It’s important to have a plan. Busy day tomorrow? No problem! I’ll turn in at a reasonable hour, get up early, exercise, and eat something with a generous amount of coffee. That makes the morning run smoothly, doesn’t it? I had decent commute, and as if to welcome me to Friday morning, all the radio personalities had funny jokes. I even got to work early with a great “can do” attitude.
Then, around noontime, I noticed that my zipper had been down since 8:30 a.m. Thank goodness for black pants and black flies. They blend in rather well. . . I hope.
Trouser philosophy is good for a man. Remember, fellas: it can always go down from here. And that says a lot, coming from a writer who’s had two pairs of pants rip apart while on the job. (Not in the same day, of course.) And if zippers and seams don’t fail you, there are always buttons. As I finish this post, it’s worth noting that my favorite khakis have lost their button. With the assistance of a good belt, my pants are presently secured with a binder clip.
I miss my years in the Boy Scouts. I miss the camping, the hiking, the training, and the uniforms. I especially miss the greatest tool a Scout could ever carry—the Swiss Army Knife. My wife got me a new one for Christmas, and I’ve since used it to open boxes and cut tape. Last night, with knife in hand, I decided to convert an empty tin can into a penny bank. . . and failed miserably. Scouts everywhere are burning their merit badges in humiliation.
For fellow writers in a crunch for National Novel Writing Month, I am now offering free story ideas. They are yours to handle, but hey, if you strike it rich, just tell the good people where you found your story! None of that “While I was on the john” or “It came to me in a dream” nonsense. Trust me. This stuff is gold.
1. “The Paintball Diaries”. Wilma and Stacey abandon their bank teller jobs to start an all-night paintball arena. Little do they know that their customers are vampires, werewolves, and inebriated frat boys.
2. “We All Went To Philly“. Faced with economic ruin, the tiny nation of Lichtenthang packs up its citizens and starts anew in the sewers of Philadelphia.
3. “Queen Of The Slots“. After an accident that permanently attached her to the lever of a slot machine, Louise MacPherson becomes a permanent attraction in a Las Vegas casino.
4. “Mighty Troy“. Aliens invade planet Earth, and only fat, lazy Troy can do anything about it.
5. “Camaro“. The emotional tale of a 2014 Chevy Camaro as it moves from the assembly line and into the waiting arms of a dude.
6. “Insanity Index“. The story of a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer.
7. “Bob And The Trash Vortex“. Bob is worried when his garbage truck, the source of a super-dimensional vortex, nearly destroys Hartford.
8. “My Microscopic Adventure“. Valerie the Paramecium and her epic journey across the Petri dish.
ARIES: Your werewolf costume will scare the hell out of folks on Halloween, but you need to stop wearing it to birthdays and funerals.
TAURUS: People remark about your striking resemblance to Paul Newman, which might explain why your mother spoke fondly of “bike rides with Butch.”
GEMINI: Press gangs are a thing of the past until the New York Jets pull you out of a Starbucks and send you into field training.
CANCER: Remember the Alamo? Time to brush up on Texas history, because your neighbor swears that he’s Davy Crockett.
LEO: We all have to deal with loose ends and shortcomings, but you’re the one with the saw collection.
VIRGO: How you got behind the glass in the reptile park was a mystery to everyone, including a very late zookeeper.
LIBRA: Getting pummeled by rotten apples is in your future thanks to an errant GPS route through an orchard.
SCORPIO: Yes, Scorpio is way cooler than the other signs, but your friends are sick of these childish boasts in the food court.
SAGITTARIUS: For reasons known only to her, Diane Keaton will put out a contract on you.
CAPRICORN: Government shutdown aside, this is an excellent opportunity to pressure your congressman to bring back Firefly.
AQUARIUS: Managing your personal finances is a worthy goal, but trying to buy things with “invisibucks” won’t get you anywhere at Wal-Mart.
PISCES: As the last sign on the Zodiac wheel, you feel you’re missing out. It’s time to create new ones: say hello to Tango, Cupcake, Java, Vegas, Superman, Everest, Fuzzy Bunny, iPhone, Corvette, Thumbs Up, Ninja, and Wolverine.
Letters from General Washington keep arriving by baby-faced courier. Franklin cracks jokes from the corner of the room. Jefferson wishes he was back in Virginia snogging his wife. Adams won’t sit down. We’ve seen the success of a Les Miserables redux. Now it’s time to reboot American patriotism, turn Philadelphia into an incubator of democracy, and get Hollywood to roll out a remake of 1776.