And thanks to the Roman rhetorician and writing teacher par excellance Quintillian for making something I find so fun "classical" and totally acceptable!
Washington Post Style Invitational:
Rewrite some banal instructions in the style of some famous writer
I'm not at home, or I'm asleep,
But do not fret, and do not weep.
Just leave a message at the beep,
Just leave a message at the beep.
-- Robert Frost
(Paul Dudley, Ellicott City)
Remove this tag!
-- pillow warning, rewritten by Abbie Hoffman
(Charles Havekost, Vienna)
And the winner of the shotgun shell salt and pepper shaker:
O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke,
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from Heavens yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about.
-- by William Shakespeare
(Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)
First you lather. Okay. Then you rinse. Then what do you do? Repeat. So you lather and rinse. And then? Repeat. It says so! So you lather and rinse . . . and when does the madness stop?
-- Jerry Seinfeld
(Bird Waring, New York)
Well, to wake up this morning, set alarm to on.
I said, to wake up this morning, set alarm to on.
Then when it rings, press snooze until it's gone.
-- B.B. King
(Jeff Seigle, Vienna)
Sometimes a cigar is just a carcinogen. -- Sigmund Freud
(Joseph Romm, Washington)
A gauzy Skein of Propylene --
That sways with slightest Breath --
This bag holds smocks -- and Bread and Milk
But -- in its folds -- lies Death.
It sways and puffs -- this Thistledown, Balloonlike in its joy --
Each tiny mouth a perfect fit -- This bag is not a toy.
-- Emily Dickinson
(Jim Roy Wilson, Washington)