Let's be honest here -- a Penultimate Paragraph Contest is pretty absurd. But it's one of those things that's just so absurd it's awesome (or so I'd like to think). I received fourteen entries to the contest. They were all so great, and it was really impossible to choose (just how does one go about judging a penultimate paragraph -- which, by the way, means second to last), but in the end I went with my gut. The winner of the world's first Penultimate Paragraph Contest goes to Ravi:
Buntz and I get floggings from our parents. Buntz is grounded for four weeks and his parents put him on a low dosage of Yidalin—the kosher stimulant. I get six weeks—three for the accident, three more for keeping them in the dark and bothering poor Mr. Smothers instead. Mrs. Buntz bakes Mr. Smothers one of her famous Buntz cakes. Buntz gets no Buntz cake.
I laughed out loud every time I read that paragraph, and so I just had to award it as the winner. Ravi, e-mail me your address and which journal you'd like at robert (at) robertswartwood (dot) com.
For the runner-up, I asked the Twitterverse to pick a number between one and fourteen. @everydaycamille answered the call immediately with the number four. So there you go. The random prize winner is our fourth entrant Sophie Playle. Sophie, e-mail me your address, and whichever journal Ravi doesn't take will be sent to you.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest. It was a lot of fun. In many ways, it reminded me of a contest I had about a year ago. In fact, tomorrow is Hint Fiction's birthday. It'll be one whole year old. And while my lips are sealed at the moment, I am grateful to everyone who reads and visits this blog, so I'll simply say this: have you been practicing your hints?