Jerry’s World

Standard

He finally sat on his throne, looking out over the kingdom he had spent eternity battling to win. It was everything he had hoped for, but would soon become much more. He had plans for this world.

“Jerry!”

A small voice came from behind a large painting of Elvis with two hands attached to either side of the frame. “Yes, your majesty?”

“Put down the painting… Gently! That’s worth more than the souls of your entire family!”

“Of course, your majesty.” The two hands carefully guided the painting off to the side to rest on the wall, revealing a squat, hunched-over man, looking up at his master from a sideways glance.

“Can we get someone in here to get this throne…” The king fidgeted around and leaned forward. “I need to do something about this tail!” It came free and swung up to smack him in the forehead. “SHIT!”

“Already taken care of, your majesty. We have the finest carpenter of all time coming up on Thursday.” The small man smiled to reveal a mouthful of rotten teeth. He bowed and a kick was delivered to the top of his head, sending him backwards into the wall with a crash.

“You must consult with me before making any decisions!” The new king leaned on his left hip to let his tail get some air. “Where is he?”

Battered, Jerry used the wall to pull himself up. “The carpenter, your majesty?”

The king snarled and smacked himself in the head three times. “YOU! KNOW! WHO!”

Jerry looked around and whispered, “The previous occupant of… this facility?”

The king sighed. “Jerry, I don’t have time for this. I have work to do and I really don’t want to have spend another Tuesday with you in the Discipline Chamber.”

“About that… There doesn’t seem to be an adequate location to house all of your… belongings.” Jerry flinched as soon as he was done speaking. He looked up at this master through squinted eyes. A beautiful man if it weren’t for the horns and tail. Jerry always thought his master’s chiseled features and wavy hair would have made him prime for Hollywood. “God is out back having a cigarette.”

The king slouched back in the throne and scratched at the base of his horn. “He smokes?”

“E-Cig, your majesty.”

The king stood and smacked his tail back down behind him. “That doesn’t count!” He strode out of the throne room and down the hall, out into the back courtyard. “This is hideous!”

“Tell me about it,” a weary voice spoke. “I wanted the gardens redone last century, but apparently all of the plants I asked for are extinct.”

The king looked around, but couldn’t find the source of the voice anywhere.

“Over here, Satan!” the voice called from behind a low wall.

King Satan walked over to see an old man with long white hair stroking his beard with one hand and holding an electronic cigarette in the other.

“Just like the real thing,” God remarked, blowing vapor from his mouth.

Satan took a deep breath and sat on the wall next to God. “Listen… I know we haven’t always been on the best of terms, but I…”

“You need help?” God asked, suddenly appearing next to Satan on the wall. He leaned over examining his former rival’s face.

Satan pulled back. “Well I just don’t… Could you stop that?”

“Sorry.” God shifted back down to the ground.

Satan leaned over with his elbows on his knees, tail draped over the backside of the wall. “It’s just that I have so much I want to do, but I don’t know where to get started. Everyone’s telling me what a good guy you are and I was just wandering if you would help me out a little.”

God started to snicker and choked on the vapor from his artificial cancer stick. Satan patted him on the back. “I told you already, I’m done with this business. I handed it over as-is.”

“SHHH! Don’t say that! We had an agreement.”

“I mean what else could you want to accomplish? Look at them down there scrambling around, thinking up ways to destroy all that I’ve created.” God shifted into the middle of the courtyard with his arms spread open. “All you would provide up here is validation for those who aren’t yet fully committed to corruption. I say let your subjects rule for you. They seem to be doing a fine job.”

Satan sat on the wall and grabbed his tail, twirling it around his forearm. “That’s what you did?”

“Well… I guess. I actually tried in the beginning, but gave up around 90,000 years ago.”

“Ninety? Wait…”

“It was great. Then these humans show up, from where I can only imagine.” God chuckled then took another puff from his E-Cig.

Satan was shocked. “But what about The Bible? What about that Jesus business?”

“Bunch of bullshit they made up.” God flicked his wrist. “Most of the Bible is a load of horseshit. You know me! Would I command someone to kill their own son? I don’t think so.” God took another puff. “They make me sound like some sort of narcissistic asshole.” He jumped around and shot lightning from his fingertips up into the sky. “Look at me! Look what I can do! You all belong to me!”

Satan ducked a bolt and rolled out of the way.

God shifted back behind Satan and put his hands on his shoulders. The cigarette bounced in his lips as he told him, “It’s no secret, my man – they don’t want us. We’re the step parents that scold them for masturbating too much. This is my house, but I don’t belong here anymore. Are you going to take my place? For how long? I watched them grow up. They’re on their own now – nothing left to teach them. Are you going to watch them die? Is that what you want?”

Satan was at a loss for words. All he had strived for was quickly spinning down the drain with no plug in sight.

God shifted back down onto the ground in front of the wall. “Maybe I should have shown you sooner. We might have been able to teach these people and do some good together.”

Satan walked over and pulled his tail around in front of him to sit down by God. “So what now?”

“I’m outta here.”

“Out of here? This is it! What else is there?”

God took one last puff before offering to Satan who couldn’t resist. “There’s much you don’t know.” He looked Satan in the eyes and told him, “I can show you.”

“Show me.”

God nodded and smiled. “I will,” he said disappearing, not to appear in the courtyard or behind Satan or up on the wall.

Satan looked around and called out, “Where did you go? Where are you? Show yourself!” Receiving no reply he looked down at the subjects he had wanted to rule for so long. Revolution had scorched the land of Monarchy and Tyranny. No man that could rule himself would submit to a king. No man should. He rested his head on the wall and closed his eyes as he lifted the cigarette to his mouth for a long drag.

Having heard his master’s screaming voice, Jerry raced out to the courtyard as fast as his limp would let him. “Your majesty!” he yelled. Hobbling all around the garden, he could find neither God nor his master. “Are you there, your majesty?” he called out one last time. Still no answer. He returned back to the entrance of the garden and spun to face the hundreds of orchids, lilies, and violets. He squinted and made himself small, snarling his top lip before he whispered, “Screw you, your majesty.” No physical abuse. He popped up into his normal hunched stance, eyes darting all around. His master was gone. Jerry hopped back down the hall into the throne and climbed up into the high seat. He smiled a huge rotten smile. “My, my, my…” He rubbed the arms of the throne and snuggled into the back, examining the craftsmanship. “So beautiful… Mine, mine, mine.”

“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear” – Thomas Jefferson

Please subscribe/follow if you like this post!

Barbie Bulldozer

Standard

Boredom is the root of all evil. They say that it’s money, but I’ve never had much of that, I wouldn’t know. I can say for sure that boredom is what does it for me. Growing up in rural North Florida can be great, but for a twelve year old kid it can be pure torture. No license, no car, and no friends for miles. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoyed a little Cartoon Network and playing some video games, but I was never one to sit in front of a TV for very long. You have to make your own fun as a kid in this type of environment. My idea of fun under these circumstances was mischievousness. By mischievousness I mostly mean getting my little sister into trouble.

There’s a specific detail I should mention in order to understand this story. My grandparents lived in a house in the corner of our four acre piece of property, opposite of my family’s home. My grandpa fancied himself a farmer and was still going strong in his late 80’s and early 90’s, plowing, sowing, and doing whatever else farmers did. We grew a lot of different things like corn, green beans, cabbage, okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. I say “we” because I was his little helper. I did a lot of the work he couldn’t get around to doing. I didn’t mind planting the tomatoes. I didn’t mind plowing for the corn. I didn’t mind weeding the cabbage. I sure didn’t mind eating the fried okra. I found that I enjoyed most of these activities. The one thing I did mind was this plant that they called “mustard greens.” Scientific name: Brassica Juncea. I hated everything about them – the way they tasted, the way they smelled, the way I was asked at every family dinner, “Dylan, would you like some mustard greens?” No, I don’t want any of your nasty mustard greens. Never have, never will.

Another critical detail in this story of mine, and many others I might tell, is that my sister is eight years younger than me. At this time she had just turned four. Contrary to what some might think, it is actually pretty tough to get a small child like this in trouble. At times I had to work extra hard to achieve my goal, do some digging, scrounge around for ideas. Occasionally opportunities were placed in front of me as if the Devil himself had selected the scenario directly from a manila folder in the back of a rusty filing cabinet on the fourth level of hell. My hatred for this leafy green along with the penchant to get my little sister in trouble converged to a point that I considered at the time to be a stroke of pure genius. When it hit me it was a beautiful thing.

So it begins. It was a hot mid-summer’s day. I had gotten my fix of Banjo-Kazooie and Ed, Edd and Eddy and needed to find something to do outside. I walked around for a few minutes, got a couple chores out of the way, then went back inside for a glass of sweet tea and to ponder my next move. I was just about to step back into the humid oven that is Florida during summer when my mom stopped me. She told me that my sister was riding her Barbie Jeep and that she wanted me to watch her for a while. I definitely didn’t have an excuse not to, so I obliged. I took my glass of tea out on the back steps and sat down, scanning the yard for the purple wheeled monster. My sister noticed me, made a lap around the huge oak tree at the back of the property and sped over to the steps as fast as the little 12 volt battery would let her. We exchanged pleasantries and she took off. I watched her go around the oak tree again and then over behind the shed. As she passed by the patch of mustard greens on the back fence of the property a light bulb came on in my head.

There was a small climb in elevation at the end of the garden – a hill leading up to a strip of pavement that ran down the middle of the property, an early predecessor of the highway that ran parallel about two hundred feet away. I immediately knew what to do, but it took everything in me to just sit back and let this thing play out. A little impatience spoils great plans.

I took a sip of my tea and waited for her to rev back over. I had to do this before the battery gave in, which I estimated to be about ten minutes. She pulled up and almost like she was reading my mind asked where she should drive next. Perfect. I looked over to the old highway and said, “Wouldn’t it be fun if you went down that hill straight through those plants? No you probably shouldn’t do that.”

She glanced over at the hill and back at me with a smile. “Yeah, I shouldn’t do that.” She looked back to the hill once more. “Should I?” she said with her head tilted like a curious pup.

After taking a sip of tea I wiped the sweat from my forehead and spoke the words that would be remembered in my family for years to come, “It’s up to you.”

I stood up on the bottom step as she drove past the shed. She hit the hill at full speed. It took at least a minute for her to climb the eight feet. She stopped at the top to look over at me and I nodded like a mute general signaling his cavalry to charge. She looked ahead and waited, as if pondering whether or not to actually go through with it. After a few moments she mustered the courage to press the pedal to the plastic and take off down the hill. “Moment of truth,” I thought to myself.

She made the approach at full speed and like a good soldier, never once wavered – straight through the mustard greens all the way to the end of the patch. I watched as plant after plant buckled under the plastic bumper of that Power Wheels Barbie Jeep and a feeling of relief came over me. I never had to see or smell another pot of mustard greens in my life! No one would ever again ask, “Dylan, would you like some mustard greens? They’re good… Are you sure?”

No thank you. Not today. Pass the cornbread, please.

I took one more sip of sweet tea and walked back inside.

Four hours later I was sitting on my bedroom floor with a PS2 controller in my hand. I heard a knock on the open door. It was my mother. “Yes ma’am?” I said in acknowledgment.

“Did you tell your sister that it was up to her if she wanted to drive through the mustard greens?” I had been betrayed. “You’re grounded,” she said with a shake of her head as she walked away.

Falling back on the floor I mumbled, “At least I don’t have to eat any more of that nasty shit.”

“What was that?!”

“Nothing, mom!”

“The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year.” – Voltaire

Please subscribe/follow if you like this post!

Confession

Standard

I have a confession to make.

This has been on my mind for quite some time. Last spring I was with some friends, enjoying a beautiful day at Blue Hole, a secluded swimming spot on the river not far from the university. We had a few adult beverages and a hotdog or two. Nothing beats a cold beer and a dog on a nice day. Condiments were hard to come by on this day so I took it upon myself to squirt enough ketchup on my beef frank for three people – selfishness doesn’t apply when it comes to hotdog toppings… Or so I thought. Karma would catch up with me.

Imagine what I say next in slow motion. I’m laughing at something to my right, not noticing the ketchup sliding to the end of the hotdog in my hand. I look down through my Kroger aviators at the glob on the very end of the wiener. I had to act quickly – now this may have been the most selfless thing I’ve ever done, if that ketchup had hit the rock below someone would have slipped and bashed their head, ruining everyone’s good time – I used my tongue. I dipped my head level with the hotdog and swiped up with a flicking motion, catching the red sauce right before it plummeted to the rock from the tip of the wiener. As you might expect I felt quite the hero, but as it has been said many times, pride comes before the fall.

I made contact with the hotdog without actually taking a bite. Very taboo. A friend of a friend saw it and immediately burst out in laughter, quickly catching himself not knowing if I was looking at him – he couldn’t tell because of the mirror coat on my Kroger’s. I tried to pretend it didn’t happen, but it couldn’t be undone. I watched as he relayed the story to each his friends who all seemed to get a good laugh. For the next few minutes I just faced the water, watching them out of the corner of my eye, cradling my hotdog, afraid to take a bite.

I eventually ate the hotdog and for whatever reason can’t recall most of the rest of the afternoon, but I keep going back to that moment. I regret not saying something like, “Oh, you like that, huh?” or maybe giving him a wink – something to acknowledge this mistake and maybe get a laugh or two, fooling everyone into thinking it was just a joke. I’m not a compulsive hotdog licker.

Needless to say I haven’t been able to use ketchup since this traumatic experience. I’m not one to deal in absolutes, but this is certain: when I eventually do pick up another bottle of ketchup I promise to squirt only one serving and vow to keep my back turned whenever I have a wiener in my hand.

“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.” – Elbert Hubbard

Missing Home

Standard

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my old home in Florida where I spent six years of my life. I miss my friends, the weather, and the beach. These are all things that someone might expect me to miss, but sometimes it’s the less obvious that draws you back to a place or time you’ve left behind. I wrote this poem about one of those obscure things.

Old Friend

Hanging by the gas station,
you were there when we arrived.
I had seen you times before,
never thought about you I would scribe.

You led us to the house,
highlighting views on either side.
I’m sure you thought it strange
that I stared the whole ride.

Over the coming years,
closer we would come.
Long walks in the woods
and lying in the sun.

You were there when I needed you
yet you never said a word.
But to hear you speak at all
would have defined me absurd.

You danced when I danced,
but to your own beat.
You danced when I didn’t
to music silent but sweet.

Better would I know you.
About you I would learn.
The more I found about you,
more knowledge I would yearn.

Your name was meant for insult,
but your namers, they’re all gone.
Yet here you are to stay,
especially brilliant at dawn.

You starred in many movies.
Most framed you all wrong.
Your beautiful image they used,
backed by ominous song.

You’ve been in many beds
and seen plenty of Hoodoo,
rode inside cars over the world,
even experienced in Voodoo.

I know you mean no wrong,
you only know how to live.
Out of fondness for you,
this declaration I do give:

Since we’ve met I’ve lived on mountains, I’ve been to the city, and seen places without trees.
And if there’s one thing I know I wouldn’t trade you for snow, steel, concrete or leaves.

I’d love to look on you now.
My heart fires you stoke.
When I pull up to that gas station again
you’ll be draped from cypress and oak.

This I know to be true, sweet Southern Spanish Moss.

I loved living in the South. I have an huge amount of admiration for West Virginia and these mountains I’m surrounded by, (especially in the Fall) but there’s no place like the Deep South. There’s a feeling there that I’ve experienced nowhere else. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t been.

To me nothing is more Southern than Spanish Moss hanging from a Live Oak. That’s what I picture when I think of my old home and it’s one of the things I miss most. What do you miss about “home?” What do you picture when you think of that one place you wish you were right now? Maybe you’ve never been, but you know it’s where you’re meant to be.

I said I would close every post with a quote, but I think this song is appropriate. I believe I heard someone say this was in the genre of “Swamp Pop.”

First ever blog post!

Standard

First and foremost I would like introduce myself. My name is Dylan Dayhaw. I’m from Pepperidge Farm, North Dakota, and I grow my own Cabbage Patch Dolls. None of that is true, except my name. I did have a Cabbage Patch doll as a child, but I bought him from a store like the rest of my vegetables.

That might have been the thing I hated most about college – every instructor in every 101 class saying, “Okay, introduce yourself, tell us where you’re from, and give us a fun fact!” I always wanted to say something outrageous like, “I collect rat skulls!” with a huge smile on my face. I never could. I had class with a friend once who told everyone he could breathe through his belly button. It was funny until the professor asked for a demonstration.

Honestly though, I’m from West Virginia. That state that was admitted to the Union in 1863 after it broke away from Virginia. I can’t tell you how many people, when I tell them where I’m from have said, “Oh, I love Virginia!” That’s nice.

I recently graduated from West Virginia University with a B.A. in Criminology that I don’t know if I’ll ever use. I now live with my grandmother and I don’t have a job. This might just make a great dating profile. Long story short, I was dealt a very unfortunate hand. EXCUSE ALERT: I’m stuck in a town of less than 2,000 people with no vehicle and very little prospects for a job. Hopefully my next post will be about finding a job! Wouldn’t that be great? I think so.

One of my purposes for writing this blog – the main purpose – is to put myself out there as a writer. I’ve been writing a book since October that I’m really proud of and will definitely post about in the future. What I would like to do with this blog is post at least once a week with a short story or other piece of writing. It could be fiction, could be non-fiction. A poem or micro story. It could be a personal thought – a comedic take what’s going on in my life, a review of some sort, or just something I’d wish to share with others. Whatever I post I hope you find some enjoyment in it!

I welcome constructive criticism. If I make grammer or spelling mistakes; let me know!

I’m a big fan of quotes so I’d like to finish every post with a quip or inspiring proverb.

“Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try.” – Jedi Master Yoda