• Jeff South

300 Writing Prompts: Day 3


Today's random prompt: Where would you be pleased to find yourself locked up overnight?



Talk about a loaded question.


Are we talking about a prison in this scenario? Have I committed a crime? Or am I accidentally trapped in an elevator and I get to choose someone famous with whom to be trapped? The prison scenario is unappealing for countless reasons, not the least of which is being trapped in the industrial prison complex and I’ve seen too many prison movies to know our jails aren’t the madcap party palaces they advertise as.


Let’s go with the elevator. For this exercise, I’m going to employ one of my favorite blog formats: the baker’s dozen list. So, I present to you, dear reader, the 13 People I Wouldn’t Mind Being Trapped In An Elevator With (in no particular order)


1. Patton Oswalt

We could talk about movies and television and pop culture and such topics. It would be a most excellent way to pass the time. He’d probably take selfies with me.


2. Valerie Bertinelli

My first celebrity crush. I’d ask her about working on One Day At A Time with Pat Harrington and get some good pasta recipes from her. I’d have nothing to offer this interaction except making googly eyes and giggling. She’d take a selfie with me.


3. Paul Rudd

I think he wouldn’t freak out in a stalled elevator. He’d maintain his cool and provide a comforting demeanor. At some point he would say, “hey, look at us.” And I’d say, “who would’ve thought?” And he’d say, “not me.” He’d probably take selfies with me.


4. Seth Rogen

He could teach me how to smoke a joint because I’d need something to keep me calm. I’ve tried to smoke pot in the past and it never took. I’m sure I did it wrong. I’ve written an entire essay about my first attempt to smoke pot. Maybe someday I’ll post it. Seth Rogen would help me in this area. I wouldn’t take a selfie.


5. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or John Cena

The Rock or John Cena would save us, though I admit to having mixed feelings about this. They both seem like nice guys so it’d be cool to have a conversation with either of them. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to leave. There would be many selfies.


6. Jennifer Lawrence

I think she would make things fun. Cracking inappropriate jokes. Being goofy. Not taking herself seriously. I’d have nothing to offer this interaction except making googly eyes and giggling. I’d ask her to autograph my hand.


7. Neil DeGrasse Tyson

I would attempt to discuss the implications of time travel with him. For example, if a woman goes back in time and gives birth and then travels back to her own time, what happens to her baby? If I travel back to the late 19th century and die, what happens to my parents in 1967 when I’m not around to be born? Or am I reincarnated? If I traveled back to 1967 and buried a Twinkie in the backyard where I grew up would that create some bizarre butterfly effect where I become a secret agent? Definitely taking a selfie.


8. Marisa Tomei

I’d have nothing to offer this interaction except making googly eyes and giggling. I would forget to ask for a selfie until after we were rescued.


9. Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku

I have so many ideas for original content for them and he would be forced to listen. First up, KILROY WAS HERE: THE TV SHOW.


10. Jon Hamm

We would discuss Mad Men and his excellent turn as Fletch in Confess, Fletch. We’d talk all things St. Louis since he is a native son. I’d have nothing to offer this interaction except making googly eye and giggling.


11. Mel Brooks

I have an idea for a Spaceballs sequel that spoofs The Mandalorian. The baby Yoda would be named Gogurt.


12. EIther Oprah Winfrey or Reese Witherspoon

They both run book clubs and I would feel compelled to tell them about my alien hunting book club in my next novel. Then, they could include my novel about an alien hunting book club as their next book club selection and we would marvel at the metaness of it all. It would make for a great selfie, too.


13. An elevator repairman

This one makes the most sense.









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