My Crush on Brevity

My vacation in Mexico is about to end with no further adventures other than watching (“watching”) the Super Bowl with a spanish commentary and spotting a gecko living under the TV. So rather than put up another long-winded account of my day lounging around, here is an ode to the delights of brevity.

A couple weeks ago, right before the inauguration, I heard a show on the radio talking about a contest hosted by SMITH Magazine and the National Constitution Center. The challenge was to submit a suggestion for a six-word inaugural speech, meant to inspire President Obama. Here are a few of the more entertaining entries, which I can’t find on the website, but I remember from the radio program:

“I will put away my blackberry.”

“Fellow Americans, meet our new puppy.”

And the winning entry was: “Divided by fear, united by hope.”

Now TODAY I have discovered another wonderful site dedicated completely to brevity. The site is called “One Sentence,” and it records true stories. The catch? They must be written in a single sentence. Here are a few good ones I picked out of the most recent submissions:

“Somewhere in the Colorado penal system, there is a man named David with my name tattooed on his chest.”

“When the cashier at the grocery store called me ‘sir’ without really looking at me, I was tempted to pull up my shirt and show her my boobs.”

“It took the internet to find out about my uncle’s successful career in porn.”

“My cat challenged me to a game of “Guess Where I Pooped Before You Step In It” and I lost.”

Now I need to come up with one to submit. I’m having a lot more difficulty with it than I think I should. Maybe I’ll use this thought to ponder myself to sleep. I’ll check back when I have a brilliant one-sentence story.


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