Friday, July 4, 2008

When Fiction Intermingles with Real Life

I took a walk to Golf Town this afternoon, to pick up more pink balls. As I was roaming the store, I heard a man asking for something he'd put on hold, at the cash desk. The sales clerk, said, "No problem, George. The last name's Fowler, right?"

I turned to look. George Fowler. I knew that name. That's right, he's Lila's dad, I thought. Then I tried to recall how I knew Lila. Did I go to school with her, or was it my sister? But as George walked by I realized I didn't recognize him. Perhaps I've never met him, I thought. Should I stop him and say hi? As I debated this, it suddenly dawned on me. I don't know George Fowler at all. I don't even know Lila Fowler. That's because she was never my friend. She was Jessica Wakefield's best friend. In the Sweet Valley High books.

This isn't the first time that I have confused fiction with real life. Last weekend I was back at the homestead for my father's "60 is the new 50" birthday party. I'd gone over to say hi to our neighbours, and when I came back I mentioned to my dad that Mrs. Neighbour's sister was visiting from Vancouver.

"How long has she lived in Vancouver?" I asked.

"I think she's always lived there," my dad said.

"Not always," I corrected him. "Remember, she was in the Halifax Symphony, so she must've lived out east. Otherwise that was one heck of a commute."

My dad looked at me, a little like he might be losing his mind, but more like I was losing mine. "She's a stock broker. I don't think she's ever been in the symphony."

"A stock broker?" I shook my head. "No, she was DEFINITELY in the Halifax Symphony."

My dad's look now confirmed that he thought it was definitely me that was crazy.

And then I realized that I was actually confusing my neighbour's sister with Dave's sister. Dave, being the main character in Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe series. Hmm...


Anonymous said...

For a moment, I too thought I knew Mr. Fowler! That's hilarious. I loved the sweet valley series right up to when they went to university.

Btw, congratulations on your new book. How long did it take you to write it?


scarbie doll said...

I once was on a movie set to pick up some gear and this man began talking to me casually. I was looking at him like we were related. Like he was my cousin.

He mentioned he had been in a Canadian Film Centre film (one of which I was volunteering on) and I mentioned he looked familiar. He admitted to being on 90210. Twice. I started to scream. "Omigod! You were in season one! You were Brenda and Brandon's cousin in the wheelchair and you liked Kelly but you couldn't get down the stairs at that party!" Then I died. The end.