WRITERS WRITE...WRITING PARTNERS FEUD ~ BOWA
"What did the mama buffalo say to her child as he left for school?" Zi quipped toward Angelica.
She turned from repositioning the Alvin and the Chipmunks Beanie Babies on the bookshelf. Simon was sat because of his height in front of the autographed copy of Carrie. "What?"
"R-r-r-r..." She crossed her eyes for effect. "What did Angelica the frog say to Zi the frog?"
"Gee, you're humorous." Zi stood, arms held wide, proudly peacocking.
"No... Time's fun when you're having flies."
"That too shaggy dog for me."
"Bison is not?"
"Back to work. Read... read carefully. If not, little evil flying monkeys may visit and deposit monkey manure on your lap... and your little dog's head... heeheehe!" There it was, the evil laugh of the Wicked Witch of the West was attempted, a broom flung on which he leapt. "Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents, too. I'll get you my pretty and your dog, too! Fly! Fly!"
Shaking her head while reading a change in the manuscript, LOVE LETTERS, "You just gave Vench a quality in which I am uncomfortable. Why let the villain have any admirable attributes? Good should be good and bad, bad," doused the wet blanket of criticism, not nocturnal wetness, though she a drippy gloomy Gale, stated Angelica to Zi as they were polishing the text.
Zi placed upon his head the black witch's hat that sat on a shelf in a corner, still channeling the Oz character, bent at the waist and twittered his fingers. "You cursed brat! Look what you've done! I'm melting! Melting! Oh, what a world, what a world! Who would've thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? I'm gone! I'm gone! I'm going!"
"Seriously... why soften the edges of our villains?" She wheedled with that wily cunning of a seventh grade English teacher, who was presently using her eyes to remove that hat.
"Ok... why is a bad joke like a crappy pencil... because it has no point."
"Was that a subtle swipe at my question?"
"Let me rip you a new point. Come on tell the truth... you like to word picture evil. The badder the better. I like the complexity of the character, it more reflects the truth of life. And yes, I can gravitate to the chew-the-toes-off-of-children evil, but the creep would only do it out of some convoluted pathos."
"Convince me." She smiled, "Thanks for referring to me as a pencil... I resemble that remark."
"What do you call a Guernsey cow with no legs? Give... ground beef."
"I get it... that is evil... but I was asking to be convinced of the value of a complex villain."
"Oh... ok! Let me try. I'll relate a true story." She rolled her eyes not knowing where he was trekking. He rolled back as if dueling. "As a young man I taught Sunday School."
"No way... Ray."
"Way... Renee. Why do so many folks wear perfume and cologne to church... da... the pews. I digressed. I promised the kids if they finished a very large project I'd take them to a Phillies baseball game. I was a huge fan." He grabbed his Mike Schmidt Louisville Slugger. "Why was Cinderella lousy at baseball... a pumpkin for a coach, always losing her shoes, and was running from the ball."
Noticing that Angelica gave that joke-me-once-shame-on-you-joke-me-thrice-shame-on-me look, he moved on with the anecdote. "Well, they finished, I got group rate tickets and a parent's van. Phils and Expos. Right... they don't exist any longer. My plan was to use one of my most favorite players, Larry Bowa, as a Life Lesson because of his famous work ethic. Talked about him on the ride there. A poor hitter who overcame that to make the big leagues." He showed her his autographed LARRY BOWA baseball but did not let her hold it.
"Heard of him."
"In the game, not respecting him, three times they intentionally walked the bases loaded just to pitch to him. The first time he popped out. I spoke of accepting adversity. The second time he popped out. He flung the bat. I told my class it was that competitive drive that made him successful though I did not like what he did. The third time he popped out. There it was, my Life Lesson. I was ready for next Sunday. The never quit attitude."
"How's this about a villain?" Crumpling up a wad of paper, she pitched to Zi, he swung, missed and she did the happy dance.
Ignoring her, he continued. "Well, unexpectedly the story or the game did not end there. The Phils were losing by two in the bottom of the ninth and as you might have pondered or expected, the Expos' manager who was in the dugout below us, with two outs, no one on base, walked not one, no not two, but three batters to get to Bowa. There was the sin. The insult. Bowa, a pipe cleaner of a guy responded, had a bases clearing triple. He rewrote my plans believing I would speak about trusting in yourself. But as life is it threw me a curve ball. Bowa rose from his slide, looked over in our direction, obviously at the manager and presented him with the universal gesture of disapproval. Yep, he flipped him the bird. No not just a subtle one but one that rose from his knee, accentuated with two arms, and hung in the air like a proud 4th of July flag. The stands erupted. Quietude held off my want for exuberance. My hero had done something unhero like. Remember the times. Adults did not so display. Youth were equally discouraged."
"Bowa was the man." She put the Phillies' baseball cap, that hung above the computer, on her head.
"Well, I felt as if my arse was on fire. I knew this would spread through the congregation like peanut butter on a hot day. Partly as a preemptive retort, my next Life Lesson, a thing where I pointed out how to live life more to the word was simple. In every good Bowa there is an evil Bowa, don't let others draw it out. I felt unlike Bowa believing I knocked it out of the park."
"How did that work?"
"Not well. That was the last Phillies field trip I was allowed to host. The parents publicly questioned my choice of hero, wrote about it in the newsletter. I questioned their disconnect from reality. But my point about our character is very simple, I've learned that every person is not black or white but varying shades of gray. Only robots and Jason can be absolute evil."
"And that's the moral of the story?
"Hell, there ain't no moral... I like the story."
"You were a Sunday School teacher?"
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