A Writer’s Search For Meaning


I have always been a sort of psychological explorer, interested in those minute changes of mood as the mind travels between one moment and another. As an author of no repute, but wishing to gain one, I recently tried to conduct some research outside the local railway station leading to one or two awkward encounters. Let me give you an example and a half.

I see a man struggling to get his mobile phone out of his pocket. I walk up to him, equipped with my most harmless smile and say, “Good Morning. I am an author of no repute, currently conducting a research project on those miniscule mood changes which connect one moment to another. Can you take me through the range of emotions you experienced while trying to extricate your phone from what is clearly a poorly packed pocket or “PPP” as we say in the writing game.”

By then the man is already on the phone and wondering who this gap-toothed apprentice-sage is, preventing him hearing the man who has called him. I know it’s a man, by the way, because, obviously, I am doing a little eavesdropping on the side to gain a bit more background texture on the situation, ( It’s a writer thing you know.) This is a family Blog so I cannot record his full reply but let me just say it had two words in it. The first one began with “F” and the second one was “Off.”

Being a pioneer in the micro-emotional research movement or “MERM” as we say in the trade, I walked away unbowed by this experience to continue my research with another member of the public. Now I see some gentleman of prosperous appearance arguing with a cab-driver about the appropriate tip he should be paying, and, as a writer of established repute might say, “Smooth as an eel in a river of jam” I oil up to him and say, as you’d expect, “I am an author of no repute currently conducting a research project on those miniscule mood changes which connect one moment to another. Can you take me through the range of emotions you experienced while trying to get out of tipping this taxi driver?” I’m not certain whether he, in his turn, had been doing a little eavesdropping but, uncannily, he also turned to me and used the same short reply system or “SRS,” as we say in the writing game, offering up the expletive response of the hour ending with the word “Off”

Clearly, I will have to adjust my research techniques if I am going to make any progress in my studies but when I finally crack the required approach I will write up my report for you or “WUMRFY” as we say in the trade. It might make interesting reading!

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Peter Wells, Research and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to A Writer’s Search For Meaning

  1. Ina says:

    🙂 A trade like no other. Thank you for the smile.

    Like

  2. catterel says:

    Alas, the specimens you selected for your research project seem inappropriately uncooperative. Perhaps you should conduct your experiments don the pub instead?

    Like

  3. Al says:

    If you wouldn’t mind hearing from a writer of even less repute, may I suggest offering free doughnuts as an “ice breaker.” It’s known as OFD in the interview game.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. renxkyoko says:

    I’m smiling .

    Like

  5. The funny part is I can actually see you doing this – as long as there is a duck involved.

    Like

  6. Margie says:

    My husband used to be one of those train commuters. If he hadn’t had his morning coffee yet, he might have been unpleasant too. Perhaps your interview technique should start with coffee or tea… and doughnuts, as Al suggested. Or scones with clotted cream…

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  7. OMOGosh,
    I wish somebody would walk up to me and say those words!!! xxxxxx

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  8. It might be a good idea to try putting your specimens down with a tranquilizer dart before attempting to interview them. (Plus it would be funny.)

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  9. authormbeyer says:

    I always thought the automatic “Fudge off” response was an American thing, or maybe Swiss because of the chocolate-y nature of the response. But I find it humorous coming from these survey respondents. That they would be focused on fudge when speaking to you about their emotions in stress-inducing situations… wait a minute! Am I misinterpreting something here?

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  10. Clever. I am not inspired to go out and help with your research, but I’d love to hear how the rest of it goes. From the safety of my armchair.

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  11. Well to come up with a line like “Smooth as an eel in a river of jam”, then there is not doubt that you are a writer of established repute. Your interviewing skills may leave a bit to be desired.

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    • A lot of my skills leave a bit to be desired but I’ve got a feeling the talent department were on a lunch break when my character was being assembled above the clouds somewhere, and I may have been dispatched to earth without any. We are what we are in the end, even if we wish to be someone else, which in my case would be entirely natural ha ha ha

      Like

  12. davidjrogersftw says:

    I found your post very entertaining and imaginative. I’ll be sure to check your blog again.

    Like

  13. gwpj says:

    Love the humor in this little piece. 🙂

    Like

  14. As one writer/researcher to another, might I suggest that you could use some MERM-AID?

    Like

  15. Deb says:

    OMG as some might say…you are hilarious!!! That was such a fun read or also knows as SAFR!!! Keep up the research I think you just might break through… 😉

    Like

  16. I am not witty or clever enough to come up with an appropriate response for this one…except to say that I think it’s wonderful and yes, oh so very funny…..Janet:)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. jbuliesblog says:

    Ha ha ha. I happen to also belong to the MERM trade group! What a small world.

    Like

  18. ksbeth says:

    love your acronyms and i believe you stumbled upon members of the JRU tribe. jackasses r us. not such a rare find, they are everywhere.

    Like

  19. Mari says:

    This made me laugh out loud! I interact with the public on a daily basis and I’ve attempted conducting my own experiments but my method needs some fine tuning as well because it’s gotten me nowhere! Lol! Have a great day, Peter!

    Like

  20. Such a fun read, IALL i.e. i am laughing load as well as i am learning a lot 🙂

    Like

  21. This is hilarious! Great piece! 🙂

    Like

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