The members of my former (*sniff*) writers’ circle have been working on a challenge inspired by SMITH magazine to write a memoir in only six words. Although I now live too far away to attend the meetings, I thought I would give it a go. The first thing that sprang to mind was:
I wish I were someone else.
Oh dear. That’s not really a memoir anyway. Let’s see if I can do better…
Worked hard, played hard, now sleeping.
Remember everything, will write memoir later.
Started writing age five, still trying.
Cared too much, now not enough.
Did almost everything I wanted to.
Those things are addictive. Happily, writing the first one has led to an unexpected moment of clarity. I googled “I wish I were” to check that it was grammatically correct (“I wish I was” sounds quite plausible) and came across the lyrics for an Oscar Mayer jingle. We don’t have Oscar Mayer wieners here, I guess that is an American thing, but finding the jingle has made sense of a joke on Frasier for me. It was when Lilith and Frasier were trying to win a place for Freddie at an elite school and ended up telling the principal that they had met Golda Meir’s grandson. The principal inquired after his name and Frasier said “Oscar.” “Oscar Mayer?” the principal sneered, and tossed them out on the street.
Obscure Frasier joke now makes sense.