Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Contest

***CONTEST IS CLOSED-THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE ENTERED***

Yeehah. From now until Mayday, I am asking readers to write the 2005 Update for "Man." The author whose definition I select will receive a copy of "The Devil's Dictionary," on which this weblog is based, as well as The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce. The task is simple: Write a definition for Man which is funny and carries some of Bierce's dry irony. Then email it to me at dougpas@pacbell.net. To maintain suspense, I'd appreciate no entries in the comments section but since I myself have been known to follow instructions badly, comments there will be considered as well. It will be assumed that I have the right to publish anything anyone sends and make sure I have a way to contact you for a mailing address in case your entry is the selected prize winner.

The selections will (mostly-see below) all be published somewhere on the day the prize is announced.

The winner will be selected either at my sole discretion, or I may add a guest judge or two who know Bierce better than I do. The point is I am William Randolph Hearst, YOU are Ambrose Bierce.

One more rule, all are encouraged to enter but people I know in person are ineligible for the prize as I don't want to discuss at Thanksgiving why you didn't win unless I made the gravy myself.

A few helpful hints:
1. Entries containing profanity will be omitted, deleted, scorned and their authors placed under peril of sarcasm. "Son-of-a-bitch" is alright but probably not necessary.
2. Partisanship misses the point, and entries using proper names of people or parties will not win unless they're awfully funny and, probably, the only entry.
3. I don't always imitate Bierce in my posts and you don't have to in yours, but if I'm wavering between two or more, the one that sounds most like Bierce to me and the (currently imaginary) other judges will probably win.

So, with no further ado, here is Bierce's definition of "Man"

Man, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.

2005 Update: You tell me.

29 comments:

pia said...

Hi Doug,
You expect somebody to come up with a better definition than Bierce's?

Won't be me!

thanks for the wonderful supportive comments

Doug said...

Pia, if the goal were to improve on Bierce, I wouldn't have this site. Just be funny (which you do very well.)

Indeterminacy said...

Sounds like a fun contest. But still it's hard to top or even equal Bierce, as all of his definitions are small masterpieces.

Doug said...

Indeterminacy, that doesn't stop me, brother. C'mon, give it a shot.

Mace said...

Just sent one in.

Doug said...

Thanks, Mace. It's a good one, too.

The Mushroom said...

Ambrose Bierce Died For Our Sins.
-- R.A.T. 1992

karma said...

How will you send me a copy of 'The Devil's Dictionary' if you don't know my address?

Doug said...

Shroom, what's R.A.T.? I think I may never have been cool.


Karma, a good question. My plan is to contact via email or as a comment on a blog and to have the person receiving the books give me an address which I agree not to reveal. It can be a work or general delivery address if someone suspects that I may be a sadistic stalker, or a home address if you hope I am.

Doug said...

Shroom, I see. I was ignorant of something I was knee-deep in. Not for the fist time, either.

Whymrhymer said...

A double submission is on the way.

Doug said...

Thanks, Whymrhyrmer. I look forward to getting them.

dom said...

I'm Gonna wrack my brain over this ... email pending.
Nice blog old chap right O !
go watch this for a laugh..
http://albinoblacksheep.com/flash/end.php

Doug said...

Thanks, Dom. You couldn't possibly be British, could you? By the way, everyone, he's right, follow the link in Dom's comment.

Che said...

I think Bierce's definition of 'Man' is still relevant today.

I enjoy your blog - Bierce is one of my favourites. And thanks for visiting mine. I look forward to seeing what erupts from your contest.

Doug said...

Thanks, Che. I like your blogs and have enjoyed them for awhile. I appreciate the thought you put into them.

and you are aware of course that "Che" is Argentine for "Dude."

CT said...

good times...

Doug said...

Thanks for your comment, TB. I'm not sure I got it, but thanks.

Mike said...

Hey. Not an answer (sorry) but rather a request. How do you set it up so that you have one post at the top of your blog like that? I've wanted to do that but I'm not to hot with html. If you could leave me a message on my blog I'd appriciate it.

Thank you!

KJ said...

just dropping by to say wonderful job on this blog...

Doug said...

Mike, I hope that helped. KJ, thanks for your kind words towards my unkind ones.

Guardian_Angel3 said...

That's simple.

Man = Da Guy with a penis

at least for the present

Go on...ask something more difficult

Lynda Hartley said...

Yes I too would like to know how to leave a post at the top, I have a picture that I want left up there, please e-mail me at britepath@peoplepc.com Great site, very informative.

Doug said...

Lynda, done.

weirsdo said...

Mrs. Weirsdo says she is on tent hooks or something about your contest, even though I TOLD her how you e-mailed me I'd won with my answer, "thingy."
I'm not normally into boooks, but I have to admit I'm curious about this Ann B. Rose. Where was she Pierced? How many times? I hope you will be sure and tell the losers this important info. Then Mrs. Weirsdo can get off her tent hooks.

Doug said...

Pansi, The excitement is crackling across the blogosphere! Damone, the webmaster at The Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society is co-judging with me so it should be a real hootenany! Contest ends Sunday, results by Wednesday. See your physician if you need help coping with the suspense.

Indeterminacy said...

I'll try to write some dull stories in the next couple of days to bring everybody back down again.

Doug said...

Not for my sake, Inde, your indulgence is enough.

Indeterminacy said...

OK. It wouldn't solve the problem of my high voltage tension, anyway.