String Theory

wires

The Mercantile's DOOR OF MYSTERY revealed (click on image for more on the Mercantile's DOOR OF MYSTERY

Libraries, language, literature–all love sequences, and after calling a number of patrons today on various reserve lists, and some who I had already called but neglected to remove from the lists (sorry about that), I have begun to develop a sort of Humanist string theory: in a nutshell, it begins with the premise that we are all far more influenced by the sequences in which we are placed than we realize.  Imagine, if you will, a hypothetical patron named “Bob”.  Bob joins a book group, but, naturally, waits until the last minute to attempt to acquire the book, at which point the only library at which he has any hope of finding the requisite discussion material is, of course, The Mercantile.  Meanwhile “Roberta”, who has the item, has tossed it in the back seat of her Saab and parked said Saab in long-term parking while she goes on a cruise around Antarctica.  Bob faces almost certain humiliation before his peers.  He begs off the book group, and instead checks out a fat book by a best-selling author who decides to spend a year living exclusively out of dumpsters.  This book, Bob decides, is utterly engrossing–so engrossing that he carelessly drips peanut butter between its pages.  Little does Bob know that the splotch of peanut butter bears an uncanny resemblance to “Mary’s” dead husband “Bill”.  Pressed to the brink by grief and an unfortunate reaction between prescription and nonprescription meds, “Mary” jumps to the psychotic conclusion that “Bill” is speaking to her from beyond the grave, with both comical and tragicomic results.  And so you see, the strings that link our lives, though invisible, are actually quite real.  -E. Scripsi.

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Published in: on July 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm  Comments (3)  

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  1. Interesting “humanist string theory” you have there, Mr. Scripsi. The thing about strings is, sometimes they can become dreadfully tangled… As a case in point, allow me to continue your story line.

    Bob is also a psychiatrist, and as a result of the peanut butter-between-the-pages incident, Mary schedules an appointment with Bob, and brings the book to show Bob the talking peanut butter blotch. Bob realizes that it was HIS peanut butter blotch but is too embarrassed to admit it to Mary. Seeing the agony his carelessness has caused this poor woman, he vows to do penance by spending every afternoon at the Mercantile reading “War and Peace,” and cancels his appointments with Mary. During one of these reading sessions, Bob meets Mr. Scripsi and they begin a conversation about their mutual loves of cycling and dumpster-diving.

    Meanwhile, the loss of her new psychiatrist compounds the distress Mary feels over the haunting apparition of her late husband, and she decides to “end it all” on an Antarctic cruise. As the cruise ship is drifting along the icy blue ocean, Mary flings herself overboard. Roberta, an Olympic diver, sees this, and impulsively jumps overboard, too, in a vain attempt to save the poor woman. Unfortunately, both women soon find themselves ensnared in a mesh of discarded fishing lines and drown. Oh, the strings!

    Meanwhile, Bob and Scripsi decide to spend the weekend together cycling and dumpster-diving. They find themselves at the dumpsters of an up-scale apartment complex, where one receptacle is full of old cassette and VHS tapes, and official-looking, highly redacted government reports. Intrigued, they take the materials back to Bob’s home and begin pouring over them, where they discover that Mary’s dead husband “Bill” isn’t really dead at all, but is an undercover CIA agent who faked his death and assumed a new identity. And at that moment, Bill rushes in and strangles Bob with some of the loose VHS tape. Scripsi whacks Bill on the head with Bob’s hefty hard-backed copy of “War and Peace,” knocking Bill out long enough to narrowly escape out the back door. Oh, the tangled web we weave!

  2. Good stuff, especially the strangulation by VHS tape. Now for the sequel: “Tangled Identities”, wherein Bill gets sucked into a paper-shredder by his tie and, by a striking coincidence, ends up as mangled bits in a dumpster with Bill who has fallen into a Mint printing press and been turned into devalued Hundred Dollar Bills that, sadly, are flawed and never make it into circulation.

  3. Unbelievable. Don’t you guys have anything better to do? “a cruise around Antarctica”…? Geeze…


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