Humbugardy: Subjective for 800
by Score Bard
2005-11-10 18:33

This is round 2 of Humbugardy. I’m your host, Alex Scorebard.

 

As judged by the host on the morning of November 12, 2005, the best opening paragraph from a fictional novel entitled “Tim Salmon in America”

 

Note: In this round, searching the web is allowed.

 

Numb3r5 Sudoku 6th Degree Quotes What and Where Anagram Lines Subjective
200 Bob Timmerman Bob Timmerman 200 For The Turnstiles deadteddy8
400 For The Turnstiles For The Turnstiles 400 Joe 400
For The Turnstiles Bob Timmerman Bob Timmerman 600 For The Turnstiles graciebarn
T J 800 For The Turnstiles Murray argosy Derek Smart
1000 1000 1000 Bob Timmerman For The Turnstiles Next…
Comments: 27
1.   Murray
2005-11-10 19:02

1.  What is:

"Call me Fishmael."

?

2.   King of the Hobos
2005-11-10 19:59

2.  Time to showcase my complete lack of creativity

What is...

"It was a normal evening, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. But I couldn't help but feel something was wrong. This stretch of the desert rarely had many cars, but I had always seen a few. Yet there were none today. Then my car gave up, stopped dead in the tar. No phone and no help from other cars, I just stood there, but then I noticed the clouds. They had parted in a strange fashion, and something was coming towards me, fast. It almost appeared to be an Angel, but then I realized that it was also . . . a fish?!"

?

I have no idea where I came up with this, or where I would go with it. Just the first thing that came to me, and as I'm leaving for the weekend, I needed to get my entry in. This was a lot longer than I originally envisioned

3.   Sam DC
2005-11-11 08:25

3.  What is

If you bothered to look, the first thing you would see is that he had once been an imposing man. His frame was wide across the shoulders, his forehead was high and square, and his legs were very long. But the flesh and muscle had drained from him years ago, and now he was slight, reedy, almost hollwed out. Few in the rushing crowd took the time to look, of course. They flowed over and around him, hardly slowing, and most did not even notice the red-clad figure standing near the turnstiles, his back propped up against the stuccoed stadium wall. The next thing you would realize, if you gave the man a moment of your attention, was that that his shirt and cap were lettered. While the letters were faded -- no doubt from long years in the open weather -- if the light was just right, you could make them out: "P. E. T. A." And if you listened close, during the short, random breaks in the crowd and traffic noise that swirled in the busy concourse, you could hear the man's steady, quiet voice demand, over and over, "Moreno, let that damn monkey go!" It hadn't always been like this . . .

?

4.   Bob Timmermann
2005-11-11 10:28

4.  The old man looked at his handheld HDTV showing the 2045 All-Star Game from historic Tropicana Field. People had said that dome stadiums were outdated, but the people in St. Petersburg knew better. Salmon stared deeply in to the screen and watched the special tribute that the Commissioner was giving to Casey Kotchman. Once Kotchman had been the kid who took over Salmon's spot on the roster when he got old. Now Kotchman was the hero. He had been an All-Star 15 times. And Salmon thought to himself, "Crap, what is all this crap?"

5.   nickb
2005-11-11 11:12

5.  What is

Swimming upstream. He was so tired of hearing that phrase. "Hey, Tim, do you like swimming upstream?" or "Dude, you must be too tired to spawn from swimming upstream." All his life he had heard that phrase, over and over, by by every "Joe Comic" he happened to meet. Well, he had finally heard enough. That's when he pulled out his Louisville Slugger model C271 bat. He would be swimming upstream no more.

?

6.   DXMachina
2005-11-11 11:57

6.  "His name was Tim Salmon. He prefered to drop the "Tim" and the "mon" and called himself "Sal." He never claimed to be a ballplayer, but he never claimed not to be a ballplayer. Things being as they were, neither admission would have been of any benefit."

7.   DXMachina
2005-11-11 11:58

7.  I mean "What is..." etc.

Bother.

8.   graciebarn
2005-11-11 12:39

8.  What is:

"That fateful day in the Anaheim Rocket Launch, when I saw the scales of the first male fish to go up in space, I knew I was in for a very interesting trip."
?

(Couldn't resist.)

9.   Sam DC
2005-11-11 12:42

9.  In tyring to figure out what to write, I was quite happy to learn that Tim Salmon's alma mater Grand Canyon University -- "Quality Christian Education for over 50 years" and "The Univeristy with a Heart" -- gave an honorary degree this year to Alice Cooper (er, Dr. Alice Cooper).

10.   Derek Smart
2005-11-11 12:42

10.  What is...

Laxminarayana Vishnuvardhana saw his turn was next. The line had been long, and the hot wait excruciating, if not unlike the lines and waits in Mumbai. He pulled out a worn, yellowing paperback. It was a book his brother had given him before he left. He had said, "These pages contain all you need to know. Read them. Learn them. Know them in your heart. For here, in this book, is your new home. Here, in this book, is America." He gazed for a moment at the cover, slowly ran his finger over the word "Street," and turned carefully to the page he had marked with a folded corner. There was the name, circled in black ink. He would have only one chance to get it right. He had practiced it over and over again, speaking into a mirror, watching his mouth form the words, correcting little failures, and trying again until it was perfect. Perfect once. Perfect one hundred times. Perfect one thousand times. It would be who he was for the rest of his life. One doesn't skimp on re-birth, and now his time had come. The functionary gestured, waking him from his daydream. "Name please," she said, and slowly he articulated his response: "Tim Salmon." And so he was.

?

11.   graciebarn
2005-11-11 12:59

11.  Alex, will these comments eventually be deleted like those on other threads?

12.   deadteddy8
2005-11-11 13:18

12.  Roger was born in Spitalfields the 21st of August, 1992, on the cobblestones between the Cat O' Three Heads and Mr. Sanyal's sandwich shop. It was said his mother was a lady of the night, known only known as Sarah. She died in childbirth; his father could have been Charles or Philip. Authorities set out to find his mother's closest living relation. The best they could do was her distant cousin, a childless widower living in Costa Mesa, California. Imagine Stanley Crowder's surprise when he picked up the phone one September night and a voice with an English public school accent asked if he would take in his cousin Sarah's orphaned boy.

13.   Score Bard
2005-11-11 13:43

13.  The old comments aren't deleted, they're just, um, not converted to the new format yet. I'll get them back up, eventually. So no, I don't plan to delete any comments, unless they're spam.

14.   For The Turnstiles
2005-11-11 15:59

14.  What is

The cover for /Tim Salmon in America/ is a photograph taken late in the afternoon, a photograph of the Willie Mays statue near San Francisco's McCovey Cove.

15.   Humma Kavula
2005-11-11 16:48

15.  What is

He pulled the red ballcap over his head, his salty hair poking out beneath the brim. Dark glasses rested on the brim. His ill-fitting uniform, stretched too tight over his prodigious belly and ample undercarriage and sagging too loose in the shoulders and thighs, piched him awkwardly. He sighed heavily. Where was he? Cleveland, he thought. It must be Cleveland. As he trudged up the ramp to the visitor's dugout. Pain throbbed in his knee, his shoulder, his stomach, his brain. Taking his seat next to the manager, he looked at the field, filled with healthy young men who weren't born when his playing career had ended, and Tim Salmon wondered why baseball -- the great game he always loved -- could not see fit to love him back.

16.   Voxter
2005-11-11 23:07

16.  When it occured to him that his son might have a talent for the thing, his first instinct was to drown the boy's desire like a runt puppy. There had been money in it, but -- was it worth the pain? Not the mental pain, because that could always, pay off you know -- no, the sheer physical pain? Those joints, bone on bone, that disgusting grinding? The nights throwing up from the visceral impact of a tendon popping in half? The boy would have money. Salmon had seen to that. Did he need the agony of it all? He spit in the dirt and reached out to touch his brother's arm.

"Why don't you sit down?" he said, eyeing the grill. "I woke him up early this morning. The playoffs and all."

17.   Voxter
2005-11-11 23:08

17.  Please ignore syntactical mistakes in the above.

18.   Voxter
2005-11-11 23:09

18.  Okay: What is,

When it occured to him that his son might have a talent for the thing, his first instinct was to drown the boy's desire like a runt puppy. There had been money in it, but -- was it worth the pain? Not the mental pain, because that could always pay off, you know -- no, the sheer physical pain? Those joints, bone on bone, that disgusting grinding? The nights throwing up from the visceral impact of a tendon popping in half? The boy would have money. Salmon had seen to that. Did he need the agony of it all? He spit in the dirt and reached out to touch his brother's arm.

19.   Voxter
2005-11-11 23:26

19.  *sorry, I suppose it's against the rules to submit two, but I like this one better*

Different from this far away. I used to play short you know. But I been out here long enough to know I aint catchin that one. Fuck fuck. Cmon Anderson you cunt. Darrin woulda had his hands on that shit. I got it I got it. Dont touch it cunt I got the good arm. It caroms off the wall into my gove. Anderson pulls up to watch me. I give it all the brute force I got. I can see Chavez trying to go three. Adam takes it like its a free giveaway at the goddam Safeway and pegs it over to whats that guys name . . . Houston? New Fuckin Orleans? Somethin McSomethinorother at third. And hes out. See I told you Garret. I got the good arm. Three outs. Time to hit you know.

20.   argosy
2005-11-12 00:41

20.  What is

Anaheim! Anaheim, where half-caught breath once thrummed on summer winds. Where new-mown grass had smelled of promise, and peanuts tasted of victory. Men had been legends, then, and monkeys myth. The gnarled old man in the battered red cap stood amongst the ghostly ruins, dwarfed by the oversized A. He squinted through the glare of the angry sun, just able to discern the letters, "LOS AN ELES." Anaheim! Was it only imagination? Had there ever really been such a place?

?

21.   Joe
2005-11-12 01:03

21.  What is...

The heat and the constant travel was starting to wear on him. His showing at Bakersfield was a good start. The performance he gave in Stockton was encouraging. The error in Rancho Cucamonga wasn't. And now, here he was baking in the summer sun in Palm Springs. Twenty years ago in this very desert oasis, Tim Salmon found himself a top prospect in the California Angels organization, but he never remembered it being this hot. The August sun was blurring the bus trips in Visalia, San Jose and Lancaster all into one giant ride. The noise outside of the bus broke his spell. The crowd was cheering his name. The fans always loved him, but you couldn't deny the irony. During his successful baseball career, Salmon never received enough votes to be named to an All-Star team, but in his new life, the votes came seemingly all too easy. As Governor Salmon – or "Mr. November," as the Orange County Register dubbed him – stepped out of his bus, he was overwhelmed with the support of the crowd.

"Four more years! Four more years!"

?

22.   Nick from Washington Heights
2005-11-12 09:17

22.  What is:

"Tim, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Tim-oh-thee: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three. Tim. Oh. Thee.

He was Tim, plain Tim, in the morning, standing six feet three in one stirrup. He was Timothy in baseball pants. He was Salmon on the dotted line. But in my arms he was always Tim Salmon, right fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Did he have a precursor? He did. In point of fact, there might have been no Tim at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial rightfielding slugger (Chilli Davis). In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Tim was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a baseball fan for a fancy prose style.
?

23.   Score Bard
2005-11-12 11:02

23.  I'm really enjoying this category.

I'm judging this one by basically asking which paragraph makes me most want to read the rest of the book. And on that basis, the winner is: Derek Smart. The board is yours, Derek. Please let me know when you finish the rest of the book.

Also, props (but no points) to Turnstiles for using a "Trout Fishing in America" reference. Unfortunately, the first paragraph of "Trout Fishing in America" refers to the book itself instead of to the character called "Trout Fishing in America". If someone had used the phrase "Tim Salmon in America" as a character name, that someone might have won, because the way Brautigan played with language like that just tickles me.

24.   Vishal
2005-11-12 11:08

24.  derek's was awesome.

i really liked joe's answer as well.

25.   Derek Smart
2005-11-12 11:32

25.  Many thanks, sir. Expect a manuscript sometime in December, 2047.

Let's go with Subjective for 1000.

26.   Joe
2005-11-12 12:29

26.  Thanks Vishal.

Derek, that was brilliant. This category rocks!

27.   Sam DC
2005-11-12 15:39

27.  Ahh, I saw Derek's this morning and thought, alas, so close, yet so definitely not going to win. Great, great stuff.

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