Welcome to the Barrelhouse Stupid Idea Junk Drawer

David Saint Hubbins: It’s such a fine line between stupid and, uh…
Nigel Tufnel: Clever.

Found in the Junk Drawer

At Barrelhouse, we love stupid ideas. Barrelhouse itself was a stupid idea. A lot of Real Actual Barrelhouse Things -- our conference, the Patrick Swayze Issue, the Barrelhouse Television Workshop, books by our editors -- started off as stupid ideas and wound up becoming things we’re quite proud to put out into the world. What we’re saying here is that one of the things we’re never lacking for at Barrelhouse is stupid ideas. So much so, in fact, that we just don’t have the time or energy to follow up on the sheer volume stupid ideas that are being generated by Barrelhouse. So now we’re sharing them with you. 

We’re all writers, and of course our brains are constantly taking in what we see in the world and churning out ideas for stories or poems or essays. Some of those ideas become, indeed, our own stories, poems, or essays. Some of them wind up right here in the Barrelhouse Stupid Idea Junk Drawer, and we will leave them right here, for your use and enjoyment. 

But wait, there’s more!  You’ll notice that we’ve included the name of the editor who came up with each idea or prompt or weird inkling of a thing. That’s because this stupid idea junk drawer is also a call for submissions: IF you’d like to actually try to execute one of these ideas, you can submit them to Barrelhouse through our regular online submissions process (Submittable), using the Stupid Idea Junk Drawer category, and the editor who came up with the idea will review and either accept/reject the story/poem/essay/whatever. If accepted, we’ll publish right here on the blog under the Stupid Idea Junk Drawer category. 

Here's a link to our online submission manager, where you can submit to the Stupid Idea Junk Drawer category. 


Story idea: 

Paris Hilton gets a DUI and is forced to do community service by sitting around a low rent indoor water park in the Poconos “being nice to normal people.” Preferably story is from her POV. (Dave Housley)

Story Idea: 

Clown parents are disappointed in their non-clown adolescent (Matt Perez). 

Story Idea: 

Dystopian YA Raymond Carver story with strong teenage female protagonist. (Dave Housley)

Story Idea: 

Bob Dole imitator finally faces up to an uncertain future. (Dave Housley)



Anything that has the words "Fuckin A, Nikki!" in the denouement. (Matt Perez)

Story Idea: 

Protagonist goes trout fishing in Montana and does not catch a fish or have an epiphany, gets real bit up by mosquitoes. (Dave Housley)

Story Idea: 

Susie rides a bird. 


Paul steals a bear. 

(Matt Perez)


Story Idea: 

Scrooge McDuck opens his money bin to the public for swimming (Tom McAllister)



Guys being dudes (Tom McAllister) 


A definitive list of pranks from the Police Academy movies. (Matt Perez). 

Story Idea: 

Story told in the form of a beard diary. Probably this is a love story. A breakup story.
Bonus points if the story does not take place in Brooklyn. (Dave Housley)


Here's a link to our online submission manager, where you can submit to the Stupid Idea Junk Drawer category. 


Story title “All The Things We Have in Common.” 

First line: “1. We are both standing on paddleboards.” 

(Dave Housley)

A brief discussion of this stupid idea