Activity Corner – Week #2
I hate humid weather
Why I hate it:
- I get all gross and sweaty quickly
- I get rashes
- I feel more lethargic
- I get frustrated more easily
- I have bad sweat patches
Why someone might like it:
- They like sweating
- They hate cold weather
- It’s all they’ve known
- It makes their skin better
- It helps with dieting
The story of Melvin, who loves to sweat. Melvin drinks 2 litres of water every night before bed and 2 litres first thing in the morning. He sleeps with a wool doona wrapped in an alfoil doona cover. Melvin lives in Singapore where the weather is humid all year round. He loves it. Every day he pulls on his favourite beanie, jumper and trackies to go for a morning run.
Melvin is the maintenance man for the worlds largest franchise of day spas. He specialises in the maintenance and repair of saunas. Melvin loves his job. Every night he thinks about how lucky he is that he can sweat all day long just before nodding off to sleep.
Melvin’s spa company is downsizing as a result of the low demand for saunas in Singapore. Melvin, being the company’s number one sauna maintenance man is pressured into relocating by his superiors. His inability to say no causes him to be relocated to Canada, where the weather is cold and never humid.
Melvin works hard at his job. He can only sweat it out while he’s on the job now. He works very hard on fixing all the saunas, so hard that the time between required maintenance and repair of the saunas becomes longer and longer. Melvin now works slower so that he can stay inside of the sauna he’s fixing for longer. As a result, his superiors notice the lapse in productivity and Melvin is fired. He has no job, no money and stranded in Canada.
-What I liked-
I wrote this piece in the alotted time we had in the class. I really liked how charming it was. I think the absurd nature of Melvin’s defining quirk makes him pretty lovable. He seems like a lovable goof. I get a Forrest Gump-y feeling from Melvin when I read this. Or a Disney Pixar short.
I liked challenging myself with this story. It’s easy to write a story about a really gross guy who loves sweating or a really weird exercise fiend. I feel like I made a really likeable character who just overflows with positive vibes and good nature. He knows what he likes and not only does he work hard to get what he likes, he’s also grateful that he gets the opportunity to work in a place where he can get what he wants/likes. His hobbies and habits bare no ill will to anybody else and are completely legitimate and safe.
The story has a strong, believable point of conflict that uses various elements of Melvin’s life in order to occur. For example, the company downsizes because Singapore is already humid and there’s no strong demand for spas. Melvin works for a spa company fixing saunas because it allows him to sweat it out. He also lives in Singapore because of the humid climate. The fact that he can sweat it out at work means he loves work, works hard and is one of the company’s best. The marriage of these elements allows the conflict to occur naturally.
The turn is also very devastating for Melvin and a direct contrast to his initial situation. I also like how he loses both of the things he loves in his life (living in Singapore and working in saunas) fall away separately. The circumstances of Melvin losing his job due to wanting to sweat it out more is very sad and it makes you sympathise with him.
-How I can improve-
I think Melvin’s back story could use a little more fleshing out. It’s clear that he loves to sweat but there isn’t really any explanation as to why he loves it so much. The lack of this backstory and a clear reason for his motivation makes it harder to believe his actions throughout the piece. I also feel like if there was a really emotional, sympathetic/empathetic reason for him liking the feeling of sweating than the audience would feel even more for him and would want to see him succeed.
Overall, I think this piece is a neat start to something that could go feature length or just be a short. I think the lack of backstory could maybe strengthen or even legitimise it as a feature length piece. I wish all the best for Melvin and hope he gets out of the unfortunate funk he is in.