Monday, April 23, 2007


I've been thinking about the world as it appears in fiction, and how it's different from the real world. For instance, in FictionWorld, there are hardly any bathrooms. Probably about 25% of the population works in law enforcement in some capacity -- mostly PI's, but lots of police detectives, too. Hardly anyone is named "Barb" or "Patty," and there are a surprising number of people named "Lily" (though the real world is catching up). Of course things are much more interesting in FictionWorld -- rarely does a day go by without some important or meaningful event. Planes crash a lot. People's hunches are almost always correct. Children are weirdly precocious and clever or sweet, though there are some pretty nasty ones too. Red haired women are vastly over-represented, as are "spunky" women. The elderly are spry and/or full of wisdom. Women always pick the "nice" guy, though only after enormous gnashing of teeth and rending of garments and a terrible betrayal by the "sexy" guy. They are never the same guy.

Unlike in the real world, there are relatively few petty annoyances in FictionWorld: fewer torn fingernails, parking tickets, unflattering haircuts, mysterious smells in the fridge, plantar's warts. No cold sores at all. And that's a good thing: why bother with fiction if life's irritations are going to follow you there?

I do think FictionWorld could use more doughnuts.


jrlennon said...

Come to think of it, Ward Six headquarters could use more donuts, too.

Wing said...

You have just given me all the ideas I need for the next great American novel.

Jake Ipwergis said...

A vast deal more NODDING goes on in FictionWorld than in our own, have we noticed? The "he nodded" or the "she nodded" (less often "they nodded") are happily there by p.5 (or earlier) to caution us against wasting any more minutes on the stinking fiction in hand.