Monday, September 12, 2005

The Happy List: Words, + Brooklyn Arden Contest!

There are a number of words in the English language that just make my heart do a happy dance whenever they are used. Here are some of them:

  • hoopty
  • funk
  • punk
  • booty (the pirate kind, thank you)
  • pants
  • Bob
  • mojo
  • yurt
  • kvetch
  • slather
  • popemobile
  • petrichor
  • portmanteau words ending in -licious

So, because my birthday is approaching shortly and I'd like to spread the joy, I am holding a special contest using these words. These are the rules:

  1. Construct a sentence (or even a very short story) using as many of these words as possible.
  2. Post it in the comments.
  3. The reader who comes up with the best entry will receive a batch of my fabulous banana oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies. The first runner-up (assuming we have that many entries) will receive an excellent book. The second runner-up will get ten Swedish Fish, and all entrants will, in due course of time, receive postcards.
  4. This contest closes at midnight EST on September 22, 2005. Winners will be announced on September 29, 2005.

Happy writing!

The fine print: This contest is open to all citizens of planet Earth who have an Internet connection, even relatives, Republicans, and George W. Bush. I am the sole judge of this contest and all decisions are final. (Flattery might get you somewhere, but only if it's clever.) Extra points may be awarded for the inclusion of pirates, Jane Austen references, or llamas -- but I put emphasis on the "may," and entries lacking these elements will not be penalized. Lisa, you can participate, but only when you're not working on EMILY EBERS. Odds of winning will depend on the number of qualified entries. All contest entries remain the property of their creators. We at Brooklyn Arden thank you for your participation and wish you a pleasant stay here, or wherever your final destination may be.


  1. so...we have to use funk & booty in the specific ways you've outlined?

  2. Nah, use 'em however you like. I was just trying to present myself as a decent, clean-minded young woman.

  3. Being neither decent nor clean-minded, I couldn't help but read EMILY EBERS and notice that it anagrams to BEERY SMILE.

  4. Ted, stop that!

    Cheryl, I'm hard at work on the novel 24/7. You should know that by now.


  5. "Ever since I traded in my hoopty for the popemobile," Bob II kvetched to Brother Ramone, the punk-monk visiting his yurt, "my mojo has gone kaput, and nothing has helped restore it -- not the slathering of my favorite condiment on a mayolicious sandwich, nor my introduction to the splendid word 'petrichor,' nor the most earnest funk of Mr. Bootsy Collins, nor even the discovery of a $20 bill in the pocket of my trousers, despite the rarity of finding such booty in one's own pants."

  6. While slathering his hoopty doopty ‘77 popemobile with the rancid rice pudding he dug out of the left side of his portmanteau (or was it his Kate Spade-i-licious clutch?), Bob kvetched yet again, “my pants smell of petrichor, yet my funk punk booty has some major mojo. Yurt know what I mean, Carl?”

    -- Lisa

  7. (I'm neither a professional writer or someone known for being particularly concise, so my entry is kinda long & unwieldy. sorry-o)

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a pirate not in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of some booty (the pirate kind, thank you)...

    Actually, the misguided pirate Bob had, at one time, thought the other kind of booty was worth pursuing: he fell in love with a displaced Mongol woman who liked to slather ghee all over Bob’s body, and (believing himself to be in love) he followed her to her homeland. But she was a most ghee-licious Mongol, so who can really blame him?!

    The trip inland was arrr-duous, and unfortunately taking a pirate away from his life on the high seas is a sure-fire way to deprive him of his mojo. The Mongol woman quickly tired of Bob’, weakness and his perpetual kvetching about the blisters on his feet, and so she eventually ran off in the middle of the night, taking Bob’s pants and her pink-milk-producing yak with her.

    And so, poor pirate Bob found himself in a most unfortunate situation: in addition to having no pants, he was thousands of miles from any ocean, stranded in the Gobi desert, living in a yurt...and with now only a llama* named Pierce to keep him company. Bob was in a real funk: how was he ever going to get back to his beloved sea-farrr-ing ways?! Pierce tried to keep his master entertained by singing the llama song, but they both found themselves depressed when Pierce got to the last lines: “now my song is getting thin/i've run out of luck/time for me to retire now/and become a duck.”

    Then, when it seemed like all hope was lost, Bob saw a car approaching. In his excitement, Bob jumped up & down with the kind of fervor that is usually reserved for sightings of the popemobile, despite the fact that it was nothing more than a hoopty driven by some globetrotting punk. No Ratzinger to be found. But even if Bob could have used some spiritual guidance, he & the punk – whose name was Otto – bonded over their shared love of eyepatches, treasure, rum, and the band PegLeg.

    Having established a friendly rapport, Otto & Bob & Pierce decided to drive south towards the Strait of Malacca, so they all squeezed into Otto’s ol’ jalopy. And as they drove out of the desert, it began to rain, and the petrichor improved Bob's mood, making him confident that all would be right in the world.

    *I recognize that a camel would be more geographically appropriate. Let’s just imagine (for the sake of this rather improbably story) that Bob acquired this llama during a “mission” off the coast of Chile. Okay? I'm just trying to please Cheryl.

    **I may have incorporated some words/terms/concepts that amuse me (Mongol, ghee, Gobi/gobi (which amuses me because it's both the Mongol word for “waterless place” and the Hindi word for "cauliflower"), globetrotting, jalopy, and the names Pierce, Otto and Ratzinger).

  8. "When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it stays split."
    ?Raymond Chandler

    The office was pretty much packed up for the night, with Arthur out teaching the Pickle the ropes, and Agent R doing the same for a hot date. You sighed and resisted an impulse to kvetch about the unfairness of it all. Even when your name is Miss Dynamite, manuscripts and rejection letters still take their toll. But halfway through ‘Nobby the Bedknob and His Great Adventure’, your office door creaked and something slathered in enough aftershave to kill a goat let himself in. You eased the revolver from your garter and looked up.
    “Miss Dynamite, I presume?”
    “That’s what it says on the door,” you reply.
    “Actually, it says—“
    “Never mind,” you sigh. “What can I do for you?”
    “I need something found, something important.”
    “That’s what I do,” you reassured him. You pushed the manuscript to one side and got out your notepad. “What did you lose?.”
    “ My mojo.”
    You leaned back in your chair, unsurprised. If there was anyone who had lost his mojo (Andy Roddick aside), it was this guy. His pants were high-waders, the popemobile was probably more with it than his ride, and the only booty he most likely came across was through repeated viewings of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’
    “Well, what’s your name, Mr…?”
    Bob,” he said. “Please call me Bob.”
    That confirmed it. This man was in serious need of some funk.

    You went through the all the preliminaries and followed him out of the office. The only way for this guy to find his mojo was to bring some, and he didn’t look like he could carry all that much.
    On the street, the petrichor mixed with the general aroma of bus fumes and roasted nuts, and some guys passed in a hoopty, blaring George Clinton out the windows. Ahhh, the Soho sunset. This was much better than red-lining manuscripts.
    “Hear that?” asked Bob, nodding his head toward the car. “I love punk rock. Second only to Lionel Richie.”
    You stared at him. This was going to be harder than you thought. Had the man lived in a yurt all his life? Had he even had some mojo to start with? You did charity cases, but not hopeless ones.

    However, you had a job to do, and after outfitting him in Armani and getting him some shades, the two of you took a break at Rice to Riches.
    “No,” you said again, patiently. “-licious. For example, this pudding is rice-a-licious. Bootsy Collins is funk-a-licious. Understand?”
    He nodded, but you could tell he just didn’t get it.

    You patted him on the back and told him to go to Hoboken and meet a nice girl. They’re less picky about mojo out there.
    You walked him to the subway, slipping your revolver back into your garter next to your red pen. Not a bad guy, on the whole.

    “Thanks for all your help,” he said as you got to Broadway and Layfayette. “It was, uh,… help-a-licious.” He winked, pleased with himself. You didn’t have the heart to wipe the grin off his face. Instead, you waved as he disappeared down the stairs.

    Some people will never, ever grasp the primordial mystery of the funk.

  9. As a chocolicious petrichor hung in the air outside Bob’s yurt on the outskirts of the Port of Manteau, he shook and ate his booty to some hoopty funk* while kvetching to the passing Popemobile, “Do you have to slather my dog with your dogma or can you at least let me spread my punkilicious mojo to the animal kingdom?” Just like yesterday, there was no reply.

    *defined as 110 Beatifications-a-minute, heavy on the bass

    the last minute mystery man