On Tobacco and Giants

I was hoping to veer out of the conversations The Driver and Olsen were having about sexuality, but all I could come up with was the front half of a convo about dipping Copenhagen.  If you thought I was talking out of my ass when covering homosexuality then you’d have been in for a treat with my snuff chat.

Here’s the gist of where that would have gone…

Olsen pulls out a can of Copenhagen and offers some to The Driver.  The Driver refuses on the grounds that it’s nasty.  An argument ensues about the use of Copenhagen.  At the end The Driver proclaims himself a Skoal man.

I just wasn’t sure that I could fake out the audience long enough to make it seem like The Driver was against tobacco use when really he just despised Copenhagen specifically.  As I understand it things can get pretty Coke and Pepsi between these two main tobacco brands.

That’s what I didn’t do.

Continueing in the vein of talking about things I haven’t written, won’t be writing, or would like to write but wont be writing right now, let’s talk about giants.

For some time now I’ve wanted to write about giants.  From my experience they are a staple of Fantasy that doesn’t see near enough airtime.  Maybe I’m reading the wrong stuff and you can point me to a whole sub-genre of Fantasy writing I have never run across–it’s entirely possible.  At this moment giants are rare for me.

As far as size goes, I never wanted mini-giants.  I never wanted to write about some guys that were just really big and for whom normal human doorways were a problem but not a complete hinderance.  I wanted to write about giants of a scale that made it troubling for them to enter the city.  So big they couldn’t fit down narrow streets or so big that even if they fit down the street–barely–they still incited riots in the populace.  All of which makes me concerned that I need an explanation for their size.

Most fantasy gets away with very little in the way of practical explanation for the improbable creatures and situations it creates.  As a reader this lack is not a problem.  As a writer I’d like to have a way to cover my ass with regards to such things though because I know that gravity and bone structure and heat dissipation and fluid dynamics all pose real and immediate problems for unbridled scaling.

You can’t have a monster ant, because chitin just doesn’t do that.  You can’t have a 12 story giant because he’d crush his own legs under his weight and he’d get really hot and I’m pretty sure he’d need a couple hearts to pump the blood around.

My explanation wasn’t going to be wildly along the lines of hard science fiction.  I mainly just planned to have magic support them and maybe some big heat dumping ears and an extra heart or two.  But mostly magic.

Once I overcame that high hurdle I immediately collapse with slender logic I could explore the troubles of a gang of questers including a giant in their group.

Gentle giants.  Dumb giants.  Angry giants.  Lone giants.  Misunderstood giants.

Day 257

Olsen’s Still Homophobic

The excuse part of my brain is working overtime.  STFU isn’t working so great, but I’ll keep trying.

“What is it with you people anyway?”  We’d been uncomfortably silent for several miles.  Me watching the road.  Olsen fiddling with his OSU cap.  I wasn’t paying attention.


“What is it with you people anyway?”

“You people?”

“You people.  Your people.  F..gays.  Homos.  Whatever.”

“I’m not Jewish.  Or Mexican.  I don’t have people.  We aren’t ‘a people.'”

“Bullshit.”  Interesting–I thought he’d roll over on that one.  “Was that movie with Robin Williams real?”

“The Birdcage?”

“I don’t know.  The one with that anorexic chick.”

“Calista Flockhart.”

“Is she the anorexic one?”  Olsen throws a look at me that says, I’m trying to get to some other point.

“Calista is the one you think is anorexic.  She says she’s just thin.”

“Anyway was that shit real?  All the dressing up likewomen and shit?  And that fucked up butler guy?”

“It’s not real around here–too often.  And not like that.  But I guess it’s real enough for places like Miami.”

“Then you got people.”

Maybe he’s got me there.

These conversations seem to take different turns when the get out of my head.  They feel more burdened.  Less snappy.

“Seriously!  Don’t tell me shit like that.  I definitely don’t want to know you had a fucking crush on me when we were fucking Freshmen.  I don’t want to fucking know it.  I don’t want to fucking talk about.  And I don’t want to fucking know it.”  Olsen doesn’t even look at me to tell me.  It’s like he’s talking to the dashboard instead of me.  No eye contact will probably make this easier on both of us.

“Don’t worry about it Mark.”  Using his first name comes tough to my mind.  I called him Mark the whole year we were Freshmen.  It wasn’t until later–after–I started calling him Olsen like everyone else.  It’s hard to believe I have to calm him down.  I thought he’d laugh at that one off.  The next thing I say needs to come off as casually as I can make it because he needs to believe it’s true.  “Once I got to know you.  It wore off real quick.”

I make a show of checking my mirrors.

“Good, ’cause that fucking shit just ain’t gonna happen.”

Day 256

This is Olsen My Homophobic Friend

“Go the back way; through Langston.” Olsen requested. I nearly always do. “So. You know how I refuse to wear a condom?” he goes on to ask.

I dump the Chevy off 35 and float through the stop sign onto 33 headed east. “I know you claim to refuse. Never heard if you do or don’t. For sure, you never refused me.”

“I’d never refuse you, sweetie.” he says.

“Really?  Your wife left you and you wanna do the fake gay thing?  [With me?] You know what they say about homophobes.”

“Man, fags’ll say anything to get you to think that you’re repressed or some such shit.”  Olsen pulls off his OSU ball cap and dips it into the airstream.

I wrote the above a ways back but never posted it.  I am not sure why not.  I’ve posted plenty shorter.  I need to tweek this to make it more clear that the driver is gay.

On the way home yesterday I came up with a handful of exchanges between the driver and his buddy Olsen.  It flet like good dialogue, but I couldn’t really make a full conversation stream out of the pieces.  It reminds me of the piece I did with the actress discussing things with her assistant a ways back.

I should make it clear that I’m not gay.  And I don’t have any close friends that are that could provide me guidance in the accuracy or authenticity of the following conversations.  Were I to significantly expand this piece I’d do more research.  For now I’ve just used my imagination.  The driver shouldn’t be offensive; Olsen probably should.

These aren’t in order…

“So you wouldn’t fuck a girl at all?  Even a hot one?  Do you even think hot girls are hot?”  Olsen asked.

“No. No. Yes.”

“OK, good. Wait, what?  Would you fuck one or not?”

I’ve always tried not to go into detail with Olsen.  He’s not ready for this conversation–neither am I.

“No, I wouldn’t fuck a girl not even a hot one.  Yes, I do know the difference between hot and just regular pretty.”

“My wife’s smokin’.  You’ve know that.  You wouldn’t fuck her?” Olsen pauses.  I know what’s coming. “Not even in the ass?”

“Nope.  Not even in the ass.”  I’ve tried to keep things short.  Tried to keep things factual and basic.  I can feel it’s not going to work better than I can feel the Oklahoma evening air rushing int he open window.

“You know I’m not gay because I like ‘fucking people in the ass’, right?”

“But you do?”

“Have sex or like it?”

His look tells me to stop playing word games.

“Yes on both.”

“You can’t be gay.  You drive this truck.”

Admittedly, the truck isn’t very gay.  A 1978 Chevy Fleetside red with a white stripe down the side.  It’s a classic Oklahoma farm truck.  Beat up bed.  Dented and rusting back bumper.  Even has a gun rack–empty except for my rope and calf string.  I point to the plastic Bugs Bunny I superglued to to the dash.

“OK.  Gluing that there was gay.”

“I don’t mean gluing gluing it.  I mean Bugs.  Bugs is gay.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?  Bugs Bunny isn’t gay.”

I give him a wink about as flamboyantly as I ever can be.

“Jeezus.  Ugh.  Please don’t ever do that again.”  Olsen shivers like I’ve shown him a dead body.  “I’m just saying that fags don’t drive trucks.  Hell women don’t even drive trucks.”

“Now, what the fuck are you talking about?  Jamie drove a truck.  Christy drove a truck.  Joan drives a truck.  Hello!  Your soon to be ex wife drives a truck.”

“Yeah, but once you’re fucking them they want you to drive them around.  It’s like they have the truck just so they can get driven around in it.”

I have more of this stuck in my head.  Hopefully I’ll get to it later today, but for now I’ve got to get the work week started.

Day 254