The stank of the town

February 22, 2010

Tonight, I feel like I must hesitantly discuss what we all clearly agree is the proverbial elephant in the room. And that, of course, is United States Patent 6855313. There’s about a 1% chance you don’t know what that is, and if you are in that 1%, you’re about to join the 99% of people who are vomiting right now just thinking about it, whimpering between hurls some antiquated curse on my name for mentioning the topic after they had finally, after months or, in the case of Ol’ Herman Willingham, decades, gotten the idea out of their heads.

The only way you’ll escape that fate is to minimize this window and never open it again and, just to be sure, perhaps you should throw your computer out your window or, if it’s a nice computer, send it to me. I won’t pay you for it, not even for shipping, but if you want to avoid a life of 6855313-induced misery, it’s your best bet (but if the computer sucks, you should just, like I first advised, throw it out your window, or if you live in a basement without a window and the stairs are sealed off by a fire you accidentally started while cooking a ham so you can’t get upstairs to throw it out the window, just throw it in the fire). I’ll sell your computer for way, way over its market value to Ol’ Herman Willingham, who doesn’t need a computer because he’s 116 years old but will buy it anyway because I’ll tell him it’s the magically resuscitated body of his dead wife, Claire.

I’ll use the earnings to buy at least one sandwich, maybe two (I’ll put the second one in the fridge and eat it tomorrow), but no more than four, because come on, who’s ever heard of five sandwiches? That is more sandwiches than there are people in my immediate family, and if I learned anything from the sole lesson I was taught by Ol’ Herman Willingham, it’s that “a lot of good men lost their lives in the Argonne.” And when he taught that to me, I said to him, “Hey, Herman, that’s a statement, not a lesson. Are you by chance mistaking the recommended quantity of sandwiches a person should buy for a battle you fought in 1918 France?” And Herman said, “Yes.”

And that was the day that I first saw Herman for what he is (a scared, lonely old man, stricken with a permanent case of dysentery and believing your computer to be his wife) compared to what he once was (a scared, lonely young man, stricken with a permanent case of dysentery and no computer, no wife, but a sad wet existence in a nasty trench, fighting alongside men who didn’t really like him and in fact called him “Herman the Hated” behind his back and to his face). I felt bad for him, because despite those terrible men spitting in his eyes with regularity and practically sodomizing him with their bayonets for giggles, he still, over 90 years later, thought that they were good men. The day Ol’ Herman finally dies of that dysentery will be among the most melancholy of my life. I’m kidding.

US Patent 6855313 is a deer attractant consisting of a combination of 14 to 15 parts three-day-old human male urine and 1 to 2 parts deer urine. You may be asking why I think this is the elephant in the room. Obviously, if you’re asking that question, you’re a newly arrived one percenter, and your opinion is sidelined by an asterisk. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and answer that question. It’s the elephant in the room because it literally is in the room. No, I have not been trying to attract deer. No, I am not trying to attract psychopathic, piss-loving toddlers. Yes, Ol’ Herman Willingham is in the room. And yes, he reeks of US Patent 6855313. And yes, I know why.

Herman was inexplicably born, like nobody else I’ve ever known, in a shoebox, underneath the shoes. The shoes belonged to a hunter named Vicente, who was his father. When Herman was one year old, his pop took him deer hunting. Vicente’s wife protested: “You can’t take him hunting! He’s one year old!” But Vicente struck her down with a club, and off they went, father and son.

Later, in the woods, Herman was crying and crying and crying. A deer had just attacked, killed, eaten, and regurgitated Vicente. The deer began to re-eat the regurgitated remains, but even a deer knows that’s gross, so he scampered off, looking back periodically to check Herman’s reaction, which was still a lot of tears. Herman stayed right there in those woods until he was conscripted into the United States Army twenty years later and sent to Europe. Having grown up alone in the woods, he didn’t know how to speak or walk or tie his shoes, which you’d think, having been born in a shoebox, should have come naturally to him. His lack of communication and relatability and any dependability in battle whatsoever isolated him from his comrades, who did sodomize him with bayonets. When I wrote earlier that they practically sodomized him with bayonets, I meant that they did sodomize him with bayonets. I was trying to soften the image for you, but if you’ve read this far, you deserve to know the truth. A lot of good men died in the Argonne, but before they did, they sodomized Herman with bayonets.

Somehow, Herman survived. He spent most of his life seeking vengeance against the deer that killed his father. Every day, he doused himself in US Patent 6855313, hoping to attract his nemesis. He attracted many, many, many deer, but none of them were “the” deer. He never did find that deer, which had been shot by another hunter six minutes after killing Vicente.

So that’s the story. There it is. Here I sit. Me, Herman, the 40 deer that followed him here, and “Claire.” We’re having a great time!

I need friends.