There are apparently only seven basic plot-lines, and every story ever told is based on at least one of them. They are: (1) The Quest; (2) Voyage and Return; (3) Rebirth; (4) Comedy; (5) Tragedy; (6) Rags to Riches; (7) Overcoming the Monster.
I reckon if I can get all seven of them into one story I can take the rest of the week off….
There was no food in the house, so Ulysses set out in search of some (1). The voyage was long, almost half a mile to the shop (first part of 2). There he fought the wheels of his supermarket trolley (7), overcame the fact that the scanner wouldn’t read the bar-codes on his milk (7) and battled his way past youthful bag-packers who wanted the pack his eggs under his 5-kilo bag of potatoes (still more of 7).
He crossed the road and set out towards home (middle part of 2). There was no mention of the road on the way to the shop, so why did he cross it now? To get to the other side (4 – yes, it is, it’s one of the classics). Disaster struck, however, when his dog Rags (part of 6) was knocked down and killed on the way across (5). And came back to life as a zombie-dog (3). Rags attacked Ulysses, who fought him off (7) by pelting him with eggs, which had luckily been packed on the top of his bag (4 – oh, come on, that’s really clever).
He arrived home (last part of 2) with his shopping (1, duly completed) and sat down at his computer. He had received an email saying that millions had been paid into his bank account (6).
It had been paid in by a Nigerian princess (8, Departure from any Attempt at Reality).