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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: Things That Make You Go Hmph!
By Matthew Coleman


Anyone who was in to popular music around the early nineties remembers the high-powered Hip-hop dance jam, “Things That Make You Go MMM.” As I've gotten older, my high-powered dance days are dwindling, and now I find myself thinking more about things that make me go “Hmph!” I try hard not to be a complainer, but sometimes you just get rubbed the wrong way. This weekend was one of those times.

My family and I were out for a Saturday together, looking to enjoy the first taste of nice weather we've seen around here this year. All week long, I wear pressed slacks, a shirt buttoned to the throat, and a necktie. On Saturday, I like to dress it down, sometimes way down. I put on a t-shirt, some jeans, and a ball cap. When my wife saw me, she gasped.

“We're going out as a family today, and that's how you want to look? How about a collared shirt? And do you have to wear a hat? Why don't you fix your hair? You're not wearing those old, nasty sneakers are you?”

My reply, “Hmph.”

So after a new shirt, new shoes, and a new hair do, we were on our way. We live a short drive outside of town, and on the way, my wife checked the time of the movie we were planning to see. Our boys were dying to see the latest 3D feature, and earlier in the week, I found a pair of movie passes that would save us on at least two of the admissions. The call to the theater yielded sad news: our move was no longer being shown there in 3D, only 2D. What seemed like bad news to me was apparently devastating to the rest of the family; I mean, c'mon, we've been watching 2D for most of our lives and it never bothered us before. My wife scrambled to find the number of the other theater in town. (If you are following closely, you'll note that the movie passes I found were only good at one theater.) What luck! A competing theater was still offering our movie in 3D. So we neglected the movie passes that ignited the idea for a movie in the first place, and opted to shell out two additional admissions.

My reply, “Hmph.”

I negotiated down the amounts spent on treats and sodas in the lobby, and justified it to the increase in expenditure in the admission price (yeah, I'm in sales), and we settled in with our 3D glasses. By the way, you've got to pay an expense for “borrowing” the 3D glasses, too. (Here you get a preemptive, “Hmph.”) Overall, the movie was a lot of fun to watch; it was exciting, and the boys looked like they were enjoying themselves. But, my goodness, the language! For a movie that was forecasted as a family affair, at least by people I know, the foul language was so gratuitous that at one point I felt like shouting out, “Was that really necessary?” I'm sure we could have made it through most of those scenes without any mention of those things at all. But that's Hollywood.

And all I've got to say is, “Hpmh.”

Ah, I feel better. Maybe I just needed to get that out; lend my pain on a sympathetic ear. I just hope that sympathetic ear doesn't look at what I consider complaint and reply with its own, “Hmph!”

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This article has been read 265 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/12/10
This was delightful.I really enjoyed the part about going without the coupons that inspired the idea to begin with. That seems so typical in my life at least. I did notice a little typo in the 2nd or 3rd paragraph you said move instead of movie, but that's easily fixed.
I enjoyed the pace that you told the story in as well. You did a good job of describing a family outing.
AnneRene' Capp03/12/10
No Humph from me. Thought this was entertaining. Even had a few chuckles throughout. I even had sympathy for you with the Jeans, T-shirt and Hat!
Charla Diehl 03/17/10
Good job of bringing this family outing to life through your descriptions, the voice of the MC, and the flow of your writing made it an enjoyable entry.
Sarah Elisabeth 03/18/10
Matthew, congrats on placing 6th in Level 1! Be sure to check the highest rankings on the forum: