03 July 2006

uxorial - vaginismus

Ken Jennings suggested a writer's block unblocking exercise of his own invention of dusting off (or not dusting off, if you crack open your favorite dictionary frequently) your dictionary and looking at the opposing guide words along the top of the page

He states his favorite pair in the dictionary he uses as being uxorial - vaginismus, and really who could argue with that?

So using the random integer generator at random.org, I'll choose three pages with which to try this trick out.

I'm using the Tenth Edition of the Merriam - Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as the dictionary, and the page range goes from 1 through 1373.

My random numbers using the parameters of 3 results, from a smallest number of 1 and largest number of 1373 are 653, 145 and 383.

That gives me the results of
  1. langbeinite - lap
  2. brocade - brood
  3. enforcer - enhalo
This could be tougher than I thought, I will brood over what to write and drop it in your laps with an update within 24 hours (why couldn't page 572 hysteric - icebox have come up instead?). . .


So here it is, the first Immodest Proposal fragment of a short story, using the words langebeinite, laps, brocaded, brooded, enforcer and enhaloed (I went with slightly altered forms of some of the guide words, too hard to fit the words exactly, besides Mr. Jennings didn't say you couldn't do that). As a bonus I threw in uxorial and vaginismus at no extra charge. It's a tale of Jerry O' Shaugnessy's last job in Ulster. Enjoy

Some people were born in the wrong time, others pick up the wrong occupation, still others find themselves in the wrong place surrounded by the wrong people, Jerry O’Shaughnessy found himself enhaloed by all the above.

He should have been born in a time when not everything was discovered, and not easily found through looking up another person’s work in a reference book. He should have been born when a person of means could collect nearly every important book, and simple experimentation would lead to new discoveries. He definitely shouldn’t have been born into a family enmeshed within The Troubles, engaged actively in the violence of those times.

His out of placeness and out of timeness got in the way of his job, that of enforcer for a small gang of Unionist thugs in Ulster. He often made his jobs far more complicated than they needed to be. He read somewhere that langbeinite might be toxic, so rather than killing an assigned target any of the usual ways (he had become somewhat locally infamous for his gruesome work garroting his victims) he placed a large amount of that aggregate mineral into the man’s water supply and waited. Jerry waited 4 weeks, he watched him shower, watched him swim laps in his pool, watched as he drank the tap water, but no ill effects were observed, and Jerry's bosses became impatient.

He sometimes had difficulty letting go of an experiment, even one that seemed pretty clearly going nowhere, when his bosses told him to get on with the killing, Jerry brooded for a day or two, but finally relented and went about the business of killing his quarry. Partly what spurred him on to action was his wife, Danni. She’d been neglecting to take care of what he felt was her primary uxorial duty, namely, pleasing him sexually. When he became insistent, she experienced a recurrence of the vaginismus that sometimes plagued her. Needless to say the moment was painful for both of them.

For Jerry pain often became rage, and rage often helped him do his job. He was angry at his wife, angry at himself, and ready to kill someone, this time with more intimacy and physical contact than he had originally hoped for. His target was a middle aged football manager who refused to throw a game as ordered by the gang. That cost them a good chunk of cash, and the fact that the soon to be dead manager used to date Danni (and physically abused her), made the bloodlust that much easier to come by. Jerry had become so overtaken with the idea of finishing the job that he got sloppy. He rushed in unprepared, he left his favorite bit of piano wire at home, but that didn’t matter, he broke into the man’s house, grabbed the heavy brocaded cord used to cinch the drapes, and used that to complete his assignment. He hadn’t anticipated how much more difficult it would be to choke someone with a thick cord, but luckily (for Jerry anyway, not the other guy) the football manager was a small man, and Jerry was large, and the thrashing and fighting soon ended.

Ironically, Jerry’s bosses liked the mess he made of the manager’s place, they always thought Jerry’s work was a bit ‘too clean’ and needed to exhibit a bit more evidence of violence (better to scare the others, they said). The mess and violence didn’t sit well with Jerry, though. He left Ulster, left his wife, left that life, escaped with the money he’d been saving and was never heard from again.

1 comment:

reader_iam said...

and really who could argue with that?

Um, given the meaning of the latter, a whopping proportion of the population?


vh: yxhmew

The reaction I have to 'splainin' further my comment further.