Friday, 2 November 2012

'You can't even kill yourself in peace.'

Tony's short story Weekend on Call was the focus of our second meeting in October. Nobody could doubt the authenticity of the piece seeing it was biographical inasmuch as Tony is a mental health professional and has plenty of experience of being 'on-call'. We all agreed it was an excellent story with Chris declaring that it was Tony's 'best yet'.

So what made it successful? In our critiques, each of us highlighted the way Tony had used repetition to highlight the drag-anchor effect of being tied to the bleep and the duty-manager's mobile phone. Furthermore, by employing mental-health jargon and mundane examples of the decision-making needed to field the telephone calls, Tony created a black comedy and a descent into inanity that appeared to have only one resolution. However, Tony pulled it back from the brink.

Annie called it 'heartfelt and insightful'. For Linda, the humour was in the same vein as Reginal Perrin and Chris thought it an excellent satire on modern managerial life where 'cover your arse' (Annie's phrase) is the order of the day. Rob congratulated Tony on the choices he had made regarding tense and viewpoint that contributed to the story's success.

Tony was pleased that we recognised it as black comedy and confessed that writing the story had been a cathartic process. He assured us that the effect of being on call was exaggerated for the benefit of the narrative.

I owe the blog's title to Chris who used this phrase to illustrate the predicament of the poor sap who happens to be in possession of the bleeper, the special mobile phone and the notebook on any given weekend.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Rob, for your kind words and a fine summary of our last meeting. I love the apt choice of image for your blog post. (That's my Christmas present sorted, then!)