With writing you need inspiration and with humor writing you really need inspiration to slip on a banana peel (as you know, fruit skins are comedy gold). So, I lurk around and wait for something to hit me (ala the Target checkout gal playing with my cat’s new feather toy and spending long uncomfortable moments rubbing her face with it saying “mmm mmm” – true story) or I try to force the next story by having an actual plan.
Well, two ideas have fallen through. One was going to be part of my series satirizing my suburban home-ownin’ lifestyle. In that piece I had plans to talk about the mailbox Nazi. The old gentleman who lived across from the community mailboxes, stood on his driveway, hands firmly planted on hips and glared at everyone who walked up. He’d occasionally bark out holidays if he thought you were making an unnecessary stop. “COMUMBUS DAY!” and that’s all that would be said. If you didn’t acknowledge him, he’d just sit there repeating “COLUMBUS DAY!” at the top of his lungs. I think one of the things that irked him were lazy people like me. You see, sometimes when I just want to be home, I drive up to the mailbox (wrong side of street, I’m a suburban rebel) get the mail and head straight to the garage. One time he actually prevented me from doing that by beating me down the street and parking across the street from his house – directly in front of the mailbox. Then he marched across to his house with a smug look on his face. At this point you’re probably thinking I’ve just told the story, but no I wanted pictures. I had this idea that I was going to lurk around my front yard, zoom lens primed and snap his photo. I was going to live my super sleuthing dream! Think of it, a picture of an old guy in his wife beater and shorts, socks to his knees and standing on his driveway looking mad at the mailbox. It would have completely sold the story. But no, the same people who beat their kids on my doorstep for Halloween also sent Grandpa to the crazy home, I suspect. I call foul on this; it wasn’t in the HOA meeting notes.
The other was going to be my walking tour of east Austin complete with pictures. I had this fantasy where I was going to take this Seth-like camera stroll through my city taking interesting shots (remember that I have a broad definition of what interesting is and since we’re talking photos this could easily involve scandalous pictures of my thumb). Old Austinites were going to say “wow, they’ve really done that to 11th Street? Wasn’t that where the hookers used to hang out?” and Seth was going to give me camera tips (errr SURPISE, Thanks Seth!) There was going to be a stop by the French Legation (France had an embassy here in Austin when Texas was its own country) and then a tour of the State Cemetery to give my regards to the likes of Stephen F. Austin and Ann Richards. (I happen to be one of those creepy cemetery ghouls that like a good walk through an interesting graveyard.) Sadly, we have weekend two of rain and it’s a cold rain. Ok, maybe not cold to anyone who lives north of Waco, but miserable cold to me. So for another weekend in a row, this little jaunt is on hold.