in the red
(originally posted 1/24/2019)
Worst first sentence you can have for a story… but the truth is I never expected it to end in the first place. I thought it would go on forever. Call me a romantic but it started so optimistically that the idea of starting another story from scratch was the furthest thing from my mind.
We use words to try and capture memories then spend the rest of our lives trying to erase some of them. Chew them out and spit them up. Then eventually they are all erased for us and the big ‘The End’ comes.
Seems like a good premise for a new start but maybe that’s just the romantic in me surfacing again. Is there any story worth telling that doesn’t involve romance?
Here’s one; a story about a man who invented a wood chipper that had an opening that looked like a mouth where you fed the wood in and then the backside, where the chips were shot out, looked like a human anus.
It really wasn’t anything other than a wood chipper, no better or worse than the other models on the market, but the slick advertising made it seem like a brilliant metaphor for what happens when a human eats. Just a lot faster.
The thing is, what makes it a story about romance is the fact that, along with copious amounts of wood, the second most fed-into-a-wood-chipper item is human remains. Murder victims and folks that have gotten on the wrong side of the mafia.
You’re trying to tell me that most of those stories don’t involve some sort of romance?
I won’t believe it.
I can’t. Not now anyway.
I need to believe that my new story will have the same possibilities as my last one… and what could be more romantic than a large chute spewing out chewed up skin and organs in a shower of Valentine’s Day-red?
As hard as it might be to believe, that’s how my last story ended. Except it wasn’t a wood chipper doing the spewing.
It was a girl.
And the skin and organs were mine.
So if you don’t mind I’d like you to take a minute to imagine a wood chipper that has an opening that looks like a mouth where you feed the wood in and then the backside, where the chips are shot out, looks like a human anus. Then imagine the inventor selling a lot of them and becoming wildly wealthy on the back of this new take on an old chipper.
An old-fashioned “crazy dreamer makes good” story. And what does making good lead to? More romance. In the form of a beautiful woman who wants the good life. And what does a beautiful woman lead to?
Well, that’s where I’m trying to stay romantic. The thing is, I bet your first instinct was that a beautiful woman leads to one or the other of them ending up in the wood chipper.
Too easy. Too obvious, because of course a beautiful woman marrying a man who is a wood chipper mogul ends in one of the being fed into the mouth and shot out of the anus of one of his products.
So again, if you don’t mind, I’d really like you to take a minute to imagine a wood chipper that has an opening that looks like a mouth where you feed the wood in and then the backside, where the chips are shot out, looks like a human anus. Perhaps a big smiling maw and an anus so realistic that parents put their hands over the eyes of their children as they walk by. Imagine the noises it makes, could it giggle or burp amidst all the grinding sounds, and if the inventor could make it shake and hop up and down every now and then.
Because I’m afraid right now that’s about as romantic as I can get. Thankfully this story is about at an end and another will pop out any time now. No doubt in a chunky, disturbing spray of Valentine’s Day-red.