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Quasi-Stoics Lounge

Old Guy Tries to Write a Short Story

March 31, 2013 by Old Guy

Hi everyone its me Old Guy. Its been a while since I last wrote you something and I cant remember what it was but no matter. Let me update you on whats been going on. Thurston Thornton has been trying to buy my land for quite some time so he can put up a duplex subdivision but its not for sale period so give up Thurston because you are wasting your time. The wife and I are doing fine. I had a little trouble with my right knee but got a cortisone shot and that makes it feel better but maybe I need surgery so we will see about that. Other than that not much to say. We are okay.

I had coffee with the website editor Somebody downtown the other day and we were talking about short stories. He told me that he likes short stories a lot and has a couple of books with short story collections and said that one day he would really like to write a short story and put it on his website but wasnt really sure how to go about it. I said good luck because Ive never written anything creative except maybe the stuff I gave him for this website which really isnt anything creative at all just kind of whats been going on in my life and all. So I couldnt really help him with that I told him.

But he kept on talking about that and asked me what if he wrote a short story and it had this guy who goes in a store and sees a gumball machine and decides to put in a coin and get some gum and then gets it and then walks out of the store. He wanted to know could that count as a short story. I said I dont know I figure it could be if you wanted it to but that I still wasnt sure since maybe there ought to be some kind of problem that came up that would make the story more interesting so that you would wonder what would happen and would keep on reading.

So he said maybe the guy wouldnt have any coins so he would be thinking he couldnt get the gum but then the lady behind the cash register could say Ive got four quarters for a dollar and then he could get the gum and the story would have a happy ending. I said I didnt know about that because we didnt know anything really about the guy buying the gumballs or the lady behind the cash register. Kind of like there needed to be some human interest stuff or something.

So he said maybe the guy could be a spy for a secret government organization and the cashier could be a ninja warrior in disguise and the gumballs are poisoned so after he eats one he dies. So that sounded pretty good to me but then he said no on second thought that was too complicated and that it wasnt going to work and said no he didnt like the gumball idea anymore so forget it.

Then later on he changed his mind and said maybe the gumball story could work but it would actually be better if we didnt know anything at all about the guy and the cashier because mystery is good for making the story more interesting.

Then he said no just get rid of the cashier and just have the guy have the quarter and just buy the gumballs and then after he leaves the store something will happen. Like what I asked and he said like he gets hit by a bus when he tries to cross the street so it will be a tragic short story. At that point I figured to myself whatever floats your boat and said sure write it if you like the idea but he said no on second thought he didnt really like the idea of people getting hit by buses since it was just too violent and he said he was just going to put the idea on the shelf and get back to it later. Well alright I said and that was that or so I thought.

A few weeks later he emails me and says that he has still been thinking about getting a short story for his website but says that hes just got too much going on to write one himself so maybe I would be interested in giving it a shot since all of his other writers have said that they werent interested. I wrote him back saying that I honestly wouldnt know what to write about because I dont make up stories about anything since I just dont have the imagination for that kind of stuff but thanks for thinking of me anyway. But I was still thinking to myself that maybe I would do it if I got a good idea because I really wanted to help the guy out.

I told the wife about this and she said why dont you just write about something that happened to you or that you already know about and just kind of change the names around so nobody knows. That didnt seem right to me I told her because people can usually figure it all out even if you change the names. No I told her its got to be something completely made up or im just not going to do it.

So finally I got an idea for a story by watching the news the other day about how President Obama had this weird idea about minting a trillion dollar coin as some kind of unusual trick for fixing the national budget or something. Later on it turned out that they said no they werent going to do it but for a while there they were taking the suggestion pretty seriously. So I imagined what would happen if things had been different and they made the trillion dollar coin and somebody stole it. Wow that could be pretty cool I thought. I got kind of excited there for a while and sat down to my laptop with a big cup of coffee and told the wife to leave me alone for a few hours because I really had a great idea and wanted to go with it while I was feeling inspired.

So this is what I managed to type up after about two hours of work.

The president decided he could fix the budget by minting a trillion dollar coin. Congress approved it and the coin was sitting in a box on the presidents desk. But this mysterious guy came in the Oval Office late at night all in black with his face covered like a ninja and stole the box with the coin in it and made his escape with the alarms going off. Then he took the coin to the leader of a secret crime organization named (not sure about name yet) and they

I got kind of stuck at that point because I wasnt sure what they were going to do with the coin. I thought that maybe they would give Obama back the coin if he first sent them ten billion in unmarked bills and they would use that money to build a mercenary terrorist army but at that point my short story started sounding more like a movie with Sylvester Stallone than a short story. So I thought no thats not what I want so I gave up on the trillion dollar coin idea. Man I thought writing short stories is just too darned hard so I figured maybe just forget the whole idea.

My friend Winston Lee came over for dinner one night and I told him about the short story idea and he said to me why dont you write some stream of consciousness stuff like where you just write whatever comes to mind which he said is what he does all the time but I said I wasnt sure that would qualify as a short story and he said well you never know until you try. So I figured why not lets give it a go.

So here is what I came up with in the stream of consciousness mode without periods because Winston Lee says thats how your supposed to do it like one endless sentence.

My right knee was hurting a lot but now I just got the cortisone shot so it feels kind of better we will have roast beef and asparagus tonight sounds good to me just watching the news they say that the stock market went up twenty points the wind is blowing outside maybe rain later on the neighbors dog is barking and I wish he would shut up sometimes he barks all day

Thats all I got done because after I read it back it just seemed so hopeless to me and that nobody was ever going to want to read something like that. Maybe Winston Lee can make it work but I sure as heck cant so that was the end of that experiment.

So in the end I just gave up and figured I just wasnt cut out for writing short stories at all but hopefully one day someone or another will write a short story about something for this webpage but sorry it isnt going to be me but hey you cant say that I never tried.

"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...