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Pablo's mind and the Flaming Globes of Sigmund!

October 13, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
Since February 1985, when the folks at the Herald-Star decided I should write a column, I’ve had a lot of people ask, “Where do you get the ideas?’

They occur. Most of the time, I consider it a gift from God. Words and concepts just pop into my otherwise often useless brain and, much like remembering a long-forgotten historic fact to answer a “Jeopardy!” question, out pops a column.

I never said they were all, or maybe even most, winners, but they’re there.

And it used to be that I could multi-task them. I would have several running around in here, waiting to be popped out via keyboard to whatever medium we’re using at the time, be it paper, a primitive electronic word-processing system or this MacBookPro on my lap. Sometimes, they even occur via Android phone keyboard, though those tend to be filled with misspellings and strange auto-correct spelling mistakes.

Since, my 19 month hiatus, I’ve noticed something. During the past six months (yes, I’ve been back that long already), I’ve been less able to keep a column floating around in the back of the ’ole gray matter filing cabinet marked “columns.” For the first time in my life, and my professors and teachers may cringe upon hearing this, should any of them stumble across this, I find myself needing to write down ideas right away as they occur. I never, ever had to do that before.

If there’s no paper and pen nearby, I have to speak the idea into the Motorola, or type them onto the Google Drive immediately, lest the idea be set afloat forever on the Sea of Stuff that Pablo Never Put to Words. In other words, lost forever somewhere in my head.

I’m quite aware that lots of creative people have made quite a good habit of jotting down their ideas immediately, even if they occur in the middle of the night, from Rod Serling to Stephen King, to my wife, The Boss. Jerry Seinfeld even did an entire episode about not being able to read a note jotted down in his sleep. “Flaming Globes of Sigmund!” I think it said. That episode is a lesson in penmanship that I would surely suffer if the pen and a note pad were the only solution.

Saturday, The Boss and I got into the car for one of those Saturday shopping jaunts when what seemed like a fantastic online column entry occurred (I will not refer to this as a blog because of the connotation that bloggers bring to my mind of something not bound by the rules of actual facts, fact-checking and opinion separation.) The Boss was laughing her head off. And then, much like a dog’s mind works, “RED BALL!” the idea was gone.

Not just from my mind, either. The Boss remembers laughing and that it was a great idea, but no, she cannot remember what it was, either.

Which reduces me to this, telling you that the divine inspiration or the gift of the twisted sense of world observation I’ve been blessed/cursed with has to be backed up by various electronic secretaries, following me around and waiting for me to dictate some simple one-sentence idea into them.

“Flaming Globes of Sigmund!”



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