The Selective Elephant
Am I obsessed with characters? Probably. Sometimes I take people’s idiosyncrasies and add them into my characters. I never make a character from one person because no one person has all the traits I need.
There are different character types and I’ll put a few examples of the some of the people I’ve met in my life into the list below – if you know me and recognise yourself on the list, please feel free to blame my mother (everyone else does).
The ‘Selective Elephant’– They say elephants never forget. The ‘Selective Elephant’ never forgets a particular incident or something you said or did fifty years ago. Every time you meet them or they introduce you to someone they mention it. The thing you said or did becomes who you are, regardless of what you have done or said ever since that time.
Me: I caught a shark once.
The Topper: I was bitten by a shark!
Me: I’m looking at buying a new laptop.
The Topper: I’ve got three laptops!
Me: I feel like a coffee.
The Topper: I just bought a $10,000 coffee machine!
At first the Topper can be a bit annoying, but after a while you wished they’d just GET LOST (no they’ve already been lost in the desert and survived at least three times!)
The Martyr – They constantly go above and beyond the call of duty and no one ever appreciates them. They do things like bake cakes for morning tea and everyone thinks that’s nice and say thank you, etc. but this isn’t good enough. The martyr gets upset because people didn’t thank them enough. They end up storming off and saying how ungrateful everyone is – then do exactly the same thing the following week.
The KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Person) – They share private things with certain people (similar to the ‘Whisperer’, but far more cunning). The KIPPs favourite line is – ‘Don’t tell so and so, but…’ Now this is all well and good, we don’t want to share everything with everyone, but it’s the way it’s done that is crucial to this character type. This person deliberately leaves people out of their conversations in the hope they will hear the news and wonder why they’re no longer ‘in with the in crowd’.
The ‘Whisperer’ – I had a very nasty experience with a whisperer. I tried to avoid this person as much as possible because of their complete lack of anything-nice-in–this-world-or-beyond personality. Unfortunately, this person was at my father’s Wake and not only constantly whispered to a friend, but also looked at me and laughed a few times. This was a grown woman, not a giggling teenager. Avoid ‘The Whisperer’ at all costs, otherwise you’re likely to waste a good pastry when you peg it at their head.
The New York Times – They call you and tell you the most intimate secrets of everything about everyone they have ever spoken to and insist on asking you how you are. Of course, you never tell them because you know they’ll be yelling it from the rooftops as soon as you hang up the phone.
The ME-ME – Related to ‘The Topper’ but have absolutely no interest in anyone else’s life. You tell them your favourite aunt just died and they cut in to say they’re crushed that the deli no longer sells their favourite ice cream.
The Drop Bear – They drop by for a visit and stay for a month because you have a couch.
The Boom Box – This person is usually okay until they drink alcohol and think you’re standing on the other side of a paddock and can’t hear anything they’re saying. This usually happens about two in the morning (and can be particularly annoying if they’re a Drop Bear or Topper).
The Contra-dictator – They have to be right about everything but their memory empties faster than Niagara Falls. ‘You NEVER told me that’ is their favourite line. Their second favourite line ‘That’s NOT what I said.’ Even if the conversation was recorded they deny everything – because they are ALWAYS right.
The Cryer – The good thing about The Cryer is they know they’re a Cryer. They try to control it, but always end up in tears at the end of a sad movie. They even cry when they’re trying to explain to their friends what happened in the movie. They cry during TV advertisements where puppies are running around with toilet roles in slow motion to the sound of classical music. They cry when Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo dies in Southpark. I believe only politicians who are Cryers should be voted into office. I’m seriously considering starting a Cryers Anonymous support group called Cryers Helping Others Prepare Strategies To Instil Crying Karma (CHOPSTICKs)
My favourite character? The Cryer
My least favourite character? The Whisperer