Well, well, well, well, well. Here we are to rock and roll a new story. A bit behind schedule, what’s new. It’s a very busy time here at the club with play rehearsals reaching their peak just before we open (in less than 2 weeks!), so finding time to write a story has been . . . challenging. I am currently writing at work in fits and starts, watching the door hoping no one comes in and sees this. Nothing like a little paranoia to drive the creative muse.
Speak to me, Muse. Speak to me.
Okay, the Muse has spoken. Unfortunately, she spoke in Mandarin Chinese, so I have no idea what she said. Crazy Muse. Oh well. Guess I’ll just have to wing it, then.
THE UNFORTUNATE BEGINNINGS OF TREBIL SPOONBUTTER
Once upon a time, long ago and very far away from wherever you happen to be at this moment, there was a young girl named Special Pooterpie. Now, little Special lived in a cottage with her parents, Biff and Rosemandible Pooterpie. Special did the cooking and cleaning and laundry and somehow still found time to write a one-act play every single night to perform for her lazy, lazy parents, who she loved dearly despite their reluctance to do anything at all.
One evening, Special sat down to write a play and found that she could not think of a single thing to write about. This was quite a new situation for her (remember, this was a very long time ago, and writer’s block hadn’t even been invented yet. Special was actually an early pioneer in the field of writer’s block, but she often gets overlooked because it never really received public attention until Edgar Rice Burroughs’ lesser known brother, Buford, patented it in a failed attempt to explain why he never wrote anything as good as his brother), and she became frightened that perhaps her brain had ceased to function. Taking quick stock of the fact that she was, in fact, still alive (and she was pretty sure she wouldn’t be if her brain stopped working entirely, she was a smart one, that Special), she decided her brain must still be functioning on some level, and she set out to kick-start the creative muse.
Thinking quickly, she slipped out the back door of the cottage (while her parents were distracted doing nothing at all) and ran twelve and a half miles to the nearest cottage, where her good friend, Trebil Spoonbutter, lived with his parents, Molly and Breckinridge. Trying to be surreptitious, she threw a stone at his window to get his attention. Sadly, glass hadn’t actually been invented yet, either, and she wound up hitting poor Trebil right smack on the head and knocking him unconscious. She thought about running away but then she remembered it was twelve and a half miles back to her own house and she decided to sit down and cry instead. Fortunately, Trebil woke up pretty quick (it hadn’t been such a big stone, after all, and he’d mostly gone unconscious from shock rather than impact) and saw her crying outside his window.
“Hey!” he said. “Why are you crying outside my window, friend Special?”
She looked up in surprise. “Whoa, I thought you were dead,” she said.
“Nah, I just passed out or something,” he said. “I think someone hit me on the head. Did you see anyone throw something through my window?”
Special looked at him for a long moment before saying, “nope. Sorry.”
“No big,” Trebil said. “So, what are you doing here, anyway?”
“Oh, yeah,” she said, “well, you know how I write a one-act play to perform for my parents every night?”
“Yeah,” he said, “you’ve told me about that, but I’ve never seen one or anything.” He was trying to make her feel bad for never inviting him to a play, but guilt hadn’t been invented yet, so she didn’t notice.
“Well, today when I sat down to write tonight’s play, I couldn’t think of anything to write,” she said.
“I don’t understand,” he said.
“Nothing came to mind,” she explained.
“What does that mean?” he asked.
“I’ve got some kind of block,” she said, “ and I can’t write.”
“Hm,” he said, “what would you call that?”
“I don’t know,” she replied, “it’s some kind of writer’s . . . wall. Yes, I’ve got Writer’s Wall.”
“Gee, that sounds tough,” said Trebil.
“You have no idea,” Special said. “I’ve never had to wait for the creative muse to strike before. It’s like she’s speaking Mandarin Chinese or something.”
“What’s that?” asked Trebil.
“I don’t know,” said Special. “I think I just made it up.” (You’re probably thinking that Mandarin Chinese hadn’t been invented yet, but it totally had – a man named Bill Potrzebie in Port Au Prince, Haiti had invented it two years earlier but he was still trying to raise the money for a plane ticket to China to tell them about it. His efforts actually became very first Kickstarter account and it made the news and everything. Trebil and Special had just never heard of it because they were such country bumpkins.)
After a moment’s thought, Trebil said, “well, why don’t you write a play about me?”
“About you?” she said. “What’s there to write about you?”
“Plenty,” he replied. “There’s the time I went down to the crick and found a dying yak who I named Spotty Pepper and nursed him back to health and then he saved the whole family when our cottage caught on fire because dad was experimenting with alternating current electricity. Then dear old Spotty Pepper went back into the house to get ma’s china pig collection and the house collapsed on him, so I built a monument to his honor in the forest, and yaks from far and near showed up at the dedication ceremony. There wasn’t a dry eye in the forest.”
“No,” said Special. “I need something good.”
“Well,” said Trebil, “there was the time I went down to the crick and found a dead squirrel.”
“Yeah,” said Special, “like that! But who would play you? I’m a girl and you’re a boy.”
“I could play me,” Trebil said softly.
Special looked up, a light burning in her eyes. She smiled at Trebil as if seeing him for the first time. She stood up and ran to his window. She grabbed his hands and squeezed them. “I’ve only just thought of it,” she said. “I can pull my hair back and wear a cap. That way I can play a boy!”
With that she turned and ran twelve and a half miles back to her own house and immediately wrote a play called “The Unfortunate Beginnings of Trebil Spoonbutter,” in which a dying squirrel is transformed into a little boy at the banks of a magical river and has to find a family to take care of him before his heart explodes from all the magic that is in him (obviously creative license had been invented even way back then).
Special performed the whole play herself, and her parents liked it so much that they invited some people over to watch the following night. The character of Trebil Spoonbutter was so popular that everyone demanded that she write and perform more plays about him. In the end, she wrote over a hundred plays starring the character, some of the best being “Trebil Spoonbutter and the Tadpole Witch,” “The bewildering Middle of Trebil Spoonbutter,” “The Trying Times and Cruel Intimations of Trebil Spoonbutter,” and, of course, “Trebil Spoonbutter’s Magnificent End.”
The series was wildly popular, and probably would have made the real Trebil Spoonbutter extremely happy and famous and wealthy if only Special had ever thought to invite him to a performance. Unfortunately, thoughtfulness wasn’t invented until two years after all of this happened.
Well, that’s what I did at work today. What did you do?
Love and skiddlypoops,