The Weekly Hilarity Contest 5/16 – 5/22/2020

Welcome to the Weekly Hilarity Contest!

Charli Mills, of the free writing community Carrot Ranch, has been posting three-sentence story prompts on the Ranch’s Facebook page using Story Cubes. This last Friday, she used Story Sticks. I have something like that, I thought, recalling a writing prompts book I picked up on discount.

…Hours later, I emerged from my library without the book but with a new idea: a random sentence from an interesting (seemingly random) book from my collection.


Horace Kephart (1862-1931) is the survivalist savvy of Robinson Crusoe, the precise details of an Aspie, and the tact of Donald Trump (or, closer to his time, Andrew Jackson).

Your writing prompt?

  • “…[T]here really is no valid excuse for an able-bodied person going out of his head from being bewildered in the big woods so long as he has a gun and ammunition, or even a few dry matches and a jackknife.”
  • Use it or be inspired by it to write a funny SHORT story.
  • Please keep your response to 200 words or fewer.
  • Remember: make me laugh. I can’t see how you’d go this route, but please also keep things clean.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MDT next Friday (May 22) to enter.

Use the form below if you want. For a more social experience, include your entry or a link to it in the comments. Please let me know if your pingback or entry do not show up within a day.

Put on your laughing cap and get writing!


Photo credits: ©2020 Chelsea Owens

Book quote and section original ©1906 by Horace Kephart

32 thoughts on “The Weekly Hilarity Contest 5/16 – 5/22/2020

  1. Sing out next time you’d like to go camping, Chelsea. I’m sure you’ll be encouraged by this tale of intrepidity.

    Bodied, yes. Able, not so much.

    When I jack-knifed my camper trailer in a place where even the most desperate dingo has never ventured, my first instinct was to adopt the foetal position.
    Cramp eventually encouraged me to survey the damage. Alas my trusty Beetle and my 6 metre fully loaded camper had merged as one, never the twain to separate.
    Recalling the immortal words of Horace, I rummaged through the wreckage until I found my only ‘gun’, complete with ammunition, and felt comforted by the fact that I had a staple diet at hand.
    I also found dry matches and after I’d assembled enough twigs and branches, I looked around for somewhere to strike a match on. I decided the rough canvas on the trailer would be perfect and proceeded to experiment. Unfortunately, I had failed to note that the jack-knifing had ruptured my fuel tank.
    When the Country Fire Service issued me with a coat that tied at the back to keep me warm and choppered me out to answer some pointed questions about the loss of some million hectares of virgin state forest, I couldn’t help but think of those poor souls in quarantine who would give anything to be me right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The big woods can play with your mind. It’s extraordinary how exponentially larger a bear’s mass increases when it’s charging your way. But keeping a cool head, knowing we were adequately equipped: I have a good gun; what’s more, I have the ammo! As backup, I have the good sense to hand the wife the jack-knife and a box of matches; there were the potatoes to peel and she might get a fire going for the pot, and I don’t think she’s noticed the bear yet. You can’t outrun a bear, they said, but you can always get remarried.

    100 words!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m beginning to think this challenge might not be my forte. I’m still competing in the terrible poetry contest

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, Chelsea, I’m gonna stick with what I know. As the bear in the woods says, ‘let the chips fall where they will.’
    Dumber Jack.

    Jack the Lad could barely wait to turn twenty-one,
    To cast his vote, to drive, drink (legal-like) and tote a gun,
    To pick the biggest baddest gun you’ve ever seen,
    To fill the part, just like in that Soldier of Fortune magazine.

    Off out to the woods he went to bag him a bear,
    Or a boar, a duck, a deer, doe or buck, Jack didn’t care ,
    Through thicket underbrush and bosk Jack barged,
    In his blundering search only his smart phone would be discharged.

    As the hot autumnal sun started to wane
    Our huntsman looked for any game, in vain,
    In his ceaseless aim he wouldn’t couldn’t stop-
    Still as graceless as a bull in a china shop.

    There wasn’t a critter to be found for miles around
    As he trampled his way through his unhappy hunting ground,
    Finding fording a stream’s done at a hunter’s peril-
    A cruel cool baptism resulting in splintered stock and bent barrel.

    So, cold, wet, lost in the woods as it grows dark,
    Sat nav and phone flat, but Jack’s quite the bright spark,
    His safety match strikes, the dry leaves catch fire!
    Remains to be seen if anyone finds Jacks funeral pyre.

    200 words, minus the Dumber title.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A mouse took a stroll through a deep dark wood

    Unfortunately Bear Grylls was in the neighbourhood
Eating a mouse is great television, so watch for the trap

    The mouse is caught, consumed in one, the scene is a wrap
Now time for Bear to light a fire with only a wet leaf and knife

    Then tell a story about how he is missing a comfy bed and wife

    Time to build a shelter from just some twigs and his underpants
Now Bear shows how to clean his teeth using some angry army ants
Look to camera and announce its time to hunker down for the cold night
Then jump in the car, head to the warm hotel and really satisfy that appetite.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I dig this! I am trying to get my blog off of the ground and discovered your site. It is impressive and motivating. I shall return! Thank you for creating a spot to inspire fellow writers. Best wishes.
    Suspenders Girl

    Liked by 1 person

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