I’m an observer. As a writer, I have to be. I get some of my best ideas while I’m out and about. As I drive along (usually at a crawl due to traffic) I see ‘stuff’ that either makes me laugh out loud of shake my head at the weirdness of the human condition.
When I saw this sculpture last frigid February, I stopped on the calf-deep half-plowed sidewalk and had to take a photo. On the left is a sexy outfit in the window of a bra bar. In front is a saddled horse being ridden by a monkey of sorts. Standing by the horse’s head is what looks like a pioneer woman shepherding a gaggle of small animals. It takes some special imagination to put those disparate beings together in one place.
I was driving west along the Queensway down by the lake on my way home from taking my grandson to that day’s shoot for the television show he’s in. Waiting to turn left at Islington Avenue, I turned my head to the right. In bright pink neon and dark blue was a flashing sign: “Wiggles Adult Video. Rear Entrance.” My mouth fell open and I started to giggle. I can’t wait to use that catchy line in one of my stories.
The next one appeared on the display of my car radio last week. I subscribe to Sirius satellite radio becasue I’ve grown weary of talk radio, whether it’s the CBC or ‘all news’ stations that have lots of blather but nothing new. The tune was actually quite catchy. I was bopping along at about 25 kilometers an hour doing stomach crunches and butt clenches when I came to a stop sign. I glanced at the screen to find out the name.
I did a double-take. ‘Plug me to Death’ was the name of the number being played by the Erotic Drum Band. The juxtaposition grabbed my attention. I pulled into someone’s driveway and whipped out my camera to capture the moment. I accept that there’s implied violence in the title but it’s a song, not a political statement, so I’m going to leave it alone.
Part of me hopes that I never lose my sense of wonder about the wacky things that just pop out when you’re paying a little bit of attention. They make every day special.