Please welcome my friend indytony back to the kingdom. I’ve found his words have a way of captivating me, pulling me into the story, and making me long for more. Give the following a read and see if he has the same effect on you:
My name is Tony (or “indytony” as it appears when I make comments here in the kingdom). I have “A Way With Words.” I have posted here once before – a narrative poem called “Built to Last (inspired by John Prine’s “One Red Rose).” I’m submitting another post for the Jester’s approval for three reasons –
1) The Jester’s reflections on being a new father have flooded my mind with memories of my own children (now 21, 19, 12 and 8). I live in another state now and miss them very much. Rather than cry in my virtual beer, I thought it best to celebrate some moments we’ve enjoyed together.
2) I’m putting off working on “Life” – from my upcoming short story trilogy (which includes “Liberty” and “The Pursuit of Happiness”). I’ve been struggling with the narrative voice, finding an 18-year old woman from 1963 wrestling with such things as identity and sex to be quite a stretch for me.
3) I’m plotting a not-so-silent revolution to take over kingdom readership for my own blog, to ride the Jester’s coat-tails to success so I can have minions writing my posts for me while I sit back and reap the profits.
Now that you know my motives, let me tell you a story (in 500 words or less) –
About a decade ago, I was serving as a pastor of a church in the Finger Lakes region of New York. My wife was our family “keeper at home” who home-schooled our two daughters (then 11 and 9) as well as cared for our son (2). I tried to help as best I could. I kept the shelves filled with library books. I came home for family meals. I even changed a few diapers.
But the reality is… I didn’t do much. I fell somewhere between Don Draper and Heathcliff Huxtable.
One way I was committed to help, though, was by caring for the children every Sunday evening so my wife could go to a Women’s Bible Study. Sundays were stressful days for me (what with being a pastor and all), but I actually looked forward to Sunday evenings when I would play with my son, read to my daughters and experience the joys of being a faithful father.
One Sunday night, I was giving my son a bath when something quite unexpected happened. He was cooing and giggling and then he got a very concerned look on his face. I didn’t think much about it at first, but within seconds it was clear something was wrong. Something was very wrong.
There, behind my smiling boy was more than just a toddler terd-let, but something resembling an overgrown Cuban cigar.
What happened next is debated. You see, after the incident, I chose to turn tragedy into a teaching moment and had each of my daughters compose a narrative gospel, which they faithfully did – making themselves the heroine in their stories. I wrote my own perspective, as well as one from my son’s point of view and one from the family dog’s.
All I can tell you is that it involved a kitty litter scoop, some liquid bleach, and massive quantities of toilet paper. Oh, and no children were harmed in the waste removal process.
Funny, funny, funny… Tony teaching the Jester a thing or two about comedy: create the setting and give just enough information to let our imaginations run wild with the possibilities. Plus, this serves as a warning of sorts for experiences I’m sure to have in the future. My current battles are a little less epic though… involving mass quantities of baby wipes and quick reflexes to dodge … um… the fire hose… Good times all around.
Want more Tony and his way with words? The Jester recommends these: