Too many people completely misjudge the limits of imagination. One overused phrase that bothers me is "Man, you can't make that stuff up." Normally this ridiculous observation is shared whenever a human interest story involving a far-fetched twist is highlighted by television news. Here's an actual news headline: GOOD SAMARITAN FINDS MISSING WEDDING RING IN BAG OF NURTOMAX DOG FOOD.
If that unlikely story of the unwitting
consumer finding the wedding ring buried in a bag of dry dog food was aired on
the news (it probably was), somebody watching—if
not the news anchor himself—would inevitably declare,
"Man, you can't make that stuff up."
YES. Yes, you CAN make that stuff up.
Here's another news headline: FLYING GRIZZLY
BEAR ATTACKS MONGOLIAN CARNIVAL BARKER ON SATURN.
Crazier than the wedding ring/dog food story,
right? Guess what? I made that stuff up.
The same lack of confidence in the left
hemisphere of the human brain is on display many times during pivotal moments
of high stakes sporting events. When Eli Manning marched the underdog New York
Giants down field for the winning drive against the seeming invincible New
England Patriots in Super Bowl 42, I guarantee some nitwit said "Man, even
Hollywood couldn't come up with an ending like that."
Comon'. Dr. Stranglelove!? There Will Be
Blood!? Even Rocky 5, for what it's worth.
I'm not a Hollywood screenwriter but let's
say I scripted the following: Eli Manning's throwing arm is dismembered in a
freak on-field blimp crash midway through the fourth quarter, but his shoulder
is retrofitted with a makeshift robotic football-throwing cannon during the
commercial break before he orchestrates the game-winning drive. The ensuing
Gatorade bath enchants Tom Coughlin with wizard-like powers, so he waves his
playbook and conjures a portal to Narnia.
You might be willing to admit that my
fabricated ending was more unlikely than Manning hitting Plaxico Burress on a
fade route for the go-ahead score.
Come to think of it, a successful fade route
is highly unlikely.