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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)

TITLE: To Thread A Camel
By Joanne Sher


The strand of spaghetti was getting sticky.

Alistair Chesterfield slipped an off-white satin handkerchief out of the breast pocket of his suit and wiped it across the strand, turning it to mush.

Sighing, he pushed a black button on his executive telephone, leaning into it.

“Sally! Bring another one in, and a paper towel or something.”

“Be right there, sir,” a diminutive voice sang through the speaker.

Stuffing the handkerchief back into his pocket, Alistair leaned back, resting his wingtips on the edge of his mahogany desk.

A slight, mousy woman walked in with a cloth in one hand and a small bowl in the other. Alistair shifted his feet slightly as Sally placed the bowl on his desk, then wiped the bits of soggy spaghetti into her hand with the cloth.

“Anything else, Mr. Chesterfield?”

“Not now, but I’ll need half-inch thick twine shortly. Make sure it’s ready for me.”

“Yes, sir.” Sally shuffled out.

Alistair brought his feet to the floor and rolled his chair toward the desk. Grabbing a new strand of spaghetti with his left hand, he examined it, then lifted a sewing needle off his desk with his right.

“It’s a small hole, all right. But if anyone can do it, Chesterfield Innovations can.”

Pushing his chair out, Alistair rose, holding the needle level with his face. He strode toward a large, framed photograph hanging on his office wall. Taken in Saudi Arabia, the original photo had been enlarged, so the picture’s subject, a camel, was nearly life-sized.

Looking at the picture through the needle’s eye, he grinned, shaking his fist in the air.

“Chesterfield Innovations will.”

Alistair ambled toward his door and out to Sally’s desk, resting his arm on her computer monitor.

“Sally, get Bob and Mart in my office stat. And join us yourself. This is big.”

Within two minutes, the four were seated in his office.

Alistair hit the desk with his fist. “Listen up. Since 1923, Chesterfield Innovations has provided amazing tools for the common man. Our instant coffee cup with brewing attachment has revolutionized coffee breaks. No one can deny that our sock connectors have saved customers hundreds of trips to the store to replace the sock lost to the sock monster. But that’s small potatoes. We need to go for the gusto – grab the brass ring.”

Alistair paced the room, finally resting his arm on the short, pudgy man seated beside Sally.

“Mart, what do people want more than anything? What is every person’s greatest desire?”

“Umm, money, sir?”

‘No, you idiot! Security! They want to feel safe. Well, we’re going to start selling eternal security.”

Mart’s face screwed up. “Eternal security, sir?”

“You bet! And we need to start with this,” Alistair yelled, holding his needle up in the air.

“A pin?” Bob muttered. “Pardon me for asking, but how does one get eternal security with a pin?”

“It’s a needle, you fool. And it’s the key to eternal security. All we need to do is fit a camel through it.”

The silence was deafening.

Alistair’s eyes glowed and sparkled. “Don’t you see? That Bible thing says if you can fit a camel through the eye of a needle, you can get to heaven. So, if we can do it, people will come running; and if we sell stock in it, every man, woman and child will want to buy a piece of that eternal security – their little bit of the forever American dream!”

The employees looked at one another in disbelief. Bowing his head slightly, Bob half-raised his hand.

“Um…Mr. Chesterfield, sir? How are we going to get a camel through the eye of a needle?”

“Not a problem, Bob my boy. We have the best R & D department west of the Mississippi. I have complete confidence they will come through for us. Any other thoughts?”

Mart cleared his throat. “No disrespect meant, sir, but I think you may have slightly misunderstood that verse. Jesus said “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”*

Alistair rested his hand on Mart’s shoulder. “Is that all? PR can take care of that. They are expert spin doctors. Now we need to get serious. Mart, I need you to talk with the zoo about camel acquisition. Bob, you check on needle futures. Sally, you get that press release ready. We’re gonna put Chesterfield Innovations on the map.”

Matthew 19:23 NIV

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This article has been read 1287 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sue Dent03/01/07
I think will see an infomercial on this very soon! I can't wait! LOL Classic look at today's marketing strategy. Oh wait, this marketing strategy has been around for quite a while, hasn't it! Excellent potrayal of man trying to profit from God! And sad to think that as ridiculous has it sounds, someone would probably actually by this proposal. :O

Very unique and well-written!
Elizabeth Baize03/03/07
The logic of this is a good reminder of how man often twists the truth to the point he believes it himself.

Just as a side note, this story brought back a childhood memory. My mom and dad told me and and brothers that if we could put salt on a bird's tail, we could catch it. Taking our parents literally, and desperately wanting to capture a bird for a pet, we put salt in a can, and tried to find a way to get it on a bird's tail!
Catrina Bradley 03/03/07
I love the humor in this piece. Nice descriptive writing, too - I had a mental movie in my head. And of course a great lesson the greed of man. Great job!
Helen Paynter03/06/07
Very funny! I like the idea very much.
I found the beginning a little hard to work out what was going on - a little fragmented or something - but then I am very tired, so probably just me!
Lots of fun, and a good message.
Marilee Alvey03/06/07
This is a lighthearted look on an old problem: people thinking you can get in by works....in this case, threading a camel through the eye of a needle. If it's not one thing, it's another. The real deal is too hard to believe. Free? It can't be free! There has to be a catch! There must be something I can do. We want to make it something measurable, that we can do ourselves, in our own effort. A well written, nice reminder!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/06/07
I enjoyed the humor here, as well as the good lesson. I liked the "wing tips on the desk," and I want one of the sock connectors! The premise was about as ridiculous as some actually held today. I'm thankful for His promise and our faith in being with our Lord eternally.
Jan Ackerson 03/06/07
Wonderful satire, and commentary on our culture. I really liked this a lot.
Betty Castleberry03/06/07
Oh this is good. SOOO creative. Your charcters were very well crafted. You spun this yarn (pun unintentional) very well.
James Clem 03/06/07
Interesting take on the topic. The Spaghetti-opening is confusing. The reader has to read quite a ways into it before they can guess at what's going on.

Thanks for the tip - I sold my entire holding of Chesterfield stock.
Pat Guy 03/06/07
Very creative take on the topic! Man's arrogance hasn't changed has it? Well done with underlying humor humor 'weaved' throughout! :)
Rita Garcia03/06/07
Unique, creative! I love the humor with a very pertinent message woven throughout!Fantastic writing!
Joanne Malley03/06/07
I enjoyed your creativity on this one and the slice of humor too. LOL Great characterization and dialog as well. Nice job, Joanne!
Allison Egley 03/06/07
Oh, I loved this. Why do I have a feeling that the final invention will be some sort of viewing device where you can see a picture of a camel through the eye of a needle? It seems to fit his personality.
Tiffany Secula03/06/07
A great one!! It is so true how some try to make the Bible fit them instead of taking the word of God as it is and molding ourselves to it.
Sharlyn Guthrie03/06/07
Yours is a cute and creative take on the subject! I enjoyed it.
Joanney Uthe03/06/07
I loved this! Isn't it too true that the world uses PR to twist things to their desires. This reminded me of something that would be on a 5 minute program on the Christian Radio station. Great job.
william price03/06/07
Where did this satiracle voice come from. Beyond very nice. Creative, well written. God bless.
Linda Watson Owen03/06/07
What a delightful story! Your characterization of Chesterfield is great! I can still see and hear him even now! LOL! And yes, great commentary on our culture of sell, sell, sell.
Michelle Burkhardt03/06/07
A very creative title and interesting twist to the topic. I loved the conversation in the office.
Patty Wysong03/07/07
Your descriptions are great! I could it all happening, in detail--it's just sad there are people like this! Good job!! ;-)
Elizabeth Bussey03/07/07
Your creativity and imagination is wonderful! I really enjoy the lesson in this story and it was easy to visualize. The start threw me when it didn't continue to explain the spaghetti. If you edit this MHO would be to make the connection a bit clearer for the reader or delete it. Great message!
terri tiffany03/07/07
wow -- I hope this is a winner! You took the perfect verse and applied it so creatively to the topic! I was wondering how you could end it and still keep the chararacter and flow and you did it amazingly well! The people were great!! Nice work!!
Laurie Glass 03/07/07
My goodness, how clever. You really had me with this one.
Donna Powers 03/07/07
I LOVE this idea and it was so creatively written! Loved the story from start to finish. Thanks for sharing this
Julie Arduini03/07/07
Great humor here and more proof the world just won't see things as the Lord meant them...
Janice Fitzpatrick03/18/07
Great job! I could almost hear the voices of your characters and picture the boss and his employees in the office in my mind, through your descriptions. Your storyline flowed-awesome. Humorous and sure brings the message across.I really like this one. Way to go.God bless your writing. Janice+-
Linda Settles03/15/09
Our political "spin doctors" should read this. I wonder if they'd get it? Humor is a great way to get the message across. Good job.

Linda Settles