Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hermann Hesse Stole My Moon Pie. If You Don't Believe Me, Ask the Dog


Speaking of my dog, yesterday I was trying to figure out the assembly instructions for the Ergonomic Industrial Mechanical Stool I got for Christmas. The thing is so complicated that it had been sitting in its box under our brown, needle-dripping eucalyptus tree since last Christmas.  Don’t worry. There’s a dog connection in here somewhere.

I had connected the hydraulically forward-sliding back support to the vertically-descending left foot support when I suddenly had the urge for some moon pie.

I have been hooked on moon pie since the great Daphne, Alabama marshmallow pie crisis. Apparently the city fathers in Daphne felt the need to impose a ban on "foreign-made Moon Pies" (i.e. marshmallow pies), insisting that the only original Moon Pie is made by the Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee.

Apparently, the police in Daphne were arresting small children for possession of the moon pies that somehow kept flying off parade floats in that town.

I can tell by the way you are snickering up your sleeve that you don't believe me.
For absolute proof of the Great Daphne Moon Pie controversy, look it up under Pies, Moon.

Aha! Wasn't it Al Gore who said "he who laughs last laughs last?" And wasn't it Hermann Hesse who wrote: "Eternity is just long enough for a joke?"

So anyway, I went to the refrigerator to see if there was any moon pie left. There wasn't, but I did find last month's Eminem tickets, which would explain why we didn't make it to the concert. I immediately examined the tickets, because that's what it said on the tickets I should do.

The ticket also said it was not responsible if it was lost, stolen or damaged, and that it wanted to be stored in a cool dry place. This explains why I put the tickets in the refrigerator and why I found them wedged between the coleslaw and the soyburgers exactly thirty-eight days after the concert was over.

I was wrenched out of my bitter ticket-senility recriminations by the phone ringing. At least I thought it was the phone. I picked up all of the phones in the house. The phone continued to ring. Actually, I discovered it wasn't the phone at all. The dog was ringing. (The aforementioned dog connection to which I was referring.)

Game for anything, I picked up the dog, and after some experimentation found that if I spoke into his mouth and listened from his ear, I could carry on some semblance of a conversation.

It was Hermann Hesse, complaining that I was quoting him out of context.

"Wait a minute, Hermann," I said, "Didn't you die in 1962?"

"Well, technically yes. But we're allowed to communicate with the living whenever anyone finds their Eminem tickets in the refrigerator."

Drained from this deus ex canis experience, I went back to constructing my hydraulic stool only to be interrupted again by a loud musical blast from the bedroom. I opened the door. It was the entire Aardvark Tabernacle Choir practicing the Requiem Mass. We have a big bedroom.

Then, as they say, somebody (I think it was the second contralto) spoke and I went into a dream.

In this dream, it was 1771 and I was Sir William Johnson being carried by Mohawk tribesmen from Johnstown to High Rock Spring after the Battle of Lake George. After several days, my health improved dramatically because of the healing effects of the springs and I was able to walk about the garden of the small country inn where my companions had brought me. In that garden, I met a dog who looked very much like my own dog, except that he was about 250 years older.

"I am the reincarnation of John Arnold," the dog said, speaking into my mouth. "Three years from now, I will arise and go, and I will settle with my wife and little doglets in the township of Innisfree, and there a crude cabin will I build, of clay and wattles made, and it the people of Innisfree one by one to bite will I instruct..."

I said "I'm sorry, but we're all out of wattles."

"Maybe," said the dog, "but you can only go so far in ripping off Ogden Nash and W. B. Yeats."

At that point, I snapped back into my living room. The hydraulically forward-sliding back support was still connected to the vertically-descending left foot support.

There was a note attached to the lateral transmogrification pedal. It said:

"Eucalyptus trees don't have any needles."

There is an appropriate quotation that could go here. What was it Hermann Hesse said? "When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane?"

Yes, but then Hermann Hesse never left his Eminem tickets in the refrigerator.