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Little Bits of Stupid Real Life Writing

Dancer Brand Manhole-Covers

Now, how’s that for a catchy title?
Now, how’s that for a catchy title?

This is the story I dream of telling as my “A Funny Thing Happened While I Was Writing the Screenplay” story on Leno someday… (or Letterman, or Ellen, or…)

Anyway, the screenplay I was working on is called Standing Still, and the protagonist is a guy that’s been going nuts for the past few months and is just now starting to show it on the outside. He becomes obsessed with a lady who moves in across the hall. The plot line calls for this lady (in her own storyline) to also be going a little nuts because she had to give up a career in… something very important to her because of some kind of illness or accident that disables her. I figured out the “illness or accident” part brilliantly, if I do say so myself, but was stumped as to what spectacular career this woman had that she couldn’t cope with not being able to do it anymore.

So, I’m walking to The Bad Place, my then-Day Job, one morning, in the pouring rain. I’m carrying an umbrella, a thermos, a packsack (backpack, to all you Non-Canuckians), a CD player with “Cake” blasting in my eardrums, smoking a cigarette and trying to negotiate safe passage while jay-walking against the traffic on Queen West in front of the casino at about 9:15 am. While my left brain is calculating angles to prevent me from becoming jam on the tarmac, my right brain is still struggling with WTF Corinne used to do for a living that was so ever-lovin’ important. And then I had an epiphany. Or I was struck by lightning, maybe, but I’m lucky I didn’t get smushed that morning.

In a mad dash across the (thankfully one-way) two lanes of what amounts to Rush Hour Traffic in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, my foot landed squarely on a slightly ill-fitting manhole cover.

It went BbbbbooooOOOooooonnnnnnNNNNNNGGGGGG!

And I looked down, because that’s a really weird thing to hear.

And I read the manufacturer’s stamp on the manhole cover even as I continued to sprint across the street, and then it struck me right in the middle of the forehead in one of those funky “slow the shutter down” stop motion kind of moments….

“Dancer”…. Dancer Brand Manhole-Covers. Weird. Wait a minute. She’s a DANCER!”

And Corinne became a dancer so that her new-found disability would force her to give it up and drive her to despair to further the instability of my main character. And I owed it all to the Dancer Manhole Cover Manufacturing Company for being proud enough to stamp their name on their product, and for months, everytime I noticed a manhole cover (and I’m a Professional Pedestrian, I count manhole covers), I would think of Corinne, and I would bless the Dancer Manhole Cover Manufacturing Company for saving my screenplay.

And then I finished the screenplay, and went on to the next one, and after about a year and a half I got stopped by a train. And while watching the train cross in front of me, I noticed a manhole cover in the street next to me.

And I had another epiphany (This time I’m pretty sure it was an epiphany, as it was a sunny afternoon).

All of these manhole covers don’t have Dancer stamped on them …. They have DANGER stamped on them.

So I think my left brain took over my right brain that day in the rain, keeping me from being smushed by a bus, and solving my backstory problem. It’s just a little dyslexic, is all.

And on an even lighter note.. I stole this from Shria’s Spot. It’s even better than googling my Wants & Needs!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Les!

1) Les was banned from Finland because of not wearing pants.
2) More people are killed by Les each year than die in aeroplane accidents.
3) Ostriches stick their heads in Les not to hide but to look for water!
4) Les will always turn right when leaving a cave.
5) Ninety-six percent of all candles sold are purchased by Les!
6) Les is the world’s smallest mammal.
7) Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are Les.
8) During World War II, Americans tried to train Les to drop bombs!
9) If you drop Les from more than three metres above ground level, she will always
land feet-first!
10) A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are individually known as Les!

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Save Me a Place” – Fleetwood Mac

4 replies on “Dancer Brand Manhole-Covers”

For those interested, #4 is true, as is #5, #9, and possibly #1, for reasons I won’t go into unless the Finnish government contacts my lawyer, or my daughter rats me out.

Possible occupations for your protagonist:

Chicken sexer – after a terrible disfiguring accident poor protagonist lacks the muscles in her right hand to hold the cloaca insertion tool.

Crocodile handler: After a terrible disfiguring accident poor protagonist lacks her right hand.

Conceptual Engineer: After a terrible disfiguring accident poor protagonist awakes one morning totally devoid of imagination.

And that’s just the c’s…

Suzi – Nope. I’m gonna tell it on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Rory – Nope. She’s a dancer. Well… she was…. until a horrible accident left her disabled.

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