I think I’ve found the ultimate useless thing. First some back information. I’m a man with quite contradictory tastes; I enjoy using digital media but I still love tactile, analogue media sources like books and newspapers. Everyday I go out and buy the i newspaper to read (ST on Sunday) even though I could access it for free online from the comfort of my armchair. And everyday after reading through it I’ll end up at the quiz/games page to do the concise crossword and the idoku (the i‘s very own soduku) puzzle. Like yesterday’s…
I guess it’s about keeping the marbles polished. Anyway looking at the page before putting the paper in the recycling bin this morning it occurred to me that, whilst it’s never going to become an Olympic sport, you could get some marginal pleasure from looking over someone’s completed crossword, checking the answers against the clues. It’s still informative and interesting, albeit mildly. But, there is absolutely nothing to be had from looking over a completed soduku puzzle. As Mr Praline might say (I can be topical when I want to be) , it’s a dead puzzle, deceased, passed on. This puzzle is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its compiler. Its a stiff! Bereft of life and value. It rests in peace. THIS IS AN EX-PUZZLE!!
And completely bloody useless to man and beast. But it was diverting to do it!
Well the words are pouring out at the moment with two new website proposals written, my lovely grandson’s dailyblog diary, my Pasta Paulie blog, and this slightly neglected website needing to be updated. I’ve put the ‘embarrassing moments’ e-book on hold for a while because an old friend (who’s a lovely writer with a nicely observed dry wit) and I are doing some outline scripts for a tv or radio-based sitcom. We might well be using some of the red-faced scenarios within the plot lines so I need to keep them fresh and under wraps for the moment. Wouldn’t it be fun to see the most amusing days of your life played out on the silver screen? Anyway a long way to go before that happens.
I’ve been doing some background thinking and observing. A typical US sitcom which airs over 30 mins only has 22 mins of programme with 8 mins of advertising breaks. UK sitcoms maybe last 24 minutes. A typical script would be 6500 words and run to around 35 pages depending on the amount of dialogue – some like Yes Minister are dialogue-heavy whilst the Royle Family relies on a lot of visual content. I watched an episode of Frasier closely yesterday morning and counted around 70 moments (be it a telling phrase, pay-off line, funny look, visual humour etc) that resulted in a laugh reaction from the audience. That’s a lot of humour packed into 22 minutes and it’s all beautifully-crafted around a single or sometimes two storylines. Such great writing. And that’s all my mate and I have to deliver. Yikes, better get back to the laptop if we’re going to create characters as memorable as these two…that’s me on the right by the way.