Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sevens are very special indeed

“Good morning Joshua.”
“How are you Mizz Gomez?”
“I’m doing just frabjously, Joshua.”
“Good, good.”
“I was just wondering, when does that order for the English poetry books come in?”
“Um, I really don’t know Mizz Gomez. I have one of the poems here though, if you’d like me to read it to you.”
“I would love that Joshua, you read poetry so beautifully.”
“Aw shucks Mizz Gomez, that is just too kind of you. Anyway, here goes. giggles

The mission to Mars came to an end,
The astronauts finally came around the bend,
As Earth, their sire came into sight,
They, the astronauts, ceased to fight,
All bickering, all pretenses fell away,
As they beheld their home bay,"

“Joshua?”
“What?”
“Well, I think there might be a problem with this poetry.”
“You don’t like it Mizz Gomez?”
“You see Joshua, I don’t think that it’s very English.”
“The English are snobs.”
“While that may be true Joshua, we don’t want to say it out loud. Besides, it has nothing to do with the fact that this poetry, while very moving, has nothing to do with London.”
“Of course not, Mizz Gomez, England isn’t all London. There’s also, um; you know, I failed geography. But England is a big country, I’m sure that there are lots of places in it. You’re like New Yorkers who think that they are the United States, and if you press them might acknowledge that Los Angeles is a small town in the suburbs.”
“I’m sure that I agree with you Joshua, but the fact remains that this poetry sounds like some sort of sixties NASA propaganda.”
“And who do you think wrote sixties NASA propaganda designed to make President Johnson think that it was a good idea to keep up funding for itself?”
“Well you obviously want to tell me, don’t you Joshua.” sneers
“Of course I do. The only people who could possibly write such pretentious twaddle are the English!
“Beautiful inflection there Joshua, but I’m not buying it. That kind of stuff is obviously Swiss.”
“Huh? Why Swiss? All they’ve ever accomplished is to make watches and chocolate. No that there’s anything wrong with watches and chocolate, but still, it’s only watches and chocolate.”
“Do you enjoy saying ‘watches and chocolate’ Joshua?”
“Well Mizz Gomez, as it happens I do. And don’t you be so evil about it.”
“You know Joshua, when my widowed sister introduced me to you she said that you were a mild-mannered youth who was a few French fries short of a Happy Meal.”
“They don’t make those anymore, Mizz Gomez.”
“Make what?”
“Oh, they do, but now the big thing is healthy food.”
“What are you talking about Joshua?”
“Happy Meals.”
“Who mentioned Happy Meals?”
“You did.”
“I did?”
“You know, when I mention you to my younger brother, I’ll make sure that he knows that you’re a mild mannered lady whose village is missing their idiot.”
“What’s with the insults from 1999, Joshua?”
“Well, you started it.”
“No, you did.”
“Oh yeah? Read the transcript.”
“This hasn’t been recorded, Joshua.”
“Oh yes? So what is is that the readers are currently perusing?”
“It’s merely a figment of their own imagination.”
“You’re telling me that they dreamed up this whole thing? How likely is that?”

Editor’s Note: At this juncture Mizz Gomez’s Pastor pulls up in his pink 1955 Cadillac and asks to speak privately to Joshua. What follows is an accurate rendition of their conversation:

“Joshua, I’m sorry to have to call you away here, but I just thought you might like to know that I absolutely disapprove of this conversation you’re currently subjecting Mizz Gomez too. As you know, she’s quite ill, and this kind of heartless banter is taking its toll on her nervous system.”
“So what exactly do you want me to do?”
“I want you to apologize right now, and promise to never do it again.”
“Fine.”

Joshua walks back to Mizz Gomez, and watched by the Pastor, he says what he must.

“I’m sorry for insulting you, Mizz Gomez.”
“There’s nothing you can do about it now, Joshua”
“But we are taught that hope springs eternal for all mankind! How can you say that I’m forever lost?”
“Such is life, though mine is surely nearing its end. You have fatally wounded me! The end is nigh!”

Minor note here, readers. The following is taking place at Mizz Gomez’s funeral. Well, I had to end it somewhere, and this seemed as good a place as any to do it. After all, there is nothing more final then death, now is there? Well, except being transferred by your company to Manchester, but we won’t go there.

“Why not father?”
“Well, that’s just the way your religion works, my son.”
“Can I convert to another?”
“You think I’ll allow you to? Are you crazy? Obviously the death has affected you greatly. Here, have a little Scotch. That’ll warm you up. I know how cold it gets in the Sahara forest.”
“Thanks for the drink, Padre. I assume that you had some before the funeral today.”
“Of course.”
“I can tell.”
“How?”
“Well, the fact that you’re spouting nonsense is a pretty good indication.”
“Thanks Joshua, I really appreciate your kind words.”
“Padre, mind if I read a poem here? I wrote it specially for Mizz Gomez.”
“Sure Joshua, but if you don’t mind I’ll have a little more of the drink that refreshes. It’s good with the drink that quenches your thirst.”
“Here goes:

Here lies a woman
Not a great wonder
A charm
No alarm
Sweetness
Kindness
The Zs of her name
Encompassed so much
I feel great sadness
Treachery
No more life
What have I done
I feel all
Alone
What shall I do
I know not
The rhythmic patterns
Her footstep
Mizz Gomez
I have killed you
Sorry”

“Uh, great poem Joshua. Great symbolism and all that. The metaphysical imagery was really particularly effective. The rhythmic devices were really tremendous too. And the counterpoint of the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the humanity of the poets soul which contrived through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other, and one is left with the profound insight of Mizz Gomez’s life. Really just top-stuff that. I absolutely loved it.”
“Padre, you can get put into prison for that kind of thing you know.”
“Why?”
“Well, for one thing, its plagiarism. For another, it’s absolutely true. The current administration doesn’t like it when people speak the truth.”

Guess what folks? Another editors note! At many times in the narrative of the knave Joshua’s life I have felt annoyed with him, but this really is just too much. I can’t believe he would say something like that. It’s just too monstrous. I’ll keep him alive though; after all, he’s going to sell himself with talk like that, won’t he?

“You shouldn’t insult the current administration, Joshua.”
“Why not Padre?”
“Well, for one thing, it’s not a very nice thing to do.”
“All right father, I’ll listen to you. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the poetry.”
“Who knows Joshua, perhaps there will be a miracle and Mizz Gomez will be resurrected!”
“I thought your sect didn’t believe in that, Padre?”
“Who knows what I believe? All that counts is that it could happen.”

Last one, I promise. On Mizz Gomez’s resurrection: It isn’t bloody likely. Especially not under my watch. After all, it’s now of Swiss provenance.

12 comments:

Cheerio said...

this was excellent! classic joshua... mystification, bad poetry, death, religion... and the discovery of josh's dear brother!
esp love the pastor's review of the poem read at the funeral.

Cheerio said...

on an entirely separate note - so when do we hear about the republican convention? or do you only go visit democratic candidates?

e said...

Fathers are Catholic. Pastors are Protestant. What was the late Gomez?

The Real Shliach said...

Cheerio: Bad poetry? Joshua is quite insulted.

e: Episcopalian of course!

complainer said...

I am sick of Joshua (and Cheerio for that matter)!

Can we get back to the inconsequential details of life instead of this dundering fool's drivel. it reminds me of Hemingway, and who doesn't hat him?

e said...

Complainer,

There is no kuntz in leaving anonymous, nasty comments. If you don't like it, LEAVE!

god save the queen said...

Who's the dundering driverlous fool? TRS or Joshua?

The Real Shliach said...

complainer: Give me something to write about...

e: Right on!

e said...

I think Anglican clergy are called priests, not pastors. And I think Episcopalians are Anglicans. Hence, I think you're wrong. But I can't have ta'anos on TRS of five years ago.

The Real Shliach said...

Sure.

Cheerio said...

joshua can't be insulted; he's a fictional character!

The Real Shliach said...

Joshua may not be able to be insulted, but his creator...Anyway, you can't use my own argument against me. Oh, I suppose you can. Whatever.