100 Horrible Stories – Day 4 (Jellyfish, Beans & Croquet Teams)

100 Horrible Stories – Day 4 (Jellyfish, Beans & Croquet Teams)

Thanks to inspiration from OTA I’m joining The Great Discontent ‪#‎The100DayProject‬, a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making, empowered by the accountability of doing a project alongside others in a very public way. Pictures of these projects are posted daily on Instagram.

I asked myself, at the end of 100 days, what would I like to have amassed? The answer, for me was 100 first drafts.  So, I will write and post a 500 word story a day with the hashtag ‪#‎100DaysOfHorribleStories‬Why horrible? Because what can go wrong if I aim for horrible and fail?


At the end of the Centerville Croquet tournament the North Wickets had beaten the West Mallets 14 to nothing.

As had been the custom for years, the losing team would prepare and serve dinner for the winning team at the banquet that would take place in a couple of weeks.

Now, it doesn’t take a lot of pondering to see the glaring flaw in that system, but apparently the Centerville founding fathers and all of the croquet players that came after them were an honorable bunch and in 75 years, the thought of revenge never crossed their minds.

Revenge, it seems, ranked relatively high on the thoughts that crossed the minds of the 14 year old boys who made up the current Centerville West Mallets croquet team.

The evening for the Centerville Croquet Championship Banquet arrived, and dressed in their finest nickers with argyle knee socks, the West Mallets dutifully arrived at the Centerville Sports Center and Convention Arena two hours ahead of time, to prepare the meal.

They donned white aprons, and chefs hats, and got straight to work chopping, slicing, and sautéing. At precisely 20 minutes before their guests were to arrive, they trooped out to the main floor to set the rows of white banquet tables that had been covered with white plastic tablecloths. They thoughtfully placed paper plates alongside the plastic knife and spoon, with a folded napkin under each plastic fork. A small bouquet of plastic daffodils in empty Coke bottles placed three to each table added an air of elegance to the festivities.

Menu cards printed using the high school’s printer in the fanciest fonts they could find, listed the delicacies that would be served:

  • Cabbage Salad with shredded hai zhe
  • Legumes with Jelly sauce
  • Pork Cassoulet featuring powdered scyphozoan

All printed and presented in such a fancy way, the West Mallets thought their culinary trickery would go unnoticed. But they hadn’t planned on Mrs. Schweitzer, the Zoology teacher coming to the banquet.

She took one look at the menu and glared over her glasses at the West Mallets who stood a safe distance from the tables. She excused herself and walked back to the kitchen where the croquet players-turned-chefs were starting to dish up their delicacies.

“Cabbage salad with shredded jellyfish.” She read off of the menu card. Glancing at their faces, she continued. “Beans with – I can only deduce you must mean jellyfish sauce – am I right?”

The West Mallets, were starting to crumble under the pressure and nodded while looking at their shoes.

“And this last item…” Mrs. Schweitzer said. “You intend to serve us pork and beans with powdered jellyfish?! NO! No, no, NO!” she scolded. “You will go out right now and get REAL dinner for us. Go to Mr. Chicken on Main Street. I’ve already told him you were coming. He provides a substitute meal for this banquet every year. What? Did you think you were the first losing croquet team to think of serving revenge to the winners?

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