Writer's Challenge #1: Cross-purposes.

As an exercise, to keep us all on our toes, I'd like to offer a challenge:


Write a one-page or shorter dialog in which two people each think they understand the other, but are talking about two entirely different things.


(Jean-Paul, you'll be good at this)


Feel free to open new threads for Writer's Challenge #2, #3, etc. -- I'd love to see this be a weekly or daily revolving exercise.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    No need. It already happens often in the forums   Smiley Happy

  • HA!  But that's accidental and we should be able to do it deliberately. ...


    The examples that have sprung into my mind so far are things like one person talking about a woman while another is talking about a car... Not as good an example...

    kevinlomas wrote:

    No need. It already happens often in the forums   Smiley Happy

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    kevinlomas a écrit :

    No need. It already happens often in the forums   Smiley Happy

    Smiley Very Happy

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    Skoob_Ym a écrit :

    Write a one-page or shorter dialog in which two people each think they understand the other, but are talking about two entirely different things.

    Yes a classic in comedy, but also  sometimes in tragedy. I'll see what I can do, but no promise.

  • I have one

    I have just reduced my ebooks down to £0.99. grab yourself a read. i would love some reviews.


  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    Zachariah Obadiah, the son of a well-to-do family from a hick town in the Bible Belt, is visiting England. His father told him to contact a business partner, Sir John Treville, who won’t be back home until 6 p.m. so he’s asked his butler, Turtle, to fetch Zach from the train station and take care of him. Turtle dislikes Zach’s rough appearance and vulgar manners, and has decided to make things difficult for him. Zach is now sitting alone in the front lounge.
    Enter Turtle with a tray of small triangular sandwiches.
    TUR : Your tea, Sir.
    ZAC: Tea?
    TUR: Yes, high tea, Sir.
    ZAC: Can I have coffee instead?
    TUR: Of course, Sir. So no tea with your coffee, Sir?
    ZAC: Nah! That would make a yucky mixture!
    TUR: Very well, Sir.
    Turtle takes the sandwich tray away, and comes back a little later with a coffee set.
    TUR: Your coffee, Sir.
    ZAC: Why did you take away those yummy-looking sandwiches?
    TUR: I thought you didn’t want them with your coffee, Sir.
    ZAC: No! I said I don’t want tea mixed up with coffee.
    TUR: So, what should I do, Sir?
    ZAC: Bring the sandwiches back, you dumb **bleep**. If you was my servant, I’d fire you pretty quick.
    TUR: Very well, Sir.
    Turtle brings the sandwich tray back. Half of them are missing.
    ZAC: It’s half empry now! How’s that?
    TUR: As you didn’t want them, Sir, Cook ate them. We don’t waste food here, Sir.
    ZAC: I see. I suppose your master is hard-up now.
    TUR: Hard-up, Sir? What makes you think so?
    ZAC: That old furniture of his! Look at that! I’d swear every piece is at least a hundred years’ old.
    TUR: Some more than that, Sir!
    ZAC: To think we can afford a complete renewal of our furniture every five years.
    TUR: What style, Sir, if I may ask?
    ZAC: The newest! Always the newest, and always brand new!
    TUR: Very well, Sir. May I go now, Sir?
    ZAC: How much do you think your master’s furniture would fetch in a second-hand shop?
    TUR: I have no idea, Sir.
    ZAC: I’ll tell you. Less than a hundred dollars! [Tastes his coffee] Isn’t your coffee just warm?
    TUR: Shall I brew some fresh coffee, Sir?
    ZAC: No! Bring me hot coffee. And what are these green slices in the sandwiches?
    TUR: Cucumber, Sir.
    ZAC: You don’t say! Who would think of making cucumber sandwiches?
    TUR: Shall I take your tea away, Sir?
    ZAC: There is no tea on the table, you dumb **bleep**!
    TUR: These sandwiches are your high tea, Sir. If you don’t like them, I’ll take them away.



  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I would never submit anything written in a rush, so here's a section of one of my books.



    After not long watching out of the cockpit, the windscreen wiper-blades distracting, Dervin admits to Vastien, “I fancy one of those V-22 Ospreys you know.”

    Vastien nods in approval, “instead of this? Why not get one then?”

    Nodding and shrugging, Dervin replies, “I doubt it would fit in the hanger. Nice though.”

    Vastien simply nods back, himself also still gazing out of his side window.

    They are now out of the drizzle and high up. The wipers have stopped. There’s still little to see of interest. The sound compensators almost negating the racket from the engine and rotor-blades.

    “Did you bring any sandwiches?” asks Dervin, optimistically.

    “No sorry boss. I have already eaten, and there’s nothing in the fridge.”

    Not long later Vastien informs, “they fold up you know.”

    “Sandwiches?” Dervin inquires, confused.

    “Huh? No. Ospreys. Props fold and wings swivel over the body, ends up looking like a, well, as if it’s been in a bad crash, I suppose.”




  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    "Folding Sandwiches" would be a good title.

    P.S.  Smiley Surprised It's an exercise, so posting an old homework is cheating. I hope the master will punish you.   Smiley Very Happy

  • No punishments. Smiley Very Happy


    Both good excerpts.


    Folding sandwiches. You can do that, you know, fold a slice of bread and... Well, it wouldn't look like an osprey, or any sort of bird, not unless it was a turkey sandwich or chicken...


    Of, course, since proposing the challenge, not a thing will come to mind. I'll try to put something on tomorrow night...


    He was standing at the island in the kitchen, staring at the muted TV in the den, as she walked into the kitchen. Clearly he had already had his lunch.


    She pulled open the fridge and reached in. There was a good lasagna from the other night, and it would warm up nicely.


    "I ordered the most stunning blue dress," she said. "You'll love it." Between the fact that she was speaking to the lasagna and the fact that his eyes were on the football game, her remarks passed unnoticed.


    She stood up, slid the plate into the microwave, and punched some buttons.


    He seemed to notice her at last, his eyes flitting towards her and then back to football. He held up some envelopes, yesterday's mail, from the island countertop. "Did it come yet?" he asked.


    "Of course not," she replied, watching the lasagna turn round. She didn't want it to scorch and dry out. "I'm not expecting it until Wednesday."


    "Wednesday? That's nearly a week. Is there a strike or something? A new holiday?"


    "Well, it's not like I'm going to walk around naked until then. Can't wait, eh?"


    The thought jarred him from the football game. He looked at her, in her ordinary jeans and shirt, as she plated the lasagna -- a smallish portion, in fitting with maintaining her slim figure -- and turned towards him. He had no idea what that meant. Why would she need to go around naked until the mail came?


    "Well, you do have plenty of clothes," he said, puzzled.


    Her faced flashed in a second from mildly flirty to raging anger. The plate clattered on the countertop as she stormed from the room.


    He stared after her for a moment. How do these things get started? he wondered. Then he turned his attention back to football.

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    Skoob_Ym, I should have had the TV with the sound on, and the wife talking about a new shoe store named "Chelsea's Footwear" [replace "Chelsea" by any US team's name ].  The husband's ear would only have picked "foot",  etc.

  • “It got real cold last night,” Jill said, sitting across from Jack and sipping her coffee.


    “It did,” Jack replied. “Did you do anything fun?”


    Jill shook her head, “nah, stayed in and watched television. You?”




    They sat in silence until Jill spoke up. “Think it’ll snow today?”


    “I imagine,” Jack said.


    “Well,” Jill said, standing, “I suppose I should get to work.”


    "Wait,” Jack snapped, “I need to ask you something first.”


    If Jack had looked up, he’d have seen the light behind her eyes spark. “Yes Jack?”


    “I…uh…well, I wanted to ask you something. I suppose it’s rather important, but it seems so silly.”


    Jill sat back down. “What is it?”


    “I want to ask you something, but it’s not easy.”


    “I understand Jack, go ahead.”


    He took a deep breath. “I just don’t want to come off the wrong way, or…well you know how it can be. I didn’t want to make anything weird. It’s important, but it seems kind of dumb” he gave a little laugh “but hell, I can’t do it alone.”


    Jill chuckled too. “Yes, I suppose that would be rather silly, out there all by yourself.”


    “It would be silly. You’re right. So I shouldn’t be so nervous about it, should I?”


    “No,” Jill said, “you shouldn’t be nervous at all.”


    “Okay,” Jack said, feeling more confident, “I’m going to stop dancing around it then. And if it sounds dumb or you think I’m absurd, you just say so. But I’ve got to ask and I won’t be able to settle down until it’s done anyway, so I might as well just come out with it and stop being so weird about it…”


    “Jack,” Jill said, stopping him short, “let me help. I’d love to go to dinner with you.”


    “What?” Jack sat back and looked at her. “Dinner? No, no. I was going to ask if you’d come up the hill with me and help me fetch a pail of water.”

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    The punch line is good.

  • That would have worked nicely... Or, "Man, you really ate quickly"

    "What about Man U?"


    I also thought of having her ask if it would fit, and him saying that it depending on how much she was expecting... Why, does she look fat? And so forth...

  • I'd say we should give a point to the man with the bucket on his head... Smiley Very Happy


  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    Skoob_Ym a écrit :

    I also thought of having her ask if it would fit, and him saying that it depended on how much she was expecting... Why, does she look fat? And so forth...

    Now the ball is rolling. More variants will enfold. [a non-sequitur metaphor] Smiley Happy

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    "Does my bum look big in this?"  "It doesn't look big, it is big."

  • potetjppotetjp Professor
    a classic
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