TTAC Future Writers Week: Help! Help! I'm Drowning!

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

This is day five of TTAC’s Future Writers Week. We have three new winners. We have seven new contestants. And I have a huge problem.

Let’s get to Thursday’s winners first. It looks like you had no problem picking them. Sex, crime, Autobahn and Nürburgring carried the day yesterday. Not quite in that order, but that’s what keeps it interesting. Keeping with the budding writer theme, it was mostly PG13: We did read stories about front bench seats that were used for nothing else than a dumping ground for fast food residue, we learned about a pervert who did not want to party with people half his age, and who preferred an affair with a Peugeot instead. It was a winning combination. Yesterday’s winners are:

  • Andrew Lok, a.k.a. Contestant #28
  • Matt Oppen, a.k.a. Contestant #22
  • Sean Scoggins, a.k.a. Contestant #24

We congratulate thee! With the votes and confidence of your peers, you have advanced into the ranks of TTAC’s Future Writers. Hold your horses, bask in your glory, and wait until you hear from us for your first writing assignment.

I also must admit that I am having a huge problem. With today’s new batch of seven, we will have juried 35 contestants. Looking at my email-inbox, I have contestants for at least another week, if not more. I think, the prudent thing to do is to immediately say:

No more applications, please! The inbox is closed.

As for what to do with the huge backlog, I need your advice. Voting once every four years seems to be big enough a bother, but voting each day for weeks? I could blow them all out over the week-end. Want to jury a huge collection of one-liners over two days and get it over with? I could do personal triage and simply take the ones I think are good. I bet the commentariat has better ideas. Let’s hear them. And don’t send more applications, please! There will be another contest, trust me.

As for the backlog, I will be most grateful for your advice. Suggestions that

  • You are presented with a set of seven writing examples. Their authors haven been carefully anonymized. They have a number instead.
  • The top three out of each set of seven receive an entry permit into the rarefied world of TTAC writers. Those who don’t make the grade and who fail in front of our jury will be sold into white slavery, or worse, recommended for the morning shift at Jalopnik. (Inciting voter apathy could mean that all contestants are sold off, we want and keep the winners.)
  • The snippets come in the exact order they landed in my mailbox.
  • The snippets have been chosen by me, in a very subjective way: By looking quickly at the story, and by picking what stands out.
  • You have two votes for each day. Both votes have equal weight. You may not vote more than once per day and set of contestants. Don’t throw away your votes!
  • The vote for each set runs until the second set appears. That’s typically for around 24 hours. Vote now, do not procrastinate. Voting for the last set stops when I say so, also typically 24 hours after the last set goes up.

  • And now, let’s go to the polls!

    (No hanging chads. Don’t mail or phone it in. Read snippets before voting. Vote now.)

    Remember: You have TWO votes. Place your bets.

    This poll has been removed.

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    4 of 52 comments
    • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Jan 25, 2013

      29 and 33. good luck. Not voted before cause I was on vacation. Good luck to all. God knows that if I had had to submit to such a process, I'd not be picked. Who wants to read about BRazil on a (mostly) American site? 1.0s against v8s? Sheeehshshhshs

      • See 1 previous
      • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Jan 26, 2013

        @djn Hey djn, thanks! I'm a little out of that market but sometimes I check out old Fords. I have a thing about them. Everything going fine, I'll probably eventually give in and get one for weekend drives Old Corcel I in perfect shape but with use is anywhere from 25k reais to 40. Maverick v8s I've seen from 40k to 80k. But those are very old cars and not really driven anymore. Below are some Fords still seen on the road in various conditions. From pristine to full out ruined: Old Escorts in perfect condition go for around 25k. In driveable condition I see people regularly asking 10k, but I believe they don't get it. Old DelReys in driving condition anything frm 6 to 10k reais. In perfect condition from 20k to 40.

    • George Herbert George Herbert on Jan 26, 2013

      My two cents on one-liners... It's hard enough to judge writing ability from a paragraph. From just one line? ... Maybe one big poll with a thumbs up/ down per one-liner, and a "none of the above" option, for all the short ones? Or just zap them as not following directions... You did ask for a paragraph or two as I recall...

    • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
    • Michael500 Good thing Obama used $50 billion of taxpayer money to bail them out and give unions a big stake. GM is headed to BK again with their Hail Mary hope of EVs. Hopefully a Republican in office will let them go BK the next time, and it's coming. The US economy is not related/dependent on GM and their Chinese made Buicks.
    • MaintenanceCosts "Rural areas hardly noticed COVID at all."I very much doubt that is true in places like the Navajo Nation or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, some of which lost 2% or more of their population to COVID.No city had a death rate in the same order of magnitude.Low-density living is a very modern invention. Before cars, people, even in agricultural areas, needed to live densely to survive.
    • Wjtinfwb Always liked these MN12 cars and the subsequent Lincoln variant. But Ford, apparently strapped for resources or cash, introduced these half-baked. Very sophisticated chassis and styling, let down but antiquated old pushrod engines and cheap interiors. The 4.6L Modular V8 helped a bit, no faster than the 5.0 but extremely smooth and quiet. The interior came next, nicer wrap-around dash, airbags instead of the mouse belts and refined exterior styling. The Supercharged 3.8L V6 was potent, but kind of crude and had an appetite for head gaskets early on. Most were bolted to the AOD automatic, a sturdy but slow shifting gearbox made much better with electronic controls in the later days. Nice cars that in the right color, evoked the 6 series BMW, at least the Thunderbird did. Could have been great cars and maybe should have been a swoopy CLS style sedan. Pretty hard to find a decent one these days.
    • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?