Prank the Monkey: The ZUG Book of Pranks

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  • Introduction Challenge
  • Sales Challenge
  • First Chapter Challenge
  • Comedy Challenge
  • Wordplay Challenge
  • Title Typo Challenge
  • Conciseness Challenge
  • Tolerance Challenge
  • Style Challenge
  • Conclusion

  • Wordplay Challenge

    Another surprise of Moby-Dick is that Melville is actually a pretty good writer. Some nice touches with wordplay, such as Ishmael visiting a local inn called the "Try-Pots" for dinner. "In short," he writes, "he plainly hinted that we could not do better than try potluck at the Try-Pots." While I admit this is a bit contrived -- he comes up with a silly name for the inn just to make the wordplay joke -- I give him points for trying. He was partially insane, after all.

    Of course, it doesn't hold a candle to the chapter in which I wake up an e-mail spammer at 4:00 a.m., which is titled "Good Morning, Vietspam." My wordplay, quite frankly, is more mature than Smellville's.


    Dick: 0

    Monkey: 5

    My enthusiasm for the book began to wane during the month of December, when I became mired in its endless detail about whales, whaling, whalers, whaleboats, whaleries, whales, and PLEASE GOD MAKE IT STOP. Unlike a normal book, in which things happen to characters, this is a book where things only happen in between 25-page monologues about the proper method for harpooning a whale.

    Sometime around mid-December, I suddenly screamed out, "OKAY, I GET IT! YOU WANT TO EXAMINE A WHALE FROM EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLE, AND IN SO DOING MAKE A POINT ABOUT KNOWING A THING COMPLETELY, EVEN THOUGH SUCH A THING CAN NEVER BE FULLY KNOWN!" This was a lot to yell in a moment of frustration. The other passengers on the plane were certainly surprised. But you start reading Melville, and suddenly everything gets a lot wordier. Apparently they didn't have editors in 1851. But I pressed on.

    Next: Title Typo Challenge!

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