It's down to brass tacks, Survivor fans. The tribes have merged into a Vogon-filled party bus. With no teams to shield a player, one must hope that either:
a) They've made some friends this winter, or
b) They can win the next several challenges outright.
This week's challenge was complex.....I'll just have Matt explain it to you.
Before and After
Two characters, let’s call them A and B, interact. They have a conflict. The kind of conflict that good stories are made of. And lucky for you, this conflict is exactly what your story is about. It’s at the center of your story.
But we’re not interested in the center of the story. Instead, your challenge is to write the story from only the before and after perspectives. And because that seems kind of easy, each of the two separate parts has to be written from one of the separate character’s perspective. That is, the “before” section of the story should be written from Character A’s perspective (or B’s if you prefer), and the After section of the story should be written from Character B’s perspective (see previous parenthetical).
Now, we’d hate to actually see Character A and Character B get into a fight. That’s not what this challenge is about. But we know full well that there’s a conflict between them. So we’re just going go ahead and put one last rule in place, to make sure they keep their distance from each other. The rule is simple: at no point in either story can the two characters directly interact with each other. They can talk about each other. They can interact with other characters (who can appear in the other part of the story). They can even set into motion and/or respond to interactions that would happen in the “center” portion of the story. They just can’t directly interact. We want to see the conflict, without seeing the conflict.
So... yeah. Complex.
Anyway, here was what I came up with.
Livingston Estate front porch, 3:13am
To the owner of this, the lawn on which I currently call my bed,
You may notice I am currently passed out on your lawn. You may wonder how this came to be.
I decided to get, as my dear friend Robert might say, “Hella smashed” on Saturday evening. To that end, I procured several bottles of the cheapest flavored vodka I could find and endeavored to drink as much I could from each of them. I noticed, with some dismay that the taste of the “cake” flavored vodka reminded me of an ex-lover, so I took it upon myself to seek out and find this lost love.
My searches were in vain, but as I wandered the streets, I did happen upon your property, and glimpsed your lawn ornament, which – in my intoxicated state – amused me. In point of fact, it amused me to the point that I found myself transfixed by it. That glorious statue of two fish entwined reminded me of the nights my darling Angela and I would spend, our bodies woven together by our love. Those nights, I scarcely knew where I ended and she began.
I must admit that this thought piqued my lust. I am a simple man, sir, with simple appetites. I find no pride in these appetites, but when I begin down that lustful course, blind animal nature takes control of me. I apologize for what I may have done while under the influence of these urges.
It is not my intention to bear unmitigated bad news, however. I expect that your anger against a lustful intruder should be fierce, but that anger should be tempered by joy. You may take solace in the knowledge that the feelings that your property has instilled in me shall remain a part of both of our lives forever. Your unwitting generosity has touched me, my friend, I shall now show my gratitude by mowing your lawn this very evening. I was unable to procure a key to your garage, so I took a small stone and gained entry through other means.
May your kindness, however unconscious it may have been, be spoken of for generations to come.
Your eternal friend,
Wallace Percival Brown
Livingston Estate, 7:54am on the day following the writing of the Wallace Brown note:
In the wake of the previous night’s events, Lewis Livingston had not noticed the note which had been hastily scrawled and secured to his porch with a rock. The note was illegible, save for the words “Fuck you, Angela” and a drawing of what looked to be a man having sexual relations with a shark. Lewis was struck dumb by the revelation, except for a single phrase.
“What the fuck!?”
As he turned to go inside, Lewis happened to glance over at his hummingbird feeder, which appeared to have been defiled by the drunken intruder.
What the fuck, indeed.
Here are the judges' comments:
K: This is fun enough…well, let me rephrase that, because it’s a lot of fun, but not fun enough to win this week. The idea is a funny one but I think it has legs that it didn’t show…some more time and punching up with this one would have been essential up against what it was up against.
DK: Another very funny treatment; the juxtaposition of the first guy’s imagined speechifying combined with the B section’s vulgar reality creates a nice, quick punch of amusement.
I'm actually pretty satisfied with how this one turned out. For the first five days, I wracked my brain trying to think of something that would work. I thought of existential plots (man vs. death, man vs. wolves), serious, even meta (that would've gone over just greeeaaaaat). Finally, I just gave up and stopped thinking about it. Then, it came to me as I sat on the frozen lake while partaking in the local Ice Fishing tournament.
There was going to be a lot of darkness with this challenge, and making something that was purely comedic struck me as what I wanted to do. There was just one problem. I was going directly from the tournament to a hockey game in the cities, and I had no idea what time I'd be back on Sunday.
Luckily, it turned out that we got home around 5pm on Sunday, and I had a couple of precious hours to knock it out. It turned out funny (my biggest question was which animal the drawing was supposed to be displaying - sharks are funny). I was 99% certain that it wouldn't win, but if I need to win every one of the remaining challenges, I'm not going to make it very far, anyway.
On a completely different note, now that we're merged, there is no more "Nibbish and His Vogons", so I guess we'll be going our own way at this point. All of my teammates, both eliminated and still in the game have been true pleasures to play with. It's been a blast, and you've all made up the best team ever. Thank you.