Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is My Hem Straight?


Pants in Room 511 Hotel Ambos Mundos, Havana, Cuba


It's the tagging season again. I quite often ignore or foil attempts to tag me, partly because I carry the scars of a childhood spent being disastrously slow, but mostly because I'm just a crabby old set of discoloured Y-fronts. Now that I'm an adult (in a manner of speaking), I wield such power as I'm able to muster over my own blog to sniff at these Memes as I see fit. 

Having said all that, I have been cordially invited by my dear friend and benefactor Ms O'Dyne, to rise to a challenge once set for no lesser a literary lion than Ernest Hemingway to construct a story in six words. The honourable Hem solved the problem with indelible elegance thus,

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Before unveiling my far from comparable solution to the problem, I would like to indulge myself at your obvious expense, in a little reminiscence. Since it's also conveniently Wednesday, I offer this up as an EDW : Elegantly Dressed Words, and apologise for my outrageously unbotilicious attire, for it is indeed Pants pictured above, hovering over the great Hem's little typing contraption in room 511 at the Hotel Ambos Mundos in Havana, Cuba.

I stayed there in 2005 in Room 502, on the very floor on which literature's greatest economist resided for a number of years. I had completed the first draft of my novel The Full English when I went to Cuba with three of my lovely cousins. We couldn't believe our luck when the Ambos Mundos came up as a package option. It is a beautiful hotel and elegant in the most basic sense. It's spare and ordinary, but rather lavishly so. In fact, it was so similar to the little hotel that the Pants family ran on the Costa del Sol, which had inspired the one in The Full English, that I decided then and there that I'd give Papa a much bigger part and also that I'd name the hotel in the book Ambos Mundos.

The Full English already had two bullfighting scenes sketched into it. Not everyone who lives on the Costa del Sol ends up on intimate terms with bullfighters. Such is the luck of the Pants family. Although seemingly unable to turn around without falling over a bullfighter or two, I couldn't ever accept an invitation to attend a corrida. I reread Death in the Afternoon, a book I will admit I'd not understood until after I'd lived in Spain. Hemingway wrote about the great age of bullfighting and eighty years later, there is no one who matches Joselito or Juan Belmonde in reputation. When I wrote the bullfight scenes in The Full English, I drew some from the bragging of the matadors who stayed at our hotel and drank at the bullfighters bar next door, some from watching the corrida on television, and some from Death in the Afternoon. I was the wimp that couldn't go there but I can go here, so this my answer to the question can you write a short story in six words:

'Honey, should that mountain be there?'

I'm tagging the following bloggers because I know they'll love me for wasting their precious writing time. 




Photo by OZMICRO

42 comments:

Bwca said...

stunned ... I can only say

"literature's greatest economist"

is brilliant.

That's So Pants said...

Lovely bwca

Thank you.

xxx

Pants

Wisewebwoman said...

I wandered Papa's paths when in Cuba too, Pants. He seems very present there, doesn't he? did you see how he tracked his weight every day in pencil in a notebook. Obsessively, like all us writers.
Well written and love the short story.

OK, thou Pants, here's mine:

Shopping List: Plastic bag,string,whiskey.

XO
WWW

Ms Baroque said...

I'll do my best - bullfighting stories very entertaining, and I also love "literature's greatest economist."

Also a happy surprise to see the smiling Face of Pants!

xx

That's So Pants said...

Hi WWW

Being in his room for me was a revelation because I always thought of him as very large - I have a photo of me with the bronze statue at El Floridita which is obviously much larger than life size but still - Room 511 has tiny furniture, a single bed and skimpy table and lamp. It's difficult to imagine Hemingway, who was in fact quite normal sized by today's standards squeezing into such modest accommodations.

xxx

Pants

That's So Pants said...

Hi Ms B

I know you're very busy with your book launch but six well selected words - a walk in the park for someone with your gift for woids.


xxx

Pants

Brian Hughes said...

I know that Cubans are poor...but hermetically sealed typewriters?

Reading the Signs said...

Pants, you're getting your own back aren't you? Admit it! I'll let you know when I've thought of something other than "the cat sat on the mat."

R.H. said...

Golly me, fancy making a god of Hemingway, he was one of the most BULLshitting writers in history.

R.H. said...

But I got diverted, the first thing I wanted to say was:

Hell. What a set!


Really.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Brian

Yes - marvellous innit? You simply pop it in the microwave and out comes a Pulitzer! They don't make em like that any more.

Signsie

Oh yeah! Pay up - and it better be worth my while.

Hi RH

Don't mess with the Hem - I know where you live.


xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

If you know where I live I know who told you.

You shouldn't stand side-on.

That's So Pants said...

Now I've got you worried. I have to stand side on otherwise I fall over.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Of course I'm worried. I've had a gunman banging on a door in this street looking for me. True, but he only had a pair of thirty-eights.

You got MAGNUM!!!

Quink said...

All done...

http://www.benlocker.com/2008/07/for-sale-baby-shoes-never-worn/

nmj said...

hey lovely pants, i've done my best for now, & can i just say that i am velo-gubbed, not velo-gugged!

x

That's So Pants said...

Hi NMJ

Gawd. What is wrogg with me.

Cheers

xxx

Pants

That's So Pants said...

Hey Quinkie

Good man.

xxx


Pants

Lord Sedgwick said...

Oddly enough I've read the sequel to 'Honey, should that mountain be there?'

'Well, Mohammed was a no show'

A real page turner.

That's So Pants said...

Your Lordship

I bow to your superior wit.

xxx

Pants - I understand you call me cottontails.

Lord Sedgwick said...

Cottontails - as seen in that fillum about Franz Liszt, "Thong Without End".

Minx said...

Phew, not tagged, escapes again.

That's So Pants said...

Your Lordship

Watch your aristroarse pal, I mean, sir.

xxx

Pants

Hi Minxie

Bother. I should have tagged you for this!

xxx

Pants

Reading the Signs said...

You can still tag her, Pants! I'm so crap at this I can only come up with five words:

"I was adored once too."

Very eloquent, I'm sure you'll agree, but they belong to Andrew Aguecheek, courtesy of Mr. Shakespeare, I'm afraid.

"I never was star-studded material" also comes to mind. My sister used to say that, rolling around on the floor pretending to be a drunk and ageing failed actress. This was when sis was young and glam with all her shiny future apparently still before her. Nuff said. Life's cruel, Pants, and funny.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Signsie

See, this short story writing lark isn't as easy as it looks, eh?

xxx

Pants

Anonymous said...

(ahem) In the beginning was the word.


the sequel . . .

Jesus wept (as well he might)

Bwca said...

An Evocative Tale Of A Failed Actress

Exit stage left chased by a bear.

WS

That's So Pants said...

Hi Anon

Thanks for sharing

Ms Annie

Seven words - you could leave out the 'a'.

This meme will run and run.

That's not one by the way.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

I drink therefore I am -Brownie.

"biba ergo sum." (Motto on her front gate.)

That's So Pants said...

RH - No tittle-tattle on my blog please!

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

What's that mean?

You gotta learn to talk Aussie again.

That's So Pants said...

You know very well.

R.H. said...

I had to look it up, I was guessing it just meant idle chat. But it's worse: it means, Gossip.

That's So Pants said...

It's true - travel does broaden the mind.

R.H. said...

Yes, but sometimes it can narrow it.

That's So Pants said...

Also true.

Anonymous said...

No problem. It just, like, you know, came to me, not that I think it makes terribly much sense. In the beginning was the word?? Que? Not really a short story necessarily, although who knows--could be.

Anyway, alls well that ends well . . .

I do very much enjoy your writing however. More please.

That's So Pants said...

Hello Anon

(This isn't me being a sad fcuk by the way people.) It's very nice to be appreciated - all too rare I'm afraid. I'm sure I deserve better. Working on something now which will get posted later today.

xxx

Pants

Lunar Brogue said...

Lovely. Thank you. A shame that the literature of literature's greatest economist has not influenced our political speech mongers - particularly in the area of economy. Adjectivitis is rife in the PMC (for example). Anyway, here's my go:

Looking at his shoes, he said " "

Oh, and one more thing. Brownie's seven could be reduced to six thus:

Exit stage left; chased a bear.

(Are semicolons allowed?)

That's So Pants said...

Hi Broguie

I like it. Yes, all punctuation allowed. Someone should do the book. Politicians might learn some lessons from the big H re sentences. it would help if they finished one occasionally.

xxx

Pants

trousers said...

My word - that's a great photo! I'll be back to catch up with the rest soon :)

That's So Pants said...

HI Trews

Thanks - it was a great moment in time.

xxx

Pants