There’s A Story Here.

Lately I’ve really been struggling to write. It’s difficult because even when the flesh is willing—and, let’s face it, I’m always up for sitting down—the spirit is weak. I know some writers claim to have found ways to overcome writer’s block and, well, good for them. I’m not sure I really believe it’s true. After all it’s in the nature of writers, especially fiction writers, to invent.

Speaking of overcoming writer’s block I once heard Neil Gaiman tell a story of how he was at a convention, hanging around with some other writers early one morning trying to shake off their hangovers, and his old friend Terry Prachett came bounding into the room.

“What are you looking so happy about?” Gaiman muttered.

“I’ve just written two thousand words for the day,” said Pratchett and, according to Gaiman, all the other writers glared at him.

It’s a funny story and it reminds me that even for those lucky enough to write for a living it’s not easy. In fact it can be really hard work, and even for Pratchett it wasn’t always easy. His essay “Thought Progress” starts:

Get up, have breakfast, switch on word processor, stare at screen.
Stare at screen some more.

Anyway now I feel guilty because I’m not really writing, just stealing stuff from other writers. Once in a writing class I was given an assignment to write about a place and I ended up describing the room where I tried to write the essay while writing about how hard it was to come up with something to write. The professor wrote, “There’s nothing more boring than writing about writing. Don’t do it.”

And now I feel even worse because not only am I writing about writing but also padding this out with someone else’s quote.

What I really want to get to, though, is this bit of stuff I saw in a grocery store parking lot. There’s a pair of folded jeans, a case of what looks like phone stuff, a red glass bowl with chains, and a…thing. That looks like the bowl might go with it.

How did they end up there? Who left them? Why? And why, while I was in the store, did someone take the thing and the bowl and leave the phone stuff case and the jeans?

There’s a story there. I just can’t quite get it down. Can you? Bonus points if you can identify the thing.

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  1. BarbaraM

    The “thing” looks like a sprinkler head. Assuming that’s what you were referring to from the top photo. As for the rest – the original owner pulled the stuff out of the car to make room for other stuff. By the time the new stuff fit they forgot about the original stuff and drove away. Someone else saw “free” stuff and took what they wanted and left the rest. Like gleaners looking for metal. That’s my guess for the day.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I meant the “thing” next to the sprinkler head. I’m pretty sure the sprinkler head is a sprinkler head, and I think I’ve even seen it running. It does a very effective job of keeping the mulch wet. I like the idea of gleaners looking for metal, though.

  2. Arionis

    I’m guessing the “thing” is a malfunctioning port key, probably enchanted by Ron Wesely in a most inefficient spell. Whoever was messing around with that port key got transported to Hogsmead where they are now enjoying a pint of butter beer minus a few possessions. I’m sure Hermonie thoughtfully conjured up some wizard robes for the person since they lost their pants.

    I should be hearing from JK’s lawyers any day now.
    Arionis recently posted…I fought the BIG D. Now I’ll fight the BIG C.My Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I hope JK’s lawyers weren’t too hard on you because I thought that was a pretty good guess. If it was a malfunctioning portkey that makes me glad I didn’t touch it. There’s no telling where I’d end up. Probably in the Riddle family graveyard and, well, you know that never ends well.

  3. mydangblog

    The red thing with the crystals is a vintage decorative scale. They usually are matched with a lamp and can be quite valuable if intact. The whole thing is a mystery!
    mydangblog recently posted…It’s All FillerMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Ah! I thought the red thing with the crystals looked like a scale but it appeared to be fixed, so just being decorative would explain it. There was the one small bowl next to it which also looked like part of a scale and I suspect there was supposed to be another bowl there too. Still that would explain why someone took the scale and left the jeans and computer stuff.

  4. M.L. James

    So my guess is there are three nano abelia bushes in full bloom. And if you have abelia bushes in full bloom, there’s probably a bee or two or three in there with them. When I come across bees, I run. So someone took what they could carry and ran for their lives! Or not.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I didn’t think it was necessary to run from bees since they’d rather not sting you, but I can understand they are sometimes rather valuable.


    Even when you’re struggling to write, Chris, you still craft wonderful posts. Thanks for inviting us to write our own story about those objects. I wouldn’t have known what any of those things are, except for the jeans. I often wonder “what’s the story here?” when people leave clothes or anything else in public places. My first thought when you asked the question of “Why?” was that somebody couldn’t carry all of it and took what seemed most interesting. Maybe they came back for the rest later? Maybe they hate jeans or assumed they wouldn’t fit? I could go on speculating but instead I’ll just thank you for engaging me on a day when I really needed the wonderful distraction.
    ANN J KOPLOW recently posted…Day 3166: No rhyme nor reasonMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Interestingly enough there was someone sitting nearby who I think may have said or yelled something at me when I was taking pictures of the things that were left there, so perhaps it was someone planning to come back and get their stuff. And I only recognized the computer cord because of the plug-in at the end of it. I think, though, that sometimes in writing it’s best to leave things to the reader’s imagination, and I appreciate your imaginative response here.


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