Friday, October 30, 2015

Twistaplot #14 Instant Millionaire

Last time we were promised fame and riches, but instead got bullied by puppies with flippers and survived quicksand thanks to the author actually researching that topic and understanding that basic swimming skills would save you easily. Today we're going to continue the theme of unearned McDuck money by examining the Twistaplot interpretation of this cultural touchstone. Truly I am a glutton for misery. At least this one promises to actually examine the impact of sudden material acquisition, as opposed to the Which Way book with three lame stories that had little, if anything, to do with making bank other than that providing the loosest of rationales to tie together tepid detective, explorer and kidnapping stories that weren't substantial enough to fill up 90-odd heavily truncated pages on their own.

Charlie Sheen's childhood.

While "Famous and Rich" had a fairly substantial, if goofy, set-up involving a mysterious old man with poorly defined magical powers this one simply kicks off with an invitation to choose a lottery number. Yes, just one. Presumably they'll be about 100 billion balls in the world's largest tumbler for this to actually work. I'm really feeling good about 25,594,120,001, my personal lucky number. One point for improving on "A wizard did it!" to drive the plot, minus several dozen for the abruptness of the opening and for encouraging underage gambling. Come on R.L. Stine, you're supposed to scare the kiddies, not turn them into low rollers.

I won this 43 times in 1996, but failed to send $800 through Western Union to claim my winnings.

There's four numbers to choose from and I decide to go with 50 because I've devised a system that can defeat random number generation. It turns out this number does not, in fact, win the millions promised in the title but instead nets the "jumbo" prize. An elephant. Get it? Haw. There's a reference to telling "Uncle Clyde" (always an Uncle in these) to stock up on peanuts, because it's always a good idea to introduce new characters literally two sentences away from "The End" and why not grind in a little extra indignity after having the equivalent of one of those loser doors from "Let's Make a Deal" open up rather than a highly satisfying Twistaplot Mammon fantasy. 

From start to finish I read less than one full paperback page worth of text. Great for little Timmy trying to pull a fast one on his 1987 fourth grade book report, maybe somewhat less ideal for an hilarious blog review in the waning days of 2015. 

The End.

I'm sure there's lots of amazing plot lines where you get one million American in a time where that was considered a fairly large sum of money, but not for me. I'm not even sure what else to say, other than to note the fact that I'm one book closer to being done with Twistaplot forever, which undoubtedly is a positive note we can end on, rather than being angry about a two page story-line that can be summed up by the false idea that there's something inherently funny about large land animals.

You're as trusting as an elephant, bro.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

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