When Writer’s Block is funny
Writer’s block is something that every scribbler (no longer ink stained) runs into at times. When writing a city column for an English e...
Writer’s block is something that every scribbler (no longer ink stained) runs into at times. When writing a city column for an English evening paper a few decades ago, I frequently arrived at my desk convinced that this was the day that all those readers breathlessly waiting for the latest ins and outs of the financial world, would instead be rewarded with a large empty space.
Fortunately, echoing Dickens’ Mr Micawber, something always turned up. Of course today’s business writers have no problem. Bad news is good news for newspapers, and the financial scribes don’t have to look far to find the bad.
This all came to mind when I did my weekly desk clean up. (The clean up that I had promised “she who must be obeyed” would be done on a daily basis in our new home.)
In the midst of the discarded notes, news clippings, and tax forms sat the program for “Writer’s Block” as presented by the Theatre Guild of Ancon.
They had put on two one act plays by Woody Allen. Now I have never been a big Allen fan, believing that his art mirrors too closely his much publicized life. On the other hand I have yet to attend a Guild performance that failed to entertain.
This was no exception, and it had the additional bonus of jazz at the interval and after the show and a display of Barbara Dove paintings.
The acting was up to the Guild’s usual high standard, and it was pleasing to see that the audience was well laced with the younger generation. Live theatre requires more of the audience than movies made for TV or the garbage can, where computerized effects make up for plot, and acting. When it’s live, the stage props are incidental, in fact the first of the Woody Allen pieces, had no props at all, but acting skills and audience involvement in the words, planted everyone on the banks of the Hudson in New York.
It was also an occasion to meet old friends, and readers. Where else could you get three cultural offerings for the price on one?
The only minor quibble this time around was the printed program. Reverse type, black on white, is hard to read even in good lighting, but in the dim light of a theater, when the type is a narrow sans-serif, it was a struggle to read the admirable tongue in cheek bios of the actors, and their photos disappeared into the black surround. A minor quibble, but for the sake of the older folks another type face might help. There is a reason why newspapers throughout the world use a variant of Times Roman, to present their news.
After that one sour note, I have to congratulate the amateur performers. Amateur meaning unpaid, as opposed to so many amateur professionals who pop up on the TV screen. I’m looking forward to the next performance.
ENFORCEMENT, ENFORCEMENT. As predicted by columnist Phil Edmonston, there will be yet another extension (number three) for taxi drivers to comply with the law that says they have to paint their cars yellow. Phil thinks it’s a stupid law, but a survey a couple of years back showed that most citizens think that yellow cabs is the way to go. I agree. It helps spot the marauders as they try to cut you off, change lanes with no signal, or stop suddenly when they see a passenger that they are going to refuse to take. It also makes them more visible in heavy rain or the dark.
But thousands have not made the color change, and are crying poor because the cost of painting went up along with gas prices last year. There’s a flaw in that argument. Painting and gas prices were much lower three years ago.