Lucy Vickery

Doing words

In Competition No. 3039, which was inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s phenomenally successful memoir Eat, Pray, Love, you were invited to choose a well-known figure, past or present, invent a three-verb title you felt would be appropriate for their memoir, and provide an extract from it.

Some promising-sounding titles — Sleep, Dream, Fleece by Sigmund Freud, Wait, Hang Around, Kick One’s Heels by HRH Prince Charles, Elise Christie’s Skate, Fall, Cry and Bill Clinton’s Fornicate, Ejaculate, Prevaricate — didn’t quite deliver but commendations all the same to Paul Carpenter, Richard Corcoran, David Silverman and Douglas G. Brown.

Honourable mentions also go to Adrian Fry — whose Drink, Shag, Repeat saw him stepping into the shoes of this magazine’s Low life correspondent Jeremy Clarke — and to John Bird, David Shields and Ann Alexander. The winners, printed below, are rewarded with £30 each.

Order, Sort, Classify: a Memoir of Peter Mark Roget by John Roget
One of my earliest memories is walking with my mama, my mother, my maternal parent, in the park when I was five, and I remarked: ‘Look at the birds — they are pretty, attractive, blue.’ ‘No, no,’ she exclaimed, expostulated, cried out, SEE ejaculate, ‘they are indeed blue, but that is not a synonym. Think how that would hurt, dismay, distress, irritate, bother SEE aggrieve, anger, your dear papa, father, male parent.’ I think it was at that tender age that I (and later my brother, fraternal relative, sibling) came to realise just how much influence our beloved progenitor, paterfamilias, head-of-household would have on us. ‘You will one day realise, understand, grasp, comprehend,’ my mother continued, proceeded, went on, ‘just what a benefit, a goldmine, a treasure-chest, a thesaurus your papa’s collection of words will be.

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