Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Boxing Days

MORE THAN A BOX

The Duck’s Breath sketch, “More Than a Box,’ was once called our mantra by a friend. We have performed it at least a thousand times over the years. It consists of a guy (Jim Turner) becoming more and more excited about the uses to which a box can be put, as the rest of us jump and down, whispering, then yelling “More Than a Box.”

It more than fulfills a basic premise of theatre: if you start softly, then get louder and louder, then stop abruptly, people will like it. Some will even yell “Woo!” at its conclusion.

It’s certainly not a subtle piece. But what is interesting is how many people over the years can’t remember what the bit is called. You’d think that four people screaming the name of the bit, “More Than a Box,” over and over again, would hammer it into an audience’s brain. But I’ve heard it called the “Just Like a Box” bit, “It’s All in the Box,” “Give Me a Box,” and similar variations. It is a mystery.

BOXES

My wife’s stuff, as I have told you, arrived in July. Ever since, we have been trying to find places to put it. Some of it we have taken out of boxes only to realize that there is no room for it at the inn, and put it back in boxes.

The books are making me sneeze. I love books. But the alarming amounts of them, and the dust accompanying them are wreaking havoc on my sinuses.

Then there’s the landlord’s stuff, which I am placing in the boxes which books have vacated, in preparation for recycling, or a dumpster load.

I feel like I have spent the last month and a half hauling, unpacking, repacking, and sneezing.

OUTSIDE THE BOX

Back in my days of employment, “thinking outside the box” was encouraged, kind of. I could never figure out what that meant. I was a writer for a game company. That’s a pretty big box. Was I supposed to take tips from accounting? Was accounting supposed to take tips from me?

And a corporation is itself a box, is it not? If you think too far outside that box, you will find yourself unemployed. I eventually did find myself unemployed but only because the boxes that were the companies that employed me disintegrated.

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