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A few funny and quirky anecdotes I wrote up during an obsession I had with Woody Allen.
The Parrot’s Paradox

There is an old proverb which states that all good things must come to an end, but when they do end, where is it that these good things go? Barton Finnegan wondered this. Two weeks ago a blue and green parrot had landed and perched on a branch of the tree in his front yard and began reciting Jonathan Swift poems. Curious at this, Barton asked the parrot where he had learned these poems, and the parrot replied that a ferret who liked satire and who was deathly afraid of certain shades of the colour purple had told him. Astounded by this, Barton asked the parrot more questions.

“Where did you learn to speak?” he asked.

“An old man with one leg who was fond of knitting in small places taught me how to speak.”

“What was this old man’s name?” he inquired

“Difficult to say. He went by many names. Sometimes he told everyone to call him by the name of some obscure vegetable, like ‘The Great Turnip’, or implored his family to refer to him as some great personage, like Marcel Proust or Henry Kissinger.”

“Was the old man crazy?”

“Difficult to say,” said the parrot. “There was one instance where the old man disappeared for a week and his family, worried about his well-being, sent out a rescue party which eventually discovered the old man locked into an argument with a beaver as to what the consequences of the 1967 Stanley Cup final would have on the world of instructional videos. His family tried to persuade him to return home, but he would have nothing of it until he had won the argument with the beaver. Two more weeks past and the old man returned home with only one leg and a crudely produced wooden replacement with highly pronounced teeth marks. When asked about his left leg he would rant and rave about squirrels and chipmunks and how they were inflating the Canadian dollar, but would never speak of ever having known a beaver of any kind, and even became inflamed at the mention of the word ‘beaver’, such as ‘look at that beaver’s dam in the river mom’, or ‘that’s some fine looking beaver up there by the bar, eh Chuck?’”

The parrot told Barton many things about his life, and eventually began to tell Barton certain things about his life too.

“I can see you are unsatisfied with your wife and that her fear of ground beef and cardboard boxes irks you.”

“Yes! Yes!” Barton screamed.

“I can see that you are an intelligent man who prefers the poetry of Pound to Eliot, and the prose of Dickens to Hardy, and that you wish you had lived in the time of the Greeks so that you could have met Aristotle and dined with Plato.”

“Yes! Yes!” Barton screamed.

“ I can see that you are looking for something, something great in the world that will eclipse the words of Shakespeare and reveal to you the ultimate truth of life.

“Yes! Yes!” Barton screamed.

“Then listen carefully,” calmly replied the parrot, and Barton sat down and crossed his legs and looked up at the parrot as a child would look at a loving parent just before they departed for their first day of school. “You must listen very carefully and do exactly what I say. Do you promise this,” the parrot asked Barton and he nodded and spit in his hand.

“Good. First, it is absolutely necessary that you go to the nearest grocery store and acquire 23 rolls of toilet paper, a roll of tin foil, one roasting chicken, a baser, 7 extra large brown eggs and the collected works of John Donne,” and Barton left immediately and did his best to comply with the parrots wishes, but unfortunately brought back paper towel instead of toilet paper, a turkey instead of a chicken, 6 medium sized brown eggs, and the collected works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

The parrot was vexed, but forgave Barton.

“Next, you must cook the chicken, fry the eggs and memorize the poetry so that your dinner with Queen Elizabeth will go off without a hitch,” and Barton complied with the parrots wishes but asked how it was he was going to meet the Queen.

“She will be coming to your house at a quarter past nine and will have a strange craving for roasted fowl, brown eggs and metaphysical poetry.”

Barton doubted the parrot not and roasted the chicken, fried the eggs and memorized the poetry. ‘How do I love thee, let me count the ways’ by John Donne was his favorite and the poem he chose to read to the Queen.

The stage was set and the parrot told Barton that the Queen would soon be here and bid him good luck and told him that once all of this was completed, a great being from an alternate universe would appear and wisp him and the Queen into infinity and unimaginable bliss, which is exactly what Barton had wanted the most. The parrot bid farewell and Barton wept, but was thankful for all of the parrot’s help.

At a quarter past nine the Queen did not show up. In fact, she did not show up at a quarter past ten either, and just when Barton thought it might happen, twenty-seven past midnight did not give way to her arrival. The turkey became cold and flakey, the eggs hard, the poetry stale, and Barton began to wonder if the parrot had lied

And then Barton remembered the old proverb, that all good things must come to an end, and he wondered where it is that all good things go when they do end. Barton imagined the parrot soaring through unbounded skies, searching the world for men like him whom he would take with him to infinity and unimaginable bliss, but then sooner than later Barton went crazy and hunted down the Queen, kidnapped her and forcefully fed her roasted Turkey, fried eggs and read her metaphysical poetry and was later caught with a three legged dog and a copy of Vogue magazine from 1983 sitting behind a dumpster in a pile of half eaten pretzels. He wondered why it was that all good things had to come to an end and where it was that good things went after they ended. He never found out and died fifteen years later in a British prison, stabbed by a fellow inmate nicknamed ‘Caring Charlie’ who just didn’t care any longer.

The point of this story escapes me, although seven years later Caring Charlie was fined five hundred dollars for teaching a moose how to skip rope.

* * *
The Day Jesus Got Punched in the Mouth

Jonathan Oxford stepped out onto the street at a half past six one Thursday morning and was struck down by a post office van as he was crossing the road. He died one hour later and consequently failed to receive his pay check. He ascended into the afterlife without difficulty and was astounded to find that life after death was much as life before death; a little longer, maybe, but the origins of Jell-O still puzzled him as much in Death as it had in Life.

When walking through the streets of the afterlives equivalent of New Jersey, Jonathan Oxford randomly bumped into Jesus and Jesus said to Jonathan Oxford “The path of the wicked enter not, walk not on the way of evil men; Shun it, cross it not, turn aside from it and pass on,” and Jonathan thought this an odd thing to say. Jesus starred at him for a few minutes and again Jesus said to Jonathan Oxford “The lips of an adulteress drip with honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, as sharp as a two-edged sword” and although Jonathan Oxford found some truth in this, he indeed found this strange. He waved his hand in front of Jesus’ face and Jesus again said to Jonathan Oxford “Say to Wisdom, "You are my sister!" call Understanding, "Friend!"

Jonathan Oxford punched Jesus in the face and years later married a cockroach who liked illegal boxing matches and imported cigars.

* * *

On Sleeping With One’s Mouth Open

When sleeping, one must always open one’s mouth. This is essential, for if not for this the jaw would lock and one would stop breathing or choke on one’s tongue. Choking on one’s tongue is not the preferred course of action, for the tongue has ever so many uses, like assisting in the pronunciation of the most difficult words, or praying in the heat of passion. It was once said that a man named Charlie Samson had written a book entitled “On Sleeping With Ones Mouth Closed” and later suffered from asthma and converted to an obscure sect of Methodism. Followers of this book experienced similar happenings and the Methodist church has never been stronger.

* * *

On Money

It is easier to be rich than to be poor, if only for financial reasons. When you do have money, do not spend it carelessly. Do not buy a commercial airliner or a gold plated toilet, and refrain from wiping your ass with pure silk. Also, investing in absurd business adventures is an absolute no-no. For example: do not invest in a business where the chief service involved concerns a tooth brush, a million golf balls and an illegal immigrant named Pedro Gonzalez. Also, stay clear of stockbrokers named Bruce and be careful of used car salesmen who try to persuade you of the benefits of not having brakes.

Give your wife and kids all that you can, but when they misbehave make sure you can take it all back. Pay your employees well: give them benefits and on their 10th year of employment give them a stapler with their named engraved on the side, but above all make sure that they never have the possibility to have as much money as you.

It is neither better to be rich or to be poor when you have a knife stuck in your back. If possible, make sure the knife which stabs you in the back is gold plated. This has generally been considered to be money well spent, and it is generally agreed that if Julius Caesar had known better he would have had all the knives in Rome plated in gold.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but lots of money keeps the law at bay. This has also generally been considered to be money well spent by the richest people in the world and has led to great civil unrest among the masses, but this has mattered not for just at this moment super intelligent flying squirrels from the planet Overis Pellar 9 invaded earth, enslaved man and one could not distinguish between the rich and the poor any longer. Unfortunately, clam shells, banana peels and the muffler from a 1967 Ford mustang replaced currency and years later a man far more intelligent than I wrote a treatise entitled “On Clam Shells, Banana Peels and the Muffler of a 1967 Ford Mustang” and said far more whimsical and insightful things.

* * *

On the Number ‘7’

Never trust a number which has a 45 degree angle. Such numbers only deceive and never tell the truth about anything of any import. For example: the number seven says that it is a divine number, the number of Him and that He created the Earth in seven days, but this is a lie which the number seven has told because it was upset that the card game ‘crazy eights’ was not called ‘crazy sevens’ instead. After this incident the number seven murdered numbers 1 through 6 and assumed the first position on the numerical scale, which was thereafter known as seventh. If you are born on the seventh day of any month or, God forbid, in July, somehow acquire a car, a full tank of gas, a garage and one of those coloured tiled cubes which you must re-assemble so that each side of the cube is one solid color again. This would do the world a great service.

* * *

On Writing

Do not write about parrots, men named Barton, mouths and how they are open when you sleep, money, punching Jesus in the face and the number seven. All of these topics are taboo and any writer who does write about them will be condemned to the 7th circle of hell where he will be forced to read ‘The Leaves of Grass’ by Walt Whitman for six hundred years, and then eat chocolate covered grasshoppers and recite ‘If I Were a Dung Beatle’ by a rather obscure metaphysical poet of the 17th century. If one does not write about these things, they shall be showered endlessly with the gifts of God for all eternity for the good things they have done, even if they have not done any good things at all. Also, do not name your child Devin, especially if your surname is Loree. This will also cause you the same fate as writing about these taboo topics, and if you happen to be named Devin, and especially Devin Loree, and to have chanced upon all of these things in your writing, you are fucked and there is nothing more that can be said.

* * *

The Prophesy of Saint Peter

In a galaxy far, far away there exists a planet of a rather ordinary shape and size that goes by the name of ‘Queasy.’ On this planet ‘Queasy’ resides a species of intelligent life forms who are famous in the universe for their great understanding of the inner mechanics of video cassettes and who possess the legs of a frog, the body of a polar bear and the head of a hammerhead shark. It has been a great surprise to all who know of this race to discover that they, by some weird and perverted cosmic coincidence, just happened to know the English language exclusively (with a few exceptions, such as their ‘semi-colon’ is considered to have special, mystical properties and that the word ‘peanut’ is actually a planetary idiom meaning ‘let us mate’, or ‘let us copulate and therefore benefit the colonies of the Nine Kingdoms of Queasy and its beloved King and saviour, his Royal Highness, King Queasy the Mellifluous’). Visitors took exception to this and the Queasians always became nervous at the mention of peanut butter sandwiches, but such was life and life was good for the mighty people of Queasy, who were cheerful, happy and prosperous.

One day a ‘man’ arrived from the planet Earth on a giant rocket propelled by an odd black substance which the Queasians discovered was similar to ‘fulba’, a cherry spread some preferred over butter for their toast in the mornings. The ‘man’ came in peace and was named Peter, a name the Queasians thought to be odd, and so they asked Peter how it was that he found their planet, and Peter replied.

“It was the will of God.”

And the Queasians asked who was this God chap he was speaking of, and would he like to join them for tea at half past four, and Peter replied:

“No, He is very busy and has much more pressing matters to attend to, like the building of a new space port past the outer rim of the ‘horseshoe nebula’, or the flight patterns of certain species of the ‘knat’ which He has neglected for thousands of years and who have only recently given up any hope of flying and taken to the liking of certain early 20th century Russian filmmakers, particularly Sergei Eisenstein, but not Olexandr Dovzhenko.”

And the Queasians asked what this ‘Russia’ place was.

“A terrible place full of suicidal novelists and old and abandoned nineteenth century manor houses which now hold Clint Eastwood conventions, or Star Wars galas. An evil place which America hates and which represents all that is opposite to the good and tolerable of the universe.”

And the Queasians asked what this ‘America’ place was.

“It is the greatest nation in the Universe which upholds all decent standards of morality. It is all that is good and right and its people love their freedom and want everyone else to know the freedom they experience on a day to day basis. I am American, and I come with hopes that our two great peoples will live in peace and prosperity for all of time.”

The people of Queasy rejoiced and King Queasy held a special ceremony and named Peter special ambassador of Earth to the planet Queasy and knighted him so that he was officially known as ‘Sir Peter the Bringer of Peace between the peoples of America and Queasy’ and a large banquet was held and fifteen virgins were sacrificed to the Queasian god (who they did not call ’God’ but rather ’The Great Flyswatter’, for reasons far too complicated to go into) and, in an act of great charity which had not been witnessed for hundreds of years, Sir Peter was allowed to perform a tire rotation on what looked like a small dune buggy that you would have seen in a rerun episode of G.I Joe.

For many years the Queasians and the Americans lived in peace, and soon many Queasians were immigrating to America (although the perception was for Queasians on Queasy that they were living in America, immigrants who actually went to America were moving to Canada and really found America to be a quite detestable place, particularly Texas, Tennessee, Nevada and South Carolina (the North was fine)). Eventually there were so many Queasians in Canada that they played the ‘Quebec card’ and applied for nation within a nation status and consequently Queasy 2 was born, carving a section out for itself in the Ottawa River Valley on the Quebec and Ontario border (the Capital City was changed from Ottawa to Toronto and only made the rest of Canada hate Ontario even more, though the Queasians remained quite popular, if only for their peculiar ability to juggle three poodles at once while leaping through a series of hoops and skewering a watermelon on their shark fin. It was front page news at the Globe and Mail for three months).

Because there was a common conception that Queasians were living in America, and because under the accord that made this exchange of citizens possible and made all citizens of Queasy within America full American citizens, when the time came to vote on whether to go to war with Russia or not, the Queasians mistakenly went to the polls in Canada and accidentally swung the pendulum in favour of a law banning the use of plastic forks and making illegal the possession of all colours of yarn in anyway associated with the colour teal. Because of this America never went to war with Russia and instead years later China mounted a clandestine nuclear strike on America which responded at the last second and sank the global power dynamic and fifteen years later Bolivia was the sole military power.

The Queasians played an instrumental role in the Canadian revolution of 2045 which led to the immergence of Canada as a global power, and two years after that the Canada/Bolivia war reached global and epic proportions, and soon other global powers such as Oman, Turkmenistan, Cambodia and Yemen were dragged into the conflict, Canada won the war and a Queasian was eventually elected as Supreme Chancellor of Canada in the year 2058 and the Governor General was for the first time a transvestite. Sir Peter, the original man who visited the planet Queasy, foresaw all of this in his first book “When Canada will rule the Universe”, where he envisioned a world where Queasians refugees living in the mountains of British Columbia fight back savages from Oregon and unite the Dominion of Canada in an attempt to take over the world for the greater good of all (Sir Peter would later be ordained a Saint and a Prophet and there is now a two hundred foot statue of him in Red Deer, Alberta).

© Copyright 2007 Humbert (humbert at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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