Tuesday, November 10, 2015

CW #3 Bob & Jim

This is the third creative writing assigment. We are given a writing prompt and from there have to come up with a scenario and the action. It is a challenge!

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Bob Carlson and Jim Hanson greeted each other awkwardly as they took their seats on the 747 bound for London, England. Bob groaned inwardly - he couldn't stand Jim and the thought of sitting next to that blow-hard for seven hours was almost more than he could take. He thought of asking to change seats, but the plane looked full, and besides which they were neighbors so he had to at least pretend to get along.

As soon as they were in the air and the seat belt sign went out, Bob undid his seatbelt and tried to get comfortable, loosening the laces on his Reeboks and stretching his worn denim clad legs in front of him.

"You really should keep your seatbelt on. People have been killed by smashing into the ceiling when the plane has hit a big pocket of air." said Jim as he snugged up his belt a bit.

Bob rolled his eyes. "What are the odds of that happening?".

"Not zero, take your chance if you want," he said sarcastically, "Amy is a sweet girl with a head on her shoulders, I'm sure she's happy to have a father."

"You leave Amy out of this! I noticed how much time you two spent talking at the last party, what's that all about?" said Bob as he surreptitiously did up his seat belt. Bob picked up his 'Ontario Grain Farmer' magazine and with the veins in his neck throbbing, turned to look out the window.

"Look," said Jim, "I know you don't like me, and that's fine, but don't put thoughts into my head that aren't there. Amy is a nice kid, with a good brain on her shoulders," he thought to himself, "but that's what she is, a kid. Besides which, we have a long flight ahead of us and it will go faster if we can agree to get along, at least for these few hours." He undid his seatbelt and stood up, his carefully combed black hair barely clearing the ceiling. He shrugged out of his sports jacket, folded it neatly and placed it in the overhead bin, refastening his seatbelt as soon as he sat down. Bob couldn't help but notice that his worn jeans contrasted with Jim's neatly pressed Levi's.

"Why should I believe you don't have the hots for my daughter? She sure can't say enough about you. It's sickening." Bob blustered, his face red with anger.

The stewardess rolled next to them with her brushed aluminum serving cart. "Can I interest you gentlemen in a drink?". Bob ordered a beer, while Jim ordered a scotch, neat.

Jim picked up his magazine, 'The Economist', but was not easily put off by Bob's rebuke. "Look, we were just talking about the chemistry experiments that she's been doing at school. You'll just have to trust that I prefer my women closer to my own age." he gritted his teeth in a frustrated grimace and tried to change the subject. "Have you had any dealings with Genesis Grains Incorporated?"

Bob turned to look at Jim with a bit of surprise on his face. "Well, yeah. That's the company that I'm going over to close up a sale."

"Do you know anything about their GMO research arm?"

"A bit. They are doing some pretty interesting stuff."

"The research that they're doing with golden rice has me really intrigued. Imagine splicing in the gene for making more vitamin A - it will save millions of kids from blindness. I'm seriously thinking of investing in them. I've been tracking their stock for 6 months and the trend is good." Jim sat back in his seat while the stewardess delivered their drinks. "Ahhh. That's not bad scotch."

Bob looked at Jim out of the corner of his eye and put down his magazine. "Where did you hear about them?"

"There was an article in 'the Economist' several months back about the work that's being done with GMO. Not the GMO that lets Monsanto sell more poison, but the GMO that is really going to help people. The internet has lots more information, if you dig for it. There's a lot more going on than you see in the media. They just like to sensationalize and not educate." Jim took a another sip of his drink.

"You've got some good points, Jim. I'd like to hear more about what 'the Economist' said, but here comes our supper."

"This barely qualifies as supper. It isn't anything like the fantastic spread that your wife put out a few weeks ago. Man, she can really cook!" said Jim as he peeled back the plastic on the butter. He was hoping a less controversial topic would ease the conversation a bit.

"Umm, well, yeah. Maria's the reason I have such a paunch! How can I keep trim when she stuffs me with all that stick-to-your-ribs Italian cooking. She's got a good student in Amy too." Bob's face reddened as he thought of Jim's comments about Amy and her irritating infatuation for him - 'metrosexual indeed'.

They were silent as they finished their meals and both contemplated how to keep the conversation congenial.

After their plates were cleared away they resumed their conversation over coffee, with a more neutral topic. "Do you do much investing?" Bob asked Jim, recalling comments about the grain company.

"Tons, I love the excitement of the market - the losses not so much. Do you have an investment advisor or do you work on your own?"

"I have an investment advisor, but I haven't been happy with my returns." said Bob, brushing crumbs from his 'Mets' tshirt. Their conversation started to flow more easily and before they knew it they were starting their descent into Heathrow airport.

Bob turned to Jim with a smile. "You know, you aren't so bad afterall. I'm sorry I was so quick to judge. "

Jim was pleased that a common ground was found and smiled back, relieved that Bob didn't suspect the truth - he was really interested in Bob's wife, Maria, and that she shared the attraction.