Post of the Week #2

Jeepers, you guys! On launching the “Post of the Week” wheeze last Monday, I was certainly hoping for at least a modest amount of reader participation… but never in my wildest dreams did I expect for us to end up with 18 nominated posts by Saturday morning. Not that I’m complaining; you came up with some stunners, both from names which are already familiar to me, and from blogs which I’ve never heard of before.

We had below-stairs revelations from transatlantic liners in the early 20th century. We had exposed genitals on the London Underground. We had flirtatious glances over the organic vegetables (the latter two posts combined into one, for the purposes of voting). We had mythical beasts and holy grails, patently shit strippers and questionable intimate hygiene. We had bewildered kiddies at the door, and dizzy Miss Lizzies on the tube.

Over here, a token straight man attends a Eurovision party. Over there, a single man tries to assess whether or not the grass is greener on his side of the relationship divide. And way over yonder, a good-natured orgy in the middle of an industrial estate makes for the first blog post ever to give me the horn, good and proper. (But then, I lead a sheltered life.) Oh, and there was something which I think was about boats, only having read it three times I’m still not quite sure. (Anyone?)

And then there was Anna from, who earnt herself no less than three nominations. (I’d say “record breaking”, if it didn’t feel a little previous.) Which did we like best? The bossy crisp packet, the sneaky hour-thieving bastards, or the lovingly “prepared” birthday meal? Or would we all feel differently, thus fatally splitting the vote?

As it turned out, my fellow judges (Karen and asta) and I all plumped decisively for the birthday meal post, making it a clear runner-up to…

this too: When last we met.

A worthy winner indeed. Here’s what one of the judges said about it:

“The history of a relationship summed up in a few raw and yet stylistically elegant paragraphs. Staggering.”

And here’s what another judge said:

“It reminds me of the famous Frizzy Logic post, The hurt of not-knowing. I know it’s sad and most of the nominees are more light-hearted, but it is rare to find a from-the-heart post that is also well-written, and this is it. I like it.”

Now, who’s going to tell the author? After such a moving, intensely personal piece of writing, I scarcely like to bounce into her comments box, whooping and shrieking and waving my hands. (“CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE A WINNER!!! MIKE AT TROUBLED DIVA IS GOING TO LINK TO YOU ON THE TOP OF HIS BLOG FOR THE WHOLE OF THE NEXT WEEK! THINK OF THE TRAFFIC! ISN’T IT FABULOUS?!!“)

No, methinks not. But Jean, if you do find your way here, then your post was much appreciated by all three of us, and hopefully by quite a few more besides.

Right then. On with the nominations for Week Two. The rules of engagement are here, and this week’s judges are Clair and Pam. Nominations in the comments box please, and all nominees will be appended to this post as they appear.

1. SHANE: The Body – Part II: Blind.
(nominated by Zinnia Cyclamen)Later, I found Marie pottering over a smouldering grill-pan.
Shane: Ah. How’s things?
Marie: Recently extinguished.
Shane: Mm, I see. And the Very Important People? They were ok? Nothing too intense?
Marie: (pause, at which Shane begins to feel a tad uncomfortable) Well, they were very sweet-
Shane: Good.
Marie: -considering.
2. greavsie in blogland: Greavsie is understanding Language and Life.
(nominated by annie)‘German!’ came a hush whisper as my Boss covered the phone, making a slitty throat motion with his hand and offering me the receiver with the other.
I’d take the receiver and set off with my best Nuremburg pronunciation. ‘GUTEN ABEND, HIER IST HERR DOCTOR SMITH. ICH MOCHTE GERN MITT HERR SCHMIDT SPRECHEN BITTE.’
3. GUYANA: the hollow gold bangles.
(nominated by asta)“You can tell when a goldsmith is lying if he says he can carve on gold,” the whistling doctor tell we. “You look at his toe near the big toe. If it is straight, he does not carve, he engraves. If it is twisted, he carves.”I laugh, thought was a joke. But was no joke.

4. In and Out of Confidence: Breaking it.
(nominated by Natalie)As I lay down I sensed a large, dark, thick, pungent, pale green cobweb cloud above my head, spreading out over the ceiling and layers falling down and around to hover just above my body. I was terrified and lay awake, trembling and keeping my eyes fixed on that imaginary cloud until the morning light drove it away.
5. Synchronicity Or Just A Coincidence: How do you want to live your life?
(nominated by guyana-gyal)He paused for a second and then proceeded to tell me how he was in the Jordian military. How sitting here on the sidewalks of DC on a nice day people watching reminded him of the markets in Jordan. How the family he is renting a room from are like strangers. He talked at length about how people here are always moving so fast, they forget how to sit still. I agreed.
6. Rachel from north London: 90 days and 90 nights.
(nominated by mike)How I wish I had the strength and the freedom to break ranks and embarrass you properly. But I know I will be eaten alive by the media if I am the ‘dissenting victim’s voice’. I get enough calls from journos as it is at the moment.
7. blogjam: North Korea – Day Three.
(nominated by mike)Another song follows, then a third girl gets up to sing. This tune has a more strident beat, and pretty soon all the Westerners in the room are clapping gleefully along. And then the visuals kick in on the big screen. It’s all missile launches, marching soldiers and mushroom clouds. Christ knows what she’s singing about, but it ain’t Scaramush, Scaramush will you do the Fandango. Immediately we’re all exchanging ‘WTF?’ looks and trying not to look like it’s the most surreal moment of our lives, but the atmosphere in the room has just been cranked up several notches.
8/9. Tokyo Girl: EITHER Overconfidence OR Ostrich gizzards at the vomitorium.
(nominated by mike – who can’t quite decide between, not to put too fine a point on it, piss and puke)EITHER:
“Oh look, you did need the toilet,” I said in the calm matter-of-fact manner advised by the book, stifling my inner harridan behind a forced smile. “Let’s go home and get some dry clothes.”OR:
“Oh shit, disgusting,” I said loudly. The two Japanese men leaning against the wall looked at me blankly. Fortunately my Japanese runs to: “Puke, shocking!” The two men giggled and nodded in acknowledgement.

10. mondrian’s neon fantod: Today I Am Not Proud To Be A Texan.
(nominated by patita)Today I am deeply disappointed in approximately 75.5% of the voters in my home state. Today I am bewildered, confused and saddened. See, I don’t know what happened to the occasionally difficult but always decent frontier mentality of my people.
11. Autoblography: Shades Of Peace.
(nominated by Karen)Today I remember the people sitting around tables at the end of every war. I remember the beginnings of peace. I remember the efforts of those working to maintain peace. Instead of remembering the fighting and the death that grew out of differences, I am trying to think of the years people around the world have lived without war.
12.londonmark: Leaving Messages.
(nominated by Pete)I realise we haven’t spoken in something like four months, not since you skipped the pond and set up in New York. Hope things are going well for you, I don’t see you around anymore buddy, guessing you’re okay and just, y’know, adjusting to new life and settling in and making your way in the world and looking for that special bar where everyone’s gonna know your name. Life’s different without you.

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