Writing and Toilet Paper

So I’m rereading Adjudication as a way to reimmerse myself in the Metatron’s Army world.

I’ve been away working on a number of projects.

I was reading the following section:

He poured a glass of Cirhce’s Dream.  It was a private label sourced by the owner of the warehouse bar in Perm as a way of thanking Cirhce for keeping business brisk.  The proprietor kept a limited supply and the recipe under wraps, which kept it in demand.  Ryal had access because he’d developed a new alcoholic beverage exclusively for the owner at Cirhce’s request.  It was based on something called Vicks Formula 44D which had come up in some context or other while she was talking to the bar owner.  So long as Ryal promised not to sell the stuff, he could have the wine free of charge.

Here’s a bit of that experience I sprinkle into my work.  The 44D scene at the Warehouse Bar in Perm is based on a real-life event that took place in Fort Collins, Colorado YEARS before I lived there.

I was a technical consultant and my team was taking a large supply chain customer consisting of a group of international travelers to the local labs as part of an effort to win their business.  As a way of rewarding the team for staying up til 3 am in the morning then getting up at 7 to work again, sales took us to a local brewery.  I was chatting with a colleague who encouraged me to try what he was drinking.  When I did, I winced and told him it tasted like Vick’s 44D!

I really thought it was awful!

He shrugged as if to say, “There’s no accounting for taste,” and we continued talking.  Some 12 years later it found its way into my novel in a scene between Dacan and Christine.

Having grown up on Earth of another dimension, Christine was the one to ID the culprit taste.

There were a number of memorable experiences during that particular trip.

Yes, we won the business.

Not all of them – in fact most – (n)ever make it into the writing.

Here is a fun one.  We were in a meeting – the vendor participants totally exhausted because of a last-minute  “Oh, did we forget to tell you we need this?” BS play by the customer.  We’re discussing international “follow the sun” practices.

I was the networking expert on the project.

The subject of bandwidth came up.  At that point – totally exhausted – the British sales rep and my American self looked at each other – he put on the posture of the “freeze frame” face that was common in those early days of Frame Relay and – if you were really lucky – a T1 line – and both of us burst out laughing.

Our check writing fairly low on the totem pole customer participant didn’t share our joie de vivre.

The American sales rep glared at me like “Have you lost your mind?” but the Brit smoothly recovered with his global finesse and willingness to take the “I’m from out of town” blame.

I later hugged him and thanked him – as he thanked me – we so needed the break from the – well – you can imagine.

So – as a follow on to that little fun story I have a few recommendations for those who are interested in finding a bit of humor in the current chaos at the grocery store.

Aka:  Where the hell is the toilet paper and they don’t seriously expect me to use Kleenex?!

Here are three great shows/snippets you can watch that will help you appreciate the madness.

MASH 1:  Episode Crisis.  The supply line is cut and there is a shortage of – you guessed it – toilet paper.

They break into the fortune cookies!

MASH 2:  Incubator.  They need a medical device but the guy is willing to deal on several thousand rolls of toilet paper he just happens to be sitting on!

I love the press conference scene after.  The last thing General Maynard M Mitchell wants to do is answer questions!

About Last Night:  There is a great scene where Demi Moore’c character is opening cupboards at Rob Lowe’s character’s apartment – to reveal no room for her stuff but lots of toilet paper – you know – in case there was ever an emergency?

Enjoy!

btw: Here are two discussions Aaron and I had about the current TP thing. He suggested kids from closed schools could sell toilet paper from said schools’ janitor supply – door to door – to fund the Internet for online learning – enterprising young men and women that they are – and I suggested anyone driving a big rig with Charmin on the side may want to worry…

And for those who look out the window at the abundance of trees? Read Stephen King’s On Writing first – a cautionary tale!

Posr Note: As we are watching “Crisis” Aaron reminded me – there is a great Fawlty Towers reference to TP. As an ode to the British sales rep – check out “Communication Problems!