Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Were you scared?

“Were you scared?”

“Not the first time.”

How’s that for a conversation?  It’s funny, but then you get a little worried about it.  Then you start to wonder what it’s about.  After all, we could be discussing anything from ear piercing to child birth.

Or jumping off the flybridge of a Carver 350.  Gosh, Jon, that seems sort of specific and out of left field.  Well, yes.  But there’s a story that goes with it.

We were planning to take our boat out yesterday – perfect boating day – but the trim control for my outdrive froze and after several fruitless hours of tinkering I towed it to the shop.  We went to Lowe’s and bought mulch instead.  Except for #4 who stayed at the marina with his friend and went down the river with them on their… Carver 350.

He got back with all sorts of stories and one of them involved diving off the top of it.  Jumping, actually.  His mother was a little concerned – it is about 15 feet to the waterline – but he wasn’t.  “It was that feeling you get in a rollercoaster.  When your stomach moves around.  Know what I mean?”

Oh yes.  It’s the same feeling I get when people talk about dental work or clean a fish on the railing of the boardwalk.  But what a great story and the line.  Gold.

There are stories that are fun to relate but aren’t fiction material – like this one, it’s seasoning, not the basis of the tale.  Then there are stories which are the real deal.  The anchors for a great work.  Like the headline on CNN.COM last night before I went to bed.  Between the computer and the toothpaste I saw the whole thing.  I gave the 30 second pitch to my wife.  She got it.  “That’s really good.” she said.

It sounds arrogant to say it, but I knew it was really good when I started the pitch.  Sometimes you know things.  It’s simple and compelling, the very definition of high concept.  You may even recognize some of the lines.

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