HH Com 595

THE OXYMORONS by Charlie Peat
Humorous, Young Adult Novel

Zachary Taylor Smith must give a speech; it’s his first birthday of the year, after all, and he’s the oldest, oldest man in the world. He faces the mass of adoring pilgrims gathered to hear him and announces, “You’re slime. You’re bile. I’d spit if I could spare the moisture.” The crowd erupts, not in anger but in joy. No mosh pit was ever so frantic, no victory celebration so joyous. He’s given them exactly what they want: a good verbal spanking.

She’s no pilgrim, fifteen and emocidal. Her task: rescue Zachary, fail, and enjoy the punishment.

On Zachary’s second birthday of the year, he strays from the formula. At Mary’s urging, he tells the pilgrims a simple, pleasant story. The crowd turns vengeful, refusing to be talked to like children. They demand verbal abuse and nothing less for their sins.

Pilgrims scatter to escape the flying guillotines. The chopper doors burst open and out rolls Bo Whaler the Elder, barely alive, Muppet-like, the real oldest, oldest man in the world, and he’s got the right papers to prove it. Zachary doesn’t.

Zachary‘s only way out is six feet straight down. Suicide is a strategy Mary’s already considered. The question is, do they have the old saggy balls for it? (Is that worse than “breeder?”)

The Ides of Snark: WTF??


Rhonda Stapleton said...

This is on crack. Seriously. I'm so lost.

clarice snarkling said...

Wait, what?

I definitely laughed when I read this, but I'm not at all sure why. (And now my co-workers think I'm a weirdo.) How can this be a young adult novel when it seems that the oldest man in the world is taking center stage?

Anonymous said...

1. wtf?
2. I'd read this book though ;)

Dave said...

There's no plot here. There is only a silly joke about the oldest man in the world.

And if he isn't, then so what? We don't care about him. His job is to stand up and insult them?

Been there, done that - look up old comedians and you find the famous insulter among them.

Anonymous said...

I'm completely confused, but aside from that -- suicide as a mechanism in a humorous young adult novel? Something doesn't quite click.

Ms Molly said...

Emocidal is a fantastic word. I'm a little confused by the plot here, but I really like the voice.

Anonymous said...

"The chopper doors burst open and out rolls Bo Whaler the Elder, barely alive, Muppet-like, the real oldest, oldest man in the world..."

This is my favorite line.

It's hysterical, alright, though probably not the way you intended, dear author.

I am going to describe myself as muppet-like from now on.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Yeah... what anonymous the first said. This is strangely intriguing!

Maybe I need a verbal spanking.

Anonymous said...

Definitions of oxymoron would be:

"a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”"

"A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist. "

"A rhetorical device in which two seemingly contradictory words are used together for effect: “She is just a poor little rich girl.”"

Yet, what the author has described in these paragraphs seems to me to be a collection of opposites, which is subtly different from a collection of oxymorons. Calling a guy old when he's really young does not an oxymoron make. When you say something is "awfully pretty" you're not really saying it's awful, you're still implying it's pretty. But calling a guy "Old Joe" for example, when he's really young, that's not an oxymoron.

Maybe you could call them the Contradictions. Or make Miss Phillips the main character and call it, "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary".

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, your comments crack me up.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Zachary Taylor Smith one of those kids from Home Improvement?

Word Verification: Awhjour -- the sound of the day.

writtenwyrdd said...

This was so weird I'd almost want to read pages just out of curiosity. But you state it's YA and then go into an ancient dude being obnoxious, and mention a few other odd characters, none of which strike me as anything out of a YA novel. Take the oxy out of the morons and I think that describes this.

Rhonda's right: this really IS on crack.

I'd like to see a good treatment of what this is all about though, because I really like weird and quirky books.

Kit Whitfield said...

On a practical note: when is this set? What kind of world does it inhabit? Who is Zachary really? What is Mary supposed to be rescuing him from? Why is being old so important? Is this an SM story, and if not, why does it sound like one?

It's good to present the story dramatically, but as this seems to inhabit a weird world, the reader needs some help.

Also, I think your headings are making it more confusing. They break up the sequence of events, which means that tracing the story from one paragraph to another is disrupted.

You definitely have everyone wondering, but an agent has limited time in which to read a hook. If it takes them too long to work out what you're getting at, they may give up. It sounds like you have something interesting here, so don't be afraid of making it clearer.

mozartgirl said...

To Anonymous, Jonathan Taylor Thomas (aka JT squared)is the kid from Home Improvement, but that's who immediately sprang to my mind too. :-) This sounds more like a book for grown-ups than YA.