Friday, December 19, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 47

Shawn has spent the last 2.5 years convincing people he cannot use the letter "z."

Yes, he took his inspiration from part of a Monty Python sketch. When his parents forced him to transfer in the middle of his sophomore year of high school, the only way he could cope was to have some fun with it.

It has taken more dedication than he would have guessed, but Shawn has neither written nor spoken the letter "z" since the transfer. His diligent work has finally paid off-- he is giving the salutatorian speech at graduation, and he's going to amaze the entire student body with his miraculous recovery.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 46

Patrice doesn't realize there's something in her hair.

Throughout the day, people have made gestures of varying degrees of subtlety, trying to let her know that there's some... gunk... in her hair.

If she knew it was there, she wouldn't be able to tell you what it was. She would try to remember if there had been a food fight or a silly-string war sometime over the day, but surely that would leap to mind, right? No, nothing would ring a bell.

In reality, it was a prank by a classmate, who assumed Patrice would find it right away. However, due to people's indirectness posed as politeness, no such luck.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 45

Sherry doesn't believe in food expiration dates. At worst, the food that has "expired" simply becomes a new food, or at least has a new use.

She has been known to eat something well past its date, and is particularly fond of eating around the mold on old bread. (She picked this up from an ex-boyfriend who detested the idea of waste. After all, if you can see the mold... then you know where the mold isn't.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 44

Annie has been known to refuse discounts.

It bothers her that two people can pay such radically different prices on the same object, simply because one has a coupon. She stands on an odd principle that everyone should pay the original price on any given item, whether or not it's the President's Day Weekend Blowout Sale-a-bration.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 43

Mabel is as skilled an understudy as they come, though one of her biggest fears is actually being called on-stage.

She has understudied for huge parts and big names. She memorizes entire choreography repertoires and learns every word of the Shakespearean monologues that might some day-- God forbid-- become her own to perform.

Mabel typically works with the biggest attention whores in the industry, as they're the ones most loathe to share the limelight. While many understudies step in for weekend matinées or the occasional weeknight performance, Mabel ducks the opportunities as often as possible.

When the absolute need arises for someone to step in-- an injury on stage, say, or a last-minute illness-- she's ready and willing. But overall, Mabel is simply there for the theater ambiance. Her best friends are theater folk, and she loves listening to the performances night after night from her place in the wings.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New challenge/cry for help

Happy Sunday, dear Where Aren't They Now readers! All... dozen of you!

That's what I'd like to talk to you about. I've written 40+ stories so far, but I have some pretty dismal readership. I'm talking numbers here-- those of you who DO read leave awesome feedback and comments. About 4 of you even rate the stories, which I appreciate so much!

Still, I'd love to see if I can pump those numbers up. I'm not ready to shut down the blog yet, but perhaps it's time for another challenge?

Challenge: convince a few people to read the blog. Right now I have 12 readers through the feed-- I'd like to make that 20 by the end of the week. If you like the stories... if you find them funny or interesting or amusing in any way... tell a friend! (And if I can't get 8 more freakin' people to read this blog, perhaps I need to evaluate my stance as a writer.)

I'll post another Young Erica picture + story here if we can make it to 20+.

Note: if you read this blog but not through a feed reader, leave a comment on this post and tell me so. Merci!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 42

Meister has been called "Meister" so long he can hardly remember his own name (which he never shares).

It started in middle school football, when such nicknames tend to form. If you're a guy and you don't go by your last name, you get something vaguely masculine like Champ or Hambone. Meister got Meister.

It fits him. It's like he's been crowned the master of something, but he's not sure what. Everything, maybe. Meister of the Universe. World Meister.

He's nervous about getting a job because he knows that they'll want his real birth name which is nowhere near as cool. He wonders if he can walk in and say, "Hello, my name is ----- ------, but folks call me Meister"?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 41

Brant has three dance moves, which he has to use sparingly.

He doesn't know if his moves have names but he knows there are only three of them. He's tried to create new ones, or at least variations on the old ones, but no dice.

It's a shame, because he loves to go dancing! But once he gets to the club or the bar he knows that he has a short supply to dole out. He tries to save them for the prettiest girl or the best song, but usually ends up playing wallflower until the very end of the night and busting them all out at last call.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 40

Shreeveport was pretty much your average dood. He modeled his wit
after Kevin Bacon, and he modeled his hair after Kevin Costner. But
our dear Shreeveport had a personal secret, for years he woke up with
a long, wet purple ribbon strewn out across his bed. And every
morning, he embarrassingly would gather them into his backpack and
throw them into a dumpster on his walk to school. He was able to keep
these beautiful ribbons a secret until one fateful day when his father
had to sneak into Shreeveport's window after cheating on his mother.
To his horror he saw his sleeping son convulsing and shooting a long
ribbon from his mouth. He immediately showered, changed clothes, and
then called 911.

Years later Shreeveport is dealing with the disease. Doctors have
diagnosed it as Rheumatoid Night Ribbons and are working on
preventative medication. So far Shreeveport has tried the following drugs, with little success:

Plexowim (side effects may include ankle wristing, ear husks and in rare cases bowel monsoons.)

Seudocrod (side effects may include sports breath, vase jumping and in rare cases anne b. davis eyes.)

This entry is a GUEST POST! Evan Oliver is taking the reins today. If you'd like to write a guest post let me know and I'll send a picture your way!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 39

Joe's in a phase where he's really into, like, old junk. Not antiques, nothing as lame as that. Old junk.

It started with a turntable that his father was going to sell at a garage sale. His father's records were long gone but Joe had a pretty easy time finding ones he liked online and at thrift shops. When he heard how cool the records sounded on the old machine, he decided to see what else his dad had lying around.

Now Joe's collection has stuff like a Walk-Man, a kickin' compass with a picture of a topless chick inside it, an empty snuff box and a binder of yellowed baseball cards. He loves the way old stuff is made better, and sounds different, and even smells like things he's never smelled before. He's totally going to build his collection-- this is just the start.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 38

Kurt believes that some people have soul mates.

He met a girl once who for a while Kurt believed was his soul mate. It was just a feeling he had, after spending every day with her for two weeks. It wasn't that they had a lot in common or that their views aligned; it was simply how he felt around her.

But she left. She was transferred to another high school, and there was no way for him to go with her. In Kurt's limited belief system he maintains that nothing can come between soul mates, and since distance quickly and ultimately came between them, he must not have found his match after all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 37

Darby is so picky an eater that he has erroneously been hospitalized for anorexia before.

He likes his popcorn stale and his orange slices completely free of rind. He dislikes anything that looks like, smells like, or reminds him of potatoes. No food can touch any other food and if he even imagines them mingling in his stomach, Darby has to breathe deeply into a paper bag. He will not eat anything that had a fin or could make a shadow puppet. He just flat out hates ketchup.

His stay at the hospital made things even worse. Once he'd been fed intravenously there was no going back.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 36

Cath could do any puzzle, no matter the amount of pieces, in minutes. This was not nearly as useful a skill as she had hoped it would be.

Quickly solving a Rubik's cube is a great party trick. Being a Boggle master or an anagram whiz can even get you set up as a code cracker for the CIA. Solving puzzles rarely comes up, has never proven useful for Cath, and basically just alienates anyone who might have wanted to solve the puzzle in the first place.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 35

Tam's favorite article of clothing is her pair of "paint pants." She has worn the same pair of jeans to every stage crew meeting she has attended since 9th grade.

Much of the paint was accidental-- there's no way to completely avoid getting paint on yourself when you're as involved in stage crew as Tam is-- but over the years a few of her friends have left their marks. There are hand prints, quick cartoons, and layers of colorful and contradictory (Name) ♥'s (Name).

This year Tam will wear her paint pants in her first home. High school is far behind her and most of the names on her legs are people she no longer speaks to. Still she wears her memories... and accidentally splatters new ones from time to time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 34

Andy has one dozen memories of his father, but one is clearer than the rest.

His father worked construction, though Andy couldn't tell you exactly what his job was. One evening, his father brought him home and heavy rock that looked just like any other you'd see after breaking up the ground for a new foundation. Andy stared at the rock, then at his father who beckoned him to come outside.

Andy watched as his father set the rock down on the ground, then fetched a sledgehammer from their shed. He motioned for Andy to scoot back, then he raised the hammer over his head and brought it down on the rock. He returned the hammer to the shed, tousled Andy's hair, and walked back inside the house.

When Andy approached the rock he saw that it was twinkling. He picked up a shard and marveled at what he would later learn was a geode.

Andy no longer has the pieces of the glittering rock, and regrets losing them.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Where Aren't They Now: 33

Jackie mends.

She has noticed that people don't fix things anymore. It's too easy to buy, to replace.

Jackie set up a service where she mends things for free. You can stop by her home or mail her an item (if you're willing to pay for shipping), and she will mend it as best as she can. Most of her requests are about buttons that have popped off, but Jackie also darns socks, hems pants, fixes rogue stitches. She even fixed a table once, with mixed results-- it's not exactly level, but it has a few more years in it now.

She loves her work with small repairs, and hopes she is keeping items out of garbage cans and landfills. While she does not charge for her mending service, she makes a bit of money teaching a one-time seminar on these small home ec-like chores. A few more people show up each time she offers.