FUNNY WOMEN #35: A Southern Mad Lib


Insert your own words in the spaces below to make a wacky story!

The verandah was large and layered with many different coats of peeling white paint. The light in the morning was playful through the maple leaves, but at dusk it was slow and ADJECTIVE DENOTING TIME OR DEATH. Jane-MONOSYLLABIC FEMALE NAME liked to sit in her grandfather’s rocking chair and feel the grooves in the wood which years of sitting had left behind.

Before he died of OLD TIMEY DISEASE WITH FATALISTIC NICKNAME WHICH IS NO LONGER A THREAT, he sat out there all day and only left to eat supper of MONOSYLLABIC, SOMEHOW FRIENDLY SOUNDING FOOD. Often, the COLOR boy who helped out around the house would come out after his chores were done and sit with the old man and play music that was at once beautiful and ADJECTIVE DENOTING TIME OR DEATH. That summer, Jane-MONOSYLLABIC FEMALE NAME FROM ABOVE liked to walk down to the LARGE BODY OF WATER WHICH IS NOT AN OCEAN OR LAKE AND HAS A CURRENT THAT IS MOURNFUL, take off her shoes, and think.  She thought of many things: all the songs her mother had taught her over the years, how everything seemed to change when the firebugs came out, and the stories she’d heard on the radio about LARGE CITY IN A EUROPEAN COUNTRY BUT LET’S BE HONEST IT’S PROBABLY FRANCE. What made her the happiest to think about was the preacher’s son, MALE NAME ENDING IN Y OR SOMEHOW EVOCATIVE OF A LARGE CAT, and the way she felt deep in her bloomers (in what her oldest sister called the KITCHEN APPLIANCE) when he looked up from the porch where he spent most afternoons reading EXTREMELY  OLD AND INFLUENTIAL WORK OF FICTION; one afternoon, he invited her to sit and read her a portion of Revelations, but she couldn’t focus, her KITCHEN APPLIANCE grew hot and moist, and it was all she could do not to writhe or cry out with yearning.

Those nights, barefoot and feeling the humidity through her light cotton dress, she sighed and dreamed of the far-away LARGE, SALTY BODY OF WATER and wondered when the day would come that a man would see her KITCHEN APPLIANCE, but then she felt guilty, rushed home to kiss her Pa goodnight, and studied her EXTREMELY OLD AND INFLUENTIAL WORK OF FICTION THAT I ONCE RIPPED A PAGE FROM SO I COULD ROLL A JOINT IN MY HOTEL ROOM until her head hurt and she’d forgotten all bout her dumb ‘ole KITCHEN APPLIANCE and the preacher’s son’s eyes, which were the color, she imagined, that the LARGE, SALTY BODY OF WATER THAT SURROUNDS THE UNITED STATES must be.

As is always the case, the blackberries that hadn’t been picked got too ripe and fell off the bush, the firebugs went back to wherever the firebugs go, and June became July, and July, August. In the fall Ma got sick with OLD-TIMEY DISEASE WITH FATALISTIC NICKNAME (THAT ELICITS HUNGER, ODDLY ENOUGH) WHICH IS NO LONGER A THREAT,  and Jane-MONOSYLLABIC FEMALE NAME FROM ABOVE had to leave school and take up a job down at the INDUSTRIAL SPACE WHICH NO LONGER EXISTS IN AMERICA THAT WHITMAN PROBABLY JERKED OFF ALL OVER. Pa was more often than not drunk off PLANET THAT WANES AND WAXES, THE CYCLES OF WHICH STUPID HIPPIES LIKE TO BLAME THEIR INADEQUACIES ON shine, his eyes always off on some terrible vacation, and soon there was no money to pay the COLOR boy.

With her brothers and sisters to look after, and all the chores around the house besides, she rarely even thought of what she’d dreamed those nights by the BODY OF WATER WHICH IS NOT AN OCEAN OR A LAKE. After the children were asleep, and the leftovers put away, her fingers wandered down to her KITCHEN APPLIANCE, but she hardly had the heart to go very long. Ah! NOUN RHYMING WITH BOOTH DENOTING THE PERIOD BEFORE ADULTHOOD! NOUN DENOTING THE PASSING OF MINUTES, DAYS, HOURS, YEARS! It was never the same after that SEASON WHICH IS NOT AUTUMN, WINTER, OR SPRING.


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Kathleen Alcott’s first words were “Ooh, the lights,” and they will probably be her last. Her debut novel, The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets, is forthcoming from Other Press in September of 2012. She came of age in Northern California, studied in Southern California, fell in love with San Francisco, hid for a while in Arkansas, and presently resides in Brooklyn. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Slice Magazine, American Short Fiction, Rumpus Women Vol. 1, and The Bold Italic. A copywriter by day, she is currently at work on her second novel, a book that traces the lives of four tenants of an apartment building in New York City and their rapidly deteriorating landlord. Excerpts and thoughts at More from this author →