Choose the Worst
Right off, before Anonymous starts throwing around the f-word (as in flake) again, let me say that The Frog and I tried to judge the Dark and Stormy Night Contest. We simply agonized over it for . . . well . . . maybe six or eight whole minutes before deciding to hop out for hot fudge sundaes -- gooey, delicious, with nuts for me and those crunchy little beetle-things for him (they do get stuck in his teeth, but he doesn't seem to mind except, of course, on days he has photo shoots, but he won't have another one of those unless the DBacks win the Division -- he's on the extended roster for his ability to catch flies, you know -- and that doesn't look very likely after a simply disastrous series (3-1) at Petco Park in San Diego where Greg Maddux, who never beats us despite being one of the most phenomenal pitchers of the era and my former hero back when he was a Cub -- the first time, not the second -- made our batters look like Little Leaguers) -- instead and leave the hard work to you.
If you think division races distract me, wait until we get to the pennants.
The point here is that the entries were just too good for us to be able to narrow it down to three winners -- let alone one. (We did get to six, you'll be pleased to know.) So here are the entries in the order received. We removed the names and added numbers for ease in voting. Since we know how hard this is, you may vote for three. You may also vote anonymously, but you're on the honor system to vote once and once only. (Three should be enough for you, after all.) Voting closes at midnight Saturday and the winner will be announced after Church (Del Rio Standard Time) on Sunday. The winner will be the author of the entry who received the most nominations over all. But since you were all so good, everybody who sends me their mailing address will receive a Frog Pop -- presumably made from corn syrup in the shape of a frog rather than . . . well, you know! -- and a picture of our celebrity Frog, suitable for framing.
Okay, wow. Convoluted paragraphs are like potato chips -- you can't stop at just one!
Thanks, everyone, for playing!
1) Alicia's lips were bright red--the exact color of that little button on turkey timers that pops up when the turkey is done--only Alicia never knew that, because she was a strict vegan and just made tofu turkey on Thanksgiving, which of course doesn't have an actual little turkey timer button, but everyone else who saw her thought, "Ahh, the turkey is done."
2) It was a dark and stormy night when I lay in my bed dreaming of sugar plums and mayflowers which, of course, I do not know what those are, but perhaps you the reader will … so you do the imagining for me, will you? You might ask how I can dream of things that I do not comprehend, but I digress… for I was writing about a dark and stormy night in which the rain fell in buckets dumped like garbage on a hot, shiny, green tin roof that a black cat pranced and hopped like a rabbit across.
3) I really like corn flakes, but sometimes they taste kind of bad. But it's okay because that's why I like them. My story starts on a dark, stormy, wintry, cold, freezing night. I was out of corn flakes and needed some more for breakfast the first meal of the day. It kind of was sad or something. But whatever. Sometimes grapefruit is good for breakfast. Or Cheerios.
4) It was a dark and stormy night. Thunder crashed across the sky and lightning illuminated the face of the man before me in garish proportions. His sinister smile sent a chill up my back and I started to run. I could hear his footsteps behind me getting closer and closer. I ran hard, my sweat mixing with the rain, feeling his cold hands grasping for me, reaching for my throat. Then I woke up. Was it only a dream? The note taped to my mirror said otherwise.
5) It was a dark and stormy knight I came upon in the otherwise deserted castle. I could feel rather than see the glare from behind that visor, burning deep, deep into my soul like a curling iron left on a block of ice. I cowered and try to shrink away from that merciless gaze, like a Styrofoam cup in the oven, but I slipped and crashed headlong into the knight, making a clatter not unlike that I time I tried to carry too many dishes down the stairs from the dishwasher. “Oh, my mistake. Just an empty suit of armor.”
6) Thunder struck, Joe leaned over the corner table at La Bernardin until he was close enough the back of her hand brushed the tip of his tie—a dark gray paisley with multiple patterns of storm drains positioned vertically across the finest Indian silk money could buy from an elderly rainforest native immigrant shop owner who sewed all of his wares by hand at night—and said, "Wow! Did you hear that?"
7) Kerry, I was going to add my account to the rest tonight but while rereading your rules and my competitors' contributions I was filled with such raucous laughter that I found myself having fallen upon the floor when a man, his dark face deeply lined with concern, stormed into the room saying, "You will pay for this." as he stared at the deep piles of dark paper that had been strewn across the floor as if by a turbulent storm when I fell. Still glaring at me with stormy eyes as I sat in the deep, dark shadows where I had fallen he asked. "Are you looking for a frog or something?"
8) He was in love with her, loved her like he loved lasagna, not just any lasagna, especially not the vegetarian kind, but the meaty juicy savory kind with extra cheese, and he could tell by the way her face flushed like steaming marinara sauce underneath a thick layer of melted ricotta that she must feel the same way; he only hoped that their love didn’t end like his love with lasagna always ended, filled with excruciating pain on the toilet.
9) A thick, dark, swirling, choking, stormy fog, frothed and coughed its way down the alley close to the River Thames, shrouding Egbert against the vile night in which humiliation had followed embarrassment of the most mortifying magnitude, when sweet Gertrude discovered the tattoo on the toe next to his pinky--it was something his cruel and merciless step-mother placed there twenty-one years ago on another dank and miserable night when she left him as a shivering infant on the doorstep of Mister Mervin of Mobberly Mansion--a lime-green, one-eyed, red-lipped frog.
10) It was a dark and stormy night, or at least that was the reason Sheryl gave her family as to why they were sitting in the storage room in the basement, eating cold green beans and spaghetti sauce, with wheat sprinkled with powdered sugar for dessert. (I must work on my food storage, Sheryl thought). Her heart pounded like a child’s drum given by a well meaning but clueless and childless uncle. Pound, pound, pound, never ending, but leading towards headaches. Would her home teachers truly think they weren’t home, or would they demand entry and see that the breakfast dishes were still on the table?
11) Tifffany Jo surveyed the darkening sky, her heart achy-breaky. A thunderstorm with a well-placed lightning bolt could call Jason to repentance, to turn his back on the yesterday’s sudden and drastic actions: his Bic- shaved head (oh, that beautiful wavy brown hair and receding hairline, how she missed it already!), the beginnings of a scraggly beard sprouting under his lower lip, the new Harley purchased with his BYU student loan, the pierced eyebrow, the tattoo of Snoopy the Red Baron on his upper arm, the studded leather jacket, and his new band of biking friends, the Bald and the Beautiful . . .
12) His face was dark and stormy. Her heart beat like a child pounding on a little toy drum that his grandparents gave him for Christmas. (Because it's not possible for grandparents to find quiet toys.) Her hands trembled as she fumbled with the doorknob, but his companion stuck his shoe, that was as dark as midnight, in the door frame. His smile was as big as a hot air balloon. There was no turning back now. These missionaries were more persistent than a grass stain in a little boy’s white pants. She would have to let them in.
13) For the second night in a row I sat in my ancient, black VW on the seedy side of town doing what I do best--minding someone else's business. (Note: I’m going to feel really bad when this wins.)
14) Lucy’s brown eyes were like two chocolate chip cookies, only burnt and made with mint chocolate chips used rather than milk chocolate, making swirls of dirtied-green in her dark and stormy glare for only a moment ago she had received the heartbreak of her teenage life; “CHAD IZ N LUV W BRT-NY” came the ominous text from her best friend followed by an obligatory “R U OK?” Lucy was sure she would never love again.
15) At the sight of Erdrick Hunter standing on her porch, Wilma screamed—not a lace-edged, rose-scented, Victorian scream, but an an eardrum-piercing, soul-wrenching cry, the kind of noise you make when you whack your little toe on the leg of a chair and most of your toes go one way and your little toe goes the other and the agony nearly knocks your eyeballs out of their sockets, not that such an accident had ever happened to Wilma, because she’d avoided chairs ever since that mishap with the Cheez-Whiz, a parakeet and a bronze bust of Socrates.