Not a few minutes ago, I was thinking about the phrase "Keeping up with the Joneses," when I happened upon a memory lost somewhere between college and grad school.
In high school, I used to go by James Hsiao Jones
. Quite an unusual moniker for a Chinese-American teenager, huh?
See, in my junior year, the Miami Herald
's Sunday Magazine, Tropic
, held a Bad Poetry Contest. All of my fellow students in our various English classes got together and started brainstorming bad verse.
They would come up with such gems as:
The clothes are done.
I took a couple of sheets of notebook paper and threw together a good ten to fifteen poems, short in length (you know the Reader's Digest
motto: "Brevity is Wit"), but long in worth. I took my inspiration from the quiet moments of my life--my classes, my peers, my family. Sadly, I can only remember one of them now. I wrote my name at the top-right-hand corner of the pages the way I signed all my assignments: "Hsiao, James
." Someone else would compile them into a single shipment of entries to the Herald.
Weeks later, Tropic
would present their choices for the best worst poetry submitted. I believe the winner was
(With special props to the other submitter who suggested, "Lather / Rinse / Repeat if necessary"). I would get an Abominable Mention
for my work "Life (A Student's View)"--Tropic
renamed this piece from my original title, "Calculus":
In their editorial fervor, however, someone apparently couldn't read my generally-readable handwriting and attributed the poem to "Hsaio Jones
Uh-Huh. The name would stick.
Sometime in my senior year, my creative writing teacher would mark an assignment of mine.
"More bad poetry"Current Mood: