Day 435: What Happened?

Last night, I woke up, thought of a post title, wrote the whole post in my head, and fell back asleep.

This isn’t it.

Today’s post is inspired by several things, including one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies, “Tootsie,” with Dustin Hoffman. The line is said by Bill Murray, in an (uncredited) appearance as the playwright who lives with Dustin’s character.  Here’s a YouTube video of Bill delivering several lines (including my favorite one) at a surprise birthday party:

(thanks to palecalo)

For those of you who can’t see that video for any reason, here’s the line, delivered by Jeff, the roommate/playwright:

Jeff: I don’t like it when people come up to me after my plays and say, “I really dug your message, man.” Or, “I really dug your play, man. I cried.”

I like it when people come up to me the next day, or a week later, and they say, “I saw your play. What happened?”

I was noticing, as I was writing the introductions to that scene, that “playwright” is spelled weirdly. That is, it’s spelled “playwright” instead of “playwrite.”

What happened?

Damned if I know. Spelling, sometimes, makes no intuitive sense to me.

Anyway, yesterday, at work, I had to make copies of the packet I use, when I’m orienting new people to my therapy groups.

What happened?

I ran out of packets, because more people have been interested in these groups, lately.

What happened?

None of the copy machines I usually use were working.

What happened?

I don’t know why I had so much trouble finding copiers that worked properly, yesterday. I wonder if this was related to the time change over the weekend.  People seemed to be working strangely; perhaps, losing an hour affected machines, too.

What happened?

Well, I’ll tell you something that DIDN’T happen.  In the past, when machines have broken down inexplicably, I’ve overreacted. I didn’t,  yesterday.

What happened?

I’ve done a lot of work on this, in therapy. I know that my overreactions, about machines breaking down, are related to my having lived most of my life dependent upon a machine.

What happened?

I’ve needed a cardiac pacemaker, since age 10, to survive.

Well, at this point, I think I have some idea what this post is about.

Even though people may sometimes ask the question

What Happened?

… as dazed and clueless as Bill Murray’s wished-for audience members, they still go on, as best they can.

While I may have cried out, or thought, silently

What Happened?

… without any answer forthcoming, at certain difficult times in my life (for example, when somebody left me, or caretakers weren’t there when I needed them), I survived.

And, sometimes, we do get an answer to that question.

For example, if anybody has wondered

What happened?

… to some puppets from Panama:


who appeared, previously, in this post, a few weeks ago …


… here’s the answer (for some of them):



Thanks to Bill Murray, “Tootsie,”  people who ask “What Happened?” (whether or not they get answers), and to you — of course! — for happening by here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Day 435: What Happened?

  1. What a great post! And question.

    What happened? the puppets found a new home, but did you find a way around the lack of working copiers? 🙂

    Love your attitude.

    • Thanks for the love and your kindness, Louise. I did find a way. It involved a lot of waiting, so I got to work on that side of my wait-o-phobia, too.

  2. Some days we all take a vacation to the state of Confusion, Ann. You are right in the way you handled it yesterday, Ann. Travel light and appreciate the scenery.

  3. Yay! Progress! Has to feel phenomenal!

  4. (A “wright” is a craftsman, hence playwright is a crafter of plays.)

  5. I want a lot of things in my day-to-day to remain invisible. The shouldn’t require that I think about them and how and why they work or don’t work. Things like phones, keyboards, cars, toilets, dishwashers,…

    Our dishwasher won’t drain at the end of the cycle. The tub remains full of water. Now what. Much of yesterday was spent trying to coax it into doing the right thing. Nope.

    What happened? I have no idea. (maybe I do have an idea). Bottom line…it will be banished to the wilderness.

  6. I always thought “playwright” meant “someone without the patience to write narrative prose.” Wait, maybe that’s “poet”!…

  7. Bill Murray is a huge actor… he’s been in France these days for his last movie, he’s appreciated, popular and respected here! My very best and cheers! 🙂 Mélanie – Toulouse, France

  8. I love “Tootsie,” enjoy Bill Murray (like how he has evolved into a nice older man and not such a crazy guy) in “Groundhog Day” (even though it takes him forever to finally figure out how to be a ‘good guy!!’) and the idea of taking those finger puppets and sewing them (or gluing them) onto your tiger’s hat!! Excellent post, loads of funny material! Smiles, Robin

    • Hi, Robin! Thanks for this great comment, with all its yummy material. I need to confess something, though: those finger puppets are just sitting there, unattached (thanks to my son, who placed them there).

  9. I used to have a full-time job photocopying stuff for professors at a university library, so I was going to write something funny in response to your post. At least at the start,that was the plan. And then I cried.

    …. What happened?

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