Friday, 5 March 2010

Living Hell (#fridayflash)

Wanted: One human soul, to be held in perpetuity.  Preferably male.  Must desire wealth.  Must blame the poor for their poverty.  Must deny climate change.  Must live in the suburbs and drive an SUV. Must demonstrate love for family by being the sole breadwinner.  "Bread" in this case to include (for example) 42-inch plasma screen TV, three family cars, two iPhones, four MacBooks, an annual trip to Disney World, a Nintendo Wii, a kitchen and bathroom refurb every five years, and weekly shopping binges. Must send kids to college. Must spend at least 80 hours a week at work.  Must take a maximum of three days vacation per year, all of them at Christmas.  Must not demonstrate despair of this lifestyle by wasting money on golf, prostitutes, alcohol addiction, gambling, or fast cars.  Preferably reads the Wall Street Journal.  Must support the US military.  Must oppose gun control.  Preferably Republican, though Democrats will be considered.  Must attend church every Sunday.  Preferably believes in God.  Must believe in America.

Will exchange for: Ignorant bliss, self-righteous attitude or early promotion.  May consider trading all three for an immaculate example of the specifications.

21 comments:

  1. Have you ever, in your fiction I mean, tried to write a Lonely Hearts as for your character? It is incredibly hard to do. To sum up a soul in a few, punchy phrases paid for by the word. This is similar, but you manage to convey a certain class of person very well.

    I wonder who the person placing the 'ad' and willing to swap actually is? One I'm no doubt going to be pondering on throughout today.

    marc nash

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  2. I too am left wondering who is placing the ad!
    Have a very clear picture of the one that is wanted though!

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  3. I had hoped the 'person' placing the ad would be clear from the title, from what he wants (a human soul), and from what he is offering in exchange.

    Do I need to change things to make it clearer?

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  4. Nope - especially not now!

    As Ben Elton might say: 'political'!

    Great idea David - I wonder if he really does hang out in the personals?

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  5. yeah ... that hit a note with me. However, I think the position will be hard to fill given the no golfers stipulation.

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  6. Wow! That ad was spot on for so many people. I think there is thousands applying for this position and have eagerly given up their soul.

    I live near suburban areas, and this type is such a huge tribe! You described their worship rituals perfectly.

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  7. Good idea for a story, and I especially like the frame you put it in. Well done!

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  8. I liked the part about the Disney vacation followed by only three days of vacation a year, all at Christmas. Only the truly evil would work during a Disney vacation.

    You did a very neat job of describing a certain character. I think I may know some candidates.

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  9. No David. Don't make it clearer. Who placed the ad is just subtle enough to be utterly ruined if you hint any more. It's tight and works as-is.

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  10. I like it very much as it is. No need to change.

    Wow. I actually know several people living in the suburbs who fit the description. Especially the 80+ hours a week at work. Lawyers.

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  11. This is about as subtle as a Mack truck.
    Really powerful slams combined with curiousity-stirring plot.
    I love that it's not obvious who is placing the ad... is it God, is it the devil, is it a lonely lavalifer... is it me looking for some rich guy to support me in the style to which I am not yet accustomed? (Just kidding, honey-bun)
    Liked it, David. As per.

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  12. You are talking about my ex right?

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  13. Excellent as always...

    You don't need to spell out who's placed the ad. It's clear enough.

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  14. Telling a story entirely with a wanted ad. That's a good flash. I'm wondering if the story is better read from the viewpoint of the person placing the ad or the person reading it.

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  15. Loved it! That list fits quite a few people, I think.

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  16. I know people like this...poor souls. Excellent idea and well executed.

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  17. So many candidates after the comments section... makes me wonder if the ad needed to be aired at all!

    I too liked the framework of this to-the-point piece.

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  18. This is great! Love the form, love what you do with it. Very funny also!

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  19. That's really clever writing. I like it alot. Really makes you think about ourselves and what we want/need.

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  20. "...all of them at Christmas." LOL This was great! Yeah, I've known a few of them and seen so many others who are trying to get there, but with what cost?

    CD

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  21. you can have a smile :)

    Amelia.x

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