Competitions nos. 150A and 150B: results

When I saw that James Agate was the setter, my heart sank a little. His previous stints have consisted of much moaning. He has asked for an essay (300 words max) on which of the following inventions have done the most harm, and why: printing, steam power, the internal combustion engine, electricity, wireless. Not much fun.

His feedback is brief and as curmudgeonly as I’d feared it might be: ‘The entries for this competition were of a dullness which could not have been surpassed if dullness was the quality asked for. There was a complete absence of wit.’ All the competitors have shied away from the amusing, bar one, he says, citing Wilde and Belloc as models they might have adopted. The one man standing is Lester Ralph. Grudgingly, he gives a second prize to Brutus (‘who has tried to be amusing’). There is even space for an unpaid Commended – Black Gnat aka Seacape again (‘his essay might be part of a sermon’).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANever mind, eh? There’s still the B competition to come. The prizes are for the best impromptu witticism yet to be printed. The example is this:

A plain, pot-bellied, undersized Jew, returning from a holiday in Margate, was asked how he liked it. He replied: ‘I hated it – everyone looked like me!’

Well …

I am going to break a habit, and print Agate’s comments in full.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI hope he wasn’t paid!

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2 thoughts on “Competitions nos. 150A and 150B: results

  1. Hard to decide which is the dreariest – the competitions themselves, the results, or the judge’s comments.

    You’ve got a long way to go on your marathon task, Bill, and I hope that the future holds more amusing prospects. Bon courage!

  2. I think Agate is to blame in this case. There are some good competition setters, notably J.C. Squire. But I agree that the patch from 130 to 160 approx is sometimes tough going.

    Bill

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