Writing 101 – Day 8: Death to Adverbs (My Heritage Day)

Assignment for day 8: Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see. Then some blah blah blah with a twist of “no adverbs”.

First off, my restraining order doesn’t allow me any public access.  I got it after a little fit I had about an incorrectly priced chair.  “A little fit” is an incident where you haven’t assaulted anyone, but required the Wife to remove you from the incompetent imbecile they appointed as the manager of the furniture store.  Removal was deemed necessary as a preventative measure in keeping me, a non-violent person, from slapping the shit out of him.

Seeing that hindsight is such a perfect science, I’m slightly embarrassed at my temper tantrum, but I had a rough day.  And the price was wrong.  And I couldn’t get the chair on the day I wanted it.  I had to wait a full 24 hours, which at the time implied that I was going to die.

Unfortunately there was no director in sight, so I didn’t get a fairy tale ending like Charlize Theron, even though I’m convinced that the footage of me screaming like a pig would be used for training purposes.  Type 1 – An unreasonable and difficult customer, Mr X.  (I hope they call me Mr. X, that would be so cool.)

If I was going to follow this assignment, it would mean me sitting like a Peeping Tom or wannabe Paparazzo in a public place waiting for someone to do something stupid or crazy enough that would warrant a post.  One without adverbs.  Is that even possible?  And by the way, who is this Stephen King dude who claims that the road to hell is paved with adverbs?  I thought it was with good intentions.  Or yellow bricks.  A wide road to hell paved with yellow bricks and good intentions. And now adverbs too.  If this trend continues what other crazy shit will we find on the road to hell?

So instead of me going out to the public, I brought the public to me.  This is how I roll.

Yesterday we had a public holiday, lucky us.  Heritage day.  A day when we should reminisce about where we come from, where we are and where we’re going.   All mixed up with braai, alcohol and great friends.  The alcohol is specifically helpful in figuring out where we’re NOT going as we don’t drink and drive.  We’ll much rather smoke and fly, but since that is also illegal in South Africa, we’ll just braai our meat, eat our salads and drink copious amounts of red wine.  It’s a tough life.  You may feel sorry for me.

C and co. was first, Webber in tow.  Ready to cook up a storm with a piece of butt from a lamb.  A big butt.  I like big butts and I cannot lie.  You other brothers can’t deny.  That when a guy walks in with a juicy piece of lamb, you get sprung.  C was determined and focused on preparing the juiciest lamb ass known to man.

D arrived next and made it clear to S that they were 9 minutes late.  She replied:

“We don’t always have to be the first people to arrive.”

To which I chirped, “That means you are not allowed to leave first.”  D laughed.  S sort of smiled and joined the wives.  I now know what it means to be served.

D decided to braai some vegetables, or like other people refer to it: Chicken.  It was evident from the volume of chicken that it might be considered an endangered specie today.  It was a pile of barbecued wings and thighs that would make a vegetarian explode.  The massacre must have been awful, somewhere heaps of chicks are running around legless, or dead.

We were waiting for J.  Since he almost didn’t accept the invitation due to a strange activity called WORK, we didn’t complain when he was 30 minutes late.  Besides he brought ribs and that means most of your sins are forgiven.  He started a fire, as he doesn’t believe in charcoal.  He uses real wood.  Hard wood.  Wood that lasts longer.  And get your head out of the mud, it’s wood from the Bushveld.

Fires ignited, beers cracked open, aromas sprouted randomly and our spirits soared sky-high.  Somewhere a colony of kids was splashing in the pool.  Wife impressed everyone else (I’m in constant awe of my darling wife) with huge, succulent mushrooms that oozed deliciousness, sprinkled with garlic and cheese. Mmmm.  I stepped on my tongue, twice in the process of preparing it on the fire.  Needless to say it disappeared quickly.  Like the beer.

There was salad.  I think it was great, but let’s get back to the meat shall we.  S had a salad that required us men to braai a bringle, or slices of it.  Who knew?

JH eventually turned up much later and brought the skill of making a braai-pie, which is something I can’t explain without adverbs so I’m not going to try.  Just know it is near perfect.  For perfect would describe my fillet.  I’m hungry again.

For the connoisseurs amongst us, let me confirm that we had dessert.  It is inevitable as woman are involved.  Woman and chocolate, need I say more.  The dessert of choice was ice-cream, which wasn’t prepared on a fire.  In case you were wondering.  And if you were wondering: Are you crazy? It’s ice-cream.

It was a good day.  We solved all the problems of the world.  We braai-ed.  We laughed.  We braai-ed some more.  We had wine.  We still braai-ed.  We ate.  We danced.  We laughed. We went home.  It was a fantastic reminder of how blessed we are to be living in such a great country with loving families and really awesome friends.

Anyhow, I’m losing the plot, I’m required to write a post without adverbs.  Those words that describe verbs, created for the lazy writer.  I have to write something without any -ly words.  Which I think I’ve done.

PS – I used poetic licence on the restraining order.

14 thoughts on “Writing 101 – Day 8: Death to Adverbs (My Heritage Day)

  1. Hmm….I am wondering about the word ‘really’ in all this. Would that count as an adverb? How about eventually? Glad to hear that the restraining order was just license…you had me worried there for a minute..


  2. Hmm…looking further…I’m also seeing slightly and incorrectly….guess I should stop before you come after me….I know about your type with restraining orders on them. 🙂 Just kidding. It is still a wonderful post as always.


      • I did wonder how you were going to respond to the “adverb police” statements I made on here. I’m glad to know you are not put off by it. I couldn’t imagine trying to write this much without using any adverbs. I started looking just to see if you actually had managed it. I will admit…I was quite happy to find a few in there…made you more “human” somehow…I think I’ve imbued you with superhuman writing traits in my brain!


  3. Well done at so astutely avoiding adverbs to fulfil the requirements. Why “they” think it a virtue I have no idea. God gave us adverbs gladly, freely, lovingly. They’re delightfully lovely to use and the anti-adverb pushers need to have a few nouns brutally shoved up their… Anyway, despite to adverbs you made it really really interesting.


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