Friday, January 18, 2008
The Writer in the Wild
The Writer is a strange beast. Mostly confined to the corners of large rooms and in the shadows of his own, The Writer manages to keep a low profile as he pecks away at the keyboard of a laptop.
Some breeds of Writer find it advantageous, if only to their own twisted notion of how they're seen by others, to keep a laptop that is at least four years behind the curve. They appear to consider it an act of defiance. A sort of "nuts to you!" middle-finger waving at the status quo.
One particular Writer even has a sticker on his that displays this defiance of popular culture. It says "Who says I want to fit in." It is missing the question mark. Despite this grammatical faux-pas, the Writer in question has been known to chuckle to himself over the grand aptness of it.
Little is known about the mating habits of Writers, given their secretive nature. One may occasionally acquire a girlfriend, but this is seen as more of an exception to the rule than the societal norm. When questioned about their aversion to Writers, women are pretty honest.
"They don't bathe often enough," the women say. And "He's always asking me questions. The way he carries that notepad around and scribbles in it whenever we talk makes me nervous. I've seen movies. That's the way the good serial killers always pick their next victim."
In the public, Writers with girlfriends can be identified as the ones who have to be led around by the hand. The women, with purpose in their stride and a gleam in their eye move with a marked determination, while their Writer clings to their hand like a length of toilet paper to a shoe. The Writer, freed of the need to navigate, stares around vacantly, trying occasionally to get at his notepad with his free hand. He is a congenital bumbler. Left to his own devices in a shopping mall, he would wander around aimlessly, and given enough time and bad luck, drown in a fountain.
Writers in automobiles are the ones on the rumble strips. One of the most frequent health problems experienced by Writers is a chronic tingling of the buttocks due to extended exposure to highway edges.
The Writer is a close relative of The Photographer. They share the vacant stare, bumbling gait and lack of internal compass, as well as the tendency to consider themselves merely observers on the bank of the mainstream. It is not completely understood whether or not this is an offshoot of some "elitist" gene or merely a lack of an "empathy" or "gracefulness" one. As a result, The Writer and The Photographer tend to be viewed with distaste by men who live in the suburbs and still wear cowboy hats.
"I dunno whur they gits off, with their highfalutin' attitude. I mean, they think they's better than me, or summat," said Seattle resident and self-described "All-American freedom-loving, pansy-kicking badass," John "Jake" Smiffington IV. This man works in an office complex, drives a giant pickup truck and has a deer head (purchased from Wal-Mart) in his foyer at home. "Lookit the way this 'un makes it look like I tawks, fer Gingrich's sake!" added the man, discharging a shotgun into the sky and yelling epithets at a passing hybrid car.
The characteristics of The Writer tend to become amplified under the influence of caffeine. In the same way that hummingbirds seek nectar, Writers seek caffeinated beverages. Most of them, if asked, say that it gives them an edge. Something that makes them jittery and inattentive. Something that keeps them from sitting still and encourages them leave the keyboard to check on the dishwasher, or put in a load of laundry. Caffeine's brightening effect on creativity is well documented, but most studies indicate that it causes Writers to wander off and stare at things, so their attraction to it is poorly understood.
Yes indeed, The Writer is a complex and annoying entity. Further study is needed, of course, but a shortage of people with the requisite patience is a hindrance.
Posted by Paul FooDaddy Brand at 10:22 PM