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The Contest

"Shall we begin?"

"All right. Rock-paper-scissors to see who goes first?"

"Why don't you just start. I don't mind."

"If you insist."

"Nicely done."

"Thank you."

"Quite all right. My turn."

"Now, that's just what I did."

"True. I know how to do it too."

"Perhaps the contest should be more ways that the other person doesn't know."

"Hmmm. I suppose it doesn't make a difference in the end. And it would save time, too."

"My thoughts exactly. Why don't you have another go, then."

"All right."

"My. That was spectacular."

"Mmmm. It's always been my favorite. I'll need a new spoon, though."

"Indeed. You'll have to show me how to do it after we finish."

"No problem. It's really quite simple once you get the knack of it."

"My favorite is the simplest method, really. Like so."

"A bit sloppy, isn't it?"

"That isn't necessarily a problem."

"Eh. I hate getting stains on my clothing. It seemed effective, though, I'll admit."

"Go with what works. That's my motto."

"Right. The quickest one I know is.... one moment while I prepare...."

"Crikey. I think that one was dead before he hit the ground."

"Yes, well, it also takes the right eye for seeing who it will work on and who it won't."

"Mmmm. I generally prefer things that work on everyone."

"Feh. I say, individually tailor the execution to each specific instance."

"Whatever works."

"As you say."

"Now, wasn't that the same as the last one you did?"

"No. It looks similar, but the technique is quite different. Look, I'll do it again, only more slowly...."

"Ah. I see. Clever. I'm still not sure it should count, though."

"I think it makes all the difference in the world."

"Eh. It comes close to violating the spirit of the contest, I feel. It doesn't quite do it, but comes close. Anyway. My turn."

"Wow. Three in one move."

"I've gotten four."

"I find that hard to believe."

"It's true."

"All right. I'll take your word for it. We're running out of people as it is."

"True. Perhaps we should go somewhere else? Use pedestrians on the way?"

"Hmmmm. All right. I'll finish off this last one, then."

"Hmmm. I suppose that counts. You don't really need the spoon for that, do you?"

"You're awfully fussy, aren't you?"

"Well, the point is the number of ways to kill someone with a spoon, not number of ways to kill someone having a spoon in some vague indirect way related."

"I challenge you to do that without using the spoon."

"Well, any other relatively shiny object would have had the same effect, if not working better"

"One of the spoon's properties is shininess. I used that property of the spoon. Hence, I used the spoon."

"You're quite right. You're right. I apologize."

"Excuse me, officer. There we go."

"Hmmmm. Deflected that gun quite nicely."

"Well, you have to, with just a spoon. But that's two in a row for you."

"Well, why don't you take the next two, then, if order is that important?"

"All right, I will."

"Quite nice."

"Thank you. Hmmm. I just had a thought. When you got those three in one move, were you counting that as one way, or three?"

"I was counting it as one. It's still the same way, even if more people are involved."

"All right. I was just making sure we were agreed on that."


"It certainly is a nice day out for doing this."

"Yes, I was just thinking about that. Too many of my colleagues enjoy melodramatic thunderstorms at night or such. Too cold for me."

"Well, it does make witnesses that much more unreliable."

"So just don't leave witnesses."

"Well, there are more people out during the day time, as well."

"Yes, but they're mostly civilians."

"Well, if I can get by without an unnecessary massacre, that's all the better. Less work for me, and everything."

"True. Tsk. You already did that one, and this time I'm certain it's the same one."

"Yes, you're right. Quite slipped my mind."

"So are you out? I have a few other methods left."

"No, no. Just give me a moment to think."

"Fine, fine."


"Don't take too long. The fact that you already have to think about might be a sign you should just concede."

"Aha! I have it!"

"Ah. Good one, too."

"Yes, it is, isn't it?"

"I just said so."

"No need to be snappy about it."

"I wasn't snappy."

"I'm not getting into this argument now."

"Fine, fine. My turn."

"This time I'm going to have to question you. That was more of an injuring him with the spoon and dispatching him with your bare hands, wasn't it?"

"It uses the spoon as part of a plot to kill him. If we disallow it, we'll have to disallow that thing you did a while back."

"Hmmm. I think it's two different cases. But if we do allow things like that, we'll be here all day. Okay."

"Humph. I was rather fond of that one, too."

"Well, it's a very nice way of killing someone. It just doesn't really use the spoon to do so."

"Don't patronize me."

"No, I'm serious. I'm going to remember that one."

"Well, all right."

"Well, I'm out, then."

"Hmmm. So am I. What's the score?"

"I think you are one ahead."

"Ha. That means you're paying for the ice cream."

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Clare Maguire > 6dec2002 > The Face of The Future
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Tyrethali > 26apr2002 > The Contest
Holly Gramazio > 19apr2002 > A Tale of No Watermelons
Brooke Magnanti > 12apr2002 > What The Dead Remember
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Kevan Davis > 17aug2001 > Collector's Item

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