Or, actually, “the winners are.”
So! There were fifty-two entries. Or, technically, fifty-two entrants. Several of those included more than one proposed concluding line. A few of those were actually from different people in the same household or at least sharing the same email address.
I hadn’t said anything about multiple entries, so I let that stand. I stripped the lines of their identifying information and handed them over to my panel of distinguished judges. Those judges were: Margo-Lea Hurwicz, Anna Schwind, and Rachel Swirsky.
After much deliberation, they gave me their decisions. Competition was fierce! I personally laughed out loud several times while reading the entries.
There were a few common themes in the entries. A couple of the winners are instances of these, in each case the one the judges thought the best example of its type. But all the entries were fabulous, and I want to thank everyone for entering. Reading the entries was great fun, and the judges had fun, and I hope you’ve all had fun. In fact, I hope I can do something like this again some time.
So! To the results of the judging.
First place goes to Genevieve B:
There once was a duck who was God,
Who said, “It’s exceedingly odd.
I fly when I wish
and I swim like a fish,
But my quacking’s dogmatically flawed.
Genevieve will be getting a 3oz packet of Benefit tea, an infuser, and Lieutenant Peepsarwat to keep her company while she drinks it.
Second place goes to Lord Peter Wolohan. Who actually sent two proposed last lines. And as it happened, the judges told me they wanted to award four instead of three because they couldn’t bring themselves to cut the fourth one. And I said “Sure!” because, you know, why not? And then when I went to match the lines to the authors, I discovered that two of them were by Lord Peter. Who is only getting one bag of tea–he has chosen EtrepaBo. And his lines tie for second place. They are:
But drinking tea with this bill is a sod.
I’m a deity, demonstratum est quod.
Third place goes to enemyofperfect, who made us all giggle with their entry:
And my cock’s more a corkscrew than rod.
Enemyofperfect is not a tea drinker! However, I do actually have a not-tea blend at Adagio, I just haven’t made it public until now. I was trying to come up with some kind of Orsian Not Tea thing. In the end I decided that if you want to have some Orsian Not Tea, you probably want some of that iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk in it. But this mate blend I made up is actually really nice. It’s mate with some chocolate (and I think some hazelnut, because it’s based on Adagio’s mocha mate blend) and peppercorns for a little spicy kick. So I’ll be sending enemyofperfect a 3oz packet of Not Orsian Tea.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE
I had read through all the entries. And I was determined to leave the decisions entirely up to the judges. But there were two that I thought really ought to get some kind of special notice. And since it was my contest, I decided to declare two Honorable Mentions.
The first goes to Clare for:
Yet I cannot compete with the Raad.
Quite a lot of entrants went to some (very much appreciated) effort to tie the last line in with the books and/or the universe. See, for instance, third place above. But this one in particular did so in very explicit fashion, even trying really hard to get “Radchaai” in there. I felt this deserved some extra appreciation.
And Honorable Mention number two, comes from writer Kate Orman, best known for her Doctor Who novels. It was the most meta of all the entries, I felt, and one of the several that made my family look at me funny when I laughed at it:
But my penis – (That’s quite enough. — Mod)
I realized I wanted to send something to my two honorable mentions. I pondered sending a bag of dicks, and while that seemed clever, I wasn’t certain it was really the right choice. Then I discovered I could send them a bag of ducks.
I ordered a bag just to be sure they were what they said they were. And I am here to tell you that they are, indeed, very tiny duck-shaped gummies, and also really really delicious. They’re made of fruit juice, fruit puree, and pectin and my goodness they’re very fruity flavored. So, Clare and Kate, I will be mailing you your bag of ducks in the next day or two. The tea and infusers (and squooshy lieutenant) will be going out just as soon as the tea actually gets here.
Thanks again to everyone who entered–I had so much fun doing this, and reading all of your entries.