Thursday, March 4, 2010

Be a goose, Win a goose

I know I may have mentioned this a time or two, and I ain't one to beat a dead horse, but dead people are talkers. They are the chattiest bunch of Chatty McChattersons that ever chatted their way out of the chat factory in Chattanooga. They just go on and on. You'd think that, in their years of life and subsequent years where they were dead but not allowed to shuffle off this material plane, they would have heard of summarzin. After this conversation with the ghost dragon army, though, it would appear that's not the case at all. In fact, I would say they was right up among the five or six most long-winded supernatural beings I ever had to speak to. I'll tell ya about the other members of that group some time when you got a month or two to kill.

For now, though, I'm gonna just go ahead and give you the rest of the story as I remember it. It seems to me like I've given these ghosts far too much ink lately. Of course, this bein the internet, by "ink" I mean "bits". I ain't exactly sure what a bit is, but I know they must be made out of gold or some equally precious material. The guy I have come clean out my internet tubes every week charges me per bit he finds down there and my bill last week was nearly $150. So, because I don't wanna keep cloggin up my tubes with someone else's nonsensical ramblin, I'm just gonna go ahead and replace it with my own nonsensical ramblin. That way, I'm payin for what I make. It's like if you was to have a fiber eatin party and afterwards, you had to call out the roto rooter guy. Sure, some of that down there is yours, but most of it is someone else's, and that's just nasty.

So, accordin to them ghost dudes and dudettes, Hiroki Hatayama saw his mom turn into a giant, planet eatin fish and then saw his dad just wander away after shoutin, "You should not be!" at his son. Now, my pa used to call me a lazy, layabout, good-for-nothin flapper. I'll admit, that hurt sometimes. Especially seein as how I was only tryin to get into this goose imitation competition they have over in Gooseville every year.

I spent two years perfectin my goose costume; gettin the wings just right so that, with the smallest flick of my wrist, I could soar to the highest heavens. I spent day after day jumpin off our barn roof, furiously pumpin my arms and, more often than not, fallin on to the cold, unforgivin ground, breaking a major limb. It was on one of my many, many hospital visits that my pa called me a lazy, no good flapper. But I was determined to show him wrong. I worked and worked to fly. Day after day, from before sun up to after sun down I would build and jump until I could fly like the birds. Finally, the day of the big contest came.

I passed through the first round, which was a round-robin double elimination tournament. I then breezed through the quarterfinals, where I was up against a Scotch terrier in a hand-sewn outfit. No one expected him to do that well, really. I mean, he couldn't even fly or make goose noises. Sure, he was adorable, but you don't win the Gooseville "Be a Goose, Win a Goose" contest on looks alone. Then I moved to the semi-finals, in which I was up against the 1976 Harlem Globetrotters. They had developed a new trick where they joined bodies in such a way that they looked and flew like a goose.

I don't know if you've ever seen you some Harlem Globetrotters, but those are some mighty large men. I bet, if you're old enough, at some point in your life you've met a guy named Tiny. And, if you're anything like me, you were shocked to learn that this Tiny was, in fact, gigantic. Now, imagine that there are about a dozen guys the size of Tiny, and they've all joined hands and legs to form a giant goose. That would be a mighty large goose, wouldn't you say? In fact, that goose would be so large as to warp time and space, transporting the 1976 Harlem Globetrotters to some different time every time they formed that goose. If you was a member of the squad, this would prolly be very bad news. However, if you were Pat O'Neil or the Washington Generals, then this would be excellent news because they Globetrotters would forfeit any contest of skill that they were entered into. If you was the generals in this case, then you would advance your win/loss record to 2/100,000,000,000. If you was Pat O'Neil, and I was, then you would be automatically passed into the final round to compete against Goose X, the greatest goose imitator Gooseville had ever seen.

And that's exactly the situation I found myself in. I was guaranteed at least second place, which was better than anyone really expected me to do, so I was happy just to have the opportunity. My opponent, though, was something else. He'd been competing in this contest for thirty years, and for thirty years he had been undefeated. He was the unbeatable king of goose imitation, but no one knew who he really was. He always showed up in full costume, maintained his goose character throughout the competition, and wandered off into obscurity as soon as he'd won the prize. This was to be a great challenge.

We stood on the launch platform. I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Then, because I was in goose mode, I got even more nervous because I'd just thought about a cat. I was so worried that I almost missed the launch signal. Fortunately, the start gun woke me from my panicked reverie and we were off. Goose X and I ducked and dove around the sky, passing over and around each other. We honked to the best of our ability, both obviously making the best effort to imitate a goose. But then, a mere three hours into the round, Goose X made a fatal mistake. I don't know what that guy had for breakfast that day, but he apparently couldn't hold it any longer. He dropped himself a little fudge log right on the judges' desk. This, in itself, was not enough to disqualify him.

What Goose X must not have counted on was one of the judges being a Biologist specializing in Goosology, or the study of geese. That poop landed right in front of Professor Goosey McLovesgeese (actual name). He took one look at it and declared the contest over and me the winner. Why was Goose X disqualified, you may ask? Well, it turns out that Goose X was so durned good at imitating geese because he was an actual goose, albeit an unusually large goose, standing just shy of six feet tall. He had been careful for three decades not to reveal his secret, but now it was out. Let me be clear here, no one had a problem with his being a giant goose. The people of Gooseville ain't a bunch of speciests or nothin. It's just that the contest was for imitatin a goose, and a thing can't imitate itself.

So, in the end, I got myself a free goose. I took it home to pa and he apologized for callin me lazy. He wouldn't take back the flapper comment, though, which I learned to live with. Goose X ended up hittin all the daytime talk shows and told Donahue that he'd been entering the contest all those years because he loved the taste of gooseflesh and couldn't very well capture and kill them himself. He later went into a treatment center. Last I heard he was working as an addiction specialist and helping people with interventions.

I guess the whole point is this; if your pa calls you a lazy, good-for-nothin, it hurts. But at least you can prove him wrong. But if the last thing you ever heard from your pa is "You should not be!" that's got to mess with you a whole bunch. I mean, you can't even do anything to make up for that. So, I'm tryin to understand Hiroki's side of this story, because he turned out to be a pretty messed up guy, as you'll see soon.

But, like I says before, you best be glad that it's your ol' buddy Pat tellin ya this story, because them ghosts took forever to tell the thing and went off on all sortsa tangents that didn't have nothin to do with the actual story. Not me, though. That just ain't my style.