Sleeping on the job
A funny thing happened while I was writing today’s main blog about Randy Pearlstein’s Writing for Comedy workshop. I was in the public library, intending to write over my lunch hour and headed for my favourite spot by the large windows in the reference section upstairs.
I stopped short when I found a wild-haired, thin young man sitting in my chair. He was hunched over his laptop, looking at a book, typing and listening to his iPod—one of those multi-taskers.
Our eyes met, but I didn’t snarl…well, I might have arched an eyebrow. Grumbling on the inside, I picked a less-than-perfect seat directly in front of him, opened my notebook and began to scribble.
I glanced up about 20 minutes later to see the guy slumped over to the side, sound asleep and not quite snoring.
“Great,” I thought. “You’re in my favourite chair, and all you can do is SLEEP? Guess that book you’re plagiarizing isn’t that inspiring, huh? If you’re gonna sit in the magic chair, the least you could do is work hard!”
I couldn’t help myself. I cleared my throat, but Sleeping Hairy didn’t hear me.
So I coughed and cleared my throat again, this time much louder. It worked—he bolted straight up, blinking and looking around.
I smirked and went back to work.
When I looked up a few minutes later, he was asleep again, this time with head nodded over the keys.
So I flipped through several sheets of loose leaf, making as much noise as possible in the quiet library. He jerked his head up again and immediately began to type.
I went back to my writing, but the sound of the keys slowed down in a minute or so as he nodded off.
By then, my lunch hour was ending, so I reluctantly packed up my stuff and walked by his desk, glowering at the slumbering poacher as I passed.
While I walked back to my office I wondered, if this were a skit, how could it end? Would I kick his chair? Would I give up and fall asleep too? Then, would somebody else come along, kicking us both?
I dunno. Let’s ask Randy Pearlstein.