Monday, August 4, 2008

Checking In at the JetBlue Counter

"Good day sir, where are you going?"
"Three bags, I see. It's 100 for the first, 200 for the second and 300 for the third."
"Six hundred dollars to check in my bags?"
"Fuel costs, stupid. Get on the scale please."
"Surcharges for fatsos, of course. The days of light, healthy people paying for the evil choices of Heart-Attacks-Waiting-to-Happen are gone."
"I was meaning to start a diet this week."
"Should have started a month ago, Blubber. My, my, 226 pounds. The first 100 are free, courtesy of the Bluester, but it's an extra dollar for every pound up to 200 and 10 dollars for every pound after that."
"Isn't that discriminating against people who weigh over 200 pounds?"
"No one told you to shove that last Ho Ho down your throat for breakfast. That'll be an extra 360."
"So what am I up to?"
"WTF, you're stupid and fat? Jeez. Lemme calculate this quickly here. 960 in surcharges so far."
"We're not done yet, sir. You're of Asian descent, yes?"
"What does my ethnicity have to do with anything?"
"It's an extra 5000 when you're Middle Eastern or look or smell anything like a terrorist. That's the 'terror tax' we tack on to those customers. Federal marshals don't fly free, especially the ones who look like tubs of lard. But since you're Asian, it's only 1000 more."
"So I have to pay $1960 on top of the 600 for the original round trip ticket?"
"Will that be cash or credit? There's a $700 surcharge when you pay by credit card. The electronic transactions take up more gas than you'd think."


Raven said...

If this country weren't so damn big, I'd give up flying entirely. Well, I suppose I could move back home to the east coast where all my family lives, but... All right, all right, I'm choosing to stay where I am, which means I have to fly if I go home to visit, but it really is getting ridiculous.

P.S. Is this a scene from one of your scripts? ;)

J.T. said...

LOL... a scene from one of my scripts? I wish I could incorporate some humor into my scripts. If I had to sum up my two completed scripts in one word, it would have to be: disconnection. The people are all quite disconnected and not very content. :-( (Hey, they said Billy Joel wrote his best songs when he was down in the dumps, so...)

This third script is really getting me down though as it is quite dark, and I am not sure I am even getting the emotions right, or if I have the capacity to get at the emotions--about a father who kills his son. How do you write about something that has never happened to you? You're the fantasy writer.

Raven said...

You get at the underlying emotions. For a father who kills his own son, presumably you have the planning stages (if it's premeditated), when he's making preparations but maybe not entirely believing he's really going to do it, and then you have the moment when he crosses the line and does it. Probably at that moment he's not fully comprehending the enormity of what he's doing. As soon as it's done he'll have that "holy shit, what did I just do?" moment, and then the guilt and self-hatred will set in and tear him apart.

For the psychological effects of murder on a murderer, there's no better example than Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.

Your question strikes a chord with me because one of the three main characters in my novel is a son who killed his whole family, so I've been living with this kind of emotional stuff since I started writing the novel. If you focus on things you've done that you deeply regret, especially if they hurt someone else, you can tap into the right emotions even though you haven't been in the exact situation.

J.T. said...

Wow... I completely overlooked crime and punishment. I will have to go through that one again. What you said makes a lot of sense. I will think things through a little more carefully.

As for the part about dwelling on all those things that I regret... I think I knew I would have to do that, and that is why this is so hard to write. I'm not sure I want to revisit all that right now.

I didn't know you were writing a novel as well. This is something apart from the trilogy, yes?

Raven said...

It's possible you're not emotionally ready to write the story. But it's also possible it could be a cathartic experience. It may take a while to figure out which it is. Some stories have to live in our minds for a while before they come out on paper. The novel I'm writing now took about seven years and many false starts to get to the point where I could actually write it. And oddly enough, the way it's turned out is very similar to one of the earliest incarnations I had planned but never managed to start writing.

The novel and the trilogy are the same work. I changed the setting and am also making each book more standalone, so right now I'm focusing on Book One and have started just referring to it as "my novel."

J.T. said...

You could be right--I might not be ready. On the other hand, I just know that this story is the logical "part III" to the first two screenplays I have written. I thought more about the story today, bits of Crime and Punishment swimming subconsciously, and suddenly came up with the approach I want to take. I was thinking this was the most emotional of my stories, but then realized it's actually the most logical of my stories--that what I'm doing is making an argument that a father could be justified in his reasons to kill off his son.

I know, I know, it's crazy, but after all the shit that's been going on in the news lately, it doesn't seem that crazy. Doesn't seem that crazy at all.

I hear what you're saying about how it took seven years to get to where you are now. My two screenplays are definitely "babies" born of the novel I started writing in Korea--12 years! It's not the destination, it's the journey... :-)

Raven said...

Destinations are nice too, though. I'm really ready to be done and move on to the marketing phase, which is still a long ways away. *sigh*

I'm glad you found the approach you want to take with your script. Sometimes it just takes time to come up with it. And I don't think the concept is crazy. In fact, I think it could be very thought-provoking. Sometimes dark stories that ask tough moral questions can be extremely compelling. Like Crime and Punishment.

J.T. said...

Ah Raven,

One day you and I will be sipping cocktails on a sunny beach in Hawaii!

Raven said...

Here's hoping!