Norman Has a Brilliant Idea

The red-circled date on the wall calendar caught Norman’s attention. He’d been on his way to the refrigerator to claim his morning cup of juice when he spotted the reminder. It was the 15th, bill paying day.

Norman preferred to spend Saturday mornings in his bathrobe, watching reruns from the 50s while his cat vibrated softly in his lap. Norman dismissed the duty as a Monday task and managed to sit through half an episode of Patty Duke before nagging guilt made further procrastination impossible.

He retrieved his checkbook from his desk drawer and placed it beside the neat pile of bills on his kitchen table. After he sealed each envelope, Norman realized he’d forgotten an important detail: stamps.

Norman ransacked his desk with the fury of an elderly barbarian before accepting the devastating truth. He had no choice but to abandon his Saturday routine, put on pants, and go out. As an added indignity, his desk was now somewhat messy.

While choosing between slacks and the risky-but-satisfying freedom of jeans, Norman muttered. It was inconvenient to go out to buy stamps. They’re a paper product, they should be available to anyone at any time. In fact, they should be printable. Foreign excitement flooded Norman. Stamps SHOULD be printable. It was a genius idea.

Norman pulled the slacks from his closet since he may see someone he knew at the store. It wouldn’t do to be seen in jeans. As he dressed, he imagined the potential for his concept. He could make millions and finally earn the respect he’d believed he always deserved. To complement the slacks, Norman slipped on a collared shirt and tie. This would better suit his new persona. Rich Norman. Successful Norman. Before leaving, he paused at his computer to see if anyone else already had the notion before him.

He typed Google into the Yahoo search engine, then from Google’s site he searched for printable stamps. He stared at the results. Norman wasn’t sure which disappointed him more, that someone had marketed the idea long before it blossomed in his own mind, or that he’d put on a tie unnecessarily. He sighed. At least he didn’t have to go out. Norman undressed while his printer slowly hummed out the stamps.

Norman is a creative commons character in a communal universe where everyone can contribute to his story. Norman is a mild-mannered, middle-aged divorced bachelor. He lives alone with his cat Norman. Norman-the-man has an unexciting desk-job and fancies Lisa, his coworker. All the other details of Norman’s life are created in snippets by writers on Reddit.