Weekly Challenge #413 – Any town but Funkytown

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com. I’m your host, Laurence Simon.

This is Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

The topic this week was ANY TOWN BUT FUNKYTOWN.

We’ve got stories by:

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of WHO DO YOU MISS?

Use the Share buttons at the end of the post to spam your social networks. This obligatory cat photo should help make the Internet go faster:

Red Hot Tinny Pepper

Finally, if there are any errors or corrections, please let me know, and I’ll fix them as soon as possible.

JOHN MUSICO
“Beverly Hills” by John Musico

People think they know Beverly Hills. They don’t.
I do. I was born there. You’d think it’s in the hills.
That’s only half the town. The residential and commercial districts are strictly separated. The commercial section is in the south that is flat. When you go north on Canon and cross Sunset boulevard (at the intersection where the Beverly Hills hotel is) and the street name changes to Benedict Canyon. There is where you find famous homes. Further north, which are in the hills, the homes are instead quite modest.

JEFFREY

Last Exit
by Jeffrey Fischer

They call this the end of the road, the place to run to when you’ve exhausted every other rabbit hole. When you’re on the lam and ask where you should go, the answer is always “Anywhere but Funkytown.” And yet so many eventually find their way here.

Ah yes, Funkytown. Of course, that’s not its real name, but it’s the name that stuck, what with the freaks and grifters and sad sacks who turn up here. And me, of course. I’m the man in the middle. If someone wants to find you, I’ll find you. If you don’t want to be found, I can make that happen too. After all, you’re now in Funkytown.

Upstairs, Downstairs
by Jeffrey Fischer

George Clinton died and found himself in a white room filled with flowers. Creatures in robes with wings on their backs strode to and fro, arranging flowers, bringing meals, and laying out clothes. The bar was fully stocked with his favorite drinks.

Clinton touched one of the angels on the sleeve. “Hey, man, I must be in Heaven, right? This here is FUNKYtown!”

The angel consulted an electronic tablet. “No, sir, you are in the correct place. Your entry reads ‘Any place but Funkytown.’ Now if you’ll excuse me…” The angel opened a CD case and placed the disc into a slot, then pushed the “close” button. The sound of Kenny G issued from the surround-sound speakers. “Welcome to eternity, Mr. Clinton.”

RICHARD

#1 – George’s Story: Part 50 – A woman scorned

“So, what’s the deal?”, scowled Emily: “You watch me get kidnapped without lifting a finger, then abandon me while you make a quick getaway? Then, you come here, drinking tea and munching biscuits as if everything is ok?”

George tried to placate her:

“Hey honey, chill baby! Just be cool about it.”

She stared at him.

“You sound like some seventies throwback! What do you think this is? Funky town? Well, listen buster… it’s anything but!”

Emily glared at him, then burst out laughing.

“Oh dear, I can’t believe you took me seriously! It’s good to see you again, George!”

#2 – Won’t You take me?

“Taxi!”

“Where to, guvnor?”

“I wanna go to Funky Town, won’t you take me to Funky Town?”

“Sorry guv – I can’t… I can take you to China Town, Downtown, Dirty Old Town or a Town called Malice”

“But none of those towns are right for me, can’t we talk about it?”

“Talk all you like, but the answer’s no. How about Trenchtown, or maybe Motown?”

“No, it’s gotta be Funky Town, or nowhere – c’mon, man, this is a taxi, right?”

“Yeah, this is a taxi, but I’m the driver and I’m telling you… dis goes any town, but Funky Town”

LIZZIE

The right place was also the wrong place. This yin/yang theory seemed valid, at least while Peter was aware of the fact that he walked a fine line of certainties and hesitations in a world of constant change. He would cross town to make sure his theory was right, lingering in shabby neighborhoods, only to realize that all the wrong places could never be the right places. He wanted to give up, but always gave in. That line before him became a harsh reminder that what was once perfect was really nothing more than a lie in shades of white.

CLIFF

I jumped in the cab and told him to take me to Funky Town.
“Oh, you don’t want to go there. How about Groovy Town?”
I declined.
“What about Trendy City? Coolsville? I know, I can take you to Really Happening Village.”
I was getting ticked and demanded that he take me to Funky Town.
“Oh, sir, I cannot take you there. I can go to any town but Funky Town.”
I asked if he was a wanted man there or something.
“No sir, it’s just that I have no soul and without soul, you cannot go to Funky Town.”

SEICHER

She studied the map. The route would take her several days of hard pedaling, but it appeared the terrain was fairly flat and if she chose the roads wisely she’d stay clear of nearly every town, no matter how small. Tara was convinced that she was still alive because she kept moving and avoided population centers. But now posted everywhere — on fence posts, barns and highway signs — were the cryptic messages about Funkytown and how the chompers were everywhere but there. Promises of shelter, supplies and other normals. She slipped her toes into the clips and pushed on towards safety.

SERENDIPITY

When I got the job, they asked me where I preferred to be based, I told them – any town.

But Funky Town?

I hadn’t bargained for this – the afros, the spangly jumpsuits, the strutting and posturing and all the jive talking – it’s just not me at all, but I’ve no choice – I’m stuck here.

Sadly, the funny mascot business doesn’t pay so well after all, but then again, what prospects do I realistically have: an ambitious, but overweight guy, with a drug habit, wearing a gorilla suit for a living?

I’m just a spunky, chunky, monkey junkie from downtown Funky.

TOM

A Well Defined Relationships Part 41

With the silent vow sealed the decision of where to make their stand was
the next order of business. “Carter’s Gap” offered Morehouse. “Bender’s
Turn.” countered Delmonico. “Funky-town.” said Proctor. Both revs chimed,
” Any town but Funky-town.” “Sorry boys, but this band of brothers ain’t
no democracy.” “Funky-town is undefendable.” “No high ground, just
ground.” “Le Cid Caesar will think were idiots, then we get cut to
ribbons.” “You have both forgotten your Sun Tzu?” said the Doctor turning
toward the churchyard. “Where are the going?” “To find a regiment of
women.” The plan was forming as he walked.

An Elegant Solution

The good people of Megiddo had had it with the born again tourist trade.
As a final act to drive the Pilgrims away they change the name of the town
to Funky-town. In the first year tourist trade dropped by 60%. The problem
was members of the Knesset were have none of that, the “Any Town but
Funk-town” bill went on to easy victory. So Funky-town was renamed, “Jesus
Sucks” the “Any Town But Jesus Town” bill went on to easy victory. After a
rafter of scatological name and scatological bills a final name was agree
upon. New Babylon.

Up the Rabbit Hole Part Nine

In the darkness the strains of Lipps Inc filled the air with disco. “Any
town but Funky-town,” thought Adam X. He had no idea what town he was
currently fastened to a chair. They had loaded him an a military transport
and he could now be seated anywhere on the greater North American
continent. Hands settled on his shoulder, then the hood was removed from
his head. It took a moment to readjust to the brightness of the light.
Something high and white caught his eye. Fort Meed Lost/Found. “Not the
same place Mr X.” said a voice behind him.

The Times They Are A Changing

During the Disco revival of 2260 towns all over the central territories
changed their name to Funky. It became common practices to announce your
municipality with a billboard of undulating females with prominent
posterior poses. The catch phrases Any in Butt Funky-town moved into the
English lexicon. It was a multiple decade party that in the end ground the
economy to dust. By 2310 the Neo-Puritan revival swiped all that
undulating way. Town’s got rename Providence and Temperance. Any town but
Funky-town. In 2408 the Neo-Romanic revival prove so sexually expletive
some longed for the gentler days of Funy Town.

MUNSI

Reflections Upon Your Town and Mine

By Christopher Munroe

There are lots of towns out there.

And, each in their own way, all of them are funky.

Detroit has Motown, Memphis Stax. James Brown grew up in Augusta.

Even Minneapolis has funk. Prince, Morris Day and the Time and more, who thought Minnesota would be funky?

But it is. Every town is.

Every town is funky.

It’s a beautiful thing.

I tried to write a story about a town other than Funkytown, and found that I could not.

But that’s okay.

Because finally I’ve realized: I don’t have to take you to Funkytown.

You’ve been there the whole time…

ZACKMANN

“Hey Cabby, Take me down to funky town.” he said

“Sorry no, any other district but not that one.” replied the driver.

“I can get another cab.”

“You could get another cab but unless you walk or take a train you won’t get there because no motorised vehicle is getting into Funky Town until Michael Bay is finished filming the Scott Roche Libertarian Wank Fiction trilogy. Your best bet is to get back on the commuter train until that stop.” cabby advised.

“Thanks, I play the Liberal Internet Executive who gets kill by his own bodyguard in the second act.”

CHELSEA

My home town.

You know, this used to be a real funky town, art work on streets corners, interesting little shops down town, an indie book store every time you turned around.

Something happened to my town. I don’t really know what it was or when it happened, but at some point this stopped being the place I grew up, these stopped being the streets of my youth.

Now all I see are giant office buildings and yuppy chain coffee shops.

What happened to the place where I grew up? What happened to the streets that shaped my world? What happened to my town?

Story prompt: Any town but funky town

SPATE

Taxi Driver

You dancing back there?

Look at you! You’re shaking like a Minnesota ice fisherman taking a leak.
You should copyright those moves. Collect royalties. or charity.

Say what?

You can talk about it, talk about it till you turn blue but we ain’t going
there.

Are you listening to me? Listen dancing fool, there is no Funkytown so I
cannot take you to Funkytown. It’s some guy’s metaphor. Imagination. Make
believe.

So how bout we just turn back to Washing-town, Senator, where we can all
make believe democracy is being served by lobbyists and super PAC’s with
hidden wealthy donors.

SINGH

29.1

in the throat of the night

Yogi dreamed blue petal-shapes

swirling interstices lattice window

net of jewels star-point to star-point

a face Saraswati of music learning

with a mala holding a palm leaf scroll

playing the veena under-drone aum

eight-petalled violet core

through it her sari moon white

her face the meeting point

slim lips eye-slits

Saraswati? no no Margaret

gold diademed peacock-seated

her voice a chiming bell

becoming words articulate

“stop dawdling go just go

walk the ice talk with mountains”

Yogi woke switched on the lamp

wrote and wrote with ardour

29.2

Darling,

I don’t have visions your way, but you entered my dream like a thief. No. I’m not going all Jesus-Wept on you. But did we hit the same frequency? Being apart, maybe we’re closer.

You were hummingbird-blue behind a stone lattice window. I wanted to get through its cosmic geometry to your Saraswati lips, but this head’s helmet is banal, banausic. How do I escape from a lead mask?

People regard me, but I’m feeling wrong.

I won’t be long. I will be back.

Always your

Yogi.

He folded, then licked the envelope to pass to Barhai.

29.3

The next morning Yogi followed Barhai

downstairs to the workshop. “Why not sit

and oversee? I have a meeting planned —

for the Kirtan Mandal where you will be guest.”

Yogi obliging, rose to wave him off.

Gaurav the artisan was sawing rosewood lengths.

He smiled as Yogi watched him plane, then fit

a dovetail joint. Yogi nodded approval

for work done with a straight up, solid heart.

Little Chotu turned up with his tray

bearing bottle-green glasses of milk chai.

Gaurav took a break. He was a poor man

with sinuous hands. His look was simple, kind.

29.4

After chai he looked about, producing

a box for Yogi to balance upon his knees

across his chola, holding thirty-three pieces

of hand-carved sandalwood and ebony

elephant howdah maharajah and rani,

with tiny tusks whitely eburnine,

suggesting ivory.

“Oot,” said Gaurav,

meaning camel bone. There were figures

on camelback, warriors on horses,

siege-leaders, soldiers, an antique Indian army.

Gaurav drew out a matching chandan rani,

making last naps and nicks with a pocket knife.

Blowing dust, he pressed it to Yogi’s chest

“Apki rani hain,” he said. “Your queen.”

It was his way of saying: look after your wife.

29.5

Chauhaan’s cream Ambassador pulled up.

Gaurav slipped away to furniture work.

“Greetings., Yogi. Do you know chaturanga?

Chess was born in ancient India.”

Chauhaun, the history buff soon told him how

Chaturanga meant ‘army’ – a royal game

to strategise with elephants, chariots, horsemen

and foot-soldiers. “It’s in Mahabharata.

Two sides, or four will thrown down bones of dice.”

“Just like Shakuni?” Yogi countered, “Who cheated

Yudhisthira of his kingdom?”

Chauhaan nodded.

“Er…sorry, Yogi, we have a satsang scheduled.

an invitation from a Sardarji friend.”

Queen in pocket, Yogi thought of Margot

as the solid Ambassador engine elephant-snorted.

29.6

Gobind Electricals had a roll-up door.

Amrik Singh smiled and greeted him —

with marigold garland and two chubby palms

joined in reverence. He spoke Punjabi:

“Aao, Sant ji,” then flicked a switch to English.

“You come to my shop. So nice!” He whacked

a chair of its dust, the scourge of highway towns

with dirty cloth, once a sleepy pajama.

His whip-the-snake technique also collected,

a bric-a-brac tray of defunct nuts and plugs,

cannibalised parts. The folderol catch-all

crashed and a screw-loose scrabble field.

“Sorry, Sant ji! I am very much clumsy.”

29.7

Amrik, a name aspiring to America

went hands and knees to clean up chaos quick.

The Sikh man with a beard so neatly pressed

into a hair net glued with fixer, puffed hard,

clearing the path for hospitality.

His young boy came from a nearby deep fry

witches’ cauldron bearing greasy samosas,

and served them with more chai. So frequently

offered, Yogi thought he should mainline it

to save on washing up. At last the Sardar

relaxed behind the counter and mopped his brow

with sweaty relief. Yogi had been brought

for a fifteen-minute, in-store quickie blessing.

29.8

Decorum needed small talk. Or distraction.

Yogi noticed a wall-frame, golden-tasselled.

It’s turbaned figure had black flowing beard,

wore sword, a bow, a quiver of deer leather

while meditating on a tiger skin.

Wearing a pelt he looked more warrior

than a skinny sadhu.

“So who is he?”

Yogi asked.

“Guru Gobind Singh

our Tenth Master,” said Amrik. “In his past birth

he sat at a lake circled by seven mountains.”

“Also where the Pandavas meditated,”

added Chauhaan.

“Is it real?” Asked Yogi

“We call it Hemkund Sahib, near Badrinath.”

An inner urge told Yogi: go, just go.

29.9

Almost on cue, a monsoon shower fell

like a superpower upon an errant outpost,

adding effect to Amrik’s passionate telling

of the Dasam Guru’s exploits — the one who gave

turban and beard to the Sikhs for coming times —

a hawk against an empire. Aurangzeb,

its Mughal, incarnadine, an anti-Hindu,

swearer of false oaths upon the Koran,

forcer of Islam upon two baby sons.

Gobind’s young refused and were bricked alive,

praising Formlessness to their last breath.

Yogi was moved.

“Please come for Hemkund Yatra,”

Amrik said. “Bless us with your presence.”

“When do you leave?”

“Tomorrow, Sant ji.”

29.10

“It feels the thing to do.” Yogi agreed.

Chauhaan was flummoxed, “But what about the satsangs,

the Kirtan Mandal? It’s only two weeks off.”

“Plenty of time,” said Amrik. “I will have him back.

We must show Sant ji some of India.”

“We will discuss with Barhai,” Chauhaan said,

“And send a message.”

“Thanks, but I’ve decided,”

said Yogi blithely. “I’ll let Barhai know.”

Chauhaan was stymied. He couldn’t say much now,

check-mated by a local business man.

“Chunga! I will book and pick you up

quite early,” Amrik manoeuvred quickly.

He was no Prince of Bumbledom after all.

29.11

“I had no choice. Yogi wants to go.

He said straight out.”

Chauhaan was reporting

in the workshop.

Barhai thought on it

and cleared his throat: “Next time, cut back on

the daily satsangs. Screen the parties first.

We cannot push the Ganga. She will flood

or flow the way a river wants. Now is

the time to exercise restraint – not of

Yogi, but our urgency. Amrik Singh

will have him back on time, especially if

we fete him at the Maha Kirtan Mandal.”

“Excellent. It will be even better.”

But Barhai knew he had no other choice.

DANNY

Crapton, Florida. Recently incorporated in 2013, the towns founder and mayor, Eric Crapton, is proud to say his family owns the horse manure, the cow manure, the chicken slaughterhouse, and the chicken manure factories that compromise 89 percent of the town’s economy. The rest of the town’s economy is created by the speed traps recently created on U.S. route 301 in Bradford County, Florida. Crapton is the proud location for the 324th Walmart super center in the State of Florida. Yes, there are additional speed traps in the parking lot. Crapton is a Funky town, but only because it literally smells like shit.

NORVAL JOE

Merle and Verle Hurley left the railway station, walking down the center of a empty, dusty street dressed in chicken suits. Merle’s was plain white, while Verle was a Rhode Island Red. Other men and women, similarly dressed, approached from different directions and converged on a large square building. Frenzied music blared from within while poultriesque patrons bobbed and jigged about the floor.
Merle dug through a feathered pocket and asked the woman collecting tickets, “Is this Funkytown hall?”
“Of course it is,” the woman said. “Everyone knows you ain’t gonna dance the Funky Chicken in any town but Funkytown.

TURA

Any town but Funkytown
——–
“Take me to funky town, big boy?” drawled the girl at the bar.

I tried to look at her sideways, but she didn’t have any sideways, so I looked her up and down. “Your mamma know you’re out late?” I said. “Send her over, and I’ll show her funky town.”

I didn’t see her move, but suddenly there’s a knife poking my throat, and the bartender’s playing invisible. “I tried askin’ nice, so now I gotta ask nasty. Some guys outside, they wanna talk to you, real bad.”

I had a feeling we were going anywhere but funky town tonight.

PLANET Z

I wrote a fourth act to Our Town.
It begins with everyone in the cemetery sitting quietly, including George and Emily.
Then, a bulldozer and a backhoe roll across the stage, scattering everyone.
Work stops. “What the shit is this?” yells a crewman. “This isn’t on any maps.”
“Just dump it all in the woods,” says a supervisor. And he bribes a county official.
Finally, the land developer sticks a sign in the ground: Grover’s Corners Country Club.
The play finishes with half-inebriated rich people golfing.
The fifth act is where they allow blacks to join. (But still not Jews.)

11 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #413 – Any town but Funkytown”

  1. Very interesting… I’m starting to think that some of us are exhibiting all the signs of a shared consciousness.

    Here’s my suggestions for the ‘take two’ topics:

    ‘Anything but taxis’;
    ‘donkey salad’;
    ‘placebo’;
    ‘odd socks’

  2. Great stories. Interesting how so many of us tended towards the literal meaning of the prompt!
    Suggestions for the upcoming challenge:
    Switch;
    A version of the future;
    Sliced in two.

  3. A story where we kill off Timmy
    100 word opera
    What do you do with a drunken Jesus
    I just took 40 3mg Melatonin

    Love the bottom of the 55 gallon drum sound.

    Tom or someone like him

  4. As you get older, your short-run memory turns to crap. Still listening to the podcast, but I’ll forget if I wait another half hour. Did I mention that as you get older your short-run memory turns to crap? Anyway, ideas for the pick two:

    Paradox
    Alien
    Sparrow
    Curmudgeon

    (And Richard – I was noticing the recurring taxi theme, too!)

  5. 23.5% of the writers used a “taxi”. That’s just plain scary. But a quick Google turned up a “Funky Town Taxi” in Kansas City and this video: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x11fqjy_phil-s-taxi-presents-funky-town-over-noe-valley-onto-castro-street-on-gay-pride-night-june-30-2013_travel

    So maybe the association is more common than you would think? But I like Richard’s “shared consciousness” theory better.

    My input towards the challenge pot luck:
    WRANGLE
    SYRUP
    SMORGASBORD
    WHY NOT?
    COWABUNGA

  6. Richard – If there’s one thing I learned from this podcast, it’s never apologize. Or apologise.

    Cliff – I’d have settled for Really Happy Village. Maybe my standards aren’t high enough, but that sounds like a good destination.

    Serendipity – I had a good groan, as was no doubt intended.

    It’s always interesting to see how people think about a topic. In addition to the afore-noted shared consciousness of taxi rides, it sounded as though Crap was figuring people would focus on the “any” town and write about, say, Detroit, while most everyone participating focused on the “Funkytown” and worked that into the story. So ha! Subverting expectations!

    1. Oh yes, a whole bunch of subverts here!

      Looks like this is turning into an interesting topic-fest – so, here’s mine:

      Kipling
      Ventriloquist
      Something beginning with ‘E’
      That dreadful day…

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