WGOM CW Survivor Archives – Challenge 13 – Tour Guide

Write a travel brochure for 5 lame attractions (4 chosen from a list provided by judges, one of your own):

This tour serves as a re-telling of a tragedy that claimed the life of Haley, a young girl who grew up right here in West Blocton.

A skillfully designed all-day tour with five stops, this excursion packs an emotional wallop tourists won’t soon forget.

This tour is about remembrance, not profit, so all proceeds go to the Haley Fund to help troubled teens.

William Firestone is my name, I have lived in West Blocton all my life and so have firsthand knowledge of Haley’s story.

Haley spent a large portion of her days at the local hardware store.

She was there to see Sam, who worked there all through high school.

He deeply loved her, and had since forever, and she loved him just as much.

Distressed by the fast-growing romance, Haley’s father, who was never one for subtlety, moved her to the abandoned water tower nearby in Marvel.

Sealing her in the tower, he wouldn’t allow Haley to see Sam again.

To mount the stairs of this tower is to see how he controlled her life.

He inspected all her letters to ensure she wouldn’t communicate with Sam.

Now Haley and Sam had to implement a plan to circumvent her father’s totalitarian tendencies.

A mailed letter would come to Billy, another kid the same age as Haley.

Content its contents were benign, Haley’s father allowed this correspondence, unaware that if he were to read only the third letter of each sentence he would find secret messages intended for Sam.

As the go-between, Billy would deliver the letters to Sam at the the local café, where the checkers enthusiasts still jump their pieces over the notes written on the tables as Sam decoded her declarations of love.

To ease the reading of these hidden messages, Haley wrote each sentence as its own paragraph.

In deference to her style, Billy would do the same as he encoded Sam’s responses into his innocuous notes.

No huge surprise that as Billy wrote all of those letters, encoding messages became second nature and hidden sentences started creeping into everything he wrote.

Unable to be away from her love any longer, Haley planned to escape her father’s prison.

A fluttering heart threatened to jump out of his chest as he decoded Haley’s latest letter, realizing this was his chance to finally be with the girl he loved.

The fourth stop on the tour is the place designated for the reunion of Sam and Haley, an enormous empty warehouse just outside of town.

Crying with anticipation, Haley arrived at the warehouse, but Sam was nowhere to be found.

In truth, no one would see Sam again.

Stories persist to this day about what happened to Sam, but no trace of him or his body have ever been found.

Sobbing after not finding Sam at home, she made her way to Billy’s house, to make sure her message had been received.

The fifth and final stop on our tour is Billy’s house, where Haley received the terrible news about Sam.

Sam received the message, but apparently told Billy that he didn’t want to meet Haley, and that he was running away to avoid her.

Thinking her family had taken Sam away, and that now she would never see him again, Haley could find nothing to live for as she killed herself in Billy’s bathroom.

Many people will dismiss this tour as macabre, but I want everyone to understand that this is a testament to love and the stupid things it makes us do.

To ease my personal guilt, I have tried to create a cautionary experience that will remind everyone to appreciate the love in their own lives.

Stop 1 – Hardware Hank
Stop 2 – Marvel Water Tower (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/1015870)
Stop 3 – Morning checkers game at the local café
Stop 4 – World’s largest empty warehouse
Stop 5 – Childhood home of the tour guide

SPOOKY: Over at the World’s Greatest today I mentioned that one reason I ran this one was to see the wildly different ways in which it would be attacked. I didn’t expect anything about this one. In truth, I figured this was structured in such a way that any attack besides comedy wouldn’t work. I love this entry, and I love how much it proved me wrong.

5 points out of 5

BEAU: I love that water tower. It’s appearance matches up well with this disturbing exposé. Masterfully done.

5 points out of 5


I have never been more nervous about a submission that I was about this one.  I agreed with Spooky that this challenge seemed structured in a way that comedy appears to be the only attack, I was terrified I was going to get comments about this not being funny at all (which it isn’t) or not getting it.  I guess I needn’t have worried.  This was well received all around, there were multiple compliments from other players and everything.  Obviously, I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

WGOM CW Survivor Archives – Challenge 12 – Advice Columns

Write an advice column from two vantage points – one with the question supplied, one with the answer.

Dear Statler and Waldorf,
My depression is at an apex and I can’t go on. Please tell me why my life is worth living.

S – I’ve got good news and bad news, Waldorf.

W – What’s the good news?

S – Someone has been reading our column.

W – And the bad news?

S – Your advice has deprived them of the will to live.


W – Wait a second, you just said you thought our column got better with every question we answer

S – Only because we’re getting closer to the end.


W – But this isn’t a joking matter, we should try to help this person.

S – That’s a good point, we can’t afford to lose any readers. Do you have any actual advice?

W – What cheers me up in times like this is the fact that I have dyslexia.

S – Your advice is to develop dyslexia? How will that cheer them up?

W – Because when they read this column, at least they won’t comprehend a word of it.


SPOOKY: Statler and Waldorf?! Someone else has been watching my Netflix queue. You’re all creeps, you know that? Anyway, this is solid. It captures just what I was looking for…original material (well, as “original” as these two curmudgeons get) based on the situation at hand. Nice.

4 points out of 5

I’m a video game nut, and recently I’ve become obsessed with a;new game (called Oremus). It’s hours of fun and God bless the genius who green-lighted this game, but it’s destroying my marriage. My wife wants me to help her clean the house, go shopping, acknowledge our children, and all that crap. But doing those things messes with my gameplay (the hours of meditation have to be uninterrupted). We are currently working out a compromise, but she wants 30 entire minutes a week where I would perform my husbandly duties. She suggested I have my brother come over to play for me in that time, but he’s terrible at the game. Additionally, any time I spend away from the game is pure torture, so I feel like I’ve been ripped off in this bargain like the Native Americans that sold the island of Manhattan. My best friend said something that sounded vaguely disapproving (I couldn’t hear her exact words over my Ohms) but I don’t ever want to stop playing Oremus.

Dear Confused:

I find it interesting you reference that piece of history when talking about the problems you’re having with your significant other. I would tender a guess that your situation is actually the exact opposite. Have you discussed this with your brother yet? He will continue to play a role in all this until things are settled. And as far as what your best friend said, perhaps you should examine closely how much weight you give to her opinions. Has she led you down the wrong path before? A lot of couples in your situation find success with therapy, whether they go alone or together. Remain assertive, but cautious. Good luck, and keep us posted!

BEAU: This seems rather ordinary at first, but a second reading proved how meticulously this letter was written. An obsessive gamer…praying! Awesome. I wish the brother would have been played out a bit more, but the mention of the best friend is perfect. And, God bless you!

5 points out of 5


It’s easy to complain when the judges miss your point, so, on the other end of the spectrum, I feel like I should give Beau huge props for not only getting the joke, but playing along perfectly.  Both of these went very well I thought.  (I was worried about the S&W one a bit – because there’s not much there, but it worked out. Yay!)

Magic Numbers (AL)

Tampa Bay (96-66) #1 SEED – Hosts TEX
Minnesota (94-68) #2 SEED – Hosts NY
Texas (90-72) #3 SEED – @TB
New York (95-67) WILDCARD – @MIN


Magic Numbers (NL)

Philadelphia (97-65) #1 SEED – Will Host CIN
San Francisco (92-70) #2 SEED – Will Host ATL
Cincinnati (91-71) #3 SEED – @PHI
Atlanta (91-71) WILDCARD – @SF

New York

WGOM CW Survivor Archives – Challenge 11 – Video Game Pitch

Two parts – one was to create a video game based on existing media, the other was a new concept video game:

In the vein of TOKYO XTREME DRIFT and NEED FOR SPEED, comes the final word in racing games: WONDER BOYS.

Playing as Grady Tripp, award winning novelist, choose your vehicle (making sure to choose a model with room in the trunk to fit a tuba, a suitcase, a dead dog, and a garment bag almost perfectly) and then choose from two possible routes. Both have obstacles to test Tripp’s sanity meter. Should the meter empty, he passes out in a flash of light. Additionally, if you choose the 1966 maroon Ford Galaxie 500, Vernon Hardapple will occasionally jump in front of the vehicle, shout “That’s my car motherfucker!” and jump on the hood with his butt.

James (Tripp’s student) – Pick him up from a party where he just shot your boss’s dog. Take the dog’s body, attempt to return him to his parents and then immediately break him out of their basement.

Crabtree (Tripp’s agent) – Prevent him from stealing a look at your unfinished novel by driving him to a party. After he ditches his transvestite date, drive her home, then tail him through Pittsburgh when he steals your novel and try to prevent him from driving the only copy of your novel into one of the three rivers.

The overall goal is to get the highest page total in Tripp’s new novel. Crashes, faints, and Crabtree crashing the novel into the river reduces the page total, while completion of tasks within the routes will increase Tripp’s page total.

SPOOKY: ”The final word in racing games: WONDER BOYS.” Har! Here’s another one that doesn’t make a lick of sense as a videogame, but the programmer has sold me nonetheless. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should see it just so you can fully enjoy this submission.

3 on a forced curve (6 points max)

Informed by the evil physicist that your memory has been wiped, you are dragged to the lab and forced against your will into the time machine and sent back in time.


The heavily guarded courtyard of the evil scientist’s mansion –
The shrubbery and statues give plenty of places to hide. In addition there’s a freshly dug hole in the ground if you’re desperate. (60 seconds – taken to the next level as time expires)


An unidentified office, immediately after it was burgled –
The unconscious guard (without a mark on him) is missing both his weapon and his pass card. (60 seconds)

********** (all levels unlimited time from here on)

Informed that your mission is to destroy a potentially catastrophic invention, you start at the local physics shop where goons find you and attempt to beat you up. Fight your way out while noticing their van has a Corporate Industries bumper sticker.


Break into a secure building belonging to Corporate Industries and steal files containing the location of the physicist’s laboratory. The tranquilizer gun you added to your cache on the way back through time comes in handy neutralizing the guards.


Maze outside Physicist’s lab –
It turns out that this labyrinth has no exit. Good thing you picked up that shovel to dig under it.


Physicist’s Lab –
Don’t get caught or he’ll send you back again. Glimpsing the truly evil invention as you were dragged to the beginning of your chronological journey should give you a hint where to start looking.

BEAU: I am definitely intrigued. Mystery, suspense, plot. There are so many games these days that my attention needs to be grabbed immediately for me to keep playing. And I already want to see how this one develops.

6 on a forced curve (6 points max)


Happy with those results.  The first time I wrote out the Wonder Boys game, it was  essentially a retelling of the movie.  Oops.  Had to reimagine that real quick.  Had some other ideas, about how Tripp could halt the deterioration of his sanity meter by smoking a joint and so on, but the word limit precluded its inclusion.  The score on the second one exceeded my expectations.

WGOM CW Survivor Archives – Challenge 10 – Fortunately, Unfortunately

Given two prompts from the judges, provide 6-12 lines which alternate beginning with ‘fortunately’ and ‘unfortunately’:

I gave up smoking a few hours ago
Fortunately, I felt better instantly.
Unfortunately, I may have overestimated my newfound health.
Fortunately, there’s only a couple miles left in this marathon.
Unfortunately, I’m in last place.
Fortunately, I can still see the 99-year-old parapalegic up ahead of me.
Unfortunately, I think she’s picking up speed.
Fortunately, I can stop her if I throw this stick just right.
Unfortunately, it got stuck in her spokes and flipped her wheelchair.
Fortunately, finishing this marathon has made me a better person.

SPOOKY: This has to be my favorite finishing line. The suggestion that this is a nice little story about victory and self-betterment slays me. Damn, I have no idea how to score the top five or six entries.

4 points on a forced curve (6 points max)

Mary had a little lamb
Unfortunately, her brother, Peter, was jealous of her pet.
Fortunately, her parents were happy to get him another lamb.
Unfortunately, he cried and cried and cried for a wolf.
Fortunately, the wolf and lamb seemed to be getting along great out in the pasture.
Unfortunately, Peter’s pet went missing that same day.
Fortunately, there was no reason to suspect anything was amiss with Mary’s pet that looked a lot like a large shaggy lamb, dressed in lamb’s clothing.
Unfortunately, with all the searching, Mary fell behind on her lamb-taming routine.
Fortunately, she managed to steal away and practice for a bit.
Unfortunately, it involved putting her head in the lamb’s mouth.
Fortunately, her brother found his pet.

BEAU: This is clever, but I think it takes a bit too long to get where it’s going, and I had to reread it a few times. It also feels a little forced.

3 points on a forced curve (6 points max)


The first one felt like the last two or three lines before the final line were awful, but I didn’t have time to fix them this week.  Fortunately, I knew I had a killer last line, so I was hoping for a 3 or a 4.

I liked writing the second one a lot, but I think it got overwrought (is that different from forced?) as I tried to get everything in there that I wanted.  Another case where the idea is hilarious in my head, but the execution just wasn’t quite there.

WGOM CW Survivor Archives – Challenge 9 – Six Word Evaluations (Team Event)

Sum up the prompt in exactly 6 words.

The Bubonic Plague

Unpopular, but inspired classic nursery rhyme.


Ancient city loves J Geils Band

Winner! – 1 point

Don Corleone

Offer-Refusal Ratio off the charts

Winner! – 1 point

Jack the Ripper

Killed hookers before GTA popularized it

Larry the Cable Guy

Like Karl Hungus.  Never fixes cable.

Winner! – 1 point


Sometimes there is only one urinal

Winner! – 1 point

Christians vs. Lions

That’s one win on Detroit’s schedule

Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet

Death fitting “pun”-ishment for terrible wordplay

Winner! – 1 point


The team would win 11 of the 19 available points and draw first blood in the epic battle of the last two teams standing.