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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The inquisitive Mr. Schmidt

A few years ago, I wrote a story (as an entry into Derek Cockram's now defunct Writers Challenge) called The Diary of Carl Schmidt (Air Lord). It was a fun little piece, documenting a few days in the life of the titular character, Carl Schmidt, as he experienced his adventures as the super-hero Air Lord.

On a whim, I also did a Google Search on "Carl Schmidt", and trolled through the results for email addresses. Y'know what I did next? Yeah. I did. Really. That's right -- I emailed each of the Carl Schmidts for whom I found email addresses (four of them at the time), to tell them about a character in my story with the same name as them, along with a link to the story on my website. Honest, I really did.

I know. It sounds crazy. It probably is crazy. But do it I did. (I'd love to show you what I wrote, but I don't seem to have kept the email, even though I thought I had. Oh well.)

I can't help but wonder what these four guys' reactions were when they got the email. I'd be very surprised if not one of the four just deleted the email automatically -- in fact, it's quite likely that their spam filters deleted it for them. However, I like to imagine that at least one of these Carls actually went so far as to read the story, all the way through.

Furthermore, I can imagine that this inquisitive Mr. Schmidt not only read the story, but was secretly (or even subconciously) a superhero fan. I can imagine this Carl beginning to identify with the character, and especially his superheroic persona, Air Lord. Perhaps, for a while, the real Carl Schmidt walked through his life, picturing himself flying through the clouds on breezes of his own making. He could be sauntering down the street, overlaying daydreams of air-powered action and adventure on top of his real life. Maybe, at meetings, he would pretend to shoot breezes into the faces of boring team members as they droned on and on about how "process is king", or "we all have to work smarter", or "data drives development". Bla bla bla, boooooringgggg... puff!

Heheheheh. So it appears I can stroke my ego a little by thinking I've added a little more fun to someone else's life. Stimulating other's imagination, and the use thereof -- not such a bad thing to be proud of, now is it?



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