Thursday, April 05, 2012

Take that, linear narrative!

During a recent Storyverse session theBoy decided the dragon Silly Simon, who always gets things wrong unless it's a Wednesday (1), was telling theBoy, Humpty and Stumpty a story. The story was about a pair of snails—Humpty Dumpty and Comety Stumpty—who lived in a pair of underpants and who climbed up the haft of a shovel to go shopping, as there was a snail shopping centre atop this mighty tool of gardening. They were off to buy money apparently, as you see, that's wacky.

So in other words theBoy had initiated a frame story; a story within a story. The Storyverse session was all going along tickety-boo when theBoy demanded that Optimus Prime then turn up in the story being told. So Silly Simon included him in the tale, with the Autobot leader meeting up with the aforementioned snails—snails clearly based, to Humpty's annoyance, on himself and his brother, Stumpty. 

It was then theBoy broke my brain. How?

He called up Optimus Prime. Yes, called him up while Optimus was in the story being told by Silly Simon the dragon. theBoy rang Optimus and over the phone then inflicted upon the robot some capricious magic—'Instead of Optimus Prime you say Optimus Bum!'. theBoy then followed this up with other calls to give more geas-like orders such as making him speak with a German accent or speak in a lady's voice. theBoy was egged on by Humpty, who was sitting with the others and listening to the original Silly Simon led tale, who yelled suggestions like 'make him stand on one leg!'

Optimus Prime (in the Silly Simon told story) got steadily more upset. He kept trying to break the magic but without success, for example yelling 'My name is Optimus Bum! Not Optimus Bum!' whilst hopping on one leg. Whenever Optimus tried then failed to break this curse then Humpty Dumpty the snail would simply repeat his name—'I'm Humpty Dumpty'—to remind people he was also in that story. Each time he did a clearly upset and now shrill-voiced Autobot leader would shriek at him to 'shut up!'

The next day, on a car trip, theBoy was gleefully chanting to himself 'I'm Humpty Dumpty / SHUT UP!' over and over again. 

Anyway it was such an awesome trippy concept to break into a story within a story to interact with that sub-layer of characters that it just blew me away. It was like something out of Inception.

What a Chooky!

(1) As Silly Simon is naturally wacky—he says the number three as 'Pineapple' and then eats rocks thinking they're pineapples—then on Wednesdays, traditionally a wacky day, he becomes normal...

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