If you haven’t figured it out yet,
I’ll spell it for you: You are hereby invited to make application for admission into The Royal Society of Worthless Bastards.
But there’s a catch… or four.
1. There are only 14 rooms in Engelbrecht House.
I’ll be taking one of them and the wizard has instructed me to hold two others for Robert Hendrickson, Wizard Academy’s gardener-at-large, and
Shawn Smith of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Wizard Academy’s official librarian. This leaves just 11 rooms, so there can only be 11 new pledges to The Royal Society of Worthless Bastards in 2013. You will be competing to win one of these 11 rooms for a relaxing weekend. Princess Pennie and the wizard will be there, too, of course, but they live within driving distance so they don’t get a room in Engelbrecht.
2. All Worthless Bastards love books.
One in particular tugs at our attention: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.
(Wizzo shared a story about Harry sometime back …)
Harris Burdick is about mysteries that begin, but don’t end.
This Burdick fellow was an amazing illustrator and the book has some fantastic, fantastical drawings.
None of the Worthless Bastards can draw a straight line.
But we can write a crooked one. And this is what today’s GAME will be all about.
For the first time in the illustrious history of the Worthless Bastards,
we are giving you, the explorers of the Rabbit Hole, an unprecedented opportunity to become one.
3. Write an opening line to a story… an opening line so compelling it makes us want to read the rest of the story. Your line does NOT need to describe one of the images of Harris Burdick. In fact, don’t go there. Do something completely original. Your magnetic opening must be 100 words or less. Email it to me prior to midnight Sunday, June 9. That’s it. My email address is email@example.com I will preside over a panel of judges who will make the final selection. As each of these judges is quite easily bribed, their identities will remain a secret.
Make it compelling, suck us in, tantalize our imaginations…
The best 11 entries receive invitations to become Worthless Bastards and attend the ridiculously exclusive grand opening of The Jeff Morris Worldwide Invitational Bocce Ball Court at Wizard Academy’s Engelbrecht House. It will be a Worthless Bastards weekend for the ages. We haven’t yet set a date, because we haven’t yet built the court, but the weekend in question will mostly consist of playing Bocce Ball and sitting and talking about this and that while eating endless meals and snacks and drinking many types of beer and wine.
You must leave all other business at home. This is not a weekend for work. You will have a room in Engelbrecht House and food will be provided.
4. If your opening line is one of the 11 chosen,
you will get to donate $500 to help build the Bocce Ball court.
The Grand Prize winner, however, will get to donate $1000 because his or her quote will be the one that will appear on the bronze Bocce Ball dedication plaque along with the names of the other 13 new Bastards in attendance. (Local and perennial Bastards Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg, Mia Erichson,
Eric Rhoads, Marley Porter, Monica Ballard, Ray Seggern, Sarah Klenke,
Tom McDowall, Robin Kresbach, Anthony Dina, JP and Tammy Engelbrecht, Jose Perez, Stephen Palmer, Masami and Akintunde Omitowoju, David McInnis, Michael Bettersworth, Michael Drew and Andrea, Tim (eye of the) Storm, Sean and Wen McNally, Dave “Skunkmeat” Lofranco, Shel Jacobsen, Vess Barnes, Peter and Vicki Nevland, Elmer Zubiate, Ray Bard and the Immortal Jeff Morris – our own Harris Burdick – editor and designer of the wizard’s Wizard of Ads trilogy, might also be in attendance if they are feeling sufficiently worthless and are willing to bring snacks and drinks. Hell, Bertwin Lord might even fly in from Thailand, you never know! And of course, Mark Fox and Dennis Collins and Dr. Richard D. Grant and Corrine Taylor and Jean and Andrew Backus and Oz Jaxxon and Lori Barr and her husband Steven – the Board of Directors of Wizard Academy – are likely to pop in unannounced and thank God for that because Dennis usually brings bail money. The only really important Bastard that’s unlikely to show up is Brett Feinstein, a.k.a. Bert Whinestain. Our Bocce dedication will probably happen this autumn and Whinestain spends his autumns in the employ of twitchy politicians who are anxious to get elected. I’ll ask him to send some snacks anyway. Heck, maybe we’ll even delay it until after the elections so Whinestain can attend…
Now if, for example, Dave Young (better known as Young Dave) submits a brilliant bit of wordwonder but somehow inadvertently tags it with the name of his pal Tom “the Wise” Wanek … then Wanek has to pay the $500. (Hey, what can we say, we’re Bastards.) But Wanek would also receive the invitation and be named on the plaque, so maybe that’s not so great a prank as it sounded like at first. Winners will be notified of their pending status as Bastards on or before June 17, 2013. Your Bastard status will become official when your check clears the bank. That’s the Bastard way.
“Never argue with an idiot. They’ll just drag you down
to their level and beat you with experience.”
– Bertwin Lord,
Aug. 15, 2009,
at a meeting of the Worthless Bastards