Set the Wayback Machine to fourth grade. I won’t say what year that was. The teacher collected our writing assignments through part of the year, and then, at some point, we compiled them into a book for Mom.

I will be completely honest. Mom gave hers back to me.  And I threw it away.  At least twice. But, unfortunately for you, some of the “near hits and misses” have been preserved, compliments of You are so welcome!

Perhaps “almost good” is a better way to describe some of these “works.” And for the others, maybe “misses” isn’t the right term either. “Fail?” “Horrible?” I don’t really know, but they were so awful I actually was amused. Hopefully you are as well.

Let’s start out with The Worst of the Worst, a little number about a shoe-shining elf…

I suppose that was a limerick. More or less. (Definitely less.)  Thankfully the teacher didn’t put the grade right on the front, because something tells me that drawing didn’t earn me extra points. Neither did all those extra syllables. I think maybe I got scolded previously for not indenting, and boy, did I show them here! Take that! Now that is indented! And I’m giving the elf pointy shoes! Smoothed with sand!

That really was awful, wasn’t it? Are you reading it again? Glutton for punishment, are you! If so, please move on to the next assignment… Some Form Of Non Rhyming Poetry…

Hmm, no rhymes and no punctuation. I hope it was supposed to be non-punctual. I turned it in late just in case. Still, what with the spongy tree and the cuddly topic, it was perhaps slightly improved. And indented. Lets try another Non Rhyming Poem Thingy…

This one actually made me laugh when I found the book. Then I realized, there is nothing funny about dead worms. Or is he dead? The picture is a bit confusing. And the splatterage is NOT worm guts as it might seem, but rather, the long term effects of excessive paste usage. What I didn’t snort or eat was liberally plastered over every surface of the item to be pasted. Mmm, paste. Now, how about some Fun With Alliteration? Since you asked so nicely…


I wonder if my letter was “M.” As in “misspelled marvelous and majestically.” I think, though, in all fairness, the fact that the story included a monkey (a mischievous one at that!) made up for any other ill-advised plot twists, sloppiness, letters slanted in all directions, and hastily scrawled pictures. (and erasures.)

I wonder if I tried to write all of these the day of the book compilation. It sort of looks that way, though I really don’t remember. I wouldn’t put it past Lil Gary though.

I know what you are thinking… What about a REBUS? Did you ever write a rebus? As a matter of fact…

It’s KIND OF a rebus. A short bus kind of rebus. And what’s wrong with that? No, no, let’s not make a list. Let’s just move on. How about a lovely autumnal ode?

Wow, now this one is a keeper! That’s what Mom said.. or was it “YOU keep it.” Anyways. This is a “near hit.” It had potential, if only for the fact that I wrote a little neater than usual. Maybe this was the one I didn’t write on the way to school as Mom drove over the speedbumps. If only I had realized that “somber” was the word I wanted, not “sober.” But then we might have had a rhyming conflict. See, school really was tough back in the day.

I might just revisit the “Fall” poem and update it, tweak it a bit. The nice thing is, it’s hard to do much damage to these little wonders. So, now we have come to our last writing assignment before the Paste-a-thon. If you even thought for a second that my writing was improving, this should dispel that myth…

I think this was supposed to look like a record. Maybe this is a lyric? A toothpaste jingle? An “F?” It most likely was at least one of those things. I am thinking I learned that there are seas with shorter names after this was written. Or maybe I didn’t feel like giving the poem any consistent rhythm. SO there!

That’s all I have for now, but as I go rummaging through the old stuff and my wastebasket, who knows what other “goodies” I might find?

G. Applegary

POSTED ON January 19, 2011 BY Gary Applegary

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