When my grandchildren ask me what it was like to be alive during this time in history, I will tell them that I published a short story in the Winter Reading issue of Tin House and that you can read it online for free. Then I will shoot this clickable hyperlink out of my mouth because technology will have advanced by then:
A few months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a book titled Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots. It was an old, stuffy-looking book that seemed like it would make your heart explode from sheer boredom if you ever dared to flip through it. However, once my friend started reading some passages aloud, I realized at once that Plotto is one of those rare volumes that is both indispensable and yet just crazy enough to make you pray for the author’s loved ones.
It contains hundreds of amazing conflict situations like these:
-B, attacked by a huge snake, suffers a psychic shock.
-A hopes, by a surgical operation on his skull, to be made immune from the “master passion.”
-A, obsessed with a fear of burglars, places a wax figure in his bed at night and sleeps in a locked closet.
I knew the book had to be mine. Unfortunately, it was no longer in print. The copies I found online were all fetching sums that were roughly equal to what I tend to pay for a blazer. But just as I was processing the psychic shock that came from being attacked by the giant snake that was Plotto’s absence from my bookshelf, I learned that the good people at Tin House were going to be releasing a new edition of Plotto at a far more reasonable price (about what I pay for pants).
You can grab it here.
In order to celebrate the re-release of such an amazing book, I have come up with a few of my own conflict situations. Enjoy:
-An inventor, B, is attacked by D, who is a tickle monster.
-X, a man named Z, and Y, a man named T, are both addicted to punching.
-W is a genius cheese maker whose cheese is prohibitively expensive. X is a cracker maker whose crackers are affordable but bad-tasting. The two never meet.
-G, a pterodactyl, thinks it’s funny to use public restrooms without flushing the toilet.
-L, a karate champion, falls in love with B, who is against karate.