For those unversed in the (also annoying) acronyms used by romance writers, that's short for Too Stupid to Live.
You've met the TSTL heroine. She's the one who marches unarmed into a dark basement to investigate mysterious chainsaw noises. You'll find her stomping her pretty little foot in a jealous huff after spotting the hero embracing a woman who shares his hair and eye color on the weekend his sister is slated to visit.
I work hard at never writing TSTL heroines, and count on critique partners and beta readers to ensure my heroines remain at an IQ level higher than the average lichen. But I'll admit I've had the occasional To Stupid to Live moments of my own.
When I was younger, I used to skim newspaper classifieds for entertainment. People would lump a variety of items into a single ad, hocking a 1974 Oldsmobile, a litter of kittens, and a 10 pound bag of freeze dried brine shrimp eggs all in the same ad.
|I never realized how |
phallic the oboe is
until I stuck this pic on
my blog. You'll never
blow one the same way
Still, it seemed odd to me that so many people were selling that sonorous, double-reed musical instrument, the oboe. Not only were they selling them, they were repeatedly misspelling the name by omitting the "e" on the end.
When I told a friend I'd like to play the oboe and explained my reason for thinking I could get a good deal on one, she stared at me like I had a ham sandwich protruding from my nostril.
"That's OBO, you idiot," she said sweetly. "It's short for Or Best Offer."
I'd like to blame the misunderstanding on youth and inexperience, but that wouldn't explain why I did something similar only a few weeks ago. Since I adore cooking, my brother and his girlfriend recently sent me a subscription to a Rachael Ray magazine packed full of recipes. I began skimming at once, perplexed to see how many of them called for a mysterious ingredient, EVOO.
For weeks, I kept reminding myself to google the word. I assumed it was a brand name for some sort of seasoning Rachael was pitching, and wondered what I could use instead. From context clues, I decided olive oil might be a fair substitution.
It wasn't until I pulled the bottle out of the cupboard that it clicked for me.
EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
So those are a few of my TSTL moments. Got any of your own to share? Please do, so I know I'm not alone! And if you're one of those annoying people who never does anything stupid, I'd love to hear about your experiences reading TSTL characters. What are some things that really annoy the snot out of you? Please share!