Chekhov’s gun

A weekly family column for the 100 Mile Free Press

I have a confession to make. I didn’t really do anything outrageous this week. I mostly, when not at work, spent my days as a shut-in hermit with the exception of my wife’s work Christmas party, which went by without any embarrassing incidents.

The axehandle is still firmly attached despite regular firewood splitting and despite his best efforts, my not-quite-two-year-old hasn’t dumped any cereal out onto the kitchen floor nor ate any dog food and is only slowly refining his music preferences.

During my college year, I was also a bit of a shut-in hermit but managed to use my time wisely by picking up skills such as origami. Most of these skills have come in useful at some point. For example, I used to volunteer with children a lot and some of the simpler origami options were great recreational activities. A particularly favourite option was always folding a frog, a word which my not-quite-two-year-old pronounces in entirely the wrong way (I’d spell his phonetic pronunciation out but it’s not newspaper appropriate). Frog popularity was particularly high because by pressing a properly folded origami frog on the rear, it would “leap” away.

This week I didn’t really use my hermit time to pick up any new skills. Perhaps for good reason. If people know you can do something, it’s pretty common for people to ask you to help you when that skill is required. That can turn into a strain on your time really quickly. However, there’s a much more sinister reason, you might not want to pick up some skills. In fiction writing, there’s a principle called Chekhov’s gun that states that “if you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must be fired.

For many years now I’ve been worried because there’s one skill that’s never quite come into use and that skill is Morse code. I don’t know why it’s a skill I decided I needed or even wanted to learn. Furthermore, in today’s world, it’s something that hardly, if ever, comes up. The only instance that jumps to mind is the 2002 Jodie Foster movie, Panic Room. Furthermore, due to a lack of use, my skills have absolutely deteriorated, to the point that I couldn’t follow a Morse code conversation with any level of confidence. However, to some degree still remains. A little cheat would resolve most struggles. However, a few crucial skills still remain, like signing S.O.S., and like Chekhov’s gun, it’s still waiting to be used in the next chapter.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtney Driver is the new president of the 100 Mile Performing Arts Society. (Photo submitted)
100 Mile Performing Arts Society elects new president

Courtney Driver wants to provide more diverse events

Erica Henderson the supervisor of early year services and programs at South Cariboo Early Years Centre and others were giving out Halloween Family Activity Kits the week leading up to Halloween. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Halloween activity kits offered to kids at home

South Cariboo Early Years Centre is finding ways to bring activities into children’s homes.

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerskson of the BC Liberal Party and his partner Shelley Wiese celebrate at his campaign office in downtown Williams Lake Oct. 24. Doerkson has been elected as the new MLA in Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Angie Mindus photo)
Updated: Lorne Doerkson elected in Cariboo Chilcotin in preliminary results

Outgoing MLA Donna Barnett said win is ‘exciting’ for region

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Most Read