Monday, April 22, 2013

Nozzy News, February 21, 1996


Nozzy's favorite millionaire, I. Ron "Iron" Door, announced the "Iron Door Story-Off." He said he will give five million dollars in cash to "the best story produced by a Nozzier in the next five years."
Door specified these contest rules, which he personally checked and approved before their publication here:
1. The writer/s must be residents of Nozzy, which for contest purposes Iron Door will define as anyone who has lived within Nozzy Valley limits for a total of not less than five years. Writers need not live there now. All claims to Nozzy citizen-eligibility are subject to verification. "Five years is long enough to turn anyone into a Nozzier. And anything less doesn't soak deeply enough into the bone--you get over that eventually," said the pumice magnate.
2. The story must be typed or word-processed and printed in a standard font on white or off-white paper with black ink. Iron Door said he "won't judge any entry he can't read," and added, "these eyes are definitely not what they used to be, and geez, for five million dollars you should be happy I'm not making you all sing it from memory in Swahili or something."
3. Writers must obey all copyright laws. "You can quote, and sample, and all that kind of postmodern thing if you want," Door specified. "Some of that is well done. But this has to be be your story ultimately."
4. The contest will end at midnight February 21, 2001, Iron Door's thirty-ninth birthday. "Five years to become a Nozzier, five years to write the story, five million dollars cash. I like it."
5. All writers may submit as many entries as they like, so long as they can verify they wrote them personally (and are not, for example, putting their name on someone else's writing).
6. Iron Door himself will be the sole judge of the contest. "My money, my contest, my rules, my judgment." In the event that he is unable for any reason to judge the contest five years from now, the money will be divided equally between all contestants. This reporter personally witnessed Iron Door open the contest bank account earlier today.
7. There will be no prizes other than the five-million-dollar Grand Prize.
When asked why he wanted to start this contest, Door had this to say: "The best times I've ever had in my life have been reading or listening to stories. I love all kinds of stories. Epic sagas. Tiny poignant Chekhovian vignettes. Fishermen's whoppers, fairy tales, parables, 'inspirational tales of the indomitable human spirit,' shaggy dog stories, filthy jokes--you name it. So be inventive. My favorite reading is novels, but the big winner could be a paragraph long, too. We'll just have to see! Anyway, now that I'm rich, I have the power to get a whole town writing stories. Some of them [i.e., stories--Ed.] are bound to be good. So I win, because I get all you folks working for my amusement. The town wins, because someone's going to win a bunch of money, plus I know lots of you have got great stories to tell, and I bet you'll enjoy telling them. And the world wins in receiving the stories. No one will remember my money a generation from now, but they might remember some of these stories!"
All Iron Door Story-Off entries can be dropped off here at the Nozzy News during regular business hours. Writers should make sure their name appears clearly on the manuscript/s.

Overheard in Eighth-grade Idaho History class, Nozzy Junior High School, 4th hour, 1/14/13

That's a great question, DaMykellah. It all goes back to the French fur trappers who moved through here in the 1800s.
YES, DeMar, before you ask, it will be on the test. YES, the nine weeks test AND the final. Everything will be on all the tests. Stop asking.
Most of us here in the Nozzy Valley descended from the Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and 60s, as I'm sure they told you in church. But those people weren't the only people who ever went through here. It is a free country, you know! Or it was until they elected that Kenyan Socialist as our President. Anyway. There were the Bannock and Blackfoot Indians, and there were some mountain men, and some outside women who lived with the mountain men, and there were a lot of French fur trappers down from Canada. They say there used to be whole big herds of beavers and otters, or whatever you call big groups of beavers and otters, in all the cricks around. The French trappers never liked Nozzy. They hated it here, kind of like the French people over the pass there didn't care much for Malad. Those people called Malad Malad because "malade" means sick, or dirty. They tasted the crick water over there and said, "Malad."
It was kind of like that with Nozzy. A few of the trappers ended up living here, on little farms and such. But they hated it here. They missed their crazy French food, and their WINE, and their looser French morals--said it made 'em sick to have to stay here. One way to say "sick" in French is "nausee" ["noh-ZAY"]. That means "nauseated," by the way. Americans around here said "nausee" like Nozzy. And that's why we're Nozzy, and the Nozzy Valley. Cause those French trappers were sick of being here.
Now read quietly to yourself for the rest of the hour.