In my perambulations around the internet I keep a weather eye (what is a weather eye, I wonder?) out for things to write about. These tend to be presented in the form of lists numbered one to one hundred. I usually lose interest after about six. Then I tend to file the list, find it a year later and… into the recycling it goes, along with all those brightly coloured posters from people who want to renew my double-glazing, build me a conservatory, persuade me to buy a take-away curry or two at their Balti Restaurant, have my hypothetical poodle groomed at their grooming studio or my nails sculpted at their nail-bar.
And then I end up writing about some murky bit of my past, some ancient, eccentric auntie, my mother in the old folks home, the state of the nation, scrabble… whatever.
So, on the latest list – 100 NOT-boring Writing Prompts for Middle & High Schoolers – let’s start with number 2:
What things will people in the future say about how we live now? (Examples: They ate that? They believed that?)
As far as eating goes…
They actually cooked inoffensive small slimy sea creatures in their shells and then winkled them out with a special winkle-pin? There was actually a Winkle Club with an ornamental winkle pin for each member’s lapel? More bizarrely yet:
Each Winkle Club Member (or ‘Winkler’) carries a winkle shell which they must produce when challenged to ‘winkle up’.
You mean they actually knocked this tequila stuff back in one go, having first licked salt off the back of their hands and then sucked on a lime?
They actually believed that this misogynist with the wispy yellow comb-over and strange hand-gestures might become President? (And he did?)
Or, to be even-handed:
They actually believed that irritating, bearded, totally charisma-free little man with the bewildered expression might be elected Prime Minister? On what planet?
Fifty percent of UK TV presenters continued to pronounce idyllic eyedillic even when they knew (or jolly well should have known) it was wrong?
All sorts of important people continued to pronounce nuclear noo-cu-lar even when the spelling was right there in front of them on the page?
They read? You mean, like, books? They couldn’t plug themselves in and download?
Well, I could go on, but I won’t, as I’m worn out and a cup of coffee, a roomful of neglected cats and Stargate beckon.
Feel free to append as many of your own futuristic “They did whats?” to the list as you would like.