Coming up with story ideas is really hard, and I don’t like doing hard things. Taking someone else’s idea and upgrading it is a lot easier, but the results can be unpredictable. Here are a couple of story ideas that I thought I would pitch out there. Let me know what you think of them.
Here is a children’s story that would be a variation on the Clifford, the Big Red Dog franchise. Let’s really delve into the practical side of caring for a dog that’s bigger than a house, like the continual effort of cleaning up the backyard with a payloader after Clifford tends to his business. Running out of places to put the stuff. Or, how to deal with the neighborhood kids asking why Clifford keeps his lipstick tucked away up there and why he keeps licking it. Does it taste good? Watching the color leach out of so many innocent faces as you explain what’s really going on, simply priceless. Good stuff. Oh, and then he dies one day. Just all of a sudden, there he is dead right smack in the way of local commerce. It turns out he was huge and red because of pituitary cancer. Digging a really big hole to put him in would be too expensive, so the town decides to pack him full of dynamite and vaporize him, but the scheme doesn’t go according to plan and it rains huge Clifford chunks for days afterwards. Windows are broken, car alarms are going off, and the smell is horrific. The scene is… just ghastly. Ucck, and after all that, he’s still right there, in the way!
Another idea I was thinking of is, Freaky Friday, Cringe Edition. This one is based on that book/movie/documentary of a mother and daughter exchanging roles for an interval of time due to some freak(y) accident with the universe that totally doesn’t involve Satan. The fundamental story is the same as in the Disney version, except in this telling, the daughter, living as the mother, feels the need to go to extremes to maintain the premise with the rest of the family that everything is perfectly normal. Yeah, mom and I weren’t out naked in the back yard making ritual sacrifices to the Dark Lord late last night. Everything is fine. Anyhow, she ends up having to have sexy time with her father, and it turns out he’s into some pretty intense stuff, dwarves in wedding gowns and the like, but she never knew that much about him before, so she learns something. It would all seem business as usual to the dad, and it would appear from the outside that everything is fine—except for the dwarf crying in the corner, which is going to be weird no matter what—but the audience would know that it’s really the daughter having unholy biblical relations with, you know, her father, and they’d be all like, Ewwww! Cringe! Which, is where the title comes from. Pretty clever, huh? Like Twin Peaks and the killing of Laura Palmer by her father when he discovers that she’s been prostituting herself around town; something he only finds out about when he calls the local dealer and whoremonger for delivery of cocaine and a prostitute, and then she shows up at the trailer door wearing a whore outfit and holding an 8 ball of coke. I don’t know what prostitutes wear, exactly, but an 8 ball is 1/8 of an ounce, about 3.5 grams.
Then there’s Smokey the Bear does other types of PSAs. Only you can stop gum disease. Or, only you can stop picnic basket theft, and then he tears apart a family having a picnic. Something like that. I’m still working out the details on that one.