Tuesday, September 18, 2012

5 Fictional Friends I'd Want in Real Life

This post is inspired by

Share 5 Fictional Friends You'd Want In Real Life.

This writing prompt, though intriguing, turned out to be much more difficult than I expected. I mainly read non-fiction, and the fiction rolodex in my memory consists mainly of books I was forced to read in middle and high school, most of which involved depressing tales of old white men or sad, weak women. Luckily, I did recall the five characters below, all of whom I would be proud to call my friend.

Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride.
I love this essay by Ann Hood where she discussed how she “Fredo’ed” people. You know, like in The Godfather II when Michael Corleone decides he won’t have anything to do with his brother Fredo because Fredo has betrayed him. Inigo and I feel the same way. Trust is like a fresh piece of paper. Flawless. But like paper, once you crush it, it can never be made perfect again. Monty (that's what I call him) and I can both hold a grudge with unwavering stamina. I’m not necessarily proud of that fact because it certainly shows a level of immaturity, not enlightenment. But a friend like Inigo Montoya can fully appreciate a merciless desire to mortally wound or kill someone. Some days I have people who fall onto that list. Monty could help me cross them off.

Walter Mitty, from James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Walter is my polar opposite. I am a classic Type A, organized, hyper-analytical list maker. But opposites attract, and it would be great to have someone like Walter in my life to remind me to be a dreamer, get distracted and escape reality once in a while. What else is it in my life that allows me to get distracted and escape reality… Oh! I just thought of a great name for my new honey-whiskey cocktail:  The Walter Mitty!

Dory from Finding Nemo.
Everyone needs a comic sidekick, someone who can make you laugh until you pee just enough in your underpants that you have to run to the bathroom with your knees pressed together and your vagina in a semi-Kegel lest you have a full on Depends-variety “accident." Or is that just me? Dory would be that person, er, fish for me. As I have explained to my husband many times before, when I’m crabby it’s best not to try to fix it or talk me out of it. Just make me laugh. Then, all things are right again and I can “just keep swimming . . .”

The sinners from the Inner Ring of the 7th Circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno.
I first read this book in my tenth grade literature class. It had such an impression on me that I still own that same copy today. Here's why. Our teacher asked us to volunteer to choose a ring (outer, middle, inner) from a corresponding circle of hell and present an oral report on it as if you were a person from that level. I raised my hand for the inner ring of the seventh circle of hell because, upon scanning the circles looking for something easy, I saw the word Blasphemer in that ring. I don’t really believe in god so I thought, I can relate to and report on Blasphemers. No problem. What I didn’t see was the second sinner also banished to this inner circle:  the Sodomites.

This report was given long before the Internet, and my parents were not the types to ever help me with schoolwork. When I looked up sodomite in the dictionary the definition was vague, so I decided to focus most of my report on the blessed Blasphemers. When it was my turn to present I held a poster in front of the class depicting the Blasphemers, with a small section showing a group of wanderers in the corner with an arrow pointing to them labeled "The Sodomites." When my report was finished my teacher asked me—in front of the entire class—
“Heather, do you know what sodomy is?” 
I stared at her blankly.   
She said, “They are the masturbators of the world. They are the folks who have same-sex intercourse or intercourse with animals.”
I answered, “Right. I didn’t know how to draw that on my poster, so I just left it out,” then shuffled back to my seat, face ablaze.

I got a B+.

As Billy Joel once said, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than die with the saints. The sinners are much more fun.”

Harold from Harold & the Purple Crayon.
Being the good friend that he is, Harold would have drawn my ass right out of the above situation.
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Which fictional character would you befriend?

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6 comments:

  1. Could I have James T Kirk as a friend? Although I suspect he's a bit overbearing, he's always inspiring, on the side of good and would get me out of any situation alive...assuming I'm a main character.

    And Linda Howard's cheerleader grown up, Blair Mallory from To Die For. Even though I had to look her name up, her wisecracks and attitudes are still roaming through my head years after I read the book. She'd make an awesome girl to hang out with and kick butt.

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  2. Wowzers! I didn't have the opportunity to read Dante until college. I think we would have all died of embarrassment in my sophomore literature class.

    That being said, we did hit Fahrenheit 451 and Othello... both of which I think were banned in our school. We had to do it on the down-low. Needless to say, I had an awesome English teacher.

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  3. I love your take on this! I chose this prompt, too, but I took it from a child's perspective. I love Walter Mitty. I would definitely want him as a friend, and Dory, well, she's like the best Disney character ever!

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  4. Dory from finding Nemo!!!! Love her!

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  5. I do love the Dory. And she'd give me great nicknames. :)

    Sarah--I think my 10th grade Lit class was way advanced. Honestly, the stuff we read in there was all college-level (Antigone, Medea, Les Miserables, Hamlet, Metamorphosis, Siddhartha...) but I'm so glad my teacher challenged us like that. Obviously it worked, because I still remember her to this day. My senior year classes weren't even that hard!

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