Passing judgments on people you hardly know isn’t always a bad thing. It helps you separate those you want to understand and pursue relationships with from those you just want to make fun of in a very public, online way. Before you get all offended on me, it’s not you. It’s me. Honest. Honest Abe (see, my cruelty knows no bounds). I can’t help but turn everyone I meet into caricatures of themselves. I don’t mean to be judgmental or mean. It’s just… well, you other writers out there understand!
Take this Halloween-slash-birthday-slash-house party we went to Saturday night. Seemed everyone there was a stereotype – even me.
Cast of Characters
The Casual Writer… hair that is simultaneously trendy and messy, very bed-head, what marketing execs who are completely out of touch with reality would call “edgy.” Black jeans, an old concert t-shirt and a sportcoat. Claims to be knee-deep in writing an intense Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel series for “what’s that age group called, like teenagers or something.” When asked about his own favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors, he fumbles, names J.K. Rowling and then admits, “Honestly I don’t really read that much. I’m not that into it.” We later learn from someone dressed as a carney that the Casual Writer was once known in 20-something mall arcade fight circles as “Thunderbird.”
Captain Jack Sparrow… rather, Fancies Himself Captain Jack Sparrow, and he came close, with the pirate bandana and all, save for the bald head, being old, and wearing new jeans that still had the creases from their previous life on the shelf at the Gap. CJS ensured that all party guests knew that as far as hairdressing goes, he was “the best cut-man in Boulder,” that he came from the cut-throat advertising industry in the top ad firm in the world, in Washington D.C. (perhaps he was confusing his internship at the White House… you know, purveyors of glossyness and all), that he was “healthy as a horse,” that he did “every drug imaginable” in the 80s but since his surgery on his knee/shoulder/back/hip etc, and the ensuing painkillers, all street drugs are relatively ineffective on him. That did not stop him from drinking the hell out of three-quarters of a bottle of Jaeger. Yep, CJS was certainly “THAT guy at the party.”
Game Boy… apparently there is this crazy online gaming world called Worlds of Warcraft (or, WoW, for those “in the know”). Don’t joke about it, at least not to people who play it, for it’s very serious business. According to Game Boy’s wife (whose own WoW identity is Pocahotass), Game Boy works until midnight, then comes home to play WoW until 6 or 7 am.
Me quiet, nerdy glasses, wearing work clothes, drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade, worried about weather I have lipstick on my teeth, feigning interest in WoW, probably looking like they very same girls I hated in high school.
The Plot Thickens
It’s a dark and stormy night. Determined not to be her usual shy, crowd-cowering self, Sarah, who doesn’t care for beer, grabs a Mike’s Lemonade and jumps right into the nearest conversation, trying to learn something new. Something interesting. Something blog-worthy.
It’s the one about the writer who doesn’t read. How very puzzling, puzzling indeed, thinks Sarah, conjuring up some word associations on the fly, SAT-style:
reading :: writing
market research :: marketing
competitive analysis :: product development
Web surfing :: user experience design
Before I can point this out, however, Casual Writer extricates himself from the room when he learns that I do not yet have a publisher. *Sigh*. We will meet again, my friend. But not at my book-signing, since you don’t fancy bookstores all that much.
Enter Captain Jack Sparrow. Borderline obnoxious but getting away with it by pretending to be “in character.” Talks about himself a little bit too much, then leaves to find a cuter, unmarried girl to talk to.
Next up – Game Boy. You have to eavesdrop here to really appreciate the dialogue.
- Game Boy: So, like, I have a character in WoW that’s a level 12 blah blah blah blah, with class D blah blah bloo skills, and superior blah bleepity bleep blop rankings.
- Me: *blink*
- Game Boy: You might think it’s crazy, but I could actually sell her on eBay for like $600. I’ve seen some like mine for $700. I have this friend, and at his regular job he makes even more money than I do, and that’s like 40 grand, so you can imagine, if I make that much, he’s making a ton. Anyway on the side he makes characters and sells them and he makes more money doing that than he makes at his regular job, which is more than I make, which is like basically 40 grand.
- Me: *blink*
- Game Boy: So anyway I can really sell my character for like $700. Crazy, huh?
- Me: Uhm, how long did it take you to make that character?
- Game Boy: *Does the math*
- Me: That’s about $1.78 per hour.
- Game Boy: *clearly flustered*… Well it’s just something to do for fun, on the side, anyway! *exists stage left*
Still recovering from the Game Boy interlude, Sarah finds herself getting schooled from another party-goer on the various types, classes, levels, makes, models, yawn, of every Star Trek ship ever built. Who know that the ship Blah Blah Blah from the movie Blee Blee Bloo Blah was the most beautiful, stunning ship ever made? Now you know, too. You’re welcome. Captain’s Log.
Speaking of Captain’s Logs, Jack Sparrow is still making the rounds, thinking he’s amusing the women with his CJS accent, unbuttoned shirt, and drunken swagger.
Sarah follows Alex and Jean-Luc Pacard to the sofa in the living room where the Star Trek talk transitions into detailed analysis of zombies and vampires. In case you were wondering, vampires don’t cast reflections, so the movie Interview With The Vampire is totally unrealistic. Hmmm.
Sarah is sort of sleeping with her eyes open, though Alex seems to be enjoying his cute self, so I’m just mellowing out on the couch, relaxed, comfortable, bobbing my head to the hip hop and techno filling the house, generally enjoying myself, taking in the scene of three white girls in the middle of the living room trying to grind up against one another in a show of hot fantasy that is neither a show nor hot nor fantastic, which by the way no one else is watching, and boy are they going at it, one in Keds and khakis, one is Pocahotass, lap-dancing away to Naughty By Nature for an invisible audience, namely ME, and I’m thinking about joining them, when all of a sudden…
*THUD!* followed by *screaming* and *mass confusion*, the gyrating succubi scattering like dandelion seeds in a tornado, party-goers’ jaws dropping, a record scratching in the distance, the modern equivalent of the saloon doors banging open and letting in all the sunlight. When the dust settles, Pocahotass drags Game Boy outside and Captain Jack emerges from the ashes of the party storm on the kitchen floor with his head cut open, blood running down his face.
According to Jean-Luc, who overheard the whole thing when pausing to reflect on Alex’s counterpoints about various netherworld creatures (robots also may have been mentioned, for the record), CJS told Game Boy that he didn’t know how to treat his wife (Pocahotass), and then invited GB to throw the first punch, which he did.
Now Captain Jack, why would you do a thing like that? On both counts?
Next thing, CJS is pacing around the house with a towel on his head, sans pirate bandana, talking about how he, as a gentlemen of class, would have taken it outside but noooo, and how he would have been fine if Game Boy’s 5 friends didn’t jump in, but noooo…
Shortly thereafter, Game Boy’s friend comes in and CJS starts running his pirate mouth again. At that point, it was clear the party vibe could not be resurrected. And despite my hard and jaded exterior, I’m a lover – not a fighter, and I just don’t wanna be around that stuff. Blood and pirates and gyrating women and all – how crude. 😉 So we said our farewells to the assorted guests, hopped in our stereotypical little CRV and headed home to our apartment in the suburbs. (See, I can dish it out AND take it all in one breath!)
Speaking of blood, pirates, gyrating women, and crude, the night ended for us on our own couch with an all-night marathon game of Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance II, clearly not the same thing as Worlds of Warcraft. Though I did manage to build up a level 16 elven sorceress and a level 12 dark elf-monk. But don’t worry. I’m not going on eBay or anything. But I wonder if I could sell them… if I could, not that I would though. I’m just – I’m just saying, that’s all. Don’t tell anyone. Because I’m just saying.
Oh how sad. I’m the causal writter. I really need to get my act in gear. Every time I try to start up again, I just write garbage. any advice???
MM you aren’t the casual writer… the difference being, he is full of SHIT!
You just gotta work through it. Force yourself to get through it. 90% of what I write is garbage, but it’s the other 10% that you have to mine out of the crap. Sometimes I even write stuff that I think is so brilliant and witty, Oprah here I come, and then a month later I’m embarassed, and it gets deleted.
Just do it MM. Talk to Jenny. Or you and I can start critiquing again – maybe deadlines would help?
Sounds good. How about I send you something once a month?
This is one of the funniest entries I’ve read in a while. Nothing like bang-on observations on real-life to make us realize what a bizarre world we live in.
If I had attended the party I wonder how I would have been classified. Hell — i’m not even sure what my costume would be it’s been so long since i’ve seriously dressed up for Halloween. Let’s see though.
Casual writer — no — that would not be me. First of all — I don’t even own an old concert t-shirt. I think that I”ve been to maybe 4 concerts in my entire life (let’s see — Bruce Hornsby, U2, Elton John and American Idol)… just kidding on that last one… to top it off I also don’t own any black jeans – so scratch that one.
Captain Jack Sparrow — I guess that would be a possibility but I’d have to get back on my diet (fell off that wagon again) and also shave my head. Always wanted to do that – so maybe I can shoot for this one next year — get the six pack abs back and a shaved head — maybe that would work for me. Alternatively, if I only get the shaved head maybe I can look like that chief legal guru at Google.
Game Boy — 15 years ago this would have been a match. Maybe even 10 years ago I could have pulled it off. But marriage, a mortgage and two kids later don’t leave any time for video games (it’s amazing I can even read MM’s blog on a daily basis… although it’s never updated that frequently… 😉 I can’t imagine dedicating that much time anymore to a videogame.
Male version of The Bims. Probably the closest as to how I’d actually show up at a party if I”m reading this right. Since I get the “privilege” of working at home when i’m not traveling, work clothes are usually shorts with a t-shirt and sweater this time of year (it cools off here in the evenings — I think it might be down to 65 outside right now). If the party-goers were lucky I might have even showered before showing up…
I loved reading the part about selling characters on ebay for xxx$ and figuring out that you really worked that hard for $1.78/hour. Would love to have been there. It’s like when work colleagues say how we’re going to sell millions and millions of dollars worth of new service offerings, and then you point out that to sell 10 new projects at $100,000 per project, you your cost of acquisition far outweighs the potential profit you will ever earn, and that the total market for said service offering is only 5 in the world… Conversation always goes down hill from there…
Anyhow — enjoyed this one a lot Bims — VERY very funny.
Wow – all theses comments – so exciting! Who knew that my readership has grown to near *gasp* double digits!
MM – YES. Please do. I miss Lucy and Faith and Carrie! I will email you and we can work out the details. The main thing is that you are writing!
Mr. Smith – thank you for the read and thorough commentary. The Bims is honored that you have chosen her male counterpart as next year’s Halloween costume. Not that I will go back to that party next year unless the guest list changes, but if it does, and if I do, you will certainly get an invite. 🙂
I’m keen on this post, enjoyed this town thankyou for posting.