Ideas are easy to come by if you don’t crowd your head with distractions.
Ideas are even easier to come by if you question everything.
The Slow Turn
The other day while driving home from a store, a pickup truck in front of me made a very slow turn.
It was ridiculously s…l…o…w. (I’ve been driving for 33 years, and it was the slowest I’ve seen someone turn in all that time.)
Instead of getting frustrated, I did something I often do: I questioned why.
The likely answer: they were probably texting or eating while driving on a straight path and had their hands full while turning right.
But I love making up reasons for the things that would otherwise bother me in situations like that.
Why the Slow Turn?
The slow turn occurred in a large warehouse district in town. It’s likely that the person making the slow turn works in shipping or drives a truck. So I imagined reasons why the person was taking exceptionally long to make a right turn.
Some of the questioning led to:
- He’s a trucker who relaxes when off the road by tending to a koi pond. The reason for the s…l…o…w turn: A kiddie pool in the back of the truck full of fish. (To turn fast would dump some into the bed.)
- Maybe he was carrying an urn full of ashes. Perhaps his mom was a potter who knew she was dying and made a beautiful final work — the urn where her ashes would rest. To take the turn too quickly could have meant toppling Mom and having the urn break and the ashes all over the cab of the driver’s pickup truck.
- Perhaps he was an old safe cracker…carrying a vial of nitro glycerine to blow open a lock. Maybe in one of the warehouses was an old safe that was shipped from somewhere far away and not accounted for on any paperwork, so a friend working there said, “Hey, let’s crack into it and see what’s there?”
Just like that, three ideas that could be used in a story or even serve as the basis for stories.
(Sometimes, it really is that simple.)
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Photo by Emily Morter.