Monday, April 5, 2010

Sometimes it's Just Roadkill

Did you hear about the Pennsylvania man who was arrested after trying to resuscitate a possum on the side of the highway?

Nope, I ain't funnin' ya.

According to the article in the 3/27/10 Florida Times Union, a 55-year-old , um, gentleman (and I use the term loosely) was a apparently bit tipsy on his way home one afternoon. Several witnesses called in a report of a man kneeling in the road before the deceased animal, attempting to give it mouth-to-mouth resucitation.

You just can't make up stuff this good.

While we may never understand his motives, one can only assume that he was an animal lover with passions gone awry. Or eww-y in this case. A possum? Have you ever seen a possum up close and personal? That species must have been last on God's to-do list and he ran fresh out of eloquence. A wee, cuddly puppy or an adorable fawn I might understand, but a possum?

It wasn't like our guy had just hit the thing with his car; witnesses said the possum had been "dead a while." Wouldn't you love to read that police report?

Anyway, it occurred to me that trying to revive one of my old manuscripts is kind of like that. I pulled the thing out of its bottom drawer with the intention of infusing it with life and giving it one more shot at a future. After all, I spent many hours of effort and energy on that ill-fated plot years ago; why just bury it without first pulling out the electric paddles?

But you know what? It was too far gone. It had no pulse. No heartbeat. No dying breath. So I got out the coffin.

As much as writers hate to admit that every single thing they write isn't golden, we must face hard, cold facts. Sometimes it's just roadkill.