3AM Epiphany #145–Charlie Tan

This week’s exercize calls for us to write a 300-word fragment using a word list, such as the top 10 word list of 2004, and so on. I decided to use the top 10 from 2007. The list is here. Its an odd list with two very obscure words. In the fragment below, I have bolded the words from the list. You can get definitons from the link above.


The email memo said:
Meeting today re: “Charlatan”. 10 AM. All production and writing staff must attend.

Sam’s heart sank. Ah, fuck, she thought. Great, just great. She stood and looked over the grey mini-walls of her cubical to John’s. His wild red mop of uncombed curls was nowhere to be seen. “Fuck!”

“Charlatan” was his baby! It was his idea, his characters, his script. She told him it wouldn’t fly with Gary. Gary hated artsy-fartsy pitches. Gary wanted shows filled with assholes and hypocrites, with uncreative plots. “Americans are too fucking apathetic and depressed and stressed out to want to fucking think.” He had once said. “I want some goddamn sardoodledom!”

Sardoodledom. She had to look that word up. Gary liked obscure literary words. He collected them like magpies collected shiny things. His newest favorite? “Pecksniffian.” She had to look that up too. She’d never read Dickens.

Sam checked her watch. 9:42. She sent a quick IM to Mary. “Gary called a meeting–3 guesses on what its for.”

“LOL Fuck. Charlatan? I knew that thing would blow up in John’s face! 😦 “

“John’s not here. Its gonna be a fucking blamestorm, I just know it. And I know its all gonna fall on me. w00t.”

“Well, you are his writing partner on Dirty Blue, after all”

“John wants out of Dirty Blue. Hell, I do too. Which is why I went along with him, I guess.”

Honestly, Sam liked “Charlatan.” It was a light, humane comedy about a quixotic man whose only passion was to help people live better lives. Charlie Tan was the character’s name, and Charlie’s only conundrum was that no one would ever let a homeless janitor help them. So Charlie pretended to be the person they thought they needed–often with unexpected results, and always for the better.

Such a complete change from that soul-numbing travesty “Dirty Blue.” Like John, she had hoped that Charlatan would appeal to Gary’s creative nature, and overide his cynical, jaded bitterness.

Sam sighed. “Its time.” She typed to Mary. “I’ll catch John on facebook tonight and break the news to him then.”

“:( Think he’ll quit?”

“I dunno.”



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