Sunday, August 24, 2008

The triumphant return!

There was a little clamoring this afternoon for the Joshua stories, and I thought I'd oblige tonight. One thing I've noticed about these stories-they are intensely weird. Not that weird is a bad thing, of course. The only problem is, I'm just trying to figure out which of the twenty or so stories that I wrote five years ago would translate well into this busy world we live in today. I suppose I'll just choose a random story... Now remember, I wrote this a long time ago. I'm sure there are a thousand holes that can be poked in it. Please, do me a favor, and point out any inconsistencies or stupidities to TRS circa 2004. I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

Joshua XI

Joshua’s Jericho

“Hey, Joe!”
“Yeah? What?”
“What are you doing in that fox hole?”
“Getting shot at.”
“Hey, so am I!”
“Brilliant deduction, Einstein.”
“Mind if I jump in?”
“Yes.”
“That’s not very nice.”
“Sorry.”
“So you’re just going to let me die here?”
“No, you could jump into the hare’s hole next to me.”
“It’s not big enough.”
“So dig an extension.”
“But I’ll need to refinance and get a home loan for that.”
“Oh, really? Well when I refinanced, I got a great rate from Pinkerton Brothers, they were really good. I got a great rate and a $1000 gift card from Houses R Us. I really recommend them.”
“What is this, an infomercial?”
“No, it’s just that I get a referral fee of $100 every time I send them a customer.”
“Nice.”
“So you’ll start digging soon?”
“I think so, it does seem to be getting pretty hot out here.”
“What in the world are you talking about? This is worse then Valley Forge!”
“No, I mean the smithy is starting to heat the fire.”
“Eh?”
“Well, you know, forge, smithy, fire, uh,”
“Why in the world do you feel compelled to make a complete fool of yourself every time you say something?”
“I blame it on the one above.”
“You’re blaming it on a U-2 pilot?”
“No, I’m blaming it on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
“You’re Catholic?”
“Not exactly, I’m more Unitarian then anything.”
“Right.”
“Really?!”
“Listen Joshua, I totally believe you.”
“No you don’t.”
“Yes I do.”
“Prove it.”
“How can I possibly prove that I believe something?”
“Well, it’s your own fault for getting in such a pickle.”
“That’s a lot of help.”
“Well, I sure am glad that I could be of service.”
“How about you prove to me that you’re Unitarian.”
“Wait, I thought you believed me?”
“I do.”
“So why do you want me to prove that I’m a Unitarian?”
“Just for practice.”
“Oh, okay, if it’ll make you happy.”
“Oh yes, it definitely will make me extremely happy. I think I’ll start to bubble soon I’ll be so happy. My mood will be positively frabjous.”
“Well, I am always happy to make someone happy. Gives me such a feeling of a job well done.”
“Well then, start doing it.”
“Here goes: I am a Unitarian because I say I am.”
“What, I think, therefore I am?”
“Theft is property, therefore property is theft, therefore your fox hole is mine!”
Brief scuffle results in Joe being summarily evicted from his fox hole.
“I’ll sue you for this! You’ll pay damages! I’ll have the law on you! I have my rights, you know!”
“Beat it bubs. This fox hole is like, being mine.”
“What an absolutely typical anti-American communist.”
“Fascist.”
“What, you make the trains run on time?”
“Of course.”
“But you have no trains!”
“Exactly.”
“Great, just what I need, an existentialist.”
“No, a Unitarian.”
“What, back onto that again?”
“I bet you don’t even know what an existentialist is.”
“And I bet that you don’t even know what a Unitarian is.”
“So we’re all square?”
“No! Of course not.”
“Why?”
“Because you brought up this whole Unitarian thing first. You got to explain yourself.”
“Oh yeah? Well, I have long-term memory loss, so I only remember that you said that I was an existentialist.”
“Is it possible to be both a Unitarian and a existentialist?”
“Well, I seem to be doing a good job of it.”
“According to who?”
“Whom.”
“All right, according to whom?”
“Hoyle.”
“What? This is a matter of religion, not poker!”
“Au Contraire, they are the same thing.”
“And next thing I know, you’ll be going Gump on me and saying that religion is like a box of cards, you never know what, is, uh,”
“You never know which one you draw first.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“Regardless of its making sense or not, it sounds good.”
“No it doesn’t! I can not imagine Tom Hanks saying something like that.”
“Jim Carey!”
“No, it was Tom Hanks.”
“Who are we going to ask to find out who’s right?”
“Let’s ask that manipulative movie maven over there.”
“Okay.”
The two crawl over to the fox hole of the manipulative movie maven.
“Hey! Who says I’m manipulative?”
“Well, that’s what the flag above your hole says.”
“Actually, it isn’t saying anything.”
“So then what is it doing?”
‘Communicating.”
“That doesn’t sound too good.”
“No, you’re right.”
“Joshua?”
“Yes Joe?”
“I’ve been thinking.”
“That’s a first.”
“You know, the line that Gump uses in the movie doesn’t make sense. After all, in most boxes of chocolate, there are different designs for the different kinds of chocolate. So you really can tell what you’re going to get.”
“That’s a very good point Joe.”
“Can I get a word in edgewise here people?”
“Sure you can, Manipulative Movie Maven.”
“Take that sign down and cross out the word Manipulative Joshua.”
“Okay.”
“And you, Joe, state your case.”
“Sure. Well Movie Maven, Joshua and I were arguing,”
“Hey!”
“What Joshua?”
“The Movie Maven just manipulated us!”
“I did not!”
“Yes you did.”
“Joshua, never say something like that again.”
“All right.”
“Thank you.”
“So as I was saying movie Maven, Joshua and I have an argument about who played the title character in Forrest Gump. He says Jim Carey while I hold that it was Tom Hanks.”
“Oh, that’s an easy one, it was Tom Hanks.”
“You sure?”
“Yup. Sorry Joshua, you was wrong.”
“Too bad Joshua, better luck next time.”
“Dang!”
The two crawl away from the movie maven to their own fox hole and, in Joe’s case, hare’s hole.
“You know Joshua, I think it’s called a warren.”
“Well, that’s for a rabbit. I think that for a hare it’s all right to live in a hole.”
“Whatever you say.”
“So back to one of our original arguments, as you just proved, a saying doesn’t necessarily need to be true to be used.”
“Obviously. Property is theft is totally not true.”
Mild scuffle results in Joshua moving into hare’s hole.
“I think a good saying would be that religion is like a card game: in both cases, you want the dealer to cheat for you.”
“That’s a good one Joe.”
“Thanks Joshua.”
“Can I have my hole back?”
“No.”
“Back to an even further argument, or maybe it was more recent, I have no idea.”
“Because you have bad long-term memory.”
“Right.”
“Is it possible to be both a Unitarian and existentialist?”
“You say I am.”
“No, I say that you’re an existentialist; you say that you’re a Unitarian.”
“Do you know what either is?”
“Theoretically.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That’s what I’m asking you.”
“How about we both write definitions on pieces of paper, and whichever one is right gets the fox hole.”
“No.”
“Why not?”
“Why should I give up my hole if I’m proved to be a fraud?”
“Well, that shouldn’t be a problem, huh?”
“True.”
“Okay then, do you want to do it?”
“Oh fine.”
Much scribbling.
“Now we need an impartial judge.”
“How about we go to George the Judicious Groundhog for a ruling?”
“That’s a good idea.”
They crawl off in the opposite direction of the Movie Maven.
“George?”
“Squeak, snort, squeak squeak, sniff, sniffle, snort, squeak!”
Simply because we here at Joshua Enterprises are so inclined, we will provide a translation.
“I refuse to talk to people who first steal my hole and then think that a hare or rabbit could possibly have made such a comfortable place.”
“Please?”
“No.”
They crawl back to the fox hole and (as now revealed) groundhog den.
“Well, let’s at least exchange papers and see what the other wrote.”
“Joshua?”
“Yeah?”
“You wrote, ‘Ethiopia is a country in Africa.’ how could you do something like that?”
“Yeah Joe, you wrote, ‘Ethiopia is a country in Africa.’ too. How could you do something like that?”
“Oh. Yeah. I remember that.”
“Maybe we’re fraternal twins who were separated at birth?”
“Maybe we’re not, Joshua; I’d hate to be related to you.”
“That wasn’t a nice thing to say Joe.”
“Sorry.”
“So I’ll take it that neither of us knows the first thing about existentialism or Unitarianism?”
“Sure.”
“Good.”
“Now onto another topic of debate then.”
“What’s that Joe?”
“That thing about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
“We never debated about that?”
“I was meaning to.”
“Okay, so what’s the debate?”
“Well, whether there is actually any one above?”
“You mean whether there is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?”
“Exactly.”
“Well, if you prefer monotheism...”
“Actually, I prefer nothing.”
“You’re an atheist?”
“Yup.”
“Then what are you doing in that fox hole?”
“Haven’t we already agreed that most trite sayings aren’t true?”
“That doesn’t mean you have to prove them wrong Joe. Get out of that fox hole!”
Major skirmish results in Joe being expelled to the rodent’s retreat while Joshua regains his residence in the groundgog grotto.
A short while later a passing shell kills Joe. A voice is heard from the heavens:

“I may only be the writer, Joshua, but I do appreciate when you stand up for your beliefs and don’t allow cliches to become obsolescent.”
A short while after that Joe is buried with full military honors under the cross his parents provided. He is still seething.

20 comments:

Cheerio said...

I LOVE THE JOSHUA STORIES! MORE! MORE! MORE!

Cheerio said...

i think you've created a monster! next thing you know, i'm gonna want to meet joshua. he is so cool.

EndOfWorld said...

Thanks for posting more on Joshy (and Joey).

The only problem is that I have a ten second attention span, or approximately enough dendrites to read text that appears on the screen (without scrolling). I read the beginning (funny) and read the ending (funny, though confusing. maybe cause I skipped out the middle). Let me know if I should go back and read the middle

The Real Shliach said...

Wow, Cheerio, I'm glad that you liked Joshua. I do have to warn you that this story is probably the best of the bunch; nevertheless, I'll continue to post them, because A. you want me to, and B. it saves me all the trouble of actually writing anything new. As for meeting Joshua...

End Of World, of course you should read the middle!

EndOfWorld said...

By the way, thanks for the link to the picture of you on my site. A)Cute beard B) now I'll know who to avoid eye contact with when walking the streets of kan tziva.

e said...

Where is there a picture of TRS on endoftheworld's scandalously hyphenated site?

e said...

Most of the post resembled our (TRS' and mine) IMs. But the end was a nice surprise. One issue: is a foxhole a rodent's retreat? I don't think foxes are rodents.

The Real Shliach said...

What the heck does "cute beard" mean? That I'm cute, but you're too embarrassed to say it, or that I'm not cute, but you're too embarrassed to say it?

e said...

Hello! I feel ignored!!

1. can a foxhole be called a rodents' retreat?

2. Where is this picture of TRS' cutely bearded mug?

ta'aruvot police #2 said...

Oopsy daisy.
I see "cc" probably meant to leave a comment here (instead of someone else's blog, re the cute beard issue.) I guess it ain't the end of the world, pun intended. Hmm... how did "cc" mix the two of you up? Hmm.. too much mingling here? Nah. Can't be. After all this is the REAL shliach here, he would never mingle (too much) with the opposite gender. Or would he?

the original and best TP said...

Oh! I'm glad I got a teammate! Listen, bud, we got our work cut out for us... these guys and gals have serious issues.

the original and best TP said...

My dear comrade in arms, who the bloody hell is cc?

Joshua, retuned from the dead said...

OY! I feel like a nut!

ta'aruvot police #2 said...

Glad to be on board! *salute*

How can we convince these dudes that this is SO improper?? How can we explain to them that this is dangerous? Should we tell them that they are embarrassing themselves?
Or shaming their future partners... unless...wait wait... I have an idea... why don't they just marry each other, then it will be all kosher. Great idea! No? So should we announce their engagements on Shmais?

the original and best TP said...

Well if we bring back polygamy...

ta'aruvot police #2 said...

Oh, "cc" commented on "endof..." blog re some cute dude...

ta'aruvot police #2 said...

You mean to tell me that Cheerio and the fake shliach are married??
And not to each other???

The Real Shliach said...

There are some weird people in this world...

T P 1 said...

I mean that trs would need to marry a slew of girls.

ta'aruvot police #2 said...

Oh. Yikes. Gotya!