SPECIAL BLOG EDITION
Today I want to do something completely different with my blog. Why today? Because today marks the birthday of a man who I, in my self-proclaimed learned opinion, consider to be one of the finest American humorists of our times.
Richard Armour was born on this date in 1906 in San Pedro, California. He attended Pomona College, likely because he had the foresight to realize that I would later be born in Pomona. After completing his studies there, he went on to obtain his doctoral degree from Harvard in English philology. Really. Look it up.
He taught English at both Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School and wrote several scholarly pieces on Bryan Waller Proctor and Samuel Coleridge. He also wrote multiple volumes of light verse.
What he is best known for are his multiple volumes of fractured history where he takes a light-hearted look at various historical themes and offers a somewhat twisted yet mostly truthful look at them. Some examples are:
“It All Started with Eve” a look at famous women in history in which Napoleon writes to Josephine, “Do you miss me? I hope the enemy artillery does.”
“It All Started with Stones and Clubs” his history of warfare, and
“It All Started with Marx” his history of communism where he has Lenin remarking “The tsar is a tsap.”
So, to celebrate, here’s what I’m going to do:
I’m announcing a contest, the object of which is to write a Flash Fiction Story (up to 1,000 words) in the irreverent style of Dr. Armour. The topic can be anything in history or nature which should be addressed seriously but with a definite tongue-in-cheek style. Facts may be generously embellished or exaggerated at the author’s discretion, but the narrative should take the overall tone of a serious academic approach. Footnotes are welcome and may be created in whole or in part from the author’s imagination. Such footnotes will not count to your overall word count.
This contest will run until midnight PST on August 18, 2017. I regret to inform you that entries will be limited to residents of the United States because – postage for the prize. However, entries from outside the U.S. will be read and, hopefully, laughed over. Entries should be in TNR 12pt or Courier New 12pt type with one-inch margins, page numbering in Shunn format at the top right corner of 2d and succeeding pages. Feel free to retain or omit your name from the body of your entry. Our panel of scholarly judges will pay no attention either way. Trust us.
Entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline of the contest, or later if you don’t want them considered.
PRIZES: At last, we come to the important part. One winner, chosen by scientific, occult operations of an extraordinarily random nature will receive a precious volume of Dr. Armour’s work. Good luck.