Friday, September 12, 2008

Just when you thought...

If I was a Greek, and worshiped a pantheon of minor deities whose names began with "q", then I would certainly have a lot to be thankful for today. After all, it was undoubtedly these blogging gods who provided me with so much to write about! That would be if I was Greek. Fortunately, of course, I'm not. I'm Jewish. If I had been writing this at any normal time of the night then what would follow would be a serious blog post regarding Judaism in the 21st century, and how each one of us, in his or her own way, can do simply marvelous things. However, it is not currently a normal part of the night, and this gives me a lot of license to be silly. In order to save anyone from any future embarrassment, and me from having to use my brain, I think I'll post an old Joshua story. Here goes:

June 14, 2004
The 6th Joshua
Joshua’s Vacation

Joshua walked into his hotel room and tripped. When he got up he walked over to his bed and lay down upon it. Something faintly bothered him, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. After lying on the bed for four hours, trying to count the brush strokes on the ceiling, he realized what had been bothering him. He wondered what he had tripped on. As a rule, he only tripped on dead bodies, and since he had never seen one of those he rarely if ever tripped.

He got up to investigate what had been lying on the floor. It was a massive stuffed panda bear. He walked over to the door and examined it. The bear was in excellent shape, and it had a note hanging from the foreleg on the right. Joshua read the note. It said:

“Yo Man, what’s up? Like, uh, where you been till now? I been a missing you like so badly that I just like, uh, can’t imagine existing now. Even though I am. Duh.
RSVP Room 565”

Joshua thought about this note for a few minutes. It was obviously someone’s idea of a joke. The room number was not his own, and the writing was positively pathetic. Joshua decided to throw the panda outside the window and see what the rest of the world made of it. The panda wasn’t very heavy, and Joshua soon had it on his shoulders. The only problem with the whole scenario was that his window wouldn’t open. It seemed that his hotel did not believe in allowing its guests fresh air.

Later that night Joshua decided to burn the panda instead of chucking it out the window. He kept the note though, placing it securely between his “State of Florida Passport to Fun Gift Card” and his “Official Back Seat Drivers License with New Personalized ID Photo.” When the maid came in the next morning he asked Joshua what was up with the ashes in the bathtub. Joshua explained to him that he was a phoenix, and resurrected himself once a day, preferably in hotel rooms in Washington DC. The man looked at him like he was drunk, but consented to clean the room and get Joshua an Alka-Seltzer.

After his stay in the hotel Joshua went home. He met his best friend once-removed, and proceeded to have a stimulating conversation with him. “Hi best friend,” said Joshua. “Hi Joshua,” was the reply. After this delightful discourse Joshua walked up to his room, undressed, took a bath, and reflected, once he was out of the water, what had possessed him to talk so volubly with the male maid. “It must have been sheer madness,” thought Joshua, “thankfully I was not crazy enough to tell him of the panda.”

That night Joshua fell asleep. This was not out of the ordinary, but it always filled Joshua with a quite sense of joy that he, unlike his best friend, was able to fall asleep. The fact that Joshua’s best friend had no trouble falling asleep and in fact remained in that state for extended periods of time did not bother Joshua. Not much did bother Joshua. He always felt that being bothered was a very unmanly thing to be and only allowed himself to be effeminate when his best friend was not in sight. Joshua was almost never in the presence of his best friend, and so allowed himself to be bothered more than a careful person like him perhaps should have been.

Joshua woke up, smelled the morning coffee, and went straight back to sleep. He got up out of bed a couple of hours later, and, leisurely stretching his long limbs one by one with little satisfying pops, ate breakfast. He reflected on his boring life and decided that he needed a change. A trip to Florida would be just great. Besides, then he could use his “State of Florida Passport to Fun Gift Card.” He hadn’t used it in almost four months, and that was really a shocking amount of time for a person to not be in Florida when one had the advantage of a “State of Florida Passport to Fun Gift Card.”

Joshua’s flight to Florida had a stopover in Washington DC. He got a strange sense of Yogi Berra syndrome as he stared at the people from the district who were catching the plane down to the water-ringed land of pleasure. At least that’s what their tour package operator, who was a pretty shifty guy, had said. Joshua settled into his seat, and prepared for takeoff. It wouldn’t be coming for twenty-five minutes minutes, but of course one could never be too ready. Joshua stared at the people filing past him. They were a nondescript bunch. Most looked like caricatures of English tourists visiting Cairo for the fifth time, and wishing they had chosen not to always do the same thing, but that didn’t bother Joshua. After all, his best friend was there too. On the plane that is, not Cairo.

Joshua stiffened as a man sat down next to him. It was the maid from the hotel. Joshua was shocked. He didn’t know that people like that could afford to take vacations with sleazy tour operators. Joshua hoped the man wouldn’t recognize him. Of course though, he did. Joshua cursed his infernal luck, and wished that the plane had landed in Tuscaloosa instead of Washington DC. The maid asked Joshua how he was, and expressed surprised that Joshua wanted to go to Tuscaloosa. Joshua hadn’t realized how loud he had wished. “Oh well,” he thought, “this too shall pass.” And it did, of course; everything always does.

As the maid was leaving he handed Joshua’s best friend a package. “It’s the ashes,” he explained, “I thought that your friend here would want them. He really seemed attached to that animal. It’s a pity that it got burned. I would have liked to have met it.” The best friend looked at him strangely, but gave the package to Joshua back once they reached their motel room in Florida. Joshua took one look at it and tossed it out the window, in the process hurting himself. The window wasn’t open. After icing his head for a few hours he went outside onto the beach, took the box, recited a moving and beautiful poem about its demise, and threw it into the waves. By one of the miracles of modern divinity the box traveled a long way. It went through the Panama Canal, across the desolate stretches of the Pacific, and finally lodged ignominiously into a landfill on the waters edge in China. At that point it was buried.

Joshua would have liked to know that the animal got a decent burial in its home town. Well, a decent burial for a stuffed panda that is. Room 565 would have liked that too.


Cheerio said...

ahh, my friday fix of jolly joshua. all is now right with the world.
i think i am going to have to acquire a best friend once removed, though.

e said...

That was a thoroughly pointless article. I think your mind wanders in more purposeful directions when Joshua engages in dialogue.

Anonymous said...

yay! the dialogue is gone!

Just like a guy said...

Cheerio: You're welcome, and of course, they're quite convenient.

Eliezer: The point is that there is no point.

The anti Cheerio: Shouldn't you be the anti-Eliezer?

e said...

"Eliezer: The point is that there is no point."

Actually, I think that's really the point of Antic Hay, by Aldous Huxley. Now that I sounded educated by telling everyone that I read Antic Hay, I can let y'all in on the secret: don't bother reading it. There really is not point to it.

e said...

TRS, if you really wanted to demonstrate that there is no point, you would have written nothing. My blog demonstrates the ultimate non-point pointfullness much better than this pitiful tale.

Just like a guy said...

That's hardly the point.