The homework for last night's session was set at the end of November's meeting, by group member Wayne, who ran the session last night. He asked us to write one side of a conflict. Rather than write about a physical conflict, I thought I'd try an internal conflict, so I could focus on worldly issues and morality. So I wrote about a problem that befalls most, if not all, women at least once in their life. To Buy, Or Not To Buy The Shoes. My homework piece is from the viewpoint of the devil on the shoulder.
You know you want to. I don’t even know why you’re faffing around. No, don’t walk away. Just look at them. Look at their beauty. Gaze upon their splendour. Breathe them in. Think about it logically. Firstly, I know you can read, you’re a smart one. Look at that word; that lovely, lovely word. Sale. Say it with me. Sale. That is the next best price to Free. Someone took time out of their life to write and print and put up that sign. It would be rude not to at least go inside and take a closer look. There we go. That wasn’t difficult was it? Ooh, isn’t it nice and warm in here? Now you can see them from a different angle, and don’t they look divine? Pick them up. Hold them. Run your fingers along the material, the heel, the toe. Slide your hand inside. So soft. Be practical. You could wear them for work, and for going out. They’re muli-purpose multi-functional. You’ll get so much wear out of them. It wouldn’t be a waste of money at all. Speaking of money, it’s not like you haven’t got any. It’s not like you’re starving or homeless. And you do work hard, so you should treat yourself every now and then. Did I mention that they’re in the sale? Hold them up. Look at the colour. They’ll go with pretty much all of your outfits, so you’ll save money on clothes if you buy these shoes. You won’t need to buy tops and trousers and dresses to match your other shoes; you’ll just be able to wear these ones with everything. Try them on. Walk. Comfortable, right? I knew it. Look at the tatty shoes you wore in here. Look at how sad and battered they are. Look at how the heel has worn down, and you know they rub your little toe if you wear them for too long. I bet these new ones wouldn’t do that. If you put them back and walk away, you know you’ll come past this shop again in a week and they’ll be gone. And just think how bad you’ll feel then. Take them off and take them to the counter. It’s the only option you have. You don’t want to walk out without buying anything. That would be embarrassing. Look; everyone’s staring at you. That sales girl might be working on commission, and her bonus is resting on you buying those shoes from her. She has been helpful and she seems nice. You don’t want her to go home miserable, or even lose her job because she can’t sell enough. How bad would you feel if that happened? So not only will you look great wearing these shoes, you’ll feel great because you’ve helped pay someone’s wages. It’s a win win situation. Don’t think about it, don’t take your time. Act now. You don’t know what could happen tomorrow, so do something that you want to do each day. It’s the only way to live.
Our session task was to write the other side of the conflict.
Walk on. Just keep walking. You don't need to stop. Nothing to see here. Ok, you've stopped. No, you don't want them. You've got enough shoes at home. You've got enough shoes on your feet. Just think how grateful you would be if you were homeless and shoeless, out on the street. Just think about those poor Vietnamese orphans sitting in sweatshops, earning a pound a day, working their fingers to the bone, to make those shoes for you to wear once and then put in the back of your wardrobe. Just think about all the useful things you could spend that money on. Just think about the rain forests and the pandas and the icecaps and the guide dogs. How appreciative they would be if you gave them your shoe money. Or you could save the money to buy something nice for someone nice. Or you could buy something nice for someone horrible. Make their day, cheer them up, give them something to be happy about. Just think how good you'd feel about yourself, making some grumpy bugger smile with your thoughtfulness. Change the world with kindness, not selfishness. There you go. I said it. If you buy those shoes you'll be selfish. And shallow. And no-one likes a selfish, shallow person, who only cares about shoes and clothes. There's more to life than shoes and clothes, unless you don't have any, which you do, so just keep walking.
There was still some time left at the end of the session, so Wayne asked us to write a dialogue with three participants. [I jokingly asked if a dialogue with three people should be called a trialogue, and was told, quite sternly and severely, that a dialogue was the word used when describing any conversation with any number of people. Curious, I did a bit of research and discovered on both The Free Dictionary and Dictionary.com that a trialogue is "a discussion or conversation in which three people or groups participate".]
Feeling fairly uninspired to write a dialogue (or indeed trialogue) without any starting point for inspiration, I found my Muse in a tin of Quality Street, kindly brought along by Di, our fearless leader, along with Animal's vocals in this video (at 0:56 seconds in) ...
"Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!"
"Do you want some chocolate?"
"Have you got any chocolate?"
"No, have you?"
"Not sure, let me check in my bag."
(To the tune of 'Do The Conga') "Choccy choccy chocolate."
"Keys, phone, tissues, chewing gum ..."
"No, sugar free spearmint."
"Give me some money and I'll go to the shop and get some chocolate."
"I haven't got any money."
"Yes, we'll get you some chocolate."
"Haven't you got any chocolate here?"
(To the tune of 'Batman') "Da na na na na na Chocolate!"
"No, we're all lactose intolerant."
(To the tune of 'Inspector Gadget') "Do do do do do Chocolate Chocolate, do do do do doooooooo!"
Can't you do something to shut him up?
Our next session will be led by Terry Tarbox and he set the homework to write about a dream or a nightmare. January's meeting will be on Tuesday 8th, 2013 (eeps!).
Do The Conga