Creative Copy Challenge #108

Today we have Liz Strauss, Brand Strategist, Community Builder, and founder of SOBCon, choosing the words for our writing prompt challenge. Liz has over 70,000 twitter followers who may crash our servers when she tweets this, so we hope it holds, and we hope you rise to the challenge under that many eyeballs. 😉

BET YOU CAN’T do this writing prompt. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying all of them together! And remember: after (if) you finish, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Despicable
  2. Hand-me-down 
  3. Bonus
  4. Recommend
  5. Insouciant – Marked by blithe unconcern; nonchalant.
  6. Doorway
  7. Spectacular
  8. Trust
  9. Racecar
  10. Rootbeer float

NOTE: Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. Use a program like notepad that removes formatting or just type in the comment field itself. Also, finish your submission, THEN bold the words. Thanks. (And don’t forget to tweet this and share it with your friends.)

Resources you should check out:
Thesis: Best Damn Theme on the Web
Collective Ink Well: Personalize Your Thesis Theme
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there


112 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #108”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    I admire the 50s. Souped up racecars, rootbeer floats, and girls on roller-skates skating through drive-up-eatery doorways, carrying trays of burgers, fries, and good times.  It was a spectacular era of innocent trust and hopeful wonder.

    Today we have a hand-me-down generation of despicable reality shows starring insouciant teens who can’t skate, but get extra bonus points for pierced nose lobes, bad manners, and social traditions I wouldn’t recommend to Satan.

  2. Tom Myer says:

    She stood in the doorway holding a root beer float in one hand and wearing a tight hand-me-down t-shirt that showed off her spectacular figure.
    “If you weren’t so despicable,” she mock sneered, “I’d invite you to take my racecar out for a spin.”
    “I don’t know if I trust you,” I shot back, “My friends don’t recommend you as a safe driver.”
    “Ooh, I like a man with snark,” she said. “It’s like getting a payday bonus.”
    If she kept this up, I’d be hard pressed to keep up the insoucient routine. She approached and my heart skipped a beat.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Tom: Ohh, I like your style, man. Welcome to the CCC. I enjoyed the read, and I’m betting the CCC folks will want you to write more here. What did you think of the process?
      Everyone welcome Tom to the addiction. I’ll add your name and URL to our CCC Community Links page now.(what other site does that just for commenting, huh!!!) 🙂

      • Tom Myer says:

        I love all this kind of stuff. Even after 20 years as a writer (8 books, etc) the hardest part for me is *starting* — after that, it’s all easy peasy. 🙂

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Tom: If you have 8 books under your belt, and you find the CCC helpful, I’m all smiles. YOu know, if you check the CCC Community links page, you’ll notice some people have extra links next to their names. They started series using the CCC words, which is beyond cool. One of our community actual published a book from the challenges. ( Bayou Billy – under Kenn Crawford) Super cool.

    • Welcome, Tom! This is a nice, tight entry! I love it!
      Some people play the flirting game so well…

    • Shane Hudson says:

      Welcome to the CCC, and what a great start to it that was! ShaneA is right when he says welcome to the addiction, it truly is addictive.
      From your website I can see you have written many books about languages/frameworks and mac os, very nice indeed. I have often thought about writing a technical book, but I have not so far seen any gap in which there is not already a great book.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I stood in the doorway of my sister’s room, a spectacular homage to insouciant teenager. I offered her the rootbeer float I’d just made for myself. All I wanted was a smile. To gain an  element of trust would have been a bonus. Instead, she tossed me a pile of hand-me-downs, clothes she could no longer bare to own. She peered at the pile of discards, despicable to her in their age, only a season old. She said, “I recommend you don’t wear these out in public, but you can have them if you want.”
    I clutched the fabric to my chest, a tiny gift of something. A horn honked outside, a blaring call for her to dash. And she did dash, down the hall way, as eager to enter his lemon as if it were a racecar. She was gone.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jennifer: Welcome to the CCC. Such a wonderful submission. The line “All I wanted was a smile” says an incredible amount. Moving actually. Great stuff. What did you think of the challenge?
      Everyone welcome Jennifer. Here, you’ll get 205 smiles each Monday and Thursday. 🙂 Adding your name and url to our CCC community page now.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Tom @Jennifer – Welcome to CCC!

        When you’re feeling rather despicable and in need of some positive vibes, trek on over to CCC for a major boost. No hand-me-down platitudes, but a genuine welcome to all who visit. The flash of creativity is a bonus you may not expect.

        We recommend a consistent dose of CCC, where our insouciant approach to the words within us act as the doorway to all we hold dear. It’s a spectacular feeling when you can trust what you write will be accepted and encouraged, without judgment or scorn.

        CCC is like a racecar to destiny with all the joy of your first rootbeer float. Welcome to the party!

    • Jesse says:

      Welcome, Jennifer.

      Nicely done!

    • Welcome, Jennifer! I enjoyed your imagery. There is a real sense of tension, unresolved. We’re left to wonder…
      Great stuff!

  4. Marlee says:

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Jane, the most popular girl in school, walk through the doorway wearing a hand-me-down orange and green plaid dress bedazzled with silver sequence. It was obvious the girl had lost her mind, and that her obsession with Rootbeer floats had gone to her head. Never again would “the girl groupies” of Sycophant Senior High trust her fashion sense. Not to mention, her insouciant demeanor was a bonus bad move to her already spectacularly despicable fashion faux pas. From this day forward there wasn’t a thing Jane could recommend to “the girl groupies” that they would go for. She committed social suicide faster than a racecar with one bad dress. It was time for the original kids to finally make a comeback!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Marlee: Fun, fun, fun read. And a great message. I went to a military high school. We all had ugly green uniforms. Problem solved there. Wish all schools would do that. 🙂

  5. Joe Passmore says:

    It’s despicable the way my mother made me wear hand-me-down clothes. As I’d stand in the kitchen doorway, hands by my side, I looked like a spectacular fashion victim. And, with an insouciant wave of her non gin-holding hand, she would recommend I choose a different top from the bag she had plucked from the trunk of that racecar she drove about in to pick up men half her age. The only person I could trust was my grandmother. She would take me out to a diner for burgers and ice cream . “If it’s any bonus, she didn’t get it from me” she would say, before asking if I wanted a rootbeer float. Apparently my mother liked them. I said “No thanks.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Joe: SUPER! I could see that picture you painted so well. Damn glad you stopped by today to add them gem. Hope you stop by again, too. WE have these each Monday and Thursday. What did you think of it? Let me know.

      Adding your name/url to our CCC Community Links page, too (man, with Liz choosing I may have to do this a ton more today).
      Everyone welcome Joe to the club.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Joe-Welcome to CCC!

        There are things far more despicable than thinking we can write. At CCC we don’t subscribe to any hand-me-down beliefs that what we do (for fun or work) is any less vital than other things in life. Having a place like CCC to share it is a bonus for the need within.

        We recommend everyone try it for the joy that it brings. Whether you employ a dedicated or insouciant approach, step through that doorway and revel in your spectacular results. CCC is the pit crew of trust to your racecar to fun, where a rootbeer float can be intoxicating as the finest champagne. It’s all about what you enjoy most.


    • Jesse says:

      Welcome, Joe.


  6. I’m flying past the billboards. Every third one is a public service proclamation against drinking and driving. With a derisive snort and an insouciant toss of my lovely locks, I take another swig from my freshly-drawn rootbeer float.
    My cell phone chirps. Yet another reminder that despicable government regulations force us to come up with work-arounds. Thanking God for Bluetooth, I start babbling with my friend, Percival.

    “Girl, the March paste-up is spectacular! You’ll get a nice bonus on your next check!”

    “Percival, you old dinosaur. Say it with me, ‘LAY-out’. You like?”

    “Absolutely, love. The light coming through the doorway catches the silhouette of pure muscle through that ratty hand-me-down tunic.”

    I laugh gleefully at Pompous Percival’s obvious pleasure. This was going to be a great day! Raising my glass mug in silent salute, I tilt my head back for a long pull on my drink.


    In the echo chamber of my dulled senses, people are muttering in hushed tones. Evidently, they think I’m sleeping and don’t wish to disturb me. I catch a snippet here and there and none it makes sense.

    “Where am I?”

    The voices continue as if I hadn’t opened my mouth. I try again.

    “Hello? Yoo-hoo!”

    Someone, finally, notices that I’m trying to talk. A soft female voice hovers near my head, uttering soothing nonsense. At this point, my mind clears enough to realize that it is totally dark.

    “Why are we sitting in the dark?”

    The voices have all seemed to turn toward me, as they sound louder and more strident. I feel a pinch in my arm.


    Percival is looking at me with those sad, puppy-dog eyes of his. Yet, they look horribly wrong, as if he’d been on an extended crying jag. I look at him questioningly.

    “Oh, Darling! What have they done to you?”

    “What have who done, Perce? And why am I croaking?”

    “Shush, dear. Sip this. You’ve had an accident.”


    “Your little racecar was totaled at Deadman’s Curve. The other driver didn’t have a scratch on him, but you …”

    “Oh my God, Perce! Please, please…”

    I didn’t trust myself to examine my body. I was feeling no pain, but that haunting look in Percival’s eyes spooked me.

    “Perce, what happened to me? What did they do?”

    “Darling, let me recommend my lawyer. He will see that you get a just settlement.”

    Now I was scared.

    “Dammit, Perce! WHAT HAPPENED!”

    Sighing heavily, Perce uttered a dozen words that seared my brain and left me for dead:

    “Your spine was severed. You are totally paralyzed from the neck down.”

  7. Shane Arthur says:

    @Mitchell: Chilling piece. Super write. As someone who suffers daily from a herniated disc, I felt that one. Your character made me grateful that I can at least feel the pain. Thank you for a timely message I needed today as I’ve been a bit down from all the pain. Write on.

    • Shane, your comment gave me goosebumps. I always try to be as authentic as I can be, with Google and as my trusty guides. Naturally, I worry that I won’t succeed.
      I am thankful that we were able to connect through this exercise. Being able to cheer each other up is that bonus Cathy just wrote about 🙂

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Mitchell: Exactly. I needed a pick-me-up and the CCC comes through. Your submission reminded me of who else I think about when I get down with the pain. Jon Morrow. He’s also paralyzed from the neck down but he’s killing it in the Internet Marketing space. Follow him on twitter (@jonmorrow) and check out his latest project at (closed now, but you can still learn a ton from his 5 free videos just for signing up for his email list. He also writes for copyblogger ).

  8. Tiffany Hudson says:

    Trust is like an angel flying free, a doorway to were we don’t know.
    Recommened by many, replaces our cosmic stow.
    As dispicable as the trustless are,
    all they need is a racecar.

    If you hold a Rootbeer float,
    our lives will turn a note.
    A spectacular sight will turn us bright,
    a hand-me-down T-shirt and into the light.
    Give us a bonus for the night,
    and it will all turn right.
    But a little bit of insouciant will never hurt,
    as long as the it fine to walk on dirt.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Tiffany: Excellent rhyme style. Hope to see more of those from you. Write on.

      • Tiffany Hudson says:

        @ShaneA Thank you, I’m not verygood with poems but Ithought I would try it out.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Tiffany: I’d like to share a saying with you. You can use this saying in any situation. In this situation it goes like this:

          Whether you think you’re good at poems, or you think you’re bad at poems…you’re right!

          In other words, if you think it, it shall be. I’d like to suggest from now on you say, “I’m a future poetry star in training.”

  9. Jesse says:

    He looked up over his Rootbeer float with an insouciant expression.  “Not another pile of Hand-me-downs.”
    The spectacular heap was blocking the doorway.
    With hands on my hips, I sighed and said, “What’s so despicable about that?  There might be some good stuff in there.  I recommend you dig through that pile.  I trust you’ll find a bonus underneath.”
    He put down his mug, and unenthusiastically dragged himself over to the heap.  While on his knees, he started pitching faded jeans and tattered t-shirts over his shoulder.
    “Hey!  There’s a racecar under here!”

  10. margaret says:

    Hand-me-down my walking shoes and I’ll be clearing the doorway with race car speed and an insouciant attitude. I recommend everyone get the “F” outta my way, especially that despicable little yappy rat-dog next door that never shuts up!

    Trust me, it’s a spectacular day when Dairy Queen offers a bonus free root beer float with every hot fudge sundae purchase to the first twenty-five customers!  😉

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ma: Made me laugh with that one. Although, I hope you’re sticking to your goals you mentioned last year. How did that go anyway? You never said. Dairy Queen!!! Mmm, I have not been there in years. Loved their soft icecream dipped in melted chocolate.

      • margaret says:

        Well, Shane…sorry to say I fell off the wagon, but there’s a new one coming down the road in a week or so.  You’ve got to get organized, clear out the fridge and pantry of all “wicked” foods and plan meals carefully so you’ve always got something healthy prepared and are not tempted to “fast food it” on the road.  (out here we have Coldstone Creamery and Sean gave me a gift card for that and other sinful places for Christmas.)

  11. Jack Bush says:

    The spectacular feeling of trust is difficult to find, to feel or experience following the despicable events of the past weekend in Arizona. Was it hand-me-down hate that speeds through our lives like an out of control racecar that fosters such violence? How can anyone recommend a different, better world in light of such insouciant attitudes? Yet the doorway to a more civil, peaceful, rootbeer float-like world is in our power to achieve. Living in a world of peaceful understanding and acceptance would be like living in a bonus category of a loving world.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jack: Welcome to the CCC, Jack. Well done 1st submission. That incident was a shame. Such a waste of precious limited time we have on this earth.
      In any event, how did you like the challenge? Hope it inspires you to write on, as I say.
      Everyone welcome Jack to our addiction. Posting your name and URL on our CCC Community Links page now.

  12. Anne Wayman says:

    Hatred is despicable, a hand-me-down relic of fear with a bonus of resentment. What to recommend? Ignoring hate with an insouciant attitude is probably not the doorway to spectacular trust, but racecar to more insanity. Can’t we all share a rootbeer float? Somehow? Have we ever tried that? Or anything similar?

  13. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: WE PASSED 10,000 COMMENTS! Yeah. In just over a year, we reached quite a milestone.
    Thanks everybody for one hell of a cool ride thus far.

  14. Once upon a time, there was a despicable, insouciant male celebrity whose six-pack abs and spectacular dramatic portrayals earned him the right to be high maintenance. Out of either curiosity or sheer idiocy, I asked a mutual friend to recommend me to said celeb for publicist duties.

    As I sat at Ruby’s Diner, at the end of the pier in Huntington Beach, awaiting my first meeting with the hot celeb, I sipped on my Rootbeer float, reflecting on my career and whether or not I could handle yet one more difficult client.

    Suddenly, all time seemed to stop. I swear,  I thought I heard a choir of angels crooning as he stepped through the doorway in his fitted wife beater t-shirt and what appeared to be tight,  hand-me-down jeans. He was even more spectacular in person than I could have ever imagined…BONUS!

    As we sat down and hashed out my $15,000 a month retainer fee, I knew I had to earn his trust...he needed to understand that I was capable of thinking fast on my feet and in sticky, tricky situations. He suggested that I prove myself by driving his race car on the track in nearby Orange County. While this was one of the most unusual requests I had ever received from a potential client, I took his challenge to heart. We made a date to showcase my mad skills for driving exotic race cars at high speeds…and the rest is history.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Denise: Welcome to the CCC. Fantastic 1st submission from you. Damn, I want to know “the rest is history”. Perhaps you can continue this in the next challenge (every Monday and Thursday). Been to cali once in my life. Loved it. Can’t wait to go back to Carlsbad and get some of the best salsa I’ve ever tasted!
      Everyone welcome Denise to the fun. I’ll add your name and URL (nice site design btw) to our CCC Community Links page next.

      ps. What did you think of the challenge?

      • Cathy Miller says:

        Wow-so many newbies-I think we broke a record for newbies in 3 hours!
        @Jack and @Denise-Welcome to CCC!

        Nothing is more despicable than a hand-me-down welcome so your bonus today is one customized just for you (okay so it came in a pair, but it is yours, just the same). We recommend you come back often and feel the love that CCC shares.

        It’s a love of writing, a love of reading and the love of a community that is no way an insouciant participant. If you need a doorway that leads to creativity, CCC is the place to be. There is a spectacular display of writing and a trust that only sincere support provides. So, racecar on over and jump into the rootbeer float of fun.


        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Cathy: Nothing would be more despicable than for me to give you another “thanks again” hand-me-down reply. What bonus would that offer you? My subconscious recommended something more; something an insouciant teen might not appreciate, but something a regular at the creative doorway of the CCC would appreciate spectacularly. I trust you’ll appreciate this as much as a racecar carrying you a rootbeer float and tickets to Hawaii. Well maybe not that much, but I thank you anyway.

      • Loved the challenge. Darn that Liz Strauss for helping me find something addicting! This was a blast and a fun little writing exercise – great for the right brain first thing in the morning.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Denise: Thanks. We love this place and we love introducing other people who fall in love with this place. That’s one way be get our fix, besides doing the challenges.

  15. sefcug says:

    The following is my submission in ascending order:
    Racetrack Ruminations

    He was a despicable exuse of a human being, dressed in hand-me-down clothing. As a bonus, he was also unwashed, as were the articles of clothing he was wearing.

    I started to recommend that he find the nearest hotel, bathe and obtain a change of clothing, for which I would pay. But, becuase of his insouciant posture while leaning in the doorway, I could see that he was quite at ease with his situation, so decided to keep quiet.

    In a spectacular display of color and elegance, a showgirl stopped by and, apparently without a thought, gave him a big hug and a deep kiss on the lips. As a further indication of her trust in him, she put her arm through his and walked with him right into one of the pits.

    I could hear him tell the pit crew that he had just finished stripping and waxing the new floors at home, and almost missed his flight in to Vegas because he forgot the time. With that he entered the motor home, stating that he would meet them at the racecar in the garage after he took a shower and changed into his racing gear.

    I just stood there dumbfounded for a while, then returned to drinking my rootbeer float as I continued my tour of pit row.


    Sometimes opinions formed during first impressions can be erroneous.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Steve: Love the story. Loved the moral. I have relatives that work at the horse racing track, so this story made me chuckle; some of those guys are indeed as bad as they look. 🙂

    • Steve, this made me laugh. I love the extra challenge you give yourself by keeping the words in order.
      You made it flow so smoothly, too!

      As a bonus, he was also unwashed, as were the articles of clothing he was wearing.


      • sefcug says:

        @Mitch Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
        Sometimes the words just strike me and it goes very smoothly, and other times it takes a while.
        I look at the challenge words and the pattern just jumps out at me.
        I think my hardest thing with these is coming up with the moral.

  16. Hi Liz,
    What a small world given that we exchanged tweets the other day! Thx for the fun words …
    Sipping the rootbeer float I got at Hojos, I could see the used racecar from the doorway. There was no escaping my ex-husband Roger Lonstronmasterton and the car he bought with the money he “stole” from my favorite non-profit. He insisted on buying the house next door after I kinda left him for the beefy appliance-installer guy. Even though that relationship didn’t work out – Jose turned out to be a closet crybaby who watched non-stop soap operas in Portuguese with his mama – I refused to reunite with Roger despite his daily pleas.

    How could I trust him with my emotions after what he did to me during the bonus round at the Friends of the Otters trivia night?

    We were on our way to winning the $2000 jackpot and donating it all to the cute little otters living down the road, when he did something so despicable I can barely revisit it. He stood up after we won first prize and spouted in the most insouciant way, “I recommend that the Friends of the Otters take their hand-me-down attitude and shove it. We will not be donating our winnings.”

    My face turned 25 shades of red. He knew I loved otters more than any other creature on the planet! This betrayal hurt more than even his two-month affair with the 16-year-old girl he met during the parent-daughter golfathon.

    I did what any otter-loving woman would do. I stood up and gave the most spectacular speech of my scorned life wife.

    “Roger, I’m leaving you for Jose, the appliance guy! See you in divorce court.”

    And so I did.

    Sure, Roger took our $2,000 winnings and bought his dumb old racecar. But I, I took the $100,000 the judge gave me as part of the divorce settlement along with the house and donated an Olympic-sized swimming area for the Otters.

    I felt wonderful cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony for the Roger Lonstronmasterton Otter Pool.

  17. Nicola says:

    He saw her in the doorway, slouching, insouciant, wearing her third-cousin Melody’s 1980’s hand-me-downs, and he wondered if he really could trust her. Paul, his father’s attorney, had sworn up and down that she was a spectacular choice; he had looked over at his client’s despicable son and said, “I really can’t recommend her enough!” Even though he knew that Paul hated him ever since he had wrecked his pathetic excuse of a racecar, he decided to believe him. Besides, he saw it as a spectacular bonus that she had that crazy Flock of Seagulls haircut when so many of the other girls were doing the long loose wavy starlet thing. She was like a shot of Black Velvet in a rootbeer float world.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Nicola: Welcome. Loved, loved, loved that submission. Being a big fan of the 80s, I was all smiles.
      Hope you enjoyed the challenge and hope you come back again (every Monday and Thursday).
      Adding your name to the CCC Community Links page now. As always, everyone welcome Nicola to the fun.

      • Nicola says:

        I only wish that I would have changed the last line to “She was like a shot of Black Velvet in a rootbeer float world.”

        Fun challenge! Thanks for the welcome!

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Nicola-Welcome to CCC!

        No despicable motives at CCC. No hand-me-down excuses. Just pure fun and creativity. The community is a bonus and one you’ll recommend for its insouciant attitude toward critics and rules. So, walk through our doorway and have a spectacular time as each week you take on another challenge.

        We trust you’ll be back in the racecar that brought you and will enjoy the sweet rootbeer float of words that can be found between our sidebar walls.


    • Ariane says:

      My absolutely fav line so far, Nicola: She was like a shot of Black Velvet in a rootbeer float world.

  18. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: Going off grid until late tonight/tomorrow. If you get caught in moderation, hold tight. I’ll get to it eventually. Be good.

    • Shane Hudson says:

      I really cannot believe how you moderate every one of the 10,000 comments! Surely it would be easier to moderate per person, so after the first post it gets posted automatically? Either that or get some more moderators!

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Shane H-the man doesn’t sleep -really 🙂

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @ShaneH: Basically I leave my admin screen open most of the day. When I take breaks, I check on the CCC and comment. That way it doesn’t build up to something unsustainable and unmanageable. Plus, I love this place and it’s easy doing what you love. But, Cathy is right, too. I don’t sleep much; tis in the genes I guess.

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @ps. And it’s like what @Kelly is all about Maximum Customer Experience. You come to the CCC and give your heart and soul to this place and I’m going to give some of my own back. Simple as that. More blogs should bleepin’ do the same in my humble opinion.

  19. Sara says:

    We sipped rootbeer floats as we sat in the racecar-shaped tables at the movie theater diner, waiting for Despicable Me to start. The floats were only a bonus, of course; the real treat was the insouciant way we could just be together and relax in our hand-me-down jackets, watching our spectacular kid play skeeball through the arcade doorway. Who needs the recommended wine of the month or a fancy country club when you can trust in the power of a simple family Saturday to make you happy?

  20. […] Copy Challenge Challenge 108, on weekends Challenge 53, on broken dreams Challenge 52, on courage Challenge 17, on family […]

  21. Here was my entry, I missed it yesterday as I was very busy with work.

    She furiously screamed and threw a major fit, considering those hand-me-down clothes simply despicable, as if I breached her trust to recommend she wear some of her older sister’s spectacular clothing.  But no, the bonus of her tantrum at wanting her own unique wardrobe was the only gift received this morning.
    Nothing but insouciant attitude as she speed out the doorway as fast as a racecar at a track.  To think that I remember the days where she was tickled by a simple Rootbeer float with a cherry on top instead of the spoiled diva she has turned into.  Sometimes our kids just don’t turn out the way we want them to be and this was one of those times that the unthinkable comes to mind.
    I wrote this and I don’t have any daughters, only 2 boys (who are both young still).

  22. Roger negotiated the crowded diner like a dancer, carrying a tray heavy with burgers, fries, and a single rootbeer float. I’d told him I was on a diet; the truth was, I couldn’t afford a float if I wanted to tank up the car until next payday, but was too embarrassed already by my hand-me-down clothes, car, and books to admit the truth.

    “You’re despicable, tempting me like that!” I chided him, hoping I hadn’t drooled on my chin.

    My insouciant friend merely smiled and handed me a straw. “Thought you might like to share,” he said. “I recommend you savor it slowly, lest you give yourself an ice-cream headache.”

    Too late.

    The pain hit me right in the middle of my brain. I squinched my eyes shut and tried to breathe. “Are you okay?” I heard Roger’s voice as if from the opposite end of a long tunnel. When I managed to open my eyes again, I was stunned. There, in the doorway, stood Elvis, resplendent in tight leather pants and a sparkling white jacket. “You want to go for a ride in my car?” he asked, gesturing at a spectacular red racecar just outside the door, its flawless, candy apple red paint job gleaming in a halo of light cast by the parking lot lamp. As a bonus, he began to serenade me as all the other girls in the diner swooned. “Janie, are you okay? Gosh, Elvis sounded a lot like Roger. I’d never noticed that before. How strange…

    I smiled up at Elvi–er, Roger. “I’m fine.”

    He raised an eyebrow and helped me back onto my feet. “That was some brain freeze! I trust you’ve had enough…mind if I finish this?” he asked, pointing to the rootbeer float.

    I don’t know. A girl can never get enough brain freeze.

  23. Ariane says:

    It was hard to imagine what trust had me recommend him in the first place (much less giving him that bonus!), as I watched the intern, Mika, step from a spectacular racecar, rootbeer-float young, his hand-me-down, retro 80s shirt baring his chest, giving me that insouciant, despicable flick of his hand as I watched from the doorway.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ariane: You made me chuckle aloud in one sentence. Fantastic job. (I missed you for 8 challenges. Glad you’re back.) 🙂

  24. Ariane says:

    Oh, Shane, I need an email challenge reminder. Counting on Twitter to wake me up (as it did today) is whacko, especially as I get ready to run my marathon, 7-day, online art-career conference, smARTist 2011 (starts tomorrow and I’m here? lol) Now, like a lot of other wordies, I think I’m hooked on the one-sentence challenge, challenge. This is so off message for me, it’s like sneaking out at 16 on a hot date!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ariane: You can sign up for email notifications by using the graphic in the top right of our site. It’s like an email fix twice a week. 😉

      • Ariane says:

        Better wait until after the conference then, it’s pretty much a 24/7 deal for me…
        Also, I’ll miss most of Feb as I’m out of the country and offline (Yay!)
        But I’ll check back in once the tulips peek above ground.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ariane: “Creative Copy Challenge — It’s like sneaking out at 16 on a hot date!” You may have just discovered our long overdue website slogan. 🙂

      • Ariane says:

        Go for it! 🙂 …and now, I’ve just go to GO. Artists are already posting great questions on the smARTist forum and I’m itchin’ to use a few words….

  25. My wife made a scrunchy face at her rootbeer float, and poured it on the floor. “It’s despicable, this hand-me-down housebot we rented. I don’t trust the doorway, the autochef is insouciant about our nutrition, and the ‘spectacular view’ we were promised is a condemned munitions factory.”

    I watched the nanofloor slurp up the spillage. If I had a microscope – a very powerful one – I would be able to see the nanobots zipping around like racecars, collecting and sorting molecules for recycling. “Try rebooting the autochef, it may still have the last tenant’s preferences as defaults.” I stared a the hideous building out the bay window. “I trust Shane’s judgement. He recommended this specific place, and he’s never steered us wrong.”

    “Even famous authors make mistakes,” she said. “And where’s the bonus room? I can’t even find it!”

    I had found it. That’s where I go when she’s in a bad mood. But I wasn’t about to tell her where it was! “Meh. No biggie.”

    Suddenly, the munitions factory lit up from within with thousands of tiny flowering fires. It shined brighter than than the tropical sun for a moment, then silently collapsed into a pile of grey dust.

    We could clearly see the beach and ocean now. Two sailboats bobbed like ducks as a small hovercraft skated past, skipping over the waves. The walls dilated slightly to allow the cool ocean breeze to flow through the room.

    My wife’s hair danced in the gentle wind, and she smiled as she rebooted the autochef. “Remind me to send Shane a thank-you card when we get home.”

  26. Avenged in Blood Chronicles Part 50!

    My shoulder was hurting again. I leaned in the doorway and checked the bandage. It was seeping but held. I checked the magazine in my machine gun again as I listened for movement in the upstairs, anywhere Mueller might be. Lola was looking in the fridge.
    “What the hell are you looking for?” I asked. “No rootbeer floats until we are finished here!” She looked back at me and smiled sheepishly in a spectacular way that made me forget about the carnage and the despicable rat somewhere in this house.
    It felt good to have a partner again. I still was trying to work out my feelings and whether or not I could really trust her. I hoped I could. It was good to have a backup. Lola shut the fridge and rejoined me. “What should we do now?” she asked. “We have to find Mueller. I saw a basement door but we should check upstairs first.” I replied.
    “Do we just run up fast and shooting?” she asked. “I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to end up dead. There are 2 stairways that meet at the top. We each take one and cover the other until we meet at the top. Keep one eye out for anyone coming from below. I am going to block the basement door.” I said.
    I holstered my .45 and set the machine gun down on a table. I then took 2 dining room chairs and wedged the basement door shut until we could go down there and root out the rats. Lola stood there and watched, leaning insouciant against a table. Damn it, I was falling for her and I couldn’t afford that now.
    “You ready?” I asked picking up the machine gun and checking the load. “Vroom, Vroom.” She said. Getting ready for a gunfight and she is making racecar sounds. Bonus.
    I took the right hand staircase, she took the left. We stuck close to the wall and let the muzzles of our hand-me-down machine guns lead the way. No one was at the top of the stairs, but 3 doors to the left and 1 to the right were all shut and presumably full of bad guys. I chose to head left first, Lola trailing me as quiet as a mouse.

  27. Kelly says:

    Hand me down my walking shoes
    No rootbeer float can chase the blues
    Uh uh
    I can’t trust you no more
    You’re despicable, and I’m
    Heading for the door
    Way down in town they all talk about you
    Took an awful long time for me to hear the news
    Oh no
    Love ain’t s’posed to be a chore
    They recommend I get out
    And put the metal to the floor
    Take this racecar just as far
    as I
    can get
    from you
    Don’t try your insouciant excuses I can’t
    hear you
    from another
    woman’s room
    I was headed for a spectacular crash
    ‘Til this morning I got out and now I won’t look back
    Aw yeah
    I don’t need to keep score, but
    Just for bonus points
    I think that girl’s an ugly
    Hand me down my walking shoes
    I sip a rootbeer float just as long as I choose
    You know
    This day don’t look bad as before
    You’re despicable,
    But I don’t give a darn no more

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: Okay. That should be a country song. For the last year or so I’ve been studying/tinkering with song lyrics. Love it so much. This is great.

      • Kelly says:

        Shane—Yup. It’s got a tune, believe it or not, so in my head, it is a song… I had to sing it to make sure I got the stresses in the right place.
        Glad you like it!

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Kelly: I tried my first two doing the lyrics first then trying to match the melody…fail! I tried a few with a melody in mind first, then matched words to

          • Kelly says:

            Shane—I’ve done it both ways, too. Agreed, sometimes when the words are there you go with it because you have to, but it’s much easier when the tune comes to you first.

  28. Laurie says:

    Jodi sat sipping on her rootbeer float, she was savoring its spectacular taste and the wonderful memories of going to the rootbeer stand with her aunt when she would visit in the summer. Brad stood in the doorway with a despicable look on his face. She wondered what was wrong, it wasn’t often she saw him in such a foul mood. Finally Jodi asked what was wrong. It seems his racecar that he bought with the huge bonus he got this year was a stolen vehicle.. He was mad at his brother’s insouciant attitude about the whole thing. He had made a mistake to trust buying a car from one of his brother’s shady friends, who claimed the car was a hand-me-down from his uncle but the title had been lost. He had just received a note from the DMV that the car was stolen and they would recommend he turn it in immediately and report the person who sold the car to him.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Laurie: I’m sure that happens in real life and, man, does that suck royally. You made me hate that shady friend. Good write.

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