Verbal Jousting

Head over to the Trifecta Challenge to read this week’s prompt responses.  The word is:

clean (adjective)

1: free from dirt or pollution
2: unadulterated, pure
3 a : free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind <a candidate with a clean record>

b : free from offensive treatment of sexual subjects and from the use of obscenity <a clean joke>

c : observing the rules : fair <a clean fight>

That, combined with seeing this funny bit of word-play, inspired me to try my own battle of wits.  And, since nothing is ever entirely normal in The Necessary, there had to be a referee.  This bit would probably go somewhere in the early part of the Necessary, so, without any particular reason for it, I’m putting it in after ‘Lazy Afternoons’.  To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s the kind of thing that would work in an actual story, but I had a lot of fun finding fungus, moss and fern related words to use, and writing is meant to be enjoyed.

If you want to read all the pieces of this story in order (though with gaps between them, I guarantee), check out the Fiction page you’ll see near the top of the screen – it has the story links in order.

Let me know what you think – am I terribly punny, or just terrible?

The Ref wore a striped top hat and matching tailcoat, his white gloves pristine and his black shoes gleaming.  He looked out of place in the small boxing ring.

My opponent looked like he’d been born there, grubby tank top, baggy shorts, and attitude.  He sneered at me, whiskers twitching at the end of his ratty muzzle, pink nose constantly twitching.

Don’t throw up.  Breathe.

“Do I have to do this?” I whispered through clenched teeth.

Joanna squeezed my shoulder from behind the ropes.

“Knock em’ dead.”

The Ref cleared his throat and adjusted his monocle, glaring at each of us in turn.  “I want a clean fight tonight.  Topic: Mushroom – begin!”

“Some say I’m a fungi” He oozed confidence.

Deep breath.  “en-chanterelle-d to meet you.”

“You don’t seem very fern

“Wait ‘till you see what I have in spore for you” polite applause and he bounces back against the ropes.

“Is there a morel to this story?” more applause, I’m pushed more sharply back.

Moss there be?”  This isn’t so bad.

“I like to root out the pearl of wisdom in the oyster.”  Ouch, that time hurt more.

“Tis ‘naught but a truffle.”  He loses his sneer as he is pushed back so hard the ropes creak.

Enoki of this Shiitake – why don’t you just leaf?” The breath is knocked out of me as I slam back into the rope.

Veil-ed insults are in pore taste, don’t you a-tree?”  I return the favour.

“You moss be lichen our game?” he gasped

A sharp whistle and a red flag dropped.  The boy is knocked back so hard he is flipped out of the ring all together, landing with a thud on the ground outside.

“Repeat, automatic disqualification – the Otherlander has stolon the show.” The Ref spoke so dryly that it took me a moment to grasp his meaning.  The crowd roared their enthusiasm and Joanna hugged me, adding her own excited voice to the din.

I grinned my triumph, and yelled, “Never again!”

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  1. lol – what fun!!! I LOVE plays on words.

  2. Fantastic! What a fun read!

  3. 😀 I enjoyed this 😀

  4. Nice cob, you did alright for a carrot top.

  5. Unexpected. Well done.

  6. karen

     /  March 21, 2012

    Very silly and fun. (Which is good, of course.) Have you heard of CBC Radio’s The Debators? Your humour reminds me of this …

    • I like listening to that, though I’m rarely listening to the radio at the right time (sometimes, long car trips have their advantages) – thanks 🙂

  7. You are terribly punny indeed! (Not terrible at all :))

  8. I laughed. This is so much pun, err, fun. :-))

  9. That was GLORIOUS!!! Very Alice In Wonderland, especially in the wordplay and description of the ref.

    • thanks – the ref definitely was channeling a bit of wonderland, and I could see that kind of verbal boxing happening through the looking glass too 🙂

  10. Ha, this is clever. I’m impressed. One or two puns would have been clever enough, but to continue it all the way through is great! I love the idea of a verbal joust and the referee was perfect. Great imagination and super execution.

    Thanks for linking up and sorry that my comments didn’t quite make it in before the new post went up. Rest assured it was read in time; I was just having a few technical issues! Hope you’ll be back for the weekend challenge.

    • thanks – it took a bit of searching through terms associated with mushrooms, but it was a lot of fun to do the research.

  11. Good one. 🙂

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