· Choose two random facts from the book ‘BLABLABLA - Something to talk about when you don’t have anything to talk about: 600 completely pointless facts’.
· Write a short story in twenty minutes incorporating both facts.
“According to surveys, 57% of Americans shower every day.”
“Normal rice has five times more DNA than humans."
Slightly revised draft - Additions or changes are in bold
"Ah..." I said to the world in general, the water dripping off me as I stood in the backyard. "It's not like you can't be clean just because you live off the grid like an old hippie," I chuckled to myself. I enjoyed the soft breeze on my skin and the sun was doing its bit as well. At this rate I would be dry in a matter of minutes, just from standing still. I would probably have remained like that, planted firmly in the ground until sunset, eyes closed and mind wandering, if it hadn't been for the sound of someone coming around the cottage. Panicking, I looked frantically for something to hide behind. But I was nailed to the spot by the same kind of paralysing terror a rabbit or a dear await the onrushing car, staring into the headlights - frozen.
"Mikey boy, are you there?" I heard the gravel pitched voice of Mrs Dainty. Christ! Not this, not here, not now!
The moment of utter immobility of time and space that followed lasted long enough for every single detail about it to etch itself on an indestructible metalplate in my brain and store itself away in a completely unbreakable, burglarsafe vault deep inside my soul. It would never ever go away.
Her whole body rigid shock, Mrs Dainty looked like she would fall over any second when what was perhaps the strangest sound I had ever heard broke the silence. It took me a while to understand what it was and where it came from. The only reason I could identify it was that I could feel my mouth move. I was speaking.
"Oh Hello Mrs Dainty," I had apparently croaked. No answer apart from a gentle swaying. "Nice weather today isn't it?" Still nothing. Just a slow rocking, back and forth. She'sgoingtofallovernowhitherheaddieandI'llgetlockedupforlife my mind was racing as I believe you would put it.
Hoping to break the deadlock I said, "I just had a shower. Every day. I'm one of the 57% of our fellow Americans who have one. Every day. Nice and clean I am, yes sir..." Silence. "Yep..." I ventured, at a loss. I changed the subject, grabbing at a random memory, "Speaking of percentages, you know that the chimps have something like 99,3% of identical DNA. With us I mean. Evolution, see."
I must have been determined to kill her off. The 89 year-old creationist and mother of four TV-preachers - Take the Dainty Way to Heaven was on every Thursday night on MYBC and a huge success - was, it seemed, about to dissolve into a bubbling puddle of green goo when the spell broke. By some gargantuan effort, she must have managed to reboot her brain, launched some editing software and simply patched over the bits and pieces of reality she couldn't handle. I can only guess what she thought she was looking at when she opened her mouth. She spoke in the chirpy voice which is the trademark of the old ladies around here and not with her usual, deep alto of gospel choir standard. "It's funny you should say that Mr Marksman. I heard the other day that normal rice has five times the DNA that humans do." And then, she keeled over.