Once upon a time, my siblings and I made up a character called "Baby Wayney." He was an actual baby, I think. But he didn't really have a personality or anything, he just occasionally showed up when we needed a name or a placeholder character for a game we were playing.
Then, once upon another time, we thought it might be fun to come up with as many rhyming phrases as we could. Somehow this morphed into creating a series of children's books, representing it with a rhyming one-sentence pitch. (We tried to roughly keep the meter the same throughout.) Since Baby Wayney was our placeholder name, it only made sense to center this series of kids' books around him as well.
One of us came up with a random sentence, and then we went around the room coming up with as many rhymes as we could. We couldn't reuse the same word, although we could reuse homonyms as long as they had different meanings/spellings (we used both the noun and verb forms of "fries," for example, as well as things like "sighs" and "size").
I was reminded of this the other day and decided I should let you guys read this awesomeness. Here, for your reading amusement, is our list, with the occasional comment.
Baby Wayney and the pigs fall in a cave full of flies
The initial book premise. It's a pretty dumb one to begin with, but our rhyming ones aren't any better. Turns out there are A BILLION rhymes for "flies," though. We thought we'd have to switch out rhymes after about 15 minutes, but we kept going for like an hour and a half.
Baby Wayney and the eagle go soaring across the skies
Baby Wayney and the bees mourn for a flower that dies
Baby Wayney and the detective try to find out who lies
Baby Wayney and James Bond compete to become spies
I would totally reach a children's book about a baby competing with James Bond for superspydom.
Baby Wayney as the panda prances about in disguise
Baby Wayney and his mom juggle after multiple tries
Baby Wayney and the garbage man have too many twisty ties
I have this image of him and a garbage man sitting half-buried in a mound of twisty ties, looking around in despair.
Baby Wayney and his death row friends watch the new guy who fries
Occasionally we got a little morbid.
Baby Wayney at McDonald's says he'd like that with fries
Baby Wayney and the cook patiently watch bread dough rise
Sometimes the stories were... not exactly action-packed.
Baby Wayney and the party guest have the element of surprise
Baby Wayney and the church greeter change their "hellos" into "his"
Baby Wayney and the pigs fall into the cave (reprise)
I had to go back and remember what our first Baby Wayney story was when I wrote this one.
Baby Wayney and the Indian practice their woodpecker cries
Baby Wayney and the tailor find clothes that are just the right size
Baby Wayney asks the babysitter if she would sing lullabies
Baby Wayney and the spider collectively have too many eyes
NOT TOO MANY EYES
Baby Wayney and the pigs go back to their home and their sties
The pigs are fun recurring characters.
Baby Wayney and the caterpillar both want to be butterflies
Baby Wayney and the emo kid yell, "I HATE ALL YOU GUYS!"
Baby Wayney and a bored guy who sits there and mumbles and sighs
Baby Wayney and his sister get trapped in the dryer that dries
To distinguish from all the dryers that bake cookies.
Baby Wayney and the selfish kid learn to compromise
So far, that might be the only one that sounds like an actual children's book.
Baby Wayney tries his best but never will get the prize
And this one teaches an important lesson about... failure and giving up?
Baby Wayney and his friends tearfully say their goodbyes
Baby Wayney and the clown get sick from too many pies
Baby Wayney and the awkward kid face the bully from whom he shies
Baby Wayney and his aerobics class dance to tone up their thighs
Baby Wayney and his aerobics class decide they hate exercise
This is obviously a direct sequel to the one above it.
Baby Wayney and the queen, who suddenly breaks down and cries
I don't know why it has to be the queen, but I guess she's a fun character to include in this series.
Baby Wayney and the psychiatrist learn to hypnotize
Baby Wayney and his friends give you a word from the wise
Baby Wayney is really freaked out that it's time to circumcise
I'm pretty sure this contribution was mine...
Baby Wayney and the villain, who loves to antagonize
Baby Wayney learns from his mother that it's not polite when he pries
Baby Wayney and his friends learn something they didn't realize
Baby Wayney painted a picture, but what does it symbolize?
Baby Wayney and his lit class must read about Catchers in Ryes
Totally appropriate reading material for children.
Baby Wayney talks to his friend about the day's low points and highs
Baby Wayney is going to Africa so it's time to immunize
Baby Wayney poops in the garden to help it to fertilize
Baby Wayney is helpful!
Baby Wayney makes up with someone he used to despise
Baby Wayney and Hugh Laurie learn how to dancercise
Baby Wayney and Hugh Laurie say the creation was Stephen Fry's
These are both references to this sketch.
Baby Wayney and the messy children learn how to organize
Baby Wayney's hypnotic techniques successfully mesmerize
Baby Wayney and ze Russian experiment on little vhite mize
We were clearly running out of ideas at this point.
Baby Wayney tells his teacher he's going to heart dot his I's
This is another one that doesn't seem to have a lot of... plot. It's not even about Baby Wayney ACTUALLY dotting his I's with hearts. It's just about him alerting the teacher.
Baby Wayney and the pirates try not to let the ship capsize
Baby Wayney helps the pirate as he works and he fortifies
Baby Wayney and the pirates win because they keep yelling "Aye!"s
However, we follow up that really-not-exciting book with an awesome pirate trilogy!
Baby Wayney and the sheriff need someone to deputize
Baby Wayney condenses his mess by learning to compartmentalize
Baby Wayney is the ref, so he gets to penalize
Baby Wayney and Eliza Doolittle work hard to chinge 'er wise
Eliza Doolittle, for those who do not know old movies or musicals.
Baby Wayney reveals a strength his toddler stature belies
The first reference to the fact that he might be an actual baby.
Baby Wayney texts back, "You really should capitalize"
He's a bit of a grammar Nazis, it seems.
Baby Wayney and the bugs have finally found pigs to traumatize
You'd think after all he's been through with the pigs, he'd be more sympathetic to them.
Baby Wayney and ALL of his FRIENDS learn to EMPhasize
This one might be my favorite.
Baby Wayney likes his thrillers, romances, fantasies, and sci-fis
Baby Wayney and the cheerleaders jump about to help energize
Baby Wayney calls everyone stupid so he can demoralize
Baby Wayney runs into a problem and decides he must analyze
Baby Wayney has too much ice and so he liquefies
Baby Wayney learns about questions – the whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys
Baby Wayney likes coffees and teas, especially lattes and chais
Baby Wayney and the preacher go out to evangelize
All right, crew. Do you have any to add to this list? Would you actually read any of them if they existed? Will you buy the entire series if we write these books? :-P