A Character

by Peter Cherches

There once was a man who wanted to be a character in a story. It had always been his dream to be a character in a story─not just any character, the main character─but nobody ever wrote a story about him. Finally, one day, he decided he had to take the bull by the horns. He couldn't just sit around and wait for somebody to write a story about him.

The man, whose name was Tom, had a friend who was a writer. His friend's name was Peter Cherches, and Peter Cherches was always writing stories about all kinds of people. Tom decided to call Peter Cherches.

"Hey Pete, it's Tom," Tom said when Peter Cherches picked up the phone.

"Hi Tom," said Peter Cherches. "What's up?"

"Pete," Tom said, "I want you to write a story about me."

"I don't know about that, Tom," replied Peter Cherches.  "Most of the people I write about are unusual, or at least interesting. I'm sorry to say it, but you're a pretty boring guy."

"I am not boring!" Tom protested.

"All right, then, tell me something interesting about yourself that I can write about," Peter Cherches said to Tom.

"Well," said Tom, "I love hot dogs."

"So?" said Peter Cherches. "What's so interesting about that?"

"Yeah, but I really love hot dogs," Tom replied. "I eat hot dogs every day."

"An improper diet does not a story make," said Peter Cherches. "Is there anything else?"

"Well, my job is pretty interesting," said Tom. "As you know, I'm an accountant."

"I don't think my readers are interested in accountants," Peter Cherches replied.

"All right then, you could write about the time I broke my leg," Tom said.

"How did you break your leg?" Peter Cherches asked.

"I was skiing," Tom replied.


"And what?"

"So, you broke your leg skiing," Peter Cherches said. "What's the rest of the story?"

"Isn't that enough?"

"Listen Tom," said Peter Cherches. "I don't want to be rude, but you're really wasting my time. There's no way I'm going to write a story about you."

All of a sudden Tom's tone of voice changed. "You'll be sorry, Cherches" he said menacingly. "I'll get you for this. I don't know how, and I don't know when, but I'm gonna get you." Then he hung up on Peter Cherches.

Peter Cherches was more than a little worried. Maybe Tom was a strange one after all. Maybe he really was dangerous.

Well, he may have been scared out of his wits, but there was no way Peter Cherches was going to give in and write a story about Tom.

He did have his standards, after all.