Sunday, November 17, 2013

Late night shenanigans

Travis is sitting in a chair.

I get up to answer nature’s call and when I come back the stage direction is clear: Travis is sitting in a chair.

How the hell did Travis end up in my novel?  The son of bitch must have put himself there knowing I was half asleep at the overnight portion of the 24 hour write in and now he won’t leave.  He’s just sitting there, reading a book and chortling.

You heard me correctly.  The son of a bitch is chortling because he knows I can’t just write him out.  If I try, he’ll just come back and keep on bugging me.  First he’ll casually saunter  by the edges and maybe give a little wave.  Then, when I write him out again, he’ll sashay right down the middle of the page before he stops, turns and blows a little kiss.  A third write out would most likely involve a tirade of sarcasm unmatched since the death of George Plimpton passed back int 2003.

Now there was a writer.

Plimpton was only 76 when he died of a heart attack.  This is the man who was the man when it came to participatory journalism.  The circus, the Detroit Lions, you name it and he did it before he wrote about it.  This is the guy that made me want to be a writer.  He made me excited to think that this was the best way to inspire and change the world.  Hell he pitched in Yankee Stadium against the National League!  Of course it was totally a joke but his book “Out of my League” detailed the story.  He trained with the Bruins (black and gold we raise the flag) as a goalie and played in a preseason game.  He made me believe that even someone like me might be able to get a day with the Red Sox or Bruins.

Oh how I would love to do that.

But I have to say my favorite thing about George Plimpton was the whole Sidd Finch gag he did for the April Fools edition of Sports Illustrated.  The idea of a Buddhist Monk tossing a fast ball so fast that the only way to prepare the catcher was to drop balls out of the Goodyear blimp to match the monk’s velocity… well, yeah it grew to the length of a book (that was funnier than I sometimes want to admit) and worth any money I used to buy it.

Yep, that George Plimpton really was a writer.

Travis is… well, guess you could classify him as a writer given that he has written a novel for NaNoWriMo every year for several years now and he makes me laugh, but he’s no George Plimpton.

Oh shit, now I’ve just insulted him.  Now I’ll never get rid of him.  He’ll be like the lawyer in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” going crazy in the bathtub stabbing grapefruit with a  razor sharp knife while tripping on acid and demanding I throw the radio in the tub at the height of “White Rabbit.”  

Even if I pull the plug at the right moment so that when the radio hits the tub , nothing happens, he’ll still be as pissed off at me as  Hunter S. Thompson’s lawyer was pissed of at him for not following direction exactly as scripted.

Speaking of scripting, I’m a little worried this Travis may never leave. 

See he’s kind of digging in his heels about this point.  That whole Travis is sitting in a chair only now his hands are tightly crossed against his chest and he’s looking at me.

No, make that he’s glaring at me.

I can rain down atomic bombs, slings and arrows and all sorts of things but he will remain just where he is and there is nothing, absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Nothing but sing.

I mean, if Travis is going to sit there in my novel, glaring away (or blowing kisses in a better mood), then  I might as well start singing.  I can sing “Kumbaya” for all he cares.  I can break into a full song and dance choreographed by Bob Fosse.  Whatever floats my boat (so to speak) at this point.  While I’ve never seen Travis swing into a full scale number like that, it doesn’t mean he may not decide to do so this time through.  He’s been known to do things like that on a whim if it suits his nefarious purposes.

Still he sits there laughing his ass off.  After all, I’ve tried everything.

Everything but one thing… I haven’t tried really talking to him yet.



“You are in my novel.”

“Yes, it appears that I am in your novel.”


“Because you wrote me here.”

“No I didn’t.  I went to the bathroom and when I came back the screen simply read, “Travis is sitting in a chair on the blank page.”


“So, why are you sitting in a chair in my novel?”

“Is this your novel?”

“Yes it is.”

“My apologies.  I thought you understood but now I realize you must be a special kind of snowflake.”

“Fuck you.”

“Thank you but you have the wrong plumbing.”

Rolling my eyes, I try again.


“Are you still here?”

“Travis. this is my novel.”

“So it is.”

“Can I have it back now?”

“Let me ruminate on that for a moment.”  


“Well what?”

“Can you please leave my novel.  You throw off the rhythm of that whole thing.”

“I do don’t I.  Did I give you a favorite wrimo sticker yet? Red or black?”

“I have both already.  So, may I please have my novel back?  I think that would be a great way to let me know I’m your favorite wrimo.”

“I have ruminated and I have decided.”

“You have?”

“I have.”

“And….  I’m waiting for your decision.

Um, Travis.  I’m still waiting.

Still waiting Travis.

Any time now.  Really Travis, just spit it right out.”

“Guess what.”

“What Travis?”

“I ruminated on it and made a decision.”

“I know, what is it?”

“You can have our novel back.”

“Really!  Wait… our novel?”

“I’m in it ergo it is now our novel.”

“Are you going to count my words towards your count?”



“I’m just going to take them.”


“Shhh don’t tell anyone, but you’re my favorite wrimo.  Here, have a sticker.”

“Um, thanks.”

“Later you can ask Anna for a ‘like’ sticker.”

“Tell you what, if you leave my novel and don’t screw tine my word count then I’ll do that at the Intermission today.”

“I know when I’m not wanted.”




“Um…. Travis?”


Travis is no longer sitting in the chair.

Perhaps it really was that easy.

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