Excessive Amounts of Baby Oil


Now, isn’t this cosy? Just the two of us… well, apart from… y’know.

‘I’m a bit nervous.’

There’s no need for that, we are friends, after all, aren’t we?


Can’t you say something a bit more interesting than just well, all the time?

‘You created me this way.’

I know, but I thought you’d be a bit more eloquent a bit more outgoing. You are supposed to be the central character after all.

‘Yes, but…’

But, what?

‘It’s fine when it is just the two of us, but when they are watching I get a bit… well, y’know.’

When who are watching?

‘The readers.’

You don’t have to worry about them.

‘Oh, but I do. I’m always wondering if I’m good enough… sympathetic enough.’

You’ll be fine. The readers are going to love you.

‘Are you sure, even after what I do in chapter nineteen?’

Especially after chapter nineteen. They’ll fully sympathise with the situation you are in, and understand why you had to do that thing… even though it does get a bit… a bit… messy towards the final paragraphs.

‘I did want to ask you about that. Do I have to spend half of the next chapter trying to get the stains out?’

Well, that is a vital clue for the reader. Without that, the final revelation will make no sense, especially the bit with the melon and the cricket bat.

‘I meant to ask you about that. Do I have to be naked for the whole chapter?’

Well, yes. It is artistic. A metaphor for how the entire story is about stripping you back to the raw, naked you with all your defences gone and-

‘Yes, yes. You explained all that before. I’m still not sure I understand, but does it need all that baby oil?


‘Are you sure?’


‘Only I was wandering through your memories of the incident it was based on, and there is nowhere near that amount of baby oil.’

Which is why it never worked in reality.

‘But you think fiction will somehow be different?’

Of course, yes. Otherwise why bother?

‘You can’t try to rectify the mistakes of your past by fictionalising them. You know that.’

It has nothing to do with that.

‘Are you sure?’

No. Yes. Of course, I’m sure. We were just not right for each other, that’s all. We drifted apart.

‘More like slipped out of each other’s grasp with that amount of baby oil. Which makes me wonder why you need so much in that scene.’

For the comedic potential of course.

‘Comedic? Oh, right. I see. Of course.’




‘Only it is not very funny, is it?’

It made me laugh.


What do you mean by that?


Come on.

‘Only these days… no, it doesn’t matter.’

Come on, tell me.

‘You won’t like it.’

Constructive criticism is always valuable. Tell me.

‘It’s just that you are not as funny as you used to be. Sorry.’

Right. I see.

‘Don’t be like that. I was only trying to help. Hang on, what are you doing? It isn’t time for a new draft yet.’

I think I need a new start. A new approach…. A new central character.



Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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