After the whole Fire Ordeal my therapist told me I should write stuff down to get things off my chest. So I wrote down my shopping list.
4. Cobble Stones
5. How to Count: An Idiot's Guide
But that just wasn’t working for me. The stresses just kept boiling up, especially after losing my job in radio at IPR. So I decided that I should go a different route altogether.
Directions to the supermarket
1. Turn left
2. Turn right
3. Wait at stoplight
4. You’re lost
5. How to Follow Directions: an Idiot's Guide
It just wasn’t doing it for me. So I told my therapist how it felt for me to just never have anyone to listen to me ever! And she nodded her head and scribbled down some notes. So she said to me:
“Maybe you should write a blog and title it something that would mean everything about you in a nutshell.”
I asked her what “nutshells” had anything to do with it. And then added it to my shopping list.
And so here I am, scribbling away on this blog all the terrible things that have occurred to me.
Now, I understand that I didn’t do a solid job of addressing who I am. I am Chip Baker a 37 year old Ex-Radio Personality, Sagittarius who really just wants people to listen to him. I live at 327 B Pembroke Lane, Oxshire City in The Island Nation of Zoic—a peninsula in the Zoicterranean Sea. Oxshire is a wonderful town filled with vibrant, crazy people, which is why, I think, I fit in so well.
And here are my stories. The second one I think I’ll tell is my brother Philip’s extradition to Mars.
“She’s perfect for me!” Brother Philip said to me one day.
“Barbra Dame,” he said and smiled so large that it looked like his lips were going to meet at the back-end of his face.
“The woman with that little monster for a son?” I asked.
“He’s not a monster,” Philip said. “His name’s Gabe and he just like’s slingshots.”
“He flung a stone right into Reverend Albatross Labrador’s eye during his 'Cast No More Stones Sermon.'”
“Yes, we did have a good laugh, didn’t we?”
“I told him not to do it,” I said.
“Sling a stone?”
“No. To give that sermon. It’s always a complete bore.”
“Well, the boy will love me once he sees what I have up my sleeve,” Philip said.
“Don’t tell me you’re going to give him more ammo.”
Brother Philip looked very dejected. “Not a good idea?” he asked.
“Kid’s got enough as it is. Besides, what will the mother think when you’re supplying him with more things to hit reverends with?”
“You’re right. It’s just, the only way to Barbra’s heart is through this kid’s Stoney Heart. He doesn’t like me very much.”
“What does the mother like?” I asked.
“She like’s space. She’s really obsessed with all that space stuff. And Mars. And the thing is, she’s got another man who’s in love with her, too.”
“Who’s this man?”
“The grocery store clerk?”
“Yes. The very same. He’s so successful.”
“Gosh. He is successful,” I said. “A man who goes in as bag boy and comes out as top of the line clerk at middle-end grocery stores is certainly someone to contend with.”
“Yes, I know. And he knows all about space because he read a book about it.”
“Oh, which one?”
“I don’t know. The one about space. It doesn’t matter, Chip.”
“No, I can see your dilemma.”
“I’m just a clergyman who knows as little about space as he knows about...well, women.”
“And you don’t like reading?”
“Not even my own sermons.”
And gloomily he left me without trying to hear any opinions of mine. The poor fool should have listened to me. He never could hold a conversation if he wasn’t the only man talking. Which is why being a clergyman suited him. He was a good one, don’t get me wrong, but he enjoyed talking and not listening.
The next I heard from him he had completely lost it!
Brother Philip was giving a whole sermon on 'Why the Sky’s Blue.' I sat in the back bleachers upon his request, next to that boy, Gabe, and his mother Barbra, whom Brother Philip was in love with. He had changed the whole proceedings of the church and taken all the pews outside in the summer air—which was a terrible idea because it was a good thousand degrees out.
He stood there on stage under the sunlight next to a large object that was covered with a cloth.
“Today I have devised something different,” he said, looking down at Reverend Labrador for approval. The Reverend wearily nodded his head and began to snore; that was approval enough. “Today,” he went on. “I am going to tell you why the sky’s blue from personal experience!” And with that, he pulled at the cover unveiling what was under it.
It was the world’s largest slingshot!
If only he’d have listened to me.
He sat at the back-end of the slingshot on a seat that was strapped to two large pylons—the seat that would sling him up into the heavens.
“And I’d like,” he said. “For my brother and best friend, Chip Baker, Radio Personality, to do the honors of slinging me off into space—where I will land—rest assured—safe and sound on Mars.” He turned to Barbra. “Barbra!” he said dreamily. “This is all for you.”
Barbra stood up.
“Don’t do it, Philip!” she said. “Space is a terrifying thing.”
“But I thought you loved it.”
“It’s just a passing hobby to fill the void,” she said. “But I love you!”
While this was all going on I had made my way up there next to the large slingshot.
“So you mean, you want to be with me and not Archibald Cluck the Clerk?” Brother Philip asked.
Before she could say ‘yes’ the boy, Gabe, had somehow snuck by me and with one flip of the slingshot's mechanisms Brother Philip went Swoop!
We watched in horror as he went flying up into the sky, disappearing behind a cloud.
As he went, he pledged his love for Barbra and how he would be returning for her once he figured out how to get back down again.
Distance usually quashes everything. A good example is the Zoicterranean Postal Services, which when a package has any distance to cover, ends up being bedraggled and wrecked by the time it ends up at one’s doorstep—if it even makes it that far, which by the standards of the Zoicterranean Post Office, is as unlikely as staying dry when jumping into a pool. Another example is Pheidippides, that Greek-fellow who ran those 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to warn of the invasion of those pesky Spartans—a most glorious run that hero had, but it did him no good. Upon arriving and delivering the message, his heart blew a gasket and he was out for the count, as it were. So one can surmise that distances farther than a good 20 miles when it comes to being girlfriend and boyfriend—well, it just isn’t advised—or messages will get lost and hearts will blow up.
So upon seeing that her man, Philip, had just flung himself into the upper-atmosphere, Barbra went round to the supermarket that day and got hitched to Cluck the Clerk. Her little boy, Gabe, he may not have thought kindly of Philip, but he certainly seemed to not like the clerk one bit and during the whole wedding he kept slinging grapes at the groom with his little slingshot. He handed me a slingshot as well and we both set to work making the day a little brighter.
We talked about how we liked slingshots.
“You know,” I told Gabe as he slung a grape into Archie’s eye.
“What’s it?” he asked, aiming again.
“Thanks for listening.”