So near, yet so far by Walter Bjorkman

How to write a bad flash:

1. Think about the theme, animal behavior

2. Make a mind leap to an obscure phrase about logic and probability that involves animals, to whit:

“Put a million monkeys in front of a million computers (typewriters) and sooner or later one will write the complete works of Shakespeare.”

keeping in mind that each keystroke has about a one in thirty-five chance, with all the punctuations, of being correct and in all of Shakespeare – ten million keystrokes? more? The statement is still correct.

3. The statement is about chance, not really animal behavior, so apply some, and have the monkey observing the humans as much as they are observing it.

4. Write about what monkeys do – beat off, throw shit.

5. Finish with a brilliant ending where it types the last line of Hamlet perfectly while doing its animal behavior, and blow the last letter. Then throw the shit at the crying researchers.

6. Result: Steps 2 – 5 are brilliant in concept and execution. But, see 7:

7. No one will make the obscure mind leap you did, they all have their own obscurities running around in their heads, and you do nothing to bring yours to light, making it a so what story where it takes all the way to the end to even realize it is a chimp that is thinking here, and not a sperm cell.

8. mmm – maybe if I change it to “To be or not to bz” . . .


Return to This Week’s Flash


Filed under Walter Bjorkman

9 responses to “So near, yet so far by Walter Bjorkman

  1. Catherine Davis

    I say, Walter – I thought I was losing my mind when I came back for the second read! I’m grateful you didn’t decide to perpetuate that fear. This – I love the dual plane of your investigation. (I’ll be back when I have more than my mobile on which to read and write.)

    • Walter

      Thanks Catherine – I removed the original, had second thoughts about breaking the 250 word limit, or rather a persuasive person informed me I did have second thoughts or better get them real quick, but this explains it better than the original ever did! Yes, it is meta-flash, I think.

  2. this was really ingenious. i loved the beginning and middle and end and #4 where monkeys beat off and throw shit. clever and funny and sharp. well done, walt.

  3. Walt,

    So fresh, funny and insightful. I really enjoyed this! I think I follow these steps more than I would want to admit. Hehe.

  4. Kelly

    oh, that made me laugh. I got to matter-of-fact 4 and thought, been there myself and better put, hehe – thanks

  5. Love the thought process laid naked for all to see. I feel this insecurity every week when I attempt to answer the themes. Peace…

  6. Pingback: Week #26 – Animal behavior | 52|250 A Year of Flash

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s