“Hey, Sam.”


“Shut up.”

“Hey, Sam.”


“Shut up.”

“Hey, Sam.”


“Shut up.”

“Hey, Sam.”

“I’m not doing this anymore.”

“Shut up.”

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “what?”


Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

8 thoughts on “What?”

  1. “What now?” I asked myself, as the phone rang & the talking caller ID announced that my mother was on the other end of the phone.

    “I just spoke to you ten minutes ago,” I said into the phone, “What could you possibly have to say?”

    “Text me the pictures of St Patricks Day,” without even a hello, “I thought I saved them on my phone but I lost them.”

    “Fine,” I said.

  2. What? Holy Mother of God! I hear that eighty thousand times a day. Why? Because my husband has become hard of hearing. This is yet another result of the aging process. Sometimes I am so exhausted. I feel stupid for even attempting to have a conversation with him. Another good question is “why?” Why do I continue to try when I know I will have to repeat everything I say. Interestingly enough I use “what” multiple times during the day as well. That’s because his short-term memory is now bad. He has a habit of speaking very quietly and then somehow mumbling at the end of a sentence so I haven’t a clue what he has said. My turn: “What?” This has been going on now for several years. Growing old is a pain but as Rodney Dangerfield used to joke, “you know what the alternative is.”

    1. When my grandfather got so old he had trouble hearing, I remember my mother shouting “I HAVE TO YELL AT YOU! YOU CAN’T HEART!” directly into his face while he looked utterly bewildered and befuddled.

  3. “Who? What? When? Where? Why?” Answer these questions in articles in order to succeed as a journalist. Answer these questions with verbal pictures and you’re on your way toward some sort of literary adventure. Create poetry by answering them in rhyme; as lyric or song; haiku or ode. “Who? What? When? Where? Why? The hardest but most intriguing to answer is “Why ?” Great questions – these. They are the unseen thread on which practically every necklace and artistic venture hangs.



  4. We don’t say “what”, we say “pardon” – as my mother used to tell us – or “excuse me” or “sorry” or “please could you say that again”. But I like “what”. I like a short, punchy “what”; a bullet with some fizz on the “wh” and a sharp “t”. A slap.

  5. We didn’t have a word for what in my culture. We raised our eyebrows and shrugged our shoulders. It still works.

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