Thursday, January 31, 2008

When real life and Family Guy collide

Do you ever have a moment where something happens and you suddenly feel really self-conscious about where you are and what you're doing? I don't often, but yesterday I did.

To cut a long story short, I've started writing my book again. Well, actually that's a bit of a lie - I've started proof-reading my book so I can tighten things up and refresh my memory of what it's all about so I can THEN finish writing it, hand it over to Grum for illustration purposes, and then go buy myself a damned iPhone. Seriously, I'm blackmailing myself - no finito da story, no iPhone; capeche?

I don't quite know when I became a stereotypical ethnic minority gangster, but that's beside the point - that's how I'm rolling these days.

Anyway, let's set the scene: I'm in Secret Starbucks. It's comfortably busy, but I have a table all to myself. My grande misto is to my right, my iPod to my left; the latter is playing tunes that are thematically close in nature to the story I'm writing (I say 'the latter' because I'd hate for you to think that I had some sort of musical beverage). I'm armed with my trusty red proofing pen and I am in the zone. I'm more focused on this thing than a person with 20-20 vision looking through binoculars at a Ford Focus. I'm THAT focused. 

So there I am in my little writing bubble - content and, yes, just a little optimistic as to how this things is coming along. Then, out the corner of my eye I notice the people at the table next to me getting ready to leave. And that's when it happened.

I happened to sit back to take a mouthful of coffee as one of these guys went to walk by; he literally stopped, looked at the papers in front of me, and the red pen in my hand, and instantly my thoughts went to Family Guy.

Now, I don't know if you're familiar with the clip I'm talking about (and of course I can't show you because Family Guy has disappeared off youtube), but there's a moment in the episode 'Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey' that goes something like this:

Chris: Meg, you are so full of crap. You're like those people who sit in Starbucks and publicly write on their laptops. (Scene with two guys typing on their laptops in Starbucks)
Guy #2: Hey, getting some writing done there buddy?
Guy #1: Yeah, setting up in public so everybody can watch me type my big screenplay.
Guy #2: Me too. All real writers need to be seen writing otherwise what's the point, right?
Guy #1: You should totally write that down!
Guy #2: Okay, will you watch me?

I haven't felt that self-conscious since that first-year junior school swimming lesson when I pushed off a little too vigorously from the side and my swimming trunks almost came down. I suddenly had an overwhelming desire to either a) defend what I was doing, b) make an unexpected off-the-cuff remark to deflect attention (such as "I like cats!"), or c) tell him to "mind his own f**king business and f**k off."

Ultimately, I just plumped for looking a bit shifty and wrapping my arm around the page like I was a 10 year-old shielding my work in an exam.

If it happens again, I think I might have to resort to slapping him up a bit with the manuscript.

28 comments:

MJ said...

*ignores posting to go off-topic*

Send me a photo of your arse to post on my blog.

Thanking you in advance.

MJ

Tim said...

Gosh, you're not backwards in coming forwards are you MJ?

Dinah said...

Hee. I love that clip! And it's so true - the Starbucks near where I lived in Toronto was this expensive arty-cool area where everyone sat and wrote on their laptops, and they tried to get the seats by the windows so that everyone else outside of the restaurant could see that they were writing too.

Meanwhile, I think you have an idea for your next story: a musical beverage! I would totally read it.

Tara said...

Just retort "I'm actually working, what're you doing?? I like potatoes!"

That way, you can defend yourself against overly curious people and you can make that unexpected off-the-cuff remark.

T-Bird said...

What if people were reading over your shoulder? I'd write 'redrum' over and over.

I second the vote for a photo of Timothy's bottom for MJ's blog. Do iiiiit *shaking fist*.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

I'd start writing - in big letters - "I hate it when nosy people re-"

Oh, bugger it. Send the photo. I know you say there isn't one, but there's nothing to stop one from being taken.

I could even take the picture, if you like?

T-Bird said...

I'm just here checking if you've taken that photo yet.

MJ said...

Look into my eyes and repeat after me, Tim...

I will send MJ a photo of my arse.

I will send MJ a photo of my arse.

3, 2, 1, you're back in the room.

missy&chrissy. said...

if you're rolling like a stereotypical ethnic minority gangster these days, then you need a proper name!

timmy fingers?
timmy the weasel?
timmy the bull?
timmy kneecaps?

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Timmy The Topper?

I don't think he can hear us. He's probably sorting out a pic of his arse for MJ.

* crosses fingers *

Tim said...

Dinah - Holy crap, how about a combined iPod and coffee mug?! Hmmm…!

Tara - I think it's definitely worth having some defense prepared for a possible next time!!

T-Bird - Or write 'world domination plan' and put some bullet points beneath it.

Inexplicable Device - You're not in the slightest bit interested in the topic in hand, are you? It's all about the arse…

T-Bird - No. It's difficult to get the right angle on your own. And I'd need to sort out correct lighting.

MJ – Must … listen … to …MJ. Must … listen … t- Ooo, cookies…

Missy&Chrissy - Ooo, I like Timmy the Weasel!

Inexplicable Device - You're sounding like a broken record…

MJ said...

I've got some candy here for you.

Just reach into my pocket.

*click!*

Tim said...

What sort?

T-Bird said...

Snickers!

Tim said...

I don't like nuts.

skillz said...

I like this ipod slash mug idea. Well I would if I liked ipods... but you know what I mean, anything can be improved by adding an MP3 player or clock to it.

Tim said...

Let's integrate a massive great clock onto it as well!

American Genius said...

Thanks for your comment. I love the soundtrack too. Eddie is awesome.

T-Bird said...

You don't like nuts? Are you *sure*? Have you tried nuts? Have you given nuts a chance?

Tim said...

I meant nuts as in … man nuts…

Dinah said...

hee. Man nuts.

Tim said...

No, Dinah, not He-Man's nuts.

"BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL … I … HAVE … THE POWER!"

MJ said...

Show us your man nuts, Tim.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

No, bottom first. Man nuts later.

Tim said...

MJ - No.

Inexplicable Device - No.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Don't make me come over there and make you!

T-Bird said...

Oh, Timmy. You aren't going to crack on this one are you? You'd rather sit on your treasure like the goose with the golden egg. I can't believe you are hiding your light in a bush. Keeping it under your hat.

Tim said...

Why T-Bird, I couldn't possibly show my hand this early in the game, could I?