Sunday, September 20, 2009
Joan Fontaine reading.
You're at a social gathering. A woman across the room tells the story of her uncle who raised pigs in a small way. Just a few at a time. When he took the pig to the slaughterhouse," she advised us, "he drove them there in the backseat of his Mercedes. Said he wanted them to go out in style." After our skeptical pause, she added, "they were used cars, of course."
Now do you tell her you have to use this incident in a story. (I did this time). Do you feel guilty about it? I've used more than one of these sorts of tales in larger pieces.
Just the day before I heard an even better one. A husband picked up turtles from the roadside in Oxford, Mississippi and brought them home to his wife. Dozens, (well, he claimed hundreds), of them. Every day at noon, she came outside and handfed them peaches. Called them from out of their hiding places for a nice lunch.
Would you let these stories go by? Do you ever feel like you're stealing pieces of other people's lives? Is there a line you would draw?