Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who's laughing now?

I'm sitting in a franchise coffee chain, going over a work project with a co-worker, both of us having escaped the office during a slow Thursday morning, when an older gentleman in sweatpants, running fleece and a blue baseball cap approaches us.

"Do you work for [Agency]?" he asks. We reply in the affirmative.

"Well, tell [Mutual Co-worker] that [Name] says hello. I used to see him sometimes at book signings. He used to think he was a writer."

Three things ping around in my head instantaneously: a) I recognize the [Name]; b) our Mutual Co-worker is indeed a writer, and a good one; and c) I know co-workers of the sweatpants'd fellow, so I mention as much.

"Well, good for you," he says, and moves on.

You see, the fellow who approached us is a Writer of Some Note (WOSN) who lives and works in my area. WOSN's novels and short stories are very good; I'll get that out of the way first. (Don't worry, this blog isn't going to turn into TMZ.)

One of the interesting advantages of living in an area that boasts its share of celebrities is that you'll inevitably meet someone who dated Someone Famous way back when. And as it turns out, WOSN falls under this umbrella. WOSN dated a friend of a friend for many years, and among other stories I've heard, this is the one that caromed around in my head as WOSN stood over the two of us in an overpriced coffee shop and managed to insult me, my employer and my co-workers within the space of 30 seconds:

Ex-of-WOSN awoke one bright morning to find WOSN standing over a newspaper obituary, laughing out loud and talking to himself. You see, WOSN once had a sadistic gym teacher named Pinky Babs. Said gym teacher apparently made WOSN's prepubescent life hell, as gym teachers in small towns are wont to do with students who've little interest in team sports.

On this particular morning, WOSN was found looking at Pinky Babs' obituary in the local newspaper, and, between outbreaks of laughter, uttering the immortal line:

"Pinky Babs! Who's laughing now?"

Brethren, let this be a lesson I bring unto you.

Talent and success does not turn you into an asshole. But it can help. And inside every talented and successful creative individual there is a child, ready and waiting to chuckle at your obituary and say, "Who's laughing now?"

1 comment:

t. said...

We all have one! Who's laughing now, Jeannie Woods?!?