My Hit and Run Narrative

John

THU, 2021-01-07 17:15

Very sore this morning and desperately trying to distract myself by putting together my notes for a victim narrative. 

Today at about 2pm, some lunatic cut me off in traffic by making a very sharp turn in front of me. He put me down hard. Bruised and sore all over. Don’t think bike is too badly damaged. This may be the universe trying to tell me something? No way this accident could have been avoided other than staying home. Glad I was wearing a helmet, boots and gloves.

The best part? It was a hit and run!

After writing the above, I remembered some additional details and felt obliged to add them here:

When I woke up lying on my back in the middle of a divided highway, there was a woman in her 40s kneeling at my side. She checked me out like a medical professional. I asked if she was a nurse and she said yes. She then took my hand with both of her hands and caressed it.

She asked me my name and then said something I thought was very odd at the time, “Thank you for wearing safety gear.”

I quipped, “I have to…I only have one liver” She smiled and replied, “And only so much skin…”

EMTs arrived, she gave them an appraisal of my condition and left…Left as quickly as she had arrived AND down the same side street the reckless driver had gone.

I’m now thinking SHE may have been the reckless driver come back to see if she had killed me?

Sent this report to my older brother. Thinking this was just another of my crazy stories, he replied, “Good one.” I corrected him, “No that’s what happened AND I hope she was the reckless driver…Gives a little more humanity to what happened.”

And this ends my hit and run victim narrative.

Lance

THU, 2021-01-07 17:29

Could make for an interesting story though. Man gets injured by hit by and run driver. Driver feels remorse, comes back to help. Falls in love with dude she just plowed over. Its got Oscar written all over it.

Seriously, glad you’re okay.

John

THU, 2021-01-07 17:46

I feel like I was beaten with baseball bats. My whole left side is stiff, swollen, bruised and very sore…BUT, I will live and am grateful it wasn’t worse. Being slammed face first into the pavement is not something I’d recommend to any old man, anywhere.

Lance, you have my permission to write this story. Just note on the cover page, ‘Inspired by the victim narrative of John Hunter”

Derek

THU, 2021-01-07 17:48

Yikes man! Glad that you’re ok! (aka in typing condition) I’ve had so many people make sharp-turns in front of me and then proceed to drive 10mph under the speed limit for blocks over the years that I christened the move “crazy (wo)man’s left”. lol (not sure if that’s what exactly happened to you from your description but I was reminded)

Get well soon!

John

THU, 2021-01-07 18:10

Please remember this is in American where we drive on the wrong side…I was in right outside lane stopped at a traffic light. The light changed and I turned left. I went about 70-80 yards before the person who must have been next to me at the stop light jumped in front of me to make a sharp right turn. All I saw was lots of light green or white Japanese sedan flash before my eyes. She or he must have clipped me and I went down hard. It was senseless and stupid. Why didn’t they stop? Too many points on their driver’s license? Out on parole for a triple murder? Outstanding warrants? Drugged up or crazy? Who knows?

Lance, are you getting all of this for your Oscar feature? You gotta have the details to make it believable.

Lance

THU, 2021-01-07 19:06

John, this story has to come from you, straight from the horses mouth, so to speak. I just write silly stories about aliens and zombies, wouldn’t know where to start. But I do think it would make an interesting story if the hit and run driver came back to help and formed a bond with the person they hit, then struggled whether to tell that person they were the one that hit them. 

Anyway, take care of yourself and heal up.

John

THU, 2021-01-07 19:43

Hit and Run Romance?

Brian

THU, 2021-01-07 21:07

Hit and Runmance.

Glad to hear that you’re okay! Scary stuff.

John

THU, 2021-01-07 22:27

With cracked ribs and clicking rotator cuff, I’m hoping someone else will take a whack at Hit and Runmance. Besides, I’ve already slaughtered enough innocent pixels as evidenced by my bulging SR pages…Need to keep my mind clear and ready to deal with (overdue) big money offers in 2021!

CJ

FRI, 2021-01-08 15:47

Glad you’re okay. Get well soon. Who knows, maybe in another timeline you’d have gotten into a far worse accident down the road.

A good lesson in humanity too and both your lives may be forever changed as a result.

Barry

FRI, 2021-01-08 16:40

Hit and run. Not cool… Glad you Okay John. Get well soon. All the best.

John

TUE, 2021-01-12 13:31

Follow Up: After a few days in bed, I returned to the scene of the accident this morning, adjusted the handlebars, mirrors and rode my 2020 Suzuki DR650 home. Apparently, the bike is much tougher than wimpy me. My big toe is bright blue, there’s road rash on knee, left hip shows a dinner plate sized black and reddish bruise, my core is so tender I struggle to get up and down and dare not sneeze, BUT I’m alive! I’ll have to get a new helmet and jeans, but that’s a small price to pay for being on this side of the grass…It could have been much worse. What did I learn? Shit happens.

EDIT:  For that special someone writing Hit and Runmance, here are some more details. Not getting any better, dressed in green plaid jammies, a shemagh and a porkpie hat, I went to a very good Doc’N’A’Box several days later. The waggish doctor and I had such a good laugh. I referred to myself as an organ donor, she called me a ‘street licker.’ Such fun. After the most thorough three hour medical workup I have ever had in my whole and entire life (physical exam, urine, blood, x-rays, cat scan, EKG and BP) the verdict was number five rib is broken and I have an avulsion in my ankle. Ankle was immobilized and I was given crutches along with a script for 800mg ibuprofen. Now off to find an orthopedic boot to wear for the next 3 to 12 weeks. Such fun. Med Techs told me they see my type of injuries often with accident details similar to mine. Geez.

© 2021

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Snittle Dancing

Upon recently entering my local Costco, a huge cavernous warehouse where you can buy everything in large quantities at discount prices, my forward progress was stopped by a small boy. 

His eyes were closed, his fists were clinched and his head moved violently from left to right. He appeared to be running in place without going anywhere. He sounded like a miniature fire truck on its way to a real barnburner. Everyone except me, prudently ignored his display. 

His enabling Copter Mom at his side, leaned over and cooed sweet nothings to the boy, but he was having none of it. 

Fascinated, I stood and watched for a moment what could only be described as a dance. Yep, that was it. The boy was having a snit and dancing at the same time – No small accomplishment. Truly worthy of an apt creative and descriptive term.

I smiled at the boy and his mother, leaned over and addressed the boy in a warm and friendly manner, “That’s some of the finest SNITTLE DANCING I’ve ever seen.”

Before the boy’s mother could be offended and assault me, I straighten up and blended in with other shoppers moving into the huge marketplace where five gallon jars of olives, cases of wine and skids of bakery demanded our immediate attention.

As we all know, my behavior was the sort of thing that should have been kept secret and carried to my grave. In a lapse of judgment, I foolishly shared my experience with my long time personal micromanager, the lovely Miss Susan. She, of course, filed my story away for use later.

And so it came to pass, the next time I showed some minor displeasure over a trivial matter, Miss Susan flashed a wry smile and innocently asked, “Do I get a little snittle dance with that?”

Defeated, I sighed and thought, “Yes, Karma can be a bitch.”

© 2020

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Companion Shop

Written by John Hunter – Now a short film! Watch and Enjoy!

“Difficulties arise when an elderly woman tries to return an artificially intelligent companion purchased at a clearance sale.”

I wrote this whimsical short some years ago and it has now been released as a short film made by Ivy Jelisavac in July 2020.

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Speed Trap in Ludowici

speed trap

As evidenced by old photographs, my maternal grandmother was once a very handsome woman in her youth. By the time I came along, she was a heavy set woman with a care worn face who kept her grey hair pulled into a tight bun on the back of her head.

She only attended school for three years, but this did not prevent her from becoming a wealthy woman way back when a dollar was still a dollar.

I can not remember ever seeing her dressed up. She wore nondescript inexpensive cotton dresses from a now defunct department store and carried a small plastic pop-open coin purse clutched in her hand – She never carried a handbag.

She had lived through the Great Depression and getting her to part with her money was not an easy task. Even so, I could sometimes talk her into giving me a few coins to buy a soda. On these rare occasions, she would root around in her coin purse and begrudgingly give me a few coins. These coins came with a painful look on her face as if she was giving me one or two of her vital internal organs.

During these times, it was common for small towns in south Georgia to stop and fine both real and alleged speeders. These places were called “speed traps.”

The most notoriously in our little part of the world was a small pulpwood town named Ludowici which we pronounced “lew-dah-witch-chee.” 

An outraged and embarrassed Lester Maddox, a former governor of Georgia, posted warning signs on the narrow two-lane road going into and out of this town. These signs did not stop the practice of fining the few motorist who did pass through.

On one lazy summer day, my grandmother was stopped for allegedly speeding in Ludowici.

For anyone familiar with the reality of the situation, the idea of her speeding was preposterous. She drove a pre-WW2 sedan with faded black paint and huge fenders. The car could not go faster than the speed limit even if it had it been shot out of a cannon.

When the arresting officer asked her to pay a fine, she broke down into tears and explained she was a poor widow woman with three children. She pleaded with the officer to let her go and told him she had no money.

The unsympathetic officer led her back to the station where she was to be held until someone paid her fine. On the way to the police station, she hid her money under the front seat in her car.

At the police station, my grandmother was threatened, yelled at and put in a cell. As the afternoon wore on, she produced more tears and made impassioned pleas for leniency, mercy and charity.

She insisted she simply could not pay a traffic fine and wept openly as she explained she did not even have enough money to buy the gasoline she needed to get back to her children in nearby Brunswick. As she wiped away tears, she told the police her children would be worried and certainly go without supper if she was not released and allowed to continue on her way.

Hours later and just before dark, the police finally let my grandmother go without paying a fine. They may have even given her a little money to help pay for the gasoline needed to make her trip home.

As a child, I enjoyed hearing stories about this hardy, self-sufficient and waggish old woman who was as clever as a fox and tight with her money. I only hope some of her DNA was passed on to me. 

© Copyright 2019

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Surefire Storytelling Formula

cat w:fiddle

For aspiring scriptwriters everywhere seeking a surefire storytelling formula which is neither Save The Cat or The Hero’s Journey, I here offer the following as a guide:

   Hey diddle, diddle

   The cat played the fiddle

   The cow jumped over the moon

   The little dog laughed to see such fun

   And the dish ran away with the spoon

It’s tightly written, has an unapologetic opening, there’s a strong leading character, the storyline is non-derivative, loaded with interesting supporting roles and has a romantic B Story. 

What’s not to like?

One last word of caution – In the event you want to take your writing beyond the hobby stage, a well monied executive producer and a good agent not currently in rehab may also be helpful.

All the best and carry on.

© Copyright 2019

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Squeak Up!

standing mouse

My formative childhood years were spent in the coastal low country of south Georgia where my family has been since before the area was even a state.

The long lazy summers where barefooted and carefree. I was given a buzz cut and set free to roam. What was not to like? I listened to folks speaking in bombastic Ebonic dialects, Geechee, Patois and my own native Cracker. 

I was allowed to run in the clouds of “smoke” belching from behind the DDT truck spraying for mosquitoes, climb trees and eat pecans I picked up off the ground. 

There was even a Boston Bull dog I could set loose on the unsuspecting postmen…That is until the dog was sent away to live with my paternal grandmother on her farm. Although I now suspect my dog may have been put down for my reckless endangerment of postal workers.

These were simpler times. Entertainment was scarce. Way back then, people actually spoke to each other face-to-face. Storytelling was a prized and time honored tradition.

From this period of time, one of my favorite stories was about my maternal grandmother verbally abusing her third or fourth husband, the man I was named after.

Seems they both enjoyed what was then called “a good, knock down, drag out, name calling, hair pulling fight.” In their defense, times were hard and we were poor – You took your entertainment where you could find it.

So it came to pass during one of their famous shouting matches, my fully enraged grandmother shouted at my terrified grandfather, 

“Squeak up! Are you a man or a mouse?!”

I have always treasured this childhood memory and even now repeat my grandmother’s words internally when faced with a difficult choice or decision to make.

You now have my permission to use my grandmother’s words when seeking guidance in your own moments of crisis or peril.

Use them wisely and be well…

© Copyright 2019

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Honus Wagner

Honus

“There ain’t much to being a ballplayer, if you’re a ballplayer.”

Honus Wagner was an American baseball player who played 21 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1897 to 1917. He played almost exclusively for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He won his eighth batting title in 1911, a record that remains unbroken to this day.

Mr Wagner did not overthink that he was doing. He just did it and did it very well. In reflecting on what he said about being a ballplayer, I believe old Honus may have been on to something. 

Have you ever watched a master craftsman working at his or her trade – Be it bricklayer, short order cook, artist, plumber, criminal or writer?

Common to doing anything well is an economy of motion, a proficiency and ease in completing the task. And we’re not talking about just getting it done, we’re talking about doing it well.

What’s My Point?

If you’re struggling to do whatever it is you think you’re doing and still producing mediocre results, perhaps you’re doing it wrong or maybe it’s time for you to try something else?

Yeah, I know training, practice and determination can improve your performance over time – But only up to a certain point. After that, there is no substitute for innate, natural talent. Some have it, others not so much.

In golf, I hit the wall (had an epiphany) after completing what was the best round I had ever played. It was at that moment, I realized I was never going to play on the PGA Tour.

So to paraphrase Mr Wagner, “There ain’t much to being a golfer, if you’re a golfer.”

I have since accepted my athletic limitations and moved on to become a recovering golfer who also writes so-so scripts and not-so-wordy prose – Oh, sweet Elvis! Do I see a pattern forming here? Is this déjà vu all over again?

If you’re an aspiring writer, perhaps it’s not too late for you?

For me, I have no choice. I’m locked in and will go on writing regardless of my lack of commercial success. Of course, I will still continue to attend those Writers Anonymous Meetings. You know, the ones held in church basements and at strip malls? Those meetings where you stand up and introduce yourself,

“Hi, my name is John and I’m a writer…”

© Copyright 2019

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Charles Bukowski

Bukowski

Charles Bukowski was a career drunk and essentially homeless for most of his life. He was also a prolific writer who wrote poems, short stories and books. I first became aware of his work when I saw a production of his THE COPULATING MERMAID OF VENICE, CALIFORNIA.

From all accounts, Mr Bukowski could be a very charming and engaging man. It is also noted everyone who ever took him into their hearts or homes soon asked him to leave.

I think we all have self-destructive urges now and again, but most manage to keep these under control. In the case of Mr Bukowski, there didn’t seem to be any holding back.

His personal mission in life seems to have been to find out just how far he could push things before something went POP! I can imagine his drunken musings, “Do you think I can put nine pounds of &#@% in a five pound bag? Let’s find out…” Or perhaps, “Things are going too well, I need to throw a couple of sticks of dynamite in here…”

Several films have been made about him. The one that comes immediately to mind is BARFLY, 1987, with Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.

While Bukowski’s talents were undeniable, it saddens me to imagine how much more he might have been able to do if he hadn’t been so self-destructive. 

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About

picture-935-1560904181

I’m an award winning and produced scriptwriter living under the shade of a large oak tree in Central Florida. When not being fussed over or fussed at by the woman who shares my life, I enjoy telling all types of character driven, slightly dark and quirky stories with a dash of humor.

My dystopian horror Baby Soup won the 2013 Florida Independent Filmmakers Contest and four of my short scripts have been produced including Companion Shop which you can watch here. In 2020, I declined an offer from mainland China for my mid-budget creature feature Snow Worms.

Some of my work has been turned into quick and easy to read entertainment written in not-so-wordy prose. As a FREE sample see Zentangles.

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Inner Voices

Dance w- Devil.png

Inner Voices

In conversations with my now departed and dear friend Dr Jack Bowland, we talked of many things. A popular and reoccurring topic was Inner Voices, the centerpiece of his decades as a mental health professional. 

Jack was an overeducated, fuzzy headed liberal – His words, not mine. 

Whereas, I have always been a well grounded realist with a BS in Engineering. The only blemish on my conservative record was my time spent as a Peace Corps volunteer, but I swear, that was just a phase.

I tried to bring Jack along as fast as I could, but he was resistive. And no, I was not his patient. We shared little in common, but simply enjoyed each other’s company for many years. 

As you may imagine, my association with Dr Jack was filled with many OMG moments for both of us from the get-go. Gawd, how I miss that man.

Back to those voices

We all hear “voices” in our heads. In most cases, this is normal. They argue, reason and consult with each other. They advise us on important decisions.

“Should I go out clubbing tonight or pay the rent?”

“Should I marry SallySu or change my name and ride away on a horse?”

And the most toxic of all, “I don’t deserve respect as a human being.” 

SallySu and the horse will get along just fine with or without you, but this last one about having self-harming inner conversations is a special and serious case which will be addressed at the end of this post.

There are, of course, exceptions. Some people do actually have conversations between themselves and their imaginary friends. My homeless friend Mark W was on a first name basis with god. His case was way above my pay grade.

Who are these voices?

These voices in your head are the un-integrated aspects of our own personalities; Our inner child, our voice of reason, our greed, our lust, our anger, our ambition and so on. 

Yeah, me too. I was just as disappointed as you to find this out.

Some good news for writers

We can use these personality fragments in our work to create interesting characters.

So if you have a real freak show going on up there in your head, you’re in the Cat Bird Seat. If you’re well adjusted and boringly normal, maybe not so much.

And now a word from Dr. Jack Bowland…

Because these internal communications are non-verbal, they enjoy the same unquestioning and non-critical acceptance we give our sleeping dreams. 

If we dreamed there was a large pink bunny in a garden (perhaps named Harvey?), we wouldn’t question this improbability. In the same way, we do not critically question the conclusions reached in our inner conversations. 

Inner communications can seem brilliantly logical, intelligent and insightful. 

In reality, they can also be completely wrong and disastrously misleading. 

Talking about a large pink bunny becomes humorous when we mention him out loud the next morning. But until that moment, we did not even pause to question the improbability of its existence.

Similar to our sleeping dreams, internal conversations are accepted as the truth. That is until they break through the sound barrier where they are more critically judged.

Is it any wonder, left unspoken and unchallenged, these inner voices can lead us to flawed, illogical and dangerous conclusions. 

Combating negative internal thoughts

In the case of toxic internal comments made about you by your inner voices, these should be immediately forced across the sound barrier, challenged and soundly rejected.

Left unspoken, un-challenged and un-vetted, our inner voices can be very harmful. So always bring negative thoughts cross the sound barrier for better mental health and safety.

Trying to Cross the Sound Barrier the Wrong Way

Posting violent fantasies to harm others on FB, Twitter, or any Social Media is an attempt to cross the sound barrier the wrong way. It is also a pretty chicken shit cry for attention. Innocent people have no business being involved in narcissistic victim narratives.

Disclaimer

I’m just a so-so writer and not a mental health professional – That was Dr Jack’s day job, not mine. I do, however, believe Dr Jack’s remarks are worth a think.

© Copyright 2019

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