No ,no , no : the OTHER George W.
I heard a story about some arrogant English earl who put a portrait of George Washington up in the guest bathroom above the toilet as a jibe to his American guests . One Yankee guest commented that it was totally appropriate because , he said , if anything would get an Englishman to loosen up his bowels , it’d be the thought of George Washington .
That story might be told a little better by changing a word here or there . Maybe it needs , too , a backstory. It has a backstory , by the way , but it’s backstory is riding the dark signless highways of my faded memory .
This was originally meant to be a post about backstory . I recently returned from Portland , OR , where I , among other activities , enjoyed my friend Joe’s backstories . Joe’s a writer and he can’t seem to express an ordinary tobacco-chewing , tax-paying , God-fearing fact or two , or mention someone, without first filling in the backstory . One good backstory leads to another , and soon enough I was flinging backstories out into the atmosphere , too . We were backstorying throughout parts of Portland to the great thudding cautionary comments of Joe’s wife , Susan . They’ve been sweethearts for 900 years or more ; they were married a century gone ago , and dear Susan has , I think , endured more than her fair share of backstories .
As I was composing my now derrogated and deleted former post about backstory , the somewhat shallow realization eventually hit me that sometimes there are backstories without a front story . What happened to the frontstories ? Some are simply cut from the program as events unfold , I suppose . Some float irretreivably out into the ether .( Ether ? What’s the backstory on that expression ?) Ether that or no one cared about them for so long a time that they simply die of neglect or wander off .
The story about the placing of George W’s portrait in the Brit’s bathroom , as I’ve suggested , has a backstory . Would the backstory enhance the tale ? Perhaps . Would historians clamor for a factual backstory ? Do backstories have to be factual ? Oh , my achin’ backstories !
So , maybe you’ve begun to see the problem with a post about backstory . Such a literary discussion is not really my thing , my bag , my particular bailiwick . Bailiwick ? Bailiwick — bailiff , you know . My shrink might be able to shed some light on the convolutions of this post if he/she : 1. existed ( doesn’t ) , or 2. could tell you my backstory .
Now that I think of it , though , maybe it wasn’t an earl who put George W.’s portrait up . Maybe it was a bailiff . I’ll check it out . I’m beginning to think that I should have dug up the backstory to this post before I began it so that any stray reader might possibly be able to follow my train of thought , if there is a train of thought .Bailiwick – bailiff — bail ( high time to ) .