A Guest Blog Post by tillie
The hardest part about loving fiction is the moment the characters run out. The movie ends, the last page of the book has been read. The lads never return. It forces us to go back and reread and fill the gaps in a desperate attempt to spend more time with the character. Or, you can start a twitter campaign [the hashtag: #BringBackGerald was started by Heleen, who runs the FAH Wiki.]
Gerald is a lovable, innocent character from FAH's How to be a Lad sketches. This little piece is inspired by a Twitter conversation trying to tie several sketches that FAH have written into the backstory of Gerald and Dave. Someone suggested that we write it down and I volunteered, though it came out slightly different than planned.
How to Be a Lad (November 23, 2017)
How to Be a Lad, Part 2 (August 16, 2018)
Gerald, as a character, has a lovely innocence to him which spilled into this little story that I wrote; there's a sense of seeing the best in people and wanting to belong. As I am surrounded by children’s literature in an attempt to learn a new language (Irish) the Gerald and Dave story just naturally came out in the simple cadence of a kid's book.
What I love about learning new languages is how it is a new way of understanding the world, and an opening into culture. So in a sense it was natural to pair learning how to be a lad with the simple language of a children’s book. Lads' culture is intensely foreign to me and the sketches do a great job of highlighting how it can be troublesome, e.g. squashing down emotions or enduring discomfort to fit in. However, the sketches also show how lad behaviour can function as a script for social behaviour in certain settings.
The piece started out as plain text, but it seemed a bit bare, so I did a quick mock-up to show the concept and set the tone. When I first wrote it though it made me laugh - mainly because it contains most of my favourite lines from those quoted sketches. So, I don’t see it as an original piece of writing, but rather a remix of some of my favourite sketches, with one rogue line snuck in towards the end.
When Gerald Became a Lad (January 25, 2021)