Post of the Week #3

Disaster averted! With Pam’s votes having mysteriously gone astray over the weekend, a last minute plea for a substitute was kindly answered by Ann Pixeldiva. Having pooled her votes with mine and Clair‘s, I can now reveal that the new Post Of The Week is…

Coming up after the break.

But first, let’s look back at last week’s other nominees.

We visited karaoke bars in North Korea and Saharan vomitoria (not to mention damp sand-pits) in Tokyo.

We learnt about gold carving in Guyana, and acts of altruism in Jordan, over cups of coffee in Washington DC.

We left answering machine messages in New York, swapped broken German with Swedish chefs, and inadvertantly flashed our bits at VIPs.

There were meditations on peace, angry rants at Texan voters (more background here), and – following directly on from last week’s winning post – an intensely moving personal testimony of the hurt that families can mete out over the decades.

In the midst of so much internationalism, this week’s winning post comes from closer to home. From North London, to be exact – where a survivor of the 7/7 tube bombings voices her opposition to the recent attempts to detain terrorist suspects without charge for up to 90 days, and lays into the idea that the Blair government were somehow acting in her name. As one of the judges put it:

…saying something that really really needed to be said, and saying it a way that will hopefully make people pay attention.

The second Post of the Week therefore goes to:

Rachel from north London: 90 days and 90 nights.

Please leave this week’s nominations in the comments box below, by Saturday morning at the latest. Rules of engagement are here.

This week’s esteemed judges are JonnyB and Zinnia Cyclamen.

1. The Marvelous Garden: THE ART OF SEDUCTION: A Short True Story.
(nominated by Sarsparilla)Beside me, an elderly woman gave new meaning to the term “stationary”, as she flipped noisily through the pages of Glamour, grunting and snorting despite her obvious lack of movement. Occasionally, she spun the pedals around for effect, so no one would think she hadn’t dressed up in gym clothes and slung a towel over her shoulders in order to carry on a loud argument with the editors of Glamour.

2. Acerbia: Burger Me.
(nominated by mike)”See? Albino tomato. Probably the runt of the litter. Struggled and fought to be like its brothers and sister and finally acheived its dream of being a ketchup dispenser despite its rough upbringing and a world full of superficial values.”

3. infinity: de-tox.

(nominated by Clair)This journey, this relationship has been wonderful because it has forced me to look at my life. Review my priorities and strip away the things that I don’t really see as success. Too often I have taken on other people’s ideas of success. People look at bits of my life, the bits they see and project from there to how successful they think I am. People think I am successful. But what if I have a different set of values? What if I don’t count success the same way?

4. frizzyLogic: Baby Bear.

(nominated by mike and Hg: don’t forget to play the movie)Obviously the risk of losing BB was too terrible to contemplate. So early on we bought an understudy. This unfortunate creature has spent all his life so far in the back of my wardrobe since he’s never been called upon to take centre stage.

Despite living entirely in the dark he has not become pale and etiolated. Quite the opposite. He has retained an enviable youthful vibrancy and vigour. So much so that, were he called upon to make an entrance, he would give a very unconvincing performance.

5. Geese Aplenty: No no.
(nominated by Pam)Okay, hold. Stop right there. Does that sound like a recipe for a good novel? When’s the last time you saw a cover blurb that read “Shortlisted for the Booker Prize because of its seat-of-the-pants writing style”? Try “A slapdash exercise in verbal logorrhea that made me physically sick.”

6. Neeka’s Backlog: Monday, November 14, 2005.

(nominated by looby)As I was taking yet another picture of something ugly, a man called out to me from behind a broken-down fence; he looked like someone who rides around in an ambulance all day. At first, I didn’t hear all that he said. But I thought I heard the word ‘morgue.’ The building behind him, which I had just photographed, could’ve been a morgue, I thought. He repeated: “Devushka [miss, girl], is that a hobby of yours to take pictures of morgues?”

7. Speaking as a parent: Give My Compliments To The Cashier.

(nominated by mike)It’s a very English thing, not complaining. I’m sure if I had been on the Titanic and a steward from the White Star Line had rowed alongside our lifeboat and asked “How’s everything for you, then?” I would have replied “Fine, thanks” and left it at that. Mel would have undoubtedly muttered something about sending a stiff letter to someone, a letter that would have hit a snag somewhere in the planning stages and never darkened a letter box, let alone anyone’s desk.

8. Pete Ashton’s Weblog: Going Deaf For A Fortnight.

(nominated by Ben)…a 14 day series of posts… in which I go to a gig in a small venue in Birmingham every night to see bands I mostly have never heard of before and then write about them here. By the end of it I expect to have attained a good overview of the Birmingham small gigs scene, to hopefully have discovered some good tune-smiths and to probably have descended into a nightmarish Gonzo-style meltdown. We shall see.

9. 360 Degrees of Sky: Termites.

(nominated by guyana-gyal)
IE users beware: DON’T click on any pop-ups or ActiveX windows – it’s fastusersonline trying to get you to install a porn toolbar.The torrent of water makes me want to pee, but when I look up from my page my exit is blocked. A wall of termites is between me and the door. Well, actually between me and everything else. But I need to pee.

10. Mimi In New York: The Slap.

(nominated by mike)The rot spreads, mould covering the sheen of life, dragging it down with cloying, asphyxiating stealth. Little Sasha, blonde and beautiful, six years old, laughing as Daddy heaves her onto his shoulders. Sasha, eighteen, sweet and clean, moving to New York to be a model and actress, excited, overwhelmed by the Big Apple. Sasha, 30, pawed by managers, sucking dick for approval, seeking out compliments like an eager puppy, but waiting, just waiting, always waiting, for the slap.

11. Glitter For Brains: The Gayest Cake Disaster Imaginable.

(nominated by Pam)And remember – baking goods also respond well to music. So if you’re baking The Gayest Cake Imaginable, why not start off with the new Madonna album? Oh, you can taste the glitter in the air!

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