Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just So

I recall growing up in a time when there wasn't a lot to do at night. We had two black-and-white TVs. One console type (back in Grandma's room, which didn't get frequented too much because of reasons explained previously) and a portable one on a really cheesy metal stand with wheels. That way it could be wheeled to the screened porch, or the living room, where it usually was.

The day came when a color TV was purchased, and the old B&W was relinquished to the Dining Room where I was usually left to sit by myself and watch TV.  I Love Lucy and Gilligan's Island. Batman, Hogan's Heroes, Get Smart, and the Twilight Zone only came on once a week. No longer did I have to sit through my parent's shows for entertainment (News. COMBAT! More News. BONANZA. The Prisoner (WTF), or The Rifleman).

Easy to understand why I looked forward to Mom reading me a bedtime story. I think my favorite book was Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. In it were the most outlandish explanations for how things came to be as they are - like How the Elephant Got His Trunk, How the Rhinocerous Got his Skin and How The Leopard Got His Spots. It was a simpler time, in the high and far-off veldt, or on the banks of the great grey green greasy Limpopo River.

Imagine yourself in the midst of your own Just So Story. How did you come to be the way you are? Certainly not as important as where you are going, or how you will get there. For You are neither the Kangaroo nor is the World Yellow Dog Dingo (always chasing after you, always hungry, never getting nearer, never getting further, grinning like a coal scuttle - he had to!). But someday, Best Beloved, if you have enough time, there are no reruns on and if you have still not forgotten about the suspenders, I just may tell you of how The Rusk got his Thick Skull.

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