Bad Day at Black Rock: The far post

200px-bad_day_at_black_rockStop me if you’ve heard this one before. There are two plots, it is said: Someone Goes On A Trip and Stranger Comes To Town. That’s one plot, actually, with two points of view. Stranger must go on trip from some other town in order to come to ours.

Why then so many stories? Subplot and denouement.

For example, Kid comes to town and wants to play ball. Say Kid is poor and lives on the flats (the poor kid is always from the flats). When Kid shows up on the field, he’s picked on and stuffed in the trash can. Or, Kid shows up on the field with immense talent, becomes a hero, and gets a scholarship to State.

Or, say, Kid is rich, and when he comes down off the hill (the rich kid always lives on the hill), he brings a shiny new ball and a couple extra pairs of shin guards, to share. Many options here. Say Kid’s dad builds town a Carnegie library and moves on to next town (Kid leaves ball with team).

Or, Kid says, “We play by my rules or I take my ball and go home.”

Or, Kid says, “Give me your lunch money and I’ll let you clean up and mow Mr. Wilson’s vacant lot for a new pitch, and I’ll let you paint the fence. And, if you promise me your kid’s lunch money 20 years from now, I’ll give you free tickets on promo night.”

Moral of story: Some kids teach their parents about Stranger Danger. Some don’t.