Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanks to the miracle of babysitting, Hank and I got to see a movie last week. We saw Stranger Than Fiction, starring Will Ferrell.

The premise of the movie, without giving anything away, is that the main character, played by Ferrell, suddenly becomes aware of the voice of the movie's narrator. It's a fun and inventive plot device that reminded me a lot of Charlie Kaufman screenplays, but that wasn't the best part of the movie for me. What I enjoyed most was that one of the characters, albeit a minor one, was Ferrell's wristwatch.

With a seven year-old daughter in the house who enjoys imaginative play, I spend a fair amount of time animating inanimate objects. I've supplied voices and personalities for everything from her stuffed animals, to her toothbrush, to our car, to the very house in which we live. (Housey has a VERY deep voice.) Never, however, did it occur to me to anthropomorphize my watch.

I'm sure lots of people who saw Stranger Than Fiction slapped their heads in a pseudo comical I-should-have-thought-have-that manner when they saw the Narrator character plot device, but I may have been the only person in the theater to give myself minor head trauma over the Watch character. I really really really should have thought of that. I'm going to slap my head a few times again right now.

I can't believe I thought to personify a toothbrush before my watch! My watch has been the the defining inanimate object in my life. Even when I'm not wearing an actual watch, I'm always aware of the time, and am within arm's length of some time-telling device. The watch is just the best physical manifestation of my relationship with time. It already has a personality. I just need to let it express it.

So now, I must decide which voice it gets. Is it a nerdy fellow, whose voice squeaks and cracks with excitement as it constantly nags me about each passing minute and every upcoming inconsequential event? Or is it more of a British butler, conspicuously resisting the urge to roll it's nonexistent eyes each time it has to remind me of wayward seconds? Those are both pretty good. Maybe the wristwatch is the squeaky nerd and the clocks are the butlers.

I'm excited to have all these new friends in my life. It can be lonely working at home.


Kat said...

Sometimes, it really scares me to read your blog.

carey said...

Yeah, me too (if only because of my own stash of character voices).

Another voice to consider, given your picture at post's end:

"Say kids, what time is it?"

"It's Howdy Doody time!"

Crystal said...

you should totally go with Mr. T.

Mike said...

Kat, it's not like these voices are telling me to kill any one. They just remind me of important milestones, like that it's now 8:22am.

Carey, ooooh, who gets voices in your world? Sounds like a blog post to me.

Crystal, I like it. Maybe my cell phone (which tells time) could be Mr. T. He does sort of pity the poor fool who who doesn't notice that it's 8:23.

Kat said...

Also off topic...thanks for the link. On the order of what I was thinking, but I think we can do it better. There are so many bloggers out there, I'm sure the world could handle several such books.

patsy said...

alway liked will farrell will have to watch for that movie, wish you were here to enjoy our miseable weather. you are so lucky to live where you do.i

Mike said...

Kat, do it!

Patsy, time to move to SF. It's been a LITTLE chilly here (low 50's during the day), but it's been sunny and crisp.

Larry said...

Can you do the voice of the Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland? You're late, you're late, you're LATE!

Mike said...

Larry, I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know that voice.