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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

By Kristen Hester
~3rd Place


Eugene was quite comfortable with computers and electronics, but felt completely out of his element as he entered Diver’s Depot. The perfect male specimen leaning against the counter had shaggy, sun-bleached blonde hair and two days beard growth. His shirtless torso revealed a muscular physique and numerous tattoos. The man looked Eugene’s skinny frame up and down.

"Hey, dude, how can I help you?"

Eugene cleared his throat and pushed his coke-bottle glasses back up on his nose. "I want to learn how to scuba dive."

"Okay, dude, we can get you fixed up." He grabbed a pen and started searching for the correct forms. "So, what made you want to dive?"

Eugene looked at his feet and thought of the painful circumstances that led him here today. Was it only two days ago that he was gently rocking in a boat with the love of his life?

He’d planned a perfect proposal. Rose pedals were scattered along the bottom of the rented canoe, and a picnic basket of fruit, cheese and champagne had been packed with care. Eugene gazed lovingly at Kinzy as he wiped his sweaty palms on his pressed khaki pants and adjusted his bow tie. A pat of his pocket confirmed the two karat diamond ring was still there. He’d spent his life savings and pawned his Mac, iPod, and Gamecube to buy the ring, so he couldn’t help continually checking on it.

Kinzy had the bored, unimpressed look on her face that Eugene had grown to love. She fanned herself with a Glamour magazine and held her luscious blonde hair up off her neck. Her perfectly tanned legs were stretched out in front of her. Eugene could barely contain his excitement.

"Would you like some champagne?" he asked, flashing a buck toothed smile.

"Sure." Kinzy removed the gum from her mouth and stuck it on the rim of the flute Eugene handed her.

"You seem distracted. What are you pondering--?" He almost slipped and added "my love," but caught himself. She didn’t like him to use terms of endearment.

Kinzy’s face brightened. She loved to talk about herself. "I’m trying to decide whether to audition for American Idol or America’s Next Top Model. I’ve narrowed it down to those two shows."

"I’m sure you’d win either one, sweetheart-I mean Kinzy."

Kinzy nodded and looked dreamily out over the crystal water. Eugene hated to interrupt her thoughts, but due to finances he’d only rented the boat for one hour.


"Yea?" She removed her gum from the edge of her champagne glass and popped it back in her mouth.

Eugene pulled the ring out of his pocket and got down on one knee, being careful not to rock the boat. When Kinzy realized what was happening, her big pink bubble burst all over her face. Before she could peel the gum off her nose and lips, Eugene launched into his prepared speech.

"I know it’s only been a few weeks since you first came in Radio Shack crying because you didn’t know how to program your TiVo to record Big Brother. Despite being technology-challenged, I knew at that moment you were the one for me." Kinzy swallowed her gum as she gawked at the sparkling rock in Eugene’s shaking hands. "Kinzy Nicole Snow, will you marry me?"

Kinzy stared lustily at the ring, then hesitantly shook her head. "Oh Eugene, the ring is beautiful and I’m, like, totally flattered, but I don’t love you. To be honest, the only reason I came today was so you’d program my iPhone."

Eugene’s face turned red. "What?"

"You’re real nice, but you’re not my type."

Normally a mild mannered guy, he was unfamiliar with the rage he felt. Kinzy was still eyeing the diamond.

"You think this is a pretty ring?" He yelled, waving it in front of her face.

She nodded, shocked at his tone.

"Well, guess what? You’ll never get a chance to wear it." Eugene threw the ring across the lake with all his might. It landed with a plink in the water, some 30 feet from where they floated. "Take that, Miss Not-Your-Type!"

Kinzy’s mouth hung open in amazement. "Gee, Eugene, you probably could’ve returned that and gotten your money back."

Eugene looked at the spot where the ring landed, then put his face in his hands and cried.

"Hey, Dude? Why do you want to scuba dive?" the employee repeated.

Eugene shook the unpleasant memory from his head. "I’m looking for a sunken treasure."

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Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw02/21/08
This is hysterical. I love your play on words like he "didn't want to rock the boat," and all the humorous stereotypical phrases you put in your piece. My heart sank when he threw the ring in the water, but I got a big kick at the same time picturing his face saying "Miss-Not-My-Type!" And a big na-na-na-na-boo-boo to her! Or was it to himself? Too cute! :)
Pam Carlson-Hetland02/21/08
Great story, loved the title...how fitting in all aspects of the story. You have described the characters so well that I could almost see them. There is a sad humor to the story that is very realistic. This was a wonderfully mastered piece that is right on topic. Great writing!
Lynda Schultz 02/21/08
Yes, this is priceless. The woman was definitely not worth selling a MAC for! (Personally, I don't think anyone is.) Great job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/21/08
This is so cleverly written. I loved it, sad ending and all.
Seema Bagai 02/22/08
This is hilarious! I can't wait to find out who wrote this. Wonderfully written.
Patty Wysong02/22/08
Boy, I'd love to dive in that lake! LoL.
This was great! Light-hearted yet still getting across the message. Love it!!
Beth LaBuff 02/23/08
You packed a lot of fun in this. I loved the way you told it (starting at the Diver's Depot--which is a hilarious name--is there such a place? :) Great work on this.
Betty Castleberry02/23/08
Sooo cute! I loved this story. You did great characterizing your MC and the girl. And what an ending. Both thumbs up.
Lyn Churchyard02/23/08
Just for a second I thought he was planning to take her diving and then leave her at the bottom. Phew! Glad I was wrong. How could he get it so wrong? She was a total ... I dunno, but she certainly wasn't nice.
One little thing, did you realise your MC had rose pedals instead of rose petals in the bottom of the boat? :)
Very good take on the topic though, very good.
Debbie Wistrom02/23/08
Wonderful tale here, thanks for the slightly sad human tale here. Great writing.
Sally Hanan02/24/08
Hahahaha. You made me laugh, like, dude (or is it dudette). If I were to judge this week, then this would be in my top 3 for sure, dude.
Jan Ackerson 02/25/08
Hilarious! A very different voice for you, and I really, really got a kick out of it.

Note: Rose petals, not pedals.

Love the names you picked for your characters, and their outstanding personality development--done by showing us their actions. Perfect.
Karen Wilber02/25/08
This is a winner in my book. I love how you drew the characters with the little details--especially Kinzy with her gum and magazine. My favorite part? When he gets angry and throws the ring and she tells him,"Gee, Eugene, you probably could’ve returned that and gotten your money back." I could just see it.
LaNaye Perkins02/25/08
This was such a cute story and very appropriate. Great writing.
Sheri Gordon02/26/08
Very funny. Your character development was spot on, and the dialogue was perfect. Great, fun example of the topic.
Catrina Bradley 02/26/08
Absolutely wonderful! You painted vivid pictures of your characters and their backdrops, and wrote a highly entertaining tale.
Tessy Fuller02/26/08
I am new to FW and was reading through some of the Beginner's entries and I couldn't get into them. I was bored with most of them in the first few lines. I decided to check out a few levels up. I read yours first. Loved it. I was immediately drawn in by your descriptive words. I loved the humor. I learned three important things - #1 - your first paragraph counts tons to draw the reader in - #2 Dialogue is good - Many beginners totally shy away from this (personally speaking) and #3 You just can't beat humor
Thanks for the laugh! I gleaned much knowledge from this writing.
Peter Stone02/26/08
Great opening, very amusing, right on topic, and the ending is priceless. Well done.
Debbie Roome 02/27/08
I loved this. Very amusing.
Sally Hanan02/27/08
Wow! Now that I know it's yours, I'm even more impressed at how easily you swam out of chick-lit to this.
Joy Faire Stewart02/27/08
Love the dialogue and humor, it made this a delight to read. Unique take on topic.
Sara Harricharan 02/27/08
LOL! This was too cute! I liked the names and especially the "Miss-You're-Not-My-Type! That was too funny. You had me giggling through the whole thing, especially when I got to the 'iphone' part. Good characters...you said this was a true story? ^_^
Shirley McClay 02/27/08
Too funny!He must've really liked her! My husband would have to have nothing else to sell before he would give up his Mac for ANYTHING! (giggle)
Loren T. Lowery02/27/08
Great job with the characterations, apt and fun all three of them. I sorta figured out where this was going, but enjoyed the journey getting there.
Joanne Sher 02/27/08
hehe - clever and cute. What fun - great characterization and description. LOVE it, Kristen!
Joshua Janoski02/27/08
A Beauty and the Geek type story. I love it! Kind of hits close to home, but it was hilarious!

"He’d spent his life savings and pawned his Mac, iPod, and Gamecube to buy the ring"

Wow. I don't think I've ever gone to that extreme to show a girl that I liked her. The pawning of the Mac was a bit much.

I thought that he was going to end up falling out of the boat or something, and then nearly die, because he didn't know how to swim. You surprised me.

This one gets added to my favorites list. :)
Sherry Castelluccio 02/27/08
What fun! No wonder the poor guy wants to scuba dive! Maybe it's just me but I kind of want to see the poor geek get a real woman! Maybe you could write a sequel? Cute story.
LauraLee Shaw02/28/08
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Sharon Henderson02/28/08
CONGRATS my friend!!!!
Patrick Whalen02/28/08
I've never had much of a desire to scuba dive...until now! Where was this lake again? :) Great story!
Sara Harricharan 02/28/08
***Congratulations!*** (So glad this did well!) ^_^
Sheri Gordon02/28/08
Congratulations on your EC, Kristen. I'm so glad to see this one place--it's great.
Dianne Janak02/29/08
Kristen... you did it again! congrats! Where on earth do you come up with these stories?? And to think you have young ones at home and still can do this.. you are GOOD girl... congrats .. and praises to the gift God has given you... DJ
Leigh MacKelvey03/01/08
Congratulations ... again! I am pleased the way you did something new and a good job of it too! Way good,dudette!
Lynda Lee Schab 03/02/08
Kristin, I saw your name in the winner's circle and had to check out your entry. LOL. I LOVED it! Great job, as always. Congrats!