Jack got the idea for the first character from an AP release about a Florida family that set the world record for the largest ball of tape.
What kind of person, he thought, goes to the trouble of putting together the worlds largest ball of tape? And what kind of person encourages their kids to join in this pursuit, as if it were some sort of estimable worthwhile accomplishment? And how do those kids end up? Are they scarred for life, or was this colossal humiliation somehow trumped by the usual traumas of adolescence?
He bounced the idea off of Richard over the phone. Richard wasnt in love with it.
Try, for just a minute, he said, that familiar tone creeping into his voice, to imagine that you grew up in suburban America. I know its a stretch for you, Jack, but I want you to make an effort. This one time. Just for me.
Im not sure I follow.
Have you even considered the possibility, Richard wearily continued, that maybe, just maybe, the kids enjoyed putting together the ball of tape? That setting a world record might have been a positive event in their lives? That the day the reporter showed up on the front doorstep was the making of a great childhood memory?
God, that would be pathetic.
Richard sighed. You know what? Nevermind. Run with it. Well clean it up later.