Apr 102010

The judge's cat, clearly suffering from intense Aphorism Contest anxiety

Yes, the death threats, the bribes, and blackmail have begun. The pressure on the judge is incredible at this point. How do you decide between one great entry and another? The judge is drinking vodka neat morning til night; he’s taken up smoking; he’s found a bottle of painkillers from his knee surgery (or possibly they are antibiotics for the dog). Nothing helps. He is thinking of just taking all the entry fees and prize money and flying to Mexico til this blows over.

I should add that the People’s Choice contest is a complete mess at this point with a three-way tie. Could someone please go to the post and break the tie?


The Finalists

A loss of face requires more than plastic surgery to fix.
Natalia Sarkissian
Zoloft does more than Nietzsche could
to make you feel neither bad nor good.
William Hathaway
In the egg of procrastination, there is the yolk of fun.
C.M. Mayo
People who live in glass houses understand the greenhouse effect.
Steven Axelrod
A mapped world is always small.
Nina Alvarez
Fuck the ineffable.
Gwen Mullins

  15 Responses to “First Annual Numéro Cinq Aphorism Contest Official Finalists”

  1. The wise cat won’t cross the road!

    • X, accept defeat. Running over a cat that looks like it’s the size of a bear will not help you win the contest. I am handling my rejection more maturely than you even though I’m just a kid.

      • Madeleine, you are absolutely correct. Cat-road-death jokes are inappropriate at this juncture. I admire your maturity. Your ability to accept rejection gracefully means you are 95% of the way to being a writer. X, on the other hand, well…

        This morning the judge asked his cat which entry should win.


        p.s. Which one of the finalists would you pick?

        • I love the greenhouse one.

          • Just a footnote on the process of writing: my other aphorisms I dug out of old stories, chewed and gnawed over, fussed with, revised … the one Doug picked just kind of popped out spontaneously late at night when I was trying to besiege to contest with epigrams, as one might crash a web site with spam.
            The baffling, irksome paradox of writing: the stuff you work on hardest often turns out stilted and self-conscious, while the the work that comes easiest and quickest is also the best. Nabokov calls it “The velocity of intuition.”

          • Argh! I shouldn’t have asked. Now you’ve got me second guessing myself. And you got Steven quoting Nabokov! 🙂

            Er, I mean I would be second guessing myself if I were the judge, but the judge is anonymous (given the death threat problem and the recent comment that seemed vaguely to menace the judge’s cat). I am not the judge.


  2. This is not intended in any way to influence the estimable judge, but Mr. Hathaway’s entry, win or lose, would also make a superb jingle. I can hear it set to a kind of Gregorian chant-like melody. Maybe, for the tv commercial, it could be sung by a group of monks, or priests, or eunuchs.

  3. The suspense is killing us, dg.

    As far as the People’s Choice award, I understand the cat votes for the dog.

    • Is now the time to reveal my indecisive streak?

      Er, I mean the judge’s indecisive streak. I know him/her well.


      • Okay, the judge has ruthlessly narrowed it down to three entries.

        It’s all up to the cat now. The judge wrote out the entries on separate piece of paper and placed them on the kitchen floor with one piece of cat food on each. When the cat comes in from his evening prowl, we will have a winner.


  4. The trouble is that these are all very good. Who’d have thought!


  5. Perhaps we should have a national audience “vote out” one entry every week, after having the entries compete in extreme stunts and bizarre eating competitions.

    • Excellent ideas. We’ll do something like that for the next contest. I’m thinking of something like a One-Day Novel Writing Competition.


  6. A one day novel-writing contest!!! (There’s an aphorism in there somewhere…) Blog on!

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