Friday, May 08, 2009

Wordzzle 62 - The woolly mammoth and the bubble gum

This is my contribution to this week's Wordzzle. Wordzzle is a game in which each week word lists, used to create stories, are given on the blog Views from Raven's Nest. Participating users post their stories on their own blogs.

This is the sixth time I've played the game.

Ten Word Challenge:

gentle spring rain,
soap opera,
bubble gum,
garden gate,
of Biblical proportions,

Beyond the garden gate, a woolly mammoth stood, looking at them. The man went to the gate and held up a handful of bubble gum to it. The mammoth solemnly took them with its trunk and put them in its mouth and began chewing. After a while it blew an enormous bubble and floated up high into the sky with it. The man watched over by the house, standing by a woman.

Then the bubble popped and the mammoth came back down, landing in the garden. The impact was enormous, and the mammoth sank deep into the soft earth, with only a few feet of it showing. Chunks of dirt were flung everywhere, and wrinkles and cracks went out in the ground in all directions. The man and the woman stood there, looking at it. Finally the woman broke their mutual paralysis and said, "My garden seems to have suffered a disaster of Biblical proportions."

"Yes," the man said. "I don't think we'll ever get it out of there. It's just too big and heavy. We'll just have to put some dirt over it. It'll take a lot of dirt to keep it from smelling, so there's going to be quite a hill there. It's going to take a lot of days to do it."

"I'm going to have a hill instead of a garden?" the woman asked, looking worried. "Could I still plant things on it?"

"Some areas might be too steep. We can just put rocks on those areas instead."

They looked at it some more in silence. After a while the woman said, "Aren't woolly mammoths an endangered species?"

"Maybe so," said the man. "I never really paid attention to such things."

"If they're endangered, then there might not be many left. In fact, that might be the last one. That's so sad."

"Yes," said the man, "but there's nothing to be done about it now. This isn't some soap opera where people keep coming back to life."

They looked at it some more for a while, standing there by the house. A gentle spring rain began to fall, and they moved back a bit to get under the overhang of the roof. "It's almost like the sky is crying," the woman said.

Suddenly the mammoth moved, and climbed out of the hole. The woman gave a half-stifled cry, and they both stepped back further, and now had their backs pressed firmly against the house. The woolly mammoth turned and looked at them.

"You almost gave me a seizure," the man said. "We thought you were dead."

"No," said the woolly mammoth. "That was quite a ride, though. I'd do it again, but I think I swallowed the rest of the gum."

Mini Challenge:

stuffed animals,
anger management,
paint splatters

Drops fell from above, leaving paint splatters on the stuffed animals. He looked up, then quickly moved to the side, as another one landed where he had been. "Are you sure you know what you're doing?" he asked the woman.

"Well, so far most of the paint is going where I intended, and I'm going to call that a success. You'd better move those toys, though. They might get a few stray drops on them."

He looked at the toys, and at the rug. "Aren't you supposed to put plastic over everything first?"

"It costs too much to buy that much plastic. We're trying to economize, remember? That's why we're doing the painting ourselves. It's a good thing we got this paint on sale. I don't know how we would have afforded the more expensive stuff."

He looked at the painted section. The paint wasn't quite covering the burn marks, and they'd have to put on another coat, at least over part of it. The burn marks were there from when she trying to save on electricity by burning lots of candles instead. It had not worked out well.

"You could be helping me, you know."

"I guess I could, but you only bought one brush."

"Well, maybe you could get a pan and catch any drops that fall, then."

He stood there for a moment, considering her request, but he was having trouble wrapping his mind around it. Suddenly a drop hit him on the forehead and cheek, leaving a line across one of the lenses of his glasses. Another one hit him on top of the head, and trickled down behind one ear. He could feel other drops hitting his shirt and pants. "Um, maybe less drops would fall if you painted a little less energetically."

She turned her head around and looked at him. "Wow. You could have used the pan, you know, you didn't have to catch them with your body." She looked around at the room. "I guess the room has quite a bit on it, too. Why didn't you say something?"

"I thought that I did, sort of. I didn't want to nag you too much, I wouldn't want to make you angry."

"Angry? Don't be silly, I never get angry. Anger management is something I never have to worry about, and it's a good thing, because I've got so much else to manage."

She studied the wall. "We've still got part of a can of varnish. I guess I could fling drops of it on the wall, make a kind of reverse color scheme splatter pattern, so that it would seem that the rug splatters were intentional, and just part of the effect."

"That still wouldn't hide the burn marks showing through."

"Maybe I could make a mural then, something that tells a story. Maybe something biographical."

"It kind of already tells a story. And it's already biographical."

"Yes, but it's not interesting enough. It needs to be soaring, operatic even. I think I'll put the Eiffel Tower over here, and some Vikings with horned helmets over here."

"But, we've never been to Paris or ever seen an opera."

"Yes, but nobody has to know that."

Mega challenge:

gentle spring rain,
soap opera,
bubble gum,
garden gate,
of Biblical proportions,

stuffed animals,
anger management,
paint splatters

"Stop watching that soap opera and come help me get this bubble gum out of my hair!" the man said.

"Oh, all right. You wouldn't have it there, you know, if you hadn't kept hiding under the table at that restaurant."

"I didn't know the whole underside of it was covered in bubble gum."

"Any fool knows that's where people put it, but you're not just any fool, are you?"

"Just get it out," he moaned.

She fiddled with it for a while.

"It won't come out. I'm going to have to cut it off."

"Cut it off? Cut my hair off? No..."

"Hold still, you're making it worse."

"My hair! This is a disaster of Biblical proportions!" He wept, wrinkles of worry crossing his face.

"You're such a baby! Let me get one of your stuffed animals for you. Here, take it." He clutched at it, tears still falling like a gentle spring rain.

"There, that's the last of it," she said, stepping back a bit and looking it over. "I could take off a little more. I might be able to hide some of it."

"No! Let me see how it looks."

He hesitantly went to the mirror and looked at himself. His eyes opened wide and he staggered all the way back to the wall, then slid down it to a sitting position.

"You're not going to have a seizure over it are you? It's just hair."

"It's MY hair!"

"I can still cut some more off, try to even it out some."

"Maybe later, I can't face any more right now. How can I go out on job interviews like this?"

"You haven't got any job interviews. You haven't even sent out any resumes."

"I'm still working on the biographical information."

"Well, don't include what happened to your hair."

"No, no, they don't want details like that. Just the highlights."

There was a moment of silence, then "Were there any highlights?"

"I'm sure there must have been some. That's what I'm been trying to think of. I don't know that it matters now, not with this... this... mammoth problem." He bitterly indicated his head.

"I've never understood why you took that anger management class. You're such a wimp, always moaning and worrying. Why didn't you take a class to fix that?"

"The anger management class was something that the place I used to work would pay for. It's okay to be angry, it makes you seem dynamic, like you're a real man. I could never take a class to make me be less of a wimp. People would look at me funny."

"I've got news, they look at you funny already."

"Maybe, but there's no point in making it worse."

"Well, if you're not going to let me cut your hair, you better get to work on the resume. No point sitting there in your own paralysis."

"I can't think right now. I think I'll go out in the back yard and pace for a while. I hope no one sees me like this."

"As long as you're going out there, you might as well finish painting the garden gate. And try not to get paint splatters on the walk this time."

"No! I can't get paint on my hands, not if I'm going to have job interviews."

"Yeah, with you doing it you'd probably get some in your hair, anyway."

He noticeably cringed, then gave her a pained look.

"It's your own fault this happened," she said. "No normal person would be hiding under tables."

"I had to! My old boss came in the restaurant, and I didn't want him to see me!"

"Well, he saw me and he knows I'm your wife. I don't know what he thought, with me sitting there alone and whispering to the table."

"You saw each other?"

"Well, across the room, it's not like we went out on a date. Believe me, if they made our lives into a television show, it wouldn't be a soap opera. It's not even faintly soap operatic."

Suddenly the doorbell rang. She went to answer it, and found a young woman there holding a baby.

"Hi," the young woman said. "I'm the daughter you had as a teenager and gave away. This is my daughter, your granddaughter. Who's that under the table?"

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Blogger Raven said...

I love your sense of humor. Your wordzzles are always so much fun to read! WSee done.

1:00 PM, May 09, 2009  
Blogger Raven said...

That was supposed to read "Well done." No idea where the See came from. Hope that's not a sign of early senility... eeek.

1:01 PM, May 09, 2009  
Blogger gabrielle said...

The garden will never be the same. Iā€™m glad the mammoth survived. Who he swallowed the gum. Performing CPR on a woolly mammoth would not be easy.

She ā€“ In the second story -It seems as though her frugality is her nemesis.

3rd story ā€“ sounds like just another day to me.

Enjoyed all three!

11:20 PM, May 09, 2009  
Blogger Nessa said...

Great stories, each one very different. I particularly liked the elephant one.

5:48 AM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

Oh what fun! The first one was my favourite - I love the idea of a Mammoth blowing a bubble out of bubble gum big enough to take it up in the sky! My Mother always use to say "don't swallow your bubble gum or you'll trump bubbles!" Hope the mammoth doesn't! :0

12:04 PM, May 11, 2009  
Blogger Jay Simser said...

You have talent, my friend. I enjoyed your writing a whole lot. And I agree the Mammoth chewing gum and blowing the bubble just grabbed me.

6:01 AM, May 13, 2009  
Blogger Finding Pam said...

Very interesting stories! Your sense of dry humor made me chuckle.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog.

Have a great day. Pam

7:35 AM, May 14, 2009  
Blogger CJ said...

Loved all three stories, but especially the crazy lady with the paint. So ambitious to write three. i barely have time for one.

2:31 AM, May 16, 2009  

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