Monday, December 17, 2012

Did Someone say Challenge???

To my regular readers...I might confuse you today. Come to think of it, I confuse you most of the time, I suppose.

 I normally don't launch a  post on Monday but I have included myself in a writing challenge.  Why??? I haven't the foggiest notion. I was reading a story over at A Beer for The Shower  about  about a fictional character, Slim Dyson.  So anyway, about this challenge...Bryan and Brandon over there are releasing a novel today ....YES... a new novel...aptly named The Sensationally Absurd Life and Times of Slim Dyson

Let me catch you up by giving you a synopsis of the story thus far and what this challenge entails. 
(BTW..if you don't already read A Beer for the Shower, the cartoon work is amazing. They draw it freehand in Microsoft Paint.  That is WWWAAAYYY harder than you might think.   Let's just say I am impressed.)

Slim Dyson is a homeless man that had his journal stolen.  Someone put it on the Internet, it went viral and is set to become a movie.  Slim became a millionaire overnight but remains living his life as a homeless person in Denver.

Anyway...Brandon and Bryan came up with a challenge. The challenge is to throw Slim a party for $10.00 or less and write a post about it from the point of view of being among the homeless.  They had the audacity to have a whole list of rules that I may or may not of followed.  I also, stole some of their cartoons and took liberties with them.  Copyright infringement'....didn't see that one on their list of rules.

Tis the Season to Party

 "Stringbean Johnson...I have been looking all over for you.  What are you doing sleeping in the park?",  she gasped trying to catch her breath.

 Annabelle "Little Sis" Larquette, gave the impression that she had run all the way from the 16th Street Mall where Stringbean  had been camping  out for the last couple of nights. Little Sis is small and boyish looking in her oversized coat and a hat that could have been sitting in the prop room for  the movie Deliverance.  This morning, however, Stringbean  is  laying  cocooned in a  sleeping bag on a bench in City Park. There is a slight movement as he raises his head to see Annabelle approaching.  "What's up, Lil' Sis? Is anything wrong?

 "Not wrong really.  I have this idea I want to talk you about.  But before that, tell me why you aren't over at  on the Mall?  You nearly scared me half to death thinking something was wrong."

"Don't go fretting, Annabelle.  I'm fine. The cops are trying to keep us away from that area.  While they deny it, they seem to be under the misconception that "homeless" means the same thing as  "criminal". I thought it would be quieter here."

"Stringy, I don't think their contempt, like everyone elses,  is born out of meanness.  It's born out of not knowing the "whole story" behind why a person is out on the street.  Everyone has a story.  Isn't it time you start thinking about coming back to the East Denver Rescue Mission.  I worry about you."

"So, tell me what's on your mind this morning besides worrying about an old man."

"I want to host a party for Slim Dyson.  You know since he got all that money there seems to be an awful lot of people showing up claiming to care about "what's in his best interest".  Where were they when he was just one of the homeless losers they pretend not to see?   Here we have this friend that has had a huge blessing in his life. and we need to acknowledge that.  Plus what a perfect time of the year for us to celebrate Christmas."

"A party huh?  Don't parties take money and "stuff"? I would say around this time of year most of Slim's true friends have NONE of either of those things.  As far as Christmas...I know your affinity for all things religious but Christmas for most of us is just another day of the year."

"Your right about none of us having money but we have friends.  We have each other.  I have exactly ten dollars that I have to work with.  Stringbean, we may not have much but this is a special time of the year.
I was talking to Father Vincent and Sister Mary Elizabeth about my idea.  You know I have been working at the church two mornings a week cleaning the rectory.  I told them about Slim's good fortune and about my idea to celebrate his blessings along with having a kind of holiday get-together for those of us that don't have a traditional family. They told me that generous spirit is rewarded and that God will provide.  Then Sister Mary Elizabeth gave me a few things out of the rectory kitchen just to speed things along. She suggested that maybe a few of our friends could line up some freebies as well."

"I don't get you, Lil Sis.  Why do you continue to put your faith in the church?  After all that you have gone through, I don't see how you can believe in any of it. You have had more heartache and tragedy than anyone I know.  How can you possibly believe in God? Would a merciful  God have let you suffer like you have?"

"I think it was human frailty that brought all the evil into my life.  I believe it is because of God's  grace and mercy that I made it through all of know.  I survived and here I am. I can't believe that you don't believe.  Let's just agree to disagree."

 "OK...let's talk about your party plans.  What do have so far?"

"We have 2 huge bags of chips, enough peanut butter and bread to make 50 sandwiches and a huge jug of Hawaiian Punch.  She also let me take the half used alter candles.  I have a great idea for those."

Goldtooth Gilda  talked to her boss down at the Dollar General.  He is going to give us a pack of paper plates, some red Solo cups and a package of lunch bags.   Emmy is going to kick in 3 liters of ginger ale to add to the punch. Oh and last but not least, Monty said that the Dunkin Donut manager has been tossing the day old donuts out at night now and they are free for the taking. He'll be snagging those as the opportunity arises."

"Sounds like you have everything pretty lined up. Your good at this party planning".

"Remember in my old life, I used to host  grand parties.  It's not so much about the quality of the food as much is it is about the presentation, she giggled at the thought of peanut butter sanwiches cut into little triangle party sandwiches. She could envision her old pals from the country club turning up their surgically bobbed noses at the very thought of PB & J.   "This party is less about the quality of the food and more about the quality of the attendees." she said with a huge grin.

Oh, but I need help with some decorating, Stringbean.  Did you know that Riverwalk Kenny used to work in a machine shop?  He has this awesome idea that I will keep for a surprise but I might need your help hauling some stuff.  Another of my friends, Dumpster Deb,  that lives at the Shelter, is making paper decorations out of the discarded paper behind Kinkos. She is the most creative person I know about converting dumpster trash into treasure.  I will explain all of the decorating the day of the party."

"Lil' Sis, where are you planning to have this shindig?  We aren't exactly welcome even when there is just one or two of us, how are you going to have 30 or so of us together and not get slapped with vagrancy citation?"

"Yeah, that is a problem but I think I have a spot that we can keep under the radar. There is a little area of City Park that is off the beaten bath.  Pretty much surrounded by trees with no walking path leading up to it.
The weather is supposed to be really mild on Thursday evening so I thought that would be perfect."

"Are you sure that our guest of honor is available now that he is busy with this upcoming movie of his life".

"Emmy asked him to come with her to a Christmas get-together,  and he just can't say no to her.  She told him to wear a Santa hat.  He'll be there."

The following Thursday evening...Slim Dyson arrived at the clearing in City Park to find all of his friends gathered to celebrate his success.  No one was wanting anything of him.  No one had their hand out asking for anything.  Just fruit punch a PB & J sandwiches cut into fancy little triangles shared among friends.

With all the party supplies donated, Little Sis bought the guest of honor a gift out of her $10.00. She found a leather bound  (OK...a faux leather bound) journal with a pen at Bob's Bargain Barn for $5.00. But the real value of her gift was the fact that all Slim's friends wrote something in it.

 She had enough left over to buy party favors.  Everyone at the party received a big candy cane.


abeerfortheshower said...

This is awesome! I love the signed (faux) leather journal! This is definitely a party Slim would love, and I can't wait to see people's reactions.

Also, you want to talk copyright infringement? After seeing the name 'Dumpster Deb,' I feel like I want to steal her name and throw it into the book. Oh well, too late. Maybe she'll be in our next story. We do seem to have a lot of homeless characters in our novels...

And maybe I'm just getting old, but fruit punch and PBJs sounds like a hell of a party to me.

Cheryl P. said...

PBJ sandwiches are only party fare if they are cut into little triangles. Glad you liked it. I am eager to read the other entries.

Elsie Turtle said...

I love the idea of a signed journal! How very creative and what a great party to have for our friend Slim. Great story.

Cheryl P. said...

Why, thank you Elsie. I appreciate that. It is rather fun pretending to be part of a make believe story. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

Lia said...

Oh my gosh great party! Isn't this contest so fun? Your original character ensemble cast was a brilliant idea to include.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and I hope your week goes well! I might be missing some blog reading because it's finals week.

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks, Lia. Good luck on all your finals. We can catch up when time allows. If I don't talk to you for a bit....Happy Holidays!

lisleman said...

Nice holiday story - people helping and sharing with people - good Christmas spirit.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you! I love that about the Christmas season.....the spirit of giving.

workingdan said...

I'm impressed with your MSPaint drawings! I really like the one where they are huddled around the trash can.

Great story too! Slim would definitely enjoy this party!

Andrew Leon said...

I think my mistake was not including pictures. I think I'm just gonna steal yours and figure out how to work them into my party. That's okay, right?

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks! I actually took Bryan and Brandon's Paint characters and put them into gimp so I could add background, clothes, etc. The party pic is all gimp of my own doing. I rarely use Paint to draw as it doesn't offer enough brushes and pencils. Those guys are super talented at getting their cartoons made in Microsoft Paint.

Felt the need to explain that as I pretty much suck at Paint.

Cheryl P. said...

haha steal away!!! I think yours is awesome just the way it is. After reading the other entries I kind of want to "accidentally" delete mine. Turns out there are some seriously clever writers out there.

Chiz said...

Awesome job with the images, very impressive! (Is that Amelia on the bench all by her lonesome?) Also, it was a very touching story and exceptional dialogue, as well. Way to get creative with the submission! Genius!

Cheryl P. said...

Why thank you, Chiz. How observant of you!!!! That is Amelia. She isn't meshing with the rest of the crowd. She also didn't sign the book. Again, thank you...that is a very kind comment.

Riot Kitty said...

Excellent ;)

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you Riot Kitty. If I ever enter another challenge, I am going to take your lead and put in a cute/funny cat picture.