Strange Characters

Outtakes 235

Strange Characters

By Cait Collins


I have decided the most unusual characters are automobiles, bureaucrats, and political candidates. Take automobiles for example. People name their cars! Why? It’s an inanimate object. But vehicles do have personalities. I had an Escort that had a tricky gear shift. If it got too cold, the shift would lock down. Replacing the senor wasn’t cheap, so what to name it? I’ll call it Gigolo. Now days cars have so many bells and whistles, something’s bound to go wrong. I think Unreliable fits well.

Then there are the bureaucrats who consider themselves above everyone else. Doesn’t matter how badly they mess up, or how their stupidity creates messes, it always some rank and file guy who is responsible. Instead of accepting responsibility for their actions, they threaten some hard working man’s job if demands are not met immediately. Mr. Irresponsible makes the headlines and looks like the jerk he is. I think I’ve met this guy more than once. He’s the antagonist in one of my novels.

My favorite of this group of misfits is politicians. Yeah, promise everything, deliver nothing. I think I watch the debates just to get a good laugh. Sadly, these fast talkers actually make people believe they can cure the ills of the world. When I vote, I have no illusions that my candidate is squeaky clean; he’s just the least objectionable person. I call this person Unforgiveable.

So what’s this got to do with writing? Try this, Irresponsible and Unforgiveable arrange a meeting in the parking lot of a neighborhood Big Box Store. Irresponsible suggests they take a ride in Gigolo, and discuss campaign strategy. Of course Irresponsible will support Unforgiveable if, here’s the rub, if Unforgiveable will guarantee a high level position in the administration. Remember the slogan, Promise everything, and deliver nothing. Unforgiveable promises Irresponsible he will be named the Director of the Treasury when the election is over. Unfortunately, Unforgiveable is battling scandals. Before the election Unforgiveable is in prison for murder and spying. Poor Irresponsible is left out in the cold having spent all his money on getting a corrupt politician elected. He winds up on the street homeless and begging for pennies. Sounds like a fitting end to me.

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