For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.

The six word story. There is a legend :

Ernest Hemingway was lunching at The Algonquin, sitting at the famous “round table” with several writers claiming he could tell a six-word-long story. The other writers balked. He told them to ante up ten dollars each. If he was wrong, he would match it. If he was right, he would keep the pot. He quickly wrote six words on a napkin and passed it around. The words were : “For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.” Papa won the bet. His short story was complete. It had a beginning, middle, and end!

Brilliant in it’s simplicity. Call it the first Tweet. It’s often called “Flash Fiction” and entire books, blogs, and web sites have been dedicated to it’s evocative power. It’s quick, furious, and cheeky. It has a Wikipedia page. Also check out this New Yorker article or Not Quite What I Was Planning, a compilation of sixers from 1,000 writers. Believe me, you could Google the crap out of this.

Some of my faves:

Cat Leaps From Shadows. Floating Feathers. -Anon.

With bloody hands, I say good-bye. -Frank Miller

“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.” -Ronald D. Moore

Born bald. Grew hair. Bald again. -A.J. Jacobs

Couldn’t cope so I wrote songs. -Aimee Mann

So what do you think? I’m guessing you might have six words in your head… I know I do. Yoga Saved My Life. Namaste, Baby.