January 3, 2012

A Yarn Bomb. No, Really

Since Portlandia is beginning it's second season this week, I thought it might be appropriate to pay a little homage to my new fav sketch comedy program. If I were ever allowed to write a script for the show--which will NEVER happen--I would have a ball. Or a bomb.

In this snippet from my own imaginary script for Portlandia, there just might be one.

A Yarn Bomb. No, Really

Fred and Carrie meet up with a good friend from Portland named Vince who has been a very useful consultant for the show, helping to keep it true to Portland form. He is an earthy fellow who still believes in peace and love. He has very long, graying hair that is lately forming dreadlocks surrounding a kindly face. He is soft spoken, but deliberate in his way of communication. He has elegant, fine features and a slight build formed from years of yoga and a strict vegan diet. An accomplished fiber artist and glass blower, he has called the two friends for a meeting.

He has an idea for the show.

Let’s listen in as they settle down in a coffee shop...

Vince orders a chai tea without cream. No animal products, please. He softly smiles at the server, a young woman probably in her early 20’s.

Fred and Carrie order a couple of espresso drinks and ask Vince what’s up.

Vince’s serene face lights up and he strains to hold back a too-broad grin. He begins, “Well, my friends, you know how much it means to me to work toward a more peaceful existence through natural means and loving others,” his words are drawn out in a meaningful, almost dreamlike way.

He continues as Carrie and Fred glance at each other, then return their attention to Vince, “I believe I have found a way to celebrate Yarn Bombing Day, which also strives to bring people together, with a message of peace.”

No longer able to hold back, Vince produces a tiny, round knitted object with an even tinier stem of crocheted stitches on the end. He points the stem toward the ceiling. The sphere is only about 2 inches in diameter, and the stem only millimeters.

They all three gaze at the tiny…bomb?

Vince exclaims, “Isn’t it great?”

“What is it?” Fred and Carrie ask simultaneously.

“It’s a bomb!”

“Why would you want a bomb to promote peace?”

Vince is clearly glad they asked this question, “Don’t you see the social irony?” His words are freely flowing now, his excitement rising, he speaks rapidly as though all the words will not wait their turn, “A tiny, warm and fuzzy deliverer of peace in the very form that usually instills fear! What a message!” Vince, the evangelist of peace goes on, “Remember that piece you guys did a while back? ‘Put a bird on it?’ Well, put a bomb on it for International Yarn Bombing Day!”

He sits back triumphantly. His eyes welled a little with tears as his emotions have momentarily carried him away. He composes himself, waiting for the wonderful compliments from his friends that will surely ensue.

“Uhhh…” Fred hesitates, careful not to burst his friend’s bubble, “Vince, you might be able to do this in limited places, but I think overall people might think it sends the wrong message.”

Carrie nods. She holds her hands over Vince’s. “Vince, it’s a great thought, but I agree with Fred -- it’s too risky.”

Vince is undaunted, he ignores their caution. They just aren’t getting it, that’s all. “Think about this for a minute. It will be cute. You know, like those miniature knitted figures. The bombs will be like a messenger of hope. Imagine! Bombs for peace!”

He says this last part too loudly, and people are starting to turn and look at him. He is wearing flowing robes and is starting to make people suspicious.

“Vince,” Fred says through his teeth, smiling and glancing around, “you might want to lower your voice.”

“Fred, we did not lower our voices back in the 60’s and we aren’t going to start now!” Now he was really getting riled up. He tried to quickly lighten the mood that was clearly turning, “Look, it could be really splashy and fun! You could use those candles that won’t burn out—the birthday candles that re-light themselves—inside the bombs. Light them for fun, leave them in a public place, and watch people try to blow them out!”

He wasn’t finished, “Or another thing you could use are those party poppers. You know, wrap them in yarn, only the string is the ‘fuse’ and kids could pull them and the streamers and stuff come out the bottom. Maybe that could be a 4th of July skit, or something. Man…you could get crazy with this!”

There was a commotion outside, which Vince did not hear at first. A few people wearing lovely entrelac sweaters and carrying dogs on leashes—wearing the same sweaters—were running by the coffee shop window. Were they running from something?

For a moment, everyone in the coffee shop turned their attention from Vince’s sermon (“…or what about New Year’s Eve and party crackers…”) about peace and bombs to the window. They all heard the sound of drums, marimbas and this clacking sound…what was that? The television behind the espresso machine in the shop was humming something about a Yarn Bomb Gang and the mayor of Portland declaring a state of emergency.

Then they all saw it. The tidal wave of color and yarn and needles and oh so many people!

Vince stopped his speech. He saw them, he heard them. He heeded them. His people. They were calling him!

He turned. He had, in his excitement, climbed a chair to preach to an unwilling crowd.

Now, as they passed, he gave up on his friends, bidding them farewell. He grabbed his bomb and lightly, freely exited the shop, joining the mob as joining old friends. They welcomed him, tossing him a tee shirt that said “only knitting.” on the back.

“We’ll never see him again,” Carrie said wistfully.

“No. He’s happy now.” Fred smiled. Then he wondered, almost to himself, “Where the heck did they get those tees?”

They both stared as they watched their old friend pass from this life into the next…

If you'd like "the rest of the story," just click the Part II Portlandia button down the right side of the page : )

As the kids and the hipsters say these days, "Cheers!"


Nancy said...

Oh my gosh this is hilarious!! I was just introduced to Portlandia last week and we've all been hooked! This would be an AWESOME idea for an episode. You HAVE to find a way to submit it! That is the epitome of Portland if I've ever read it. I can't believe you've got such writing skillz!

The Knitting Muse said...

YOU'RE hilarious. Actually, Carrie B was interviewed after last season on some show (don't remember now) and she said that they absolutely do NOT take outside ideas--bummer. Guess I'll have to start my own sketch comedy duo.