Arts and Farts and Crafts: Week 3: Heroes

Arts and Farts and Crafts is a weekly artistic challenge. Every Thursday, a new prompt will be posted here on Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude. Then, you will create some sort of media based on the prompt. Is it a rhyming couplet? A ten-page story? A photograph? A drawing? A recipe? Whatever you’d like. As long as your piece of art is a new creation and it’s vaguely inspired by the week’s prompt, it’s in!

To enter, post your entry on your blog. Then, e-mail me at with a link to your entry. I will then make a round-up post sharing your art on my website, as well as the requisite linkage.

This week we worked with a prompt, chosen by my friend Nichole.

“Listen, my friend, there are two races of beings. The masses teeming and happy — common clay, if you like — eating, breeding, working, counting their pennies; people who just live; ordinary people; people you can’t imagine dead. And then there are the others — the noble ones, the heroes. The ones you can quite well imagine lying shot, pale and tragic; one minute triumphant with a guard of honor, and the next being marched away between two gendarmes.”
-Jean Anouilh

I’m not entirely sure what my “sloppy copy” has to do with the prompt, but it’s what came out of me as I was thinking about it.  Like all of the best rough drafts, it’s unfocused and full of loose ends!  Without further doo doo:

Dear Hero Imprisoned

You don’t want to be liked in prison.  Even if you’re the nicest person in the world–the Pope or Ghandi or Ben Affleck.  When one person likes you, all the people that hate that person automatically hate you.  It’s not rocket science, Bromar.  It’s simple math.  The associative property, now with 90% more brutal showerbeatings.  Still, it’s hard to complain about prison.  It’s got a two-to-one ratio of hots to cots.  They give you a bed in prison.  They give you toilet paper.  They treat you better here than in active warzones.  If you’re in Iraq you have to wipe with a cactus or something.

Of course, it’s still not The Ritz.  The latrine is literally one foot away from the bed.  Ask any doctor–you’re supposed to leave a good six-to-eight feet of empty room around the toilet for a truly sanitary bathroom environment.  But, as my endearing cellmate so succinctly put it, “Son, you gon’ get shit in yo’ mouth every day up in here.  What’s a little more?”  Point.  Counterpoint.

If you want to survive prison, you have to look at nature’s survivor–the cockroach.  Roaches have existed through numerous ice ages and extinctions and come out not the worse for wear.  What makes the cockroach such a resilient creature?  Number one:  it eats…well, it eats leaves or something.  I don’t know.  Number two:  it has a really hard shell, so it’s hard to squish.  Number three:  everybody hates them.  So there you go.  Three simple rules.

I live by these rules.  I eat leaves or something.  I have a hard shell.  Everyone hates me.  I am one of the resilient.  I am a cockroach.

Is this how you envision your heroes?  Do you see ignoble, inglorious bastards like me–happy to eat, breed, work, count pennies, and piss?  Or are you enamoured with the traditional vision–the chisel-chinned noble that you can envision lying shot, pale, tragic–one minute triumphant with a guard of honor, and the next being marched away between two gendarmes?

What makes the latter a hero anyway?  Valor?  Unmussable hair?  Expensive designer underpants?  Humbug.  I’m six-foot-tall and a-hundred-eighty-pounds.  I can punch through a wall with my fist.  I’m gap-toothed, ugly as a mug, alive, and well. They’re pretty and pale dead.  In the end, I win.

I’m fairly certain I’m invincible.  I mean, I have not died yet.  Not even once.



My attempts at reason and quiet diplomacy fell on deaf ears as they began to wrap themselves in toilet paper from head to foot and chant “We want women.” I retreated to the relative quiet of my room and read the writing of a monk who lived alone on a mountaintop for thirty-seven years in search of a deeper understanding of the world. His main conclusion, when he came down, was that you can see very far on top of a mountain unless it is cloudy. Imprisoned for his radical ideas, he died several years later in jail. The only writing from this time period that survived is the line: “There are no clouds in a prison.”

-From The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper:  My Life, My Tapes (as heard by Scott Frost)

Entries can be submitted in any medium.  The end-date for submissions is Thursday July 3.  Be sure to notify me at!

6 Responses to “Arts and Farts and Crafts: Week 3: Heroes”

  1. Next week’s prompt was included in your short story with the talking penises. 🙂

  2. I don’t think so, but I could have used it without remembering it. Check it out at

  3. Ok, I messed up! But you have used it previously and it is a wonderful quote (hehe). And your “pee buddy ‘n’ me” is fantastical.

  4. That prompt just exudes Vonnegutian goodness.

    Penis story gets a raging boner review from me, too.

  5. Man, you gotta post a countdown or some shit from week to week. I’m going nuts. I’ll give you till you’re home from work, then start refreshing so often it’ll take your site down.

  6. Hahaha. Posted as of about 2 this afternoon. I have every right to post at 11:59 pm EST if I have to. Especially if we get a lot of people joining up (here’s hoping), it’ll take a little longer. And…well, I think my entry this week is one of life’s little “oopsies” anyway.

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