Thursday, March 3, 2011

Phineas and Ferb and Writing lessons

My children have discovered Phineas and Ferb, a wacky fun witty cartoon with quirky characters and fine writing. I get glimpses of the show as they are watching on Netflix. So the other day I was reading(I should have been writing), when I caught just part of a scene played out on the show between the bad guy, Dr. Doofenschmirtz,
and his arch nemesis the lovable and capable, Perry the Platypus.

In this scene, Perry is captured on the new hover barge built by Doofenschmirtz (never get tired of that wacky name btw). Perry is captured and in true villain fashion Doofenschmirtz is gloating. Here is how it went:
Doofenschmirtz: "Ah yes my new hover barge has more hidden traps than...(snap fingers)...(Um,snap again)...what has a lot of hidden traps?" Dr. Doofenschmirtz looks off into the sky unable to finish the metaphor. "Wow and I felt so confident when I started that sentence...okay anyway..."

How often have I felt like a total Doofenschmirtz while writing? Thinking I had a great line that either fizzled or in some cases died suddenly and inexplicably mid breath?
About five minutes into the action of getting caught in his own traps the Dr. says, "A golf course has lots of traps. That's what I should have said before."

If I'm lucky the metaphor, or description or perfect witty dialogue will come to me when I least expect it and the pressure is off. Sometimes however I have to just say, 'Okay, anyway' and get on with the evil plot and come back later.

Have you ever felt like Doofenschmirtz?


  1. My kids just discovered it as well. THey watched it for several hours straight the other day. :)

  2. I've pulled many a Doofenschmirtz in my life. I don't love doing it in writing, but it's much preferable to the in-person-schmirtz. I once had this conversation with my gynecologist...yeah, I'll just leave it at that.

  3. As I have stated previously, Phineas and Ferb is one of the best written shows on TV. I am sad I haven't seen it in a while because my oldest son has some new favorites he's spending all his TV on, namely specials about the making of the Harry Potter films.

    You can look at it this way, Doofenschmirtz often gets the best lines in the episodes, so although you may not pull it out on the first try, eventually, it will be really good.