A Story Short and Simple(minded)

July 15, 2010
What story can you create from random words?

If you have read the last post, Ode to Clever Writing or Committing Random Acts of Silliness, you will understand why I have created this for absolutely no purpose other than to have fun.

I began with a Reader’s Digest from a subscription that my in-laws sent us for decades. I placed a number of them in a basket in the living room where I periodically looked at them for some of their great jokes. So after writing about the Take-a-Break on which the last post was based, I decided I wouldn’t ask my readers to do something I wasn’t willing to try and so used the words on the cover of the June 1996 edition to write the story I share today.

I didn’t use quite all the words, but here are the words from which I had to choose (ignoring words like “the”, “an” and “we):

$100, airwaves, away, baby, bank, best, blind, book, born, box, campus, case, cause, China, chip, comedy, courage, cowboys, cyclone, dared, dream, driving, drunk, edge, elephant, flatten, forever, fun, giveaway, gold, rush, good, great, heroes, June, jury, kill, laughter, license, lies, life, little, medicine, men, news, over, patient, ponder, points, race, reason, report, ripping, room, Pacific, Reader’s Digest, Russia, section, sky, special, stealing, swords, Tahquitz Canyon, today, tools, trapped, trust, tummy, twice, United States, universe, verbal, widely, women, world

Here’s what I did with the above words to contribute to the furtherance of periodic silliness.

June was like many women who wanted more in life than leaving her college campus, having a little baby and living at the edge of town in a neat little house. She’d feel forever trapped if she settled for a job as teller in a bank or worker on an assembly line where she would be one of many workers who had to pack a box with potato chips as quickly as possible so her company could win the race for corporate profits. She didn’t want to live with no greater goal than checking her mailbox to see if she’d won a $100 giveaway contest.

No, she was born for a different reason. She dared to dream that her life had a greater cause than hoping she could flatten her tummy and have a great figure.

And then one day, as she was halfheartedly watching the news on television, she didn’t pay much attention to the story about a cyclone building in the Pacific, or about the report that men from Russia were supposedly telling lies and stealing swords, or about a jury that had just found someone guilty of twice trying to kill a blind man who ran a book store, or even in the story about the pilot from China who claimed a plane from the United States didn’t have a license to fly in that section of the sky.

But she did pay attention when she heard a report about an escaped elephant that some cowboys had cornered in Tahquitz Canyon way out west. The image of that scene caught her fancy and she continued to ponder the situation in the next few days. Finally, she remembered a contest in the “Drama in Real Life” section of Reader’s Digest and thought the story about the courage of the cowboys would make a ripping good tale of heroes. But then she remembered that some of the cowboys were drunk and that got her to thinking how much laughter she could create if she wrote a comedy book about the cowboy’s world today, which is a lot different than it was during the gold rush, what with elephants and city slickers driving their SUVs across the prairie.

June realized that it would be fun to become a writer and use her special verbal skills. She was determined to trust her instincts and become a great writer, or at least have a good time trying. For the first time in her life she felt right about her place in the universe.

What would you do with the words from the cover of any magazine? Send me your creations is you’d like.


Did you enjoy this post?
Here are a some related posts from this blog, and articles from the Support4Change website:


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