Friday, March 10, 2006

A-List Stories

Life is all about how many A-list stories you have.

I was talking to someone and they sort of casually referenced a story they had about meeting a guy on craigslist for a date, and after a couple encounters the guy was in the girl's car crying declaring his love for her. We didn't get into the details at that point, but it occurred to me that craigslist-guy-crying-and-declaring-his-love after a couple dates might have A-list story potential.

I have a handful of A-list stories. This is one. This is another. Apparently I like to tell them in serial format.

I'm not sure the definite ingredients needed for an A-list story. I guess most B-list and C-list stories, like B and C-list movies have a certain level of predictability. So A-list stories are all about the disbelief factor. How many people say, "no, are you serious?!!? that's craaazy" and then interrogate you on all the details. It's so wonderful to have stories that defy people's expectations on life. Like if the guy in the craigslist date story was George W Bush, that would be A-list, and unexpected. Or, for example, the other day I got on the bus and this old lady followed me on and she was complaining and yelling at the bus driver about not running on schedule. Then some people were sitting in the exclusive old people/handicapped seating and she yelled at them. Then she went back to screaming at the bus driver. And all of a sudden the bus driver got up, came over to the old lady, pulled down his pants, and TOOK A SHIT right on the old lady's lap. Then he turned around and yelled, "WHO'S GOT THE SHITTY ATTITUDE NOW??? HOLLA!!!"

Ok, that didn't really happen. But if it did, it would make an A-list story.

I also like the idea that everyone has a few A-listers and you have to sort of decide how and when to play them. It's like Story Poker. When you start telling a story, you always think you're laying down the best hand, but someone may come around and top you.

Anyways, I'm curious how many A-list stories does the average person have?

I'm also wondering *right now* if you can control having an A-list story, or if something out of your control has to happen. For example, if you're living a boring life you may say I need to go out and spice things up. I'm going to shoot a couple people and then shit on an old lady's lap. People won't see that coming. But if you think about the cocktail party later (cause that's what life is all about right? the cocktail party later), when you tell the story it probably won't translate as an A-lister. If you see the shitter/shooter, that's A-list. But if you are the shitter/shooter. Then you're just an A-hole.

So if you can share how many a-list stories you have, some of the ingredients in an a-list story (yours or otherwise), and perhaps some of the rules related to Story Poker .... that would be nice.

Feel free to spice things up and shit on someone's lap also.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous3/10/2006

    Sadly, I realize I only have 2 A-list stories for all of my 32 years. But one of them does involve a bus driver, in MEXICO, and me demonstrating how my friend grabbed and shook him saying, "NO, you don't understand! He pooped ON the BUS!!!" Classic.

    I don't think A-list stories can revolve around things you did yourself. They must stem from events outside of your control. And by getting out and experiencing life, you'll be more likely to have those kinds of stories. But we all know somebody who seems to attract more weirdness in life than the average person.

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  2. Anonymous3/10/2006

    i think a-list stories have to involve famous people, especially famous people doing embarassing things. I have some good martha stewart stories, but with one exception, they're not things i witnessed myself, but things i was told by people who worked for her. does that count? If you weren't there, but are repeating someone else's alist story, does it get marked down to a b?

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  3. Anonymous3/10/2006

    It's all relative based on what kind of storyteller you are. A really good storyteller can make a b-list story as engaging and exciting as an A-list. Converesly, a bad storyteller can bring an A down to a Z. It's all about how you spit it.

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  4. I have an A-list story that involves dirty talk during sex, but I've been too afraid to tell it/post it. Maybe you've given me the courage, TAN!!

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  5. The elements to an A-list story are, in my mind:

    1-Attention to detail. Whether you're the protagonist of the story or an amused observer, you have to get through the journey to get to the ending. Good details on the way to the surprise ending are crucial. if the details build up nicely to the ending, it makes the story an all-timer. It helps if they set up the finale, but can be effective if they lend a general atmosphere of "something fucked up is gonna happen at the end of this story".

    2-The ending. This could happen in a number of ways, ranging from who the person was that shat in the person's lap (so, she looks up and and goes "Tom Cruise?") to how the person was shat upon (so after letting out a grunt, the guy farts loudly and a small pebble of dung the size of a Milk Dud came out. He then collapsed.). Generally, the second example will guarantee far more of an A-list story, since people can't follow up with "Oh, I heard of a similar incident in the Weekly World News", a risk with celebrity stories.

    Those, for me are the basics.

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  6. I agree with rummy...it's all about the story teller's ability to create the mental picture...creativity is essential. I tell this story about how I broke my ankle senior year at camp trin, and the story changes every time....

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  7. Mmm, I think that the same story could change from C-list to A-list. Depends who´s telling it. True story, someone try to kill two friends of mine, when the first one told us his side of the story, it whas a so-so, holly-shit-I-was -gonna-die story. When, another friend that was with him told the corrected and improved version with machetes and women screaming, well, a bunch of guys get around him while he was jumping and gesticulating his graceful and heroic enconunter with the death. Who care about the True Details?.

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  8. Sadly, the bulk of my dating history is comprised of A list stories. It's why I'm still single.

    Come to think of it, I seldom have a month *without* an A list story. They're not always about me, thankfully. But the best ones are. Like the time I got arrested on my way to get pancakes.

    I'll sketch out the details to the hatchbacker weeper (also known as Sam) when I get a minute. I've been spending most of my computer time job hunting these past couple days. (Also known as the C list story: How I started Friday with a job and ended Friday without one.) *sigh*

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  9. thatbaldguy3/14/2006

    I look at A-list stories from the point of competition. Everyone wants to have the best story. Sometimes ppl themselves need to have something to contribute to be part of the group, so they fabricate one. But you're right it's not the same unless you're there.

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