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Drabblecast 035 - The Guilt Trader

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:16 am
by normsherman
Image

Feature The Guilt Trader by Mike Hood

The rocking of the train soon lulled Patience into a deep sleep, and when Brian noticed her unconscious state he moved over opposite Eddie and asked, "So Eddie, what's in the bag? It has a rather unpleasant odor..."

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:18 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
I either really like it or I don't get it at all.

If the short guy was just trying to get rid of his dead monkey by unloading it on a sucker, then that's pretty funny!

If there was something mystical going on, then I'm confused...

Guilt

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:34 am
by strawman
Story sort of has Christian implications. The advice that made the girl jump? "If you would keep your life, then you must lose it." In exchange for which you get a stinking monkey off your back. Atonement!
And Patience, tall and fecund, riding the train to its destination: O, the humanity!
Now there's a promising forum thread: theology of drabble.

As usual, great job reading. The Peter Lorre voice was just right.

ditto

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:15 pm
by Kevin Anderson
I'm kinda with Mr. Tweedy on this one - If its a joke, its a good one. If not, then I missed something somewhere.

And for what its worth I didn't get a Christian vibe off of this. Not saying there isn't one, just didn't strike me in a Biblical way.

Sorry this is off topic, but I was wondering if anyone could recommend some good escapepod episodes. I'm trying to get into this podcast, but I'm having a hard time. So which ones are your favorites? Don't take up valible drabblecast forum space, (like I'm doing) Just email me KevWasHere@aol.com

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:33 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
I think Strawman was joking. At least, I don't see anything Christian there. I guess, if you really wanted to stretch, you could say it's like Christians swapping guilt with Jesus, except Jesus hasn't got any guilt, so it's only a one-way transfer. If you wanted to stretch.

I like the joke angle.

My personal favorite EP episode ever was "Ej-Es" (116) followed closely by "The House Beyond Your Sky" (106), and all the "Union Dues" episodes are good. (Lots of other good ones too; don't let that short list limit you.) I doubt Norm minds taking up space, since Drabblecast just got a glowing double-thumbs-up review at the end of this week's EP. (Yeah, Drabblecast!)

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 3:25 am
by normsherman
Whoa, I just checked out EP after Tweedy's comment (thanks for the heads up!) That's exciting- Steve's a swell guy for doing that.

As far as posting in here, you guys do your thing! It might get more structured later but hell, this is drabblecast- it's more than 10 minute stories- start a thread about anything you think the average listener will like (minotaurs!)

As far as EP episodes Kevin- I personally usually like at least 2/3 stories they do. My favs are Ej Es, Barnaby inExile and I look forward to remembering you. A couple that I think YOU will like are shadowboxer, and little worker.

Thanks

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:29 pm
by Kevin Anderson
Thanks guys for the EP suggestion. I'm downloading this weekend.

While we are sort of on the subject are there any podcast out there I should tune into: I'm currently enjoyng the How to Succeed in Evil comic -spoofing audio drama and some of the humorist SciFi at Planet Rencon.

And I'm already up to speed on Pendant and Darker Projects, but I really want to hear more flash fiction.

By the way I really enjoy Mysterious Universe coming out of Australia. It has info on all the latest UFO, Bigfoot, Ghost and Elvis sightings. Think of that old Leonard Nemoy show "In Search Of" as a podcast. And with an Australian accent.

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:16 am
by Mr. Tweedy
How to Succeed in Evil is a hilarious podcast! Saddly, new episodes only come out, like, every other month.

screenplay adaptation in the works?

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:08 am
by luketc
I could totally see this episode as a scene out of a Wes Anderson movie. Jason Scwartzman as Brian and that little old Asian guy thats in all his movies as Eddie. And then at the end of the scene, Brian drops the monkey in the trash on his way out of the train station, and some old Kinks song plays really loud as he walks away in slow motion, lighting a cigarette. Pretty good, no?

Punchline?

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:30 pm
by AynSavoy
Hah, I can picture that scene in a Wes Anderson film.

I was disappointed at the end of this story; I felt like I got a lot of explanation/build up and then...left hanging, but not in a way that let my mind follow up. Instead, I really just wanted to know: did Brian get a deal? I wanted the answer to be "no," but I didn't get any answer at all. We get the explanation of the trade but see none of the results. And I'll admit that that's sometimes great, but here it felt like it was cut off just to say "hah--you don't get to find out!" I like the idea of the joke that other readers have mentioned..but if it's a joke then where is the punchline? Also, I felt like some of the character descriptions didn't pay off.

Wow, that seems harsh... Part of the reason I'm being critical is that I really enjoyed the premise of the story but feel like I missed out on a good follow-through.

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:55 am
by normsherman
I have thought of other possible final lines that would have worked for this story- not just about the end being a joke. There are endings that might have said more about what the author was presenting on guilt. What if Brian just dropped the monkey in a trash can on his way out- like Luke said? Would the guilt of his patient then come back? What is the dynamic between guilt and responsibility, how can we be absolved of things we feel guilty about? Is confessing to a priest any less weird than swapping a dead monkey with an asian midget?

It's got me thinking about how strange a thing guilt really is.

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:58 am
by Mr. Tweedy
Guilt is to the spirit like pain is to the body: It's designed as indicator of when you've done something a person isn't meant to do. Bend a finger in an unnatural way and PAIN! Bend the heart in a way it isn't meant to bend and GUILT!

Like with pain, you've got normal, healthy guilt, which is the guilt you feel when you really have been a big jerk. Then there's chronic guilt, which is caused by a screwed up guilt mechanism and not by anything you really did. And there are some people whose mechanism has gotten broken and doesn't do much of anything.

Also like with pain, you can treat your guilt by a.) fixing the problem, b.) popping some soothing pills or c.) ignoring it until you get used to it and don't notice anymore. In the case of being a big jerk, a.) would be apology and repentance, b.) would be rationalizing or doing some generic good stuff to make yourself feel better without having to repent or apologize and c.) would be continuing to be a jerk and learning to feel good about it.

Don't know what that had to do anything, but it's what fell out of my head just then, so there. 8)

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:43 pm
by tbaker2500
I guess I saw it much simpler than the previous poster's did. To me, it was simply introducing (to me unknown) eastern philosophies into a western mindset, and let the listeners' minds rattle around a bit while they shift their perception.

I much preferred having to work out all the possible ramifications myself, rather than have them fed to me.

Tom

P.S. Regarding Escape Pod, my favorite there is a flash story called "Fools Seldom Differ". My next is probably "How Lonesome a Life Without Nerve Gas".

Re: Drabblecast 035 - The Guilt Trader

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:10 pm
by sandrilde
Didn't feel like it had an ending. I wanted to see what actually happened when they swapped guilt.

Oh, well. Halloween cast coming up! Yay!