The hotel customer looked at the maid’s nametag and asked, “Are scarecrows safe in Kansas?” To which the maid replied, “Of course; they became safe again in 1939 when the only witch in Kansas was taken care of.” Being somewhat discreet, the discrete customer from New York said thanks for the info, and left the room. The maid was thankful her answer did not faze the customer; least the woman would go into a ‘what else is in danger’ phase.
When seen, the great movie scene freize on the hotel room wall, tended to freeze customer attention on Maid Dorothy’s name tag. “To be frank,” Dorothy, who was from France, told the hotel manager, “I would be rich if I got a franc every time I answered that question.” As for the customer, that evening, with flecks of ‘I wonder’ still on her mind, decided to flex her schedule and watch The Wizard of Oz.
Think about ‘anniversaries’ in your life that are brought to mind due to newspapers or television. Your characters can benefit from these ‘mind sparks’ that influence their momentary behaviors and attitudes. For example, TV ads for Pizza Hut announce that they will turn 60 on May 31st; but the first Pizza Hut restaurant east of the Mississippi River opened in Athens, Ohio in 1966. I thought about how in 1955 for a great pizza we and our neighbors had to drive 14 miles round trip to Chiapparelli’s in Baltimore’s Little Italy. Opened as a pizza place in the early 1940s, Chipparelli’s would become a full Italian restaurant.
Here are some possible 2018 anniversary ‘mind sparkers’:
January 13th: The 50th anniversary of Johnny Cash performing at Folsom Prison. The performance was recorded and released in May 1968 under the album title At Folsom Prison.
March 24th: 60th anniversary of Elvis being inducted into US Army.
June 9th: The 25th anniversary of the release of the movie Jurassic Park at the Uptown Theater in Washington D.C. The national release in the United States was two days later on June 11th.
July 13th: The 81st anniversary of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
July 28th: The 40th anniversary of the release of the movie National Lampoon’s Animal House.
September 14th: The 40th anniversary of the airing of the TV show Mork & Mindy.
October 11th: The 86th anniversary of Krystal, the American fast food restaurant chain being founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.