The requisite anecdote often comes from a parking lot. I don’t consider myself much of an Ideas Man when it comes to writing, and so starting these posts with an odd story serves a double purpose: to provide you the reader with a worthwhile moment of written entertainment before wading through my babbling in the paragraphs following, and to provide my brain with the inspiration it needs to produce the babbling in the paragraphs following.
In the Sawtooths our anecdote, like many good anecdotes, came courtesy of a dumbass. After five days of walking through the high mountains, my compatriot Ben and I returned to the valley floor for a few days of car camping and fishing along the Big Wood. It was there, returning from a few hours on the water, that we encountered a Local and his friend from Alabama, chewing sandwiches and putting on boots. Local began chatting about the fishing, as one is wont to do at a fishing spot. Alabama was more interested in a personal conversation, asking Ben and I where we’re from.
Ben’s from Seattle. I’m from Portland. Alabama’s response to that information was fairly bog standard stupidity—dismay at the fact that Portland is being burned to the ground by antifa—but obviously that’s not amusing enough for The Anecdote. To the point, on learning Ben and I came from the more oceanward side of the Pacific Northwest, Alabama asked us if we knew if there was anything good to do in Alaska, especially fishing. First of all, no shit dude.
“I flew out here from Alabama to buy a truck. Now I have a couple weeks off to drive it home, so I was thinking of driving through Alaska. Wondering if you guys have suggestions.”
In my mind that abrupt line break and image gave you, the reader, the comedic beat necessary to be adequately amused by Alabama’s comment. In reality I’m probably abdicating my responsibility as the author of this blog to relay complete thoughts. Maybe someone earnestly suggesting he drive through Alaska from Idaho to Alabama is not as humorous in the context of this blog as it was in the context of some asshole on vacation complaining about protests in a city he’s never been to. If it isn’t, don’t tell me.
Worst case scenario we’re one-for-two though, because now I’m writing. Full head of steam. Pedal to the metal. Tokyo Drift. I am channeling my inner Faulkner, except it took him four hours a day for six whole weeks to write As I Lay Dying and I bet I can knock this post out in two nights of 45 minutes with time to run Google searches for topics like “books written quickly”. I’ve never read Faulkner.