Our writing group loved to have a good laugh and some of the pieces we wrote in our meetings gave us just that. One prompt we loved created so much laughter around the table, we ended up with tears in our eyes. We started a story, passed it right to the next member and continued until all of us had a chance. Most of the times, the finished story was outrageous, but oh, how we loved it. Here’s the beginning of a story. Try to continue it if you are in a group:
“In a small village located deep in the Alps, there lived a man named Mark Musket. He had a wife of big stature and wide appearance named Coral the Tiny and a small son named Big Buck. Everyone in their village knew each other through gossip or gathering at the food market. One day, a stranger started to stroll the village streets, his hat pulled low over his eyes and he donned a long shirt and farmer’s overalls. The people whispered to one another, “Who is that? Why is he here? He makes me nervous.” Mark Musket was the bravest of the village and told Coral the Tiny to come with him to meet the stranger while telling Big Buck to stay close to one of his friends…”
These past three weeks, I’ve traveled more than usual. Once on the road, and twice in the air. It seems there’s always some story to tell. Some situations are clearly a result of my lack of “focus”, as my younger sister says. She’s analyzed what it is that makes me lose my phone, over and over, then over again, until it’s found in the refrigerator. How it is I’m able to find and salvage it lying smack dab in the middle of a busy street, smashed, but working enough for our cell phone insurance to replace it. There are too many “lack of focus” issues to relay here, but a recent one wasn’t all due to that.
I was flying to my sister’s 70th birthday party for the weekend to surprise her. My husband dropped me off at the United Airlines check-in and I hauled my luggage and cumbersome, over- the-shoulder flowered tote bag and stood in line. It was barely moving. Impatient, I looked around, wondering why there weren’t more agents to check us in. I looked at the sign above that plainly read Delta Airlines. Lack of focus. I rushed over to the zillions of United kiosks and fumbled, bumbled as I attempted to self-check and put the luggage tag on myself. A younger, savvier passenger helped me. I thanked her profusely.
On to security. The line nearly reached to downtown Denver. Finally arriving at the scanners, a woman barks at me to “remove this, put that there, take off your vest. Put them in a bucket.” I toss them in and step into the rotating “put your feet there, hold your palms out” machine. The security agent tells me to remove the rope dangling half-way over my shoulder. I look, wondering what he’s talking about and see my necklace clasp has come undone, and the hook is caught inside my blouse. Panicking as people stand in line, I grab it and pull as the disgruntled line behind me grows exponentially. I tug and tug until it unhooks and springs out of the inside of my blouse. The pendant is gone, most likely sailing into the vast unknown as I rushed to put items in the bucket earlier. Not necessarily my lack of focus.
I move on and ride the commuter to the United gates. Sweating and wondering if I forgot deodorant, I finally make it to Gate B64 and plop down in a seat. My text dings, informing me my gate is now B68. Never mind it’s clear around an expansive gateless corner of the building and in the far distance. I hurry to the new gate and check the sign above, wondering why it names a different town rather than where I was going. I ask the gate agent; she looks at her phone. “Oh, it’s at Gate 54 now.” Little drops of sweat trickle down my tailbone to my bum as I charge to that gate. Their bad. I wasintensely focused.
To summarize: I arrived in Tucson yesterday for the Tucson Book Festival. The airlines and I must have been totally focused. The flight and all leading up to it ran as smooth as a baby’s bottom.