Wednesday, February 21, 2007
New Beginning 224
I sat bouncing off the sticky beige back seat as the car bounced out of deep ruts in the road. A relative I didn’t know, big-boned Donna-Something, some double name that sounded stopped-short, like hitting your face in a wall, talked away in the front seat with the tall boy driving. Donna-Something looked and sounded desperately happy, hammering away with her loud voice as streams of hot dust from the road sprayed us through big open car windows.
Donna said she was studying piano and gonna go to college to study more piano, because she was gonna be a pianist. Her aunt was paying for it so she could make something of herself, she said.
I figured Donna must have just learned the word pianist and thought it sounded really smart, because she repeated that word in every other staccato sentence coming out of her mouth. And I figured her friend that was a boy thought it sounded like she was saying penis, because every time Donna-Something said the word pianist, and she said it a lot, the boy’d chuckle under his breath. Then they’d glance back at me to see if I understood the joke. Then he’d do another deep chuckle. And that would get her going again.
I tried my best not to listen to them, my only thought being, Some college somewhere, no matter how horrible, actually wants my Too-Low-On-The-Tree-Branch Relative to attend their idea of higher education? A girl snickering over the word "pianist"?
A coil in the seat did a number on my butt as we hit another pothole and a rock flew in the window and pinged me on the side of the head. I think Tall Lanky Boy aimed for any pothole and even roadkill on purpose. He seemed like the type. They could have at least turned on the radio, so I wouldn't have to listen to their ignorant comments.
"I'm going to be the world's finest pianist, working it like no one's seen before!" Big-Bone Donna declared. Lanky Tall Boy chuckled and eyed me through the rearview mirror.
I finally snapped. "Can't you just call it what it is? A cock manipulated by a fifty-cent whore?"
And in that one, horrible moment, I realized why this backseat was so sticky.
Opening: Robin Sinnott.....Continuation: Brenda Bradshaw
Posted by Evil Editor at 11:26 PM
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Funny continuation! Ewwwwww.
Maybe when I've had more coffee I'll know what I think about the beginning.
Great continuation! I had a feeling it was going in that direction, nice job!
As for the beginning, I like the voice. The descriptions put me right there in the car, nice job! One thing that confused me was, all the way up to the end, I didn't think Donna-Something was in on the pianist-penis joke, and kind of liked it that way, it kept her dumb. I was a little disappointed when she was in on the joke at the end of the third paragraph. Other than that, I was into it and would keep reading.
Is this James Ellroys attempt at chick lit?
The narrator sounds like Holden Caulfield, especially in paragraph 3.
James Ellroy? No way. Too many commas. Not enough periods.
I am one of the 7 or 8 people in the U.S. who never read J.D. Salinger. And I haven't read James Ellroy. Maybe I should. I love Hunter S. Thompson's writing, though I haven't reread it ion a while.
And this is not chick-lit, thanks. I don't actually read it.
This is about a Mick Chick who happens to be a Southerner.
Tessla, this is the same girl who grows up to get to know the hoof-lamp guy (same novel). I was hoping you'd like it.
Forgot to say, Brenda, I loved the continuation, especially the last two lines.
Thanks, Robin. This was my first ever contribution toward a continuation. It was fun!
Continuation---ick, eewww, must go wash. Very funny.
Author--Not bad. I got a clear sense of place, narrator's personality coming through, and the two characters in the front seat with lowbrow humor.
What I didn't get was much sense of where this was going or why I wanted to keep reading.
But I would keep reading, at least for now.
Some nitpicks--first sentence: bounced "out of" deep ruts. For some reason this bothered me--along, through, over--any of these would be easier on my (ridiculous) sensibilities. I didn't mind big-boned-Donna-Something as an introduction to the cousin once removed, but the next phrase just seemed like you couldn't decide which way to go and were trying some word-padding techniques especially when you got to "like hitting your face in a wall"--BTW, how do you hit your face in a wall.
More nitpicks--she said at the end of the 2d paragraph isn't needed. It upsets the flow you've got going, imho.
More nitpicks--"I figured her friend that was a boy..." why do we need "that was a boy" added here? Why not give the driver a name when you first introduce him and then refer to him by name?
Ah, hoof-lamp guy involved. Interesting.
Nicely done continuation, Brenda.
(And I thought my continuations were close to the bone(r)!)
Brenda, Ril - cold shower, now. Take that back seat with you...no I meant to clean it not to...close the damn curtains, can't you!
Sorry, couldn't resist.
I found this start a bit confusing... Does a double name really stop short? To me, they go on longer than anybody else's. That's a really long sentence too and the ending is confusing 'with' as in 'talks with' or 'with' as in he is driving while she's talking? (which he is, but...) 'Desperately' happy - happy or not? 'Desperate' implies artificiality, but you seem like you want to suggest 'very'? Dust doesn't often come through my open car window (although bugs do) - unless a passing car throws some up. If 'they' glance back to see if back seat driver has got the joke, then they are both in on the joke - yet you've implied that she isn't.
Having said all that (sorry for the moaning) this has a good sense of personality and place and most of the third para is excellent - although I would like that 'relative' thing explained quite soon.
Unless the narrator isn't the main character and is only telling the story about Donna and her boyfriend, we need to know a little bit more about the narrator. This is 200 words about Donna, not about the narrator. And Donna is a little like Beavis and Butthead giggling over pianist jokes.
At least that' my opinion.
to wit (less, not more):
Man walks into a bar and he sets an 18 inch high upright piano and a 12 inch piano player on the bar. The bartender asks: "What's that?" and the man replies: "Aw, I rubbed this funny lamp and a Genie popped out. I told him I wanted a 12 inch penis and this is what he gave me."
Even more free wit:
A man walks into a bar and the piano player has a trained monkey, dressed in colorful clothes and a little hat, holding a cup. The man orders a beer and the monkey runs over and pees in it. The man stands astounded. He orders another beer and the monkey does the same thing. Incredulous, the man goes over to the piano player and taps his shoulder, saying: "Do you know that monkey just peed in my beer." and the piano player says: "No, but if you hum a few bars, I can fake it."
I was 13 y/o and in a bar when I heard that joke for the FIRST time.
Oh my. RIL - I do believe we're getting a reputation...
I think I like it...
"'Desperate' implies artificiality"- Yep- I was going for artifically happy here - even while she's talking to the boy about what wonderful things she's going to be doing - you find out shortly that Donna is pretty sure this isn't going to work out, and why.
Looks like I need a sentence to show Donna "getting" the joke - that makes sense. You guys are right, and thanks for that.
I don't want to use the names I'm thinking of, because I don't want to offend anyone - but there are some names used as middle names, especially in the South, where this takes place, that sound very abrupt when spoken together with the first name- hence abrupt - like smacking into a wall.
Ummmm...let's see, the driver doesn't get a name because he's only anecdotal - he's just a snapshot, essentially.
Donna is a pitiful dumbass.
This is an entry into a world the narrator is dropped into each summer (you find out why in the next page).
Now, speaking of dumb, I finally had to ask my 14 year old daughter to help me get a picture on this blog deal. Hoping this works. Hmmmm.
Dave! Ha! The best I can do is this:
Two guys walked into a bar. The third one ducked.
A horse walks into a bar. The bartender asks, "Why the long face?"
Don't forget to tip your waitress.
I knew a guy in college from Tinnessee. That's the way he talked - Tinnessee. His said duck as doooooock and was all muscles, no brains. He talked about having swim parties with various cheerleaders without bathing trunks. Teenagers should never be naked in a swimming pool together. Not without condoms.
So this scene of Dumbass Donna giggling over oral sex is quite true to a stereotype (that's OK). I'ma proud Yankee and I guess I will never understand that easy morality.
Except, I don't think artificial is the word that describes her smile. It's more devious than artificial. Conniving? Bitchy? Scheming? I'm guessing she's going to dump the jerk and give him a good case of the blue round ones (sorry, there's not too many polite ways to say that).
The question is, why would her sister or cousin take her along on a date? I mean using your blood releative to help bail out of an unwanted sexual escapade is "icky" ... Of course if the boy is a jerk and only wants (well, let's be civil here), then how does this work?
Robin: Love the photo! Nice to put faces to "voices".
And let's not start on names. Seriously. Otherwise, I'll win on Most Horrid, and you all will live to be 99 years old without a clue who is changing your diaper but you'll still remember my maiden name if uttered.
Fate is such a bitch sometimes...
I liked this, but the humor was a bit nya nya to me, as in making fun of the rednecks by putting them down. Not something I generally appreciate.
I'd have kept going, if only to discover why they are on such lousy roads and what that has to do with a penus, er, pianist...
the continuation was great.
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