Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Hanover Papers: Installment IV

If you missed the previous installment you can find it here. See, I knew if I didn't supply a link you would just read on without knowing what was going on. Humans.

The Hanover Papers: Installment IV
by Jeffrey Hollar

Okay folks, here we find ourselves again. I should probably begin by bringing you up to date on some fairly notable happenings since last we crossed paths. Where to even begin? Well, let’s try this. For reasons I am not entirely certain of, Benny has decided to appoint himself my literary consultant for this project. I gave up protesting after about an hour of yelling and a number of fairly serious threats of bodily harm would not dissuade him. So fine, I now have a literary consultant. He began by telling me that, based on his research, it would be best if I were to tone down my language and, as well, to apologize for my fairly frequent rants. Let me address each of those concerns thusly: firstly, fuck you all with a rusty fence post and secondly, when pigs fuckin’ fly buddies!

I do so much hope that this clarifies my viewpoint on those issues.

His next enlightening observation was that his demographic polls indicated my image with readers ranged anywhere from “misanthrope” on the more intellectual side of the spectrum and headed steadily downward to “asshole” with the more mainstream people. Again, let me give you my read on these things. As regards my being a misanthrope, one needs to look at this on varying levels. If you wanna go with the base definition, then yeah, I do mostly hate, despise and distrust mankind as a whole. If you wanna look at it on a more cerebral level, then regardless of whether you wanna talk Socrates, Plato, Schopenhauer or whomever, I can guarantee you that they all apply to a greater or lesser degree. I can also assure you that it is well, WELL beyond being philosophical pessimism. Bottom line, yeah…I genuinely hate most of you bastards. And for your beer-swilling peckerwoods that wanna keep it simple…yeah, I’m an asshole. There, do you all feel suitably proud of yourselves for finding a niche to place me in? Well bully for you, ya fucks!

Some of you more observant mammals may have noticed that Fuzzy may have a little more going on than you first assumed. He knows the names of classical philosophers, he can demonstrate knowledge of their work and he can write eloquently regarding them. To the bulk of you, Fuzzy is still a foul-mouthed demonic putz, and I’m okay with that too. Since you are all a bunch of bottom feeders to me, you may as well be mice bitching to the cat…prone to get your heads bitten off. Naah, I don’t get in to that. I was just fuckin’ with ya, but it was worth it to imagine the looks on your collective faces. Damn, I can be a sadistic bastard. Believe it or not, that is actually one of my more endearing qualities.

Finally, Benny seems to be of the impression that my rant to content ratio is just a wee bit skewed. To that end, I have promised him to make a genuine effort to remain on topic and to not expose you all for being the worthless pieces of excrement that I have every reason to believe, no to KNOW, that you are. I’m throwing you all a bone here so try to just sit in the corner, shut the hell up and gnaw on it until told to do otherwise. There’s a goood buncha humans…good humans. Stay…stay…goood. You guys can’t see this, but my grin is so wide that it’s wrapping around the back side of my head…hehehe.

At this juncture, I am going to go ahead and shelve the remainder of my 7-hour consultation with Benny and get to the content that I promised to provide. I want to assure you all that, in spite of the fact that I am half-demon, I AM capable of making a promise and sticking to it when dealing with humans. Much ado has been made of that old “deal with the devil” idea that simply does not bear out. In my fairly extensive experience, infernal beings are infinitely more likely to abide by the terms of a contract than you humans are. So shove that up your fanny and squirm about as you see fit you self-righteous shits!! Oops sorry, trying to focus here.

Okay, going to try to wrap up my childhood experiences today so that we can, finally, get on to things that are more apropos. By my recollections, we ended last with how my mother ran her business. Call that a dead topic at this time. A few further recollections from my early years will need to be expounded on. I have mentioned earlier that I was home-schooled. I have also described to you how Loretta ran the shop. Now, if you think that those two items are in conflict with each other, I don’t blame you. I’m going to do my level best to clarify here, but keep in mind this above all else: If my home life was something a tad different than what you may have experienced, I feel a good portion of that can be ascribed to the fact that my home itself was not quite normal. Please (can’t believe I am resorting to using that word) try to hang with me and all will be explained, but I gotta sidestep a little here.

Sometime around when I was learning to dress myself, Loretta and I had a rare moment of clarity and interaction where we discussed my educational objectives. By “discussing my educational objectives”, I refer to the fact that she laid out said objectives and dared me to object. I opted not to take that dare. Billy Shakespeare was definitely on to something with that whole discretion and valor thing. This was the same day that she first showed me The Library. Now we get back to the concept of my home not being quite normal. The room that she took me in to was far larger than should have even been physically possible in relation to the other dimensions of our house. Although, at the time, I had never seen such, I now estimate that The Library occupied approximately the same amount of room as your average high school gymnasium.

Yes, you read it right. Do NOT ask me to explain how such a thing is possible. I have read more books than you folks have ever imagined exist on more topics than you people can ever have imagined exist and I can’t explain it. The closest I have arrived at is the concept of a “pocket universe”…a world that exists irrespective of the normal laws of physics. Given the nature of my demonic heritage and my, now, knowledge of matters arcane, it is not beyond the realm of possibility. But, I digress. Anyway, the ceiling of the room was, easily, three stories above me. The room was of a circular design and lined wall to wall (so to speak) with shelves. Upon those shelves were books. Was it hundreds of books…was it thousands of books? The sheer scope of it was simply beyond my young senses to encompass.

Loretta informed me that The Library contained all of the texts I would find necessary in order for me to become a satisfactorily educated being. She led me to a small lectern and informed me that this was where I would find my daily lesson plans and that it was, entirely, my responsibility to satisfy them on the timeline specified. She mentioned that there would be periodic assessment tests and indicated where they were to be left in order to be properly noted in my permanent record. Perhaps it was the result of my awe or an indication of my inability to learn from my mistakes that prompted me to ask who would be interested in or privy to the results of said records. As I made my best efforts to stem the flow of blood from where my face had made stunning impact with the lectern, Loretta invited me to mind my own beeswax and to just do as I was told. I decided that it seemed like a wise course of action at the time. See the previous Shakespeare reference if you aren’t paying attention eh?

That was the last interaction that she and I had regarding my eventual education. To point out to her, at the time, that we had not covered such basics as the alphabet or the basics of reading, would have seemed ungrateful on my part given the enormity of knowledge that I was being granted access to without there being any discernible cost to me. To say that I was accustomed to receiving something for nothing, at that point in my life, would have constituted lying out of my delightfully cute half-demonic face.

I do think it germane to point out that Loretta, or perhaps the house, guaranteed that I would pursue the educational guidelines laid out for me regardless of my own choices. As mentioned before, my daily life was largely without structure or schedules.

With the exception of the ritual of summoning the shop door, I was free as a lark to do largely as I wished with no interruptions. The most pressing time-related concerns that faced me were keeping track of which of my daily regimen of shows came on at what time and how best to schedule my bathroom breaks and snack refills with minimal interruption of my flow of televised drivel. Yeah, it was a pretty slack life with little, if any, chance of that changing…until The Library became some place I was supposed to be.

It was, at that point, that I, finally, realized that the house was far more than just a house. Whether or not the place was sentient, in any sense of the word, I have yet to be able to determine. That the house had the ability to be malevolent became apparent rather quickly. Much of my childhood is a dull redundant blur to me, but I, most certainly, recall the first time that the two of us came in to major conflict with one another. (I don’t really consider the whole front door thing to be a full-blown conflict.) I managed to maintain The Library’s lessons plans for me for the better part of two weeks before it first occurred to me to rebel. It was a dark, rainy day with little to recommend itself as liable to wax better, when I decided that I was simply not in the mood to spend all day in a musty, albeit exceptionally large, chamber. The fact that the Classic Cartoon channel was showing a Monkey Boy Astronaut marathon MAY have colored my judgment at the time. In retrospect, I guess it just really doesn’t matter what instigated the showdown.

Having set aside a large and hideously boring tome on transcendental metaphysics, I decided that school was released. I headed straight to the kitchen, slapped together a sub sandwich worthy of the gods, grabbed a large bag of cheese puffs and a gallon of chocolate milk and settled myself on the couch to indulge in the glory that is an MBA marathon. As I reached for my remote, I chuckled at how surprisingly easy it had been to ditch class, so to speak, and to do as I wanted rather than catering to the wishes of “The Man”. Any of you that find it ironic that I settled on the concept of “The Man” when my entire existence had been spent under the thumb, boot heel or hurtful limb of your choice of “The Woman” (I’m talking Loretta for you slow sumbitches) can take this opportunity to step out of the story into the lobby and just go fuck yourselves!! Sorry. That has been building up for a good long while today.

To make a long story short (I know…why bother to at this point…no, I heard you…fuck off and die bitch!) my remote didn’t function. While distressing, I knew that, in theory, it was possible to control a TV manually. Albeit a barbaric concept for me at the time, I hauled myself up and put hand to TV. Fuck me like a monkey (an expression not an offer) not a damned thing happened!!! Yeah, I know I promised to behave, but fuck a duck, to this day one of the most traumatic events in my life happened on that day. My only true friend, throughout all of my life, was dead as a door nail! My boon companion, my bosom buddy, my consoler, my unconditional friend was nothing more than a lifeless, walnut-cabinetted, 27-inch husk. Struck down in the prime of its warranty, I mused. How could I continue my otherwise meaningless existence without his constant, non-judgmental, giving ways? It was simply inconceivable that my life could continue on.

Just as I was considering the most efficient and least messy way to snuff out my now-meaningless existence, the most wondrous thing happened. The screen flashed to life with the familiar test pattern I had grown to know and love. Whereas this would normally have given way to the standard hokey sounds of the National Anthem playing over a vista of assorted patriotic scenes, such was not to be on this fateful day. Instead, a rich, deep baritone voice came on and informed me that the sooner I got my sorry little ass back in to The Library and completed my daily lessons, the sooner that the normal programming would be allowed to continue. With a few parting obscenities that were hardly new words to me, the TV screen again went blank. Resigned to my fate, I trudged back to the evil lesson plan still awaiting me.

In retrospect, this may have been one of the more pivotal moments in my, so-far, brief existence. It was the first time in my life that I was confronted by the harsh reality that I was, seemingly, not destined to be a worthless laze about couch potato. It was the first moment in my life, that my destiny was thrust squarely in to my hands and that my success or failure was within MY control. As improbable as it sounds, the loss of my past led me kicking and screaming (metaphorically) in to my future. While the true enormity of the event may have eluded me at the time, in retrospect, it was gigantic. It was the impetus that led me to become the highly-educated, erudite savant that you are reading the exploits of now. So, ain’t that just a kick in the head kiddies?

You know, by now I would normally be ranting and foaming at my readership for being the worthless, albeit seemingly unavoidable wastes of opposable thumbs that you were destined to be, I won’t today. Yeah, read it and weep you assholes. After baring so much of myself to you, I am just too fucking tired to even bother criticizing or haranguing you. Take note of this day and tell your kids about it. Today is the day that the legendary (in future) Fuzzy Hanover gave you a free ride. Don’t get used to it you worthless fucks, cause I guaran-damn-tee you it is a one-shot wonder, a temporary loss of sanity on my part. I will end this installment by saying that the only possible way that this day is going to end favorable would be dependent on me attaining three things…by laying claim to the holy trinity of a chili bacon cheeseburger, large order of onion rings and a mega-gulp soda. Chat amongst yourselves, if you must, but I am off to feed my face. Until we meet again…behave. You just never know who might be watching.

Okay, I am going to ass-u-me that those of you still with me want to read more. So that being said, click here.

copyright© 2011 Jeffrey Hollar. All rights reserved.

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