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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

When Real Life Is Farcical

I spent yesterday with my sister, two small nieces and my brother's one year-old. It was a pretty enjoyable, if exhausting, day but one little incident sticks out. It's the one where I made a complete idiot of myself - which tends to happen on a regular basis. This, however, was You've Been Framed hilarious.

Picture it: we're waving off my nephew and sister-in-law when a wasp begins prowling around the little girls. I waft it away, try and get the girls away from it. Then it lands on my nose. I panicked. I mean, who wouldn't panic?! I jumped backwards but hadn't considered my proximity to the large family car behind me. To cut a humiliating story short, I hopped back and went flying onto the floor after bouncing from the bonnet. Did hurt a bit. But the more painful aspect was the enjoyment my delightful sister got out of it! I wouldn't have laughed in a similar situation... Ahem.

Anyway, if I wrote that into a novel or - more likely, as it's a very visual scene - a script, I'd probably get accused of farce, of describing something that would happen to no normal person. I blogged last year about the coincidence of chance encounters and how the audience would probably sigh at the contrivance. This is a similar thing: how do you do little more than document a real life occurrence without sounding like you're reaching into the depths of farce for your inspiration?

The only solution I can think of at the moment is this: make it feel real. Logical solutions spring from logical occurrences. I was fighting with that damn wasp because we were five feet away from a bin. Now I seem like less of a maniac and the plausibility of falling backwards over a car escaping from a wasp is increased.

Am I going to write this into a story? Possibly, but only after the hand I landed on stops hurting.

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