I have a tendency to let my imagination get carried away. This has resulted in a lot of things, better fiction, an overabundance of childhood fears, and a continuing discomfort with walking alone at night. It also has colored my sense of humor quite a bit. I find making up ridiculous stories on the spot absolutely hilarious, and I will occasionally have humorous conversations with friends that consist of us building an initial wisecrack into a full story. The challenge is how ridiculous we can get the story before we start faltering or running out of ideas.
I have to keep in mind that this is not always a common method of communication and I have to restrict myself. Here is a good example of me exercising the proper restraint.
For some reason this weekend, the subject of prostitution came up. Primarily we were discussing certain individuals we know who have partaken in the services offered by the oldest profession, and discussing how it takes a completely different mindset to do that. I mean, don’t you feel a little weird about the fact that you just paid for sex?
Anyway, one of my coworkers used to work in a hotel and she was telling us some of the horrible things they had discovered in rooms that had been rented out to the aforementioned consumers, and apparently this reminded one of the other employees of a murder that happened here years ago. Apparently, a nineteen year old boy came into town, took a girl to a hotel room and killed her. It is a gruesome image in my mind because one of my coworkers kept describing the murder as “he opened her up,” presumably because it was the least grotesque way of explaining what he did. The police found him and he was just sitting there like nothing had happened and let himself be taken away.
The bizarre thing about it to them was the way he was so nonchalant about the whole thing.
“I mean he was only nineteen,” said one of my coworkers. “Just a young boy from Iowa, just like you.”
“Oh, we all do that,” I said, smiling to signal I was joking.
My coworkers paused for a second and then laughed, but I took it as a signal not to take my ridiculous story any farther. You see, for the next hour or so I kept building upon the story inside my head. I had this elaborate tradition worked out in my head where young Iowan boys are expected to kill at sixteen in order to get their blood-lust out of their system. I had come up with a whole set of fictional teenage courting rituals designed to protect Iowan girls as well as a legal and religious system designed to follow up on it. I even mentally composed a brief sermon on the subject that would have belonged to a fictional religious leader in my hometown, including drawing on my background in theology to build a precedent for the practice.
I do not know if my coworkers would have found this funny, or have been appalled, but I am glad I refrained. This kind of humor people need to be eased into, and after all ridiculous and weird as it is I may save up the salient details to incorporate into one of my fiction pieces.
Or maybe I am just a basket case.