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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Give Me Some Ouija, Soul Brotha

Hey Hey. Started and finished the other Nick Hornby novel last weekend. High Fidelity was freaking awesome. I haven't been that drawn in by an author since I went through the entire Jonathan Ames catalog this summer. These are the books I wish I would have known about in high school. My life would be profoundly different, I'm sure. For those of you who didn't know me in high school, I was a bit of a jackass when it came to English. All the books I was forced to read for the first two years completely turned me off to reading or writing for that matter. The material was stuffy, outdated, and terribly taught. After two years I stopped reading the material all together, relying on classmates, skimming, and cliffnotes. Needless to say it worked. In retrospect, this was a terrible decision as I missed reading countless classics that I'm going back to read now, however my appreciation is much greater now that before. It was a lesson I had to learn. I had to find the good books on my own. This is great because I obviously love reading and writing now, but terrible because I pseudo-wasted my time in college. However, my musical education is not useless, but provides me zero income. And I wouldn't trade my radio experiences for the world. Anyways, Hornby is pretty awesome and I can't wait to get my hands on more of his books.

Here is my newest crack at a promptly. I had the first sentence easily and struggled with the rest. Not really that happy with it, but I'm glad I finished it and such.

Write a story featuring a Ouija board, a search engine, and a self-help book.

Joey had been on an overnight drunk for the last seven years. Accompanied by a soundtrack of David Bowie and the Pixies, he drank his way to the bottom. Rehab did not come easy, but when Joey emerged, he found something else to focus on: Ouija. A self-help book he got in rehab recommended filling the void his drinking once occupied. Ouija seemed reasonable enough.

Every time Joey felt unsure about anything, he would go home to his shared apartment. He locked himself in his room, lit some candles and brought out the Ouija board. Most of the time it would tell him soothing phrases like “job well done”, “keep it up”, or “stay strong.” Joey loved guiding the heart shaped triangle and receiving the encouragement he needed. The spirits loved him, he decided. So he would spend most mornings, post-work afternoons, and evenings with the Ouija board.

One afternoon Joey walked home and Google-ed himself. A co-worker recommended it. She said it was great fun. Joey loved great fun. He searched through three pages of results and nothing came up that was about him, Joseph Patrick Henderson. All that came up were Facebook and twitter accounts of other Joseph Patrick Hendersons. Joey started to sweat and his mouth was dry. “Do I not exist?” he thought. He quickly zoomed through another twenty pages of search results and received nothing. He ran to his room and looked under his bed. The Ouija board was not there. Joey panicked. He needed its guidance.

When his roommate, Shawn, came home that night, he found the apartment in complete shambles. Furniture was turned over, lamps destroyed, and a hole in the TV. Shawn rushed to Joey’s room and found him hiding in his closet, clutching two empty six packs of Labatt Blue, the plastic still holding them together. Joey was soaked in the beer. Wide-eyed and shaking, Joey looked up at Shawn. He saw his precious Ouija board under Shawn’s arm. He lunged out of the closet at the board, knocking Shawn over. Shawn dropped it and ran out of the apartment, screaming obscenities. Joey opened the board and searched for guidance. His fingers guided and guided, but no words were forming. He continued.

When Shawn returned, he was accompanied by three large men in white clothes and a stretcher. Joey was still sitting on the floor with the Ouija board. Joey looked up and said, “It won’t speak to me…will you speak to me?” The men in white said nothing as two of them grabbed him underneath his armpits, picked him up and placed him on the stretcher. They pulled the straps tight across his chest. He didn’t put up a fight. Joseph Patrick Henderson merely sang a song he had heard from a Dr. Demento collection years before: “They’re coming to take me away, ha ha, they’re coming to take me away, ho ho he he ha ha, to the happy farm, where life is beautiful all the time.”

1 comment:

  1. "The material was stuffy, outdated, and terribly taught."

    I agree with all of the above except for "terribly taught." The English teachers I had at the good 'ol WACHS were pretty, pretty good (with the exception of the substitutes, i.e. Mr. Wachs). Also- Shakespeare never goes out of style, bro.