(Bonus) Introduction to “An Efforting”

Posted on April 6, 2007 by Jenna

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Cleaning a table, I found an ancient piece of paper on which I’d scrawled—in some conversation around the house—the words, “Pikmin Bus.”

I’d had an idea.

That seemed pretty clear. Something had come up in casual chat, and I’d had an idea, and I thought it was really funny. “Pikmin bus.”

I’m sure it was when I was playing Pikmin 2, or soon after I’d finished it, which puts it quite some time ago.

Had I meant to connect the pikmin with the catbus of Totoro? I reviewed the memory. It told me little: the image that I’d lodged in my head was of red and yellow feet, carrying something.

Eventually I concluded that I’d meant to write about a world where pikmin provided public services—where you’d go down to catch the 331, only it wouldn’t be a large vehicle, it’d be a bunch of pikmin, packs of little plantpeople that carry stuff. And they’d heft you up, hup ho hup ho!

It was a funny image.

It wasn’t a funny story.

In fact, I came up with a lot of funny images thinking about this. But all of them were best suited for visual stuff—or a flore, 30-50 words long, perhaps. I’m sure that some people would be pleased if I started posting flores instead of Hitherbies, if I reversed the trend to longer entries and dropped to tiny plotless ones. But I’d feel obscurely embarrassed. It would feel incomplete outside the margin-note or sub-header location where I’m used to placing flores.

I wrote most of a story about a world where pikmin were the principal root of technology, and the politics of restricting pikmin horticulture to the “qualified,” and the discovery of pokemon and how that changed the world. But except for some turns of phrase that I enjoyed—

  • “The power to have pikmin march away with a thing is absolute power over a thing.”
  • “In his palace on the moon he grows hardy lunar pikmin. These draw the curtain across the moon that waxes and wanes it: hup, hup, hup!”

(and the like)

—it didn’t work very well.

Sunday’s post, I think, does. But I’ll probably be posting it as a bonus, because it’s not completely third-person, and I try to keep tower entries third-person when I can’t figure out who’s speaking.

It’s the story of “pikmin bus;” though, strictly speaking, it’s not about pikmin or busses at all.