Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Letter Seven

Flagrant Misperceptions in the Year of the Coyote

Being a visionary hasn’t been the easiest character trait for cousin Bobbie “Saliva is my life” Sophocles.  Plagued with a lineage of hyper creativity and nausea, Bobbie set forth earlier this year to prove once and for all time that he and his immediate portion of the Sophocles family were destined to be regarded as geniuses.  “It’s called, “The 3 Stooges Rice Kit”, he would mutter just before being awakened each morning by the clipping sound caused by his father Speedy Sophocles attempting to clip the sleeping boy’s toenails.  Bobbie had been waiting with much anticipation for nearly a year for his eighteenth birthday and shortly after the day arrived, the plan began.  He promptly purchased a phone list, which he was now legally able to do, and began targeting 65-90 year old retirees in the guise of a serious market survey.

“Yes, hello Dr. Thumb, this is B. Sophocles and this is a market survey.
“I don’t have any soft trees.”
“Sophocles, sir.  Let me ask you this, if your eyesight is good, how happy would you make at least one of your loved ones on their birthday if you gave them 3 pieces of rice, each painted in the likeness of one of the 3 Stooges?
“Is this one of those crank arborist calls?”
“No sir, it’s a market survey.  The kit includes 5 pieces of rice, a fine horsehair paintbrush, and a more than adequate amount of India ink.
“Why would you want to cook ice?”
“Dr. Thumb could we please get back to the subject?  The kit allows one to paint the stooges including Curly Joe and Shemp, or if an inexperienced stooge painter, an allowance for 2 “mistake” rice.
“I’m tired”
“Thank you for the input and I love you”

In some contradiction to the rest of the family’s judgment, Bobbie always ended the conversation with those words.  He said they sound like “prune juice” and would have a positive subliminal effect causing the kit to be purchased once on the market.
Bobbie was merely a continuance of his family’s aspired mass marketing desires.  Speedy Sophocles had ended his education early in order to attempt to publish, “The Stenographers’ Almanac”.  The catch phrase for the product was, “It will likely rain”.  This had been the first of many of Speedy’s marketing ideas ending in varying amounts of public dissatisfaction.

Following this product was a sort of “Where’s Waldo” book game.  The idea was to find the Achilles tendons of different animals in the midst of painted jungle scenes.  Following this was a game for the young entrepreneur.  “Princess Sweat Puddles” was the title.  It came with a plastic princess doll filled with olive oil. The winner of the game was entitled to squeeze the doll, which oozed olive oil from tiny simulated pores.  The winner was further entitled to put the oil in a tiny vial, (provided with purchase of the game), and attempt to sell it to the neighbors as authentic princess sweat.

When querying my father about my cousins the Sophocles, he would always say, “The monkey has escaped the cage”.  I didn’t really know what that phrase meant until I was older and realized it must have been a code he used in his military days.  My father has many sayings like that one. His favorite is, “Take everything with a grain of salt, son.”  Then he will pause a moment and look at his shoes and say, “Unless it’s okra, for that you’ll probably want several grains.”

Next year, be nonchalant, even when it’s not fun.  (Think of your audience as cooked spaghetti, like they taught you in speech class.)

Mr. Harrison thanks for the music.

And on……………….                                                                                                   Bryan

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