Monday, July 5, 2010

Story: An Interview with a Pet Rock

Troll, a shy friend of ours has decided to share some of his knowledge with us. Although he is not that good at story-telling, it is the bizarre situations he gets in that assure a good laugh. This time, he will tell us about an interview with a pet rock.

I greet you, fellow reader. I understand you might wonder what ironic quirk of fate has led you here and now deprives you of your precious lifetime on our little beloved, albeit a bit polluted planet. You might as well ask yourself who the insane nitpicker talking to you right now is.

I see you’d never even brush against me… wait. You really enquire? Oh, a happy hour! Well, I am just a simple lurker. I wander the distant corners of our flurried world and I happen to be present at every conversation humans have, though I do not limit only to them. Despite the aforementioned, I never lift my voice.

Why, you ask? My answer is humble, dear friend. I have an inexplicable fear of being ridiculed, laughed at, driven away, burnt at the stake or have anything of damaging nature done to me. You see, I’ve never looked into a mirror for my entire life. I always turned the other way when I saw one, for what if there was a monster on the other side of it?

Nevertheless, to be able to hear all the words ever spoken has equipped me with limitless wealth of knowledge. Stop that drooling of awe already. Who says that knowledge has always to be useful?

Or do you find it beneficial to be able to cook a delicious pair of military boots seasoned with grated rubber gloves? What do I hear? That if you want to poison someone? Ha! I get your point, clever one, but I don’t know anyone that would be aware of my existence, so why should I need to murder anybody?

Anyway, back to the point. I’ve heard so many pointless conversations in my life that my head wants to spin like an airscrew. You’d really wonder what babbles people have to say during their stay on Earth, yet they think their words are of grave importance. What an irony, right?

You don’t understand? That you want an example? Well, so be it! I’ve actually expected that to happen and prepared accordingly.

So… where to begin… oh yes. It starts like this: once upon a time, there was a kingdom. And in that kingdom, there was a royal family. Oh, and a princess too. She wasn’t pretty, though. She reminded me of a frog that I ate yesterday. But back to the story – she married, um, was it a prince? Either way, they lived happily ever after... or wait, I’m not sure about that part. Damn.

I’m sorry, but I’ve never been good at storytelling. What? You demand a reimbursement for your lost time? Do I hear you correctly? You want to sue me? No, please! Reconsider! Please, I beg you!

Oh, thank you, you’re too kind. Now allow me to make amends. Well, let’s say that she married a man. No, really, she didn’t marry a leprechaun. Yes, I am aware of that it would sound cool and make for a good blockbuster. You know me - I’m not particularly excellent at it, but please, don’t interrupt me anymore. Thank you.

She married a man and they, oh yes, I remember they didn’t live a happy life after all, instead, they had to run the kingdom. Let’s face it, to make a society of millions and a bustling economy work like clock is beyond drudgery, so it’s no wonder the princess succumbed to her stress and became morbidly obese and eventually exploded like a balloon hit by a nail.

Now, even though the royal couple might seem to be the main protagonists of my humble narrative, it’s far from that. Instead, allow me to shift your attention to an idealistic journalist on the brink of starving out.

Yes, idealists do end like that most of the time. Penniless and alone.

However, before that fate befell our particular journalist, he still had the esprit and hoped to make a name for himself.

He wasn’t entirely dumb, so he devised a plan. A strange one, might I add. He wanted to do what others have never dared to. He wanted to traverse the globe for the most interesting interviewee. He wanted to… disregard my statement about his intellect, on second thought, his plan sounded so ridiculous I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t say he was a lunatic.

Now where did I end… interviewee? Ah, thank you, patient reader.

Pardon? Less detail? Okay, I’ll try to be less brief. No? Cut to the chase? Aye, will do.

This journalist here, he must have hit himself in the head or something, because as he was walking through a serene natural scene, he suddenly stopped before a small piece of rock.
I wondered why, so I carefully prowled closer and saw it was not just an ordinary stone. It was a pet rock. It had large black eyes and a mouth with its tongue sticking out. It was so adorable I had to name it Grundleblub.

Why do you laugh? I name everything I find lovely Grundleblub. Hey, that hurts, that really does. Please. My teddy boar’s name was Grundleblub, too. Shame I lost it. It was such a cuddly little toy. We spent a lot of time with each other. All the happy memories… we grew together, shared the good and bad, until that fateful day came and we were separated forever. It always makes me sob like a little baby when I recall those memories.

I see you’ve gone soft, too. Save your tears, my friend, for ours is the story of the interviewer. He set up his large camera on the ground and aimed it at the pet rock, proceeding to grab a microphone afterwards, positioning himself beside the stone.

“Hello, this is Marcus, Gullible News. For the first time in the existence of mankind, I bring you an interview with a pet rock. Their kind has been a subject of millennia of sitting on one place and observing everything around them carefully with their everlasting eyes. I am pretty sure we have a lot to learn from them, for species that live longer than ten thousand years are indeed ones carrying a vast memory. So, Trumbuzdum, tell me, don’t you feel somewhat old? You know, being alive for more than a hundred surely brings questions about one’s age, right?”

Why on Earth did he have to call the pet rock Trumbuzdum? Such a stupid name for that lovely pet rock! Trumbuzdum, ha! I’d name a trombone like that, but not a pet rock! Grundleblub was an erudite one. It saw past the crassness the interviewer posed and with all its elegance it remained silent.

“Um,” the journalist stuttered in confusion. The grace with which Grundleblub resisted the ridicule was indeed enviable.

“I see, so you say that…”the journalist fell short of words. Or so I had thought before he started crediting Grundleblub with what it wouldn’t ever have considered saying. “… that it is a rewarding feeling to be alive for so long? Tell me, what do you enjoy the most? Is it the time spent contemplating alone with a soft breeze caressing your rocky visage? Or is it the mighty erosion that slowly takes your mineral surface away?”

Silence was all he could get, for his interrogation was an action most vile that only the dumbest would ever answer to.

“I understand. Well, you seem to be a solitary person and I have always wondered… are you all like this? I mean, do pet rocks speak so few words?”

The wind washed the journalist’s face very gently, making such a fool like him believe in omens and miracles. He took the breeze as a way of communication between him and Grundleblub.

“Yes?” the interviewer rejoiced. “Would you mind elaborating further?”

Sea waves could be heard crashing against the cliffs in the distance, with their echoes reaching as far as to the interviewer’s ear, making his hallucinations escalate.

“Fascinating. So you inherited taciturnity from your late uncle? He was a hermit? No wait, you say he served in Second World War? Amazing! What rank did he have and where did he serve? Is it possible that he and my grandfather might have met?”

Grundleblub remained silent. Poor him, I thought. Being bothered by such a top-class nuisance. If I were him, I’d beat him unconscious.

Yet the interviewer carried on with his obtrusive enquiries. It was infuriating. I wondered how Grundleblub could take it with such a calm tone.

“The siege at Normandy? Oh, I’m envious of your uncle. He single-handedly beat an entire regimen? With a poker stick? I’ve heard stories of people slaughtering others with machetes and swords, but never before have I heard about someone performing such a feat your uncle did. I bet he must have been a hero for the country, no?”

A distant rumble could be heard, implying that a storm was drawing near.

“What? No hero? You say that those men he killed were from his own country? I reckon he must have been rewarded with a shot in the head, right? Or did he desert so as to save his hide?”

Meanwhile, the rumbling was growing stronger.

“He hid in nearby caverns and drove away any invaders by doing strange sounds? But he must have eaten something, mustn’t he? Are you trying to tell me he starved to death and died alone in those caves?”

First raindrops fell from the sky, hitting our faces. I pulled out my umbrella and took cover under it whilst watching the interviewer get soaked wet as he helplessly drowned in embarrassment.

“Sigh. You got me a little worried there. So he became a hermit since then and ate roots in order to stay alive. And he got mad over the time, growing bold enough to become a man-eater? And he ate all the countries’ presidents and monarchs? That’s unbelievable!”

The rain was battering the journalist’s face as he shuddered in the cold with his clothes drenched. And then a lightning struck a nearby tree, making it burn.

“He proceeded to eat all living people and play chess with their carcasses? That’s gross. Wait, what? He then sat in a bath-tub with wheels and drove for the moon where he had a drink with the American flag? Afterwards, he left for Mars and played golf with the Martians? Your late uncle is so full of surprise.”

As the flames were slowly engulfing other trees, smoke was rising high above the forest, filling lungs of every living being in the vicinity and prompting the interviewer to continue in his delusions.

“Then he gnawed off his leg just for fun? And got himself a peg-leg and a fancy pirate hook along with a parrot? And then he scratched his eye with that hook? Wasn’t it painful? It must have been. I bet he lost his eye and had to wear a patch, like all sailors do.”

A horrid crack echoed throughout the once serene scenery, signalling the fall of a burning tree. It barely missed the interviewer, who was so absorbed in his little quest he didn’t even notice.

“I suspected as much. And then he died of natural causes? Such an interesting story, but… wait! You’re a stone! How could your uncle have hands and legs? You say he was a hybrid clone from a top-secret project? Sounds groovy. Anyway, I think our time has run out. Do you have anything to tell our readers, Trumbuzdum?”

The interviewer leaned towards Grundleblub as if he wanted to hug it, waiting to hear something breathtaking. I imagine the pet rock must have been annoyed because if I were it, I’d certainly be. Although Grundleblub withstood the nuisance with grace so far, I was secretly hoping it would tell that charlatan off in a violent manner. And to my astonishment, my silent prayers had been heard as Grundleblub did something I would never have expected.

“You bore me to tears. Believe me, if I could cry, I would. Now excuse me.” As the stone said in a deep voice, it lifted itself from the ground, revealing it was not a mere pet rock, but a giant boulder. It rolled over the interviewer, leaving but a flat human griddlecake lying on the grass, and made off to somewhere quieter.

So that’s it. The end. Did you enjoy the story? You say it sucked? Oh, well, can’t blame you for that. I agree it didn’t make any sense but hey, most people talk trash like that and think its super important anyway. So next time you hear one, batter them for their pompous yet vain and empty words instead of me.

Till next we meet, your friend Troll.

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