Well Then

I'm really trying to avoid slander here.

I was going to have a lengthy rant about the election a couple of nights ago. (My reaction involved calling certain new Senators and Representatives the star-spawn of C’thulhu, but I didn’t jump in front of a dump truck this morning, so it’s not all bad.) Then, when I got about five hundred words into it, I hit a wall, looked back over the article, and decided I wasn’t going to be adding anything of value to whatever discussion’s going on out there, and decided to go with something else entirely.

I could write about shenanigans in my office, but decided against that, as it would inevitably turn into something like Office Space, except with a plush squid involved.

I could write about my plans to eschew cars from my life and thus turn to Nashville MTA for reliance for traveling around town (cause, frankly, if I move closer to downtown, I’m not going to the outlying areas for much), but that might probably turn into a rant that could boil down to something like “Cars are too damn expensive and I wish my parents had bought me a car when I graduated high school/college/grad school!”

I could write about how much I hate when people decide that speaking at, roughly, the same decibel level as a freight train is the only acceptable mode of communication in public places, but it’d turn into me trying to be Lewis Black.

Instead, I’m going to do something I rarely do: I’m going to talk about my brother, and, in doing so, talk about a project that is in the utmost of the proto-planning stages.

There’s something akin to a genetic sense of humor in the Simons. I’m not sure what defines the sense of humor, exactly, but it’s similar to the British sensibility and a dry American humor combined with some elements from both taken out. It’s odd, and even odder to try and describe it. One of the things that all Simons apparently share is the desire to make jokes involving hobos.

In my case, this quirk started with my brief stint as an Op-Ed columnist at The Daily Beacon, where I tried to pass myself off as an investigative journalist sidelined to the op-ed columns for non-mainstream views. One of the recurring elements of my columns was a source of information I referred to as Homeless Bob. Homeless Bob moved around a lot, and week-by-week he could be in Murfreesboro or Nashville or Knoxville. He was less a joke, more a rationalization for the batshit insane things I wrote down.

Driving around with my Dad in Houston inevitably turns to making up back stories for the homeless, leading to reasons why they’re standing on the side of the road holding cardboard signs and sitting in lawn chairs.

And now, my brother lands this gem in my lap, an idea for a short story – though I see it as either a comic book series or a cartoon series: Boxcar Aaron and his Merry Band of Hobos.

Now, of course, I have no idea how I’d go about working on this beyond the inkling that it’d perhaps be something akin to Robin Hood. Except with hobos and involving the selling and trading of rat pelts. because of the ridiculous nature of the premise, I’m thinking that this is a best fit for a comic book. Probably a graphic novel, as characters like “Skakes” and “8 Fingers Larry” just scream for the sort of literary-ness that Alan Moore has brought to the graphic novel medium.

The other possibility is that this becomes a screenplay. As far as I know, there’s no film like this out there, aside from probably some arty film made by a guy trying to make a point about how the homeless are just as much citizens as everyone else. Or something. Look, I don’t know what goes on in someone’s mind when they try to make a serious work of art.

Regardless of the medium for this, you may rest assured that Boxcar Aaron will be the sanest of the bunch, and thus the leader. Skakes will probably be a Diet Coke-obsessed Friar Tuck; Old Man McGee will be the diplomat, making sure that no other merry band of hobos stops them in their quest (whatever that may be); and Dave Bright will be the evil train corporation lackey bent on ridding his line of hobos once and for all.

Yea, it shall be an enthralling tale, one full of rat pelts and carnivals. It’ll be an exploration of just how little literary merit I have as a writer, and will push the boundaries of my tolerance for writing fecal-related jokes.

Please, won’t you join me in this journey?

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