A good friend of mine, way back in the day, was pulled over on his way to an early morning hockey practice. A “new car” scented tree hung from the rear view mirror in his spotless Acura.
“License and registration?” asked the officer. The burly man scratched his head and leant into the car to take a second look at my friend, and then a look at me and my brother.
“It’s in my pants, Officer,” said my friend, the character. Only half his mouth was able to hold in a smile.
Right, so my friend wasn’t wearing his pants.
“Out of the car,” said the Officer.
His story was written earlier that morning in his garage, when he decided to streamline the locker-room process by getting half-way dressed for practice before getting in the car.
The scented-tree finally swung to a stop. I could see him in the rear view mirror. My friend’s bottom-half was completely geared up: shin-pads, hockey socks, jock, hockey shorts, and suspenders. What made him a character, though, was not the absurdity of standing in hockey gear on the shoulder of the 101. Rather, it was that he saw nothing unusual about it.
Characters. I love them. In fiction, and in life. What came first, characters or characters?