Yeah, yeah. I KNOW. Some of you hate this prompt. Some of you love it though, too, so the rest of you can suck it for the time being.

Perhaps as a result of the polarizing feelings on this, we had a steep divide between the best and the rest this week.

The prompt is “Fortunately, Unfortunately.” Each person starts with the same seed phrase.

Joshua Longman, The Hidden Legends of Temple Grandin
Fortunately, I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Unfortunately, our house was robbed and subsequently burnt down; the police suspect that the burglars were the arsonists.
Fortunately, none of us were there to witness the crime, aside from our Great Dane, Blister, an especially intimidating specimen even considering his breed.
Unfortunately, Blister did not survive the ordeal and was not as stalwart a watchdog as we had hoped.
Fortunately, while the boys did shed a tear or two for the mutt, they were more upset about their pilfered X-box, which can easily be replaced.
Unfortunately, their mother has never approved of videogames, which is especially relevant because she is probably going to have custody for the foreseeable future, while I might have to live alone.
Fortunately, I met Lexi at the craps table after the rest of the family went to bed.
Unfortunately, she is the reason for the whole custody situation.
Fortunately for most people, they get married on a whim in Vegas as opposed to divorced.
Unfortunately, my bitch of a now ex-wife, Laura, caught me in the act and found a local attorney who specializes in quick separations.
Fortunately, I had hit my first lucky streak ever at that craps table and haven’t deposited my earnings yet.
Unfortunately, Lexi introduced to me to my first ever line of cocaine as a celebratory gesture – essentially the reason I forgot about my sleeping family when I brought Lexi upstairs to raw dog her.
Fortunately, Lexi wants to keep seeing me despite my infidelity.
Unfortunately, I probably won’t see much of Randy or Alex anymore, and Laura is entitled to half of my stuff (most of which is now char-grilled anyway).
Fortunately, I’m staying in Vegas, it turns out I love cocaine, and Lexi can suck a mean cock.

K: Sweet mother of mystery. This is our opener? This one is darkly playful, and while the finale seems like a bit much, I suppose there weren’t many options left to properly put a button on this thing. SILVER

MN – I wasn’t ever sure if this was going towards legitimate drama (which is rare in F/UF) or comedy, but I felt some of the lines skewed one way and some the other. The last line is the strong point, and I also very much enjoyed “not as stalwart a watchdog as we had hoped.” The biggest problem here was that some of the ideas repeated, instead of moving things forward.

Joseph Rakstad, Hidden Legends
I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Unfortunately, the ungrateful sots wanted to go to the beach
Fortunately, the hotel had a pool.
Unfortunately, the pool was closed for the weekend because some drunken bachelorettes thought it’d be funny to turn the pool into a giant margarita.
Fortunately, the Jacuzzi tub was big enough to fit 4 kids.
Unfortunately, bubble bath is not supposed to go into a Jacuzzi tub.
Fortunately, the video poker slots were generous enough to cover the damages
Unfortunately, they were not enough to cover my wife’s extravagant trips to the outlet mall.
Fortunately, I can still save 15% on my car insurance just by switching to Geico

K: I need a sad trombonist around for when stories end like this. Yeah, I’m not in love with the idea of using a “found” joke, particularly for your final line, but there was some decent stuff along the way. The margarita pool sounds like fun, and in this scene, realistic.

MN – That last line was completely out of the blue, and the surprise got me to laugh. Unfortunately, the joke itself would have worked better if everything had been going against our protagonist, instead of the alternating things that are fortunate.

Will Young, For the Love of Pete
I took the Whole Family on a vacation to the casino.

Unfortunately, they had more fun at the movies a few years ago.

Fortunately, they seem to keep winning prizes in raffles, so they’re sure to find something else they enjoy eventually.

Unfortunately, the rules in one raffle prohibited them from winning a lifetime supply of organic popcorn from the grocery store.

Fortunately, they own the grocery store chain, so they can eat as much organic popcorn as they want anyway.

Unfortunately, they tried organic popcorn once.

Fortunately, they never have to eat it again.

K: Did you kill off the Whole Family?! For shame! But also, kinda funny. The humor seems a bit untapped in comparison to its potential, though. This had more space to get a little weird. BRONZE

MN – I asked Kelly how many callbacks we were going to get to the Whole family, as that was the very first thing that popped into my head (and, indeed, always does, anytime there’s a “whole family” mention anywhere) (IMHO, if you want the highwater mark of the CdL, it’s the Whole family.) Building on them owning the grocery story was a solid gag on its own, but this felt like you could have done more to keep adding to that legacy, instead of heading towards popcorn. What you could have done? I’m not sure. Maybe not a Whole lot, I suppose?

Brendan Bonham, For the Love
I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino. Unfortunately, I booked the tickets before that lout husband of mine admitted that he’d lost the kids’ college fund because he was addicted to internet poker. Fortunately, Dad was able to look after him while we were gone so the idiot wouldn’t relapse; Dad always liked an opportunity to remind Bill he’d never be the man Dad was. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a refund on the vacation package—we coulda used the money, of course, but hey, it’s not like we’d be seeing another vacation any time soon.
Fortunately, the flight was a breeze, no delays, neither of the kids cried, luggage intact. Unfortunately, the rest of the travel day was a mess; our reservation was lost, and when they found us, they had us booked to arrive the next night. Fortunately, this means they ended up putting us in a suite for the night.
Unfortunately, of course, Patty and Tyler just wanted to sit in the room and watch TV, while mommy wanted to go out and see all the gimmicks millions of dollars could buy. Fortunately, the pay-per-view had Pixar’s latest, Ya Ma Kool, and the minibar had popcorn, so off I went. Unfortunately, mommy had to tell a little white lie: that one of the pirates we saw wandering around the lobby was waiting to slit their throats if they tried to leave.
Fortunately, mommy felt like a big girl again when a man approached her at the bar while she was waiting for a beer. Unfortunately, that sexy feeling was fleeting once he saw the ring on my finger and the kids’ pic on my cell background. Fortunately, mommy always liked drinking alone.
Unfortunately, after my card was declined, mommy learned the hard way Bill had apparently also stolen and not quite maxed out her personal credit card before she left. Fortunately Dad had a history of getting in bar fights. Unfortunately, there’s little solace in that when there’s six days left in the trip.
K: This is the kind of entry I really respect: you adeptly made me forget all about the prompt at times. This isn’t a belly laugher or anything, but I grew to really understand the lead character’s struggles and by the end was really into her and this story. GOLD

MN – I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an entry go with the full paragraph style we have here. I like the approach. I feel like the ending paragraph says too much. The revelation of the card being almost maxed out is the punch, and we know there’s little solace to be had – telling it goes just a bit too far.

erik sunshine, For the Love
I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.

Fortunately the kids, strapped in so securely in every which way, stayed glass-eyed and placid across the expanse of the rusty, dusty American West.

Unfortunately Ginger, my ceaselessly sad and sullen wife, did little but sigh and was entirely without retort to any manner of gay banter.

Fortunately I am irreproachable and unimpeachable in my purpose, and will steal across an entire continent in silence to contend.

Unfortunately the land is vast and though I am rich in family, I am poor in spirits and each hair I pluck for fuel feels like iron through ice.

Fortunately she lights the sky, the Silver City, and I drive us on with steely purpose, my mild children, sullen wife, and I.

Unfortunately the neon is bright and my eyes, good-natured though they usually be, look backwards in protest and I see repugnance.

Fortunately there is resilience too, and I press on, two childs at hand to led us through the City of Second Chances.

Unfortunately there’s no room at the table so my sad and sullen wife must take a man again, her eyes closed and teeth tight against a grinning lip

Fortunately the game moves apace as I sit in the vacated seat, and pluck an arm each off Holly and Joy; an ante for the city.

Unfortunately, she is sinful and cruel and cold, and I must carry back but the bows of the girls, a parting token from the House.

K: I try to avoid hyperbole in these things, but this is most assuredly one of my favorite pieces of black humor in my site’s history. This is far too smart to be a Fortunately, Unfortunately submission, and yet here we are. I made a note to call out a favorite line, but you kept throwing money lines at me. This is sick, twisted genius. GOLD

MN – This is really cool. The language you used here creates a depth of character we don’t usually get in F/UF, and the awfulness of the story is really, uh, good… too. GOLD

Annette Barron, The Devil Wear PRADAZ

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino. Unfortunately, the road on the way to Westport was reclaimed by the Pacific Ocean during a raging wind and rain storm earlier in the day. Fortunately, we were able to find a Motel in Tokeland, the reservation just south of Westport. Unfortunately, the power was out all up and down the Southern Washington coast and The Chinook Motel did not presently possess a generator.

Fortunately, I kept a sturdy flashlight in the trunk of my car and we were able to settle into our rooms and our pjs without too much fuss. Unfortunately, without electricity, our phones soon started dying and we had no recourse but to entertain each other.

“Fortunately,” Lillian said as the four of us gathered in our room on the kingsized bed, “I know of a fun game we can play together.”

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a kind of truth or dare game, but no dare, just things we thought no one knew about us. Fortunately, Lillian had already told me she had been in a threesome with her college roommate, although the children seemed genuinely shocked.

Unfortunately, it turns out Lillyanna is no longer a virgin and Jason might have just come out to us. Fortunately, I can’t say those things were said for sure because my blood pressure was so high by this time, there was a loud ringing in my ears. Unfortunately, Lillian seemed to have already known about Jason, thus confirming that I am not Jason’s favorite parent.

Fortunately, the power came back on and we were able avoid any further interaction with each other for the remainder of the vacation; which is much more restful.

K: Huh. I like a little dysfunction, and am always a sucker for complex family dynamics. The story is kind of passive, which I suppose is kind of inevitable with this prompt, but I just want a few bigger dramatic moments. SILVER

MN – This is some quality absurdity, with the wife proposing the game of “Truth.” A bit more precision and brevity could have helped some of the lines, but overall this was fantastic. BRONZE

Daniel Caouette, PRADAZ
I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.

Unfortunately, it was the casino just west of Tucson, AZ, so all we could do was gamble.
Fortunately, Suzy brought her fake ID.
Unfortunately, she also brought her damn oversized Captain Positivity doll.
Fortunately, the security let her in.
Unfortunately, Steve forgot his real ID and security didn’t let him in.
Fortunately my wife is always willing to show a little bit of skin.
Fortunately that was all we needed to sneak Steve in.
Unfortunately, some prick saw us do it and threatened to call the cops on me and my “escort” if I didn’t “make it worth his while”.
Unfortunately Steve has a warrant already for an unrelated parole violation.
Fortunately, Captain Positivity makes for a great blunt object.
Fortunately I left the baby in the car to miss all this violence.

K: But…alternating, dude. At least it goes 2-2-2 so it looks like it’s trying to fulfill the prompt in a different way. It’s decent, but some words were left on the table and could have made this stronger.

MN – Ooh, so close. The fortunatelys and unfortunatelys need to alternate. I like the absurdity here, and the line is so spot-on that it works comedically, but the exacting nature of this challenge is the alternating format.

Brooks Maki, Long Distance Phone Call for Friendship

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Unfortunately, you didn’t want anything to do with me anymore.
Fortunately, I got your new phone number from Geraldine.
Unfortunately, you wouldn’t answer my calls.
Fortunately, your house wasn’t too far out of the way on the drive back.
Unfortunately, the kids kept pestering me about “where was I going?”
Fortunately, they eventually went quiet.
Unfortunately, you weren’t home.
Fortunately, your gate was open and I could go around back.
Unfortunately, your shovel was in the locked garage.
Fortunately, I found duct tape and garbage bags in the garage to fix things.
Unfortunately, things took longer than I had hoped.
Fortunately, I heard your car door and had time to cover up a little bit of the hole.
Unfortunately, hello.
K: Wow. What is with the darkness this week? FU doesn’t ALWAYS do that, does it? The final line is a good one, though the story itself is so straightforward and predictable I’m not sure it has the impact it might.

MN – Ooh, that last line is very, very funny. I am laughing. I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the shovel, but… that last line is such a sudden and hilarious jump. The thing is, the timeline keeps speeding up as we go, so it’s not even too sudden for me, which I think was the danger here. Nicely done. SILVER

Shawn Ashley, Hidden Legends

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.

Fortunately, we took the family station wagon.

Unfortunately, Grandma couldn’t control her gas.

Fortunately, Uncle Mark had packed nose plugs.

Unfortunately, not enough for everyone.

Fortunately, our son Kevin made a “mixed tape” for the road.

Unfortunately, it was so hot in Nevada that the CD melted into the player.

Fortunately, sometimes silence is good.

Unfortunately, when we arrived, the casino had no record of our reservation at the hotel.

Fortunately, they had some open rooms a few hotels down.

Unfortunately, that meant Grandma bunked with us.

Fortunately, that meant we could keep an eye on her.

Unfortunately, her gas had turned to solids.

Fortunately, she was out of her fucking mind, so she had no idea what was happening.

Unfortunately, this was only the beginning (!!) of the Davidson Family Vacation.

K: “Unfortunately, her gas had turned to solids” was a pretty memorable line, but for the most part, it’s a series of likely familiar and situations. It’s a little like National Lampoon’s Vacation, but only a summary.

MN – There are some things that work (nose plugs, not enough), and some things that don’t (out of her mind… (because we don’t really care about grandma)). The jumps between scenes are probably the biggest problem, because, although it’s all funny, F/UF works best when it builds on what comes before. That said, I love the directness and brevity, and not over-explaining. Over-explaining can really throw off F/UF, and you avoided that pitfall where some others haven’t.

Colin Woolston, Phone Call

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Fortunately I’m not addicted to gambling.
Unfortunately my wife thinks I am.
Fortunately little Kimmy is a wizard at craps.
Unfortunately big brother Jimmy is a whiner and a quitter and needs his mommy.
Fortunately Kimmy loves her daddy.
Unfortunately no one else does.
Fortunately the casino is close to my new apartment.
K: That was over quickly. I think there’s a decent statement to be made about a clear addict not admitting his addiction, he said as he finished his third beer and reached for another, but the story rushes to the end so quickly, we don’t really get to it.

MN – The strength here is again not over-explaining. Even though this one was so brief, I had multiple reactions to the narrator – at first I sympathized with him, then he lost that sympathy but gained some appreciation for humor, then he just creeped me out.

Zack Sauvageau, PRADAZ
I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Fortunately Will Shine You On was what the sign above the door said.
Unfortunately that was the only sign in English.
Fortunately they were more than happy to accept foreign credit cards.
Unfortunately I have very high credit limits.
Fortunately I’ve already paid for our flights home.
Unfortunately I am not sure if we will get to use them.
Fortunately I don’t remember why thanks to the non-stop stream of gin and tonics they fed me.
Unfortunately I am much worse at baccarat than I thought.
Fortunately there’s a water slide and a pool in the hotel!
Unfortunately that’s all of Macau my children are probably going to experience.
Fortunately they have long lives yet to live and they will certainly have a chance to come back.
Unfortunately I also gambled away their college savings funds, so they might have trouble finding a job in this economy.
Fortunately they’re a few years away from college, I’m sure I can replenish them!
Unfortunately I won’t be able to do that if I can’t win enough money to pay off my debt.
Fortunately I’m really good at baccarat and due for a winning streak.

K: Ah…another clueless addict. Poor guy. This one, though, does a better job of creating clear characters. The humor is so-so (okay, it’s not bad at all, but it’s been a good week). I did really like the one flawed English sign.

MN – This one does a great job building on itself, coming back to ideas that were planted in the first part. Some parts were a little over explained, but that’s really a trifle in one that builds this well. GOLD

Bret Highum, For the Love

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t really a vacation, since in our weekly family meeting we’d decided we’d like to rob a casino.
Fortunately, we all really like gambling and overcooked, over-priced food.
Unfortunately, the place was packed for the Deanna Carter concert that night.
Fortunately, the buffet gave most of the concert-goers food poisoning, so the casino emptied out early.
Unfortunately, the smell of regurgitated crab legs is not something that goes away.
Fortunately, none of my group came down sick.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to make much money robbing a nearly-empty casino.
Fortunately, we’re not picky.
Unfortunately, the employees still get pissed off when you demand all the chips and cash they got.
Fortunately, Bob had tuned up his Rascal scooter and Larry’s been moving better since hip surgery, so we outran that lady to the parking lot and lost her behind the tour bus.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I parked and Larry lost his teeth.

K: The “hey, they’re old guys” twist kind of brings this from ordinary to funny, though I think I’d rather have seen old guys perform a robbery rather than be hit with a reveal later. The story is kind of disjointed, and I figure it’s because most of the lines were merely killing time before the reveal. BRONZE

MN – I think I figured out what it is… it’s the word “so.” If you’re using the word “so” you’re probably over-explaining. Often you can even just substitute “and” and the story feels like more showing and not telling. Just saying. This is good, and the revelation of the senior-citizens worked wonders for the comedy. BRONZE

Pete Bruzek, PRADAZ
I took the whole family on vacation to the casino.
Fortunately, my mom is an expert card shark.
Unfortunately, the casino we went to has a very strict anti-card shark policy.
Fortunately, she is excellent at avoiding their watchful eyes.
Unfortunately, her method of avoiding detection is to lose vast quantities of money very quickly.
Fortunately, she assures me that a hot streak is coming any minute now.
Unfortunately, I think she’s been bankrolling her dubious gambling skills with my credit card.
Fortunately, we finally got out of the blackjack pit.
Unfortunately, it was only because my mother had no more of our money left to gamble.
Fortunately, my mother said that she had a surefire way of making all my money back, plus interest.
Unfortunately, we had to veto her plan because it technically involved turning my youngest son into a drug mule.
Fortunately, we got out of the casino a mere twenty-three hundred dollars in the red.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can trust my mother around money or my children.
Fortunately, my wife didn’t divorce me in the aftermath of the casino trip.
Unfortunately, I’ve looked everywhere, and I can’t seem to find my wallet.

K: Mom seems eerily believable here (she’s nothing like MY mom, thankfully). The humor comes out naturally and never feels forced, which is always a nice thing to be able to say in a week where most people will go for comedy. SILVER

MN – This one walks the line between building on itself and just coming back to the same idea in a different way. The introduction of the son, especially, helped it move forward. Another good job of not over-explaining. You trusted the reader, and that’s appreciated. SILVER

Brian David, Hidden Legends

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino
Fortunately we had a lot of money
Unfortunately there was only one person in the car who could gamble
Fortunately, for me, that person was lying quietly in the trunk
Unfortunately he slept on top of the crumpled dollar bills
Fortunately our plans to spend some time at the poker table had recently changed, and we were headed west very fast
Unfortunately the patrol car behind the billboard noticed our speed and pulled up behind me
Fortunately I had enough alcohol in my body to stay calm, and I pulled over
Unfortunately I hadn’t noticed I’d left the gun on the passenger-side floor
Fortunately the red and blue lights flew right by me, responding to some unknown call, as I sat and watched the sun set through the window with my whole family

K: That’s some commitment to…a story without punctuation. I know this is kind of an out-there prompt, but that choice really messed with the flow.

MN – This has a lot of intriguing elements, but the Unfortunately left at the end has a fairly devastating effect in making it seem unfinished. “Enough alcohol” and “gun on the floor” are simply spot-on showings that build great tension. The first half is a bit jumbled, but that second half is one of the more intriguing F/UF I’ve seen. BRONZE

Melissa Diamond, Phone Call

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Fortunately, we’d won free passes at Liza’s PTA fundraiser.
Unfortunately, the PTA are fucking cheapskates.
Fortunately, we’re in the business of scoring cash fast.
Unfortunately, even at casinos, business is slow on weekdays.
Fortunately, Liza’s skirts always leave her accessible enough.
Unfortunately, the first customer found her unaccommodating.
Fortunately, Mama had won a first-aid kit at that same PTA fundraiser.
Unfortunately, the PTA are fucking cheapskates.
Fortunately, Liza doesn’t complain about weeping gashes.
Unfortunately, unhappy customers do.
Fortunately, Abe was in security that night.
Unfortunately, Liza cut him off last weekend.
Fortunately, she’ll be over that soon enough.
Unfortunately, we walked away from the casino with no winnings.
Fortunately, we always have Little Liza.

K: Again with the darkness. The repeated line is always good for a smile, although it doesn’t really change much between beginning and end.

MN – This is funny. Then it’s creepy, but still funny. Then it’s downright sad. I wish we knew who Abe was, and… that this wasn’t quite as funny as it was when it was funny, because the creepiness is really strong. SILVER

Jordan Graham, Hidden Legends

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Fortunately, Jane’s body fit nicely in the trunk.
Unfortunately, Noelle had hit traffic 20 miles west of Barstow and texted she would be a couple hours late, but her heart-eyed emoticon assured me she was still eager to meet the kids.
Fortunately, the Benadryl began to wear off the little ones just as she arrived, and soon she and Shelly and little Matty were giggling in front of the Bellagio’s sky-high fountains, and I thought it was the first time in years I had felt whole.
Unfortunately, a tear streamed down my left cheek, and Shelly turned and asked if I missed mommy, and Noelle didn’t like that at all, and asked me outright if I had finalized the divorce.
Fortunately, little Matty took a tumble right then, and even though it pained me to see him cry, it was a welcome distraction, and as I wiped the blood from his boo-boo, I saw Noelle’s kind eyes staring down at me and I knew those message-room conversations had meant something.
Unfortunately, I was famished and took the family into Caesar’s Palace to search for a bite, with Noelle taking Shelly’s hand and skipping ahead.
Fortunately, the casino had the best damn steak I’ve ever tasted, and it tasted like a pink pillow compared to the leather fare Jane used to put on the table.
Unfortunately, Casino’s have about 10,000 cameras and I didn’t know it at the time, but those damn things have facial recognition software, and when your wife doesn’t show up to work for three days, and your kids don’t show up to school, and the police check your house and find a pool of blood in your garage – well, your likeness gets entered into a nationwide system.
Fortunately, I saw them coming and got a head start.
Unfortunately, Shelly and Matty were heavy and I couldn’t fully explain to Noelle why we were sprinting to the car other than this was a game our family called Frankenstein, and damn, she sure was a good sport at playing along and keeping up.
Fortunately, casino parking lots are large, and I was able to skid out onto an off-strip road, a straight-shot out of town, and my Impreza roared into fourth gear and drove smoothly, even when they called in a roadblock ahead and we shot out into the open desert.
Unfortunately, the car didn’t handle too well in the sand, and Noelle was screaming and crying, asking me what I’d done, and she had found out soon enough when the trunk popped open and Jane came spilling out onto the road, just before we came to a stop and the Ranger told me on his megaphone to exit the vehicle.
Fortunately, I had an insurance plan, and my 22 was already loaded, soon at my temple, and by the time I pulled the trigger, I welcomed the void.
Unfortunately, the gun jammed.

K: More bodies in the trunk? Hey, why not? I saw a documentary about a guy who transported his dead wife’s body with his two young children in the car and…shit, I’m not psyched to be reminded. Anyway, this is strong throughout, occasionally drawing the reader in with humor before reminding us that the protagonist is a pretty rotten, or at least deluded, bastard. I love the addition of the final line. GOLD

MN – This is a legitimate story, and another really effective creepy one. I blame the casinos . They’re creepy, right? That’s a thing? It’s not just me? I love the last line too. Some of this doesn’t work so well as a F/UF, and would be better with dialogue and such, but I have to give major credit for what you put together here. GOLD

Danyel Logue, Phone Call

I took the whole family on a vacation to the casino. Fortunately, the casino was a pontoon boat on cinder blocks down by the creek in old Chip’s backyard. Unfortunately, he still charged me 10 bucks a head, claimin’, “We never made no such agreement…” Fortunately, the bar was fully stocked with Crown and Boone’s Farm. Unfortunately, Ramey and Janey found a boot filled with crank and a Glock while playing bartender. Fortunately, the gun was wedged into the heel of the boot, which reeked of possum urine. Unfortunately, cousin Cindy took it off their hands and soon enforced aggressive new rules to all the games like mind riddles and strippin’. Fortunately, the only games were Plinko rigged outta an old box spring and a Yahtzee set missing 2 dice and scorecards. Unfortunately, this escalated into a heated game of craps between Granny Dee and Bessie. Fortunately, Cindy already stowed the boot in the boat’s shitter which was filled to the brim with what smelled like sunbaked roadkill. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Bessie from hammering Granny Dee with the rusting Plinko springs. Fortunately, I don’t hafta take off work for Granny’s funeral on account of it’s Christmas.

K: Yikes. That white trash story made me want to take a shower. I’m not a huge fan of long, single-paragraph stories; I feel like there was a flow here that was hurt greatly by that choice. Maybe it was a choice made due to the weird lead character, but it made for a distorted read. BRONZE

MN – There’s a lot of setting here… a lot. These are all characters, and there’s a consistency and commitment to the bit. Some of the things, again, didn’t quite work like a F/UF – the comedy came from the character/setting, not the alternating F/UF lines themselves.

Beau, Hidden Legends

I took the Whole family on a vacation to the casino.
Fortunately, they had just enjoyed a movie and were in a good mood.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Whole had too much popcorn which inflamed her irritable bowel syndrome.
Fortunately, her children saved her seat at the slot machine.
Unfortunately, her children were terrible at video poker.
Fortunately, Mr. Whole was doing well at the craps table.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Whole was doing too well at the craps.
Fortunately, I was able to keep Mr. Whole company.
Unfortunately, I’m kind of a slut.
Fortunately, I (and now little Tristan!) am part of the Whole family.
K: So, one of you killed off the Whole Family and the other split them up? This starts out nicely enough – with popcorn, like every other damn story this week – and kind of sputters to a finish. I strongly dislike the line “Unfortunately, I’m kind of a slut.” That is not the kind of self-awareness possessed by the people you want to call sluts. In drama (including comedy), the best situations come from every character thinking they’re the good guy.

MN – And another Whole family. Yay! I think you could have done more with the ending lines… something about a new Mrs. Whole, or something along those lines. I found the parenthetical to be a bit too random, though the idea worked. And good on you for genuinely building on your expanded Whole family prompt…


So. The Whole Family are a family that showed up in Spookymilk Survivor thanks to Ben Thietje, in one of the funniest short submissions I’ve ever gotten. The more you know~!

For the Love of Pete: 1-5-10-2 = 18/4 = 4.50
The Devil Wear PRADAZ: 4-0-5-6 = 15/4 = 3.75
The Hidden Legends of Temple Grandin: 3-0-0-1-10-0 = 14/6 = 2.33
Long Distance Phone Call for Friendship: 3-0-3-1 = 7/4 = 1.75

Someday you guys will have a shot to take out a member of Hidden Legends (hint: it involves “eliminating” Jordan, IF ya know what I mean). Sadly, the Phone Callers have to vote someone out instead. I was going to say that sucks because I like all of them, but I like all of you, so whatever.

We have some decisions to make on when to make the next challenge due. In the meantime, Phoners, have a vote to me by Saturday night at 9pm Central. I work well past that, so it may go up late. Cheers, Survivors.