Play With The Prose II — Challenge #9: Joke

Round nine of head-to-head challenge with Fiction 59 (59-word stories) is a joke … literally! See?

“Hey Moose, did you know there are 10 types of people in the world.”
“Uh…no.”
“Yeah, those that understand binary numbers, and those that don’t!”
“What about the other eight?”
“No, it’s a joke.”
“What the heck’s a binary?”
The last thing Steve could recall as he awoke in the hospital was the fist that pounded him 10 times.
  • This happens to be one of my favorite jokes.
  • Originally the last line mentioned that Moose’s fist interrupted a belly laugh, but I thought number of punches tied in better with the joke. The beating Steve took seems pretty harsh when the laughter is left out.
  • I had been on a mission trip to Joplin, MO (a future post here, I hope) and just got back the afternoon this was due, so not a lot of thought was put into it. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. If I’d thought about it longer, my last line would have been, Steve wasn’t sure if it was the second or the tenth punch that landed him in the hospital.

Continued decline? RESULTS

Submission #1 in this match-up — the judges’ comments:
MATTHEW: I have no idea if the joke in Story 2 was already in circulation, or if it was fresh…but it’s new to me, and it actually made me laugh. Story 1 wasn’t bad at all, but it wasn’t a joke so much as a story about a joke. But Story 2 still would’ve carried this one without my little joke-rule. WINNER: #2

ANDY: You really had me going there, #1, a joke after my own heart (I’m a programmer by day). But unfortunately, the punchline just didn’t reach the heights for me, sorry. Funny, but not hilarious, I guess. #2 constructed a great story-joke. The language flows very nicely, and the punchline hits the spot. It’s so much like a real joke, I feel like you must have stolen it. I’ll assume not, though. Congrats, #2.

Novak – Yup, I’m loving it. I’ve never heard #2, though I feel like I should have. A fantastic, efficient joke-telling. #1 takes a somewhat classic gag, and turns it into more of a story. The descent into the pounding made me laugh again, but I just can’t get past – or maybe I don’t want to – the effectiveness of #2, so that one wins.

WINNER: Sarah Johnson

Time for a winner next week, though — no excuses! Well, maybe one…

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