UPDATED; July 18 – Today the contest winners and many of the fine runners up go on display at Elliot’s Fair Grounds in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk, Va.
Fair Grounds is on the second floor of 806 Baldwin Ave., at the corner of Colley and Baldwin avenues. If you’re at the Starbucks, you are incorrect. Please cross Colley Avenue to Fair Grounds as briskly as the traffic allows.
Do not look back. If you make eye contact with Starbucks, you will taste like smoldering wood.
Thanks again to all at Fair Grounds, as well as the other sponsors listed below, including Naro Expanded Video and Local Heroes. And a big thanks to Jay Walker, a great Rhode Islander, for sharing gift certificates and movie rentals with the second and third place winners. They live in Hampton Roads and will be able to use them.
As far as I know, Walker and I are the only folks who can rock our Local Heroes tees while slugging a Del’s from our Fair Grounds mugs and simultaneously appreciating the New England Pest Control (now Big Blue Bug Solutions) bug as we hurtle along I-95 South.
If only for now.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — I am not a political person, at least not since my six vote loss in 1977 to Bootsy Collins in a bitterly interfunkular election to become recording secretary of P-Funk.
My memory is not what it used to be, and I was four at the time, and this may just be some Funkadelic fan fiction I’m remembering, or simply a thing that is not true because a lie is merely the purposeful application of what accuracy is not, but I seem to remember George Clinton’s support for Bootsy over me came down to delivery of enough Parliamentary votes to pass the Rent Act, which led to protected tenancy in England and Wales.
Though I certainly respect the rights of protected tenants of U.K. dwelling houses, this was not what I had in mind when I boarded the Mothership, thank you very much.
So was I outmaneuvered in my pretend youth by a fabulous bassist? All of us are, always, even still. Do I write self-indulgent, off-topic ledes? Ahem. Am I political? No, no, no.
Which is why I need to get some business out of the way before announcing this year’s Fortune Cookie Fortune Writing Contest winners, while preemptively directing my Republican friends to the comments section below. It was writer Connie Sage, not I, who delivered these fortunes, which work together, but did not win:
Had Sage won the competition, and should the election (Novemberish, I hear) go otherwise, the mountain of predictive credibility that is this blog would crumble. Additionally, she might have picked her own book as a prize, which would have meant that many months ago she effectively signed a first-edition copy of her book for herself, and so the universe would have little choice but to fold into itself, obliterating life on earth and possibly some other planets we don’t care about as much as certain works by Stephen Spielberg might lead you to believe.
I submit to you, gentle reader, that we have averted disaster and, frankly, saved this world and countless others.
Still, we have only the here and now, and the knowledge that prizes include a gift certificate and mug from Fair Grounds Coffee on Colley Avenue in Norfolk and a gift certificate and extra-large tee – plan your diet or weight gain accordingly – from Local Heroes on Colonial Avenue in Norfolk, as well as movie rentals from Naro Expanded Video on Colley Avenue and these autographed books:
- Norton Girault’s short story collection Out Among the Rooster Men
- Dana Heller’s Hairspray, a study of the film by John Waters
- Connie Sage’s biography Frank Batten: The Untold Story of the Founder of the Weather Channel
- Two copies of Tim Seibles’ new poetry volume Fast Animal
- Wells Tower’s short story collection Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
And which election does Sage mean? The upcoming U.S. presidential election? Perhaps, but are we sure? When we make such assumptions, as certain musicians may have done, let’s say, when choosing as their recording secretary a bassist who was actually a contributing member of their collective over a four-year-old New England boy who was not really there at all because the opening anecdote is not a true thing, who really wins? And how can I properly thank this year’s judges – my sister Cate Doucette, my wife Cortney Doucette, and writer Tom Robotham, who voted for the finalists without knowing the names of the writers/artists? And how do I get out of this intro, already?
Say, dig these speculative meeting minutes from Clinton’s 1981-1982 Computer Games sessions:
Chairman Clinton called the meeting to order aboard the Funk Mothership. The roll was taken. Sub Woofer and Clip Pain were absent. Quorum confirmed.
Under old business, Capt. Draw moved that “Man’s Best Friend” and “Loopzilla” should be merged into a monumental track topping twelve minutes and ultimately released as a 12-inch single. Maruga Booker seconded.
Clerk Sir Nose D’voidafunk called the funk before the funk called him. The motion passed, 44-0-2. P-Nut Johnson abstained. Dennis Chambers was too busy making the goddess of time herself reset her celestial watch to care. Drumroll …
A brief note about the prizes: Since the first place winner hails from the Ocean state, I may have to adjust the first place prize package a bit. When Mr. Walker and I hammer it out, I’ll update the post.
For those keeping track, a Virginian has yet to win this contest. Boy.
Here are some other great entries, including honorable mentions that were also on judges’ scorecards.
Thank you. I think we’ll do this again next year.
And if anybody wants to buy me the Bootsy Collins shower curtain, I am into that idea a lot.
Playing us out is some prime Eddie Hazel on a song the writer Greg Tate called Funkadelic’s “A Love Supreme” (FYI, language) …