I was in the car a few days ago and the Beatles’ All You Need is Love came on the radio. My sons love the Beatles, so everyone was singing along, but I was giggling in my seat so much Hubby asked me what I was laughing at.
Of course, when you describe a book scene to someone who hasn’t read the book, the scene is NEVER as funny, but when I hear that song, I think of one of the final scenes of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s I Shall Not Want wherein a crew of folks, including the heroine, are driving away from a pot-smoke-filled crime scene, high as kites, singing that song. I laughed when I read it, and I laugh when I hear the song and think of that scene.
Vivid writing and dialogue stick in my memory like nothing else – especially from books. I’ve said before that if you mention the word “Gumpy” to me I will totally crack up – all due to this scene:
There was a loud bang, a flash erupted from the gun barrel, and the chicken carcass jumped on its plate.
“Holy mother of God!” my mother shrieked, leaping to her feet, knocking her chair over.
“Dang,” Grandma said, “guess I left the wrong hole empty.” She leaned forward to examine her handiwork. “Not bad for my first time with a gun. I shot that sucker right in the gumpy.”
One For the Money – Janet Evanovich
And then again –
“I shot a chicken once,” Grandma explained to Morelli. “It was an accident.”
I could see Morelli searching for a reply. “Where did you shoot it?” he finally asked.
“In the gumpy,” Grandma said. “Shot it clear off.”
Two for the Dough – Janet Evanovich
I love how scenes and words and moments in books can make me laugh long after I’ve finished them – even, sometimes, long after I’ve forgotten which book it was, but I remember the characters and what they said.
So what scenes in a book have made you laugh and laugh? Is there a word that makes you howl more than “gumpy?”