Monday, April 11, 2011

Spookymilk Survivor VIII: Fortunately, Unfortunately

Last week, I rushed and submitted a crappy bit that ended up getting panned. I was worried for a bit that I might be eliminated, but then shenanigans ensued, and Dave asked to be voted out.

Good times.

This week, we had one of my favorites from last year: Fortunately, Unfortunately. The challenge is essentially that the writer is given two “start phrases”. From each start phrase, they are to build a short story (8-10 lines) with each line alternating between starting with the words “Fortunately” and the “Unfortunately”. That’s two short stories in all, with each judge grading stories written using their start phrase.

Here’s my entries.

Spooky’s Phrase

I have one class left before I finish my major.
Unfortunately, it’s Advanced Physics, a course I know absolutely nothing about.
Fortunately, the teacher has a very lenient “extra credit” policy.
Unfortunately, that teacher is an 85 year old obese transvestite named “Sweet Lou”.
Fortunately, with the right combination of Xanax and everclear, I think I can get through this.
Unfortunately, it’s an even more horrifying experience than advertised.
Fortunately, that’s over with.
Unfortunately, I just checked my class schedule, and the class I need is actually “Advanced PSYCHICS”.
Fortunately, I’m getting pretty good at this whole “extra credit” thing.

Spooky’s Critique

K: Oh, here we go. The first half could seem obvious, but the wordplay keeps it from feeling tedious and the combination of Xanax and Everclear was a nice touch. Then, it keeps going after the point where I figured the payoff would be, and the real gag about taking the wrong class was genius. 5

Beau’s Phrase

I tried out for the team so I could meet chicks.
Unfortunately, their interest seems contingent on me MAKING the team.
Fortunately, the backup kicker seems to have slipped on a bar of soap and broken his leg.
Unfortunately, I’m not a very good kicker.
Fortunately, the school board found ecstasy in the 3rd string linebacker’s locker.
Unfortunately, I’m about as good at tackling as I am at kicking.
Fortunately, the star quarterback fell down a flight of stairs and was run into by a golf cart in rapid succession.
Unfortunately, there is no position I’m less qualified for than quarterback.
Fortunately, I’m good at covering up accidents.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make the team.
Fortunately, basketball tryouts start next week, and I hear the players are VERY clumsy.

Beau’s Critique

Yes! This is the perfect level of absurdity that works for this challenge. I laughed out loud when I knew where it was going and I didn’t stop until the end. Perfect. 6

Unlike last week, I felt pretty good about both of these. Spooky’s came together first. The Physics/Psychics play on words was the first thing I thought of when I read the phrase. Beau’s needed a little reworking. I tried coming at it from the “Sports don’t help, girls still think I’m dumb” angle, but it was monotonous and vaguely depressing sounding. Then I came upon the idea of the loser who injures players to improve his chances of making the team, only to have it backfire on him when he’s not good enough to take advantage of it. I fiddled with the wording on both a little bit and then sent it out – a night early.

DSK finally pulled out of our mini-tailspin. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.