Writer's Block

I haven’t written anything of consequence for five years now.  I’ve used any number of excuses to explain away my writer’s block.  “Too lazy,” I’d say.  “I write better in short, incoherent bursts.  Plot is just a prison for bad writers.  The world isn’t fair, and as long as John Grisham has a career, I’m abstaining.  I’ve been really depressed lately, and frankly, all the good stuff has been written anyway.  Scrubs is on television five nights a week, so you can see that I’ve been pretty busy.  That’s why I’m not writing, Uncle Randy.  That’s why I’m not using my college education.”

These excuses are not particularly genuine, although they all have a certain ring of truthiness to them.  To be honest, though, I can attribute all of my problems (literary and otherwise) to one man:  Larry Baker.

Larry Baker is a terrible, terrible asshole.

I should preface by saying two things.  Number one:  all names in this story have been changed to protect the guilty.  Number two:  that’s all a lie, and the horsedick’s name is actually Larry Baker.

It gets really frustrating sometimes, thinking about Larry. In some ways, I am no better than him. I let the fact that he gets irritated by petty things (which is, itself, a petty thing) irritate me. Recognize, however, that Larry is an ogre. Every time I need to put a jerk or villain in a story, he is named Larry.  The story inevitably trails off until I can’t write anything at all except the word “Larry” over and over again, in increasingly disturbing fonts. Then I am just too infuriated to see straight.

I could turn this into a longwinded narrative, and the temptation is there. My own ninety-eight theses, all dedicated to the defamation and defacation of Mssr. L. Baker’s good name and hammered on the basketball-court door of some sprawling Baptist church. Nobody would read that. Instead, here is a list of things about Larry.

TEN THINGS ABOUT LARRY
in no particular order

1. Larry is a crap factory (quite literally). He quite literally produces crap. With his bowels. He chews his food (rotten meat, apple cores, tin cans). The mush travels down his esophagus into his stomach. It is churned with acid and turned to chyme. From there, the goo passes through his small intestine, his large intestine, and his rectum. We all do, of course, but the most effective way to introduce this disgusting man is through his GI tract.

2. Larry ruined my sister’s senior prom. My sister and her friends were getting into the limosine outside of our house, and Larry stood outside. With his arms crossed. Looking all surly. Later on, he called the police and reported all of my sister’s teenaged friends for parking on the unmetered, suburban street. There was, of course, nothing illegal, and the cops blow off most of the calls from Larry (see future items). Larry came over and screamed in the faces of the girls, and the ensuing drama ruined prom night, the sleepover, and my brother’s college graduation the following day.

3. Larry is ugly. The top of his head is bald, and he has made up for it with mounds and mounds of facial and neckal hair. When he does actually work up to motivation to shave his neck, the ensuing bramble blows down the street like an errant tumbleweed. The facial hair does not help the inherent uglitude, by the way. The spiky brown bundle of steel wool hugs his face, clinging to his disproportioned troll-features and actually enhancing the terror exponentially.

DID YOU KNOW that the sign outside Larry’s house says, “The Baker’s.” This is strictly a grammar error. That house does not belong to the baker. It is not the baker’s house. I would bet my bottom dollar that Larry has never baked anything in his life. How do I know that? Because baking is done by kind-hearted people. Larry has a jar labeled “sugar” in his kitchen, but it is surely filled with finely-ground glass particles.

4. Larry is a peeper. Larry cares so much about what his neighbors do that he cut eye-sized holes in every curtain in his house. He did not want to pull the curtains aside, because this would give away his position. Presumably unbeknownst to Larry, one could always tell when Larry was watching. His glassy gaze was clearly visible through the holes, and at night his eyes glowed like cat’s eyes. I began waving to Larry every time I came home. Less than a week later, Larry replaced his butchered curtains.

5. Larry’s wife is a beefalo.


Beefalo are a fertile hybrid offspring of domestic cattle, Bos taurus, and the American Bison, Bison bison (generally called buffalo). The breed was created to combine the best characteristics of both animals with a view towards beef production.

6. Larry strong-arms other people to do his dirty work. Always the parking Nazi (but aware that his prior tactics did not work), Larry strongarms the neighbors to do his dirty work for him. Two weeks ago, my carpool buddy parked on the street across from Larry’s house. We came home to see Larry scampering from that house across the street, turning around, crossing his arms, and staring. Shortly thereafter, the house’s owner apologetically spoke to my friend. “I don’t mind it, but he doesn’t like it when you park there.” My friend (a new convert to the cause) agreed and parked directly in front of Larry’s house every day from that point on.

7. Larry wants to trade favors like a mafioso. Larry will ineptly perform menial work for his neighbors in exchange for favors down the line. Larry will “kindly” shovel his neighbors’ snow into the street, blocking exit from their driveway. He will rake their lawns, tearing up large portions of grass, sod, and flowerbed. All of Larry’s so-called helpful actions are unrequested by the neighbors, and always result in more work for the involved home-owners.

Larry expects the favor to be returned in full. While I’d love to rip up the man’s lawn, Larry is very specific about what he wants. When neighbors refuse to deign to Larry’s wishes, his recourse is to build a fence between his house and his neighbor’s house (unknowingly rewarding his neighbors).

If a fence already exists, Larry will tear down the fence and build an even bigger fence. This has happened at least three times.

8. I hate Larry.

9. Larry does not understand laws and regulations. Judging by police phone calls, these are things he thinks are against the law:

Cars parking on the street.
Cats entering his yard.
Children playing and laughing in their own yard.
Old women ignoring his banal conversation and going back into their house to watch Jeopardy.
Any signage posted on any telephone poles in the entire development (including, but not limited to, “Lost Dog,” “Yard Sale,” and “Looking for Work?”)

10. Some day Larry will die. Breathe a sigh of relief.

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10 Responses to “Writer's Block”

  1. Deleted scene:

    Larry does not use toilet paper. Larry “just likes to let things dry.” He also calls this “al fresco.” Before Larry flushes, he always looks in the toilet. He checks the size, shape, and consistency of his business. Sometimes Larry excretes so much that it clogs the toilet (even without toilet paper).

  2. Wow. Is this Larry character real, or just an mental manifestation with general world-dissatisfaction? This is my favorite thing you’ve ever written, probably because of the sentence “Larry’s wife is a beefalo.” Funny. Shit.

  3. This is freakin’ hilarious. (And like any good Grammarphile, I loved the second part of item #3.)

  4. Oh, believe me when I say that everything in this post is true, true, true. Although I appreciate that you believe I’m intelligent enough to form metaphor into a work of fiction. Glad you two liked it.

  5. So sorry that I’m laughing at your pain.

    Just a little bit.

  6. I like it, too, and I don’t even know who the hell you are.

  7. stealing larry’s curtain-eyes idea

  8. I just found your blog and OMG I can’t stop laughing. You are going to the top of my must read blogs. We have a Larry too, actually a whole family of Larry’s and do everything we can to irritate the crap out of them.

  9. Inspiration is inspiration is inspiration.

    Oh, and for the record, I hate Larry, too.

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