it tolls for thee
(Originally posted 11/23/2018. Another failed TV show idea.)
And so it came to pass that the brilliant writer Ernest Hemingway approached the studios of NBC in 1989 clutching a manuscript entitled For Whom the Bell Saved…
And…., in record time, I’m going to pull the plug on this story.
One sentence and done.
You see, the premise is that in an alternate universe Hemingway was not born until the mid 60’s and, because he was raised on a diet of new wave music and bad sitcoms, he never developed the insights that made him such an iconic figure in our reality. Alas, The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms were destined never to escape from his pen. Instead his literary attention was held captive by the lighthearted antics of a group of attractive high school kids and their principal.
You can see why I brought the whole thing to screeching halt like I did.
The biggest problem?
Who the hell would get it if I followed through and began to describe a mash up of For Whom the Bell Tolls and Saved by the Bell? I can draw humorous comparisons between Robert Jordan and Zack Morris all day long and, no matter how brilliant they might be, nobody on the planet will be familiar with both of these characters. The world is neatly divided up between people who are familiar with Robert Jordan and those familiar with Zack Morris.
You see the problem? There is no audience for this particular story. Zip. Zero.
I can juxtapose Rafael and “Screech” til the cows come home and there will simply be nobody to appreciate it.
It’s a shame really. I had a couple Spanish Civil War metaphors that would have been especially captivating when played out at Bayside High School.
Speaking of metaphors, it is true that I tend to lean on them a bit much. This was brought home to me when I wanted to ask a simple question but couldn’t do it without making it appear that I was writing an elaborate metaphor. I swear I wasn’t.
I just was wondering where hummingbirds go in the winter. I fully realize that our version of Ernest Hemingway would be off and running with that question, implicating the fragile nature of the hummingbird with the cold indifference of winter and cranking out a hundred thousand words that would leave no dry eyes in the house.
Even the Ernest who was born in the mid 60’s and wrote such hella-crap as For Whom the Bell Saved would probably be able to wrestle a decent premise out of such a question.
Not me. I just stood outside and looked longingly at the flowers that attract said hummingbirds when the weather is nicer and got to missing them and hoping they were ok.
Fucking cold out today. The kind of cold that would make a hummincicle if they weren’t careful.
Civil wars or high school hallways or winters, the world can be a rough place.
And here it comes…. the god-damned metaphor.
No man is an Island, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
And so it came to pass that the brilliant writer Lance Manion approached the studios of NBC in 2018 clutching a manuscript entitled For Whom the Bell Saved…