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10 July 2007 @ 04:27 pm
Fan Fiction: Wishbone ~ "Biting Criticism"  
Fandom: Wishbone
Title: "Biting Criticism"
Author: Dash O'Pepper*
(*Originally posted at Fanfiction.net in 2002. This is one of the handles I can't access because I can't remember its e-mail address or password; otherwise, I would have removed it from Fanfiction.net. before posting it here.)
Genre: Gen / Humour
Rating: All
Spoilers: None
Summary: Wishbone encounters something online for the first time.
Warning: Please to not be interrogating this from the wrong perspective. This was written strictly as a humour piece. The little dog with the big imagination bit me one Saturday morning, and told me to write it.
Length: Under 1,000 words
Status: Complete
Disclaimers: Wishbone is a registered trademark of Big Feats! Entertainment. Charles Lake is owned by Leslie Charteris, and is a character from The Saint and the Fiction Makers. This work of fan fiction is not meant in any way to infringe on copyrights already held by these entities and/or their subsidiaries.*
(*Yes, the story posted at Fanfiction.net uses Johnny Gage, not Charles Lake. But the odds of anyone on FF.net knowing of Leslie Charteris were small; so, I changed it for my audience.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

He did WHAT! No! No way! I don't believe it. It's just not possible. Short of having a full-frontal lobotomy, Charles Lake would never do that!

I re-read the words on the computer screen, completely dumbfounded by what was emblazoned in the phosphorescence.

In all the years of my reading -- heck, I've read more classic literature than Hugh Downs could ever hope to (and besides I'm much cuter) -- I've never encountered anything like this.

Scrolling up to the top of the page, I couldn't believe the name of the author -- Wanda Gilmore? Nah, it couldn't be our neighbour. I know she's a bit eccentric, but surely all those nights alone (I'm glad now that no one ever made the suggestion that she adopt) couldn't have turned her into this obviously sex-starved, barely literate writer.

As I scrolled quickly through the story, pausing here and there to finagle the mouse back on the pad (those things have never liked me), I was struck by the fact that this story wasn't just bad, it was awful, an absolute stinkeroo. The only equivalent I could think of was the odour from a wild skunk, but then again a bath in tomato juice could help eliminate that smell, and not even tomato juice mixed with a tanker full of vodka could help this story.

Getting to the end of this dismal waste of bandwidth, I couldn't believe it. Ms. Gilmore was pleading for a review! Pleading for people to tell her what they thought about it so that she can continue writing more stories like this one.

Oooooh, aren't we all the lucky ones.

Might as well throw her a bone; I hate to see any creature begging.

Wanda, dear girl, it might be worth your while to invest a few dollars in a copy of Strunk & White and the O.E.D. (that's the Oxford English Dictionary -- and you can look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls!). Don't spend time blackmailing your readers for a review, instead work hard, rewrite and rewrite some more, and then thank us for taking the time out of our busy schedules to read your latest effort.

P.S. The correct word is “virgule" not “slash".

As I pushed the send button, I couldn't believe that I'd just wasted a good 20 minutes of my short life reading a story at a place called -- I looked up at the URL in the location box -- Fanfiction.net? I, who had read Chaucer, Twain, Dickens, O'Henry, Austen, Hardy, and in my lighter moods Bradbury, Thurber and a few Star Wars novels, had read something called “fan fiction"?

I continued clicking through the site. Over 200,000 stories were archived in this place (at least it didn't say “Billions Served")! All I could think was that I hoped they weren't all like Wanda's story.

And what is this thing called “slash"? There sure seems to be a lot of people who are misusing this word.

I went back to the main page and finally found a definitions page for terms used on the site.

What do you know . . . they have a definition for . . .

I shook my head and sneezed involuntarily. I couldn't have read what I just thought I did!

Looking back at the screen, I felt an involuntary shiver run up my spine.

That's what slash is?

I could feel my stomach (normally very hardy) doing flips. A retch was starting to escape from my mouth. This was embarrassing; the last thing I needed to do was get sick here.

Not wasting any time, I scampered from the computer to get outside fast.

I don't think I was ever so relieved to see the back door standing open.

"Hey there! I've been looking all over for you."

I sorrowfully looked back at Joe. This was the first time I'd ever ignored him like that. But this was an emergency!

As I scurried into the tall grass and began chomping away, feeling my nausea fade, I couldn't help laughing at the conversation I was overhearing.

"Mom, I think something's wrong with Wishbone. He's eating grass."

"It's okay, honey. Dogs often eat grass like that, and no one knows why."

Taking another mouthful, I shook my head and sneezed.

If they only knew . . . if they only knew.

~ Fin ~

© 2007 Dash O'Pepper