The storytelling gene

In my presentations, I often talk about storytelling, and the ways in which techniques are the same, whether you’re entertaining a crowd at a family barbecue or writing an information book. In each case, the best stories involve great characters, complications, and twists.

I’ve been known to repeat one or two of my dad’s stories as an illustration of this point.

Well, check out what arrived in my in-box last week, in response to a Leslie Neilsen video. This is one of my dad’s tales:

I used to work for Leslie Neilsen’s brother, Gordon Neilsen, retired Vancouver police motorcycle division. I set pins in his bowling alley at Skyway Lanes in Richmond. He weighed about 300 pounds and used to come to work and lift his belly onto the counter and breathe a sigh of relief.

I can’t remember why he fired me, but I know we didn’t like each other. I would come and work for the assistant manager when Gordie wasn’t around, and I would go in the back door and visit with boys working when he was. He spotted me once when I was back there, and he took off out the side door to catch me in the back. But I saw him just as he was going out the door, so I took off out in a field.

He never showed up out the back and I found out later he was after me, but he fell through the septic tank when he rounded the corner.

I never went back!!!

Complications. Twists. And I double dog dare you to find a better one-line character description, in fiction or non.

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