Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Two Versions - Two Questions"

Version One

I’m shopping for Chanukah presents with Anna in her old stamping grounds on the other side of town called Silverlake, famous for its fabulous gift-purchasing boutiques.

We stop for lunch at a restaurant Anna knows called Local. I order something which, it turns out, I really like.

Two weeks later, I am again Chanukah gift shopping in Silverlake, this time with Anna’s betrothed, Colby. Since Colby likes the place too, we once again stop at Local for lunch, where, since I enjoyed it so much the last time, I order the same thing again. And I really like it again.

Flash Forward: Three months.

I’m working at home. Anna calls and says, “I’m going to Local. Do you want me to bring you your ‘favorite’ for lunch? I tell her yes.

The very next day, I am back in Silverlake with Colby. This time, it’s for birthday presents for Anna. With our mission happily accomplished, we head over to Local for lunch.

I’m in a dilemma about what to order. I ask Jack, the delightful manager, “Should I order the goat cheese Portobello burger, or the vegetarian crepe?”

Jack asks, “Have you had the Portobello burger before?” I tell him no. Jack recommends I order it, and I do.

Anna drops by later that afternoon, and I tell her, “Anna, I had this great thing at Local today that I never had before – the goat cheese Portobello sandwich.”

“Dad, she says. “You ordered the goat cheese Portobello burger both times we were there, and I brought one home for you yesterday.”

“Have you had the Portobello burger before?’”

“No.”

I’m beginning to worry.

Version Two:

I’m shopping for Chanukah presents with Anna in her old stamping grounds on the other side of town called Silverlake, famous for its fabulous gift-purchasing boutiques.

We stop for lunch at a restaurant she knows called Local. I order the goat cheese Portobello sandwich, which it turns out I really like.

Two weeks later, I am again Chanukah gift shopping in Silverlake, this time with Anna’s betrothed, Colby. Since Colby likes the place too, we once again stop for lunch at Local, where, since I enjoyed it so much the last time, I order the goat cheese Portobello burger again. And I really like it again.

Flash Forward: Three months.

I’m working at home. Anna calls and says, “I’m going to Local. Do you want me to bring you a goat cheese Portobello burger for lunch?” I tell her yes.

The very next day, I am back in Silverlake with Colby. This time it’s for birthday presents for Anna. With our mission happily accomplished, we head over to Local for lunch.

I’m in a dilemma about what to order. I ask Jack, the delightful manager, “Should I order the goat cheese Portobello burger or the vegetarian crepe?”

Jack asks, “Have you had the Portobello burger before?” I tell him no.

“Have you had the Portobello burger before?”

“No.”

I wan't lying. When I said it, I believed I hadn't. It turns out I'd had the goat cheese portobello burger three times, the last time being the previous day.

I’m beginning to worry.

Question One:

Which version tells the story more effectively?

Question Two:

Do I really need to worry?

---------------------------------------------

The Best of the West theme song was sung by Rex Allen Sr.

11 comments:

Julian said...

Version 1 is better.

In Version 1, I understand that you have become absent-minded about what you ate, and understand you are worried about it.

In Version 2, I am left wondering why you chose to lie, and why you are worried about it.

And, yes, you should worry about this stuff. Making decisions about the best way to write something is what writers do. Making good decisions is what you do well.

Gnasche said...

Syfy: version 1
Lifetime: version 2

Bruce said...

Version 1.
If you are asking for an opinion on which story tells the tale better you should be worried, but if you asking about your absent mindedness then yes you should be worried.

Joe said...

A) Version 1.

B) A little, maybe.

C) Rex Allen...the guy who did a lot of voice work for Disney "back in the day?"

YEKIMI said...

Thanks for answering my theme song singer question.

YEKIMI said...

Yep, that's the "Disney" Rex Allen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_Allen

Earl Pomerantz said...

What I know about Rex Allen is this. He was one of the last of the "Singing Cowboys", and made a number of not memorable "B" westerns. Why I chose him to sing the theme song I wrote was because he sounded exactly right for the job. Which is, of course, because he was. Check out the richness and resonance of his voice. Pure cowboy. As I recall, Rex seemed surprised to get the job. By then, it was 1981,and I got the feeling that, sensing his working days were over, it was now okay for him to smoke. There were some breathing issues during the recording session, but overall, it came out as I hoped it would. Rex had a son who also sang. But not like his dad.

Mr. said...

The first version is more effective.

Mac said...

Version 1 is better, as it implies you're losing your power of recall. Version 2 sounds like you lied but can't work out why.
If you're asking if you're right to worry about which version is better, then no, you're not. It's your job.
If you repeat this story tomorrow and forget you've told it, then yes, you'd be right to worry.

jpfmack said...

Earl! It's Jack from Local. I say, hey man if you can make it feel like the first time each time, that's great. Law of diminishing returns, be damned.
Perspective is nice, however.
I like the flow of the second story...a little more mysterious. Version one does lay it all out there well, though.
Until the day comes that you greet Anna with the same "nice to meet you for the first time" wonderment you thrice did with the Porto Burger, I say enjoy.

and hey, have you tried the portobello burger yet? You really should. It's delicious.

diane said...

Version 1 and version 2 made me hungry. You shouldn't worry, but I really need to.