Arts and Farts and Crafts – Week 4 – Prison Clouds

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 MSTrox@gmail.com 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’s theme?

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)

Inspiration is a funny thing.  This week it was my turn to pick a theme, and I thought this one was pretty neat.  I sat here and stewed over the prompt, and then I began writing.  I guess what I’m saying is, don’t judge me for coming up with a piece that is all about poop jokes, and which has no tangible ties to the actual prompt.  The piece did spring from the prompt (in some twisted way), but that’s about where it stops.

This is a dialogue, which I may use in the future and may not.  Either way, it’s plain to see that I need to work on the unnatural nature of my dialogue.

Untitled Dialogue

(Phone)

A: How’s summer camp?

B: Stephanie just came into my cabin to talk to me, except I was in the bathroom pooping. It was…

A: Bizarre.

B: …bizarre. It was bizarre. It was bizarre.

A: I know just what you mean. The other day my boss pissed at the urinal next to mine. Started talking about American Idol.

B: Weird.

A: I know. I don’t even watch American Idol, but I had to play along. He’s my boss.

B: Uh huh.

A: Plus, things would have gotten weird if I’d stopped him.

B: He was talking to you while you were urinating.

A: Oh.

B: Weird, right?

A: Yeah. Time and a place, man. Time and a place.

B: Uh huh.

A: What did Stephanie talk to you about?

B: I told her there were alligators in the shower house.

A: That doesn’t make sense.

B: It does not. There were not alligators in the shower house. Just a plumbing problem.

A: Yep.

B: In case you were wondering, alligators do not live at this camp.

A: Yeah, no. I am aware of the alligator situation in central Pennsylvania and it is quite dire.

B: Really.

A: Did it strike you at all to make as many loud farts as possible? You know. End the conversation in one foul swoop.

B: I think you mean ‘fell swoop.

A: No, it would most decidedly be foul.

B: Well I didn’t. I felt self-conscious and stopped.

A: Oh. I would poop extra hard.

FIN

_____________________________________________

Welcome to our newest member, Conor Schaefer, who gives us his first submission!  The piece is called “A Joining,” and it falls in the Short Fiction category.  If you’re looking for a piece inspired by the prompt that doesn’t involve a lot of poop and pee, you’ll be well-met to click this link and read Conor’s fantastic entry.  Here is a brief excerpt, although there is so much more at his site.

Otto Gottlieb is a rusty old lamppost of a man. A lit cigarette in the rain. The ash collects like fallen snow in the crevices of his worn leather jacket and the rain sullies it. He stands articulated on a square in a nonexistent European town, waiting for a bus already come and gone.

He doesn’t want to answer his door. Without peering out the window, he knows the jaguars are walking about on two feet again. In the den, a clay sculpture of a Sphinx is pushed off the mantel and dashes itself against the stone beneath. Its head breaks off, rather than just the nose. Yet again, the universe fails to be as poetic as it could, if it cared.

_________________________________________

Here is my friend Nichole’s piece. She doesn’t have a blog of her own, and I am reposting this with her permission. She takes the most straightforward extension of the theme, and plans to develop this further. Pretty darn good, huh?

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.”

The relative quiet became real quiet as a sudden hush made the skin beneath my fingernails crawl. I looked up from my dog eared college textbook to see a pudgy face pressed against my glass door, lips bloated obscenely against the glass. And was that a wiggling tongue? Well it at least explained my co-workers behavior in the lunch room, and the evidence room, and the records room. Contrary to popular belief FBI agents did not spend their work day hanging from fluorescent lights or chanting about their desire for women. Especially, Alice Cooper. She was six months pregnant with her second child by the same man. Somehow I doubted she wanted women.

The grotesque face pulled away from the glass to show a fairly nondescript man. Shit brown hair, coal eyes, and a green polka dot tie decorated the man, who wasn’t really a man. Okay, so not as nondescript as I first thought, but to be fair his clothing choice was the only thing making him stand out at all. I looked wearily at the textbook before closing it with a loud WHACK. I waved him in and avoided watching him move. He looked human, but didn’t move like one. It always made me a little queasy watching muscles and bones move where there shouldn’t have been either.

One gum covered sole rubbed goo onto my desk and I gave it and it’s owner a look. A chuckle that echoed with hundreds of voices was all I got for my effort. The shoe remained.

“What do you want? And my co-workers?”

Loki shrugged. “They’re enjoying themselves. And we want the usual my nephew.” He smiled widely showing dagger like teeth. “We want you to stop Ragnarök.”

Well it wasn’t every day the god of Mischief asked you to save his life. This definitely topped my captain growing donkey ears during a meeting with NSA.

Next week’s theme is from Nichole.

An amnesiac man wakes up naked standing in the middle of Times Square at rush hour. He doesn’t know how he got there, and his only clue is an iPod strapped to his arm in a runners band. It contains the audiobook of Dante’s Inferno, a jingle for Wrigley’s, every work done by Beethoven, and the sound of a door shutting on an infinite loop.

Sounds pretty straightforward to me.

Entries can be submitted in any medium. The end-date for submissions is Thursday July 10. Be sure to notify me at MSTrox@gmail.com!

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6 Responses to “Arts and Farts and Crafts – Week 4 – Prison Clouds”

  1. Alright Mike! What a great idea to post these online instead of just passing them around on our work e-mail…instead of actually working. What a hard life we have. 🙂

  2. Hahaha, yeah, it’s kind of a sweet job, isn’t it? Glad you’re receptive of my sharing idea. Hopefully you’ll keep pumping up the jams and we can keep posting them!

  3. Pump it up!

    This is a wonderful thing you guys’ve started. Thanks for being such a bro, Mike.

    Hey, I’m drunk commenting!

  4. Hahahaha awesome! I hope you drunkenly read my poop story, too!

  5. Well I think that’s obvious. I tackled Nichole’s piece, too, but was derailed from commenting on it because I read the word Ragnarök and ended up doing my dance.

    I like this game. I am, how you say?, “pumped up.”

  6. […] Here’s Nichole’s entry for this week. It pairs nicely with last week’s entry, and maybe they’ll all come together like in Heroes and save the cheerleader! Okay, I […]

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