With 91 recent views, 25 likes, and 53 comments, Geoff Le Pard’s story, “When Gratitude is Hard to Come by” continues to make Story Chat an engaging success. One of the things that makes Story Chat so fun is the interplay between the author and the readers. Speculation, teasing, questioning, suggestions. This is what you can’t do when you read a book.
Be sure to read Geoff’s post and the complete and fabulous dialogue that took place at Story Chat this month.
Attendance This Month
- Geoff Le Pard TanGental author “This story is based on a small amount of fact, in that I used to play Rugby against a team called Battersea Ironsides and one of our team was a rather pretentious barrister who had a series of glamorous and aloof girlfriends. One match he was kicked in the **£$s and while the rest of us tried not to snigger as Orlando writhed on the floor, said g’friend ran on with the bucket of water and ubiquitous magic sponge. He never saw her coming and his language was certainly not of the kind used in Her Maj’s highest courts. She didn’t reappear”
- Doug Jacquier “You are at the top of your form here, Geoff, unlike the Ealing Invincibles. Perhaps one of Dr. Twopillow’s mates is a plastic surgeon and can we lease Wodewick (apologies to Life of Brian) from his woes and he can stay abreast of Elizabeth Bennett. However, methinks that, whatever the outcome, Wanda has bigger fish to fry. And I hope that Isaac also grabbed his phone when he ran to the shed. The Sunday papers would pay handsomely for the before and after shots.”
- Janis@Retirementally Challenged “Very fun story with great character names (Roderick Henchbodie is my favorite). I like your engaging writing style and I always enjoy a twist at the end.”
- Gary A Wilson “Geoff, this was word-wrestling wild ride. Your names never fail to entertain, and I absolutely did not see the ending coming at all. You never fail in dragging me again to my dictionary app to see if you made up some odd onomatopoeia. Okay, what can I offer? I struggled to follow this story but am not sure why. I understood (well most of) the words, but I could not see where the story was going. Paragraphs and even sentences on their own were entertaining, but I could not discern where you were taking us. The character of each character being built into their names is always funny when you do it, but in this case, I wonder if you had too many as it wasn’t until the poor man went down that I thought I finally isolated a protagonist. The final and funny result of his rescue is where I expected to find the lack of gratitude angle but was it not overshadowed by the visual of his branding? So, the title became a diversion to avert the reader’s gaze while you built the surprise of how said branding read to any casual or interested observer. This was funny but left me trying to figure out if it would really happen this way. Defib devices instruct users where to apply the adhesive pads to form a shock-path across a victim’s chest and through their heart, but that path would never go across a person’s nipples, so how are those crosses getting so hot? By the time my mind got to this question above, I knew I was overthinking this story, but credibility had been strained or perhaps sprained, and that poor Rod was now in dire need of flesh-colored, therapeutic tattooing. Very funny, but…”
- Hugh Roberts “I had fleeting visions of a ‘Carry on…’ movie going through my mind as I read Geoff’s story. Very humourous, including the names of the characters, but some of the descriptions were also priceless – ‘She crouches at his side, instinct preventing her from dropping to her knees and potentially ruining her Gucci pantsuit.’ Thanks for the laugh, Geoff.”
- Cathy Cade This reminds me so much of a football game in the 1970s between the admin and catering staff of a London TV company and a motley team of TV presenters and minor celebrities, although nobody expired on the pitch (or threatened to) and defibrillators wouldn’t have been available if they had. My then husband was among the catering staff, and I found myself watching with the then established girlfriend of a tall, personable sports presenter, who Wanda Wellbedded brought to mind. He is still presenting – mostly quiz programmes now – but I doubt she remained his escort for long – even without the disincentive of a derogatory branding. Isaac Turtle sounded like a steady, deliberate sort of individual and I was impressed that he managed a suitable turn of speed when retrieving the defibrillator. The final revelation had me checking back on the nipple and pendant hardware to better envisage the unplanned tattoo. I can only say… ouch! A lightly told tale of rescue and reserved gratitude. Nice one!
- Marsha: (me the hostess of Story Chat Year 2)“I have to admit that I didn’t like him (Roderick) very much, but I’m sorry he had a heart attack. He lost my sympathy when he wasn’t grateful. In his defense, Dr. 2Pillows could have taken the time to remove the jewelry in the time it took Isaac Turtle to get back. What was he doing? Those rings couldn’t have been comfortable for him (either Dr. 2P or Rod Henchbodie) as he administered CPR. Oh, wait, Dr. 2P wasn’t a real doctor. There was no script for this sort of thing.”
99-Word Summary – No More No Less
A motley group of actors formed a wandering Sunday soccer team, the Ealing Invincibles. Typically, they made up for their poor soccer abilities by their histrionics and all went well. Except when it didn’t. This was one occasion during which things didn’t go well for actor Roderick Henchbodie, the embodiment of bodily perfection. A simple face-plunge went from trip to near-death experience. As two other actors, the squat Dr. Reuben Twopillow and Isaac Turtle collaborated to bring him back to life, they made one mistake with two small crucifixes and an ingot. Their ruinous error cost them his gratitude.
Theme: Sports and Actor Humor
—Actors acting in and out of character in real situations
Chatter’s Questions – Writing Acceptable Humor
- “Great to also see this line included – ‘On stage and while filming, Rod’s unfeasibly beautiful and unblemished body is admired and lusted over by both men and women.’ That’s what I call a ‘sign of the times’ line. One that wouldn’t have been seen 25 years ago.” Hugh
- “…Writing about a time 25 years ago and putting racist or homophobic attitudes into the thinking of what is meant to be a sympathetic character presents real challenges. It is easy to fall into a trap of thinking that we have always known what is wrong but often times ignorance and a lack of exposure meant views were expressed that today would generate horror. …I wonder how others approach that dilemma, if they set their writing in, say the 1980s or 90s.” Geoff
- “I love that they are now warning us scenes contain smoking!” Geoff
- “Honest critiques are, frankly, gold dust which is what makes story chat so special. It’s lovely to get the wows! and woopees! but a thought through commentary is rare indeed. Thank you, most sincerely.” Geoff
- “When I undertook a Masters in Creative Writing a few years ago, my chosen book I was working on was a comedic coming of age tale. It began life as an anecdote I wrote on a writing course and I thought I could spin it out into a book. The professor who supervised me told me, early on that any humour in the book had to serve the story; dropping in a funny story would merely distract the reader and irritate them. So I suspect this story, as you’ve neatly pointed out might fall into that trap; individually funny paragraphs, names and characters are no substitute for a story.” Geoff
If you missed Geoff’s humorous story, “When Gratitude Is Hard to Come By” you will definitely want to give it a read.
Coming Up Next Month
“Handle with Caution” by KL Caley. If you want to write an original short story for Story Chat, write a comment, or use my contact page to reach me. I’d love to hear from you.