Photo bombs crack me up. How can you not giggle at the absurdity of a earnest photograph interrupted by the unexpected? While the term is modern and popularized by everyone having digital cameras these days, photo bombs have been with us as long as there have been cameras.

Just the other day, my sister-in-law posted a cute photo of her one-year-old granddaughter. She was so delighted to finally capture this busy Little Miss long enough to get a crystal-clear shot of her smiling, cute as a kitten. Yet, in the background an innocuous spider-plant spread its long pointy leaves in such a way that Little Miss looked crowned in a bad hair day. Photo bombed by a house plant.

Several years ago, my niece primly posed for a series of graduation photos. Her family had two dogs she wanted to pose with, and the young one kept eye-balling the older one instead of looking at the camera. In one shot the younger dog lunged in front of my niece looking like a wild-eyed hoodlum while the other dog disappeared from the frame. My niece continued to pose prettily and it was my favorite grad picture. Photo bombed by a dog.

When it comes to photo bombs, my middle daughter, the Rock Climber, is the bomb. She can manage to interrupt her own photographs. She blames, or claims, this special talent on one of the cameras she sometimes uses for outdoor photo shoots because it goes off on without her knowing. When she took photos of scientists measuring the melt at Glacier National Park, she photo bombed several. Same with rock climbing. Here’s a few Rock Climber photo bombs:

The Hand of Rock Climber

The Hand of Rock Climber

Rock Climber Climbing

Rock Climber Climbing

Rock Climber Almighty

Rock Climber Almighty

Now that our muses have warmed us up, let’s try to write a photo bomb! The formula is thus: serious scene interrupted by something ridiculous. You are free to creatively interpret one of the photos of Rock Climber or a prized photo bomb from your own collection.

November 12, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a photo bomb (serious scene interrupted by something absurd or unexpected). You may also use a photo bomb (one of the three above or one from your own photos) to tell a ridiculous story. You don’t have to be funny–you can be wildly imaginative. Shake up the writing brain a bit and see what falls onto the page.

Respond by November 18 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. In case this prompt seems daft, I’ve written two examples. Have fun!

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Be Nice to Mother Nature by Charli Mills (based on Rock Climber Almighty)

Mother Nature peeked in on Glacier National Park.

“The park’s biggest glacier is retreating,” said a Park Ranger.

Tourists huddled to look. Bessie crunched on Skittles and mouthed, “Boring.”

“One day, Glacier Park will have no more glaciers at all.”

“Big deal,” said Bessie, shrugging. A Park Ranger cleared his throat and asked the tourists to line up for a photograph in front of the melting ice. Bessie rolled her eyes and squeezed in.

No one saw the fingers of Mother Nature flick Bessie into the glacial lake, but everyone laughed at the photograph that caught Bessie’s surprised face.

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The New Cameraman by Charli Mills

“Is my collar straight, Bob?” Cynthia of the Morning Show stared coolly at the set manager. Bob grimaced and gave her a thumb’s up.

“Bob, is that light skewed?” Bob climbed the catwalk and gave Cynthia thumbs up.

“Good morning, Cynthia! I love your show. I’m…”

Cynthia cut off gushing with a guillotine stare. Bob looked at the new cameraman and shook his head, no. Cynthia smiled like a coyote with a dead rabbit. “No talking to me on set.”

Cameras rolled and the new man grinned. He could see the spinach in her perfect teeth. But no talking.

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