Friday, August 18, 2006

The Old Man and the Large Body of Water

It has come to my attention that there is an imposter Old Man out there. This one appeared in the title of a book I saw at work: The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. I grant you that this was only the title, and it could have been figurative or metaphorical, or some other thing that authors do to make their work seem “deep”.

I’ll also grant you that this book was first published in 1952, and thus predates the Blog’s Old Man by a good fifty-four years, but that’s not the point.

What is the point, you oily little twit?

This is The Blog of Stupid, sir. There really isn’t a—

Yer doin' it again.

Doing what?

Being criminally rotten. Gimme my story ‘afore I pass out on account a yer horse smackery!

Coming right up.

The Old Man and the Large Body of Water

The Old Man shuffled into his living room and kicked ill temperedly at his Ottoman. He wished he had some children around to give horrible advice to. He had once found some kids behind a fence, and yelled at them for a while. They were crawling all over brightly painted steel pipes and ropes and wooden things, and the Old Man found this, especially their laughter, distasteful in the extreme.

Hey! You sticky little duck nuggets! Yeah, I’m tawkin’ t’you! Quit all that tomfoolery and get back to work! Sew some shoes! Go plow something! Whuzzat? Arithmetic, huh? Sounds like summa yer modern Satanry to me. Get away from me. I got man’s work t’do!”

But today he was bored. He’d awakened at his normal 5 AM sharp and commenced to yell at the sparrows.

“Horrid little featherbags,” he said under his breath. He slid his window up and pressed his face into the screen. “Cork up that infernal twittery, lest I biff the livin’ fluff out’n yer!”

That kept him busy for twenty minutes or so, until the neighbors started making phone calls. Road work on the corner of Cornwonk and Humblebum had forced traffic to be routed around the Old Man’s house. He’d already taken his air rifle to the television repair shop and shuffled and yelled until the man agreed to fix it. He’d get another chance to be petulant when he picked it up tomorrow, this time about the price.

It was now 11 in the morning, and his day was only half over. He booted his Ottoman again and strewed himself into his armchair. The Old Man picked up his cordless phone.

“Lousy thing’s got fitty-million buttons on it, and ain’t a single VHF knob in sight. How’s a genn’lman s’posed t’get his Wheel of Thingummy if’n he can’t git his honk-blasted TV-vision to make with the movin’ pictures? Gimme a reliable ol’ Kinetoscope anyday,” he muttered at the phone and began pressing buttons. Presently, he had a man from Kentucky on the line who politely helped him find his television remote control.

Worthless modern frogwash,” he mumbled and poked a finger at the keypad. The television came to life with a hollow thump and a crackle, causing the Old Man to hurl one of his slippers at the screen. It was the Weather Channel, and the meteorologist was talking about oceans.

“Back in my day, we didn’t need yer fancy oceans, sonny,” the Old Man snorted at the smiling TV man. “We had us the crick what fer crawdad huntin’, and we was happy!” The weather man was saying something about hurricanes and behind him was a large satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean. The Old Man’s temper flared, and he threw his other slipper at his television.

“That about does it!” he hooted, and reached for his phone and dialed Information. Presently his television switched channels and his VCR spit out a tape.

“Worthless modern bog-dunkery,” he mumbled. “Gimme an aero-plane!” he cawed into the receiver.

A day and a half saw the Old Man on the continent’s east coast. It was a glorious sunrise over the sharp blue of the Atlantic, and the air had a cool crispness to it. He stood there on the beach and glared at the water.

“Ocean, huh? Durn thing’s plain ol’ blue! Jes’ like th’ lakes what gots the trouts in ‘em back home.” He kicked some sand into the breeze with his slipper. “Don’t see what’s so great about this.” He turned to a young couple farther down the beach, sitting together and watching the sun come up.

I’ve had enough’a this dill-puckery!” he announced. “And this confounded salt tang’s makin’ me all itchy. I hope the sand crabs getcha!”

He shook his cane at the ocean one last time and shuffled back to his rental car.


Thus, the Old Man won his battle with The Sea. Braving air travel and untold amounts of guff from the flight staff, he took his fight to the enemy and prevailed. His display of fortitude shall forever—

Why dontcha quit yer jawin’ and fetch me up summat cold ‘n’ fizzy to put in m’head? Some kinda sody pop?

I’ll get right on that.

4 comments:

Stupid Blogger's Wifey said...

Foodaddy, I love the story it is great. I needed a laugh today, so thanks!

The Drive-by Blogger said...

To hell with Hemingway. If "Papa" had known your old man story would turn out so much better than his, he would have shot himself much sooner than he did.
Sincerely,
The ghost of F.Scott Fitzgerald

The Stupid Blogger said...

I agreed with SBW. And if Hemingway wasn't writing about our Old Man, then he should have been. Or, as Ernie would write it: "And. If Hemingway was not writing about the Old Man. He should have been."

Jacob "Pickle Weasel" Nordby said...

Wow. I gotta' tell you, Foo...I always enjoy the Old Man, but you have outdone himself with this one. I, for one, would like a little more profanity on this Blog, but through the Old Man, you have demonstrated that it's possible to be even funnier with fake swearin' than with the real stuff.