Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dear Charlie:

It's all Jon's fault. Usually, it's Brandon's fault, but this time, I place the blame squarely on Jon's shoulders.

This wicked, evil, thought-provoking colleague at work had the audacity to tell me about a place called Ma & Pa, Nebraska, or something like. Ma-Pa, maybe. Anyway, Ma & Pa is a bonafide town in the state of Nebraska where the entire population consists of two people.

You guessed it: Ma and Pa.

Apparently, they bought a very large swatch of land and did whatever legal paperwork was required to turn their property into a town. They even have a post office, since they're the only town in a several-mile radius. I dunno about a bank, but I think he told me they had a store. It's been a couple of days.

And that's the problem, you see. I can't stop thinking about this little two-person town. It's hilarious. It's story-fodder. It's...it's perfect.

I mean, seriously. Say you wanted to write a story about this town. What could you write? A murder mystery?

Ma's found dead at the downtown library. Whodunit?

Or, say Ma's the sheriff and Pa's found dead. Would she have to arrest herself? Or would she be able to blame it on that second cow from the left? The one with the twitchy eye? Never did trust that cow.

Call it All the Cow's Men and sell it to FOX. They'd hire Sharon Stone as Ma and the creepy little kid from The Ring as Pa, then bring in Keanu Reeves as the shifty drifter who just happened to drop off his mail that afternoon.

And Paris Hilton could play the twitchy cow.

Or make it a romance. Ma met Pa, and...oh, wait. That already happened. That's all back story. We gotta shake it up a little. Um...oh! A handsome stranger was just passing through on the one road through town and happened upon Pa on his way home after church. Love at first sight. Brokeback Cornfield.

Or...a drama!

Years of nothing but the rustling corn and lowing cattle have left Ma feeling like Pa no longer finds her beautiful and as if she has nothing to live for. Surely, there's more to life than reaping and sowing and milking and slaughtering. She is woman. She was meant for more than this simple domesticity.

Settle into this heartfelt journey of self-discovery in the Heartland as Ma turns the broad side of the barn into a masterpiece mural of feminine self-expression and her own dreary life into a beautiful symphony. Barns of Ma & Pa County, showing in a limited release at the Ma & Pa Theater/Barber Shop/Tanning Salon/Video Rental Store all weekend long. Bring the kids, but only if you bring your own lawn chairs. There's only two seats in the whole place.

How's about a horror fic? Something sinister moves through the corn at night....

Wait. That one's already been done. Hmmm....

Mutant cows! That's the ticket! Pa goes out to the barn one morning to find Bessie devouring the second cow from the left -- the twitchy-eyed one, remember? -- while ripping it to shreds with the acid-shooting, spiked tentacles growing out of her udders.

I guess that one's more science fiction. At least, it is if you factor in the accident at the lab where the doctor accidentally knocked the contents of Beaker #3 into the insecticide mixture that Pa sprayed on the corn he fed to Bessie last night.

Dude, I could seriously do this all night. Dammit, Jon!!

I mean, seriously, you can't tell me about a place like that and expect me not to run with it. Hell, I'm half-tempted to buy a map of Nebraska and drive there, just to say I've been to Ma & Pa, Nebraska! I ought to take a vacation, anyway, and where else was I planning on going?

*ignores the rumblings from Kentucky*

It's killing me. Every time I think about the place, I crack up. One idea after another just tumbles through.

I want to start a one-person town. I'd call it Solo. Or maybe just One. Simple, but eloquent. Eintown. MemyselfandIville. Myburg. Oh, I like that! Myburg! Or maybe get really pretentious and spell it Myburgh.

I really, really need to hit the PowerBall Jackpot. I'd buy a huge chunk of land somewhere else in The Middle; call it Myburgh, population 1; and open a bank, a post office, a general store/library with tanning beds and video rentals in the back, a mechanic shop/bakery, and a pirate-themed minigolf course.

Dude. Seriously.

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