Dictionary Stories

I don’t know if you’ve seen my latest blog yet, but in it, I do a “dictionary story.” This is going to be one of those things years to come when people say, what were the origins of the dictionary story? Well…Clint Curtis. That’s the origin, baby. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you’re a writer and have writer’s block. Break out the dictionary (no computer), open it up, flip through some pages at random, then, put your finger down on one, whatever that word means to you, tell a story around it. Doesn’t that sound like fun????!!! Hey, I’m a nerd, I think it does.

So since I don’t have a bar story for you, here’s some dictionary stories.

EXACTLY: I use this word a lot. In my writing, and in my every day speech. Someone says something I agree with, I say exactly. I need to settle down with the exactly’s, lest they become a crutch. When I was a kid, I used to say “like” a lot. Like this and like that. My Dad says one day, you say like too much. Every time I hear you say it, you owe me a dime. I got to 90 cents and stopped saying the word like. So next time you see me writing exactly, email me, and I’ll owe you a dime. That might get expensive, seeing as though 10,000 people are reading my stories. BUT…we must learn, mustn’t we?

EVENT: Over the summer, the Mews opens up our outdoor bar. It’s called the PBR bar. Yeah. We sell a shit-ton of that beer. We also have free DJ’s out there. Two summers ago, my friend Pat was bartending out there on Thursday nights, and he was killing it. I’d be dead inside, sneak a look outside, and the place would be packed. One Thursday night, Pat comes in, after having an especially good night, and says, you know why my night’s outside are so successful? Why? I say, jealous as hell. He says,

Because I make it an event.

GAUNT: Back in the early 2000’s, I worked as a server at a place called Raccoon River Brew Pub. I liked the people I worked with, but I hated serving. It was SO STRESSFUL. I love bartending. What do you want to drink? Gin and Tonic. Great! I’ll get it for you. Pour, take money, end of transaction. With serving you’ve got to spend an hour with these people for a measly five dollar tip. No thanks.

I’m in the back, rolling up silver wear, my phone buzzes in my pocket. I look, it’s my agent. Great. Wonder what this is about? I answer, we small talk, then she says, I have an audition for you tomorrow, I think you’d be perfect for. Oh yeah? What’s that? She says, they’re looking for someone that looks gaunt, like they could be a cancer patient.

Oh! Thanks a lot for that, agent!

-Clint Curtis


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