Angie's discussion on clichés reminded me of Donna Moore's wonderful posts of yore (on another list so long ago and far away, back before they had pictures embedded with the person's post, so you'd know who to avoid at the next conference... ;-) in which she *purposefully* used clichés to weave a great and ultimately hilarious tale. And with the collective minds of readers on this list, I can well imagine some of the whoppers. So here is your challenge. In a short paragraph, let's say 75 words or less, weave a cliché-ridden mystery that will make us laugh. Ready, set, cover your keyboards...

And for those of you who are cliché challenged, Jordan Dane has provided a link to a cliché-generating site:

I'll start: It was a dark and stormy night...

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Pound for pound, Lois. I think you've got me beat--hands down. (I have no idea what that means, but way to go.)
It was a dark and stormy night, but I was out like a light, so I never heard the door creaking open until he was standing over my bed, the moonlight washing over his tanned skin. Had this been a romantic interlude, I might have been impressed with his six-pack abs, but the knife sticking out of his back sort of ruined the effect, and I shot out of bed like a bolt of lightening, trying to hear his last words as he stumbled toward me over the pristine white carpet. "What happened?' I screamed.

"I'm not sure," he said, "because I never saw it coming. Last thing I remember was being the life of the party, singing at the top of my lungs, when this man walked up, his words slick, trying to one-up me, every thing he uttered perfection, a silver-tongued orator, and I thought, When in Rome, do as the Romans do, so I went out on a limb, gave him my best parting shot, you know, make the best of a bad bargain, but the next thing I know, he's telling me 'this place is not big enough for both me and--and then he whips out the knife, plants it up to the hilt--and, uh, I was wondering if you'd mind pulling it out?"

I looked at the knife hilt gleaming in the moonlight, and then I thought of the blood, the mess it would make right there in the bedroom on my white carpet, pure as the driven snow, knowing that the blood would stick to it like glue. "Sorry, but you know what they say...If wishes were horses the beggars would ride. But, hey, if you stand out on the porch, I'll call 9-1-1." In the end, it might not have been the right thing to do. Turned out the wound wasn't fatal, and the next day he contacted his attorney and divorced me and there went any chance of inheriting the millions he held in his trust funds. :-)
Tears are rolling over here. This is WAY too much fun. And now, everything I'm saying sounds like a cliche and I can't stop myself. Damn it, Robin!!!
OK, kiddies, grab your jocks and pull up your jocks. Get ready to soak up the sunshine of a rip-roaring tale of love, death and taxes that takes you from the ridiculous to the sublime. When author Jordan Dane decides to curry favor with a certain hunk on the Edgar novel panel, she found him as cold as ice. ... and as dead as a door nail.

Blurb for Donna Moore’s, “The Great American Novel”
Do you have to DO dead people to get an Edgar? (Guess I'd better practice.)

What did you do to get your Shamus and Anthony, Jack?
Here, again, is a pale imitation of the genius of the cliche-writers who have gone before me.

The girl looked dead.
That was unlikely, though, because she was serving me coffee.
“I really don't know what happened to Amelia, Mr. Crowbar,” she said, spilling milk on my cut-rate pants. She didn't apologize.
It was the usual set-up: an Italian villa cut into a hillside in west Texas, with an terrorist training camp run by Eritrean emigrés in the front yard. I could see about 40 longhorns from where I sat on the terrace. They didn't seem to be simpatico with the terrorists, two of whom had been impaled since breakfast.
I looked at the girl.
She had a face as long an sharp as an assagai and as pale as clarified butter. I half-expected to see a vampire bat do a liftoff from her neck every time her hair moved in the breeze.
I decided to go up the middle.
“Her cousin said she came down here to work on her submachine gun technique before she knocked over a bank in Temecula,” I said.
The girl's thermometer dropped even farther. I thought I could see ice forming on her nose.
“We are all political here. No criminals.”
“Amelia wasn't exactly a criminal, Miss Davies.”
I took a pull at my coffee. Hot, but weak. Sort of like the banter.
“In fact,” I said, “she was a Vassar graduate with a good job as an assistant reader in a big-name publishing house in New York. Then she fell for a guy by the name of—”
“—Ali Baba.”
The name, and the voice it came with, vibrated the air right behind me.
I turned, but not quick enough. A fist as big as a Denver omelet came right out of the sun and remanufactured my nose. From somewhere far, far away I could hear the scream of another terrorist having a close encounter with a longhorn.
I awoke on an anthill, tied down. Somebody had shampooed me with Karo syrup and the ants were putting on their bibs and lining up for lunch. My head felt as big as a, as a…damn, it's hard to come up with similes all the time.
I figured it would all be over by dinner, assuming there was enough left of me for dinner.
It was bad.
This was the first time I'd faced death when I didn't know what to compare it to.

I was in the prime of life, so I went into the judges, stood on my own two feet, and laid my cards on the table. That was half the battle. Some might tell you it’s a thrill just to get nominated. That's so, but you get ripped to shreds in the process. It's the road to nowhere, unless you luck out and come home a winner. Getting nominated is only half the battle. I lost in the clinches.

Well, pal, that's the official version.
YO MAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My big, wide hands were balls into clenched fists. I said, “Say it again,” I said for the second time, having just said it—and I don’t like repeating myself. When I do repeat myself it is because I am angry.

He said it again repeating himself, now for the second time.

I didn’t ask him again, again. Instead I said, “Don’t say that more than once, as I have directed you not to, more than once.”

“I know,” he said.

This was no longer the time for negotiations. I’m not the United Nations, although I have an uncle who works there as a guard. He works the graveyard shift, four days on, three days off. He receives good benefits. I would do it, but I don’t like New York City.

Anyway, I pulled my clenched fist and punched him and my clenched fist bounced off his mighty oak of a chest. I felt hurt in my clenched fist but it remained clenched as I was angry—very angry, so angry in fact that I hit him again with my clenched fist on his mighty oak of a chest. Yet again my clenched fist bounced off his mighty oak of chest.

I felt tears in my eyes and I said, “Ow,” which I followed up with a second, “Ow.” Now I was angry and hurting, which made me very angry, as my hurt had changed into anger also.

I didn’t hit him again because of the hurting and the angry in me. He put his hands on his hips and laughed, saying, “ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,” for a good minute, which I timed by watching the wall clock on the wall, mounted by two screws to the wall.

I didn’t like him laughing at me or my hurting. Now my anger was super-angry to the point I called him a bad name my mother wouldn’t like me using in polite company, but this wasn’t polite company so that was okay. Thankfully.

The time for punching people with clenched fists was over. When I’m this angry, I have to go one step further.

While he was still laughing that laugh that went, “ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,” I kicked in the nut bags between his legs with my foot—which I kept unclenched which isn’t possible, unlike my hands.

He stopped laughing his “ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha” laugh and he was feeling pain in his nut bag. Now he was crying tears in his eyes and saying, “ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow,” from his mouth.

I walked over to him and put my face in his until our faces were only a sixteenth of an inch apart, from nose to nose, as these bits stick out most on both our faces and other parts of our faces were further apart, although I would have like to have hit him on the nose and squashing it just so that I could get even closer to his face, when we were face to face, but I had forgotten to do this until now. Irrespective, we were a sixteenth of an inch apart and I told him to his face, “Don’t talk about my mother like that. She doesn’t like it. I don’t like it. And I don’t think your mother would like it if I said the same about her, don’t you think and wouldn’t you agree?”

He said, “Yes, I do agree and I am sorry and I will draft a letter to your mother after I get feeling in my nut bags.”

“Good,” I said to him in the face. I was glad I made my point.
I think I judged this in a contest once, Simon. I SAID, I think i judged this in a contest once.
don't you knock my story. i smell an edgar written all over it in bold black marker...
Read Jack's post on doing the nasty with dead people to even qualify for the Edgar. You may think twice about it...but then again, maybe YOU wouldn't. Hmmmm
Oh, jeez, these are cliches? I better go do some editing.


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