Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Friday, August 27, 2010

One Turn of The Wheel (plus a CONTEST!)

** This contest has ended.** (view the winners)

Today, The Wheel turns one. To put this in perspective, I present to you a short list of just some of the activities I've given up on before a year had passed. (All lengths are approximate.)

WhatFor How Long
Do photography with a basement darkroom(equipment never used)
Be an airbrush artist4 days
Attend weekly pick-up games of ultimate frisbee2 weeks
Take karate4 months
Plan to transfer to Dartmouth5 months
Play bass guitar & violin in a band6 months
Search for a job as a computer animator7 months
Be a fetus8 months
Go to Sunday School9 months
Plan to use the temporary timeshare I purchased, rather than let the money go to waste11 months

As you can see, that I've kept The Wheel going for a year is quite the accomplishment. To mark the occasion, I'm giving away two $25 Amazon gift cards! (And perhaps, the prizes might get claimed this time around, unlike with my ninja haiku contest.)

In honor of my win on her blog last month, we'll be doing it Janet Reid style. To enter, write a story (or poem, or whatever) in 100 words or less using each of the following words at least once, and post it in the comments:


The deadline for entries is next Friday, September 3, at 11:42pm (Eastern Time), a time I have chosen at random and for no discernible reason.

Be creative. Be funny. Be eloquent. Be witty. Be insane. I'll pick my two favorites and bestow upon them the honor that is the Amazon gift card.

I'd also appreciate it if you'd spread the word about this contest. Blog about it. Tweet about it. Tell your friends on Facebook. Send out flyers in the mail. Put on a chicken suit and hold up a placard at your local mall. None of this will help you win, since I pick winners based on merit (or, at least, my skewed perception of "merit"), but I'd be ever so grateful. And if you do wear the chicken suit, take pictures. That alone might be worth a prize.

Alright, enough of my babbling. Let's see what you've got. Wow me.

Contest Rules:
  1. Rules will be written in small type and numbered, so they look more official.
  2. To enter, use the five words listed above in a story (or poem, or whatever) of no more than 100 words, and post it in the comments section of this blog. If you go over 100 words, I will randomly remove words until you are down to the maximum. If you don't use the five allocated words, I will randomly insert them in place of other words. In either case, your entry will be disqualified, and as a result you will not win.
  3. You may submit a maximum of two entries. If you submit more than two, I will deem all subsequent entries as inadmissible, and you will be found not guilty due to lack of evidence.
  4. You must provide a name. Anonymous entries will be stricken from the record. I won't actually delete them, but they won't win, either.
  5. Pandering is completely acceptable. Bribery is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
  6. The contest is open until September 3, 2010 at 11:42pm, Eastern Time. If you post an entry after the deadline, it will instead be entered in my next contest. It won't win that one, either.
  7. I will act as sole judge, and select the winning entries based on criteria I make up as I go along.
  8. Two (2) winners will receive an Amazon gift card in the value of $25. Huzzah!


  1. Sometimes I think that it is the fire inside me that has kept the wheel of my life spinning. It is when one loses the desire to succeed that the game of life comes to an end. As long as the fire is burning, the wheel of life continues to spin and life is fun. So don’t let the fire die. Let it burn.

    forsurveysonly at gmail dot com

  2. Ninja turns the wheel
    Sometimes, "Fire One" is enough
    Gift, come to papa!

  3. One time, my college roommate and I took a road trip together. Early on, the ignition in her car did not turn over until the second try. Driving toward Moab, (sometimes called "the middle of nowhere") smoke poured from the hood. We discovered that the fan belt had disintegrated and caught fire. After fixing that, learned that the car's gas tank had a leak. Then the muffler fell off and no shops had parts. Hands gripped to the wheel, we made our way back home with open windows to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Amazingly, we got home safely!

  4. Paul’s attempts to create a hybrid phoenix hamster routinely failed. Sometimes, he could even get the hamster to do several turns on the wheel before catching on fire and flying into the ceiling fan. One day, he thought, I’ll get air conditioning and this experiment will be a success.

  5. "Mrrooooooawwwww! Mrrroooooawwww! Outta the way! A house is on fire!" Hearing this, I turn the corner to see what my children are up to this time. Sometimes they pretend they are astronauts and Jacob has them use all the clothes in the coat closet for their space suits. For a week, they were Roman Gladiators, and Emperor Ethan made them sacrifice their youngest brother, Isaac, to the lion. This time, they are firemen and Miriam is driving. Amelia is the siren, which you really need if you are going to let a one-year-old have the wheel!

  6. Sometimes when life gives you lemons… Ah, horseshit. I’d done my best to accept rejection in my life. I was, after all, a writer. But the bastard had no right to fire me. When I came the next day to talk sense into him, I saw her—the one he’d chosen to replace me at the desk outside his office, in his bed even. I gripped the wheel hard enough to lose sensation just before the engine’s roar matched my own. Turns out it’s easier getting your job back when the replacement doesn’t show on the first day of work.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. One wheel burns
    as the fire turns
    around the bend this day

    Sometimes fire stings
    as the wheel sings
    and turns round the bend to play

  9. A Conn College student late one night
    Of Ixion did inquire
    Turns to the footnote and there finds
    Sometimes the wheel is on fire

  10. Oh, wounded day.
    Self-deception won’t always work
    So burrow your head and know
    That sometimes you have to deal with
    What life has given you, even if you didn’t want the present.
    Like a fire swirling out of control
    Reducing everything in its path
    Down to ashes, cinders
    That as it turns, it sweeps you under
    Unless you are the one to escape and
    Take life by the steering wheel and just f’ng drive.

  11. There once was a wheel that was on fire,
    Turns out Nate sometimes drove through live wires,
    So Nathaniel put it out,
    Then drank one foamy stout,
    And went home with no tire.

  12. "How many turns do we get?"
    "Just one?"
    "Sometimes two, depending on how many people show up."
    "How do we decide who gets to go first?"
    "We spin the wheel, obviously."
    "Alright then, I'm in."
    "Excellent. Since it's your first time, I'll let you fire the cannon."

  13. 1.
    “I’m sorry, Jane, but I have to fire you.”
    “Really, sir?”
    “Yes, really. Do you think I would joke about something so serious?”
    “I don’t know. You always say I take things too literally, and so often it turns out that I have, indeed, misunderstood.”
    “Actually, that’s one of the main reasons I must fire you. That ‘Wheel of Fortune’ debacle was the last straw.”
    “That was an honest mistake! You landed on the ‘Bankrupt’ space, and, as your accountant, I thought officially declaring bankruptcy would be the best thing for you.”
    “Sometimes, Jane, you are just too stupid.”

    I am in a John Hurt way.
    Supposedly, I’ve got sixteen weeks and six days to go, but I’m convinced that my precocious baby will pop out early.
    I love my Tadpole so much (although we have yet to meet), but sometimes it feels like I’m already losing control of my whole existence. The alien life form that I am incubating stretches and turns somersaults and squishes my stomach so much that heartburn sets my esophagus on fire.
    One day soon Tadpole will climb out, grab the steering wheel of my life, and destroy my world.
    I can’t wait.

  14. SOMETIMES the single WHEEL of my brain turns too slowly for me and I don't see a contest like this soon enough. Despite the fact that some people try to light a FIRE under my ass it TURNS out that that once again I'm too late and will not be the ONE to win. :-(

    The Lokiec