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Traci said in her parakeet voice that it was "one chance" for the longest word in the english language. I could only respond with Barf. as the precursor to my tube of muculagenous fluid approaching the soft red teddy she was trying to put on me. We had a good laugh over the vomit splashed parkay floor and proceeded to finish the New York Times crossword with little gaity.

Date Written: August 03, 2004
Author: toobs
Average Vote: 2

08/9/2004 TheBuyer (4): I like this probably more than I should but the weirds caps at "Barf. as" should be punished if they're simple errors; benefit of the doubt if they're devices. Yay! Guest 4
08/9/2004 Will Disney: What? Someone explain this!
08/9/2004 qualcomm: this is fucking addled
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony: I sense the hand of Rafus Butler.
08/9/2004 TheBuyer: That'd be good, I'd hoped for some fresh Rafus.
08/9/2004 qualcomm (1):
08/9/2004 TheBuyer: That one is a pretty strong statement of hate OSS, you seem to reserve your ones for special cases, what's up with this one? No, I didn't write this.
08/9/2004 qualcomm: i get really annoyed by shorts where you can't even tell what the fuck is going on. how goddamn hard can it be? i don't know what traci means by ""one chance"". i can't understand the sentence(?) "I could only respond with Barf. as the precursor to my tube of muculagenous fluid approaching the soft red teddy she was trying to put on me." if it means what i think it means, i can't understand what it's doing in this short. the couple are doing a crossword, in the middle of which activity the wife tries to force her husband into a teddy?? is that what's happening? what the fuck is happening? if someone can make sense of this thing, and it's clear that i've been a stupid reader, i'll give the author unqualified fives for his next two shorts.
08/9/2004 TheBuyer: toobs [i'm guessing] can you clarify? I gave you some credit as far as intent and some style points but OSS has successfully shit-kicked my rating with with his frustratingly strong argument that this is pap.
08/9/2004 qualcomm: are they playing a game of strip crossword, maybe? also, parquet is the floor type, parkay is a margarine.
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony (2): I am perplexed very much by theBuyer's praise of the capital B in "Barf". I don't agree with his assessment of its value. Also, I find the short really confusing. Doesn't make me as mad as it seems to make Summer, but I'm way more even-tempered. Scoop, your outright refusal to vote on this short speaks poorly of your commitment to the Acme Community.
08/9/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan (2): Maybe it's strip scrabble, but that would also be quite a feat. But then why would the teddy be going on, as opposed to off?
08/9/2004 qualcomm: that's why i think you guys are insane to give this a two. surely a writing website should punish most severely a story that fails in its most basic task: to explain what happened.
08/9/2004 scoop: Pony: Your lust for the last word is unseemly. I din't vote on this becasue I'd just give it a one, and I have absolutely nothing new to add to OSS's comments. The fact that I don't vote isn't as significant as you holding up non-voting as OK since yopu set the tone around here way more than I do. And as a side note its a guest short so who cares.
08/9/2004 TheBuyer: I caught a whiff of depth in that strange, strange caps choice and hoped it was intentional and not just bad editing. Also, remember that I'm pretty but not that bright and as a result I've gotten into the habit of overestimating things that I don't understand right away. On the plus side, I may have blocked a really solid torpedoing on a first effort short from an author who has instinct enough to include a lot of vomit but not enough to effectively execute the joke; sure it was overgenerous but I'd hate to think a new guest should fuck off before anyone gets to know their particular style. there goes my lunch-break.
08/9/2004 scoop (1): But if you insist...I'm not sure this would be funny even if it were coherently written. ANd if the joke is to invoke this sort of stilted pseudo-stream of consiousness, Beckett like prose it fails.
08/9/2004 scoop: TheBuyer, I empathize with your concern about scaring off new guests. But if you can't take criticism, then not only should you hightail it off of thsiu site, but probably shouldn't botehr writing at all unless you wanna keep a agay-ass journal. So guest, come back next time with stronger material. What doesn't destroy you can only make The Lerpa within stronger.
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony: scoop, as far as I'm concerned, the last word on our voting discussion was already had, and I was just exaggerating the point to make fun of your position, as you are so very read to do to me at all times of the day (squishy relatively relative reality, blah blah). All in good fun, of course. If I had thought you were going to react so strongly to it, I would have avoided it. :)
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony: Summer, your point is totally right, but to call folks "insane" for voting a two instead of a one--you must admit, that has a certain frothing madness quality about it.
08/9/2004 qualcomm: well, i meant insane in its more "nutty" sense
08/9/2004 scoop: Yeah Pony, but my position on voting is right, and you position on squishy relativism is wrong, so its different, see?
08/9/2004 qualcomm: i was thinking about this the last time we fought about shorts. in my opinion, a short starts at one star when you begin reading it, then either works its way up or stays there. for a short to get a two, there has to be something good about it. anything. i'm not seeing any such goodness here. it's poorly written, it's not funny, and it's confusing. i'm sure you agree on all these points. so why not give it the lowest rating?
08/9/2004 qualcomm: *the last time we fought about rating shorts, i meant.
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony: Scoop, that seems to be the crux of many of your arguments today. Congratulations!
08/9/2004 qualcomm: you two, scoop and pony: enough. this constant bickering is delustrefying.
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony: Oh my god. Summer just took the high ground. I have to go lie down.
08/9/2004 scoop: What "arguments today"? And what's with the condescension? Why are you congragulating me? I assume your really not congragulating me. I don't get it. My earlier comment about voting was a statement of fact. For the last week or so people have been on the site, have even made comments on shorts and avoided voting. It doesn't seem healty. I wasn't insulting anybody. You just happened to make a point of not voting on the old OSS short so I brought it up. It seems silly to go to all the trouble of making postcards and trying to attract people and mysteriously limit our activity.
08/9/2004 qualcomm: thank you, pony. i've decided to radically change my personality from week to week.
08/9/2004 TheBuyer: scoop: I'll stand tall and annoyed as the exception to the sense that lack of activity on a short will drive away new Meat. I've got 40 published shorts only 26 of which got enough votes to count; what I lack in learning ability I make up in tenacity. Actually, I don't expect to see another vote from Benny Maniacs or Dylan Danko but that's just because I'm slowly crawling up their asses in the overall rankings and that seems like the kind of thing that may piss em both off; pure conjecture.
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony: Summer--I missed your earlier comment on rating. I see your point, but I approach from a different angle. I see the "zero point" of a short being a three. A three is neither good nor bad, and doesn't change your day at all. It's like you never read it. But there are some shorts that change your day; change your life even! There are shorts on this site that have made my overall opinion of humanity go up. I try to give these shorts five stars! Some shorts make angry--they make me sad to be a person! These stinkers get one star from me! These are extreme examples; and not all shorts are so trancendent--sometimes it's just about the writing! But I hope you can see what I'm getting at! I start out feeling nothing, and then move in one direction or the other--or no direction at all (that's a three!)! Given your system, I can see how you could give this a one. My system (and my culture!) however, understands and makes use of negative numbers--that doesn't make it a better system, just different! By the way, scoop, take it easy! Gosh!
08/9/2004 qualcomm: yeah, that's what i assumed your system was. but look at it this way: a student doesn't start with a C average. he starts with a 0.
08/9/2004 Jon Matza: Scoop: please clarify your stance on why it's so important to vote on all/most shorts. Seriously.
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony: Summer - I find your logic to be without flaw (although on Acme, just for showing up, a new guest author starts with .02 or so, not zero, due to the adjusted rating--but that's hardly a flaw). Your point is essentially sense-making due to the fact that everyone who hasn't ever written a short (Rosalynn Carter, for example) has a big fat fucking zero. However, I like my system because it measures how a short interacts with me. I have a hard time knowing what "is" a four (and furthermore, find such absolute distinctions meaningless), but judging that I "kind of like something" is something that I feel more comfortable doing. Now that I think about it, perhaps we really are using exactly the same system, and you just start off in a worse mood!
08/9/2004 qualcomm: i don't think my distinctions are entirely absolute. they're relative to every other short i've read. so if martin amis came around and wrote a short that just blew the rest of the stuff here out of the water, revealing it for the flabby crap it is, i'd have to re-calibrate.
08/9/2004 Mr. Pony: Really? I'd treat that as a freak occurrence. A rogue wave. But that's beside the point, I think. I think in my interactions with these little stories, I prefer to focus on the one-to-one interaction between the short and me. I don't discount everything I've ever read, but I don't let an opinion about a short I read in the morning change my mind too much about a short I read in the afternoon. This is probably partially due to the fact that my memory is measurably worse than yours, but also due to the extreme compartmentalization and fragmentation of my psyche; a result of a rare brain infection inflicted upon me during my travels in the Orient.
08/9/2004 scoop: Matza: I haven't given the following much thought but here it goes. The reason I think voting/participation should be encouraged are two fold: One, and probably most importantly, it adds vigor to the site. The more votes the more discussion, the more discussion the airing of differnt ideas which, while sometimes can be catastrophinc with a plethora of Re-Re ideas, is better than the vacant silence. Say you have a short your on the fence about - instead of remiaing silent, it seems more productive to pick a star and explain yourself. This will add an interpretation others may not have seen, and could spark an interesting discussion about craft. Not-voting also seems to be contagious, so that the longer a short stays dormant it enventually becomes stranded. The more we all vote the more robust our debates will be. Secondly, and less importantly, I think it helps clarify what is good and bad, funny and flat, smart and stupid, and so on. I know this isn't a writing workshop, but the votes and comments help keep the temperature. I don't think this is the main reason to encourage votes, but I think its a free and easy benefit. In conclusion, voting on Acme is good, it allows for a healthy flexing of civic muscles which in turn help shape us as citizens and prepare us for our particiaption in a larger democracy.
08/9/2004 Jon Matza: OK...but this doesn't explain your strong aversion (if I've understand you correctly) to comment on a short without voting on it. (I have a strong instinctive sense that this practice is not only not necessarily dishonorable but often the best option. Therfore I'd be obliged if you'd take the trouble to etc.)
08/9/2004 scoop: I'm not saying its dishonorable, Matza. Not voting just doesn't seem to serve any purpose that I can see. And I think it creates other unintended consequences. Whether it is the case or not, this reluctance to vote seems to create an environment where we're like obsessing over the vote instead of the short or somehting, only parceling out stars them out on rare occassions. It seems to fetishize the vote, and engender obsessing over the vote, splitting hairs, etc. I think we should just throw them out there, demystify the whole process. I'm not saying don't consdider it or whatever. But in the end of the day, it seems like more fun to throw votes around then it is to horde them. And I think new users (Hi new users) would be more inclined to jump in on the fun if they saw that we weren't all hung up with the process. When in doubt, demystify, dude, that's all.
08/9/2004 qualcomm: but what if i have this vague idea about a connection between stars and my precious life force?
08/9/2004 scoop: Then you should probably only drink distilled stars.
08/10/2004 Jon Matza: Scoop: You'll forgive me for saying so, but that sounds a little wacky. I, Matza, remain unconvinced! Moreover, I think it's an odd thing to have such a strong opinion about!
08/10/2004 Jon Matza: 'that' being your previous, longer comment.
08/10/2004 scoop: I don't forgive you, and even now am plotting ways to cause you great discomfort.
08/10/2004 TheBuyer: This is why votes should be withheld tournament style. Dudes.
08/10/2004 Jon Matza: Well I forgive you.
08/10/2004 John Slocum (3): Maybe this is a 1 or a 2, but here's an encouraging 3. Toobs: acme needs you.
08/12/2004 Dick Vomit (1): The "joke" behind this short was tricking a readership into discussing it, I think. Le uno.