Inspiration is a curious mistress. Much like her sister Lady Luck, she plays by her own rules and can strike without warning at the most odd circumstances.
This past New Year’s Eve weekend, I went with a friend to Ikkicon in Austin. It was something to do, and if nothing else, cosplayers always make for an interesting and fun time people-watching.
I had a feeling that the flavor of odd that is usually associated with anime conventions was going to be a little extra-spicy by virtue of the con’s location, and Austin did not disappoint. As I walked around enjoying the spectacle as it lay before me, I saw something that struck me as odd.
Okay, MORE odd…
It was a person wearing a full head-to-toe red animal/critter/Pokemon-looking-thing costume with what appeared to be a fox’s head and tail. That in itself isn’t unusual, but the kicker was that this person was WALKING AROUND ON THEIR HANDS AND KNEES like an animal. It threw me for a loop; crossing into that “dangerously geeky” territory that I try to avoid like most people avoid regular geeks. Sadly, I was too transfixed by the specacle to take a picture with my cell phone camera, but I did get a picture of that person some time later, this time on two feet, as they assumed some kind of “battle pose” while facing another cosplayer in full regalia.
Now, this is just one of those events that is just DYING to be posted to Facebook. Its nice to have something unique to report besides the usual “I’m having a good/bad day” or “work sucks” or “OMG my child just did something for the first time!” stuff.
Playing with words is something I like to do, and I pondered over how to report this person’s rather successful attempt to “Keep Austin Weird.” I thought I’d borrow a meme from Fark.com and go with a 1-2-3 type of post, showing how this individual went from “Geeky” to “Super Geeky” to “Dangerously Geeky.”
I liked the words, but the format looked ordinary to me. Granted, that may be an effect of spending too much time on Fark.com, but in any event, I thought I could do better. While riding that train of thought, I got the idea of putting it into a haiku style. That is, a three-line verse with the first line containing five syllables, the next, seven and the last, five. I came up with:
bright red furry suit
walking around on all fours
what the frak is this
It was even short enough to fit into a tweet, which delighted me to no end. I then decided that it would a fun to put my postings for the rest of the week into what I call “tweet-ku” format, which adds a 160-character limit to the haiku structure. Despite my tendency to get “wordy,” I don’t think the character limit ever came up, and I only goofed up once on syllable count, so it went well.
A pleasant side effect of the exercise is that those self-imposed limits forced me think creatively in order to stay within them. At times, I struggled to keep my syllables at the correct counts, and I would find myself reading aloud while counting syllables on my fingers. Luckily, I would usually be inside at the time, or in the presence of other like-minded geeks who didn’t ask me why I was counting on my fingers.
Stretching that creative muscle helped me to finish other things, and I think I might be onto something. I may take to writing tweet-kus whenever my muse is tired of the drudgery of my nine-to-five and needs a quick snack to get it going.
Needless to say, that won’t take long!