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[Closed] Summer Contest Challenge #8: The Wonder Years
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Jul 23rd 2007 edited

Well, guys, it's our last week in the contest. This challenge comes from Joseph, (coupjoe), who won last year's iPod contest. Thanks, Joseph, for contributing!

Pick a character and describe their childhood.

Judging criteria:

Responses are to be evaluated on the following:

  1. Overall impact
  2. True to characters
  3. Appropriate to challenge prompt
  4. Creativity


  • Deadline for submitting entry #8 is midnight PST, Sunday, July 29
  • Voting for challenge #8 begins Monday, July 29
  • This thread is for challenge topic and entries only; please go to the contest description thread for questions/discussion.
  • No Editing Allowed on entries once submitted. Double-check word count (250 word max) and content before posting.
  • Please review contest description for other details.
Jul 23rd 2007
The curly-haired four year old girl with the bright smile toddled over to the ringing telephone with her mother’s encouragement and picked it up.

“Beesly residence. This is Pammy.”

Her mother beamed proudly. “Very good, sweetheart. Now hand it to mommy.”

From an early age, Pammy Beesly showed signs of her future career in reception, or as she called it, becoming a “reptionist”. Her parents encouraged her to develop this talent: she would sit between them while they watched television at night and when she’d see a certain pensive look in her mother’s eye she’d nudge her father and say, “Mommy wants to talk to you. Putting her through.”

After teaching her how to answer real phones, they later installed an intercom system so she could learn the basics of forwarding calls.

“Hidey-ho, this is Daddyo,” her father would answer.

Her mother, leaning down to be eye level with little Pammy, would explain, “Now tell him it’s still you.”

“Still me,” Pammy said gleefully into the intercom and then turned back to her mother. “But why?” she asked one time.

“It will become clear later. This book I bought about developing reception talent stressed that we do this exercise.”

“Oh okay.” She hugged her mother. “Is it alright if Timmy comes over to play?”

“Sure thing, sweetheart. But remember, don’t tell him you like to play with him. Just let him talk to you, let him hope and wonder.”

“Is that another skill to be a reptionist?”

“The most important.”
Jul 23rd 2007


Phyllis dropped to the grass next to Andrea and covered her eyes with her arm. “I’m glad we won’t be coming back here again!”

Andrea rolled to her stomach. “Pine Forest? It’s pretty.”

“Cheerleading camp. Why does it always have to be in the summer?”

“Oh, come on.” Andrea peeled blades of grass off of her sweaty skin and flicked them at her friend’s face. “You’ll miss it.”

“Nope.” Phyllis spat a blade of grass off her lip and rolled onto her stomach, too. “I’m done with this whole high school thing. I’m so glad we graduate this year.”

“True,” Andrea said, gazing across the field at a guy in white shorts with a clipboard. He caught her eye and dropped it. “It’s a lot easier to get in with the counselors when you’re eighteen…”

Phyllis followed her gaze. “Give it up,” she said. “Gay.”

Andrea pouted. “They aren’t all gay!”

“Right,” Phyllis said. “The women are straight.”

“Ha ha.”

Phyllis returned to her back. “How can you even think of that right now? It’s so hot! The thought of kissing someone or actually hooking up… after practicing all day… Ugh!”

“You’d never notice with the right guy,” Andrea said.

Phyllis stood and brushed herself off. “Well, unless that guy comes with a walk-in refrigerator, he’s the wrong guy. I’m going to take a shower. See you at dinner?”

Andrea turned to look back across the field. “Maybe.”

“Gay!” Phyllis called back as she walked away. “Michael’s gay!”

Jul 24th 2007

Angela Martin didn't have many friends growing up. Instead, she spent her free time with her cats. Concerned about this, Angela's dad Freeman decided to take action. He used to know a guy that taught lessons to misbehaving children, but J. Walter Weatherman moved to California awhile back. A friend referred Freeman to a man who recently moved to Scranton. The man, a musician, agreed to take Angela's favorite cat Daisy for two weeks, to break Angela's attachment.

Two weeks later the man went to return Daisy. Besides Daisy, he also carried on his bicycle three pizzas topped with mounds of beets that an area farmer hired him to make for his grandson, who will have to eat the pizzas in one sitting as punishment for eating the 'money beets' from their beet stand. The man rang the doorbell, but there wasn't an immediate answer. He set the pizzas down and walked around the house. Hoping a neighbor found Daisy, Angela opened the door, but instead saw the pizza boxes. There was a post-it note on top, which simply said, "Daisy." Angela was confused until she opened one of the boxes, saw some strange crimson matter, and shrieked in horror. Just then the man walked around the corner carrying Daisy to give back to her.

While her terror lasted only a moment, the damage was done. Since that day Angela hasn't eaten meat, nor has she figured out why Dunder Mifflin's quality assurance representative has always looked strangely familiar.

Jul 24th 2007


Elective: Archery, Mr Collins -- A
Enthusiasm sometimes outshines skill; a delight to have in class nonetheless.

Mathematics, Mrs Stupinsky -- B
Shows facility with adding and multiplication, but has difficulty grasping the utility of fractions and claims that subtraction is for people who lose things.

Reading, Ms Rassmussen -- B+
Dwight reads well above his grade level, but loses interest when subject matter strays from Orcs or Heroes’ Blades.

Writing, Ms Rassmussen -- A
A very imaginitive child. There is some question as to whether Dwight can distinguish between fiction and reality.

Social Studies, Mrs Leibermann -- B-
Dwight proved very good at grasping abstract concepts, but displays a disturbing affinity for fascism and eugenics.

Science, Mrs Frink -- B
Dwight shows unbounded curiosity, especially about corrosive chemicals and lasers.

PE, Mr Hardrock -- C
Dwight tries hard, but has an unfortunate tendency to threaten violence when losing. No facility whatsoever for team sports due to repeated attitude problems.

Home Room, Miss Liddlebrook -- B
Dwight is wonderful during class time, but has difficulty during recreation and does not play well with others. Miss Liddlebrook has noticed in particular that Dwight has developed a rivalry Tim Studdard, another boy in class. Dwight appears unable to tolerate Tim’s teasing and usually retaliates with brute force or tattling, sometimes both. When Dwight was made Assistant to the Hall Monitor, it was found that he had used his authority to give Tim unwarranted detentions, apparently in retaliation for complex pranks.

Jul 25th 2007

Signatures in Jim Halpert’s senior yearbook, Scranton High Class of 1995:

Jim!!! I’m SO honored to be the first to sign your yearbook!!! We’re finally graduating, can u believe it!!! U have been such an AMAZING friend these last four years, I don’t know how I could have made it through high school without you! Your such a GREAT guy and your friendship means SO MUCH to me!!!!! Thank you for always being there and giving me someone to talk to and a shoulder to cry on – You always made me laugh :) :0 ;) I hope you find that special someone soon, YOU deserve it!! Give me a call this summer – U know the number! LUV always, Kim

Hey cutie, here’s to the funnyest guy I know, we had so much fun in homeroom! Your a great friend, good luck at everything, Amy

Jaime, realmente gocé el tener de usted en mi clase española. Buena suerte en el futuro. Señora Schmidt

HALPERT! Dude! Class of 95 RULZ! Heres to Coach Fredericks porn stache, victory over Carbondale, hittin the free throws against Dunmore, bonfires at the lake, stealin Rolling Rocks from Uncle Ed’s basement, KEGGER at Rockdog’s pad, shots at the Homecoming dance, and Friday night cruizin in the Tercel. Sorry things never worked out with Kim but get over it, Scranton High chicks SUCK. Heres to getting LAID in college and remember our pact – be livin large at the 10 year reunion – anywhere but Scranton! Your bud, Mark

Jul 25th 2007

Yo Diary,

Ok, today started out totally rad. I didn’t study for that Spanish test at all and aced it—no problemo. I don’t get why Finch studies all the time. He’s such a dweeb. Gah! Sometimes I wonder why I let him hang around. When I told him I hoped that the bodacious Brenda would be at the dance he asked me what I liked best about her. Boobs, duh! He said something about her seeming nice and congenital, blah blah. Maybe he’ll catch a clue someday. So anyway, Mom made my favorite dinner of ham & yams…sweet! Then the dance. Sadie Hawkins, but I went stag. Wore my white suit & shoes (of course)—teal blue shirt, white tie. I was smokin! When the DJ started to play Physical I knew it was my chance to impress one honey in particular. I threw myself into the music, whipping out my coolest moves and noticed the floor clearing around me. It was bitchin! The music stopped and you could have heard a pin drop in the place. I caught Brenda’s eye across the room and she looked totally amazed! The girl was mine! But I had to take a piss really bad and when I came back I asked around and found out she had split with her “date”—some guy from another school. Hey, dorkface, thanks for ruining what could have been the greatest night of my entire life. His name was—get this—Toby. What a stupid name.

Jul 25th 2007

His upbringing was idyllic, and everything always went right for him. Without fail. He was born a happy and healthy baby. His parents loved him, and each other. His older brothers looked out for him, and he looked out for his younger brothers. They tussled as brothers will do, but it was all out of love, and they are still very close. He was very popular all the way through school, and was always Class President without having to try very hard. His grades were good; they could have been better, but he was fine with them. His teachers got frustrated with this, but they couldn’t stay mad at him. He was attractive: always had girlfriends, and the other girls all had crushes on him. He was always fit and athletic: All-State in three sports in high school. He was the Homecoming King, the Prom King, and won all the Senior Superlatives as a junior. He won a scholarship to college, and was just as popular there. He always knew what to say, and always knew to jump ship. Overall, a very smart, handsome, incredibly successful guy.

That Josh Porter. What a bastard.

Jul 25th 2007

You gave me a challenge prompt, and I gave you a pen

In the middle of Ohio, Jim Halpert sat on the bleachers, barely listening to the ceremony going on around him until Andrea Hill, the valedictorian, took the stage. As the rest of the attendees attention withdrew to the parties ahead, his grew in appreciation. A few days later, he went for it and got the date.

For Andrea it took a half hour for her amazement of Jim to kick in. His ability to deal with the uncertainty of the future was a powerful magnet. In this same half hour JIm decided to dedicate himself to giving Andrea the greatest summer of her life. All went well until, as summers go, the heat waned, and with it so did naivety's ability to pull the wool over reality's eyes.

For Jim, trouble had been brewing long ago. Andrea had won a scholarship to Harvard, and was getting heavy pressure from her mother who, as always, was focused more on herself then her daughter. Sadly, by the time Andrea let Jim on to this fact, it was too late, the relationship's fall from grace was swift.

Jim stood on the football field where it all began, going over the summer in his head. He took a long breath, content that if anything, he made himself a better man, and that someday, there would somewhere be someone else to love, and besides, his uncle had just gotten him a paper company job that might serve as some sort of distraction from himself.

Jul 27th 2007

As the clock on the pastel wall ticked away the minutes, Mr. Palmer snored in a wicker rocking chair, slumped uncomfortably in his sleep. A key jangled in the lock on the front door; he stirred. Mrs. Palmer crossed the room and brushed his cheek gently.

“Arthur? Wake up.”

He opened his eyes sleepily and shifted into a more comfortable sitting position. The chair creaked with the movement.

“Morning,” he mumbled, almost inquisitively.

“No, dear, it’s only just eleven,” she whispered, moving to the crib against the opposite wall. Even in the dim light spilling into the nursery from the hall, Arthur could see a soft smile on the corner of his wife’s lips. “How’s she doing?” Her smile melted into a slight frown.

“She’s fine, Liz. She’s been asleep for almost two hours; her fever went down around eight.” The smile returned to Elizabeth’s lips, and was mirrored in Arthur’s.

“Did you give her the medicine that I left on the changing table?”

Art’s smile faded, replaced by a look of confusion.

“What medicine?”

“You didn’t give her the medicine?!” Elizabeth hissed, careful to keep her voice down.

“Yeah, I did,” he replied, lifting the small bottle from the changing table, “but I didn’t give her this.” The weak light couldn’t hide the flush that rose to Elizabeth’s face.

“Then what did you give her?” she demanded.

Arthur mumbled something that, were it not for Elizabeth Palmer’s exceptional hearing, would have been quite indiscernible.

“You gave Meredith NYQUIL?!”

Jul 28th 2007 edited


Jul 28th 2007

I do not think that is funny

“Boy have you lost your mind? You better turn that music down or Stevie Wonder himself could walk in this pig sty of a room, he couldn’t help you. Mabel, where’d that boy get money for records anyhow?”

Stanley Hudson rolled his eyes and buried his head in a crossword as his father’s voice trailed off down the hall.

“Superstition” blared from his quadraphonic stereo speakers as he checked his afro in the mirror. Groovy, as usual. And the beaded suede vest he convinced his mom to buy looked even better than on the dude in the Sears catalogue. Just 14, he was a regular Superfly, he thought.

In two hours his best friend and band mate Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington would swing by. Freddie’s mom was driving them to see Marvin and...Stanley fumbled for the tickets in the pocket of his wide-collared pink shirt to see who was opening...The Jackson 5. Never heard of them.

No matter. He could sing sweet as Smokey, and Freddie was a wiz on the skins. Soon, they’d be the ones on stage.

He wasn’t gonna be no paper-pusher like his old man, no sir. Stanley Hudson had soul no 9-to-5 gig could contain. No way he’d waste his days working for the man when he could be struttin’ it on the ghetto.

“You gonna stare at yerself in the mirror all night or are you gonna help your mother set the table? I swear, Mabel, that boy done lost his mind.”

Jul 28th 2007

Sorry it took so long to post, but ya'll are too cool having included one of my questions.


Not everyone who has been raised by wildlife regrets trying to be integrated into a normal 20th century lifestyle.
There was once a young lad born to tree-hugging hippies and accidentally left in the wilderness at the age of 2 months. He was raised by beet eating, kung-fu fighting, interplanetary battlestar galactic bears that affectionately referred to him as Grroar. At the age of 2, he was found by a park ranger. That ranger was quickly mauled by Grroar. But at age 3 he was easily tricked by a different ranger and trapped in a cardboard box. From there he was sent to an adoption agency, and then went to live with the Schrute clan on a failing beet farm. Dwight, as he was renamed, knew so much about beet farming that one season after being adopted, the Schrute beet farm had its first year in the black. He single-handedly saved the Schrute family and still to this day has no idea that he is really only half-Schrute and the other half Black Bear.

Jul 29th 2007

Mr. O’Doolin stood in front of his class of sixth grade boys, “Good morning, class. Today I will be teaching you sexual education.”

Young Michael Scott raised his hand high in the air.

“Yes, Michael?”

“This sensual education… Will we be learning about sex? Because my mom talks about it all the time, but I have no idea what it is. The one time she tried to explain, her demonstration gave me nightmares about broomsticks and donuts for weeks.”

“Actually, Michael, it’s sexual education, and the word sex derives from it, so, yes, we will be learning about sex today.”

“Thank goodness. Will we be learning about hotdogs and hallways? My stepdad does a lot of hotdog throwing, according to my mom. I think he used to be some kind of circus performer. My mom suggested he call himself “The One Trick Pony” for his act, but I think his circus days are over.”

“Well, hopefully we can clear up some of those questions, for you. Now, let’s start with… Yes Michael?”

“Do you have to take some kind of medicine to play sex? I heard my mom tell my stepdad she had run out of her prescription. Then they both looked at me, like it was my fault, and we all made a special emergency trip to the pharmacy at midnight.”

Mr. O’Doolin, losing patience, “Look, this would be much more tolerable if you just let me do it myself.”

“That’s what she said.”

Jul 29th 2007

Nighttime Prayers

Dear God,

Thank you for having cheeseburgers for lunch at school today. That meatloaf is gross. And thanks for the Star Wars poster that my teacher gave me. I like her. She tells me how nice I look all the time and she even invited me to her house tomorrow, “just me and her”, for a special meeting. And please help me with my science test. I didn’t have much time to study for it today because Jeff made me wash his car. I don’t like Jeff. Can you please have Daddy come home? Thank you. Amen.

Oh Dear God,

Can you please, please, please find a way to get me those really rad pink Rainbow Brite shoes? I really need them. Oh, and the matching leg warmers, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just know you’ll come through for me. Amen. Oh and cure my sister’s cancer too. Okay, now Amen.

Dear Thor,

Thank you Oh Great One for the bountiful beet harvest. Father says if I continue to work the fields for no less than 14 hours per day, he shall consider buying me my first spud gun. Then I can bring it with me to show and tell and teach old Mrs. Miller a lesson for a change. Amen.

Hey there,

That was you at the bus stop today, wasn’t it? Yeah, I thought so. Listen, gimme my toe back and maybe I’ll stop stealing your newspapers and babies. Think about it.

Jul 29th 2007


  1. I will not shower in the girls locker room.
  2. I will not sell fake report cards to other students.
  3. I will not fake my own death or lie about my name, etc., in order to avoid taking a test.
  4. I will not sell test answers to students.
  5. I will not sell tests to teachers.
  6. I will not steal cafeteria food, even if it is for the homeless.
  7. I will not ‘find’ other students’ lunchboxes and return them for a nominal finders fee.
  8. I will not hire my own substitute teacher.
  9. I will not hire my own substitute student.
  10. I will not grow mung beans or any other plant in my locker.
  11. I will not shower in the girls locker room.
  12. I will not sell fake report cards to other students.
  13. I will not fake my own death or…
Jul 29th 2007

From the archives of Mrs. Hoffmueller’s fourth grade class:

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

by Dwight Schrute

This year, for the first time ever, my cousin Mose and I got to go to summer camp! I didn’t want to go at first. I wanted to stay and help with the beets, but my dad said that it was only for a couple of weeks, and that they would still be there when I got back. Now I’m glad I went, though, because I had a lot of fun. Mose and I got put in the same cabin, and our counselor was nice. His name was Eddie, and he made me an official assistant counselor. That means that I was in charge of things like roll call and making sure everyone knew the day’s schedule. I’d never been in charge of anything before, and it was fun! I tried to get the other assistant counselors to form a “fun squad” with me, to make sure everyone was doing the activities they were supposed to, but none of them wanted to, so I had Mose help me. We got in trouble for using in the life guard chairs by the lake, and some of the other campers were insolent, but mostly we were successful. My favorite activity was the music workshop we had every other afternoon. I learned to play the recorder. When I got home I asked my parents to buy me one. Summer camp rules!

Jul 29th 2007

“Ohmygosh, did you see that guy at the mall? Total look-a-like for Scott Weinger!” Kelly exclaimed. She sat down at her vanity, adjusting her hot pink scrunchie. “Hey, Jess, are you sure about these vests?”
“Totally. I was just reading in Seventeen that crocheted vests are going to be all the rage this summer,” Jessica affirmed. “Aren’t you so excited for the sleepover this weekend?”
“Uh-huh. Are you sure we had to invite Amanda? That girl is so not da bomb.”
“Ugh, I know, but my mom made me invite her. I still can’t believe Chris, like, asked me to go to see Jurassic Park with him on Friday!”
“Ahhh! I know! He’s way cute,” Kelly squealed. “Not that I’m into him or anything. But still! You have a date with Chris Jackson.”
“So awesome!”
The girls collapsed in a fit of giggles on Kelly’s floor. Over the laugher, the strains of “I Saw The Sign” came from the purple boom box on the dresser.
“Hey, Kel?”
“Do you ever think about what you want to do when you grow up?” Jess earnestly inquired.
“I guess. Why?”
“I dunno. I mean, we’re thirteen now. Teenagers. Practically adults.”
“I just want to be able to help people, you know? But I wouldn’t mind just marrying someone rich, like Tom Hanks, and having lots of babies!” Kelly envisioned her perfect family. A handsome husband and four girls and two boys. That would be so tight. Someday. sigh

Jul 29th 2007

first day
“dwight sucks hard.” mother
shrute’s the first to notice this.
she won’t be the last

first lesson
your malfeasence shall
cost you supper young man... now
stop this santa talk.

first grade
“ seems your son’s been
expelling students when the
teacher leaves the room...”

first love
do you like me? check
yes or no... (if no, is it
’cause i told on you?)

first in line
may i have two milks
today, ma’am?...oh, is it
’cause i told on you?

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