are you doing?
         Sip. "Counting the days. One more election and we'll stop every abortion south of New York City." Nod and sip.
         So what do you think of him?
         Deep sip. "I'd climb in with him for a hunner'n thirty thousand. I wouldn't let out a giggle, jus' close my eyes." Flask upturned.
         Thank you, ma'am. Uh, ma'am ...?
         "Oh! This little buddy is yours, isn't it ..."
         Somehow, it is still full to the neck.

His hat is heavily faded. It's crown has collapsed, and the bill is joined to it by a rime of sweatsalt.
         ... you ...?
         "' Love these church barbeques. Keep the young'ns right under the old thumb. I'm on the outside of a six-pack, and the deppities won't even look at me so long as I haul ever'body straight home. And this is some good sh --"
         ... him?
         Glug. "Well, I'm an atheist, y'know. But he's m' Jesus. You' better take this, uh ... okay now."

She carries her brand new hat folded in her hand, despite the declining angle of the sun. The bag over her shoulder is outsized, and bulging. She wears a loop of ribbon, yellow edged in black, high on her bodice. She declines the flask.
         ... you ...?
         "Mister, can you get me out of here? Please! I'll do ... I'll do anything you want."
         "Then take a sip."
         It does take a moment. "Last night, I ... I hung a noose in my closet."
         "Okay, let's go."
         "You' got to hide me."
         "Church event. The sheriff's deputies won't look twice."
         I leave the flask on the self-service bar.