Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I Beg Your Pardon...

I owe you an apology, Dear and Gentle Reader. I am supposed to be running this site on the culture of beer and I haven’t put up a darn thing since the 8th of this month. (It was a one-panel cartoon at that.) It is now the 16th, and I am still struggling.

It is not for the lack of material. The running article of “People I Would Like To Buy A Beer” could run for at least another six months. I have six or eight lined up already. All I need is a picture and the stuff writes itself. I’ve been thinking of returning to my roots and writing some beer history. That should be good for an article or two. I’m still mulling over what I want for my funeral album. I’ve given it some thought, and I think “Disco Inferno” should be on there somewhere. (Darn Muzak at work!) I have worked out a Tiki bar fairy tale that I’ve even written up some notes on. I think it could be very funny, and my resolution this year is to try and be funnier.

No, Dear and Gentle Reader, it is not for lack of ideas that I have been away so long. Shortly after thinking of the fairy tale, I had another idea. I have been watching a lot of mystery movies here as of late, and I thought that this might be a fun project to try my hand at. I was going to use the cast of the Tiki bar, as it is easy to garner undeserved praise when you include everyone in the story, and then sit them down and read it to them with a little flair. I mentioned this in passing at last Wednesday’s regular meeting when someone asked me what I was working on. Meshell spoke up and said that if I was going to write a mystery and include all of us, I should write it so that we could participate, and we could make an evening of it, like the “How to Host a Murder” games. At the time, this seemed like a great idea. I had a few French beers under my belt and I thought, “What the heck?” I went home later that night and started to sketch out my ideas. At first, the words flowed. I was typing as fast as my two little fingers could fly. Everyone has a back-story, (so far, so good), everyone has a reason to want one person dead, (good, good), everyone dresses up for the occasion, (Meshell’s suggestion. It adds to the mood), possible murder weapons were selected, (easy), and then it came time to figure out how to get a bunch of regular people, (not actors or theater folk), to pull this off.

I was stymied.

The only thing I could think of was a timetable. So I tried to layout the evening by the clock. At 8:30 this happens, at 9:00, this, and so on. This seems awfully complicated, and relies on people who may, and/or may not, have any sense of timing at all. If the timing is off, it may throw the whole thing out of whack, and no one will figure out “who-done-it”. I wanted to include a couple of red herrings, because what fun is a mystery that can be solved in ten minutes, but do I dare, when I have no idea if anyone can figure it out at all?

I can understand why Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes. It gets really hard, really quickly, to come up with a good, but solvable mystery time and time again, but he had the advantage of print. He was not writing a stage play for actors who were people off the street, and who only knew their lines, and no one else’s, and had no idea how the play would end.
I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but alas, I can’t bring myself to scratch the idea. Please! Please, Dear and Gentle Reader, send me your thoughts and ideas. I want to continue on and write something else, but I can’t leave this behind. I need your comments! Help me please!

Frustrated Murderer at Keyboard, a.k.a. Doc.


  1. I suggest having at least one character who's a saucy vixen with a penchant for slinky outfits that are likely to simply fall to the floor in a soft, voluminous at any given moment.

    Did I ever tell you I was an actor in an improvisational murder mystery acting company? The trubble is that all the actors knew what was going to happen and when, it was the audience and the other party-goers who DIDN'T. Therefore, I'm not sure how you arrange a murder mystery where everyone DOESN'T know what happens, unless you plant clues hither n' thither for folken to disclose.

    I think y'all should just dress up in period costume and get drunk.

  2. I am going to plant clues on 3x5 cards, so any boob can find them. I have got to make it simple, but I don't want to make it too easy.


  3. It sounds pretty good. As long as YOU know what's going on that's all that matters. I played one of those mystery games once and I'm sure yours would be better.


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