Story Go Round 09/13/2009, #1

Great Scott

(post-titled by Terry)

There they were, the first aquatic improv writing group, scrawling away on their floating card table in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, miles from anyone, in scuba gear, kicking their flippers, at dusk.

A guy in a neon orange dive suit with the Jason mask dipped down under the surface, reached into the floating cage for a fresh cephalopod. His pen was running out of ink, which would jeopardize his goal of continuing a single improv story every day for a month. The Guinness folks were waiting, after all. Meanwhile, Todd paused in his writing and said to Mary, "I can't believe writing stories in the middle of the ocean isn't enough for Guy. He's got to write in octopus ink."

"Yes, he's quite a guy," Mary sighed, not taking her eyes off of the neon orange blobby shape under the surface of the ever-moving ocean, then she ducked down into the water so she could watch him with unfettered admiration.

Guy held up a sign which read, "I can't ink with you watching me like that," then turned back to his work.

Mary decided then and there that she had to marry that Guy, and they would hold the wedding in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, just like she had always dreamed. He was such a nice guy and a fun guy, she decreed him THE GUY. She used her passion now to fuel her pen. If they made it into the Book of World Records, Guy would finally have reached the pinnacle of improv writing and maybe he would have time in his life for something else. Like her and her prize-winning toy poodle, Mr. Grumpy.

And so they wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. Even when a storm threatened and the rolling waves topped 30 feet. They just shrugged off the disturbance and kept at their fiction, until Todd felt something grab his foot and he jerked suddenly.

The dolphins were back!

Those lovable rascals of the sea, dolphins misunderstood improv writers — thought they were prisoners trapped around a floating table and always tried to rescue them.

Todd cried out: "that tickles!" while kicking gently.

A dolphin chirruped plaintively. Another joined it. This was new. They were wanting to join in the writing, it seemed. By now, the moon had come out.

There was plenty of room around the floating table so Mary squeezed over closer to Guy and let one move in next to her. She pushed over a Sea Pen and a Cuttle tablet, which it couldn't use, but the dolphin began emitting echolocation squeaks and squeals and somehow, magically, the Sea Pen lifted into the air and made contact with the paper.

All three humans watched in abject fascination as words began to form. They were not just any words, but words in 5 languages, a different language for every word!

"Great Scott!" said Todd.

"Yes," the dolphin wrote, "I am the Great Scott! Guinness Book of World Records holder for the last decade. You think to break my record, do you, you oversized, ungainly, echo-deaf mammals? I will improv write you into the depths!"

Dolphins jumped and splashed all around the table, rocking the writers, nibbling at exposed toes, and generally mucking about.

Guy took a stand. "How dare you shame the name of Guinness with this unsportsmanlike display?"

"Oh Guy!" Mary swooned at Guy's indignant, heroic stance.

"I'm getting prune skin," Todd mumbled.

Far off, around a small hotel pool outside Reno, 3 guests in snorkel masks on inner tubes finished their billionth word in their millionth story and were awarded the Highest Award known to improv writers. Guy and crew drowned. Great Scott swore he'd take back the title next year and led his pod back into the depths.