Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Wanna Buy A Lawnmower, Guv?!

GJ Strachan had a productive morning today. A much needed defrost of my mother’s freezer, followed by two hours of garden maintenance meaning he sat down to lunch with a warm sense of accomplishment.

I’m not sure when Mrs S senior last defrosted the freezer, however judging from the amount of ice, which was roughly the same volume as the iceberg which sank the Titanic, I’d guess it was well over a year ago.

Thankfully, with a scarcity of passenger liners passing through the village of East Ardsley, prior to defrost this mass of ice didn’t cause the carnage consequential of that North Atlantic iceberg in April 1912.

The garden maintenance included the mowing of the back lawn and the culling of clematis which had grown over the pyracantha my dad planted a couple of decades back.  Keen to expose the evergreen plant, with its glossy green leaves and newly formed burnt orange berries, I hacked away enough clematis debris to practically fill the brown garden waste bin.

As is my want when cutting the lawn, while pushing the mower with one hand and holding its electric cable in other, I mulled over potential topics of which to write. Today’s epiphany the notion of penning a whimsical kids book about a gormless lawnmower thief.

As I mulled over the suitability of this topic as a creative vehicle, it struck me there would probably be quite some mileage in the subject of this inept burglar’s target of theft. The unwieldy and cumbersome nature of his ill-gotten gain making it difficult to steal stealthily, with slapstick consequences that may humour kids.

My epiphany also incorporated the comedic vision of him wheeling the stolen mower into local pubs in an attempt to fence his bounty. Along with the even more ridiculous scenario of him driving a ride-on grass cutter through the bar of The Red Lion, with a view to sell-on his prize from the ill thought out felony.

Only time will tell if I put flesh onto the bones of this whimsical notion or whether, like many hair-brained ideas I have, ‘Wanna Buy A Lawnmower, Guv?!’ remains filed in a neurological folder labelled ‘Maybe’.  An area of my brain that ordinarily only gets visited to discard ideas; rarely with a view to utilise the concepts which’ve been unceremoniously dumped there.

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If truth be told, if I wrote all day every day I’d probably still not have the time to do literary justice to all the numerous random thoughts I deem as potentially creative vehicles. Unlike most of my life, I now embrace this creatively fertile mind as a gift. However, there is a downside to it as, on occasion, deciding which writing project to pursue and what to discard can sometimes be a conundrum.

The fact I get so much fulfilment from and don’t want to cease writing a daily blog introduces time constraints to pursuing aspirations of writing a fictional story in a book format. For instance, I really want to revisit a draft book I wrote in 2010 about an emotional support group similar to the Samaritans. The 370 pages of A4 require a good re-write but there’s enough decent stuff within it to work with.

I liked the idea of penning about an emotional support team. The topic giving me scope to include whimsical calls such as a troubled old man ringing to see if the team knew where his tartan socks were. Along with the opportunity to write about the deeply dark subjects an emotional support call line ordinarily receive in reality.

The story written in April/May 2010 included a storyline of a team member whose forty-something wife was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. In a melancholic twist of fiction becoming fact, I wrote those passages only six months prior to my own forty-something wife receiving the very same dark diagnosis.

Writing about the fictional wife’s funeral service was a deeply moving experience. One in which I wrote a poem for the husband to deliver which, after she’d read it, my wife said she’d like me to deliver at hers. A great compliment, but one received on something I don’t wanna think about!

Penning the chapter about the funeral was emotional exhausting. Something I felt the need to lighten by having one of the husband’s co-workers, who’d habitually had to be reminded his trouser flies were open, disrupt a particularly emotive part of the service by screaming in agony after trapping his penis in his zip fastener!!…… As I say it needs a major re-write!!!

Categories: Blogs, fiction, humour

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