Idea Goulash: Why you should always support your random writing ideas

Idea Goulash: Why you should always support your random writing ideas

The story I wanted to run today was called, “I tried a restaurant without checking Yelp first.” It’s an adventurous journey about the time I looked across the street at Ms. T’s fried chicken restaurant in Lakeview East and thought, “Wow, that looks good,” and instead of immediately checking the online reviews, I simply went in and ordered a meal.

The post is mostly about the food at Ms. T’s, but it’s also meant to be a push back against our modern world of endless reviews. We’ve got Yelp and Tripadvisor for food. Hotel scores. Rotten Tomatoes scores. Uber driver and passenger scores. There’s Amazon. Glassdoor. G2.

Sure, it’s good to have all of this information. We’re living in the age of the “informed buyer.” But we lose our sense of adventure. I mean, Christopher Columbus didn’t look up the best 4-star routes to America. Lewis and Clark didn’t check Hotwire for hotels on their journey west of the Mississippi.

Problem is, that post isn’t ready. Last week was busy and I wasn’t able to finish a final draft. I tried to get up super early today, but winter, Monday mornings, and the snooze button pair far too well together. I couldn’t hit my arbitrary Monday morning deadline.

Then I thought, while yes, it’s good to have standards for your blog (always wanting to post the best version of a story) it can slowly take the adventure out of the writing process. “It’s not ready yet” can turn into “one more week” to “one more month.” At a deeper level, these delays might be well-intentioned (wanting to put your best foot forward) but it can create an environment where less new ideas are being generated. It’s like having a new security system installed; those new random ideas feel like they have to be 4-stars to make it through. And if most of them aren’t going to make it through, then why even try?

So I’m using today’s post as an “Idea Goulash.” Just a bunch of different stray notes, jokes, and ideas from the past few months that I’ve jotted down in my phone but haven’t found a home for yet. I’m resisting the urge to put them in any sort of order. The result is a messy hodgepodge. A bowl of Medium Rare goulash to start the week.

Idea Goulash

Umbilical cords – The original ribbon cutting ceremony

Cartoon idea: A car full of bears going to the beach. The guy at the gate says, “Sorry, we have a bear minimum.”

A guy putting salt on the icy sidewalk. A fancy restaurant guy behind him asks, “Would you like to add some fresh pepper?”

Monarch butterfly as a butcher. Customer asks, “Hey, could you butterfly this chicken?”

Psychic: I wasn’t expecting you. Customer: Well, that’s not a great start.

Kid: Can we play a board game? Parent: Eh, here’s the iPad.

Guy orders an Uber. Police car shows up. Police officer: Uber for Chris?” Me: Uh, this feels like a trap.

“2020 Marketing Pitch.” Whole lobby of people holding up different color t-shirts that all say, “Hindsight is 2020.”

A works cited page that just says, “Dad.”

Doctor: Sir, we need to test your testes to see if the test sees

A thing of garlic saying, “I don’t mince my words.”

A dog’s iPhone: paw print instead of finger print to unlock.

Customer: Can I get a small decaf coffee? Waiter: Why?

“The tired swing.” A tire swing that looks exhausted.

Guy: I had my big breakthrough. Wife: (whispers to friends) We call it a breakdown.

Advertisement: Earn your masters overnight. Guy reading sign: “What am I mastering in, sleep?”

The police show up. One of them shouts freeze. Another officer says into the megaphone, “You have the right to remain… happy.” Police proceed to dance to Pharell’s song, “Happy.”

Guy: I try to wear my emotions on my sleeves. Girl: Wow, that’s great. Guy: Yeah, I’m usually in a tank top tho so.

Father’s Day envelope. Just says Dad and has a stamp. Post officer says, “Yeah, I’m gonna need a little more information.”

Guy: I’ve been on my feet all day. Other guy: Oh, give me a break. You work at a standing desk.

The devil’s Chex Mix.

I ran my soul through a Brita filter.

“I’m doing everything I’m supposed to like and I don’t like any of it.”

I’m looking to buy a used Fitbit, but I can’t find one with under 100,000 miles

I want to buy a Fitbit, I just can’t take that first step

Advertisement: A sunscreen so thick, your friends won’t even know you went on vacation.

I’m at the age where I’d be considered old in the NBA.

Like having a neighbor that plays music really loud but it’s all of your favorite songs.

Guy: I have a serious problem. Doctor: What’s that? Guy: I can’t take myself seriously.

Guy: I love you. Girl: What? That’s way too soon. Guy: Why? Girl: I don’t even know your middle name!

I’d run through a wall for you… or at least like one of those tear-away banners at a football game.

Chick Fil A worker calling out orders. “Orders for Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”

It’s like wearing headphones in the bath tub; you feel like it should be a bad idea but it’s secretly totally fine.

It’s like Bed Bath and Beyond coupons; they’re everywhere until you actually need one.

I want to buy the kind of suit that makes me look like a guy who wears a suit.

If someone asks me how you are doing, what am I supposed to say. ‘Oh, he’s doing great. He’s making his own croutons now.’

Sign at the zoo: Please don’t feed animal crackers to the animals. It just gets confusing.

“Where does the time go?” A group of grandfather clocks hanging out at the bar.

Not sure when the next round of Idea Goulash will be, but I kind of like the idea of doing this a couple of times a year. Just need to reload the roster of ideas.

Quick note – I’ll be performing in the Writing 6 show, “New Year’s Revolution” taking place the next three Fridays (January 17th, 24th, 31st) at Second City. Here are some more details on showtimes and how to order tickets. If you can make it, would love to see ya there!

And I’m about 92% sure the post about Ms. T’s will be ready for next Monday. If not, might just be another round of goulash. 

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Filed under: writing

Tags: goulash, ideas, jokes, writing

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