But around the third hour, I had grown tired of my book, and tired of trying, and failing, to write something that wasn't useless. That's when I decided that what I should really be doing is using this time to spread my work to others outside of my very small blog world. So after a little digging around on the internet, I found a writing forum where writers could share their work and have it critiqued. The site seemed like it focused on the kind of writing that was more high end than my silly blog, but I thought that if I just warned them what the piece was beforehand everything would be chill.
So I created my own post with the title: I WROTE THIS SILLY SHORT, AND TRUE, HUMOR PIECE, SEEKING FEEDBACK. And then I posted a link to my census story.
Then one of the courthouse workers walked into the Jury Waiting Room and dismissed us for lunch and I headed to the cafeteria.
An hour later, I returned to the room and eagerly checked my computer to see if I had any responses to my post. I was disheartened to see that only one person had bothered to click on my post. But he, or she, did leave a message for me. And this is it, word for word:
It's not funny because there's nothing to interest the reader. The jogging part is just an obvious set-up for the part about how you failed the census test.
The prose style is awkward (not in a funny way). I'm going to put brackets around all of the unnecessary words in the first bit:
"I was [out] jogging around my neighborhood [earlier today], when I came upon a [certain] house that caused me to stop [for a moment]. The house itself wasn’t anything special, it looked like any other house on the block. If someone else had come upon it whilst jogging, they would have undoubtedly kept [right on] going without giving it a single thought."
The whole piece is sloppy and ungrammatical. "Whilst" should be "while."
It's annoying when the story jumps to the site training to introduce the weak hook ("the certain house") and then skips to the test. All the clues are that this is a story about a guy who failed an easy test.
Is it possible to be "humbled greatly?" No, probably not.
I think with practice and hard work, you could work on the 2020 census.
I used to think that there was nothing worse than jury duty, but now I know that there is. And that's sitting in a windowless room for hours on end, waiting to know if you going to become a juror, and finding out in the meantime that you suck at writing, the one passion in your life.
But I'm not seeking pity here. That critique was harsh but fair. I mean, I did write the thing in under an hour and I should have expected that kind of response from a serious writing forum. Really, I'm just sharing this with you because I wanted you to know that I have made an important life decision. I have decided that somehow, someway, I am going to work really hard, as hard as I possibly can, to find out who this son of a bitch is and then I am going to run him over with my car.
Maybe I'll blog about it afterwards in a sloppy, unfunny way.
Also, I didn't end up getting jury duty, so yay for me.
-Boy with a Beard