Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Round Robin - American Style!

Maven Darcy Burke Happy almost Fourth of July! Anyone remember the show, Love, American Style? It ran from 1969-1974 and this is what TV.com says about it:

Love, American Style entertained viewers with stories about common people finding love in all walks of life. In this anthology series, each hour-long broadcast consisted of a group of vignettes, aired sequentially and separately and each with an introductory title card.

I have to admit I don't remember anything about the show (hey, I wasn't even born when it debuted!) except I'm fairly certain the credits included fireworks (hence the Independence Day tie-in). And for some reason, I think of the song Afternoon Delight, most certainly because of the connection (in my mind anyway) of the line "skyrockets in flight" and the visual of the fireworks during the show's opening (you younger folks may remember Afternoon Delight from the excellent a capella performance by the newsmen of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy). The show actually had its own "Love, American Style Singers" and won two Emmys for musical composition, but I digress. The comedy contained multiple vignettes with hilarious titles always starting with "Love and the..." For example, Love and the Happy Days. Yes, this vignette spawned the sitcom of the same name. Who knew?

A few of my favorites (but really, you must check out the full list for guaranteed hilarity):

-Love and the Pill (yes, THAT pill)
-Love and the Shower (hmmm, did that vignette feature a single woman?)
-Love and the Marriage Counselor (you know Love and the Divorce Lawyer had to come next)
-Love and the Fuzz (I just can't go there)
-Love and the Penal Code (yes, really)
-Love and the Wee He (no, I'm not making these up, people)
-Love and the Golden Worm

As Maven Jacqueline is on vacation and tomorrow is a holiday, we are inviting you to create a vignette with us, our first-ever Maven Round Robin. I'm going to start a (probably silly) story with the letter A. Please feel free to contribute to the story using the next letter of the alphabet. There is no rule as to how long your contribution may be (not too long, but long enough to make the thread somewhat coherent) and you may enter as many passages as you like (avoiding consecutive posts so as not to take over the story, for that would be a step toward World Domination and we don't allow anyone to advance toward that except us).

On Friday we'll publish the complete story (guess we'll stop at Z unless it's too much fun to call a halt) and ask that you submit an appropriate "Love and the..." title. Here's the opener:

Arsenic. That was a good poison, right?

Penny Templeton didn't know squat about poison, but she knew she wanted to kill Stefan Marquardt. Ever since high school when he'd invited her to the prom and stood her up. Ever since junior high school when he'd welded her locker shut. Ever since first grade when he told everyone she'd forgotten to wear underwear and everyone had stood around staring at her on the playground until she figured it out.

The object of her vengeful hatred ducked out of the 7-11. Penny gripped her steering wheel. It would be so easy to simply take her foot from the brake and plow into his still disgustingly handsome form. Why had he chosen now to return to Lost Springs? She had to assume he knew she was marrying the man of her dreams tomorrow and had come to ruin her happiness.

Stefan pulled the keys to his Chevy truck from his jeans pocket. Jeans that clung to his firmly-muscled legs as if they'd been tailored just for him. He glanced up and their gazes connected. His lips spread slowly into a wily grin.

Penny pulled her foot from the brake without a second thought.

10 comments:

lacey kaye said...

Barrelling toward him with the hatred of a thousand suns, she was hardly prepared for the cough-cough sputter of her engine wheezing to a grinding halt inches from his knees. Surprised, she looked up in time to catch the perfect, frozen shock on his handsome face just before he dropped his Darth Vadar Slurpee cup on the hood of her car.

He sprinted around to her door. "Hey! Hey! Are you all right in there?" His broad, muscled chest filled her driver window for one breath-catching second before his face dipped down into view. "Miss? Should I call for help? I think your car needs to be checked out. You almost killed me!"

Celeste said...

Could this really be happening? And could he *possibly* be for real? Penny blinked up into the artfully clueless face of her childhood nemesis.

"You wanna borrow my phone?" He insisted, dragging his cell from his pocket.

"No," Penny sighed, dropping her forehead against the steering wheel, banging it twice for good measure. "I have my own."

"Heeeey..." Stefan leaned closer into the window so she could smell the pungent and alluring scent of Mountain Dew, Juicy Fruit, and Edge shaving cream. Her insides tightened on instinct - damn him. *Don't inhale,* Penny ordered herself. She sat back and tried to act normal. As if she ran over *ssholes every day.

"I know you," Stefan finally said. "Penny Templeton. How are you?"

Penny reached for the window controls, but realized they wouldn't work with her car as good as dead. It figured.

She was going to have to talk to him after all. Killing him would have been so much more satisfying.

Michelle said...

Determined not to let her feelings she had for him show on her face, she slowly got out of her car.

Stupid car. She had the childish urge to kick it but caught herself just in time.

"I was right wasn't I? Penny Templeton. It's been a long time."

She put on a bright smile and said. "You're right it's me Penny. And as you can see I've had better days."

She leaned back into the car to grab her cell phone. Ready to call her brother to come pick her up and release her from this embarrassment.

Stefan smiled showing even white teeth against his tanned face. "Hey I can drive you where ever you need to go. Just tell me where."

Oh dear God, she thought to herself. How did she manage to get herself into these things.

Isabel said...

"Delighted to you see you." A saracharine sweet smile, (the one she had often used when she was about to burt into tears), tugged at her lips. Lips that were chapped and most likely bloody after bitting her lower lip to keep herself from crying.

"Penny, you don't look so good, you look green actually. Are you about to be sick?" Stefan jerked the passenger door open and within seconds she was in his arms.
She shoved away from him, Penny staggered and fell on her bottom.
Stefan reached for her, but she quickly got up without his help.

Her whte designer jeans soaked in something digusting...ah dammit!

Stefan was right she was about to be sick. The next moment she couldn't help but heave her cinnamon roll and banana shake breakfast on the ground and splattering all over jeans, her favorite shirt and the flaggergasted Stefan.

Lovely.

Isabel said...

My entry took forever to post, it looks like we have to entries for "D".

Michelle ~ Yours rocks! I like it. :)

Terry Stone said...

Excuses piled up in her mind to get out of this situation.

She needed the exercise, therefore she should walk the three miles to her parents house.

Her shoes were new and needed broke in, so thank you, but no she would rather walk the three miles to her parents house.

In the end, she simply smiled and said, "Great. It's three miles to my parents house."

He gave a chuckle, "I know where your parents live, I bought the house next door."

As Penny climbed into the truck, she couldn't help but think, Of course you did.

Oh, this was all that she needed on her first trip home in four years. A failed murder attempt and Stefan as a neighbor. Things couldn't get much worse, could they?

CM said...

"For what it's worth," he babbled earnestly as she buckled her seat belt, "I totally don't mind that you stood me up for prom."

Penny glared at him. Now he was blaming that on her? He shifted gears and accelerated at break-neck speed. She'd have been more impressed if he'd been accelerating in the right direction.

"My parents live west of here, you know."

He frowned. "Really? But--uh--haven't they always lived in Rolling Hills?"

"No. Never."

"Cause, like, that's where I went to pick you up that night."

Penny froze. "You got my address wrong?"

He drummed his fingers against the steering wheel. "It was before Google Maps, okay? Why are you being so mean to me? What did I ever do to you?"

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Grabbing the door handle as he made a quick u turn she righted herself once he was going back in the direction they should have been going in the first place.

"So why are you being so mean to me?"

She honestly didn't know how to answer that question. Okay well maybe she did know how to answer but not in a way that she wanted him to hear. It would be mortifying if he knew how much standing her up for prom meant to her. Wrong address or not.

"I'm not being mean. I was just surprised to hear that you got my address wrong. Didn't someone there tell you that I didn't live there?"

"Well yeah, but I assumed you didn't want to go to prom with me so you had someone tell me that story. So I left."

"Take the next exit on your right." she said.

He signaled to take the exit. The exit curled them around until they reached a line of homes. All older homes of all different shapes and sizes. These homes had been here since they develpoed this track of land.

They passed three houses before she said. "My parent's house is the next house on the right."

Stefan pulled into the driveway of a white rancher with black shudders. The lawn perfectly manicured with garden statues fixiated througout the flower beds.

"Hey," he said before she could open the door. "I said I forgave you for standing me up at prom. How about you make it up to me and take me out to dinner tomorrow night?"

She just stared at him for several seconds. Was he serious?

"You do realize that I am getting married tomorrow?"

He smacked his head against his forehead. "That's right. I completely forgot that. A guy named Daffin right?"

She narrowed her eyes at him. "His name is Devon not Daffin."

"Well how about tonight then? I'm sure you need something to take your mind off of those wedding day jitters."

Penny shook her head in amazement. She had been right he was here to ruin her happiness. She stepped out of the truck then turned and slammed the door.

He rolled down his window and she saw his head pop out of it. He flashed her a brilliant smile. "I'll pick you up at eight." then with a beep of his horn he was gone.

She smiled to herself. Oh he could pick her up at eight all he liked but she wouldn't be here. What he didn't know was that she didn't live with her parents. And he had no idea where she did live.

CM said...

However, the bigger problem was that she'd invented her fiance. Devon--Darren--Daffin--whatever his name, he definitely didn't exist. Her parents had been surprised that she'd never introduced him around, and as her purported wedding drew closer, her friends had asked to see pictures.

She'd printed some glossies of Richard Armitage off the web, and invented a foreign business trip.

The truth was that she'd invented the wedding with one purpose in mind: Drawing Stefan out so she could murder him.

Now she knew exactly where he'd be that night at eight. It was time to go invest in explosives.

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