Monday, July 10, 2006

Bookworm vs. Bedhead

A conversation between two over-tired, slightly tipsy people in bed. One a.m.

Person One: "Babe, tell me a story."

Person Two: "Once upon a ti-"

Person One: "Not like that! Something out of a book!"

Person Two: "Well, sorry, Mr. Bossybutt! Ok, how about a little Tom Sawyer?"

Person One: "You mean the guy who went down the river with that slave, Jim?"

Person Two: "That would be his buddy, Huck Finn. Son of the town drunk, folk sage and wiseacre extraordinare. This is Tom Saywer, American version of Peter Pan, quintessential American boyhood hero, orphan and rapscallion. Alternately in love with Becky Thatcher/Amy Lawrence, fond of stolen jam, caves, and nephew of the loving Aunt Polly. Get it right. Gaaaaahd!"

Person One: "Whatever. Tell me the story, it's one thirty in the bloody morning."

Person Two: "Ok...so Tom...(long-winded summary of the Tom's misguided attempts to buy glory via a Sunday School bible giveaway, love for Becky, craftiness in avoiding work by conning other boys into whitewashing a fence for him, etc.) ...so, when I first read this book in second grade, I was really struck by this part-"

Person One: "Mmmmrrshh...baabe....why can't you just tell me something from Travels With Charley? Whyyyy? Tickle my back." (flings body over with dead-cow abandon)

Person Two: "I am trying to tell you something that made a deep and lasting impression on me...and you want to hear about some mangy dog on a road trip?"

Person One: "Yeah... Steinbeck wrote poetry, babe...beautiful imagery...not some kids' book about whitewashing a fence..."

Person Two: "And how much Steinbeck or Hemingway have you read, Mr. Smartypants? Hmm? Hmmmmmm? How much of A Clean, Well-Lit Place can you quote, Mr. Beautiful Imagery?"

Person One: "Are you drunk?" (heavy sarcasm)

Person Two: "I'm talking about great American literature in a coherent and linear fashion...Are you?"

Person One: "No...just go already...and tickle my back, for the loveapete!"

Person Two: "Okaaay...well if you hold still and shut up...

Person One: "Tickle."

Person Two: "Shhhhhhh! Ok, so Clemens is trying to make the poi-"

Person One: "You mean Mark Twain. Tickle."

Person Two: "Samuel Clemens... is trying to say...you know, do you even know what Mark Twain refers to?"

Person One: "Of course! The thing with the boat and... the water...and how deep..."

Person Two: "Considering how late it is, I'll take that answer for now. Ok, so he's saying that work does not consist of what a body is obliged to do, but what a body is not obliged to do....which is why some gentlemen wear buckskin gloves and drive a carriage and four on Saturdays...because they don't have to....I've always thought it was a really moving description of what it means to work, or not work, and what work is...." (long silence) "Babe? Babe, are you paying attention to me?"

Person One: "Why couldn't you just tell me something from Hemingway or Steinbeck, aaaiiiight?

Person Two: "I know, babe, I read Hemingway waaaaaay before you did, ok?"

Person One: "Yeah right you did! Hemingway just talked about drinking and shooting stuff...depressing, babe...I just wanted something to fall asleep to at almost two in the morning while you tickled my back - geeeez!"

Person Two: "Well if you're so sensitive, then why didn't you ask me to tell you about Harold and the Purple bloody Crayon! And will you please, please shut up with the tickling bit already? Hemingway was lyrical in his own, rough-shod way-"

Person One:(scoffing tone)"Lyrical! Lyrical? Oh now I know you shouldn't have had that last glass of champagne...the man was choppy and crude, even though he was a genius.."

Person Two: "Oh, yeah, I'd like to see you quote from a book you read at least ten years ago - I'd like to see you quote from any book, for that matter. Hemingway was PITHY." (flings body roughly away towards the outside of the bed.)

Silence.

Exit.

7 comments:

Dawn said...

Your nighttime conversations are better than ours. I don't get to tell stories, I get to listen to "cool" ideas like string theory or that there are 13 dimensions etc. Hubby is reading The Lucifer Priciples--or should I say was. I don't let him read it anymore before bed or I have to listen and as non scientific as I am I get interested and then it keeps me up all night. I would much rather have a little Tom Sawyer....

Fizzle said...

How'd your remember that whole conversation? I guess it was far too coherent to have included several bottles of wine and a vodka appertif.

the sightspeed guy said...

drinking & blogging is not a safe exercise :)

lbvone

desiree said...

For a drunk you certainly knew your works of literature in the wee hours of the morning. I think I shall have to send you booze and then try to discuss post modernist literature with you. I bet you'd do marvelously.

Janet said...

Wow. I put my head on the pillow and I am out in 2 seconds flat. No late night literary discussions here. Heehee!

Meepers said...

Actually - that whole conversation was two nights ago, and I'd only had a little bubbly, so it wasn't an excercise in drinking + writing. I just thought it was so funny I had to share it.

We don't USUALLY have these discussions, fyi...We've been 'stuck' on Chapter 5 of the Wind in the Willows for about five months. (SOMEONE keeps falling asleep!) But it was fun, no?

chiefbiscuit said...

This reads like a script for a sitcom! Very funny - very endearing ...