Red Chair

I’m restless by nature. I am easily bored, but I am also easily amused.

I’ve never been able to settle on one interest. At one point or another in my life I’ve had the following hobbies or interests: coins; stamps; tropical fish; classic literature; old movies; banana stickers; baseball stadiums; golf; presidents’ homes; battlefields; refrigerator magnets; baseball cards; birding; Dog n Suds; photography; Pepsi cans; plants; gerbils; postcards; key chains; maps; disc golf; softball; interesting restaurants; travel; family photos; comic books; presidents’ biographies; hiking; antiques … and the list goes on.

Many of those interests have waned. Others are still going strong. To complicate matters, I’ve frequently sought ways to combine interests — birds seen on Civil War battlefields, for example.

I needed a McGuffin.

A “McGuffin” is an object that drives the action in a movie. It motivates the characters to behave in such a way that a story results — like the falcon in The Maltese Falcon or the sled “Rosebud” in Citizen Kane. In either of those two movies, the object could have been anything — an oven mitt for example. The stories would have been the same.

So I set out to find an object that could connect with all my interests and create a story. After several false attempts, I hit upon the idea of a chair. A chair would enable me to engage other people in my hobby. A folding chair would be light and convenient to carry. A red chair would show up well in photographs.

A chair. But it could have been an garden gnome — the story would have been much the same. Although it would have been a bit more awkward to ask people to sit on a garden gnome.

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