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Through Weakness, Strength

by Trent Walters

A. Template for the Crrrazy-Bar-and-Grill Story

At the Crrrazy Bar and Grill, where everybody loves you and your worst quirks, Joe Schmuck cradled a foaming mug of Schlitz, sitting in his regular black leather barstool. The stool’s panoramic view allowed him first glance at whatever otherworldly creatures would slime inside Uhura’s [insert more Irish sounding name because they’re so crrrazy and they likes they booze]. The balding bartender wiped down the counter as in sashays his fiery red-headed daughter, whom Joe secretly pines after--the superfluous love interest that is never quite requited so that readers return, story after story, wondering when those two crrrazy kids will hook up. They’ll almost make out, but then she’s beeped out to LaGrange point 2.5 to settle the alien dispute raging there.

In [walked, zapped, sizzled, slithered] a(n) [extra-dimensional being, time traveler, cockatrice, the oafish two-headed were-snake] with a mean thirst for stouts--only Joe didn’t know it was a(n) [extra-dimensional being, time traveler, cockatrice, the oafish two-headed were-snake] until he/she/it did something dastardly, putting the whole universe in peril!

But thank God for Joe and the dipsomaniacs at the Crrrazy Bar and Grill, who come together when they’re needed most. [Insert corny gag at the end to release tension through a forgettable denouement.]

B. Questions for Popular Templates

Is it enough to kick over a man’s many-storied sandcastle, laugh, and walk away? Isn’t the gesture like the hole left from a foot passing through walls of sand?

What is a template, but the framework that satisfies many, not unlike eating a pound of chocolate in one sitting? Is it that the few are displeased that many are happy with little, or that the few are displeased with much?

What drunken misfit wouldn’t want to guzzle a beer-sticky oak floor where misfits fit in? What lover wants the chase to end: Isn’t that what leads to boredom, musty motel rooms, and expensive divorce lawyers? Isn’t it fulfilling when the clumsy two-headed oaf saves the universe precisely because of his unfortunate birthmark as it gives hope to the rest of us misfits?

C. Pop Will Eat Itself

Socrates’ fame inflated like a latex balloon by his popping other balloons with questions lathed to pinpricks. But what foundation did he ever smooth with a trowel? Can an ecology of pincushions and wrecking balls exist alone?

The snake consumes its tale.

Or does it? Is Frankenstein any less for creating a monster that seeks to destroy him as much as the creator seeks to destroy the created?

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