Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nobody Expects the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man*



You know what deadlines are like? They're like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. 

I know what you're thinking. (Yes, I do. Because you are now busy spouting every line from Ghostbusters, because of course you love that movie almost as much as I do. To which I say, "We'd like to get a sample of your brain tissue.") 

 You're thinking, whoa, time out there, Fletch.  The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is a giant, lumbering paranormal monster that wreaks havoc on New York City at the climax of a cheesy movie that first appeared almost thirty years ago. What on earth does it have to do with deadlines? To which I say, thirty YEARS? How the heck can it have been thirty YEARS since –

Oops. I digress. 

In any case, I am convinced that the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is indeed the perfect metaphor for a deadline. The SPMM, as we shall refer to him to save my typing fingers, appears in the movie in three different places. Yeah, you thought he only showed up after Ray Stantz latched onto his image when the Ghostbusters are ordered to choose the form which Gozer the Sumerian will assume. In fact, he appears twice before then – once on a bag of marshmallows when Dana Barrett's eggs decide to cook themselves on her counter, and again in a graffiti advertisement beside the Ghostbuster's headquarters. He's been there all along, the sneaky little devil, looking so common. So cute and cuddly. So … manageable. 
I think you can see where I'm going with this. For yes, when deadlines first appear on the horizon, they often seem harmless. Almost like something we remember from our childhood. Something that could never ever destroy us. Then suddenly, without us ever realizing what has happened, they're upon us – lumbering through our lives, wreaking havoc with our sleep patterns, stomping churches...

Okay, maybe not the churches. But there's no denying that by the time deadlines are in front of us, they are just as huge and overwhelming and capable of leaving us terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought. However, as we all know, the door swings both ways. It's only when we look those deadlines in the face and find the courage to cross the streams – to toss our fears aside and put everything we have into our work – that we can emerge victorious. We might have been slimed, we might feel possessed, we might qualify for a guest appearance on Wild Kingdom, but we will emerge. Victorious. Possibly covered in roasted marshmallow fluff, but definitely victorious. We came, we saw, we kicked it's ass. 

And then we celebrate with a Twinkie (thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds) and do it all over again. 

(*Yes, I know. That line is from Monty Python, and it really should be the Spanish Inquisition, but come on. It works.)

15 comments:

Mary Preston said...

I can't believe it's been 30 years. Then I got to thinking. My son is 30 and as a new bub he did have a "Who you gonna call?" t-shirt.

kris said...

It's just so wrong, isn't it, Mary?

Pamela Hearon said...

Who can think about deadlines when Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd look so young and soooo hot in that movie?

Rogenna Brewer said...

Thirty years :?

I'm eating my Stay Puft Deadline right now. One bite at a time.

Emma Cane said...

What a perfect metaphor for deadlines! Only from your demented brain--and I mean it as one of your best friends! ;)

kris said...

Pam, I totally, completely agree :-) Rogenna, go go go! And Emma - pbbbbbt (she said, lovingly)

Kristina Mathews said...

Great analogy. Now I know who I'm gonna call when I need to attack that deadline.

But it's not a cheesy movie, it's a comedy classic.

kris said...

Kristina, I think we must compromise and call it a cheesy comedy classic. A BELOVED cheesy classic.

Such a great movie. Sigh.

Scarlet Wilson said...

I mentioned him the other day! Well, actually I LOOKED like him. Had a reaction to something, put on 11lbs in 4 days due to nephrotic syndrome and spent a week in hospital. Kept saying 'I know I look like the SPMM from Ghostbusters but this isn't normal for me!'

kris said...

Scarlet, oh, that must have been terrifying! I hope all is well now and you are back to yourself.

linda s said...

Love your analogy. Just sitting here thinking of how many seemingly innocent things can turn to chaos on a dime. It's that sick feeling I get when I realize the baby has been really quiet for far too long.

kris said...

Oh Linda, I know (and fear) that feeling SO well!

penney said...

I love all those shows and we all love Monty Python!
Penney

kris said...

Penney, you are obviously a woman of VERY excellent taste :-)

clynsg said...

This isn't really about the blog post (although it is rather scary to think of Ghostbusters being that old!), but I came upon this basically by accident. Found the contest (also by accident) and one of the entries is to make a comment on the current blog post. But unlike most rafflecopter widgets, there was no direct way to get to the post. Because of that, I am not even certain this is the correct post, but at least I am trying!

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