05

The frame of “How to Get Out of a Locked Trunk” by Philip Weiss would be the course of one “hot Sunday”.  While Philip also includes information on several other afternoons, the story starts with and ends on this particular Sunday, where Philip experiments with being locked inside of a car trunk.  He avoids the cookbook method of writing by including details surrounding the steps of getting out of the trunk.  He does not simply just list the ways he was able to escape the trunk.  In addition, he explains what the lock in Emmett’s Mercury Grand Marquis looks like.  He explains that “when you shut the lid, the jaws locked on to the bend of a U-shaped piece of metal mounted on the body of the car.”  He also tests his experiment on a few other cars, and he even decides against one last try as he unloads the BMW that is filled with his and his fiance’s belongings.  He notes that “there seemed to be some kind of cable coming off it that you might be able to manipulate so as to cause the lock to open.”  I think that the main idea of the story is about Philip’s “question that had been nagging me:  Is it possible to get out of a locked car trunk?”  Even though we learn information about his friend Tony’s picture project, and he also mentions his upcoming nuptials, the main point of the story is to answer that original question.  Through several experiments and some research contacting different people such as Jim Frens, from Car and Driver magazine or Debra Barclay of the Cter for Auto Safety, we were able to conclude that yes, it is possible.

 

I think the frame for “How Susie Bayer’s T-Shirt Ended Up on Mama Yusuf’s Back” by George Packer extended about the course of a week.  I would suggest to say that the frame of this story is from the moment the shirt was donated to the time it ended up in Africa and then retailed again.  I think it’s important to note that the story involves many details about all the places the shirt winds up and how many people interact with the shirt from the start of the process to the end.  The cookbook method is avoided here because George Packer avoids giving us the basic steps of the donation and shipment process.  As I was reading the story, I almost forgot that I was indeed being taught what happens during this process.  There was so much detail that at first didn’t seem to matter as far as the end result but indeed did matter.  We actually don’t even meet the title character, Mama Yusuf, til the end of the story.  The main point of this story was to the show the journey that a donated item of clothing goes on once it leaves the original owner’s possession.  From start to finish, we see where it leaves, visits and ends up.  Not only did Susie Bayer have contact with the t-shirt, but so did George Packer, Marilyn Balk, Virginia Edelman, Eric Stubin, Mama Prossy and Philip Nandala before winding up the property of Mama Yusuf.  A single old t-shirt traveled across several continents, leaving one to start a new life of wear on another. 

 

In both stories, the authors aim to teach us about the original topic (how to get out of a locked trunk or the journey of a donated t-shirt).  Instead of just fixating on that topic, they include information and vivid details that relate to the topic. 

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