Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Quirky Characters by Andy Scheer

“Does she have an animal in her lap?” My wife pointed to people in front of us at the outdoor concert.

“I think it's a Chihuahua,” I said. People often bring large dogs to the Wednesday evening concert, so I could see why someone would hold a tiny one in her lap.

A few minutes later, when she put the animal down and it began to nibble the grass, I realized I'd seen what I expected. Instead, the animal at the end of the pink leash,wearing a pink and white harness, was a brown domestic rabbit.

As the band played some tunes I didn't recognize, I speculated about the kind of person who'd keep a pet rabbit, then hook it onto a pink leash, and bring it to an event well-stocked with dogs.

She had to be someone with a backstory. Someone who'd make a great supporting cast member for a novel – if not a protagonist. Someone with enough quirks to make unusual choices and keep readers on their toes.

Like the little girl twirling in front of the band, wearing a tiara equipped with a Rapunzel braid. Her parents – or someone who knew her – had made the choice to indulge the girl's inner princess. More people with what it takes to enliven a novel.

Need some quirky people to round out your cast? Attend a free public event and sit near the back. Just don't be surprised if people around you begin pointing and whispering about the person with a notebook.


Rick Barry said...

Love that final line, Andy. You surprised a laugh out of me!

Airports, too, provide a wide variety of viewing opportunities. There are some real-life people out there I never could have conjured out of my imagination.

Andy Scheer, Hartline Literary said...

That would be one way to redeem the time stuck in an airport -- or while waiting at the DMV for a license renewal.

But given the choice, I'll take the opportunity to view the crowd at an outdoor concert or parade. I think the choice of pets -- plus the decision to bring them to a public place -- says a lot about a person.