I’m a very easily entertained mammal. When I was young, my mom used to put Scotch tape on my hands on car trips to keep me occupied. It’s not much different now. Little things amuse me. I’ve been known to lose myself a couple of hours just watching a fish tank. With one fish in it.
The idea for this blog came a couple of weeks ago. I was on an errand, possibly into the next town to pick up some Chinese food for dinner. The song Tarzan Boy came on the radio. It’s a one-hit wonder from the 80’s, a dumb little song from Baltimora with a catchy oh-ah-oh-ah-oh-ah-ohahoha-o! chorus. In case my type-fu didn’t convey that right, it’s the Tarzan call rendered song form. Sounds better than it types, fortunately. The point it, I love the crap out of this song.
It wasn’t just a moment of Cool, I remember this. It was an all-out holy shit-yeah this makes my day! moment. A real pick-me up.
In college, I was known as the most easily amused person in the room. Cereal could make me happy, if my day had been crappy enough. So, with that said, here’s a list of some of the dumb things that make me happy.
Old Vincent Price movies
Pink Ink Pens
Proper Grammar Usage
Cheap Stuffed Animals
Those stupid Mayhem commercials from Allstate
Bubblegum machine toys
My dog’s burps
Why am I mentioning this? Well, for one thing, I need something to post to my blog, but for another thing, think of it as an exercise in characterization. What could each of those things bring to a character’s personality? Unabashed enjoyment of bad 80’s music says someone who probably doesn’t care too much for popular trends. Old Vincent Price movies might suggest someone who is nostalgic. Proper Grammar? Grammar Nazi, maybe? Maybe they tend to be pedantic, or like showing off how much of a smarty-pants they are.
These things might have nothing to do with the story at large, but they can serve to flesh out a character who might otherwise seem stodgy or one-dimensional. Look at the fresh strawberry thing. You might have discovered a hobby for your character. Maybe they like to garden. Maybe a basket full of freshly picked berries give them a sense of accomplishment, or helps them commune with nature and relax after a hard day of chasing villains or staking vampires. Or, perhaps they’re a foodie. They could wax rhapsodic about the virtues of freshly grown strawberries versus the dull, flattened taste of hothouse grown fruit, intriguing a certain love interest to learn more about their quirks. They might be a chef, determined to make the best strawberry trifle to ever touch the lips of their most beloved, or finally win the Podunk Strawberry Pie Contest after twenty years of trying.
And what about someone amused by their dog’s burps? Well, maybe they’re just that easily entertained.