Saturday, July 08, 2006
Guess the Plot
The Portal to Doom
1. Bess knew the 6 unplanned kids had been hard on her husband--hell, they'd been hard on her, too. But if he didn't find a more pleasant anatomical euphemism regarding their lovemaking, she thought she might leave him.
2. A greeting card proofreader, transported into a high-priced parallel universe where his ex-girlfriend Brandi is the supreme ruler, decides to stick around, overthrow Brandi, and introduce low-cost goods and services.
3. Reality TV meets Game Show as Monty Hall tries to revivify his Let's Make a Deal career...only this time, those aren't kitchen appliances behind doors #1, 2, and 3.
4. Skip spends so much time trying to break the record for most consecutive hours playing Doom, he eventually sets the Guinness record for oldest man still living in his Mom's basement.
5. The town council of Doom, Idaho (pop. 823) had long sought ways to draw more visitors to their sleepy burg. But when a wormhole opens up in the town square, bringing tourists from across the universe, they long for the good old days.
6. There was a pervading hint of depth to everyday shadows, as if Paul could reach through them into some silent ocean of darkness. And then, one day, he could.
Dear Mr. Editor,
Jerry Manger is bored with his tedious life as a greeting card proofreader in Dayton, Ohio, [Evil Editor once developed a line of greeting cards. I was disenchanted with the highly general nature of cards, and thought there might be a market for highly specific cards. For example, this one was a sympathy card that could be sent to an animal-rights activist who'd recently run over a squirrel or a possum:
A precious life.
Taken far too early,
And yet, be saddened not . . .
Thanks to you,
The circle of life spins on,
As the guts in the street
Feed vultures and maggots.]
so one day he decides to spice things up by seeking anonymous sex at a rest stop on Highway 35. [When you're bored with your tedious life, anonymous sex at a highway rest stop is more likely to drive you to suicide than spice things up.] However, what he thinks is a glory hole is in fact a portal to a parallel universe which, at first glance, appears to be even more boring and tedious than the life he's used to. [Might I suggest that the portal--at least in the query--be the stall at the far end of the men's room, the one marked "Out of Order," which Jerry absent-mindedly enters? When your prospective editor reads two sentences and Googles "glory hole" and finds herself directed to numerous x-rated sites, that may be the end.]
Unfortunately for Jerry, it's also more expensive, and after blowing most of his cash on ill-advised alternate universe souvenirs, [My uncle went to the Delta Quadrant of the Gamma Nigiri Universe, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.] he doesn't have enough money to pay the toll to get back into the alternate universe rest stop.
Deciding to make the best of the situation, he decides to live out the rest of his natural life as a street person hassling strangers for spare change, [The rest of his life? Why doesn't he use the first day's spare change to pay the toll?] until one day he's startled to notice the face of Brandi, his cruel ex-girlfriend from many years ago, on the front of all the fifty-cent pieces. [It must be an alternate universe, if people are walking around with fifty-cent pieces. I haven't seen one in four years.]
After doing some investigation, he learns that Brandi is in fact the supreme ruler of the alternative universe, and reigns from a giant aluminum mansion in Alternate Universe Flint Michigan. Undaunted by descriptions of Alternate Universe Flint Michigan that make it seem even more scary and depressing than the real one, Jerry sets out to overthrow Empress Brandi and bring happiness and low prices to the universe, or at least find out why she left him for that jerk Chet from the fitness center all those years ago.
"The Portal To Doom" is an 85,000-word tale of courage, redemption, and unsanitary rest areas. A full or partial manuscript is available upon request.
Dear Mr. Editor,
Jerry Manger, bored with his tedious life proofreading greeting cards in Dayton, Ohio, quits the rat race and heads for the big city: Charleston, West Virginia. At a rest stop on Highway 35, what Jerry thinks is the only stall with a door proves to be a portal to a parallel universe, a universe that appears to be even more tedious than the one he's used to.
Unfortunately for Jerry, it's also more expensive, and after blowing most of his cash on alternate-universe souvenirs, he can't afford transportation back to the alternate-universe rest stop. Making the best of the situation, he hassles strangers for spare change--until he notices, on the front of all the fifty-cent pieces, the face of Brandi, his cruel ex-girlfriend from many years ago.
Investigating, he learns that Brandi is the supreme ruler of this universe, and reigns from an aluminum mansion in Flint Michigan. Undaunted by descriptions of Alternate Universe Flint Michigan that depict it as even more depressing than the real one, Jerry resolves to overthrow Empress Brandi and bring happiness and low prices to her universe--or at least find out why she left him for Chet from Accounting.
The Portal To Doom is an 85,000-word tale of courage, redemption, and unsanitary rest areas. A full or partial manuscript is available upon request.
Posted by Evil Editor at 10:35 AM
Labels: Commercial fiction, science fiction
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Noooo! How could you cut the glory hole? Tut tut, EE. Who knew you were such a prude?
I hope the author keeps it.
That has GOT to be a joke. How would he even fit his entire body through the portal? Maybe it's supposed to be a comedy.
Note, when googling for something you think may be sexual slang, restrict the search to wikipedia. You'll be happier. Trust me.
Oh, and I liked #5 and #6 -- if anyone writes one of those, let me know so I can read it.
How does he defeat her--by fixing an election?
How could he blow all his money on souvenirs? He has our-world money, sans Brandi's face. Every store would take one look at his money (or his credit cards they've never heard of) and say no way pal. He'd STILL have to bum spare change off of people, he just wouldn't have any keychains to take back with him.
If this is real, it could actually be pretty funny. The way to write it would be to just pull out all the stops and let it be as whacked out as it wants to be.
It’s interesting that you can go to an alternate universe using currency from your world - yet, when the plot demands it, change the currency in the alternate universe to have your ex’s face on it.
I don't care about the plot holes, I think this sounds freaking awesome.
Is anyone else being made to feel inferior by the vast improvements EE effects on their "guess the plot"s? Or is that just me?
You know, I really liked #1. Now I have a new term to use in the boudoire.
A real book: yes. A completed book: er, no. But I'm working on it.
The money is not a plot hole -- the money in the alternate universe is the same *except* for Brandi's face on the 50-cent piece. Which of course would take a while to notice because how often does anyone use a 50-cent piece?
It's all perfectly rational.
Except for how he fit his whole body through a glory hole. Ouch.
I made it to "Alternate Universe Flint, Michigan" before spewing my coffee. I needed a beverage alert for that one.
Please tell me Michael Moore isn't hanging around there.
He shouldn't be able to use the money...it is alternate universe stuff right? Anyway, this shouldn't be a problem because it would end up that Jerry doesn't have any money to use...right?
Sounds like a funny read.
Cliche alert: "Ohio" is not a synonym for "boring" and Flint is not the only Rust Belt City anyone's ever heard of.
"However, what he thinks is a glory hole is in fact a portal to a parallel universe..."
This one should have had a beverage alert!
The plot put me in mind of The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalpyse, by an author whose name now escapes me, which was grand surrealist fun.
Crossing into another dimension via a glory hole would be an auto buy for me.
No. I mean it.
Wow, Will! Very Adams-esque, with a dash of Pratchett (minus the dwarves and trolls, of course). I could see myself enjoying this.
After I'd read "Guess the Plot", my first reaction was: "Sigh, it's going to be #6. Why can't it ever be one of the fun ideas, like #2? I'd like to read that one!"
That's the first time I've had this reaction, so maybe that's a good sign.
(It reminds me a little of some of Rudy Rucker's novels, especially "The Master of Space and Time". I've always thought the Rucker is horribly underrated.)
I agree with desert snarkling. Pull out the stops and run with it. I also disagree with EE about the glory hole. That's hilarious. -JTC
I'm with mazement, that one of the fun ones (for a change) turned out to be the actual query (yay!).
Sounds like a great, humorous story - right up my alley. Go for it!
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