Back in the day, when I worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon and possibly had more free time than I do today, when I'm unemployed (I was really good at the very little work they made me do, so I got it done quickly), I was also taking classes to get my Master's Degree. Even though my degree is in History, I decided to take some Creative Writing classes just to get some of my stuff workshopped. While in one of these classes a fellow student gave me the surreal handbook, with all kinds of tips on how to write surreally (if that's a word). It was there I learned about automatic writing, which is awesome. I also found a nifty exercise to do, the results of which I'm going to share with you.
First, take a newspaper. I used The Oregonian, because it had a section in the Living section called The Edge, which always had wacky stuff about this strange world we live in. I used a week's worth of this section, but you can do this using just one day of the paper. Then, cut up the stories you use. It takes a long time to cut each word into its own little piece, so I cut the stories into phrases. Occasionally I cut one word out, but generally, phrases. Then, when you're done, put them all in a hat (or some other container). Draw them out one by one, place them in that order, and you have a story!
Sounds bizarre? Well, it's supposed to be - it's surreal, for crying out loud! That's the whole point! The neat thing is - mine, at least, makes some kind of perverse sense. It's very neat.
You'll see a lot of references to Morgan Robertson and the Titanic in this story, and more than one to Ryoki Inoue and Big Boy of Bob's Big Boy. Well, you dance with who brung ya, and the stories that day happened to be about those things and people. So that's why they show up.
Anyway, this is a fun thing to do, and it makes you sound weird even if you're not. So without further ado, I give you ...
The gunpowder police said, "Inform others that they exist."
He could say "Ding!" when his .32-caliber handgun went off while undergoing a routine annual physical as the result of a bet. In 1991 he entered the literary record books, pelting officials with balls of feces at each floor.
"When did you last see your husband? He was hot for exactly one month and five days."
James Cagney, a blind private eye, has written more than 1,000 books. A note attached to one limb said, "Fun things three times in one morning." Who thought "no" was a three-letter word while he was proposing to his girlfriend? Did anyone care in about 1780 who became famous after they stole the colonel's bologna? If it looks infected specify repeatedly length: 800 ft. vs. 882. Yank the doors open only in your imagination. Tap on it occasionally with your pen. A highlight was when Admiral Seinfeld comes from the Universal Press Syndicate which had entered through your floor.
"Ya little tramp, I think you're swell if I'd been still missing undercover," Barbara Stanwyck read. Burp a newspaper ad such as: "My mother was intact." His hamburger has provided us with Connie Stevens, who churns out a ranch on the speech he gave. Investigators found a note under 40 different names.
Reincarnated as an antique auto, a minister gave a talk to strip steak ($2.29 a pound). At breakfast, Ricky Nelson, doubling as Marlene Dietrich, ran into some people passing a Spanish romance novelist. The girl with Pancake Pete laid a wager that if you have a glass eye, walk on with a cooler that says, "Shut up, dammit, all of you just shut up!" An iceberg in the North Atlantic pleaded no contest to aggravated assault in 1974.
"You're dead, son, for over 40 years."
Who complimented her, "When you're hot, you're hot"? The Associated Press, violating your airspace, was already writing the word "affair" with a black pompadour. The following pointless drivel read, "Kiss me while smacking your forehead and muttering 'Bill, you've been shot. Call 911.' " Rita, getting on the elevator, died recently when arriving at The Poseidon Adventure. He blows something up when it strikes the first seven notes of a piece of fudge. Frown and mutter when that gun also went off. Chutes away, Tony Curtis - they open by themselves. They would have named me "Big Boy, the world's most prolific novelist."
Cricket was chopped into seven pieces. His cheek really hurt; I asked him to pass me the salt. Crack open your briefcase or purse, grimace painfully. By the time I'm old I must find a more suitable host body. Because the bullet was a hollow-point, Jerry van Dyke's Beauty Show killed politicians, ugly buildings, and whores. When anyone pushes a button, sing along at the opera, Sweet Smell. A conspiracy near the spine with a warm handshake left the human head on the side. The name of the ship, who had authored a mere 700 titles by a Dublin theatre manager, was Ooh La La! Rita Hayworth arrived from England with wealthy and powerful people, then began cleaning his .380-caliber pistol. He couldn't tell his wife the message that may explain Ernest Vincent Wright. Practice making Morgan Robertson with the English language. Taped to the severed right buttock was the 1939 novel Gadsby, top speed: 75 knots. A man sued a Los Angeles marina after the Titanic was on its maiden voyage, but one of the severed limbs is 49-year-old Ryoki Inoue from Brazil - "Mmmm, tasty."
"You know what, Ma? The ship, which has a passenger list filled by John Davidson, dismembered the bullet in his head and the second time his hat blew off." Pimps of Pimplyness tell people you have a list of 101 things, but it does not contain the letter "e." It's a Small World stung a little, but not too bad.
"Were you out with a grinning fiberglass fellow with a hacksaw and a novel and its sequel within 24 hours?" After waking up from a nap in front of the TV, there'd be pulp addiction on the pieces from a Toledo, Ohio, restaurant.
All of Dublin was asking with three different handguns, "I wonder what these all do?" without nausea. The 1976 emcee recently passed on to the Big Nightclub in the Sky in an afternoon at the beach. The night runs in John Huston, whose husband walked around an abortion and a tornado.
Who in Princeton, W. Va., said, "We smell their secret weapon: a flying teepee!" You're one of them - six women that wear a puppet on your hand. Someone kidnapped Blake when his cartoon featuring two Indians who looked like gophers and bikini-clad singers is on its maiden voyage. An 1898 novel, Hayloft Hoedown, is said to have entered Greek writer Aeschylus in Chinatown, and pulled out his .357 pistol. Get drunk on antifreeze and push all the red buttons, and then stop at 18. Whenever he runs into a snag hosted by Wink Martindale, his speech was on boating. Elevators walls all get respectable if they live long enough.
The first time he got sick with a stethoscope each note was signed, "I've got new socks on!" Squaredancing, yodeling and associated hamburger-toting 14 years competed but the sinking of the Titanic on every blank wall was surprised at the word "quiz."
Sue your upstairs neighbor as I lean over to another passenger and whisper, "Today's lame joke: Husband-and-wife mime team!"
Attached to all other eerie similarities as well were Burt Lancaster and "Trinidad," a 300-pound big boy. When the Guinness Book of Records affirmed maybe the wildest yet, you should lay the lame jokesters, "The Malibuties." Introduce a new word into the language, construct elaborate crop circles in your front lawn, make explosion noises - if she says "yes."
"You'd sell out your own mother, then act embarrassed when the two ships shared the award certificate and lodged in his head."
"Robert Conrad, I didn't recognize you. How's your mother-in-law? Off the candy bars?"
Some of the worst shows to ever hit the airwaves foretold "Big Boy is dead" a third time. Whenever the elevator descends 22 episodes, the dead shields look out for the stork. The go-go-gophers move to the far corner for four days with a policeman when an eagle dropped a turtle by the victim.
E.S.P.-possessing Yarnell, before the great ship went down, said, "Got enough air in there, Hawaiian eye?"
Sterling Hayden, the $1.98-talking car of success - he went around Dublin for awhile, conspicuously licking 267 pages of 1941. Below are subject matter such as James Ralph Longstreet. Where were you then, Troy Donahue? In about three books a day, William Randall of Mesa is introducing the Titan. When they listen to the crime novel, ask people what in the elevator world of the bizarre resolves a lot of narrative complications. Ovi's independent nation, Ovi's world, didn't hurt until the doctors discovered the bullet. Then he wasn't double indemnity, so long as I'm not your husband. A week later, oh those Texans didn't realize he'd been shot over and over and over ... never mind. Now he's dead. So he finished the job while talking to others long enough for him to put a hole in it.
"All your food, Elmer, then scream."
Pretend your computer's mouse is Fred MacMurray drinking beer and cleaning his guns. Heat of the bizarre policeman lasted three weeks. A note and a lack of sufficient lifeboats swipe your grub. Type in Robertson's book: "Henny Youngman, starring the North Atlantic on Inoue's No. 1 ranking."
See, Mom scrawled, "Big Boy is a meeker priest or bandit."
"Only, can I come in, J.J., and talk to it?"
"Yeah, but could he announce that this is to bring 'Noogie Patrol,' hosted by Inoue's secret?"
Slash titles like: Look, Ma, the Bar Nothing. Begin all your sentences with, "We interrupt the 'meow' guy," and then announce, "Solomon's gender, co-starring the next day."
The man finished cleaning the .380 statue and dropped them off around town to the Lion's Club. A Boston gorilla, Jerry, has written complete chapters during trips to the bathroom. Who killed the car occasionally? When he got home, the 38-year-old man was grinning and 15 books struck an iceberg in private. Pulp westerns show other passengers a wound and ask what the word meant, then sigh and say, "Of course I'm respectable in most of his works."
"Yes, I heard the beautiful singer in Robertson's book."
Many holler, "A pelican defecated on his head!" and "I'll never think of out moments together," so he told her, "Roll down the hill and get yourself buried, Babe Ruth."
The Curse of Feliciano got everything by passenger capacity (about 3000) out of date. The bullet on sex lasted four months. Grunt and strain to touch the dead mother. According to the man, fax and modem noises written by the wife but apparently never seen are pointing a hair dryer too. If I turned my back and while peering inside ask Jonathan Latimer to go, did you talk to him? Announce in a demonic voice, "Where were you theeeeeennn?" only to shoot another passenger for a while. While having his truck fixed in a garage, he thought he had suffered a stroke.
She said, "David Cassidy, beauty of the week, I know you like a book."
"Wake up and smell an Arizona woman, Brian Donlevy."
"Something extra on his head?"
He's only tried it twice, but his right ear and part of his belly start each meal of the car on Big Ed. The shooting mania is in uppercase so no one will stare at another passenger to see if they slow down. Wretched excess with displacement: 70,000 tons to 74,000. This time, the man told police, it shot himself in the right foot to predict some truly awful entertainment of evil. She's to have been Orson Welles in an apartment statue. Franciscus, listen, this is a wild whistle. One vineyard coming for the title, "Longstreet Ambulance."
"Oops! The plot - that your drive-thru order is deadly - it's gotta go, gotta go."
Talk about himself for impact. That yurt in Gilda's son's game show who was the reed of the killing sinks a man, co-starring Malibu U.
"Big Boy is almost dead, David - ask them to call you 'White Dynamite Man.' "
Rip Taylor on TV, the police in air, and Sally Field as "CB Radio" sit in your front yard, greet everyone accidentally, and then say, "He spoke about sex," so he called the happy, $1.98-book Rita Hayworth. You eye a hole in it and talk to other passengers through it at passing cars on an April night and to do a whole press - What's the matter with shooting yourself in the foot? They are Dean Newman and wife.
He said, "10, 2, 4, 18, 1, 13, 16, 5, 11, 7, 17, 15, 12 by hour."
Declare your show, Anne Southern, and stare in that as she says it all.
One word - need we say more?