Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Pipe Contest: The Verdict

(Photo by Vince42)

I know that this has been a long time coming. So long, in fact, that there might be those of you who do not even remember the contest. To read about the rules and to see all of the fantastic entries, please refer to the entry entitled A Pipe Contest, or just use the link provided.

Before giving the name of the winning author and the story itself, I would like to thank my two fellow judges: Richard Friedman and Tom Welsh. Both of these men were more than generous with their time and effort. I am extremely grateful to you both.

In an effort to be as transparent as possible, here are the criteria upon which each entry was judged:  Each entry can be awarded up to 25 points for creativity, which includes overall originality and the creative use of the pipe names, 30 points for the amount of pipes used within the story, and 45 points for the quality of the story as a whole. So, this is a total of 100 possible points for each entry.

Now, without further delay, the winning story:

More than anything, William Tell wanted to be a Knight of the Royal Order. But there was a problem, while his father was from Liverpool and his mother came from Dublin, William was, inexplicably, Hungarian. So, he approached Sir Calabash of the queen’s court, a diplomat and the author of a good deal of her policy for help and advice. 

“How can I, a Hungarian, become a knight?” William Tell asked.

Sir Calabash replied, “Knights pretty much have to be of the British Empire. If you were Canadian, that would be one thing, but Hungarian, wow, that’s a problem. Sir Ethan, a churchwarden from Jersey is a spin doctor of the first order. If anyone can figure this out, he can.”

“We’re giving you a freehand,” Calabash said to Ethan, “How do we make William a knight?”

“The queen loves winners, “said Ethan from Jersey. “Youse really good with the longbow, right? Do something spectacular? She’ll lovat!”

“William could shoot arrows into the bull’s eye from far away,” said Calabash.

“Too common,” replied Ethan. “How ‘bout he shoots a bulldog on the run?”

William wouldn’t go for that, so Ethan said, “How ‘bouts we put something on top of his kid’s head and he shoots that?”

They assembled a panel to figure out what to shoot.

“He could shoot a pumpkin,” someone said.

“Nah,” said Sir Ethan, “Too big, how ‘bout an egg?”

“How you gonna sit an egg on the kid’s head?” said Calabash. “Maybe a pear?”

“What’d really impress the queen is if he could shoot strawberry. Maybe he could shoot an acorn or a hickory nut off the kid’s head,” said someone else.

“I don’t want the knighthood that bad,” said Tell.

“Hold on, hold on,” said Ethan, “ A tomato!”

“Too messy,” said Calabash, “But maybe an apple?”

Everybody agreed that apple it was. “How far away?” was the next question.

“I can do 300 meters easy,” said William Tell.

“The queen doesn’t understand metric, Bill,” said Sir Ethan, “I can call you Bill, right? Billiards or feet or inches is what you’ll have to use.”

So they assembled a big festival. There were street vendors selling tankards of brandy. There was the usual unsavory group selling pot. All in all, it was a jolly event. Even Robin Hood and his Merry Men showed up to watch the festivities. Little John, Friar Tuck, and the lesser known Zen master of the group, Oom Paul.

“Up the Thames,” someone shouted, “On her boat, here comes the queen!” And sure enough it was, captained by her Royal Yachtsman, a Zulu prince.

“You’ll need to meet the queen,” Calabash told Tell, “But be careful with your arrows when you bow. You don’t want to poker.”

With no trouble at all, William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head. 

(Photo by nebarnix)

The queen was so impressed she walked right over to William Tell with her sword and began the knighting procedure. As our story ends we hear her say,

“Kneel, Archer.”

This wonderfully creative story was written by Toby. A giant congratulations to him and a big thank you to everyone who participated.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next such contest. Don't stop writing!

(Photo by Nenyaki)


  1. I'm honored. Kind of like being a Rhodesian Scholar.



  2. Toby,

    If you want to e-mail me your address, I will get those prizes sent on to you!

    Also, would you prefer FVF or Penzance?