Thursday, September 22, 2005

Quiz -- answered.

Q. What do Bill, Harriet, Olivier and Conrad have in common?
A. They are all bird brained.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

55 words only? Are you sure?

Megha tagged me for the 55 word story. First, an explanation of the tag. When tagged, a blogger is supposed to somehow, rather magically, find talent and narrate a story in 55 words or less. You know what I think? I'll tell you what I think. I was the original inspiration for Beatles' beautiful song The long and winding road. I have never been able to do anything succinctly. In my halcyon days, if, for example, my English teacher (yes, I was formally instructed in the language, contrary to popular belief) asked me to write a precis of a complex poem (Jack and Jill), my version routinely turned out to be longer than the original source. See, I have done it again! Instead of saying that I can't convey a message in anything that consumes less space than a whole CD-ROM, I came out all words.

But I do know two very short stories, which I will narrate shortly. But first, a small detour.

Senthil, a dear friend, a co-cynic, and a person who I regularly go for a pint with (and get him drunk enough to make him pay for mine as well), pointed me to this website. You enter your name, and the Cyborg name generator tells you what would you have been called had you been a Cyborg, or if your parents had been doing industrial strength hemp when they named you. Here are some samples (Gina, Kakkar and Shrik are other co-cynics of mine):

SENTHIL - Synthetic Electronic Neohuman Trained for Hazardous Infiltration and Learning
GINA - Galactic Infiltration and Nullification Android
KAKKAR - Kinetic Android Keen on Killing and Accurate Repair
SHRIK - Synthetic Humanoid Responsible for Infiltration and Killing
ANURAG - Artificial Networked Unit Responsible for Accurate Gratification

Back to short stories. My favourite is the one which describes a whole scenario in 11 words:

"Whiskey bottles, brand new car. Oak tree, you're in my way!"

This is a line from one of the best songs, That smell, by the great band Lynyrd Skynyrd. The song is based on a true incident when the lead guitarist Gray Rossington, driving drunk, lost control of his new car and smashed through a parking lot into an old oak tree. For me, this is the ultimate short story.

My second favourite short story is from the song Down to the waterline by Dire Straits. I consider it to be one of the most romantic songs composed by the group. These lines represent the art of imagery not usually associated with rock music:

No money in our pockets and our jeans are torn...
Your hands are cold, but your lips are warm.

This, ladies and gentlemen, are two most romantic lines I have ever heard crooned. A whole story presented in 19 words!

An now, my own attempt at this ridiculous thing:

"I know it was the easy way out, but I would have lost to him in the finals anyway. Have you noticed how he dominates everyone? We also have feelings!"
"I understand, Andy. Remember, America still loves you. I would love to talk more, but our time's up."
"Thanks, doc. I'll see you next Monday."

There, in 55 words!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

For sale, sparingly used

Let it be known that on September 9, 2005, a Friday, I experienced an epiphany. I realized that some people, smarter people, have already traded their souls for various things in return and it is my time now. I therefore, have this offer to make. Mr. Devil, or whoever was the heir to prince of darkness (Prince of darkness, junior?), I would like to sell my soul to be able to do things the way this man does. I know, I know, I should get in the queue.

My wife was greatly disillusioned today. She has been asking me to wake up early in the mornings for many days now. But for some strange reason I am not able to bring myself to open my eyes before 7:45 AM, no matter when I sleep. But today I woke up, without the help of an alarm, at 5:00 AM and drove to my office (at home I don't get Ten Sports, which is covering the US open) to watch Federer send another reasonably strong person to the shrink in less than 100 minutes. Honey, I am sorry. I will try to wake up early every morning that Federer plays.

Short of spitting on Federer, Nalbandian tried everything to upset the Swiss' rhythm. He has great self control. Nalbandian, I mean; I would have spit. Nalbandian is definitely not a bad player at all, but all he could do today was act as the ball machine for Roger (yes, we are now on a first name basis). I once read in a sports magazine that Roger seems to keep his top gear for some special occasion. I will tell you what that special occasion is. Me, if POD Junior reads this post. As such I don't use my soul very often, so I might as well put it to some use. If you are reading, Mr. Junior, call me.

Monday, September 05, 2005