Saturday, May 16, 2009


This is the inaugural week of a "Saturday Puzzle" for the Friends blog. For the foreseeble future (subject to pre-emption by FRRL business) the blogger will post a word challenge for our devotees. Let us know what you think!

A wordzzle challenge is where you take 10 preselected words and make a short paragraph from them. There is also a mini, where you do the same with 5. And if you're an enthusiast, you can do all 15! If you want more guidance, look here at the blog views from Raven's Nest.

Once you are satisfied with your paragraph, you can post it as a comment to this post, OR, e-mail it to us here.

If you're ready to begin, here are the words.

The words for this week's ten word challenge are:  Green goddess, shampoo, filibuster, please and thank you, Operation Marigold, throw pillows, up the creek without a paddle, spandex, ubiquitous, wedding ring.

Mini Challenge: Skittles, lamb chops, stingray, chagrin, clever devil

And here are the blogger's attempts:

It all started one day when a young Senate page named Phyllis ordered a salad with Green Goddess dressing. “Why not?” she thought. “Back in Dayton I would have never tried something new like this!” A sparkle deep in the romaine caught her eye. Stealthily digging deeper, she was surprised to see a foreign object nestled in the bowl. Understanding the deeper meaning, she glanced around the restaurant, hoping that her actions were unnoticed. She muttered to herself, “my mother always taught me to say please and thank you, but I doubt she envisioned this scenario!” What to do? Leaning back into the throw pillows on the banquette seating, Phyllis pondered the implication. That late night operation Marigold had involved her in, the one with the chef and the banjo player at the National Zoo, was creating complications. Realizing that items such as the one she had found in her salad are not ubiquitous in Washington, D.C. for young women, she pondered keeping it a secret. If she was caught by the sender, it would take her on a path from single Senate page to life in the suburbs. But if she kept it and hocked it, she’d have a nice bit of cash to get her kayak back on the Potomac. She would no longer be up the creek without a paddle. Motioning to the spandex-clad, big-haired waitress, Phyllis momentarily gagged on the wave of herbal shampoo that ran before the waitress like a bow wave. “Yes ma’am? Did you want something?” the girl asked. Phyllis managed to choke out the words, “I’d like to change my order to a Filibuster Burger.” The waitress started to clear the salad. “No!” Phyllis stopped her. “I still want the salad; I just want something more to go with it! And please apologize to the chef for me!” As soon as the waitress went through the doors to the kitchen to put the additional order in, Phyllis threw a $20 on the table, scooped the wedding ring out of the bowl, thrust it deep into her pocket, and headed for the boathouse.


Skittles wasn’t really a bad stingray as stingrays go. He just liked to scare people. They were the ones who had given him the stupid name. They even posted it over the tank at the National Aquarium where he lived. “Skittles the Stingray” it said. All the other stingrays, and even some of the sharks, liked to tease him about it. “So what color are you today?” they’d ask. Or, “what flavor would you be if I bit you on the tail?” they’d taunt. He had just suffered a vicious bout of teasing from them and was thinking about it as he circled the tank. To be honest, he was dwelling on it, nursing it into a little burn of anger, letting the anger fuel his swimming speed. As he swam under the overhead walkway he saw a small child leaning over the tank. Rolling in toward the child, Skittles winked. The little boy smiled delightedly. He pulled on the hand of the adult with him, but she was too busy working an electronic device to pay attention. The boy leaned farther. Skittles looped around and sailed by a second time, winking twice this time. The little boy pulled free of the adult and clapped his hands as his eyes tried to follow the stingray’s path. His fat little arms looked like luscious lamb chops to the clever devil. The third time around Skittles increased his speed and used the bow wave from a passing shark to increase his upward thrust. As he broke the surface, ready to whip the boy with his tail, the adult suddenly looked up, and much to Skittles’ chagrin, grabbed the boy back from the edge. As Skittles sailed through the air and landed with a belly flop back in the tank, he let out a blue sour raspberry, which caused all the fish in the tank to break out in hysterical fish laughter.  The Aquarium had to shut down temporarily as the humans investigated the massive bubbling in the tank.  As the little boy looked back, he saw a rainbow of taste briefly suspended over the tank…and marveled.


The boys outdoor club members assembled for the beginning of Operation Marigold. “Listen up!” the leader cried. “You need to assemble back here in exactly 8 hours with all the items on the scavenger hunt list. If someone helps you, be sure to say please and thank you! None of these items are ubiquitous so you’ll have to be clever devils to get them all. If you fail, the entire group is up the creek without a paddle!” One boy raised his hand, “Sir, when will we have lunch and what will we eat?” The leader roared, Skittles! You’ll eat Skittles! And if you’re lucky, we’ll have lamb chops for dinner!” Much to the boy’s chagrin the leader added, “and thank you, Simon, for focusing on your belly!” Another boy timidly raised his hand. “Sir, what’s the prize for winning Operation Marigold?” “That’s classified, Filibuster!” answered the leader. (That boy’s parents had conceived him during a prolonged stall of action in the Senate when they both worked on the Hill). “Finally, there is a significant penalty for coming back early! Do not be here before 1800 hours! Now get going!” the leader yelled as he climbed into his Corvette Stingray. He carefully removed his wedding ring and adjusted his spandex shorts. The boys wouldn’t be back for eight hours. Plenty of time to shower and shampoo, go to his tent, fluff the throw pillows, and await the Green Goddess, Marigold herself.

This is fun -- try it!



bettygram said...

I liked all three but enjoyed most the second with Skittles the stingray.

Dr.John said...

Welcome to the group.
You wrote the best mini I have seen in all my reading today.
I just loved it.
All your stories were great.
Glad you intend to stick around.

Fandango said...

Three tasty, woops, we mean creative stories. That stingray would make a great breakfast and he isn't very nice. We could catch him on one of his flight outs.
If we were allowed to eat people we would eat the guy in the last story too.
Very creative writing. All the dragons enjoyed.

Raven said...

Welcome to wordzzles! These were fun. I especially love the line about the parents naming their kid Filibuster. Too clever. Have to feel a bit sorry for poor Skittles the Stingray. Glad you've joined in the fun.

Richard said...

Welcome to Wordzzle. The Skittles the Stingray story was delightful. Great imagination.

CJ said...

Very clever use of the challenge words.

Akelamalu said...

Welcome to Wordzzles!

Fantastic stories for your first attempt I have to say. :)

I liked the twist at the end of the first one. At first I thought there was a slug in the salad I wasn't expecting a wedding ring!

I loved the mini too but Skittles was a bit evil wasn't he?

Reston Friends! said...

To all: Thank you for your kind words about my first attempt here. Your comments definitely have my board members taking notice that the blog has 'awakened'! Thank you for that, too!

I'm enjoying looking at all of your wordzzles too! See you next Saturday.

And yes, Skittles is a little bit evil, but then again, he is a clever devil and that lamb chop looked so luscious.

Reston Friends! said...

By our own Charly:
Skittles, a little farm girl with plaits down her back loved to pass the afternoon away fishing in the pond behind the barn. One summer day, while sitting on the bank of this pond, the red & white cork on her cane fishing pole started bobbing up and down. She was so excited as she just knew it had to be a big one. As she slowly pulled up her line so as not to lose it, her imagination wandered as to what tales she could tell on how she caught the 'grand-daddy' of the pond. That old fish had snookered many a fisherman, and she a mere girl was about to pull it in. Imagine her chagrin when she pulled up a baby stingray ...what in the world is that fish doing in this pond! Clever devil that she was, she wondered how in the world did a salt water fish end up in a man made pond in the middle of the farm. As she heard her mother call, she grabbed her pole and high-tailed it home to help her mother fix lamb chops for supper as there'd be no fish on the table this night. The mystery of that fish remains unsolved for another day.

Raven said...

Nice work Charley! Glad you joined in.

Raven said...

P.S. If members of the Reston Friends who don't have blogs wish to do so, they can email their wordzzles to me by Friday morning and I'll include them in my post.