Sunday, May 31, 2009

How to Snort Coffee 101

You always hear that saying that truth is stranger than fiction, and being from Louisiana, I can definitely say that's true. At least, if I tried to write things I'd seen into one of my books, I'm fairly certain my editor would email me with a "no one is going to believe this" comment. Then, given that she knows me well, the next comment would probably be "but did it really happen?"

I spend a lot of time explaining to people one of two things: Your life story is not interesting enough to be a book, no matter how interesting it might be to you (which I try to do politely), or No one would believe your story even though it is funny/interesting/different/entertaining. So the other morning, I got a great reminder of the second explanation.

It was our local writer chapter's Saturday meeting, and I was hooking up with one of my best friends and critique partner, Cari, for breakfast before the meeting. We meet at a local diner that both of us frequent, and fairly early so we can have tons of coffee, shoot the breeze, and do some writing work if we need to. So we got onto the subject of history and decided that neither of us had enjoyed it in school, although we do like the specials on the History Channel. Then I made the comment that I think that's why I'm not into the whole family tree thing because I don't really care where I came from as it has nothing to do with what I need to do today and every day from now on. Not to mention that I don't exactly associate with much of my family now and that's by choice - why in the world would I want to go find more?

So we laughed about that and a guy who was sitting in the booth behind us rose to leave. He's older, maybe late 50's, a regular, and I'd spoken to him before about my books and writing in general. He stopped at our table and this is the story he told:

"I don't mean to interrupt you, but I have to share a story with you. Several years ago, my wife got into the whole family tree thing and did all that online researching. She got to the point where some of the records she needed weren't online, so she traveled around the country to courthouses getting paper copies. Well, she finally located a bunch of family in Arkansas and went up there one weekend to meet them. Then she came home and left me to marry her cousin."

Have you ever snorted coffee up your nose? Well, let me tell you, it doesn't taste near as good that way. But could I help it? Oh my god, that is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. And yes, while also tragic, I'm guessing since 'ole boy stood there giggling after that delivery that he's well over any trauma it might have caused.

Still, try and work that tale into a novel. Yeah, right. For starters, it sounds like one of those made-up scripts for the Jerry Springer show - I mean, really, can we put more stereotypes into a four-sentence story? I have to admit, though, I am still smiling while writing this and that was two weeks ago. Let's face it, some stories are just priceless, especially when they come from unexpected places and at unexpected times.

Deadly DeLeon

29 comments:

Christie Craig said...

Too Funny. You gotta laugh at real life.

Thanks for the chuckle this morning.

CC

terrio said...

This reminds me of a story that just happens to involve AR as well. My ex-H is from there and I spent seven years (too long) living there.

Anyway, my ex has two younger sisters. Around 2003, the oldest of the two falls in love with one of his old buddies from Nashville who knew her when she was in Jr High. The dude's oldest daughter was a year older than the sister. But they marry (her 3rd, his 2nd). Shortly after that, one of his sons comes to live with them and he just happens to be the age of the other sister, the youngest. They fall in love and they marry.

This means, sister A is sister B's M-I-L. Sister B's F-I-L is her B-I-L. The children of sister B are the grandchildren and nieces/nephews of sister A. The children of sister A can call the husband of sister B uncle or step-brother. I could go on.

Got all that? Yeah, no one would ever believe that, even in a work of fiction.

Jana DeLeon said...

Always happy to oblige, Christie!

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL terrio - You just can't make this crap up! That is classic.

Keri Ford said...

LOL. Great story, but I feel bad for the guy!

Caroline said...

All I can say is, poor guy. I would like to do a family tree though. Especially the part when one has to go over to Europe to meet the relatives.

~Caroline

Caffey said...

LOL, This made my day, right when I saw the title of the post, LOL. I so could use it today!

I still have hiccups from laughing reading this and just told my hubby and its worse (hiccups). LOL

Jana DeLeon said...

keri - well, I would have, but I'm guessing by the smile on his face that he's happier with her gone. Probably figures he dodged a big retirement bullet. LOL

Jana DeLeon said...

Caroline - I wouldn't mind traveling for research, but I don't know about actually meeting people...... :)

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL caffey - I'm so glad to give you a chuckle. It still makes me smile too!

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