Losing with the grace of a drunken ox
The first movie-line parallel that sprung to mind was from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, whose knight guarding the grail said the following after the main villain disintegrated into dust after sipping from a false chalise: "He chose... poorly." An hilarious understatement, that, and I'm tempted exact my own fool's vengeance on the Buffalo News' staff for picking some seriously lackluster 'winning' entries for their short story contest. That's just one man's opinion, but if you adjust for relevance (by a factor of 1.03), then clearly you will see the light.

I submitted my entry the day before the deadline. I figured it would be a long-shot to get published, especially in a non-hometown newspaper, so I posted it prior to the exit polls (keep an eye out for Jaquandor's 'losing' entry as well). Turns out there is probably something to that, as every honorable mention is from the area. Anyway, after reading the selected winning entries, I'm just a little put off by the staff.

By their own admission, they were swamped by entries. Still, they managed to select the 'heartwarming' story "Sweet Gloria", who's rather tiresome 'tale' begins as such:
    He would never forget Lee's face as he approached the poustinia. It was a steep climb up the mountain and, whatever he carried, Lee held it very carefully. The Chinese monk was always serious, but now there was a gravity about his expression that Chris had not seen before.
I don't know if there exists such a cardinal rule as 'never putting a word that Merriam-Webster doesn't recognize in the first sentence', but there should be. My first reaction to her opening paragraph was to apologize to the editors of the Buffalo News -- it seems that someone can write a worse and more confusing opening. Please read the rest -- I am shocked that it was under 1500 words as the author seemed to perform the miracle of turning a short shory into a long one.

After trudging through the prose biography that was supposed to be a story, I happened upon the author's writing experience (at the bottom of the article):
    Writing experience:Published articles and essays in Catholic magazines and newsletters, often about the spirituality of work. Is currently working on a novel set in the 19th century. “Sweet Gloria” is her first short story.
Well there you have it. Her story is peppered with little religious bookmarks and suggestions, which would naturally serve to piss me off.

As for the number one entry, "Sphere", it's actually not too bad for a first-time writer. It's actually interesting, so I'll just save my indignance for the other 'winner'. Now I've got to go back to work.

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