Tuesday, April 1, 2014



I cannot remember the first time I read one of Robert Brockway's articles on Cracked.com, the humor website, but it's been years. Robert is not a humorist per se, as was James Thurber; he tends more to sci-fi, or speculative fiction, or whatever the hell they're calling it these days, but I was immediately taken with his writing style, not just because of his use of the English language, which is beautiful and unusual, but because he paints images that linger in the mind. . .


. . . and then follows it up with a picture and more prose that embeds itself for eternity, as well as setting you up for the hilarity that is to follow:

 "Demonstration matches were frequently held at county fairs and stadiums all across the country, though it was most prominent in the Midwest during the early 1910s. It was usually played with a basketball, as seen above, and the only mandated gear was a jaunty cap and a callous disregard for human life. It was every bit as unquestionably awesome as it was uncontrollably, screamingly retarded:"

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/15-old-photographs-that-prove-world-used-to-be-insane_p2/#ixzz2xfoeQ8iL
There is more mayhem regarding "Auto Polo" but really? Is it any more idiotic than any of the crap you see on "World's Dumbest Partiers?" I must admit it is the ONLY show I watch on Tee Vee; all else is Netflix. I've seen entire back seats of sedans strung up between two trees and drunken red necks swinging to and fro and laughed myself into apoplexy when one of them does a face-plant into the dirt. Am I just not enjoying a free, and safe, ride as the lower end of the gene pool continues it's slow, albeit creative slouch towards self-destruction? But, I digress.

Within this same article, after "Auto Polo", is something that is near and dear to my heart, although, I am glad it is not practiced anymore, for the sake of the wildlife involved. It is called "Lion Drome" and yes, it was a thing. Just thinking that we, here in the U. S. ever did something like this should seem astonishing, but crazy stunts with wild beasts and any other wild, insane, dangerous things that will most surely end in tears, regret, blood and shattered limbs is done all the time, even now. 

"Lion Drome" consisted of, um. . . well. . . it was. . . Hell. I'm just going to let Robert describe it for you. 

"I've shown this photo once before, but I don't think I made it totally clear that Lion Dromes were not a fluke. This was just how you took in a show, back in the day. It was like going to the matinee now, only instead of watching Jeremy Renner pout in front of a shaky camera, you had the kids stick their unshielded little faces out over a bowl of automotive trauma and told them to inhale the heady fumes of gasoline and jungle predator.


 The first time I saw this picture and could finally stop laughing, I looked at the expression on the lion's face and dubbed him "Executive Lion". He's thinking, "Hmmm, wonder if I ate my briefcase."

I have to dip back into a familiar well and go back to "World's Dumbest" and this time I think it was 2 guys on motorcycles inside a metal ball. . . In Bulgaria, which is already sounding like a bad idea. Here in the good ol' U. S. of A., OSHA isn't exactly busting the chops of cheap carnivals that roam around the country, and since they pretty much dump nuclear waste in the rivers, land and atmosphere with regularity in Eastern Europe, I'm sure they don't give two hoots about a couple of dull-normal siblings in a Bulgarian carny. I was proven right. 

The ball held all right, but the two dudes, after reaching maximum speed did about 2 laps that looked like an insane Wheel-o, before meeting in mid-air and falling into a crumpled heap in the bottom of the metal ball. Who does this? I mean, the ball has to be sturdy enough to hold two full-grown men and two motorcycles, so the bars are rather dense, so you get this impression of a giant atom, with large molecules acting okay, and then, poof! Critical Mass? Fission? . . . and a crumpled heap of men and metal at the bottom. Meanwhile, the "assistant" who had presented this amazing thing with a flair of her hand was off to the side playing "Statues" with her arm still held out, pointing to this 8th wonder of the world. It took her a good minute, or minute and a half to realize all was not going to plan. But I digress.

I could go on for hours about the funny and laugh-out-loud expressions and turns of phrase that Robert Brockway continually amazes me with in his writings. Like any excellent writer, he practices and hones his craft and his diligence and persistence are paying off for him. The publishing house Tor purchased his book, the Unnoticeables at auction, with a three-book, six-figure deal! Tor said the books are "hilarious urban fantasy novels" set in a world that pulls from New York's punk scene in the 1970s as well as the modern-day Los Angeles entertainment industry. The Unnoticeables is tentatively scheduled for July 2015.

Robert's comment on his website, regarding his good news on robertbrockway.net? "That's right -- THREE god damn books coming your way. I am going to literally crush you with an avalanche of my books*.

*Provided you are small and do not struggle too much"

His book RX: A Tale of Negativity is available on Amazon and you can read his articles on Cracked.com. His website is www.robertbrockway.net and he is also a disciple of Chuck Wendig, another hellacious author and fan of establishing a solid work ethic.

Please, please, please be sure and stop by my fabulous team Leader for this challenge, DamyantiG to see her post on action scenes in writing, here: Amlokiblogs: #atozchallenge : A for Action #fiction #writing #quotes
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