Thursday, February 25, 2010

Putting on the Tin Foil Hat

You know, I really should start wearing that tin foil hat a bit more. Years ago, I had a vague idea for a story concerning people having their organs repossessed. I can't remember whether it was because they'd used them as collateral for loans, or whether they were transplants they hadn't paid for, but the crux of the story was going to involve surgical bailiffs turning up to remove debtor's organs and sell them at public auction. Anyway, despite coming back to it several times over the years, I could never manage to develop the idea sufficiently to spin a story out of it. So, you can imagine my surprise when I read the other day that a Hollywood studio has a movie in development which features people having their organs seized by repo men when they don't pay their medical bills. It's like that modern day Sherlock Holmes idea I had all over again! I put it on the back burner, next thing I know the BBC are making a Holmes series with a contemporary setting!

Clearly, some bastard is secretly tapping into my thought processes! It isn't just story ideas - I frequently read Charlie Brooker in The Guardian, only to find him ranting about the exact same thing I was ranting about only a few days earlier. Years ago I had the same problem with Ben Elton - I'd come up with some great comic idea, next thing he'd be bloody telling the same gag on TV. It got to the stage where I began to suspect that he and I were actually the same person, that I transformed into him, Jekyll and Hyde style. After all, everyone I knew agreed that they'd never seen me in the same room at the same time as Ben Elton. Come to think of it, the same thing is true about me and Charlie Brooker. To be slightly serious, that's another reason why fragments of stories appear here before they get fully developed for publication in The Sleaze - it effectively date stamps the concept, so that I can avoid being accused of plagiarism if someone comes up with something similar before I can complete the story. Believe me, it's far more effective than those tin foil hats!



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