Friday had finally arrived! I remember I had 26 more fishhooks to bend and then I could’ve gone home. Of course, Ebenezer Buckwalds, my employer in the Fishhook Industry, somehow managed to find 200 unbent fishhooks under my bending stool. Now how did those get there? I raised my upturned palms to the level of my shoulders and shrugged. (My palms were of course red at the time, red from being caught in the act and from hand-bending a lot of fishhooks.) Buckwalds, with his brandy-red nose, only pretended to shoot me with his hand. He used his thumb as a firing pin, and he winked and offered to buy me a drink.
The first toast went to “The World’s Laziest Fishhook Bender!” The rest of the evening is a complete blur.
I awoke Saturday morning by the bay, covered in fishhooks.
I think I woke up and vomited into the bay. My ex-wife jogged by in a rainbow of rayon. I vomited again. Then it was off to McDonald’s!
Saturday Noonish - Eveningish.
There was a little distracted gardening. As I stroked a fat, green squash I was abducted by aliens.
My quick, capsule review of aliens: slimy but nice. There was probing, telepathic communication, etc.
I jammed my VCR’s willing mouth full of my homemade “Matlock” anthology and rubbed my feet together under a small, worn afghan. My back sweated onto my plastic couch for nearly four hours of uninterrupted “Matlock” viewing, as if I had the man himself running through an IV-drip and winning legal cases in my veins. I pinched the fat of my thigh in chagrin over my personal failings and government interference re my plot to bronze Andy Griffith, circa 1988.
The Southern Baptist Convention was in town. I made my rounds and quoted scripture.
(I won’t print the details of the reasonable, non-confrontational phrasing of words I used to get 86ed onto my ear after about seven minutes. I won’t print them because there’s absolutely no room for philosophy and other crap like that in writing. Save that kind of thing for your Beck’s bottle and your lonely rec room, like me.)
A Little Later, Sunday Morning.
I slowly egress back into the Convention like an unstoppable, spreading stain. I find their leader and tell him of my recent alien abduction. I’m introduced to Glenn, the S.B.C. Officer of Extraterrestrial Matters. We did lunch.
Things were tough between Glenn and me initially. I illustrated what the alien looked like with the extra croutons I ordered. Glenn scooped my picture up and threw it into his soup. He pointed at the swirling breadcrumbs. See that, he said. That’s the galaxy. It’s really, really big. I nodded and asked our waitress for the check. With throbbing larkiness, I positioned myself behind the seated Glenn. “We have no idea how big the universe really is, Glenn,” I said. “Think about it, man!” I yipped as I playfully chopped his shoulders. I wanted to break through and show Glenn everything I knew.
Half an hour later, I pulled back up in front of the convention to drop Glenn off. We side-longed our eyes as we were roiled in the awkwardness of departing from a relationship that had been so soul-plumbing for the both of us. “Consider this your guide to developing a lifelong habit of critical thinking,” I said to Glenn as I passed him my four-hour “Matlock” anthology. “And consider this your guide to developing a lifelong habit of believing in something bigger than yourself,” Glenn said to me as he wrapped a chain bearing a cross around my neck. Then it was off to McDonald’s!
I arrived home to find that my boss, Ebenezer Buckwalds, had pinned a note to my screen door. I had 200 fishhooks to catch up on by tomorrow morning.
As any kind of luck typical for a guy who bends fishhooks would have it, my alien friend came back to abduct me once more. I showed her the note from Buckwalds and instead of tearing into the medical-probing process, she stayed and helped me bend the fishhooks first. She quickly became my super-digited sister from another solar system.
Also, I did mention that I saw my ex-wife jogging last Saturday. So I’ll mention that she showed up later that evening to drop off my old Scrabble board. How thoughtful of her.
Just bending fishhooks with an alien, Tanya. I don’t see why it matters to you, but no, we’re not dating. She abducted me once but it‘s not like I had any say in the matter. I clutched the freshly hung cross around my neck and she did eventually leave.