Thursday, November 05, 2009

Running Low

The World Series ended last night with the Yankees prevailing. I thought on the way in this morning that I should write about the World Series , then it hit me. Every thought I have had about the proposed blog may have been written about  before. I checked when I got to work and, sure enough, I had written a blog last October making the same points I had intended to make today. This means two things, I am running out of stories and I am running out of memory to recall that I have already told stories. What could be worse ?


The idea which really scares me is that this blog will soon become the electronic version of your 78 year old Uncle who tells you the same stories every time you see him. There is nothing you can do to prevent your mind making this dreadful turn. By the time you are doing it you have lost the mental capacity to know that you are doing it. You can be stopped only by the knowing nods of young people and the whisper, “yes, you have told me that”. Or, if you are lucky, you get a sympathetic youngster who will hear you out (when you can catch him) because he is too polite to tell you he has heard the story before.


I already have that problem at work. I will be in the middle of an old war story and realize that I must have told it before. I once asked my partner Matt Ryan why he had not stopped me from a repeat tale. He said, “Well, I would have, but you do an accent toward the end that I wanted to hear again.”


This shows you the limiting factor of this blog. I like to do different voices and even make noises made by non animated characters (furniture, the wind, etc.) when I tell my stories. My partner Basham said once that I tended to go overboard and sound like one of those NPR stories on Morning Edition where the radio reporter is speaking and suddenly you hear the background noise of a street scene or a village of Middle Easterners or cars honking at an intersection. Well, at least I keep it lively.


At any rate, the great P.G. Wodehouse once wrote a story about an English windbag, a formal military officer from the Victorian Era, who had a tendency to repeat himself. He made the mistake one night while he was eating dinner with a couple who had heard his stories many times, of beginning one by saying, “Stop me if you have heard this one…”. This was followed by the immediate shout “Stop !”  I wish that you and I could handle the problem that way, but by the time you can say stop ! I will have finished the blog. Just keep your finger on the ‘delete” button from now on.


Blogger Paul D. Frazier said...

No, no, no.

The point of great narrative is that the story is so good that you want to hear it again.

The Lectionary at church repeats in a three year cycle. There are a lot of repeat sermons and stories used.

There are certain stories your daughter loves to hear over and over. And yes, there are some stories that she is tired of hearing.

Stories have such incredible power for our psyche. Do you get tired of hearing the story of the Alamo?

Stories shape the world and the people in it.

So, tell them. Over and over again.

2:54 PM  

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