Saturday, February 22, 2014

Val's Subconscious Helps Build Strong Stories One Way

The human body has 206 bones.

This includes the tiny inner-ear bones children of my generation had to memorize in elementary school. The phalanges, which represent both the finger and the toe bones, because, I suppose, the bone-namers were fresh out of bone names by the time they got to the toes. And the patella, which sometimes gets all out of joint and ends up laying alongside the knee in slack-ligamented people, a sight which makes me slightly nauseous.

It does not include the funny bone, which is not a bone at all, but the ulnar nerve, which runs along the medial epicondyle of the humerus, and is most often pinched between the metal arms of two old-fashioned webbed lawn chairs when you're sitting too close to somebody and playing the Lucy/Ethel theater-seat armrest supremacy game. Neither does it include the "tibula," which is not a bone at all, but a malapropism suitable for a Norm Crosby routine, by people who do not understand the lower-leg anatomy of the tibia and fibula. And it most certainly does not include the "wrenched ankle," which is totally made up for the benefit of Hasbro, which has contributed to the crushed dreams of countless baby boomers who planned on a career as a surgeon after winning one too many games of Operation.

I share this anatomical information with you not because I simply live to enlighten my blog readers for the love of all that is sciency, nor because there will be a quiz tomorrow, nor because I am a braggart who likes to show off my valedictorianesque knowledge. Okay. There may be a little truth in that last one. But the real reason I wanted you to know that the human body has 206 bones is because...


Now, anyway. I say that not to lord it over all of you 206-boned folks, nor to make you covet my extra bone. It does not make me a morphological freak. I am a woman, not a 207-boned animal! You don't even have to look away. I'm not really all that hideous.

Okay. My extra bone that I just received this morning is not directly attached to my skeletal frame. It's a figurative bone. Not a literal bone. My selfless subconscious tossed me a bone this morning. Upon awaking, I had the kernel of a clever story zipping around in my skull like an overly-active yet not-too-bright light-brown mutt named Susie crashing into garage walls with an opaque plastic Cheese Balls tub stuck on her head.

My story is still in skeletal form. I dashed out some notes in one of my little notebooks for later elaboration. I shan't share it here. It is, how you say...not quite suited for polite company, due to a major plot point revolving around a gag name. I'm sure I can find a market for such a story somewhere.

Not everybody who likes to read is a spinster on a park bench wearing Ruth Buzzi/Gladys Ormphby orthopedic shoes and a hairnet, with a tightly-clutched pocketbook to ward off inappropriateness.

I'm having fun with it, anyway, this new bone of mine.


  1. It sounds like today was a writer's bone-anza for you. (Oh, I am ever so clever.)

    So, you're trying your hand at humor?

  2. My ex-husband is a bone head. Does that count?

  3. Somehow I'm guessing this new bone is connected to the funny bone.

  4. Sioux,
    What? You're not wishing me BONE appetit as I sit down to delve into the meat and potatoes of my story?

    Yes, as something completely different, I will be trying my hand at humor. Shocking, I know, for a writer so serious as Val. It's about time I branched out into humor, a genre of which I am sadly ignorant.

    I will have to check with the judges. I believe that his bone head makes use of already existing skull bones, so I am inclined to declare that he does not rival Val for the title of the most bone-ified person in Backroads and the greater surrounding area.

    I hope so! Have you heard? I'm gong to try writing funny stuff now.