Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fun With Words at the Mule Barn Truck Stop

For a change of pace from all the serious posts on writing, I am pleased to offer this bit of nonsense from my friend, Slim Randles. While this one might not be laugh-out-loud funny, it is a bit of a groaner. Enjoy...

“I can’t stand winter,” said Herb Collins, who had dropped in at the Mule Barn’s philosophy counter for a quick cup. “There’s nothing to do.”

“Get out and enjoy it,” suggested Doc. “Go skiing. Go ice fishing. Build a snowman. Do something. Then you’ll feel better.”

“I don’t think your advice will take,” said Dud. “Herb seems to be intransigent on this one.”

We all looked at Dud.

"You see, he said he couldn’t stand winter,” Dud continued, “which shows he has a proclivity for intransigence on that particular subject.”

We looked at him some more.

“If he were to take up a winter hobby,” he continued, “he could stop being intransigent and enjoy things more.”

Even Herb was staring at him now.

"I usually,” said Herb, “enjoy a proclivity in that direction, but winter is pretty boring, so maybe I really should be intransigent on this point.”

“Well Herb,” said Dud, “even though you might have a proclivity this season for being intransigent on your attitude about winter, you could kinda ease up and consider a hobby. That way you’d be showing a proclivity for transigence.”

“Transigence?” said Doc. “I thought those were people who lived under bridges. You might want to look that one up, Dud.”

Dud blushed as we laughed.

“Say Dud?” said Steve, the cowboy. “Wasn’t proclivity last month’s word?”

“Yes,” said Dud, “and I believe I’ve used it a couple of dozen times already.”

“And now this month’s word is intransigence, right?”

Dud nodded.

“Well then,” said Doc, “it looks like you are going to have a proclivity for saying intransigence this month. That’s a veritable plethora of proclivity my friend.”

Dud pulled out a pencil and grabbed a napkin.

“How do you spell it, Doc?”

“Spell what?”


We just groaned. Sometimes education can be ugly.
Brought to you by the soon-to-be-announced syndicated radio program, “Home Country.” We thought you should be warned. Slim's Web site where you can find information about his books, his columns and his life as an outdoorsman.
Posted by Maryann Miller, who appreciates that Slim shares his wit and wisdom with the readers of Visit Maryann's Web site for information about her editing services and her books. When she is not working, Maryann loves to play farmer on her little ranch in East Texas.

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  1. Now, Maryann. Should there really be an ellipsis after "enjoy"? You had five dots, and I changed it to three. But mayhaps it should be four dots. Or maybe just a period?

    Let's talk about this, because there is ellipsis madness in the writing world, and we could solve this one small issue for the planet once and for all.

    Or not. :D


  2. Dani,
    I know I'm in the minority, but I do like the good old ellipsis ;-) In this example it leads the reader on a stroll towards the text that follows, lingering on the thought that the writer anticipates the reader's enjoyment.

    Always three dots.

    Blood-Red Pencil

  3. Very cute. I can totally see this as a radio show.

    Straight From Hel

  4. I smile every time I read this Maryann. You're quite right that we sometimes are overly serious in our determination to use just the right word. This little piece adds balance to that unbalanced scale.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.