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: SPINNING YARNS -- the Tell Us A Story thread. (Closes 18th March)
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Horrible Warning Si
Feb 20th 2012
Memories are all that stand between us and Galvani’s frogs. Here is where we burn our anecdotes onto the face of the Interweb and persuade history we’re more than twitching amphibian meat machines.
1. Recount a tale
on the below topic
. You have 300 words. Anything more than that will be flambéed with the righteous heat of Deletion. Repeat offenders will be banned.
Linking to a longer version of the story, or posting subsequent chapters, or anything which indirectly pushes it past that 300 word limit, will be similarly nuked.
2. Read – and comment on – the other entries, before you post your own. Partly that’s because you’ll look like a plum if your story is a rubbish shadow of someone else’s. Mostly it’s because you’re not an impolite shit, are you?
: “Topic.” TOP-IC. That means your anecdote should revolve around a specific subject, yes? The one below, in fact. Not just any old tale you care to share. Deviation = maggoty pee-hole disaster.]
THE LEGAL CRAP:
By telling us your story, it’s in the public domain. Don’t get pissy about that.
Right now you’re in a pub, surrounded by writers, artists and socialites. If you recount an interesting tale to entertain and endear yourself to your fellows,
you do not get to bitch about it
if a twisted version of the same tale shows up 30 years later on the other side of the planet. Stories are contagious. My advice? Be honest. Don’t make shit up. Don’t treat this like a fiction thread. It’s a chance to entertain and move us with your life experience. That’s plenty good enough.
"I lost. He/she/it/they won."
[Let me repeat, for the sake of the dinlows out there: YOU HAVE 300 WORDS. Lack of net access prevented me from being heavy-handed over the previous thread. No more free passes.]
Feb 20th 2012
I was 12 during the last summers before I regularly had shit to do and on one of those days without parental supervision I needed my braces tightened so I headed on my electric yellow bike along the six miles it took to get to the orthodontist. The brace tightening itself was painless and I suddenly found myself free in a small mecca with money. Then there right across the two lane road was the Dairy Queen.
I looked both ways, straightened my helmet, headed out and then BAM out of nowhere this champagne Cadillac hit me and knocked me onto the hard gravely road. I didn't even see the car - it was just peddle peddle BAM!
The driver pulled to a screeching stop, got out and looked at her car for any damage. Then she turned and saw me still alive and bleeding. She didn't even say a word and just drove off. Meanwhile the cars behind are parking and nobody is saying, "hey, we should help that kid." I brush it off though because there is goddamn ice cream so I cross that road and tied up my bike.
As soon as I got my bike tied up though and walked in some pimply high school dropout yelled "Hey, there's that kid who got hit by a car," and he laughed. At a kid who got hit by a car and then came into a restaurant. I mean I could have a concussion and need help.
That finally cracked me though and I just ran out and rode home on my bike that got so badly mangled that the seat was perpendicular to my crack.
I never saw the woman again and the high school dropout got his last laugh. And I still didn't get ice cream.
Horrible Warning Si
Feb 21st 2012
Excellent start - thanks @Koltreg.
Might be worth saying, by way of an explanation, that I'm especially interested at the moment in these kinds of stories -- the ones which don't end with the Day Being Won, with a Little Ray Of Hope, with a nugget of mitigation or a carefully-preserved shred of dignity. I think we're all in the (slightly disingenuous) habit of glorifying (or at least narrativising) our most embarrassing or shameful moments in a way which gives us - even if just minutely... even if just metaphorically - a little getout clause. A reason that it Wasn't Really That Bad, or It Wasn't My Fault, or I Had The Last Laugh, or whatever.
In my experience, the best and most affecting stories are told when people accept their broken moments, don't bother to try and recoup, and just put them out into the world.
Be honest. Tell me about the time you lost.
Feb 21st 2012
Si, the only way I think I can do that, then, is to tell you a story about something that was unimportant to give up on. Other failures that matter to me I don't give up - I will wring something useful out of them. (The only other kind of fodder I can think of would be romantic bust ups and we covered that last time - and I'm still fine!) So here goes.
I'll spare you the boring as fuck details: I was in a meeting with my manager and he was making me cry. He was giving me his feedback, review and whatever. Not the time when he got me in a meeting with HR and invited me to look for employment elsewhere. I left
meeting with a crooked smile on my face. Before then, though, I was still invested and trying. Trying like a motherfucker to make it work, all without a working definition of "it." I still demanded good work from myself - my quality was never the issue. They switched the rules on me, I thought. And it fucking hurt. Because it wasn't enough to be a good writer...nothing I was any good at would ever suffice. It was in that meeting - and in the hourlong crying jag after - that I kept thinking I don't know what the fuck they want from me. I don't know the steps, I can't even hear the fucking tune. But I'm their monkey and I'm supposed to dance.
Corporate America had it all over me that day. I thought I should be able to be a part of that; if I couldn't revolutionize The System then the option of sitting quietly and being a cog from 9-5 should be fine. But I couldn't. I don't mean to sound romantic because on that day it fucking broke me to not be able to do the basics, to be as hungry as they wanted me to be, to push forward, to be aggressive and really explode the process. Mr Manager held up ever rubric on which I fell short and I wanted it too.
They had me. That's when they beat me. When they made me want to be their superstar.
Feb 24th 2012
This morning, I was walking my dog through the parking lot when spied a purple vibrator in the melting snow.
Several thoughts occur to me:
2. Someone dropped it in the snow and ice and decided, "Crap, I can't use THAT anymore, I'll leave it here."
3. Someone dropped it in the snow and didn’t notice their error until they needed it and couldn’t find it. Panic ensues.
4. Someone on the apartment staff is probably going to pick it up.
Feb 24th 2012
"Look, I love you," she said to me. "I've loved you since we first had sex, but I'm not going to play these games with you. You know what I mean." She took my hands, looked me in the eyes. "If you can promise me you won't play those silly games with me
. If you can promise to just be mine, be us. Then we're good. But don’t play with me any more."
I thought about it. I knew what she was talking about: the other girls, our 'open' relationship. She didn't want that. She wanted me, and only me, and I wanted her, but. . .
It was a tremendous act of will power for me to even open my mouth, but having gotten that far, I found no words. Mute, I raised my eyebrows plaintively. I tried to say, "yes, fine. Just you." But it would've been a lie and she had me in her power that night like no other, so I was dumb.
For a few minutes she sat on my blue leather couch, silent and perfect, while I was just dumb.
"I see." She said, finally. She let go of my hands and walked out of my apartment. I chased after her, into the hallway, but she turned and locked me in her gaze again, and I was struck still-mute.
We never spoke again.
Feb 25th 2012
Several years ago, I went back home. I was going to an outdoor festival where I could meet up with old friends and I could brag about how cool I thought I was. I ran into a group of people I kinda knew, and we were walking around the festival, watching live music and getting food.
A very attractive, early-twenties girl with a very attractive shaved head approached me. She said, "Can I punch you in the mouth?"
Of course, I'm thinking, 1, this girl can't hit me hard; 2, I'm super tough; 3, if this girl hits me we'll be making out shortly.
So I agreed, and POW! this girl hit me with a
right cross. She cracked one of my teeth; I spit part of it out. She left; we did not make out. I felt pretty dumb.
Feb 27th 2012
I love girls that hit like trucks. I dated a stripper who was also a martial artist for a while. We were practicing, and i dislocated her thumb just before she punched me in the mouth, threw me on the ground and almost popped my right shoulder out its socket. She refused to let me pop her thumb back in, so I consider that her win, since i had to ask (a few times) to be let up. Face down yelping in a park in front of passerby, with a 100lb woman on your back is definitely a lose, but so is losing a chunk of one's pearly whites, and for that I salute you.
There should be a "Then I physically beat the hell out of them" spinning yarns thread --Oldhat, I'm looking at you!
Feb 27th 2012
I'm waiting on the 'Most Awkward Sex Story' spinning yarns thread.
Feb 28th 2012
I just got back from the JoCo Cruise Crazy II. I played Settlers of Catan with Wil Wheaton. He beat me on the second game (I won the first).
Mar 6th 2012
I had to think about this one, really. I've had multiple cases of acute unluckiness and losing to various surfaces, including floors and walls.
So I present me losing to a festival.
It was the Reading Festival, 2008. It was the Saturday, as I climbed back into consciousness due to noise, strong chemical smells and and footsteps near my head. I awake to find myself in the middle of a group of tents that I did not recognise, in a camping ground colour that I was only until now subconsciously aware of existing. I get to my feet, rather damp. Couple of bruises. Sign of a good time, really. I leave, in case of there being possible fallout of my existence in this strange land. Time passes, sun sets.
By the end of the day I had - paid a visit to the first aid tent, been relived of my wallet and licence, been vomited on, and returned to my tent to find it squashed like a cartoon bug (tent poles splayed outwards, pegs everywhere), relieved of its beer, tequila and energy drinks. Finally to top it all off – the air-bed had a puncture...
All I can say is thank god for friends.
It was all ok though.
Because Metallica were awesome.
Ryan S Thomason
Mar 10th 2012
Back when I was about twenty, I was
into my angry shouty music - I lived for going to gigs and thrashing about in the depths of the pit, and the whole 'take care of everybody' vibe was really cool. I'd had a few scary moments, but I'd never been actually
I was on the populist-bullshit music nightclub floor of my student's union for the sake of the cheap booze and the company, when out of nowhere the DJ takes a break from Justin Fucking Timberlake and puts on Rage Against the Machine. To my immense surprise, I see a pit start up and about three seconds later I'm in the middle.
Then I realise this pit includes some people who don't know what's going on, and instead of moving away or shoving back they're punching like it's fun. I can't get out in time, and one half-brained shiteater breaks a rib just as the song's ending. That's never happened before, and I get freaked out enough to go find security. Security in this venue was mainly provided by the knuckle draggers from the rugby club, which hopefully illustrates how freaked out I was. The guy in charge seems to know what he's up to, so I stay quiet when he starts
bandaging up my ribs
. I then have to stumble around with my arm tied to my side for fifteen humiliating minutes while they get the night bus to take me to the hospital. The nurse takes one look at me, says 'I haven't seen that in twenty years, who the hell did that to you?' She takes the bandages off and sends me home, because there is nothing that helps a bust rib other than not poking it.
So. Bust ribs, bust pride, and weeks and weeks of piss-taking because it happened in a
Mar 10th 2012
It's 1990. I'm about 16, very, very, very drunk. I'm pretty much the Only Goth In The Village, with long, crimped, black Robert Smith-style hair - this doesn't sit well with the casual psycho townies who dominate. I'm in a field. I have lost my glasses and cannot see anything at all. It's dark. I've lost everybody I'm with, and a large gang of these bastards has decided to go goth bashing in the general area. I don't know it, but one of my friends has just been thrown in the river and threatened with a knife and had a foot placed on his head when he tried to get out. The rest are scattered everywhere. I meet up with one of them, but then we stumble into the group of townies, must be seven or eight of them. They start shoving me around and goading me... 'oy, are you a bloke or a woman?'. I reply, 'I'm a bloke'. 'No, you're not, you're a fucking woman, you've got woman's hair'. 'no, I'm a bloke'. 'no, you're a woman'... This goes on for some time, pointlessly. I finally snap.
'Look. It's like this. I'm a FUCKING BLOKE, YOU THICK AS PIGSHIT CUNT'. I take a swing at the guy who's shoving me. I am so drunk I miss completely. I spin round, fall flat on my back, and that's it. Game over. They all pile in and kick the living daylights out of me, several large older teenagers on a seven-stone kid. Eventually they get bored and leave me alone. I'm a fucking mess, covered in blood and bruises.
Yeah, they won.
There's a slightly satisfying coda to this though (sorry Si). I was friends with some fairly
people. They got wind of what happened, we found out who it was, and things were said and threats were made. The guy who kicked me first had to keep his head down for a pretty long time.
Mar 13th 2012
@Orpheus - Ahh, Leeds/Reading. The hell you become is just worth the joy you bring.
@JP - Small village? One of 2/3 slightly different people? Britains really are connected.
I had a conversation with Samuel Beckett once.
He was dead.
He still won.
Horrible Warning Si
Mar 19th 2012
Think I'm going to give Spinning Yarns a rest for a while. Started off strong, but it's tailed-off a tad. May resurrect in a month or two, depending on demand.
Mar 19th 2012
The Spinning Yarns seemed to attract the most storytellers with the least amount of restrictions, or maybe the more general of topic ideas. We had jobs, embarassment, roomies, those were huge, and vague topic ideas. But then again, if pressed, I'd have a hard time coming up with a new topic myself, no matter how vague it could be.
Mar 20th 2012
I still have not even begun to understand why there is a word limit being imposed.
Mar 20th 2012
For me, it keeps the rambling, non-sequiturs, and long-windedness down to a minimum.
Mar 20th 2012
I think if there is a word limit maybe there should be a shorter run time for this contest. Get people to write and condense faster?
Mar 24th 2012
I, for one, really like this thread as it does what it says "on the tin" and shows that we're not just twitchy lumps of underwater lifeforms. I've never really seen it as a contest, though, but more of a place to share our trials and tribulations.
@JP: Casual psycho townies, especially drunken ones, are truly the most naffest people to encounter. The crap I had to endure from them as a kid just because I was in to post-punk music and tried to dress a bit different. The wankers aren't even good enough for The Jeremy Kyle Show.
It was 1990 and a mate and I went to a rave outside the city only to find it wasn't on. We'd both dropped some acid and, instead of being pissed off that we were at a lose end, we decided to walk to back home and take in the bright lights of London.
We were having a laugh and discussing the madness of the modern age when we spotted a kid with a hoody up who seemed to be hassling two girls. The girls looked upset and walked off. This kid, the look in his face as we passed him, something just seemed...disturbed about him. We were about 20-odd feet away from him when he started calling out to us and was making gestures for us to come and speak to him. My mate said to leave it but i replied, "Maybe he's lost or something."
I turned back and walked up to this kid. I was asking him if he was OK, when he suddenly pulled-out a MASSIVE kitchen knife and took a swipe at my stomach. I reacted, jumped back, and, I swear, he missed me by about an inch. My pal shouted out, "Run!"
Run we did...
It was hideous; the LSD was peaking and it felt like one of those dreams where it's almost impossible to move. Every time we looked back this crazy was after us like some fucking unstoppable Terminator! We passed groups of drunken people who just seemed oblivious to our plight so we just kept on running. My mate, who thought of himself as a bit of a hard lad, seemed to be more scared than me: when we passed a police station I said to him, "Let's go in and tell them!" but he just wanted to keep on fleeing.
EVENTUALLY, the mad git stopped chasing us. When we got home it was about dawn and my mate started drawing crazy pictures of what had happened. I was still feeling like a coward for running and I guess, for all intents and purposes, that kid and his meat-knife won.
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