Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rhetoric Declamations: Last of our Lives

I am actually seriously depressed to be done with Rhetoric. I could easily spend the rest of my life taking that class, writing and listening to things that others have written. Oh well. I think we get to do more stuff like that later.

Anyway, enjoy these. They're some of the best that we've ever done (though there are more coming, and the last of these is a touch risky).


Rhetoric - Westminster Term ’08 – Week 6
Timothy van den Broek
Word count: 260


I Am a Man

11pm. Tuesday night. Main Street. One male, three females and all very drunk. They were approaching the Third and Main St crossing from the other direction than I was.

5,000 miles is a long way to travel and set up a new home. But a long way can suddenly become very well worth the trouble. “Hello man” one of the girls said. “Yes!” I yelled inwardly. Having a beard has paid off! It is clear to women on the street that I am man! My measured “why, hello” did not even vaguely reflect my inner excitement. She retorted back “Hello man!” God is indeed playful: who would have expected Him to encourage this wandering saint by means of a girl plastered by alcohol?

Such unqualified confirmation of my manhood was what my soul needed. God is not just playful though, he is generous. Just after passing, “hello man” became no more than a shadow, a type. “He looks,” she said, “very intelligent.” And I wasn’t even wearing a tie!

Should I hug her? I’ve hugged girls at the rate of roughly one per two and a half months since arriving in America, and surely this was a significant enough event for the fourth hug. But remember the time you last tried to drink the just the “O”s from a glass of H2O? Same problem. She was so glued to the side of the one man in the group that it would have been impossible to both hug and maintain my moral scruples. So I just laughed out loud. And why not? I am, after all, a very intelligent looking man.



Gwen M. Burrow
Rhetoric/Westminster
Creative Sketch
April 23, 2008
Word Count: 252

What Shall We Do With a Drunken Roommate?

Before coming to NSA, I never knew you could get drunk overnight without stepping a foot out of bed. This particular phenomenon becomes apparent as soon as you roll out from under the covers and attempt to walk upright. Balance is an issue. However, you can still manage. It is possible, I find, to remain in a fetal position while walking across the room; your legs don’t really need to uncurl until the tenth step or so. But I never would have known this except my roommate Rosalie does it every morning.
After hitting her alarm, she lies in bed for at least fifteen minutes. I suppose this is to allow the worst of the hangover to subside. Then she sits up and peers around the room, wearing a sleep-happy smile that looks like it leapt straight off the face of the Grinch. Once she’s confirmed that the floor and walls are still there, she crawls out of bed and endeavors to walk. This is a very dangerous idea. Bent over at the waist, she tips and staggers towards the door, flailing both arms for balance and at last reaching the bathroom, which she enters at half-height. There she holds onto the counter and looks in the mirror, blinking, and gives her typical objection to the morning: “Mwah.”
Since I’ve never been able to find an empty bottle of booze under her bed, I’ve started blaming this morning ritual on all her dreams about being brainwashed and giving birth to baby pigs.


Desmond Jones
RHT-01/Westminster ‘08
Word count: 254

Creative Sketch:

The R

One time I tried to count the number of engines that my father-in-law has on the farm. There are the cars, the old farm truck, the new farm truck, the lawn mowers and weed whackers and chainsaws, the grain truck with brakes and the one without, several tractors and swathers, the quads and ski-doo, and at about that point I lost track. This time of year is when most of them shake off their dusty hibernation and cough out lungs full of carbon and spew mouse nests that were built in feasible, if not strategic locations. The cars are well behaved, especially the Hondas. They speak in graceful, urbane voices and keep the burnt-oil halitosis to a minimum. The equipment, on the other hand, makes no pretense at social graces. The grain augers will hack and sneeze right in your face, and then act as if nothing happened. The Volvo growls his complaints that his front-end loader looks like headgear. The hippie-era John Deere model 95 screams like an angry, toothless reminiscing army General who thinks his grandkids aren’t listening. And the 5010 chafes against all attempts to get him into gear. But there is one machine whose sweet voice is your pack-a-day grandma, recounting the good ol’ days while she blows smoke rings in the air. Without pomp, the ’51 John Deere R is awoken. Her confident and merry chugging echoes across the valley as her boots trod familiar fields, grinning farmer at the helm. Spring is here; dad’s on the R.




Stephen Sampson
Westminster Term Rhetoric
250 Words


This lady had one thick five o'clock shadow, the kind of thing that grows on rocks in rainforests. Post-op, pre-op, whatever op it was, I couldn't tell which side of the Y chromosome she was shooting for. A she waddled to the counter of the burrito stand that has now become my special circle of hell she sports a pink clutch purse, Coke bottle glasses, and a belly that could, if I had known the gender, have been bringing life into this world, but the fungus sprouting from her feminine face wasn't helping me.

For many, life is filled with questions: why are we here? Who put us here? What is the meaning behind all of this? These questions escaped me as the only thing I could question was, why me? And why here, with me trapped behind this counter, does God hate me this much? I mean, I know I faked being sick that one Sunday because I didn't want to deal with that old lady who used to always ask me if I was doing drugs, and sure, I used to swipe change from my brothers desk, but I was five then! I didn't know any better!

Luckily all the dude wanted was a glass of water and I never had to find out whether she-males prefer black or pinto beans. She slinked off to the bathroom and I heaved a momentary sigh of relief till my mind went to the only place it could.

This place has two bathrooms.

What is the criteria for legal she-male bathroom use?

1 comment:

rebec said...

You should post your own; even if you didn't author it.

Wodehousian Fun