Monday, June 28, 2010

Golden Moment

Okay, so I was watching the Golden Girls (laugh all you want) and there was a nice little moment that I wanted to share with you.

Rose, an animal lover, walks into the house with a live chicken in a cage and asks her roommates if the chicken can live with them. There is immediate grumbling and "no's" can be heard from her roommates, but Rose pleads a bit before saying something to the effect of, "This is not an ordinary chicken. This is a show chicken. Wait till you see."

Rose leaves the room for a moment and Blanche sarcastically quips, "A show chicken? What does it do? Play the piano?"

Enter Rose again. "It plays the piano!" Then she sets down a toy piano and the chicken goes at it.

I thought it was a nice little beat and I'll tell you why. Because it's a chicken. Playing the piano. What is thought to be completely far-fetched and ridiculous gets turned on it's head when this chicken can indeed play the piano.

Simply announcing just how inane it was made it okay.

I find that when you write fiction rooted in realism, far-fetched things need to happen from time to time. And pointing out how crazy it is through dialogue or a character's thoughts often makes it okay. If a character is surprised when a UFO lands on her property, she's just as surprised as the reader and that's believable. If she just laughed and walked away, it would not work. This is directly contradictory to writing fantasy or Sci-Fi, where everything has to be part of normal life in that world in order for your readers to believe you.

Just a little somethin' I noticed while watching 80's sitcoms.

Ever pick up a technique from a strange place?


  1. I think technique and nuace and effect can be picked up in so many places. It was awesome you caught that, and relayed it here.

    I'd never laught at the Golden Girls. ;)

  2. Yeah, I watched that animated film Monsters vs. Aliens, which wasn't the best, but I thought, "Oh, look how obvious her character arc is." So, that's how it's done. :)

  3. Chickens playing the piano? That's something new.