Not Really A Writer Pt One

22 Oct

Got some really nice comments from a lot of you on some of the fiction I have been attempting. Thank you so much.

For example:

Thank you Rhonda. I do appreciate it, but I think I must leave the real writing to people such as yourself, La La, David Stewart, Marc Schuster, and so many others that I read. There are a lot of you. If I listed all of you, this would be very boring post*.

Although I do like to pretend to write, I don’t really enjoy it. It’s really, really hard for me.

Like really, really, hard. (When you italicize and underline a word, you mean business!)

When I was in High School, I joined the school paper because my English Teacher made me. She said that my essays and book reports would be better off in MAD or Cracked magazine than in any type of academic offering.

Which was fine by me…have you ever read a book report by someone?

Boring!

Smart kid’s report:

“My book report is on Cat In The Hat. I liked it because I like kitties. Sometimes I sneeze around kitties and my Mom makes me take an epsom salt bath. I think Dr. Seuss is a great writer because he makes up words. I would someday like to make up words. I think everyone should read this book because cats and hats are very important to society.”

That kid would get an A.

My effort:

“If you want to waste about 172 hours of your life, read Jane Eyre. This book would stop a raging bull rhino from destroying a village of pygmies just by reading the opening paragraph out loud to it. (I’m saying it would be put him to sleep in case you didn’t get it!) First off, I don’t know why you would think any high school male would want to read this dribble, except maybe Marty from drama class. I think he would like this book a lot. I mean A LOT! But Marty also likes musicals, so go figure. This book was so boring even the Cliff’s Notes were hard to get through. Could we read someone more contemporary like Stephen King, Chewbacca, or Dan Brown? In conclusion I think hats are very important to society.”

I would get a C-.

But isn’t that what a book review should be?

My opinion and interpretation of the book?

Huh, Teach?

Huh?

No, in school a book report is just a carbon copy of the very first book report ever…. insert different book. I don’t know why teachers over the last thousand years would assign themselves such a mundane task to sift through.

Sometimes I would do slightly better by adding the line:

“Jane Eyre reminds me of  my English Teacher, Mrs. Bender. They both distill a sense of self-worth and dignity, a commitment to justice and principle, a trust in God, and a passionate disposition.”

That usually got me C+.

—–

So, the English Teacher sends me to the Journalism Teacher telling him I’m “colorful.” I’m about the whitest dude you would ever meet, so I don’t know what she was talking about. The Journalism Teacher decided my first assignment should be a report on the school cafeteria’s new vending machines. So now I’m thinking, “colorful” means “knows a lot about soda.”

Which I do.

I know a lot about soda.

But really, what kind of assignment was that?

I submitted this,

The New Vending Machines In The Cafeteria
by Christopher De Voss, Soda Expert
 
If you look to the far corner of the cafeteria, instead of the usual blank area, you will see 3 vending machines. The one in the middle is the shiniest. Don’t bother looking for Dr. Pepper. There is none. I looked already.
 
Well let me tell you how “colorful” the Journalism Teacher was when he discussed my article with me!
 
– I need to take this seriously! (I did. What can you say about vending machines? They vend. That’s really it.)
– Where was the investigative reporting? (Who was I going to talk to about it? VendiMart the owners of the machines? Marty? Mary Parker?)
– Did I think this was funny? (Actually yes!)
– Why was it so short? Could I find nothing else to say on the subject? (Actually no!)
– This was a very poor and lazy effort! (I spent 5 minutes on this! I could have been watching TV instead.)
– Why was my shirt never tucked in? (I had an awkward teenage body.)
 
To which I replied,
 
“I don’t want to write. You people want me to write. If you force me to write something, then you must really want to read it…so if that’s the case…you have to accept whatever I write. And give me an A, regardless. I will now sign an autograph for you if you like.”
 
The journalism teacher just stared at me.
 
“Ha ha…joking,” I said sheepishly. “Could I do a Dave Berry style article instead maybe?”
 
He paused and stared at me some more. He kind of looked like he was holding in a fart.
 
“Sure, due tomorrow!” he said.
 
I couldn’t believe it! Really?! This was going to rock. I bamboozled the Teacher. Total freedom to write about whatever I wanted. No school play reviews, no high school football games, no interviewing the kid that painted the mural in the art room…just me and my random thoughts of….
 
What?
 
What was I going to write about?
 
I had nothing to write about. Everything from that point before was forced upon me to write, now I had to come up with my own ideas. English class didn’t prepare me for that!
 
What the hell was the Teacher thinking?
 
What the hell was I thinking?
 
I had no ideas.
 
My life consisted of staying away from seniors and trying to get Mary Parker to flash me her undies.
 
This sucked worse than writing about the school cafeteria vending machines. 
 
Well played Journalism Teacher!
 
I decided to use a recent tragedy that had befallen my car. I was backing out of a car port when I hit one of the support poles. It tore off the entire right front end of my Dodge Omni. I was going at the most, maybe 2 miles an hour. Stupid car! You would think it was made of tin foil. So I wrote a story about going out with my friends and jumping some school busses or a giant fire pit, or something stupid, and that’s how my car got damaged.
 
It wasn’t that good, but everyone loved it.
 
Most likely because the rest of the newspaper was about things like the new vending machines. It wasn’t that my writing was so good, it was the rest of the paper was so dull. Anything would have stood out, including a picture of a pebble.
 
“Did you see that picture of a pebble Chris De Voss took? He is a genius!”
 
I think I spent the night before the deadline writing and rewriting the damn thing like a hundred and fifty times. It was only about 200 to 250 words, but they were a rough 200 to 250 words.
 
Lots of man tears were shed…or at that time, teenage angst tears.
 
But at the end of the day, all those that told me I would feel a great sense of accomplishment and relief when I was done…were wrong!
 
And to make matters worse, they wanted another article next month!
 
Where was I going to get my next idea?
 
How many sleepless nights would it take to write it?
 
How many commas could I use in one sentence? (I, don’t, know,,,,)
 
What about Mary Parker’s undies?! Where they pink today?
 
Aaaaargh!
 
To be continued………
 
 
 
 * You could find this a boring post anyway.
 
 
 
 
 

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38 Responses to “Not Really A Writer Pt One”

  1. Carr Party of Five October 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM #

    Dear Chris,
    I’ve missed out on the previous dabblings. I shall check them out post-haste.
    I have to say, you make me giggle like a school girl. Which isn’t easy, since I’m all ancient and 40. You are definitely a gifted writer, and I do look forward to what you put together whenever I get the chance.
    Keep goin.
    😉
    Love, Lis
    xoxo

    • Christopher De Voss October 22, 2012 at 5:21 PM #

      Don’t say you’re ancient at 40…because…um…no reason…

  2. becca3416 October 22, 2012 at 3:42 PM #

    Mary Parker better delvier.

  3. RFL October 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM #

    You are a great writer, and you pull off funny and self-deprecating without false humility. That is talent. 🙂

    • Christopher De Voss October 22, 2012 at 5:20 PM #

      Thank you. You were one of the first blogs I started reading. Still do. Great stuff.

  4. Rhonda October 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM #

    Stay tuned…I think this post deserves two things…a grade and a book report of it’s own! Will return shortly with both (repacking again!)

    • Christopher De Voss October 22, 2012 at 5:19 PM #

      Oh no! High School all over again.

      • Rhonda October 22, 2012 at 5:49 PM #

        i KNOW right? oh the horror of it all! I would have LOVED to have had you as a student…good grief and where’s the vodka…know what I mean? I’m gonna try to use you as an excuse to relax for the rest of the evening…doing your book report…but as it stands right now…hell who knows. but rest assured, this post deserves one and I’m the bitch to do it. k?

      • Christopher De Voss October 22, 2012 at 5:53 PM #

        Yes Ma’am!

      • Rhonda October 22, 2012 at 6:01 PM #

        Good Boy

  5. The Bumble Files October 22, 2012 at 4:44 PM #

    Oh, not boring! Very funny. You hit on something for me too. No matter how good of a writer you are, ideas are equally as important. Coming up with what to write can be just as hard as the writing itself.

    • Christopher De Voss October 22, 2012 at 5:27 PM #

      My ideas fly out of my butt. It’s a funny sight. You should see it sometime.

      • The Bumble Files October 22, 2012 at 5:54 PM #

        You’re lucky and a talented writer, too. I always enjoy your posts.

  6. Christopher De Voss October 22, 2012 at 5:30 PM #

    You blow me away with your writing. I’m thinking about hanging my hat up and becoming your agent.

  7. Jillian October 22, 2012 at 5:55 PM #

    I’m gonna join the fan band-wagon and comment on your hilarity and wit! Which are great! Definitely fun reading! (Thanks to Becca for letting me find you ^.^)

    • Christopher De Voss October 22, 2012 at 6:04 PM #

      Thank you. Thank you Becca. I’m just letting off some steam with this post.

      • Jillian October 22, 2012 at 6:05 PM #

        And it’s hot steam! (Well, good steam – but that just doesn’t sound as realistic…)

  8. Maddie Cochere October 22, 2012 at 6:49 PM #

    I wanna see a joke fly out of your butt. Post the video tomorrow, please. … Also, the man doth protest too much, methinks. You are a very good writer.

    • Christopher De Voss October 22, 2012 at 6:56 PM #

      My butt is too white. No protesting, just rambling.

  9. The Hook October 22, 2012 at 7:41 PM #

    This was far from boring! Good work!

  10. Love and Lunchmeat October 22, 2012 at 8:52 PM #

    I was actually just about to ask you to remove “Jane Eyre” which I liked and substitute “Wuthering Heights” which I hated with the passion of Mohammed Ali on fight day.

    And your writing always makes me laugh, whereas book reports will always suck. I know because now my kids are old enough to write them. ***Quietly hums “The Circle of Life” while stabbing myself in the eye with a pen…*** Finally. No one expects blind people to help write book reports, right?

  11. Pigeon Heart October 22, 2012 at 10:49 PM #

    Your writing is really fun, Chris! I dig your style. It’t entertaining and different and engaging. So- did you ever get to see her undies after all??? The people wanna know.

  12. MissFourEyes October 23, 2012 at 1:52 AM #

    You are hilarious! No wonder you had to do all that extra work for the school paper
    And is it wrong that I really want to know what happened with Mary Parker’s undies?

    • Christopher De Voss October 23, 2012 at 2:08 AM #

      She showed them to me on my birthday…which is today !

  13. workspousestory October 23, 2012 at 6:00 AM #

    Christopher DV, looking forward to reading more. Damn funny, as always.

    • Christopher De Voss October 23, 2012 at 7:42 AM #

      I thank you, red shoes.

      • workspousestory October 23, 2012 at 7:43 AM #

        I’ll ignore your obvious colour blindness – you are but a man.

      • Christopher De Voss October 23, 2012 at 7:45 AM #

        Ooops…salmon shoes?

      • workspousestory October 23, 2012 at 7:46 AM #

        Hopeless. Get this man some Gok Wan for God’s sake! Excuse my English remark.

      • Christopher De Voss October 23, 2012 at 7:48 AM #

        Is that a color…oops I mean colour?

      • workspousestory October 23, 2012 at 7:51 AM #

        😉 No hun, he’s a fashioun stylist. Oops. There do seem to be too many ‘u’s in the right version of English.

      • Christopher De Voss October 23, 2012 at 8:57 AM #

        Oh. I mean Ouh.

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