Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What To Write?

A Surreal Journey Around Writer's Block

The Blogger meandered amongst the armchairs.

He considered writing about some hilarious little scenario that unfolded at work today, but sadly nothing hilarious happened there. He supposed he could make something up, but that felt dishonest for some reason.

"You could just change the POV to third-person, change the names, and bingo! Hilarious workplace antics," suggested one of his cats.

The Blogger shooed it away.

That didn't actually happen, and it was a cheap trick to play on his reader. Being scrupled did not change the fact that he was stuck for a subject to write about, though.

He continued his thoughtful trek around the living room. Whenever the Blogger suffered from blogger's block, he wandered. As if the idea were somewhere around the house, wedged between the couch cushions or stuck in the dryer's lint trap, and he could find it if he walked around enough.

An image of his father floated across his mind, as images are wont to float into people's head in a metaphoric sense.

"Doctor! I've never seen anything like this before. He somehow managed to get a picture of a bearded fellow stuck inside his skull! It appears to have floated there. Don't ask me how."

That was just silly. English is silly.

The image of his father clearly showed the beardy gent wearing a homburg hat and sitting at a table. Spread out on the table were three or four pairs of headphones in various states of disassembly, and one plate containing the man's favorite vegetarian dish. The Blogger detected curry in the dish.

"What's wrong with you, boy?" asked his father. "I'm serious. You need to start going to bed earlier. If you're looking for something, you need to equip y'self with an LED flashlight. Gummy bear?"

The Blogger shook his head. The image popped free and floated in a lazy see-saw down to the carpet.

"Alright! Curry!" said the cat, pouncing on and eating the image.

"I suppose I could offer an opinion on some contemporary subject. Maybe make it funny somehow," the Blogger muttered, making another circuit around the furniture.

"I wouldn't suggest that," said Alan Orloff.

"What're you doing in my imagination?" the Blogger asked.

"Sweaty, horrible things. Never you mind. The nugget of wisdom I wish to leave you with before I take my leave is this: never never write about your opinions. No matter how right you may think you are, (and in the capital-A Absolute sense you very well may be right) you will find no shortage of knuckle-draggers all too willing to take it as an invitation to offer their own stupid opinions. Most of these opinions they will have formed while angrily relieving themselves in a gas station restroom. They will bother you."

"Like a town hall meeting?"

"Hey! What did I just say?" said Mr. Orloff, fading back into the blog from whence he'd come.

"Strange," thought the Blogger. "Usually the voices that give me advice belong to people I have actually met." Which reminded him of an idea he had once.

He had been reading about some modern day Tool of Jehova who had set fire to his whole family because he believed God had told him to. It had struck him as funny that nobody ever seemed to hear voices that told them to do nice things. Those poor souls who claimed to have been taking orders from God or nuclear skunks or whatever...they always seemed to be told to perpetrate really rotten deeds.

"Sir, can you tell us why you personally funded the FooDaddy Wing for the Terminally Clumsy at this hospital?"

"Well, Samantha, I did it because I woke up one morning, and my cats--and I distinctly remember them both being in agreement, which is rare--were telling me to go donate all my money to the local medical concern. They also told me to offer you a treat. Gummy bear?"

It's probably because folks are much more willing to take credit for their actions when they aren't likely to be jailed for them. Blame it on the voices, and maybe they'll just give you some pills and let you go back home.

That was silly. People are silly.

"That's it! I could write about how silly some things seem if you look at them too long!" the Blogger exclaimed. "I'll get started as soon as I finish procrastinating and throwing up roadblocks of my own devising."

The Blogger considered that some pretty good social commentary, and decided to leave it at that.


Why not tell me what you thought of this post? Especially if you liked it. And especially if you plan on rewarding me with baked goods.