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Did you hear the one about...

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

I spent all week inside Chapter 6 - Everything Changed. Everything, including when the writer says and does things for a reason. 3,153 words later...surprised by the timely notice of dramatic irony, I should be sacked for such verbosity. But, once the floodgate of gossip opened, it was difficult to contain.

Are we all hard-wired to talk about others? In this context, our dear Kate Armstrong (from VOl. 1) completes her final day of P.T. She has overcome the unthinkable injuries sustained from a terrorist attack (VOL. 2). Don't get her wrong. Kate is grateful for the renewal in her lease on life. Problem is, the show can't go on without another character showing up. So, she lingers at P.T., strangely comforted in the assuring cadences of the hometown grapevine. We all know we shouldn't, but why do we lean in for tidbits to validate our lives?

This chapter was as fun as it was revealing about the journey to Become A Better Becky.

from VOL. 7 The Last Verse

In the basic need to be included, gossip was grafted into the human spirit of survival. Talking about others enabled Kate to shift the focus off herself. Without sounding catty, she would have lost interest in recovery -- in the monotony of discussing the weather while stretched beyond her limit. By comparison, the soothing chatter captured the frame lines inside another person’s personal drama. In the bits and snatches about Carrington’s most exemplary citizens, like a miracle drug, the rancor provided a benefit that far outweighed the risk potential. Gossip would never pass for an FDA-approved medical remedy. But, like rare, expensive nard, it greased the local rumor mill to move beyond mere intuition, and when dispatched during a worldwide pandemic, they were all in this together.

Gossiping was also akin to single-sourced recycling. This daily bread started in the workplace before kneading the yeast into the whole batch of discourse. Carrington had no lack of inquiring minds and tongues. At P.T., partaking in the small talk, living off the menu of others' quirks—and with sensible portions—was considered kosher; but only before the subject was tossed like leftovers to the trash heap of an insatiable feeding frenzy. Everyone needed to do her part and save the planet.

“Did you hear about Anne Carter’s sister?—you'll have to wait for it.

Copyright 2022, Rebecca Templeman. All rights reserved.

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