When I was little, my parents both worked, so I went to a home day-care. This was the late 80's, so our toys and books were of that era and I remember.there was this one Teddy Ruxpin book (Grubby's Romance) that still nags at me to this day. It nags at me because one of the rotten kids at the day-care had ripped some of the pages out! And even though I knew better, I used to read that book over and over and hope that somehow those pages would reappear so I could finally read (and understand) the whole story. I'm not kidding. I still think about this book.
It's just the way my brain works. I'm totally obsessive about stories. I remember whole episodes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Duck Tales. If something is told to me in the form of a story, I pretty much won't ever forget it. But that means I can't stand to listen to or read fragments of anything, because I'll remember those fragments and the missing pieces will bother me. Badly. I just want to know the whole story, it's really not that weird if you think about it.
For example, if I'm in the car and This American Life comes on the radio, I can't leave the story half-way through. I mean, technically I can. The car-ride ends, I have to get out of the car and turn off the radio, but I hate doing it. I hate having this catalogue in my head of all the stories I've heard on This American Life without ever getting to hear the end. Podcasts have solved this particular issue for me, but the theme continues through my life.
For instance, even though I love comic books, especially Marvel characters, I've never been able to get into the Marvel comic series because the story-lines are so expansive, I can't stand the thought of just jumping into the story midway. I want to start at the beginning and that's basically impossible at this point. Even if I bought every trade paper-back, I don't think it could be easily done. (Nor would it make a lot of sense. There's a mountain of discontinuity in those series which would drive me insane.) No, I find it easier to buy complete collections of manga, which begin and end in very discrete intervals. That's doable. But a part of me is always going to be sorry that I can't get over this little quirk in order to enjoy some classic American comics. Like Spiderman. I would LOVE to get into Spiderman. But it's never going to happen.
Same goes for cartoon shows, especially animes. Fox was the worst at this. They would show episodes out of order or skip episodes for whatever reason. Why did they do that? Just tell me the whole story!
This is why when I want to read a comic or watch a TV show, I usually just go ahead and buy the whole series. It's not cheap, so I have to be pretty selective, but I find it so much more enjoyable to read/watch a story from beginning to end. When I first started making a little money from my summer jobs, the first thing I did was buy the Dragon Ball Z manga one by one, all 26 books. It was awesome. Finally, after all those years of Cartoon Network yanking my chain with the incomplete DBZ anime, I finally had the whole story.
Do you feel this strongly about stories? Do gaps bother you as much as they bother me?
Writing Streak: 3 days
My Books on Amazon:
Waking Lions by Avelet Gundar-Goshen
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro