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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 771
old hand
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 771
In a recent contest, The Washington Post asked its readers to write the beginning of a well-known story, as retold by a famous person. Here are some of the submissions (I *love* the first one... and the penultimate one is for you, sjm):

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip,
Starting in a northern port
Aboard a whaling ship, aboard a whaling ship.
Oh, you can call me Ishmael,
And the captain is Ahab,
We're out to kill a big white whale,
And sell off all his flab, and sell off all his flab...

-- "Moby Dick" retold by Sherwood Schwartz, creator of "Gilligan's Island"

Hamlet and Ophelia were a good couple. Claudius and Gertrude were evil. Polonius was good and so was Horatio, but Laertes was evil. Clowns good, grave diggers evil. Then there was Fortinbras. We had a Fortinbras at Delta Kappa Epsilon. He was a major league bunghole.

-- "Hamlet" retold by George W. Bush

A man sells his heirloom gold watch to buy tortoise shell combs for his wife's hair, while she, in turn, sells her hair to buy a platinum chain for his watch. In this we have an economic entity that has failed to coordinate the evaluation and allocation of its long-term static assets and short-term renewable resources, dissipating its capacity to achieve growth.

-- "The Gift of the Magi" retold by Alan Greenspan

Now here we are in provincial Russia, in the exclusive habitat of the infamous Fyodor Karamazov. He's rumored to be a grumpy little devil, and sloppy, too look how he decorates his home with old vodka bottles, pestles and hundred-ruble notes. Oh, and here he is! My, you're an ugly little bloke. Notice the matted hair, the protruding Adam's apple, the bloodshot eyes, the drool. Crikey! He's trying to embarrass me because he doesn't like being talked about. That's his defense tactic, which is why his sheilas and his own offspring all leave him right quick.

-- "The Brothers Karamazov" retold by Steve Irwin

There's this dame, see? And she leads this guy to the top of a cliff and pushes him off. Then she rolls down after him so it don't look like a hit, see?

-- "Jack and Jill" retold by Edward G. Robinson

#82824 10/04/02 03:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
Carpal Tunnel
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
Thank you, F'babe (though, in all fairness, it's the WP's readers, not the paper itself. But I digress and pick nits).

I love these invitationals and, of course, always forget to look and see when the next one's coming up so I can participate. One of my favorites was from a few years back: readers were invited to put together two book titles and come up with a one-sentence blurb describing the plot. Of course, I can't remember any of them but they were funny at the time.

edit: I've found an archive of all the invitationals but it looks like they dried up in 1999. Do you have a date for this one, F'babe? Looks newer than that!


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