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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)

TITLE: The True Story of a Most Embarassing Moment
By Deborah Rampona Oliver


The True Story of a Most Embarrassing Moment

I’m a little neurotic about hygiene and

restroom habits in particular. Despite

the fact that a cleaning service came

to our home twice a week, I was

required to wipe the restrooms down

daily to ensure that all potential

supplicants of the throne could sit

with confidence. Needless to say, this

neurosis is something that makes

traveling….interesting. I’m the girl

who can hover without making contact

with the toilet seat. It gave me great

pride that I could still flush with my

foot when I was nine months pregnant.

Here is the ninny who washes her hands

and turns off the water by using an

elbow. Instead of grasping a bathroom

doorknob with my bare hand, I either

pull my arm up my sleeve and use the

sleeve as a barrier or I find paper

towels, open the door, prop the door

open with my foot, and sink a three

point shot (although I sometimes miss

the basket).

These quirks have been reinforced by

the voice of bitter experience. For

example, there was the time when I was

desperate for a potty. My grandmother

had taken us out to visit some friends

of hers who quite literally lived in an

old school bus. All of the seats had

been removed and the bus had been

converted into a dwelling; It even had

a wood stove. As innovative as these

friends were, I wish they’d remembered

to install a toilet for the convenience

of their guests. Instead, I was forced

to trot off to the outhouse. I

tentatively approached the cavernous

hole. With many misgivings, I

unbuckled my overalls and very

carefully lowered my backside onto the

wooden ring. At the time, I was

worried about getting a splinter in my

bottom, but in retrospect I should have

been worried about the wasp which

picked that very moment to voice it’s

disapproval of my precarious position.

I shot out of that outhouse, tripping

over my overalls, grabbing my bare

behind and screaming bloody murder. As

I hopped around blubbering, I observed

that my brother was bent over,

clutching his sides, and howling with


Fast forward twelve years to a trip in

India. At the time, I was with a

Christian missions program in Andhra

Pradesh. One unfortunate evening, we

were in a village where most of the

people had never even seen a

Caucasian. I remember the children

being very curious and quite forward in

touching our skin and hair. We were in

the middle of an evening of ministry

when all of a sudden, I had the

overwhelming urge to ‘DOWNLOAD’ and I

don’t mean plug in my computer and

receive the latest software update. It

was very clear to me that I had all of

forty five seconds to choose my

‘facilities’ before I became a walking

biohazard. I motioned with great

distress to my interpreter and

whispered my request. He then very

loudly communicated my need to the

hostess in Telegu. So not only was the

hostess aware, all of the locals in

attendance were advised of my situation

as well. The lady in her sari motioned

and led me five feet away from the

group of villagers behind a screen

which was punctuated with holes that

were at least two inches square.

Needless to say the weave of the

grasses on the screen was not tight

enough for prying eyes to avoid. To

make matters worse, there was no hole

or bucket to void into.

In utter desperation, I ran out behind

the house and found a palm tree. I

braced my back against the tree,

carefully lifted my ankle length skirt,

and proceeded to attend to the business

at hand. I am horrified to report that

Indians don’t celebrate the Fourth of

July, because I provided all of the

fireworks required for such a holiday.

Even worse, I began to hear yelling. I

glanced to my left and realized I’d

chosen someone’s front lawn as my

port-o-let. Furthermore, this poor man

was sleeping on the front porch not

three feet from the tree I had

selected! He screamed at me in Telugu

and I yelled back in English. At last

I emerged, humiliated and crying. As

usual, my brother was on hand to

witness my humiliation. He was laughing

as he said, “They just wanted to see if

you were white all over. Hahahaha!

Hey, be careful where you download!”

“Dear God, Please Upload Me!”

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This article has been read 360 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 12/01/11
I am laughing throughout this entry. The part where the MC "downloaded" by a palm tree - made me chuckle aloud.

I don't know if this is the "downloading" the judges are looking for - but it got my vote. I enjoyed it, and especially how creative the story was in which the topic was being used.

Good job- thanks! God Bless~
Nancy Bucca12/01/11
This is the most hilarious and most unusual article I've read so far. God bless you, I hope it wins something.
Martha Black12/02/11
These two illustrations are the kind that will rise up in your mind years after the fact, painting your face as red as it was during the original humiliation. Well done! You grabbed my attention from the first and never let it go!
Helen Curtis12/02/11
Very funny, very humiliating! But I did find it very hard to read all the way to the end without feeling a bit squeamish. You certainly have a knack for communicating with humour, though, and did it well with this entry! Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/03/11
Oh this is sooooo funny. I was right next to your brother, bending over and laughing. You painted a wonderful picture for me. I'm the type of person who likes a good poo story and you provided that.

You may hear this more than once but you really did miss the topic. I know you used the words in a creative way but because the top 10 stories each quarter are published in an anthology (with this period being computer terms) it is important to use the topic in that manner.

This is a nitpicky comment, but it was my first thought. You used such vivid words and I really liked them. However, when I read the word void, it made me pause for a second. That seems like such a medical term. I know you were trying to be sensitive but I think it would have fit your story better if you just said pee. But that's just my opinion because as a nurse in my notes I would use the term voiding.

In my book, you scored high points for creativity. I thought the start was wonderful and the ending spectacular. Your desire to entertain and amuse the reader was fully met for me. This is a story that I will remember for quite some time. Excellent writing!
Jenna Dawn12/03/11

Writing humorously is one of my ... things. Finding fun, descriptive words to use in a humorous story is one of the most fun parts of writing this type of a story and you did it so well. (The word "void" worked fin for me, BTW!)

I, too, wonder how well it fits the topic. Even if the judges don't care that it's not computer related and rate the "download" part of it high, I wonder if fear the little thrown in bit about "upload" in the last sentence might be the weakest part.

I was drawn in from the first sentence and you held my attention throughout. Excellent writing and I'm sure it will score well overall. Thanks for the laugh and, by the way, I have to wonder if it is a true story. Oh my poor child!!! ;)
Jenna Dawn12/03/11
Okay, I just realized the title includes the words "true story". So, yes, my heart goes out to you! ;) You are a brave woman to share such embarrassing antics!
Hiram Claudio12/12/11
From what I can tell of the previous comments to date, I am the first male to offer one. I too thought this was hysterical.

Understandably, I squirmed a bit as i read (as you ladies probably talk about these things with each other all the time). But it was such an enjoyable read and the flow was excellent.

Honestly, one of the things that really stuck out to me was the relationship with your brother. I know he was laughing at you in both scenes but in both ... he was there. I just got the sense of a close brother-sister relationship that has shared ... everything.

Really wonderful work ... and that from the male point of view ;-)