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"Finding Yourself"

"If you ever find yourself, you'll be disappointed."
    Jack E. Leonard

"We have met the enemy and he is us."
    Pogo the Possum

Hal E. Barry was thirty years old, 
and still didn't know what he wanted to be when he grew up.
He was tall and good looking, with blue eyes and blond curly hair,
but nobody was impressed.

He liked drinking beer and watching judge programs on TV,
but it didn't pay anything,
so he lived in his mothers attic like a hunchback bell ringer.

There was no bathroom in the attic,
so late at night he peed out the window,
killing the lilacs around the front of the house,
and confusing the neighbors' dog who was down below doing the same thing.

One morning he said to his mother "Maybe I should be born again."
She said "No thanks. It was painful enough the first time,
and you were a lot smaller."
"Our lilacs aren't doing too well this year", she added.
He said "It's that mutt next door."

Then one night Hal's life was changed by a dream.
In the dream, a wise man appeared.
Hal said "Aren't there supposed to be three of you guys?"
The wise man said "They have other idiots to visit tonight.
I got you."

The wise man smiled at his own clever sarcasm,
and then became serious as Moses on skates.
He was about to impart the Secret of Life to this jerk.
A halo-like glow formed around him, and a tympani drum rolled.
Hal said "Who's blowin' drums, man?"
In a large echo, the mysterious figure shouted
"GO FORTH AND FIND THYSELF. GO FORTH."
But Hal went fifth, because it took him a while to pack.

Hal looked for himself in Akron, and then in Fort Wayne,
but he was not there.
He looked in Waycross and Vicksburg with no luck,
but he found himself in Nashville,
and he was a her.

Her name was Holly.
She was tall and good looking, with blond curly eyes and blue hair,
and was singing in a club downtown.
The music stopped in the middle of a song,
while they stared at each other,
crossing their eyes with passion.

He jumped up on the stage and sang a rousing duet with her.
He couldn't carry a tune, but everybody clapped and cheered anyway.
They were all drunk.

When the band played "The Tennessee Waltz",
they leaped from the stage,
and whirled around the dance floor in each others arms.
He cracked his funny bone on a chair, but kept smiling,
as the crowd circled around them just like in the movies.

They went up to her apartment and did what young lovers do...
They drank beer and watched Judge Judy.

That night they wrote a song together...
"Let's Pee on that Doggie Out the Window",
and they knew it was a smash.
It hit the Country Chart at Number One, and sold millions,
but they never got paid by the record company or anybody else.

Holly blamed Hal.
She shouted "If you hadn't been too stupid to hire a notary public, we'd be rich!"
Hal yelled "Oh yeah?!"

Touching the tip of his forefinger to the tip of his thumb, making a little circle,
he said "Jump through this!"
Neither one of them knew what that meant.

In the following years they lost track of each other,
and Hal went back to his pee room in the attic.

Sometimes you can be too perfect for each other.


Copyright  June 19, 2007 Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission.

 

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