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Let's Make it Fun Writing Challenge by Lambservant

Updated on November 11, 2016

Okay, I'm just going to get this out of the way right off the bat. My family is full of weirdo's, and I don't mind saying, I'm proud of it. Being a weirdo can keep life interesting. I was looking at some of the photos below and thought to myself "Lori, these photos of you and your family doing weird things would make a great writing challenge." So, if you feel twisted, or have a phenomenal imagination, why not give it a try.

But before we begin, let me introduce you me and my family.


My Mama was a mermaid.
My Mama was a mermaid. | Source
Don't ask.
Don't ask. | Source
Oof. | Source
They're still happily married.
They're still happily married. | Source

Meet the fam

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, first up to bat is my mother the mermaid. Yes, my mother dressed up as a mermaid and rode on a fish float down the main street of her little desert community, blowing bubbles. This is my mom's essence. What a ham. My mother was a genius at designing costumes and making them. She was involved in a group of lady entertainers in her community called the Golden Girls. They performed by dancing, singing, doing parades, all kinds of things. I have photos of my mom that just slay me. But of all of them, this one is epic.

Next in line is yours truly. On this particular day I had just come from a medical procedure and was still quite loopy. I was starving so my friend took me to Burger King. So they had these silly Cheetos Chicken Fries crowns to advertise their new product which sounds creepy to me. My friend and I both wore them while we ate, but the place was empty. No biggie right? The horribly embarrassing thing is that after eating, I walked into a somewhat upscale combination coffee bar/art gallery with this thing on. My friend filmed it. I noticed a very slight slur when I watched it. I appreciate her not putting it on facebook.

Then there is me with the great pumpkin. Let me tell you, it was heavy.

Last but not least, is my whacky sister and brother-in-law who were at their reception party after renewing their vows. I title this photo "Post Nuptial Agreement."

So now the truth is out. We've been banned in thirty seven states.

Other photo categories

To add to the challenge, here are some photos taken by me (lighthouse), my son (Purdy bridge in Purdy, WA) and a friend of mine, Rebekkah (ligtening).

Below that are signs I've photographed in my limited travels. On to guidelines at the end of the photos.






1. Choose at least two photos (but certainly three if you want) from at least two categories. One must be a person. Any others are your choice. You can even add an extra person if you want.

2. You can make your piece any form of creative writing - short story, flash fiction, poetry, even song lyrics.

3. Make your piece either humor, mystery or fantasy.

Following is my little contribution. I wouldn't think of asking anyone to go where no one has gone before. I will test the waters to be sure it's safe. But really, enter at your own risk.

Mom ironed while watching As the World Turns
Mom ironed while watching As the World Turns

My Mother the Mermaid: The Full Story

The video of my mother the mermaid performing in a parade went viral with two million hits in twenty four hours. I did not attend the festivities as I was on sabbatical from my professorship at a Midwestern college. My husband I went to the middle east to do some archaeological digs.

At home when I was growing up Mom was a fairly normal mother with just a few minor eccentricities. For instance, she loved to iron in the living room while watching As The World Turns. That's not too strange except she did it while dressed only in her slip and curlers. It was horrifying one day when we had a half day at school and I brought some high school friends home. They were rolling their eyes and smirking, except for Ted. His mom gardened in her nightgown and a fedora. This was nothing to him. While I herded everyone into the kitchen for a snack, Ted and Mom chatted away. Mom told him what a conniving little twit Lisa Hughes was, always trying to come between her ex Bob and his latest wife. They talked twenty minutes on her years of scheming, and tried to determine how many wives Bob has had and how many husband's Lisa has had. Ted decided Mom and his mom really ought to meet. I wish he hadn't have done that.

Mom and Genevieve have been friends for fifteen years now. They are often whispered about at bridge parties. But they have fun together. My mom has always been a great costume designer and Genevieve a great song and dance girl, as well as an artist, painting in various mediums. Her abstracts make Picasso look boring. They put their talents together and put on musicals, plays and skits at the local theaters in our county. They've made headlines often in our little county newspaper. I am proud of my mom's talents. I am an archaeology professor. Ho hum.

Mermaid Point Lighthouse
Mermaid Point Lighthouse | Source

Mayoral election celebration plans

While I was in the middle east brushing dirt off ancient pot shards in a twelve foot excavation hole, Mom and Genevieve were cooking up an extravaganza for the town Mayor's election celebration.They made a visit to Mayor Bustad to introduce themselves. I heard later that Mom and Genevieve did a little dance for him - Mom a belly dance and Genevieve grabbed hold of the Mayor and led him in a tango. Since there was no rose to put between her teeth, she plucked a fern off his office plant. It was so big it kept brushing his face.

Much to my mortification, the local newspaper was taking photos the whole time. Creepo put a photo of my mom's belly button on page one of the society page. Good thing I was in an excavation hole, it saved me from pleading with the earth to swallow me whole. According to the reporter, Mayor Bustad was very charmed and amused by them. That's disturbing when you think that he is the new mayor.

Mom and Genevieve pulled out all the stops for the celebration extravaganza. Ocean Crest is a town of four hundred, give or take, the entire population made up of eccentrics and old hippie types. A parade was planned with an aquatic theme. The parade route started on Ocean Crest Boulevard, a splendid, scenic stretch of road that paralleled the main beach, then a right turn at the end of the boulevard that took them to the end of the line which was Mermaid Point Lighthouse. After the parade there was to be a big barbecue on the beach, followed by a cocktail party at the top of the Lighthouse. The entertainment was the Mermaid Maidens Song and Dance Band. It promised to be a wonderful welcome celebration to the Mayor. It was more than that, let me tell you.


The parade

Ocean Crest High School marching band, made up of fifteen high school students, led the parade. Their colors were green pants and aqua tops with the image of a white wave cresting on the back. Their hats were aqua and green fish shaped hats with gold fishing hooks instead of tassels. They played their high school theme song, "Catch a Wave" by the Beach Boys. Boys and girls, moms and dads, grannies and grampas lined the sides of the road and cheered and sang along - Catch a wave and we're sittin' on top of the world...

Some salty fishermen followed on their old, but refurbished commercial fishing boat float named Miss Conduct. The fishermen were casting their lines and pulling up fish nets full of fake fish. The crowd cheered and waved.

Next came Genevieve and her dance group hula dancing in seaweed skirts and coconut shells around sailors playing ukuleles, horns, and a drum singing "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts." To make it more interesting, the sailors paused at a certain point and the dancing ladies knocked out a tribal beat on their coconuts. No mishaps, thank goodness. The crowd went wild.

Next came my mother the Mermaid atop a great fish float (designed and built by Ted, and painted by Genevieve). She blew bubbles out to the crowd with glee saying "Weeee, weeee." as recording of Don Ho singing "Tiny Bubbles" played. Sounds cute doesn't it? Well, things got a little crazy after that.

Tiny bubbles in the wine (Mom pulled out a large glass of red wine and took a few sips)

Make me happy, make me feel fine (Another couple of sips)

Tiny bubbles make me warm all over (Mom started fanning herself and said to no one, "Boy it's hot out here")

With a feeling that I'm gonna

Love you till the end of time (She blew kisses to the crowd and took another dainty sip)

So here's to the golden moon (She raised her glass to the sky at an imaginary moon, sip sip)

And here's to the silver sea (sip sip)

And mostly here's a toast

to you and me (sip)

The float stopped in front of the mayor. My virtuous but eccentric mom has never had a drink in her life so at this point in the song the wine had taken over her head and she was getting pretty green to the gills. But she carried on and began her great finale by blowing bubbles made of red wine and soap at the Mayor. The red bubbles wowed the crowd and "Ooo's" and "Ah's" filled the air.

So here's to the ginger lei

I give to you today

And here's a kiss

that will not fade away.

It was this last line when mom lost total control and flung the contents of the bubble/wine solution over the mayor's head and promptly fell off the float. The mayor, trying be a gentleman, stooped down to lift her back to her feet. The problem was mermaids don't have feet. Thus she fell back to the pavement. Another couple of falls and some paramedics came and put her on a gurney and took her away.

She never made the barbecue or the lighthouse party, but she made the six o'clock and eleven o' clock news and made headlines all around the country. Worst of all though was that someone filmed the whole escapade and put it on youtube. Like I said before, it went viral overnight and my husband and I happened to see it playing on a laptop of someone in the restaurant we were having dinner at. My husband and I looked at each other in horror. We were very grateful we were in Egypt and not visiting Mom. But when we arrived home a week later we had twenty three voice mails, forty five emails, sixty two tweets and fifty seven facebook posts with links to the video telling us all about my mother the mermaid lush making a laughingstock of herself. I felt the shame of it.

When I went to Mom's the first night after we got back she and Genevieve were making a scrapbook of the newspaper and magazine articles. Time Magazine and People magazine did a photo shoot and interview. They both dubbed her Mermaid of the Year. She went on the morning shows - Good Morning America and the Today Show, and went on Jimmy Fallon. They did a Mermaid skit with Mom, Jimmy, Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks.

A couple of years later when Mayor Bustad was up for reelection he made Mom and Genevieve his campaign managers. Having experienced some criticism from stodgy right wingers for having Mom and Genevieve being his campaign managers after their disgraceful behavior at the parade, he adopted a new and unique campaign slogan:

Don't judge my path if you haven't walked my journey.

He won in a landslide victory.

Mayor Bustad's campaign slogan.
Mayor Bustad's campaign slogan.

Ready, set, go

Well, it's time for you to begin. Good luck and have fun.

© 2016 Lori Colbo. All rights reserved.


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