My head is spinning.
Not literally, like that demon-possessed girl’s head did in The Exorcist right before she upchucked all over the room. That was gross and scary, and I would never do that. Besides, my neck is so stiff most of the time I can barely look left and right, let alone face north while looking south.
I mean “my head is spinning” metaphorically. As in, My head is spinning like the basket in a washing machine when it’s on the spin cycle.
Wait, that’s a simile.
Anyway, what was I talking about?
My head is spinning. Why?
Oh, today’s prompt, Or Else. I spent 7 and a half hours thinking about it last night, and I can’t imagine a writing scenario in which I’d use “or” and “else” next to one another. It just isn’t right. Consider this example from a dramatic screenplay I’m working on about a high school English teacher turned professional superhero bowler:
Masked man, brandishing a handgun in a bank: This is a robbery! Everybody give me your money, or else!
Pudgy man, holding a flaming red, 20-pound bowling ball: Or else what?
Masked man: Give me your cash, or else I’ll shoot you.
Pudgy man: You don’t need the “else” in that sentence.
Pudgy: The ‘else’ is totally unnecessary. You can just say, ‘Give me your money, or I’ll shoot you.’ It’s the same for me. I could say, Put down the gun, or else I’ll throw this bowling ball at you. But it’s better to say, Put down the gun, or I’ll throw this bowling ball at you.
By the way, put down the gun, or I’ll throw this bowling ball at you.
Masked: Oh, right, you’re going to bowl me to death. And what are you, a high school English teacher? Shut up!
Pudgy: How do you know I’m not a superhero whose superpower is hurling bowling balls at supersonic speeds?
Masked: Look, give me your cash, or I’m going to pop a cap in your fat ass.
Security guard, quickly sneaking up behind the masked robber with his service revolver: Drop the gun, or I’ll blow your head off!
Pudgy: Excuse me, but you shouldn’t end your sentence with the word ‘off.’ It’s incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition.
Security guard: What!?
Pudgy: Well, I don’t mean to be picky, but to be grammatically correct, you should say, ‘Drop the gun, or I’ll blow off your head.’
Security: That sounds stupid! Nobody talks like that!
Pudgy: Maybe so, but it’s correct.
Masked: Is everybody here fucking nuts?
Pudgy: No, clearly we’re not fucking nuts, if that’s even possible, which I highly doubt. We were robbed, and now we’re discussing grammar.
Masked: I don’t want to discuss grammar!
Pudgy: I don’t, either. I want to go bowling. But you started this mess, not me.
I went through writing scenario after writing scenario like this last night, desperately trying to figure out if there was a correct way to use or and else together. But the scenes always ended up like this one. Botched.
It’s driving me insane.
I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but there’s got to be a connection between my problems and this writing competition sponsored by Nicky and Mike over at We Work For Cheese. For more responses to today’s prompt, visit them now, or else.