I make good use of the Memo app on my Android. Much of this is jotting various passwords that would have been hard enough to remember in my prime and now almost impossible to as the merciless onslaught of years and booze turns my brain into pudding.
Another use of the app is to jot down ideas to write about. Years ago, I would take a spiral notebook to the bar with me and scribble away as I drank Jameson, trying to commit as much as I could before my brain fogged over entirely. The next day, I would salvage what I could, clean it up a bit, and post it to my blog.
Now I do most of my writing sober during my long bus commute. Ideas still pop into my head while I’m out drinking, but now I just write enough so I can remember them later. Few of them merit more than a brief glance the following day. These include liquor fueled outpourings of self-pity (“I am old and gross. I need to die.”) and attempts at pithiness with the kind of profundity that dies in a sober brain (“It’s not a conspiracy, but it doesn’t need to be.”)
Others are amusing enough as quips, but I’m not quite sure what to do with them. Both “A dwarf vampire hunter named ‘Minivan Helsing'” and “A woman in wooden shoes whom you can shit on. Her name is ‘Toilet Clogs'” are chuckle-worthy, but I can’t think of a story to put either of them in. OK, maybe Ms. Clogs can make an appearance in some future installment of the “Future Poo” saga, but she’s not going to get a starring role. Rhea Dyer she ain’t.
There was one note, jotted down too long ago for me to remember where or when I thought of it, that seemed to have some real potential. It was simply a title, but one of a story that demanded to be told. The title was this:
“Suispritle: A ‘Speed Racer’ Tragedy”
This would not be the first time I had blogged about “Speed Racer.” Last August, I wrote about how the cartoon show would be vastly improved with the addition of tentacle porn. I wasn’t exactly going out on a limb there. Tentacle porn improves everything. It is the bacon of television and film. Heck, I bet it could even make The Breakfast Club watchable.
I also threw in a bit about Spritle and Chim Chim in a bucking 69 because a child and an animal engaged in a sexual act is never not funny. Now the party was over and I wanted the kid to kill himself, if only to make use of that delightful “Suispritle” wordplay.
There was just one catch: I wanted the story to not suck. This may come as a surprise to many of you who are familiar with my work and I am the first to admit that I am no perfectionist. Still, my blog is not a bathroom wall or some survivor support group I have decided to troll. I am not anonymous here. My name is on everything I post so it’s important that I do my best to produce a piece of writing that succeeds on its own terms. I don’t bat a thousand, but at least I make the effort.
One of my first steps is to get mentally familiar enough with what I want to write to dive in with confidence. This does not always mean I have to have the whole thing mapped out in my head. Often I just have a general direction of where I want to go and the destination turns out to be no less a surprise to me than it is to the reader.
This was not one of those times. I had a pretty clear idea about what the beginning and the end were going to be. Spritle has committed suicide and Chim Chim has found the body. A suicide note is in Spritle’s lifeless hand. Chim Chim opens the note and stares at the paper. The middle part of the story is the note itself, in which Spritle explains why decided to take his own life. Unfortunately, chimpanzees cannot read so Chim Chim wipes his ass with the piece of paper and throws it in the trash.
I liked that ending a lot. It deals with two of my favorite subjects: pointlessness and excrement. The only thing I had to do was was come up a suicide note a ten year old kid would write.
And that’s where it all fell apart.
I thought it would be a breeze to write that note. Though I have never attempted suicide, I am no stranger to its ideation. I know what it’s like to want out. The thing is that the appeal of doing myself in didn’t happen until I was considerably older than Spritle so I had no personal experience to draw from.
Perhaps Spritle saw suicide as the only escape from an endless cycle of abuse. So who was his abuser? Maybe Pops Racer liked to lift up his beer gut and plow his youngest child’s pooper with his throbbing four-inch pork nub. Or maybe it was someone else.
It hardly matters because that scenario won’t work. So a young victim is unwittingly silenced by his simian friend, allowing the guilty party to get off scot free. It’s amusing, but not what I’m after. I want his pain to be an indictment of us all, not some tiresome #metoo pablum. Besides, it’s lazy writing to ignore everything about his being a mischievous, high-spirited glutton with a simple “yes, but ass rape.”
As for other options, I got nothing.
In the end, he gets to live because I lack the chops to properly kill him off. That’s a depressing thought, one a cheerful little scamp like Spritle would never understand.