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TT #6: TSTL Heroines, a.k.a. Darwin Awards' Newest Category

9 Jan 2008

Romancelandia is plagued with characters, usually the heroines, who are too stupid to live (or TSTL for short; you know there’s a rampant problem when there’s an acronym involved). These women, usually described as feisty or naive [to the point idiocy], rush headlong into dark alleys after they’re told not to, thereby endangering themselves and the people, usually the heroes, forced to go in to try and save them.

Authors, please stop the madness. If your characters are TSTL, then maybe the villains should push them off a cliff or beat them with the flashlight they forgot to bring for the trek down into the basement where they heard those strange noises. That would be A LOT more satisfying for the readers (i.e. me, myself, and I). Really.

13 Things Not To Do To Avoid the TSTL Label

Number 1
If you’re in the Witness Protection Program, do NOT tell your family so they can send you birthday cards. Even villains with double digit IQs will know to stake out your loved ones.

Number 2
If the hero is trying to save you from a madman shooting a gun at you, do NOT slap or push him away and argue with him. Let him get your ass out of the line of fire. Afterwards, if you still feel feisty because you think your woman’s lib was violated, you can shriek like a harpy.

Number 3
If you don’t know how to use a gun, do not grab one and wave it around. You might shoot the wrong person, like the man trying to save you.

Number 4
If you are in protective custody because a madman is after you and you feel the need for retail therapy, shop ONLINE!

Number 5
If the villain calls you and tells you he has the hero hostage and will kill him if you don’t meet him in a dark alley, do not just go running out the door. Ask for proof of life FIRST.

Number 6
If you have stumbled upon the identity of the villain, do NOT fly off the handle and confront him. Run! Tell the authorities! It’s their job to apprehend these people. If you are the authorities, draw your gun, slap on the handcuffs, then tell him what a prick you think he is.

Number 7
If you hear the sounds of someone breaking in, do NOT go and investigate. Grab your cell phone, run, and call for help.

Number 8
After you’ve been saved from a burning building and you suddenly remember you don’t have that stuffed unicorn given to you by your one twoo wuv, do NOT go running back in and, for the love of all things shiny, do NOT send the firefighter back in.

Number 9
If it’s late at night, you have no transportation home, no money for a taxi, and the hero offers you a lift, do NOT turn him down. And if you do turn him down, do NOT take a shortcut through a dark alley. I know blaming the victim is not PC, but in this case, I’d say you’d qualify for a Darwin Award.

Number 10
If you are getting divorced, do NOT hire the lawyer recommended by your soon-to-be-ex-husband.
[NOTE: Okay, this one might not get you killed, but it’s still stupid.]

Number 11
When going for a job interview, do NOT bring along the diary where you write down all your sexual fantasies or the whips and handcuffs you bought because you have decided to embark on a kinky sexual journey because you know they’re going to fall out of the briefcase.
[NOTE: See NOTE above.]

Number 12
If you are doing a road trip to a cabin high up in the mountains during the middle of winter, please wear appropriate attire. A silk blouse and high heels might look fetching, but probably not so much if your car breaks down (and you know it will because you never bothered to get the lemon fixed because you gave all your money to charity/friend/neighbor/homeless guy down the street because you’re so martyr-like and sweet you’d give those around you sugar shock) and you’re turned into a popsicle because you decide to hoof it for 10 miles, uphill both ways.

Number 13
If you are pregnant, are living on Mac ‘n’ Cheese (see reason above), and the father is a half-decent guy, do NOT proclaim that you will keep the baby a secret and raise it on your own without any financial support from the person who donated half the genetic material. Do you know how expensive a package of diapers is these days? Your pride will not clothe and feed your baby.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 Jan 2008 6:33 PM

    Gah! You are so right. I am sick to death of plots (in books and on TV) that depend on major lapses of judgment WHICH NO ONE EVER CALLS THE PERSON OUT ON.

  2. 9 Jan 2008 7:26 PM

    And whatever you do, don’t tell the bad guy that you have all kinds of evidence against him and that you are going to go to the police with it and won’t he be sorry! Because he might just try to stop you!

    And do remember that if you find a dead body, when you go fetch someone to show them, the body will have gone and no one will believe you. Ok that’s not TSTL. More like tired scriptwriters!

  3. 9 Jan 2008 8:30 PM

    You’ve got to be kidding!

    And they allow these people to reproduce and spread their gene pool?

    The Pink Flamingo

  4. 9 Jan 2008 9:37 PM

    You made me laugh with these, LOL! You’re so right on all counts. Happy TT!

  5. 9 Jan 2008 10:41 PM

    Damozel – If I start thinking about television and the idiocy rampant on shows these days, I might cancel my cable… Oh, wait. I did. The last two years have been great!

    Nicholas – Oh, I forgot about those ones! In this day and age, you’d think the people who stumble over bodies would whip out the cell phone/camera and snap a pic for evidence.

    SJR – Sadly, yes. Maybe these authors never heard of Darwin and his little theory of evolution.

    CandyQ – Thanks! I’m here at least two nights a week.

  6. Ayreann permalink
    10 Jan 2008 12:57 AM

    I couldn’t agree more with the thirteen and the TSTL label. Can’t stand a book or a movie where the too damn dumb to live bimbo heroine does all the things you know are going to lead her into danger when common sense should tell her she shouldn’t do that if she has any desire what-so-ever to avoid dangerous scenarios, let alone preserve her life.

  7. 10 Jan 2008 8:08 AM

    Priceless! I’m going to pass this along!

  8. 10 Jan 2008 9:47 AM

    Great advice. Of course, we wouldn’t have B movies and B novels if everyone followed. Plus there is that delicious reader/watcher feeling of knowing what’s going to happen and not be able to do anything about it. That’s probably why this stuff sticks around.

    Happy TT!

  9. 10 Jan 2008 9:03 PM

    What a hoot! And I second the comment about B movies. πŸ˜‰

    And don’t go into the cellar. πŸ˜‰

    I have three TTs this week.

    Raven’s Rides: 13 places I went on my motorcycle yesterday
    Raven’s RV: 13 things we did in the RV when the power went out
    Raven’s Range: 13 thoughts about Thursday Thirteen

    The link above has links to all three. πŸ™‚

  10. 8 Mar 2008 5:41 PM

    And also, if a bunch of bad guys:

    1) threaten your life;
    2) physically assault you;
    3) make an attempt to assault you;

    don’t decide to tell the hero or the authorities about it LATER. And then go shopping. Alone. At night. Unarmed. And park your car under a broken streetlamp.



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