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Thread: Prompts for when the humor well runs dry

  1. #26
    Plot Monkey batyler65's Avatar
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    Prompt 25:

    AW's own Captain Canard sent me a link to humorous prompts on his web site. These prompts are better suited for off the wall, humorous fiction.

    http://www.captaincanard.com/prompts/promptarchive.php
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  2. #27
    Plot Monkey batyler65's Avatar
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    Prompt 26

    Putting a different twist on the ordinary is one way to get laughs.

    According to the January 2006 issue of Reader's Digest, The Washington Post asked their readers to do just that. The newspaper held a contest asking readers to write funny definitions for a few of the hyphenated headings out of the Yellow Pages phone directory. Contestants used headings such as Banquet-Beauty, Foam-Foods and Rubber-Safe.

    I searched my own Yellow Pages and found such unlikey pairings as:

    Escort-Excavating : What the owners of Ford Escorts must do after carting around three kids under six.

    Die-Diving: Jumping from a plane without a parachute.

    Retirement Roof: A glass ceiling for senior citizens.

    Pull out your phone directory and limber up your laugh muscles by writing definitions for ten hyphenated headings.

    Psst! Wanna share a prompt? Send it to me via PM. I'll love you forever.
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  3. #28
    Plot Monkey batyler65's Avatar
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    Prompt 27:

    Here's another connect-the-dots type prompt.

    Apparently, there are awards for everything. Not to be left out, Merriam-Webster (yes, THAT Merriam-Webster) compiles a list of Words of the Year. These are the top ten words searched for at http://www.m-w.com during the previous year.

    For this challenge, let the Words of the Year 2005 inspire you. Let them roll around in your mind forming the odd connection, then write a humorous essay or fictional piece using ALL ten words.

    1. Integrity
    2. Refugee
    3. Contempt
    4. Filibuster
    5. Insibid
    6. Tsunami
    7. Pandemic
    8. Conclave
    9. Levee
    10. Inept
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  4. #29
    Plot Monkey batyler65's Avatar
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    Prompt 28:


    Some women have productive hobbies. They knit, decoupage things, bake. My hobbies don't fit into the productive box. I engage in things like competitive worrying, providing a source of annoyance for teenagers and killing gargantuan houseplants. I can't be bothered with killing the small, manageable ones. No, I must find the ones that require truckloads of dirt and pots large enough to house small villages. These plants are the ones I feel compelled to destroy.

    Do you have a green thumb? Are you the scourge of the garden spot? How do you feel about digging in the dirt? Maybe you have a pathological fear of worms.

    Dig around in your imagination and write a funny piece about a gardening/houseplant experience.
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  5. #30
    Plot Monkey batyler65's Avatar
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    Prompt 29:

    What if? Those may be the two most powerful words in the writer's vocabulary.

    My latest "what if" came while listening to reports about American Idol contestants and all the voter interest. Suddenly, my muse sat up and said, What if we ran the presidential elections like American Idol? Let the candidates put on a talent show and encourage people to vote by telephone.

    Of course, the talent part gave my muse pause. Does America really want to see the Vice President's demonstration on target shooting? Well, I guess it depends on the target... Should there be a bathing suit competition? (Oops, wrong show.)

    The point of this prompt is to get you thinking about things that are similar, but different enough that the juxtaposition of ideas can be turned into something humorous. Pick a pair, any pair and mix it up.

    What if home improvement were done like road repairs? (Okay, at my house, this is not a supposition.)

    What if the people in charge of lost luggage worked to find missing people instead?

    What if men's underwear companies began selling their goods like Victoria's Secret?

    Try to come up with five what ifs. Pick your favorite and turn it into something funny -- short story, rant, essay... Your choice.

    Have fun!
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  6. #31
    Plot Monkey batyler65's Avatar
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    PROMPT 30


    Some things beg for an instruction manual:




    HOW TO ASSEMBLE YOUR BACK-TO-SCHOOL STUDENT

    Welcome to your new Back-to-School Student Preparation Guide! This two-day process will help you get your student(s) ready for school with ease.

    Per student you will need: one backpack, a supply list, one back-to-school wardrobe, a second (third, fourth) mortgage.

    DAY ONE: PREPARATION OF THE STUDENT
    Step I: Gather supplies -- These will be the items from the list labeled “supplies” (See figure 1.). What? Your instructions don’t have figures? Oops! Okay, well you’re looking for that list they handed out at registration. You remember? It’s the paper that says something like: One super-economy-sized box of tissue, ruler, scissors, paste, folders, denture adhesive, a three-legged goat, pencils and paper. You purchased these items at the pre-season, back-to-school sale in January. You didn’t go to the pre-season sale? Tsk-tsk. Are you sure you are qualified to own a student?



    Write your own back-to-school instruction manual. It could be from a parent's POV or a student's. Maybe the lunch lady needs one. Play with the idea and see what happens.

    Write on!
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