Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Hero Drank the Chocolate

The Hero Drank the Chocolate
April Fool's Day, 2004

In honor of Too-ticky.

Mr. Johnson stood by the stove waiting for the kettle to boil, hoping that this time at least the old maxim would not hold true. It did. Mr. Johnson sighed and walked to his living room to finish off the last of that morning’s paper. He had just got to the good part in the sports section, the part where duck hunting tactics were explained, when the kettle started to whistle. Mr. Johnson was not a duck hunter. He hated killing animals, hated eating duck, and couldn’t stand the sound of whistles. He didn’t know why he liked reading about the subject; it just seemed natural. He lifted the kettle off the stove, poured some of the boiling water into a cup, and put the kettle on a cold burner. Too late he realized that the chocolate packet said to put the ingredients into the cup first; Mr. Johnson put a tea bag into the cup and made another for the chocolate. Now he would be able to finish up the duck section in peace.

Mr. Franklin trudged through the blizzard up the hill, pausing now and then to check if the small cat wrapped securely in his inner pocket was still alive. The fifth time he checked the cat had died. Mr. Franklin knew this because he flicked the small cat’s whiskers and it didn’t bite his already bloody finger. Mr. Franklin put the cat down on top of a snow bank where he would find it the next day. Then he would eat it, for food was scarce in the valley even in spring, and if he did not eat it his neighbor Mr. Johnson would. Not that Mr. Franklin had anything against Mr. Johnson. In fact, it was toward his house that Mr. Franklin was slowly trudging. It was just that he liked to eat his own dead cats.

Mr. Franklin was a hero, and Mr. Johnson was his faithful friend. Mr. Franklin always walked into town in the hopes of being a hero. He usually succeeded, and consequently walked around town with a medal that said, “Official Hero of Fairington.” Mr. Franklin was a very humble person, but he knew that it made the locals happy to see the medal they had spent half the town’s tax money on. Mr. Johnson always knew to have a cup of hot chocolate ready for his friend at six o’clock.

Mr. Franklin came into view of Mr. Johnson’s window. Mr. Johnson hurried to open it for his shivering neighbor, who immediately shed his clothes and flung himself on a couch before the fireplace. There was no fire there now, but Mr. Franklin was a great believer in symbolism. Mr. Johnson hung up the soaked clothing and brought Mr. Franklin his chocolate. Mr. Johnson began to speak in hushed tones, fearing that his normal booming voice would cause the snow on the roof to come crashing down onto the frozen rose stems standing valiantly in the garden just beneath the window.

“I left here at half past twelve hoping to reach Fairington by sunset. The blizzard delayed long enough for me to make good time, and I had been sitting in the library for half an hour before the last red rays slipped beneath the high windows and plunged the library into darkness. I cursed the librarian for not lighting candles, and went about the room, bumping into bookshelves and tables before finding a match for the candle in my hand. I lit it, and saw a small cat staring up at me. I realized that I had not done by hero’s work for the day, and so determined to bring the cat here and nurse it back to health. The cat did not particularly want to leave its warm home, but I insisted, so it eventually agreed to come with me here. In the middle of the journey up the hill the cat died, so I left it on a snowbank to freeze for tomorrow's dinner. Now I’m here, and I must say that this chocolate is very good. Perhaps you’d like to come with me to do a hero’s work in Fairington tomorrow?”

Mr. Johnson replied that he would not, and that he was very satisfied to stay back and make hot chocolate. He then inquired as to Mr. Franklin’s choice of books for that evening’s entertainment. The two choices were Pride and Prejudice and Robinson Crusoe. Mr. Franklin chose Jane Austen’s classic work, so Mr. Johnson began to read to the great hero.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Mr. Franklin interrupted Mr. Johnson’s reading to ask him for some more hot chocolate. Mr. Johnson got up to get him some more. Finding the kettle cold, Mr. Johnson put in fresh water and waited till it would boil again. Mr. Franklin picked up the newspaper to read in the interim. All that was left was the section on duck hunting. Mr. Franklin loved duck hunting. He found it to be one of the most exhilarating sports known to man. He loved killing animals, loved eating duck, loved the sound of whistles. Unfortunately for the paper though, he didn’t like reading about duck hunting. This was unfortunate for the paper, because they could not put an official “Approved by the Official Hero of Fairington” sticker on the duck hunting section of the paper.

Mr. Johnson returned with the hot chocolate and gave it to Mr. Franklin. He then picked up the book and read it out loud.

“Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.”

Mr. Franklin asked who the them in the beginning of the story had been referring to. Mr. Johnson answered that it meant the Gardiners. Mr. Franklin “Aah,” and then looked at the clock, saw that it was half past nine in the morning, announced his intention of going home and thence to bed, and also his intention of brushing his teeth in a particularly heroic manner. Mr. Johnson thought that all of this was a good idea, and accompanied his friend to the door. They parted ways amiably, shaking hands as Mr. Franklin said that he was sorry about the cat, but that he hoped it would be a good dinner the following day. “I’ll bring it to you before I go a’heroing tomorrow, and then you can make us a nice meal with it.” Mr. Johnson thought this fine, and asked what kind of wine he should baste the deceased in. Mr. Franklin decided on a nasty little chardonnay with hints of garlic and vinegar, and so the matter was settled.

The next day an express messenger ran to Mr. Johnson’s house with an express message. It read:

The Coroner’s Office
Today

Bad Tidings

To my dear Mr. Johnson,

I have terrible news to impart to you. I fear that it will cause you great distress, so sit down while you read this. {Mr. Johnson, being the best friend a hero had no need to sit down} [The letter continues] Your dear friend, the Official Hero of Fairington, has died being extremely heroic. He saw the ice crack beneath the feet of the post man, Mr. Billups, and ran out to help. He ran over to help, and jumping from ledge to ledge almost made it back to safety. I had just come out of my office, (I so dearly love to fish, and it’s so convenient) to applaud the valiant and heroic efforts of the great hero when he just missed clearing a gap and fell under the ice which immediately closed over his head. Mr. Billups catapulted to safety, but our great hero did not surface. After what seemed an eternity, but couldn’t have been more than 2 hours, we got an auger to investigate. His body was nowhere to be found, but we found his medal lodged in the crack. I have enclosed it here. The memorial service will be tomorrow at ten in the morning. Again, I would like to condole with you.

Mr. Johnson stood in disbelief. He could not cope with the fact that the Official Hero of Fairington had left his town without a certified icon. “No, he had been more than that,” thought Mr. Johnson, “He had been a veritable idol to which all looked up to in times of distress.” Mr. Johnson knew that his friend would have liked to have a simple memorial, but also that this would never happen. Mr. Johnson decided that there was only one way to properly remember his friend. He ate the cat, toasting the Official Hero of Fairington with the chardonnay it had been cooked in.

169 comments:

Altie said...

i'm gonna comment just cuz there are none, and i like to be the 1st.

i didnt read the story. i'm sorry. when u become a great writer of fiction, and they publish your 1st novel, I will say i saw it here 1st. and i'll read it then.

sarabonne said...

Silly kitten lost its mittens.

e said...

an interesting feature of this story: you keep on hearing about bold heroism, but the tone is very calm and equanimous.

The Real Shliach said...

Altie: wtvr

Sara: silly kitten, mittens are for rabbits!

e: A literary critic is born...

Anonymous said...

awwwww. the poor kitty. Don't you feel dirty when you talk about this stuff? Is this guy heroic?

The Real Shliach said...

How do you define heroic?

And why would I feel dirty?

Altie said...

superman is heroic.

Anonymous said...

an innocent cat shouldn't become a prop in your game, to make the hero something cool. i mean, he keeps checking to see if it's alive. the cat is biting him. so she's obviously not happy there. and then the bastard just eats it. EMPATHY?? Are we not all god's Creations, worhty of Respect? as Individuals, not merely objects?

Anonymous said...

would superman eat a cat?

The Real Shliach said...

Altie: Why?

Anon: Objectification is certainly one thing the old testament manages to do very well.

Anonymous said...

ahem. you miscontrue the old testament. could you cough up an example?

Altie said...

eating cats? oh boy, u mean now i have to read the post?

trs- cuz he saved people. if thats not heroic than i dont know what is.

e said...

altie, reading the post is often a prerequisite for understanding the comments.

anon, your Misuse of capitalization marks you as a nut. One oughtn't capitalize words merely for Emphasis.

The Real Shliach said...

Anon: All this wiping out of nations and such like-no regard for the individual, merely a stunning lack of regard for the totality of human existence, replacing it with a black and white view of the world which allows for the battle between good and evil to take place unhindered by any but the most primitive of morality.

Altie: Evidently.

Who said they wanted to be saved?

Altie said...

e- u just may be right.

Anonymous said...

well, haven't you progressed beyond bornze-age morality?

sarabonne said...

miscontrue dat. Cats are delicious.

Altie said...

that is a question of moral obligation. if you see a man jumping out a window, would u save him, or stop and think, hmm, maybe he doesnt want to be saved?

sarabonne said...

Or maybe the window is locked and he lands on his bum.

e said...

altie: trs was pushing your buttons.

Altie said...

thats a posibility.

e- ok wtvr.

e said...

sarabonne: a little creativity in imagining the scenario, and the man is saved! joy!

The Real Shliach said...

Anon: Well the bible certainly never did... the question is, will we allow ourselves to be trapped by it, or will we rise above and realize our true potential and become true sons of a human-bred morality, independent of any G-d based subjective and, dare I say, ancient sense of self?

Sara: experience do we have?

Altie: Exactly.

e said...

trs: are you saying we ought to progress beyond the bibe? are you smarter than god?

Anonymous said...

sarabonne, haha. very funny. this is not a joke. you religious folk think that morality is not a serious thing? the Bible says that all animals are created in the likeness and image of god. this is not a laughing matter.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh. That. Right. Sometimes I forget that I'm posting under the name "TRS".

:)

sarabonne said...

Oh yes, back in '76, I used to cook for this exotic deli in India which served kitty burgers with catsup. Mighty good stuff.

sarabonne said...

Anon, fine, I'll leave the cats alone. If you must know, I own two cats and we have a very healthy relationship.

The Real Shliach said...

Anon: animals too? really? show me where please.

Sara: Was there lettuce on them too?

Anonymous said...

Healthy relationship=?

popcorn said...

Sara the chef: is that why they call it catsup?

Anonymous said...

re:bible nad in god's image

you're the rabbi, are you not? don't you read god's word? you should be able to tell me chapter and verse!!

Pretzel said...

I thought that was because they use it to saute cats?

The Real Shliach said...

Anon: Brilliant tactic. But it's not going to work with me. Bring proof, or forever be gone!

pb&j said...

they call it catsup b/c they saute the cats? explain please.

Altie said...

anon, duuuuude, chill. we all brothas here, no need to shout.

and btw, maybe if u werent so anonymous ppl would respect you more. just a thought.

sarabonne said...

Lettuce too. And pickles, mayo(pareve), tomatoes, and some shitake mushroom.
Healthy relationship= Proper meals at the right times, plenty of exercise and sun, 16 hours of sleep, heck I even brush them.

Anonymous said...

damnit. it's in genesis. god makes the animals in his likeness and in his form. you find it.

Pronto Pup said...

Yum, cats and tomato juice. What a treat.

in god's image said...

now i gotta name. now answer me, rabbi.

The Real Altie said...

Anon: And let the foul demons that clog this vacuum come out!

in god's image said...

what does that even mean?

Altie said...

in gods image- good job.

carry on, children.

sarabonne said...

Info on catsup: http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/ketchuphistory.htm

e said...

children? are you not the youngest one here, altie?

Altie said...

the age of 'in gods image' is not ascertained yet.

and if so, so what?

that is low, E.

in god's image said...

5769 years old...

sarabonne said...

In His Image, in the image of G-d: Among all living creatures, Man alone is endowed-like his creator-with morality, reason, and free will....etc.
Rambam.

The Real Shliach said...

in god's image: It says something about man and woman he created them, but nothing about the little critters in the forest...

Sara: I couldn't have said it better.

in god's image said...

sarabonne, where'd you pull that ramnbam quote from? Can this rabbi rambam dispute the word of god?

The Real Shliach said...

in god's image: tell me, which G-d do you believe in anyway?

sarabonne said...

I have great regard for Rambam.

Rambam said...

Hey, "in god's image", who do you think you are?

in god's image said...

i believe in the god of the bible, unlike you mister "we need to trasend bronze age morality"

The Real Shliach said...

Altie, I'm sure e didn't mean it like that.

The Real Shliach said...

in god's image: Oh. Right. I was being sarcastic.

e said...

sara: cool ketchup link. just the other day, i was wondering why they always write "tomato ketchup." Is there any other ketchup out there?

Altie said...

trs- always the moderater. no worries, i know that. i didnt mean anything by it either.

e said...

altie+trs: great. all these people saying things they don't mean.

Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus said...

Sick, isn't it, these disingenuous people.

Altie said...

e- oh so you did mean it.

heres something that I do mean- u have a big ego.

e said...

altie: here's something i do mean: you do too.

e said...

no!!! I was lying! It was just such a good line, that i couln't resist. I didn't really mean that.

Altie said...

no i dont. and if anything, yours is bigger than mine.

i dont have a big ego. i'm just certain that most times i'm right.

in god's image said...

ok. back to basics here. i did a little googling and it's not so simple. actually, judaism allows some pretty nasty stuff to animals. so whatever.

Michael Jackson said...

e
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketchup
Go to the part about later innovations and etymology.

Altie said...

children? are you not the youngest one here, altie?


thats not a line, thats a question.

sad truth: you dont have good lines.

oh, and once again, u are better at sarcasm then u let on.

The Real Shliach said...

Altie: People with big egos get things accomplished.

G-d's image dude: you work for PETA?

in god's image said...

http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-ritual.html

apparently your god doesn't mind killingand eating innocent animals.

Altie said...

trs: like you, for example?

big ego is not healthy. small ego is not healthy. no ego is not healthy.

find the middle path, ppl. isnt that what we are always taught?

Michael Jackson said...

in god's image-You work for PETA? They would love to have you.

The Real Shliach said...

Altie: Actually, I have a non-existent ego. Right? Right?

e said...

The irresistible good line was this one:

Altie said...
e- oh so you did mean it.

heres something that I do mean- u have a big ego.

August 24, 2009 12:21 AM
Blogger e said...

altie: here's something i do mean: you do too.

TRS' EGO said...

I don't exist!

bittul idyot! said...

i don't exist!

sarabonne said...

Trs' ego-right, you're jsut a demon.

Altie said...

e- thats not a good line. oh, isn't it past your bedtime by now?

trs- funny. ur ego is alive and well in brooklyn.

The Real Shliach said...

http://www.petakillsanimals.com/

Altie said...

i cant believe u call THAT a line. man, dude, u have GOTTA live.

TRS' non-existent ego said...

Brooklyn? Who is this in Brooklyn?

e said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sarabonne said...

Guinea pigs are pretty good too, by the way.

Altie said...

brooklyn, minnasota, akipolka. who cares. dont deny the ego. let it talk!

in god's image said...

wrong. you gotta suppress that ego. that's what swami baghwen taught.

TRS' non-existent ego said...

TRS is stifling me! Ahhhh!!!!

e said...

lol

Altie said...

swami baghwen - who dat?

sarabonne said...

It's Swami Bhagwan sir.

The Real Shliach said...

Swami shwami, where's the salami or pastrami?

Altie said...

Yes we have no salami.

its 1:30 am. who wants to eat pastrami?

in god's image said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osho_(Bhagwan_Shree_Rajneesh)

sarabonne, you will forgive me. i'm not so good with spelling.

e said...

altie: most of us are further west, where it's earlier.

Yes we have no bananas said...

Altie: me.

Altie said...

e- ya ya wtvr. its STILL past your bedtime.

trs- so hop out to the grocery store.

bananas are better. ya. or... ice cream.

e said...

i made some special brownies today that you might want.

Breslov said...

hash brownies?

e said...

no. gluten free.

Altie said...

special? ^ ^ I suppose that means gluten free?

e said...

in this case it does.

Altie said...

oh i do read minds..

Chatas of Breslov said...

rebbe nachman doesn't want gluten free

e said...

100 comments! trs, go to work now!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried smoked guinea pigs stuffed with hash?

Altie said...

and really, e, why would anyone want to eat those, besides from u, who listens to his nutritionist like a good boy?

I know your secret. said...

what to you have to do with breslov? your soul is pure.

The Real Shliach said...

Work I shall go to.

e said...

altie: my gluten-free sister

Altie said...

guinni pigs AND hash? oh what a happy happy day.

nu nu. whats wrong with breslov? i love their nachman song.

e said...

ok, i think i shall go to sleep. it's been a pleasure. g'night.

Altie said...

so u and your sister may go browny happy.

gnite. did u just wanna be the one to reach 100?

Altie said...

yay. e free zone.

sarabonne said...

It's more than 100 princess. Cheers to us.

Altie said...

well its definitly been a fun entertaining exchange. and i just killed an hour!

in god's image said...

oh. i don't care about ginee pigs, because they're from the devil.

sarabonne said...

Poor thing.

Altie said...

in gods image- seriously??

does the devil even exist?

sarabonne said...

poor thing being the hour, mind you.

Altie said...

lol. oh yes. i'm sure it didnt hurt one bit.

shall we tell PETA about that too?

in god's image said...

altie: of course the devil esixts. but in the things. like in the ginee pig. i wonder if you got the devil in yuo.

sarabonne said...

Cats have been associated with hell and satan and all that red tinted stuff for quite some time. Guinea pigs just squeal a lot.

The Devil Speaketh said...

I am the devil, in god's image. Pick up the knife, and kill.

Yes, you must listen to me.

in god's image said...

squealing is from the devil. that's why women squeel.

Altie said...

so, nu, do u listen to the devil?

oh its eating me alive!! saaave me!!!

sarabonne said...

Then kill hours with sleep. Good night.

Altie said...

oh really? i thought its just cuz screaming isnt ladylike.

sara- one by one they dissapear. have a good one

Altie said...

anon- any plans to retire soon?

in god's image said...

sarabone, are you scared of being exposed? you are a Woman, aren't you?

Altie said...

of course she is. and what do u mean, exposed? what is there to be scared of?

in god's image said...

hey devil, i'm not scared of you. you are from the dark side. i don't care for you and your ilk.

e said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The devil in me said...

whats ilk?

ooooh, you should be scared of me. I can kill u anytime i wish. don't turn around, i am right behind you.....

in god's image said...

i turned around and saw you not. go jump in a lake, you evil thng.

Altie said...

e, i thought u went to sleep.

so are u 'in gods image'?

in god's image said...

I like chicken, I like liver, meow mix, meow mix, please deliver!

Altie said...

oh shucks, you got me.

oh well.

Altie said...

who u calling evil? you are the one shooting your mouth off at 2 am.

Altie said...

me oh my, yo Mama not gonna be happy....

The Real Shliach said...

And thus endeth the conversation.

Altie said...

I was gonna say, goodnight blogworld, but yours works well too.

139 comments. in record time. that was like a commenting marathon. we should try that again sometime.

gnite.

Mushkie said...

yikes, i go to school and miss all the fun! screw being 14 hours ahead!
btw e, altie is not the youngest here.

and trs, it was half past nine in the morning when franklin wanted to go to bed? what was he doing all night, commenting on blogs like all you nocturnal bilbies?

Altie said...

Mushkie- well not anymore. Thanks!

The Real Shliach said...

Mushkie: what is this "bilbies" of which you speak?

Mushkie said...

lol it's (bilby is the singular) an australian animal that always springs to mind when i think of nocturnality. and you didn't answer my question...* pout *

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh.

What question?

Altie said...

Mushkie: and trs, it was half past nine in the morning when franklin wanted to go to bed? what was he doing all night, commenting on blogs like all you nocturnal bilbies?

Altie said...

The Real Altie said...

hm, i didnt see this last night... i sense E in there somewhere..

e said...

Although I am a man of many aliases, that one was not from me. However, I do know that someone who usually comments under his own name was dabbling in alias-making that night.

Altie said...

i think that was trs. but rereading this lovely exchange makes me wonder about a lot of the names... and your 'dabbling' abilities...

Altie said...

really, was 'in gods image' really a visitor?

The Real Shliach said...

Who, me? You think I have nothing better to do than make fake names on my own blog?

Altie said...

the real altie?

The Real Shliach said...

Is that not you?

Altie said...

are u serious? no, why would i use that as a weird name?

The Real Shliach said...

I mean, who else would?

Altie said...

um, you?

The Real Shliach said...

The Real Shliach said...

Who, me? You think I have nothing better to do than make fake names on my own blog?
August 25, 2009 12:08 PM

Altie said...

then i guess it shall forever remain a mystery...

sarabonne said...

I thought it was all very funny. The Real Altie? Where was that?

Altie said...

The Real Altie said...

Anon: And let the foul demons that clog this vacuum come out!

August 24, 2009 12:07 AM


it wasnt me.

Mushkie said...

it's almost half-past eigth in the morning by me and my question has been hanging for like 2 days. Straight.

The Real Shliach said...

The answer to your question is... maybe?

Mushkie said...

Good answer.

The Real Shliach said...

I try.

Cheerio said...

there was something i wanted to say to in gods image, but now i cant remember.
after reading all these comments, i cant even remember what the post was about.

The Real Shliach said...

You read all the comments? My condolences.

Altie said...

lol. trs, its like watching a wrestling match. quite entertaining actually, if u have time.

The Real Shliach said...

I suppose.

Altie said...

u just dont have time... oh on that note, i didnt get any farther in the archives, but b''h, cuz that means that my life is progressing and i have less time for it. maybe on a rainy day... i have a whole year to catch up on, and im sure theres lots of stories i'll encounter there. (and im not talking abt the actual posts.)

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh yes, there have been many interesting conversations over the months...