• Micro Fiction Challenge: Rantipole

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 7 comments

    Occasionally during some old-school reading I’ll come across an unfamiliar word that I soon wish were still in style. While trucking through Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleep Hollow” (read it here) the other day I came across a line describing Brom Bones as a “rantipole hero.” Rantipole? Even now, my CMS is underlining the word as if it doesn’t exist. (Though it’s also underlining CMS, as if its own self doesn’t exist.)

    But dictionary.com has the thinnest of definitions: “A wild, romping young person. [Low] –Marrya?” and “roving, rakish.” (No, I have no idea WTF “Marrya?” means.) It can also be used as a verb, meaning, obviously enough, “To act like a rantipole.”

    I’ve known plenty a rantipole in my day, but never did I know one as such. This word brings me an immense amount of joy, and now I’m hoping that you guys will contribute even more joy. Your task for the next week (maybe two–I’m still working out a schedule) will be to craft a 25-word or less story using “rantipole.”

    Leave your story in the comments section below (under a pseudonym, if you’d like–though it’s up to you to contact us if you’re declared winner). We’ll give a shout-out to our faves on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to tick the “notify” box to keep up to speed on your competition. Extra points for making us laugh.

    The winner this time around will receive … hmm. Something rantipole-ish, rantipole-like. What do wild, roving, rakish young people do today? What did we do in our own rantipoly heydays? Get an older sibling to buy beer for us, I suppose. And then afterwards, with nothing better to do, we’d head over to the putt-putt course and pretend to not have fun.

    You’re on your own for the beer, but the winner of the Rantipole Micro Fiction Challenge wins a night of putt-putt golfing for two at Peter Pan’s on Barton Springs Rd. (Or your local equivalent if you’re a non-Austinite.) And, what the hell, a local winner also gets a copy of Irving Walsh’s Sleepy Hollow & Other Stories.

    And while you’re thinking, why not watch Brom Bones rantipole through Disney’s 1955 Sleepy Hollow cartoon, which was banned in its day due to some cartoon drinking and promiscuity. It’s very, very, very, very risque.

    Very, very. Like, totally NSFW.

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    Laura Roberts

    Dancing around the Maypole, the rantipole and his trollop were eventually detained by police for public nudity and petty larceny.

    Sarah Wambold

    Project Rantipole had officially become the largest antipollution effort in the country. Its only weakness was that it used outdated technology; it was powered fully by humans who, lets be honest, were known to be outrageously behind in skill.

    Ellen Martin

    She felt like a schoolmarm amongst her rantipole coworkers whose tales of debauchery made her blush. Thankfully their fratastic pranks were reserved for each other.

    Ava Love

    “First a Dickensian orphan, now a rakish rantipole? How many more archaic personas, Neil?”
    “After Cockney bootblack,” he whispered, “I think I will feel whole.”


    My grandmother was greeted by the white coated men due to her failed attempt to convey ‘rantipole’ to the other members of her Charades club!

    […] Rantipole drew the fewest entries yet (what, nobody wants to win free mini golf? You know, you can play it ironically), but I’ll take quality over quantity any day. I hope y’all drew some inspiration from the Disney cartoon we posted. And speaking of inspiration, we have a pretty awesome new word going up tomorrow, with a new prize, so make sure to check it out. […]

    […] Challenge has proven a fun and creative writing game. Prizes have ranged from cold hard cash to mini golf to the current giveaway, two free hours of solitude at WriteByNight (still […]

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