|This is Molly on the day she graduated from|
Tiny Felon Academy. Not really, although she
did steal that cap from her mother.
Aside from the fact that as I swung her around the store on our way out, pleased with my clean getaway and clueless as only a grandma can be, Molly managed to steal a ring.
If I thought I walked quickly on my way out of the store, that was nothing compared to the speed with which I dragged her back to the same employee washing the same front door. I handed him the ring--a large, sparkly man's ring that was nearly big enough for Molly to use as a bracelet--and apologized profusely, telling him she had no idea that what she did was wrong. I told Molly to tell him she was sorry. She did, although I doubt she had any idea why snagging the ring was not a nice thing to do. She thinks of stores as huge toy boxes that someone has graciously and neatly organized for her. He thanked me for returning it (who on earth wouldn't return a ring stolen by her granddaughter from a Christian bookstore, for crying out loud?), and the tiny felon and I slinked away. Well, I slinked. Tiny felon skipped.
Obviously, the point of this story is the incongruity of her innocent thievery and the fact that we were in a Christian store. She managed to break one of the Ten Commandments while surrounded by books prohibiting it. It's this kind of incongruous thing that makes great fodder for humor in our writing. Find something as ridiculous as you can imagine (and in my case it usually comes from real life), and weave it into your storyline. Several of my characters find themselves in absurd situations I dream up for them, then have to find ways to redeem themselves. Since they're under my control (for the most part), I make it as difficult as possible, and the result is humorous.
Now not all writers want to write humor, but for those of us who do it a lot, being aware of the incongruities occurring all around us is paramount. I find ideas everywhere I go--the shopper tossing three 12-packs of Coke into a cart overflowing with non-GMO organic food or the truck covered with lawn care advertisements parked in the driveway of the business's owner, surrounded by foot-high grass, dead flowers, and scraggly shrubbery. Oftentimes the most ludicrous things happen right at home with our own family members, as evidenced by this blog post. Take a look around you and find the humor happening everywhere.
And take it from me--don't be afraid to exploit your grandchildren. By the time they grow up and realize how you used them, you'll be too old for them to beat up.