Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And sometimes I write

I don't spend all of my time reading or editing or watching basketball. Making words fit together into sentences is something I enjoy. I wrote a book one time. And here, for your reading enjoyment, is a brief piece I did in a sketch-writing class at Second City. (dark and un-funny--just what Saturday Night Live is looking for!)

Enjoy... and join us afterward for a special bonus writing lesson!

Hey… my name is Adolf Mendez. I don’t think we’ve met before. But I’m one of those people you run across sometimes in life, you know? Like you don’t know me, you don’t know anything about me, but I’ve had a direct impact on your life. Probably. Hell of a way to introduce yourself, huh? No, don’t apologize. I’m the one talking nonsense. I make this speech a lot.

I live here, in Jefferson City, Mo. Capital of the state. Also world capital of playground equipment sales and manufacture. Not surprised you didn’t know that. It’s a bit of a secret unless you’re in the industry. And I am.

Been here, what, 10 years? Not married. Kind of ironic, considering my profession. But then, maybe not. Maybe a father wouldn’t be able to deal with this.

I’ve been told that I’m young for the job; 41 doesn’t seem young to me. But there are guys working here who are sketching playsets well into their 60s. That stuff’s easy.

What I do, I climb up on the stuff they design, slides, jungle gyms, treehouses, whatever. And then I drop what’s called an HHA, or Human Head Analog. Me, I call it a “hoo-ha.” You’ve got to have a sense of humor in this business.

Anywho, I drop these things—like white plastic melons, and I paint smiley faces on ‘em—and basically watch what happens. They splatter, the slide’s too high or has to be installed on a springier surface. They bounce, and my job’s done.

I get to go home to my house, open a bottle of wine, maybe something dark and red, and see what’s on TV.

I try to ignore the kiddies playing in the park across the street. To me, they all have perfectly round heads with smiley faces painted on them.


The hook for this writing exercise was to write a piece (we had 10 minutes) at whose center was a verb. Mine was "splatter." And the point, we learned while our pens cooled off, was that you generate much more muscular, interesting prose when you write about verbs instead of adjectives.

It makes sense. Or should I say, it explodes into a supernova of sense.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Very Chuck Palahniuk.

And dark, yes dark. An adjective, but a valid descriptor.