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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)

TITLE: Use Caution! Slow Down! Bump!
By Beth LaBuff


We'd just been home one solar day
From our disastrous trip,
I tidied up the Parallax,
Our modest rocket ship.
While cleaning underneath my seat—
A most disgusting job—
I found an unpaid ticket
And a sticky gooey glob.

Just days before, we stowed our gear,
Gassed up the Parallax,
Our destination— "outer space,"
Our goal was to relax.
We traveled twenty light-years
In 3.14 days.
We only traveled daylight hours
And cruised the Milky Way.

We merged the Parallax onto
The Rigel Motorway,
We'd no constraints upon us to
Impede our getaway.
That's when we saw the billboard
Touting "Og's Galactic Diner"—
"Just eighty parsecs further then
Head south to Ursa Minor."

So on we pressed and then a sign said,
"Get your free ice water
At Og's Galactic Diner! —
Only sixty parsecs farther."
Our trip was uneventful as
We cruised with traffic's flow.
Another billboard to the right—
"Six parsecs more to go."

And then we reached Og's Diner
Just an outpost there in space.
We slowed our modest Parallax
Down from its cruising pace.
Spaceships filled the outside lot
With one place left to park,
We powered down the Parallax —
Prepared to disembark.

A sign of foreign jargon was
Next to our parking spot.
The language looked Galaxian,
And read it—we could not!
If folks were supposed to read the sign
In English— it should be!
For Galaxian was never taught
Along with ABCs.

No matter, for we'd only be
A short time in the diner,
Then quickly we'd resume our way—
Our traveling couldn't be finer.
The shop's facade was dimly lit.
I eased the sagging door.
That's when I second guessed our stop,
We entered to explore.

My eyes skimmed the interior
Where space junk loaded shelves,
And then we saw a sign for "FUDGE"—
We couldn't help ourselves!
"Our fudge is pure and bona fide,"
The flashy sign espoused,
"It's made from cream imported from
The Taurus system cows."

Influenced by their marketing,
Swayed by their guarantee,
We bought two slabs—used all our coins
And all our currency.
Back outside to our Parallax
Parked by that silly sign,
We spied under our wiper blade
A parking ticket fine!

The Galaxian sign, apparently
Said, "Do not park! Reserved
For cream trucks from the Taurus group.
This rule – strictly observed!"
To buy the fudge entailed that there'd
Be no funds left to dine,
And we were broke, unable to
Remit the parking fine!

And so it was, our cash was gone,
But I'll not hold a grudge.
We started home—a back road path,
At least we had some fudge.
As that sweet morsel touched my lips,
We spied a comet clump
Next to a yellow warning sign—
"Use Caution! Slow Down! Bump!"

Our Parallax – it bottomed out
Then swerved from side to side.
That back road path was treacherous—
A jostling jarring ride.
That's when I noticed it was gone!
My chewy chocolate lump!
Not e'en one taste — it vanished when
Our spaceship hit that bump!

Back home—somewhat despondent,
I scoured our rocket ship
And found that vile citation
From our brief star-crossed trip.
I also solved the mystery
While cleaning up a smudge,
I found where it had vanished to—
My slab of chocolate fudge.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 03/31/11
Oh, I like this!

The rhythm was good, except for the first few lines of the third stanza. They threw me for loop. (Though somewhat appropriate for your poem, I don't think it was your intention. ;))

This we very fun, and extremely creative!