The restaurant I work at serves three groups of people: 1. Moms and their children 2. People in the business and 3. People, who come in at 8 with their laptops and write the next great screenplay until 4. I enjoy the last group for two reasons. (Yes, I'm going to keep listing things.) One, they are always game to talk because, heaven knows, they aren't possibly getting anything done as they suck down their fifteenth free cup of coffee and hide from my nasty stare for taking up a table in my section. And two, I love their answers to my favorite question: "So, what are you writing?" For example, I was once told by an individual, who comes in EVERY DAY, that he's writing the next Sex In the City for men. Why do I love this answer? Because if you could picture anyone more unsuited to write about sexual conquests and adventures in any city on the planet this would be your guy. I really think instructional manuals on microwaves could be more of this guy's expertise.
Another person once told me that he was writing a comedy. Now, again like our Mr. Carrie Bradshaw, this guy writing a comedy just didn't fit. For one, I've never seen him smile. I don't even know how this guy chews because I've never seen his teeth. I wanted to follow-up his answer with the question, "Does your comedy include torturing kittens and beating children?"
And lastly, my favorite answer came today. For the past couple of weeks a writing team has been camping out at our restaurant furiously typing away on a laptop. I decided to finally ask them what they were writing, and they replied they were writing a romantic comedy. Now, I'll admit I'm sort of a fan of this genre and they both struck me as rather normal people, so I then asked, "Have you guys written anything before? and they replied with a meek voice, "Um, we wrote The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez." I think I loved this reply the most because there was absolutely no pride in their admitting they wrote The Wedding Planner, and as I continued to maintain eye contact, they both put their heads down in shame and said (and I quote as they pointed to their laptops) "But, this one won't be like that."
I know, I know what you are thinking: Why the shame in such a cinematic masterpiece? Why didn't they hold their heads up high and ask, "Did you see them getting together at the end? How about him leaving his own wedding to get her? HIS OWN WEDDING??!! We are freaking geniuses!" Instead, there was just apologies.
Come on you laptop campers, write with some dignity. Write what you know. Write stuff we want to see...and tip your waitress, she's trying to make a living too.