Friday, January 27, 2012

Bertha’s Bakers Dozen ™: Dumb Things People Say When They Find Out I’m a Writer

     One of the first questions an acquaintance will usually ask is, “So what do you do?”  I usually assume they mean, “what do I do for a living” so I answer with, “I’m a writer”.  If I answered with, “I’m a world-renowned brain surgeon” or “I teach disabled children”, the response might be one of awe or admiration.  If I answered with, “I tame lions” or “I’m a candy taster”, the response might be one of extreme interest.  When I answer with, “I’m a writer”, I often wonder if I mistakenly said, “I sit on a park bench and stare at my thumb nail.”  People have no clue what to say, so they start to babble.  I think I’ve heard just about everything.

     Well, Letterman has his ten; Bertha has her Bakers Dozen … and this time, it’s the Dumb Things People Say  When They Find Out I’m a Writer list:

13) “You’re a writer?  Like, at a bookstore?”  No.  I’m a writer, like, at my computer in yoga pants and a Muppets T-shirt.     

12) “Do you have an assistant to write for you?”  What?!  I do my own writing, t hank you very much.  And if I did have an assistant, I think I would have that person clean my house so I could write more.   

11) “I bet you are rich since you’re famous!”  I started this column with nothing and I still have most of it left.  And if I’m famous, I really need to have a talk with the deli manager at Local Grocery for how long they make me wait for a half-pound of corned beef.    

10) “Can you introduce me to famous people?”  Part of me wants to answer with “for a fee”.  Another part of me wants to smack you across the forehead.  Do I look like Truman Capote?

9) “I be you get to travel a lot!”  Uhh, does a jaunt into town to buy dog food count as “travelling”?       

8) “I bet The Yankee is your biggest fan!”  Actually, no.  The Yankee is vaguely aware I have “a column thingy”, as he calls it, but he cannot locate it on the Internet nor is he even remotely interested in its content.       

7) “I bet you have crowds who want your autograph.”  Only when it’s time to sign the credit card receipt.  

6) “You’re a writer?!  Oh my gosh, do you get people sending bottles of wine to your table at restaurants?!”  I don’t think the drive-thru at the Sammich Hut is allowed to sell alcohol.       

5) “How do you come up with your characters?”  I live with these people.  No, I’m serious.      

4) “All this ridiculous stuff happens to you, I bet you laugh a lot!”   Guess again. 

3) “Do you really have an autistic daughter?”  Actually, I have a son named Filbert who’s been locked in his room playing Pogs since 1992.  I just thought an imaginary autistic daughter would make a fun pastime.      

2) “You’re a writer?  I’ve never heard of you.”  I said “writer” ... not Pulitzer Prize winning author.       

1) “I could never be a writer.  Nothing interesting ever happens to me.”  I have news for you.  “Interesting” depends entirely upon your perspective.  If you spend your life down in the dumps, staring at your feet, you will never see the interesting.  If you search for drama in every aspect of life like some redneck with trailer park hair, you run the risk of dramatizing every boring, minute detail of the excruciatingly mundane.  Look up, open your eyes, and don’t read into everything.  You may be shocked by how much “interesting” you really have around you.    

© Bertha Grizzly 2012.  All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or distribution.

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