Saturday, August 07, 2004

How many witty sheep can a witty sheep shaver shave?

I love writing. Personally I don't understand why everyone doesn't write. It's truly the best therapy on the planet and the cheapest, too. If I couldn't write, I don't know what I'd do. Probably become a serial arsonist or a mountain sheep shaver. I'm really not qualified for anything else.

Now that I think about it, I'm not qualified to write either. And I've heard the mountain sheep shaving market is a tough nut to crack.

This morning, I did a stupid, stupid thing. I sat down at my computer at 5:00 a.m. with a cup of coffee and my Coke bottle glasses and started to visit various other assorted writer's websites. I felt I needed a boost to my perpetually deflated ego and I was sure that by reading other's work, I would somehow feel better about my own ability to write.

That so did not happen.

I soon discovered that the web is positively overflowing with talented, hysterically funny writers. I also discovered that it's hard to get coffee out of a key board.

Not only are these other writer's funny, they are smart funny and that's the best kind. They use words that cause me to tilt my head sideways like my Yorkie does when I make a fake doggie crying sound and they find the hilarity in things that I had no clue were even supposed to be funny. Although most aren't as vain as I am and prefer not to plaster their picture all over their websites, I'm certain they must be gorgeous and rich and often described by their adoring fans as witty and clever.

They make me want to be a better writer. Failing that, they also make me want to eat my weight in pork rinds and chocolate chips.

I want to have adoring fans and be described by those that know me as witty and clever! Is that too much to ask? I'm thinking I should make some changes that will hopefully bring out the more professional writer that I am hoping lives somewhere inside me. (That would explain the extra couple pounds.)

I think first of all, I need to go buy one of those chains that holds my glasses around my neck. That's reeks of professional writer-ism. I'm sure that once I have that dandy little item, the beautiful words and dazzling analogies will flow from my brain like chocolate milk through my son's nose when the cat farts. (Ok. That was really bad. You can see my need for the chain.)

And if you saw my office, you'd take pity on me and immediately understand why you've never felt the need to refer to me as witty or clever. You see, technically my office is my daughter's old room. When she moved out, I moved in. Kitten is quite "girlie" and painted her room to match her personality. The walls are fire engine red with Pepto-Bismal pink stripes that run vertically from ceiling to floor around the room, with six inches between each stripe. I could not make this up people. I have to take a Dramamine just to come in here.

I definitely need to give my office an extreme makeover in order to make it more like a place where a professional writer pounds out award winning articles on a weekly basis and less like a candy striper's lounge. (I said striper... not stripper.)

I realize some of you fast on your feet thinkers are asking yourself, "Hey, why not just paint the room?".

It's not that simple. As any good reader of my writing knows, I am not allowed to touch paint. It has to do with my tendency to over do things from time to time thus triggering Mr. Man to flail his arms around wildly and threaten to duct tape my hands together if I ever touch another paint brush.

Sure, I could just ask him to paint my office. And, I would to. That is if I thought I actually had a gnat's chance of getting him to actually do it.

You see, while I may tend to get a little carried away with a bucket of paint, Mr. Man has his own set of problems. Of yes. He is not called Mr. Perfect for a reason.

Generally, he's a wonderful guy. He's great looking, smells way too good and is quite the fancy dancer. I can't help but love him. But, he can be just the tiniest bit dramatic.

What the heck. Let's call a spade a spade. He's a full fledged, tiara wearing drama queen.

Let me paint you a picture. (Surely he didn't mean I couldn't paint mental pictures either.)

Yesterday, Mr. Man and I were getting all prettied up to go to a send off party for a dear friend of ours that is leaving to serve our country in Iraq. I was busy teasing and spraying and powdering when I mentioned to him that I was not going to have time to cook supper. Trying to get all the smoke and mirrors in place to fool people into thinking I am not a troll is very time consuming and can be physically draining as well. Sure, I have trained monkeys that help with all the taping and tucking and buckling down, but it's still a chore.

I ever so gently suggested that he either fix himself a couple hot dogs or he order a pizza so that he wouldn't be without nourishment.

"I can't," he said flatly.

"Why not?" I asked three-dimensionally.

"Because it's already 4:30 and we have to be there at 7:00. There is simply no time, woman!"

The party was only a twenty minute drive away and all he had left to do to "get ready" was to change his shirt. Apparently that was going to be an undertaking of epic proportions and couldn't be rushed. In his defense, buttoning can be tricky.

He's that way about absolutely everything.

Every grocery day, I ask Mr. Man what he would like me to buy for his lunches.

"Honey, you know I will eat whatever you get. I am not picky. I will eat anything."

And when I fix roast beef sandwiches and put them in his Jethro sized lunch box, he comes home and informs me he hates sandwiches and because of his deep hatred for sandwiches and my utter disregard for his feelings about them, he had to work all day on an empty stomach.

"Why do you suddenly hate sandwiches?" I ask.

His bottom lip quivers and he answers "Because the bread gets all soggy."

"Fine. I'll send burritos tomorrow." I say while muttering something about Lincoln and freedom just under my breath.

"I can't eat burritos! I'll have gas and all the other security guards will make fun of me."

"What about tuna salad, then? Can you eat tuna salad or will the mean old men not let you play in their security guard games if you eat tuna?"

"Sweetheart, you know I'm not picky. I'll eat whatever you fix."

If you don't believe me, the next time you run into Mr. Man at the Crazy On Your Face monthly hoe-down, ask him how poor he was growing up. When he hikes his pants up, clears his throat and starts telling you about how he ate wild rabbits and twigs just to stay alive, you'll see what I mean. He truly has a flair for the dramatic.

So, if I were to ask Mr. Man to paint this room from Candy Land hell, he would no doubt prepare for me a list of reasons it cannot possibly be done. I imagine the likelihood of paint inhalation-itis would be one reason and his not wanting to support the Iraqi owned paint industry would be another. A simple, "I don't wanna" will never fall from his lips.

I guess I am doomed to continue my efforts to write like a grown-up, honest to goodness writer in this room that would make Hooker Barbie dizzy. Maybe I should try to step it up a little and use some of those big, published author words in my writing. I bet that would make me seem more like a professional writer.

Hey, that's a fabulous idea!

Check in next time when you'll read words like, "menology", "pertinacious" and "pundit" expertly woven throughout my stories. Surely that will inspire someone to tell me how clever and witty I am.

(And by the way, I know you're rushing to look up those words at this very moment.)

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Copyright © 2004, Sherri Bailey
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