A few years back I started a writing project of short and short-short pieces that all started with a character saying “So, here’s the thing …”
I started it because I kept hearing people use the phrase to get to the point they wanted to make two or twenty minutes earlier. What I found, once I began listening to what came after this key phrase was either self-indulged justification for bad behavior, a request for permission to engage in bad behavior for all the reasons expounded on before the key phrase, or, in the best of cases, a simple, honest request for what they really wanted.
I’m feeling the urge to dig out that project. It was pure fiction, which allows me to say the next: it was primarily about sex and sexual tensions. Boy was it fun to write. I guess I’m thinking about it as I hear about how elected officials are doing all of the above.
- “Here’s the thing, I want you to hear me say I’m not a quitter even though I’m quitting.”
- “Here’s the thing, I really want my wife to stay married to me (so she can stay home and do all the responsible stuff) while I either hike the Appalachian Trail or screw a broad abroad.”
- “Here’s the thing, I’m not gay, I just like to touch feet with strange men in public bathrooms frequented by gay men.”
I wonder if this would be a fun communal blog project: Short-shorts (three or four paragraphs max) that must start with “Here’s the thing.” But fiction. REally. That’s more fun.