Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Urine Mystery

No this is not a post on bedwetting.

My oldest son had an assignment this week to write a mystery story. He is reading a mystery in class, and he is reading mysteries for fun. In fact, one recent book prevented him from falling asleep until very very late on a school night, so we had to agree that reading scary mysteries at night when you have an overactive imagination is not a very good idea.

He handed me a copy of his mystery to read aloud tonight. It really made me chuckle with attempts at foreshadowing, diversion, motive, clues, and dialogue between a French detective and various other characters named after sports figures. It has an arbitrary hand grenade, a thing somehow deemed so essential to an exciting plot that boys try to insert it in any story. The story also features boy-style humor, created by using the word urine as many times as possible. The suspects are a urinary doctor, a sales executive, and a professional cricket player. Hmm, who could it be? The story abruptly ends with the French detective shouting "I know who did it!" but the reader is not so sure who did it or even really exactly what they did. Seeing what must have been my confused expression upon finishing the story, my son said, "Well Mom, he's the only one who COULD have done it."

After re-reading the ending, I discover that surprisingly, the urinary doctor did it, and by the way, his office smelled horribly of urine. I think, but I am not entirely sure, that it is a happy coincidence that the detective places the doctor under arrest with a relieved expression on his face.

1 comment:

The Big Boss said...

A friend sent me this email which really made me laugh.

As a former young boy writer, I can assure you that the urinary doctor always is the culprit . . . by making him the culprit he remains in the story all the way to the end thus providing ample opportunity to use the word urine several more times. This is an under-appreciated literary device
known as the "trochaic onomatopeeya." Unfortunately, as said young boy writers mature, the urinary doctor transmogrifies into the prostate doctor and the literary results are far less compelling.

I am really enjoying your writing, urine or not in the text.