Three Characters


Sing it, brother

Sing it, brother

The meme that has been going around is to post three pictures of fictional characters who describe your personality. I spent a day thinking about it, but soon realized that I was putting a lot of thought into who I wanted to describe me as opposed to actually described me.

I desperately wanted to choose my favorite characters, which I guess is sort of the point. So I tried to finagle Gus McCrae from Lonesome Dove. A lovable goofball who happens to be a badass former Texas Ranger and explorer. Perhaps I fit into the goofball part, but “badass” is only used to describe my Scrabble skills.

After more deliberation I scratched more names off of the list. Some of them were based on physical appearance but didn’t make the personality grade (i.e. Inish Scull, Samwise Gamgee), others were downright ridiculous and impossible to support (i.e. Indiana Jones, Inigo Montoya, Batman).

I had to think about my character’s strengths and flaws, and not just the things I wanted people to think. The truth, the somewhat truth. These were the three I chose.

grady-trippGrady Tripp from Wonder Boys. Tripp is a flawed dude. He’s in his forties, has a daily marijuana habit, and is on his fourth wife – who we learn on page 4 has just left him. He is to relationships what hoagies are to my waistline. He’s also selfish and self-sabotaging. But he is a storyteller, obsessively creating a fictional candy center to any situation, a sufferer of what he calls “the midnight disease.” No matter the drama in his life, he still hides himself away in his office every day and writes. This is a character I relate to.

hawkeye-pierceHawkeye Pierce. OK, before you squint and go “um…you…a brilliant surgeon?” let me explain. Hawkeye Pierce is a brilliant surgeon, he is all business when it comes to work. He knows his trade; he is caring, compassionate, and hugely charismatic. And yet he is as playful and childish as a ten-year old boy at camp. There is seemingly no situation on Earth that he can’t make a good quip about.

He’s also an unapologetic drinker and carouser. While I would never claim to possess the level of his charm or brilliance, this is one character I have always loved and identified with.

And yes, it has to be, George Costanza. I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t a bit of Costanza in me. He is neurotic, obsessive, and self-loathing. He is described as a “short, stocky, slow-witted, bald man,” and while I may not be all of those, when factoring in the personality similarities, it’s pretty close to the mark. Another level of similarity comes at how George is engaged in a perennial battle between overconfidence and crippling insecurity.

Most of all, Constanza simply finds himself in odd situations which he then deals with in a variety of awkward and ostensibly underhanded ways. I, for example, once convinced a group of late-hangers-around at a party at my house in college to go outside for a late game of rugby. I threw the ball out into the hallway and when they all chased after it, I closed the door and locked it behind them. I devised this entire plan rather than reasonably ask them to leave since it was 4 a.m.

This is what it sounds like when the Costanzas cry.

What three fictional characters best describe you?

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