‘Having said that…’ (In case you failed to notice)

Once upon a time there was an Old Man and a See-saw. (No, I haven’t a clue what a hemming weighs; sue me.)

Having said that, I would be derelict in my duties not to add that we’re talking ‘OLD MAN’ in ALL CAPS, and ‘See-Saw‘ in, at the very least, italics. Not your garden-variety geezer+playground equipment.

That having been said, I feel a need to mention the sucker’s name. Santiago. Hope it rings some bells.

The reader is likely wondering by this point: ‘Nu, the see-saw? Also apocryphal?
Yes of course, A squeakingly loud, but otherwise ordinary run-of-the hamster-cage teeter-totter, in a drab but pre-Soviet-inspired Cuban play-lot.

On this tantalizing background, I feel an obligation to add here our Heavy-weight Heroine, Marlene.

Admittedly, we have at this point only a name, and perhaps a clue as to her seminal Quality which will serve to drive this story into the Nobel’s lariats.

And so, allow me to estimate her weight as ‘in the neighborhood of 13 to 15 stone’. A Google search of this term will quickly reward the fastidious reader with the similarly-antiquated equivalent in pounds, of 182-to 210. Quite a nautical feat that, on Batista rations at least.

Obviously, given what I’ve revealed at this point, ‘We have a major anomaly, Houston.’ Santiago, attracted for reasons only hinted at in the final chapters, has, let’s call it a ‘thing’ for the profoundly obese. However, as a proud bearer of the Iberian ‘macho, but kinder, gentler‘, he needs to express his ‘amour’ without undue emphasis on the fetishist aspect of the beast.

And so, dear reader, on the albeit sketchy background we have at this point, let me position our two allegorical characters on a proper stage, where they ‘meet cute’, and all that rot.
 Marlene, sea-weed in her  comely locks, mounts her half of the see-saw, coyly challenging a fit suitor to lift her into orgasmic bliss.

Having described her goal as ‘orgasmic bliss’, I would be remiss were I not to point out that, prosaically, we’re talking about three and a half feet of vertical elevation, not including the libidinous contribution of the rococo ‘Tru_2_life’® wooden seats. Santago consults Archimedes…

Having mentioned the Greek, I’d be a fool not to throw in that “Give me a rock and I’ll move yer world, girl.” churned through Santiago’s thoughts like a shark in an undertow. But how to finesse his use of a ‘mother’s little helper’, to hide the awful truth of the weight disparity from Marlene’s pubescent eyes?

And so, frantic last-minute Book-reporters, I throw in here a gratuitous Deus ex Machina, a man-made ‘rock’, whose concentration of Uranium and other heavy metals will shortly fuel  the Bay of Pigs, not to get ahead of our story…

(At the risk of repeating myself): ‘Having said that’), I ask the reader to revel in the Happy Ending.
Santiago, with his small-but critical-mass ‘found-boulder’ neatly inside a shopping-bag on his lap, lifts the ecstatic Marlene to a place she’d only dreamed about. Santiago’s atomic-age manliness is redeemed, and so what if they both later succumb, arm in arm there on the Havana beach, to an undiagnosed teeth-glow, hair-loss Finality. Fishin’, fission, what’s the big dif?


Having said all that, I feel, like, real shitty. Having written this goddamn shameful Hiroshima horror-show of a 7th-grade assigned reading, I frankly have no idea what to add. Probably, having said that, I should quit here. Having said too much.


For OBL: With thinkers as cogent, original, and useful as she on Xanga, the rest of us can just relax and post our breakfast menus.

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27 thoughts on “‘Having said that…’ (In case you failed to notice)

  1. we_deny_everything

    But remember, Ernest was heavily into the sauce when he wrote his fable. I wouldn’t ascribe too much meaning to it, except maybe that he liked fat girls. So many tortured puns and allusions … have you been knocked in the head or something? Ah wait, never mind. Forget I said that.I hope you’re mending well.

    Reply
  2. Lovegrove

    As Edward II once said to his regret “Well! Bugger me with a red-hot poker!” I tried your contribution to civilisation in the Google Translator and all I got was Welsh. If there is anything I can’t stand more than idiotic pointless discrimination, it’s the Welsh!Yaki Da, Boyo!I hope you’re healing! Sucking beer through a straw is so passé.

    Reply
  3. jsolberg

    @Lovegrove – Thanks. After 3 days, I still have moments of anguish during which to be be-headed sounds like the best pain-management career move. Vino is my 2nd choice, absent any acceptable hand-basket in which to ride toward Hell.

    Reply
  4. jsolberg

    @we_deny_everything – Tell the truth, my mortal body hurts no less today than ‘after the Fall’. I can only hope that hope does spring eternal, for otherwise I’m in deep shit for a couple remaining decades.And I’m not sure who you’re referring to as ‘on the sauce’. This is adapted from the Sud-Afrikanner classic bio of the Jewish entomologist who arm-wrestled with a 1000 pound Fly: Altermann und das Tse-tse.

    Reply
  5. twoberry

    See-saw pronounced backward is saucy which makes me wanna hem and haw all the way to the Tyra Banks of the ocean.Having said that, I hope you’re healing a bit.  At least able to graduate from mashed potatoes to french fries.

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  6. jsolberg

    @twoberry – Aha, a new flip-flop; you scrabble-niks don’t miss a beat.And like the maxim: ‘you get lemons? make lemonade’, I’m growing infatuated with, ok, baby-food. Texture’s gonna come as a shock when I get my teeth back. Thanks for the input. I’ll cue up Elgar’s ‘Impromtu for Musical-Saw in ‘C’ for ya.

    Reply
  7. gnostic1

    Batista rations, Hemming Weighs. It is these little bits that pop out effortlessly ( or perhaps after hours of re-righting the tilting page) that make it all worthwhile! Mary Bethlefest!

    Reply
  8. jsolberg

    @gnostic1 – particularly tickled you enjoyed it; your own gems also drip radiance but in over-the-top style and content. This piece is an answer(?) to the oft-heard rant about not using ‘that having been said’, among other goals. Austen’s next, soon as I find Ft Bennett on a map of Texas.

    Reply
  9. memememe321

    ??? Having only the name Marlene, then we are to see, Destroy Lean? And she’s supposed to be fat? Still working it out down here in wannabe land (all you crazy smarty pants slay me!)

    Reply
  10. chromepoet

    Little Boy, Fat Boy, 15 stone on the bay of pigs, Papa, Papa, take the shotgun outta yer mouth, remember, remember, she was beautiful before the loan sharks collected interest from neck to knee.15 stone on the baby of pigs and not a drop to drink.Get better.

    Reply
  11. jsolberg

    @chromepoet – Aw, you just re-wrote the post, and none the worse for the 4-line condensation.Coming up: ‘The Old man and the Cesium Grandfather Clock’ by Enola Gay? I kinda like this template. Hide my Inner dilettante on the empty beach, there behind Neville Shute’s ghostly sub.

    Reply
  12. ordinarybutloud

    hahahaha…well, thank you, for that profound and amusing…or profoundly amusing…start to my Monday!!! I feel compelled to use the name “Marlene” in my next story. Run-of-the-hamster-cage…hahahahaha. Ah, hamsters. Who knew they could be so cute and so smelly at the same time??

    Reply
  13. jsolberg

    @ordinarybutloud – Does me heart and body good to see you got to read this. Of course it’s for you; this time I knew after a couple lines: the writer’s craft, your reading the book when young, the ‘weight-control, the book reports. I hardly needed to be specific.But most of all, I sometime bawl at the simple utility of your posts, their contribution to my understanding of.. lots of stuff.Made my day, kid ♥

    Reply
  14. Roadkill_Spatula

    I feel like Dr. Liebowitz who suddenly realized he came to the convention without his duck. And it’s not even poetry. (Say, buddy, can you spare a duck?)I haven’t read Hemingway since junior high except for a college-required short story. He was depressing. I remember a bullfighter (?) waiting for the hit men to show up, a fat Cuban saying, “how he could touch the guitar”, fingerprints on fish and a closed store and some dude named Nick.

    Reply
  15. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula –  Ha, a nice Cliff-Notes summary. I remember where I was when I learned the ‘tu lo toques’ expression for playing an instrument. Thought it a wonderful choice. After all, ‘play’ an instrument, if you think about it, is just as arbitrary an assignment.

    Reply

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