The Motive

bigfoot

This is Graham Roumieu’s art and I added words to try to approximate the replacement I imagine he could make for that mortifying Pink Panther book.

D-blog week Day 6: Favorites and Motivations.

This blog started in a hospital room, right after diagnosis in the ER.

I didn’t know there was a DOC. I just felt scared and off-kilter and like writing, and like making it public. And I felt like I needed artist Graham Roumieu to help me. I hated the hospital’s Pink Panther book and thought it should instead be a Graham Roumieu Bigfoot book explaining the diabetes things. Roumieu’s books all make me laugh. The Pink Panther book made me feel like I’d been molested.

Graham Roumieu’s Bigfoot is the anti Pink Panther. I hated that book so much. Did I mention I hated it? The tone is so urine-soaked and smug and “you better get used to it.” A Bigfoot version’s tone would be more like “The fuck?”

That was the motivation: the combo of fear, a loopy off-kilter feeling, and wanting Graham Roumieu to write more Bigfoot books, preferably one wherein Bigfoot gets Type 1 diabetes.

Soon after diagnosis, I contacted Graham Roumieu to say I was trying to write in his Bigfoot’s voice on a blog about diabetes. Ostensibly, this was to get his blessing, but one corner of my heart was hoping he would say That is incredible. I was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes myself, and really need a writing partner to help me come up with some stories, but I want them to be excruciatingly specific so hardly anyone will be able to relate to them. Can you help me with that? That did not happen. He did, however, say it was ok with him if I kept going, as long as I didn’t sell T-shirts or anything.

By the time we were out of the hospital, I knew there was a DOC because I found Kerri’s blog (<–vintage link!) And I was like, OK, so there’s me, fresh from the hospital, and then there’s this other lady, who appears to have been writing for some time now.

Soon after that, I discovered I could click on the comments on SUM to find more blogs. Wow! Sometimes they would be religious or play treacly music, or be so…oh, let me inspire you! But there were also fun ones that rang true to me.

This post.

This post.

Or what about this guest post on SUM, which felt like seeing my future, where my bewildered sadness might morph into something more functional and hopeful, although still sad.

And more recently this post.

You know the feeling like: ohhhh, these people! Wheeeee! I love this! But wait! That’s terrible! I shouldn’t be having fun. But I was.

It’s like certain countries, say country X, you might go to for Peace Corps: terrrrrrible, but you meet the funniest people who hate being in country X in exactly the same way. You all can hardly wait to get outta X, I mean at least to get some nachos, or a shower, but at the same time, it’s a complete riot to be trapped—have they brought us to a horse breeding facility?—with these guys who look about eighty but are 35 and have golden teeth—Wait. Why are we here?—and just as one Golden Tooth hands you a sheep’s face in a shallow bowl, you make eye contact does he want me to eat this? with a Peace Corps friend who says “Right on, Maude,” and years later whenever you see a picture of Bea Arthur (happens less than once a year so you’re always caught off guard) you’ll get the same giddy sheep face feeling. Or—back in X—you’re walking around your broken village and you fall into a hole and a group of teenage boys starts throwing clods of dirt down at you and saying Fuck you, America! Columbia Pictures! And it’s so awful and scary but you are partly enjoying it because despite the fear of being killed in the hole, all of the teen boys are wearing identical argyle sweaters, and sunglasses with the tags still attached, and you know your friends will just gobble up the story.

Some days I don’t need this blog for anything other than organizing recipes I want to remember. Other times new diabetes things happen, or old ones happen with a new rub. I say more when feeling wounded or confused and dramatic. But I slip into the Bigfoot voice less and less frequently. I never nailed it, and at this point, I feel human pretty much all of the time.

Tomorrow is the last day for DBW2015!

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10 responses to “The Motive

  1. This is fascinating to read… how you got started, and why you used the Bigfoot voice (which I’ve noticed is less and less lately, though never correlated which topics get Bigfoot-narrator and which get Katy-narrator.)

    I’ve often spoken about jobs I’ve had (and there have been many), that whether you enjoy your work depends little on what you do and mostly on who you do it with. Your philosophy seems similar. With that said, if I found you and your family hopelessly stuck in a hole being pelted with dirt, I’d jump right in and join you without a second thought.

    (What — would you prefer if I dropped a rope and helped you out?)

    Like

  2. Larry Here

    OH! That’s where the Bigfoot voice comes from. The mystery is gone. I always found the BF voice fun. Mrs. Larry Here is incredibly annoyed by it, but often enjoys your “buying things that are fashionable” slant, regardless of the voice used. SUM was my first D Blog, too, and was/is a beautiful, real thing that makes me feel like I can see the future, too. I’m thankful for your work here, Katy.

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  3. skchrisman

    I loved this post.

    Like

  4. I Love this! you’re the best writer and thanks for sharing my bliss ball recipe:)

    Like

  5. squibnocket45

    Thx
    Nice

    Derek DeMoss

    >

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  6. Embarrassing disclosure: I probably give out at least one Pink Panther book a week (in the backpack) and I’ve never read it.

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  7. The dirt clods story!!! I love it!!

    I had this friend in college once who was so wonderfully honest, it was the most attractive friend-quality. You couldn’t NOT like her because she was so nice but also would sometimes say things like “ugh I think I have one of those horrible-smelling brain-shaped things stuck in my tonsil again!” I just had never ever met someone who was so open about her own weirdness. I think of her all the time and she is 100% the reason why I compulsively admit things.

    Anyway I feel the same way about this blog! She inspired me to be honest in person and reading this inspires me to be honest in writing. How can you not like someone who reveals secret thoughts as part of a funny story? I call it the power of admitting and it is the closest thing I have to a life philosophy. This is the longest comment ever, but Larissa would have done it, so I’m posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

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