Nobody knows anything (two case studies)

October 3, 2010

Man, I wish I were a better blogger! I will frequently be driving around and I’ll think “I should totally blog about THAT.” as I pass someone with a ridiculous vanity plate* but then I never do. Pfft.

Anyway. Here are two recent things I thought about, both relating to how nobody knows anything about anything.

Even professional writers think there’s a book that will contain THE SECRET

I was having a minor panic attack at work recently, and another writer dropped in and was all “Haha, I have panic attacks ALL THE TIME, whenever I start a new project I lie on the floor and cry” and then, in response to my wondering aloud if there wasn’t maybe a new screenwriting book available, one would that would tell me, once and for all, HOW TO WRITE, he said two things:

1) “I own every screenwriting book ever published.”
2) “I have this friend who also owned every screenwriting book ever published, until recently he purchased the latest release, sure that THIS ONE would solve his problems. He gets it home, he eagerly flips through it. He frowns. Pages back. Wait a minute! That’s his name! WAIT A MINUTE, that’s him giving an interview to the author, an interview he had forgotten he had given. WAIT A MINUTE. HE JUST BOUGHT A BOOK WHEREIN HE HIMSELF, DESPERATE FOR ADVICE, IS GIVING ADVICE TO THE DESPERATE. And then he decided to quit buying books.”

“Haha,” I said. “That is an amazing story! I mean, it would never happen to me, but it’s pretty funny!”

So, flash forward a week. The panic flared up again, so I just now I bought a screenwriting book (Invisible Ink) on Amazon, and Amazon was all “Would you like to buy this other book as well?” and I was like “NO,” because I remembered the above story. And I felt pretty smug, you know… I’m not falling for this! Sure, I bought ONE book, but no way am I going to buy ALL the books.

And then an hour later I panicked and got back on Amazon and bought The Coffee Break Screenwriter, because you don’t know. MAYBE IT HAS THE SECRET ANSWERS!!!!

I will report back.

Gay parents!

In general, I don’t really understand the anti-gay movement. As a married person, I am totally perplexed by the claim that someone else getting married in some way diminishes the amount of marriage available to Husband Guy and I. (In fact, we have spare marriage if you need it – just drop by whenever.) But the thing I really don’t get is the part where people get all “Children need to have a straight couple as parents!”

I guess maybe those people think that there are specific qualities of female parenting and male parenting that combine to form one giant MEGAPARENT. But that’s just… not what being a parent is like, man. Here’s what being a parent is like:

FADE IN:

EXT. EXTREMELY STEEP MOUNTAIN ROAD – TWILIGHT

Establishing shot of really steep road in like Utah. The road looks suspiciously slippery. A sheer drop to the left of the road.

A sign reads: NO GUARD RAIL, NEXT 100 MILES.

Another sign reads: SUCKER.

INT. CARDBOARD CAR

You’re in a car made out of cardboard and twine.

A person you thought you knew but who is in fact a virtual stranger is sitting next to you. In front of both of you, stapled to the cardboard, are matching sets of complicated controls, covered in indecipherable markings. The controls may or may not work. You have no training in operating the cardboard car.

Unseen forces remove the chocks in front of your wheels. The car starts to move down the narrow road. Slowly at first. Picking up speed.

You press what you think is the brake, but the engine REVS and you go faster.

YOU
What is happening?!?

SPOUSE
I thought you knew!!!

YOU
WHY WOULD YOU THINK THAT?

SPOUSE
YOU READ THAT BOOK WHILE YOU WERE PREGNANT!

An ELK leaps out at you from the bushes beside the road! You swerve, narrowly avoiding it-

The steering wheel COMES OFF in your hands!

SPOUSE
You just pulled off the steering wheel!

YOU
Don’t snap at me! At least I took decisive action!

SPOUSE
Okay, okay. We’re going to have to steer through shifting our weight.

YOU
I don’t think that sounds like a good idea!

SPOUSE
Here comes the curve! Lean into it!

You REACH FOR THE ROOF to brace yourself. Your hand touches something… warm. Furry.

You look up:

The roof of the cardboard car is made of LIVE FRUIT BATS, an interlocking carpet of tiny flying creatures! They stare down at you with their creepy beady eyes.

One of the fruit bats CHITTERS menacingly.

FADE OUT.

That’s what having a kid is like.** You don’t know shit about shit! I just don’t see what the genders of the parents involved have to do with ANYTHING.

Of course, I guess it’s possible that Husband Guy and I have some kind of insufficient gender binary happening and that’s why we aren’t sailing around in a sturdy Volvo, listening to This American Life in a serene-yet-wryly-amused fashion all the time – that Ira Glass, what a delight!

PS, check out the MICHAEL BAYIFIER, where you can turn any image into an awesome Michael Bay picture, with cars, bombs, and all the Shias you can handle! Such as: Washington Crossing the HELLAWARE! (Not my joke – I salute the unknown creator.)

*like the time I saw a middle-aged lady in a sensible sedan with a plate reading I(HEART)DKC.
**It’s also pretty hilarious. For instance, my baby finds it extremely thrilling when someone runs the vacuum.

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4 Responses to “Nobody knows anything (two case studies)”

  1. Nathan Says:

    (In fact, we have spare marriage if you need it – just drop by whenever.)

    I love EVERYTHING about this post…but especially that line.

  2. jenny Says:

    I love the cardboard car with a roof made of interlocking bats that is careening down the hill. You nailed it. I think it is USUALLY better to have a co-parent. Another person the child can completely rely on. One parent is doable, but two is best. But restrict it to just guys married to gals. Dumb. Please publish the scene your wrote EVERYWHERE


  3. You forgot about the flying feces. No one, regardless of their preference in genitalia, is prepared for flying feces.

  4. Nicole R. Says:

    This was so funny, I came back weeks later to read it again. But then my kid woke up and started crying and I had to stop midway. Ah, parenthood.


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