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Friday, January 27, 2012

The Friday Challenge — 1/27/2011

This week in The Friday Challenge:

Henry Vogel begins the promised future column(s), and swings a bit of synergy. • Join the discussion...

Kersley Fitzgerald gets all moony about the future. • Join the discussion...

Allan Davis wins our Catastrophes-R-Us challenge, by pointing out a few bugs in the program. • Join the discussion...

All this and more, as Chocolate Cake Day arrives just when we've shed those unwanted holiday pounds, and the inmates discuss the view from their respective places in the asylum.

It's something in the water...

As of this morning, we have received the following entries for our current challenge:

An enthusiastic “Huzzah” to all who have entered! The judges are considering your submissions, and a winner will be declared by the evening of Sunday, 29 January 2012.

Conan, Icehawk, and Vidad Walk Into a Bar

And now it is time for this week's Friday Challenge, courtesy of Allan Davis:

Okay, FC’ers, time to let it all hang out. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to pick three characters who don’t generally get the chance to hang out together, put them together, and watch for the sparks to fly. They can be mythological, fictional, historical, hysterical, you name it, anything goes.

“I would like to report a stolen...potion,” Snape said, keeping his voice level and calm despite the rage he was feeling at having his most valuable potion disappear out of his home. The muggle behind the desk taking his statement looked like an obvious idiot.

“A stolen potion?” Drebin raised his eyebrows. “Surely you can’t be serious?”

“He’s not serious,” said a voice from across the room, and Snape barely kept the words Aveda Kedavra from his lips. “I’m Sirius. Sirius Black. Nice to meet you.”

“Ignore him,” Snape said to the policeman, in a threatening voice barely above a whisper. “And if you call me Shirley again, I will turn you into a blast-ended skrewt.”

Go for the laughs if you must, but depending on the characters, there can be serious moments, too. Just imagine Bruce Wayne and Bruce Banner attending anger management classes run by Bruce Lee.

You can always reach for the teen angst, too. Picture the scene when Edward Cullen discovers he’s the forgotten love child of Dazzler and Blade (or was that Tinkerbell and Dracula?).

Bonus points: Change characters, keep the actor!

“Welcome to Celebrity Deathmatch!” The announcer waited for the fireworks and cheering to subside a bit. “Today’s match is a no-holds barred battle to the death between Severus Snape and Hans Gruber.”

“Our special guest referee is no stranger to death matches. I’d like to welcome The Honorable Judge Turpin!”

There was the sound of liquid being splashed, and swallowing. “I will be your ring announcer today. I am Metatron, your voice from on high.” He covered up the microphone. “...here serving up my penance for having the nerve to laugh at His platypus design.”

“At least you’ve got a job,” said the color commentator.

“Ah, yes, I’d nearly forgot,” said Metatron. “Here on color commentary, I would like everyone to welcome Alexander Dane, from a long forgotten hit television show that no one seems to remember anymore.”

“Watch it,” Dane said, before returning to his depressed muttering. “I was an actor once. I did Lear. I had three curtain calls. Now I’m reduced to babbling nonsensically about death duels between clay warriors.”

“At least you’re...functional,” Metatron said, sneaking another swig from the bottle of tequila he had hidden under the table. From the tone of his voice, most of the bottle was already gone. “Ken, but with wings,” he said.

“Oh, look, the fight’s starting,” Dane added, with zero enthusiasm.

“Gruber whips out a machine gun. This could be a really short match—no, Snape waved his wand, and now he has the machine gun!”

Dane scoffed. “I wonder how well he could fight with that wand shoved up his—”

“It looks like Severus never learned how to handle a gun! Gruber rolls for cover. Bullets everywhere!” Metatron paused for another sip.

“There go the cheap seats,” Dane added. “No big loss there.”

So...let your hair down. Let the ideas run free (and the blood, too, if the story requires it).

Give those characters a voice. Let Scooby Doo, Dobby, and Gollum argue over who is the best computer-generated character. Watch the fun when He-Man tries to get a date with Penny. Imagine the deep philosophical discussions between Harpo Marx, Marcel Marceau, and Vin Diesel.

And above all...have fun!

Anyone can enter, with no restrictions.

Everyone is asked to vote, and to say a few words about what they liked, and why. Or to say a few words about what they disliked, as the case may be; by submitting an entry, you implicitly agree to accept criticism, because there will probably be some handed out, and no one is immune. When voting, please rank a work as either “0” (not so good), “1” (not as bad), “2” (could have been better) or “3” (pretty good stuff!). If you give either a “0” or “3” vote, feel free to argue in support of your reasoning.

Don't like the negativity? Feel free to think of the levels as “0” (Not bad for a first attempt), “1” (Right on!), “2” (Holy cow, I wanna buy this now...) or “3” (Sweet mother of God, how did you write something this awesome?!!). The point is to clearly differentiate, and rank according to your own preference.

For the purposes of this challenge, Allan Davis will be serving as Ye Olde High Marker, Voluntarily Walking th' Plank.

As of now, we are playing by the loosely enforced and slightly modified rules of The Friday Challenge. All entries are due by 6 AM Eastern time on the morning of Friday, 3 February 2012. A winner will be declared by the evening of Sunday, 5 February 2012.

Oh, there is one more thing... but it is the most important! Have fun. Always have fun.
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