Day 14: One star

Day fourteen, let’s get mean.

We all love a good moan, don’t we? It’s not always GOOD for us but it sure is cathartic sometimes. But sometimes it just makes us even angrier. Which can in turn be slightly entertaining when it’s someone ELSE doing the moaning. Unless you’re on the receiving end…

Oof. Many variables. Humanity is complicated.

Luckily today our complaints are gonna be entirely fictional, so there are no real emotions at stake. Just the raw potential for a whole load of CONFLICT, which is the vital ingredient in any good story.

Take these fine one-star specimens for example:

Image of a one star review from Lily Worthington-Rowe that says: I have been a professional medium for 15 and a half years and am VERY sensitive to all of the energy forces that surround us. The instructors are great and the facility is clean but when I walked into the studio I was ASSAULTED by the dark energy radiating from Monica at the front desk.
A one star review from someone called Reggie entitled 'bad experience!' that says: I found I was allergic to corn on the cob here. I would give Portland twelve thumbs down if I could. My friend told me there was a subway here and I thought he meant an underground one so I sold my car before I moved here but he just meant the restaurants. My girlfriend left me for the man who owns the loudest boat on the wharf near my old condo which is apparently how dating works in Portland. When I tried to sell my condo the homeowners' association hazed me by making me eat corn on the cob which is a thing that I'm allergic to. The staff at Maine Med asked me very intrusive questions about my blood type and my age and whether I was on any medications. I would not come back here unless it was to get back my girlfriend come back Melissa you deserve better than Loud Boat Greg.
A photo of a geyser with a one star review from Elliot P that says "the geysers look so much better in the pictures"
A one star Amazon movie reivew for Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse that says: My little rat children rented this movie without my permission.
A one star Amazon review for a UFO Detector: internal magnetometer interfaced with microcontroller for 24 hour/7 days a week monitoring for magnetic anomalies that have been reported with many UFO sightings (Electronics). 

It says: I don't know if this is a scam or if mine was broken, but it doesn't work and I am still getting abducted by UFOs on a regular basis.

Ok, ok, some of these can’t possibly be real but they still tell a damn good story, right?

Now, you may already have a one-star review of your own ready to let loose on the world, or you might want to use one of the examples above, or you may need a minute to think of something more abstract.

Some WHQ-office crowd-sourced answers to “what would you give one star to?” included:

  • winter in general – frozen windscreens and cold toes, specifically
  • fishing out lumps of hair from the shower drain
  • a pair of wireless headphones that inexplicably SCREAMS “connected/disconnected” at full volume and apparently at random
  • a carvery with sticky tables and ‘roast’ potatoes that were frozen in the middle and rubbery on the outside
  • a substitute teacher who made me play rugby when I had a sprained ankle and told me to “just walk it off”
  • the delivery person who left a parcel under the front tyre of my car and you can guess what happened next…
Gif of Abu the money from Aladdin looking angry and raising his fists at something up above

Your task for today is to write a spectacular made up one-star review. Channel the righteous indignance of a customer scorned. Get ridiculous. Rail against the wetness of water. Make an official complaint that the tooth fairy failed to pay out for your wisdom teeth. Leave a detailed review of an ex-partner.

Take 20 minutes. Lighten the load. Leave one single star. Then come and tell us all about it on the forum.

We’ll see you back here tomorrow (unless you leave us a one star review 😱)

Oh, and here’s an extra one for pure cuteness:

An instagram post showing a man sitting at a kids' table looking bored while a tiny little girl in a chef's hat and apron plays in a toy kitchen. The caption reads: "I been waiting on my order to get done for 45 minutes, and I'm the only customer here. She was making good progress at first, then she stopped for 20 minutes to go watch Paw Patrol... Overall the customer service could be better, but the cook is a cutie; so I'll give her another chance."

Useful Stuff & Things:

If you’re in need of a proper personal moan about life, writing or the universe in general, try The Moaning Method to clear out your grumbles and clear your decks for creativity…

And if you have some genuine lifey catharsis to get down, take a look at Write What You Know – a course all about how to tell real life stories in a sensitive (and healthy) way.

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