As many of you know, when I’m not running an e-commerce business and yelling about selling here as The Whine Seller, I write fiction and plays. In one of my recent plays, The Green Bird, there is a funny exchange where a father stops his son from rushing headlong into danger by saying, “I still think we need a way past that snake lady before we charge in drunk buffalo style.”
After we’d seen the show live a couple of times, my husband was telling me that was his favorite line and he was always looking for opportunities to use the phrase “drunk buffalo style” at work.
We laughed at it for a minute (which is always a little weird, laughing at something you wrote like haha, I am so hilarious, aren’t I?) and then he asked me, “What is that from anyway?’
“What do you mean?” I asked. “It’s from me.”
“Well, yeah, but I mean, what were you quoting? What was the line originally from?”
“It’s not FROM anything,” I said, starting to get annoyed. “I made it up.”
He shook his head. “No, you didn’t. It’s from something, a movie or TV or whatever. Maybe something in a book? I know I’ve read that somewhere.”
So then I started to doubt myself because suddenly I had the nagging feeling I’d read it somewhere too. Shoot. Had I unintentionally plagiarized something?
Luckily, the play wasn’t published yet so I could still make changes to it. I started to Google the phrase half afraid to peek at the screen lest it turn out it was from some very famous movie or something and I was a total goof. Then I found it.
And I started to laugh.
I HAD read that phrase somewhere before. It was coined right here, on The Whine Seller, in this blog post. We both had a good laugh at this revelation and my husband ate humble pie and apologized for accusing me of plagiarizing… myself.
So, if you ever find yourself watching my adaptation of The Green Bird, know that even though that play takes place centuries ago, when you hear that “drunk buffalo style” line, remember you heard it here first. Literally.