We asked you to come up with the opening of a romance novel starring Sarah Palin and thus we heard a lot about: moose. Moose about to be shot, about to attack, about to be dressed. Even one memorable moose who remained resolutely undressed, his big brown eyes silently begging the bewitching huntress: “Jump on my back, grab hold of my antlers, and we’ll ride off into the frozen tundra together.” Or so wrote Steve Rogers of L.A.
In the entries, lovers from Joe the Plumber to Joe the Biden vied for the former beauty queen’s affections, as did salmon fishermen, helicopter pilots, Italian President Berlusconi and a certain Vladimir/Dmitri/Boris who lived just across the Bering Strait, in full view of Sarah’s log cabin. There were men with big guns, men who toyed with her heart like a baby seal, men whose tears of rage turned into icicles of rage. And then there was, according to Annemieke Schair of Marina Del Rey, Fla., Raoul, “the most gorgeous conservative jewelry salesman in the entire world. And yes, I have seen much of the world.”
And now for the winner:
With a thud, the galant moose hit the chilly Alaskan ground, and Sarah knew she'd struck a winning shot. With a proud glint in her eye, she shouldered her rifle, adjusted her snow shoes, and made her way towards the fallen beast. Just as she did, another hunter arrived amid the roar of a snowmobile. As she eyed him curiously, her heart leapt with a flutter and her cheeks warmed with a redness not caused by the brisk northern breeze. The mighty moose had been struck through the heart, and with a glimpse at this mysterious stranger, Sarah realized, she had been too...
Scott Iverson, St. Louis, MO
Sarah gazed across the leaden waves at Russia through the rain-flecked window of her Alaskan cabin. The familiar drone of her husband's departing snowmobile scarcely penetrated her gloom. Her eyes moistened behind her Kazuo Kawasaki glasses, but before a brimming drop could escape the mascara, her cellphone rang. She touched the bluetooth scarab nestled in her shell-like ear, and heard a warm, masculine voice. "Governor Palin? This is John McCain."
Gus Funnell, Lake Oswego, OR
She came from the land to the north, a cold, rugged, wild land, not unlike Scotland, his ancestral home. The moment Mac spied her he knew, without a second of hesitation, that he had to have her. With her tousled, upswept hair and her radiant smile, she would be his perfect mate. He also knew, deep down in that dark and secret place within him, that their journey together would be heartbreakingly brief, and that for him, the end would not be good.
Francey Potter, Phoenix, AZ
As Sarah sat on her front porch gazing in the direction of Russia, a movement caught her eye. “Bristol”, she whispered, “bring momma her gun.” Bristol, the oldest daughter, sat in a rocking chair nursing her infant babe. “But mom,” Bristol started to protest. “Shhh,” Sarah hissed, “quiet baby, that son of a bitch Putin is rearing his ugly head, and momma’s about to bag herself a Russian”.
Marilyn Blimes, Largo, FL
Sarah Palin stood alone on the snow swept Alaskan mountain, staring down a pack of wolves, only one bullet left in her semi-automatic. With her hair blowing in the wind and her body braced bravely against death she looked the pack leader dead in the eye. Far off in the distance she could hear a snow mobile.
Benjamin Miller, Minneapolis
The bitter Alaskan wind whipped the shivering teenage girl huddled against the snowy overhang. It had seemed like such a good idea this morning to take her brother's gun and steal out to go moose hunting by herself. But now she was lost on the frozen tundra in a blizzard with no one to save her. Just as she felt like giving in to the sleepy warm hypothermia tugging at her frozen eyelashes, she saw a snowmobile's light cutting through the blizzard's haze as it came upon her. "Oh I hope it isn't Todd Palin," she thought as she passed out.
Heather Cone, Prunedale, CA
Submissions for “What Next?” are judged by Lenore Skenazy, who also created the contest. She is a syndicated columnist, humorist, contest creator and founder of Free Range Kids. She has created humor contests for Advertising Age and The New York Daily News, and has written for a wide range of publications and been a commentator on CNBC, the Food Network and NPR. She co-authored the book, “The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook” and the upcoming humor/quiz book, “Who’s the Blonde That Married What’s-Her-Name? The Ultimate Tip-of-the-Tongue Test of All The Things You Know You Know…But Can’t Remember Right Now” (Penguin). Her parenting book, “Free Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry,” is due out in April from Wiley.
You can contact her at Lskenazy@yahoo.com