Thursday, February 07, 2008

Verbal Economy

I read in a magazine that Hemingway once wrote a six-word story.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

What marvelous economy! So much said in spite of being unsaid. As I walked to the train this morning, I pondered how to tell a six-word tale. At work, I challenged Kraiger to come up with his own six-word story.

So far my attempts seem amateurish. I can imply a story, but struggle to complete one. I hope I can come up with one before Kraiger does. Who else wants to give it a try?

You're still here? Wait, don't go!

Heartbroken, she had only his fez.

17 comments:

Don said...

It was dark and stormy.

detroit dog said...

Tornado hits: trees felled, lives lost.

Stormy weather: swampy yard, flooded basement. (Husband and wife: tired, wet, unhappy.)

Men take some getting used to.

Nancy said...

This is all inspired by the release of Memoirville's new six word memoir book. http://www.smithmag.net/memoirville/ where I have that essay up.

I don't know if I'd want to read a whole book of 'em, though.

Ellen said...

"Oh hey, what does this button--"

Steven R. Stahl said...

“I love you, but--I’m dead!”

The universe settled into heat death.

A teary Britney pondered her fate.

“It’s magic! No explanation needed.”

SRS

Ed Ward said...

That last one of Marie's has the idea Hemingway had, I think. It's pretty ordinary til you hit the last word, and then there's a big story you can only imagine.

I'm going to think about this myself...

Marie said...

Thanks. I'm stuck on the idea of the fez, because it implies something strange, exotic, more than just a heartbroken lover. But I know I don't quite have it. There's not just the lover possibility with the fez--there's also a waiter, a friend, a servant. "Come back! You forgot your fez!"

Could be a tourist, a souvenir hunter, a story in wartime Egypt, a quirky Arab friend or lover with cultural questions...

For me, reading the Hemingway one went like this:

"Yeah, whatever, WHOA."

azure said...

Young girl. Fiery night. Forever lost.

Amanda Castleman said...

Cheater, debts unpaid: hanging with Hoffa?

Sorry. Bleak mood. Ax.

Pville Peg said...

Just Three Words: Worst President Ever

LL Beau said...

Over cocktails, an embittered legal student devised this:

Law degree, slightly used, never worn.

Love the presidential one...

Yasir Khan said...

Raw artichokes cause pencil shits. Bummer.

Marie said...

Yasir is so the winner here. That's a complete story, not to mention accurate.

Amanda Castleman said...

Roy Peter Clark is copying you now:

http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=78&aid=136616

Anne-Marie Weeden said...

Similar to Hemingway, this is reportedly a real ad once spotted in a newspaper classifieds section:

For sale: Full set of Golfclubs. Call 555 5555. If a man answers, hang up.

Not quite six words but it made me laugh.

Lynn said...

More than six words, but I heard someone say this:
He choked on a piece of meat alone in his little house.

Miss Expatria said...

She left town; it was raining.