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The Ink-Stained Affliction


A semi-sad sob story.

  34 total reviews 
Comment by
hvysmker
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
I'm sort'a back. I'm just about over my first bout with Esophagus cancer. Part of November and all of December were spent in a VA hospital taking chemo and radiation treatments. It's gone away ... for now, but is expected to return. I refused an operation and have been given between six months and two years to live.

Right now, I'm about recovered though I don't feel like writing. Don't expect me to be very active, though.
Charlie -- hvysmker.
----------------------------

Ours was not a bookish household. We owned a few, of course. They make dandy doorstops.

Sure, we could all read. Public schools insisted upon it. Harped, actually. But we weren't a particularly literate tribe. Our tastes in literature ran to cereal boxes. Also, the funny-pages. Dick Tracy for drama. Alley Oop for comic relief . . . and the occasional bathroom distraction.

But most of all, we read the blessed TV Guide. Who could resist? Ah, to read in advance about all the upcoming episodes of carefree, top-notch, mindless entertainment. The TV
*** A suggestion. Hell, I know I'm nit-picking but HAVE to find something. How about "A TV"? He-he-he-*Gigglesnort!*

Guide told us all we needed to know about our 'Must See' world. . . without a lot of incessant page-turning. Why would I labor through 'War and Peace' when Combat aired every Tuesday night at seven-thirty?

I grew up believing reading was an arcane, obsolete . . .even occult practice. Why would God have invented the marvels of radio and television if He wanted us to squint after rows and rows of ants crossing a page? Okay, maybe the Bible is the one Divine exception to the rule, but I saw The Ten Commandments, and King of Kings. In Technicolor, no less. Man, those were truly religious experiences. You can't beat the combination of Technicolor and PanaVision when it comes to experiencing the true wrath of God . . . and I'll smite anyone who suggests otherwise!

School, of course, crimped my hose. Reading wasn't only mandatory, it was compulsory, even obligatory. What the frigatory? The regal bun-headed teachers doled out textbooks as if paper grew on frigatory trees! They had books about everything. English. History. Science. Arithmetic. They even had books about 'ologies'. Biology. Geology. Frigology. What the frig is an 'ology', anyway? They tried to tell me 'ology' means 'a form of science', but if that's the case, why don't they just lump 'em all into one dense science drivel and stick it on a dusty shelf where it belongs?

To me, books were a nasty plague. Spine-bound excuses with no other purpose but to force me to read. Anyone can write a book about any dumb thing, and once written, some bun-headed teacher was bound to compel me to read it. Bloody Hell! Gutenberg, may you burn forever.

Of course, there was one book I liked. Fahrenheit 451. A book about the burning of books. Yeah, that was cool. It's a wonder they haven't written more books on that subject. Libraries are virtual tinderboxes, aren't they? One whacko with a match. Right up Stephen King's creepy alley. Maybe I'll text him a note.

Then I met Ann Chris Smoltz.

Ann Chris ate books as if they were chocolate-covered.

"I don't get it, Ann Chris. Why would you read Ben Hur when they already made a movie?"

She helped me unfasten her frilly bra. "As it turns out, Ben Hur wasn't a very good read. But one never knows, does one?"

One can think whatever one wants, and I didn't know books from bustles, but her two pert little titties spoke volumes to me.

***

There was no escaping it. Girls liked books. What was a horny, young lecher supposed to do?

I started with the skinniest paperbacks I could find. Steinbeck worked well. Tortilla Flat. Of Mice and Men. Cannery Row. Sweet Thursday. I'd carry one around in my back pocket, sit on a sunny park bench, pretend to read, then wait for the cuties to bite the bait. I'm not one to brag, but I rarely went home with an empty creel.

Then something weird happened. I started to read what I had been pretending to read. Really. It wasn't exactly voluntary, but little by little, those lines on the page suckered me in. Pretty soon, the girls had to shake me to get my attention--even the pretty ones with hooters out to here. And it got progressively worse.

I'm not proud of it, but I broke down and obtained a library card. I suppose every family has to have a black sheep. I was as baaaad as they came.

From there, my sorry future was foretold, etched in stone, cast in ink. Just as marijuana leads to cocaine leads to opiates. Ah, the slippery, slimey slope. Wasn't long before my reading led to . . . writing. And enjoying it. Clearly, I'd hit rock bottom along with Wile E. Coyote. Could the Acme anvil be far above?

Oh, I tried to deny the evil verbal urge. I splurged on a cable upgrade. I streamed Netflix to quench my nerdy net-fix. I binge-watched BBC until my eyes crossed and my upper lip froze stiff. But nothing worked. I was too weak. Too hooked. Those computer keys beckoned like the sirens of the sea. I succumbed to the seditious seductions of Baal . . . and his endless fountains of fonts. I wrote 'til my fingers bled. (Not really. Hyperbole is just a trick we wicked writers use. Basically, it's gross exaggeration. Most writing is. The interesting parts, at least.)

I checked myself in at Rehab for Writers, but my heart wasn't really in it. I smuggled a Bic through Security. I'd scribble odes on greasy napkins, finger-scrawl haiku on dewy windows. I even spelled S-O-N-N-E-T in my alphabet soup. That prank earned me two days in the cooler. Once, I wrote an entire novella using tiles on a Scrabble board. A week in the cooler. Clearly, I was beyond redemption, reclamation.

Eventually, the staff gave up the ghost. I was released, but my Thesaurus was confiscated and I was required to register as a Text Offender.

Now, I wander the vast reaches of my corrupted mind, trailing alliterative, allegorical adverbs as if they really mean something.
*** Aha! A second suggestion. I knew it. I knew I'd find something to comment on. Oh, yeah. I'd use use "a" instead of "my" in that first sentence.

Damn you, Ann Chris Smoltz . . . and your perky little titties!

Please consider this a cautionary tale. Essentially, it is true. Any and all hyperbole can be attributed to my advanced alliterative affliction. Alas and alack.

Actually, I couldn't find anything wrong with the story.
Charlie


 Comment Written 28-May-2018


Comment by
Rasmine
 
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Humpwhistle,

Good writing!

I liked this part:
You can't beat the combination of Technicolor and PanaVision when it comes to experiencing the true wrath of God . . . and I'll smite anyone who suggests otherwise!


 Comment Written 27-May-2018



reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    Thanks so much, Rasmine. I'm glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
IndianaIrish
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  Rank:  477
 
Exceptional
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Damn, hw, I'd die one happy old biddy if I had your stories to read every day. OMG this is so wonderfully entertaining from start to finish. On a personal note, I'm really happy Ann Chris led you with her perkies to the world of books that led to thank-God-you-wanted-to-write world of imagination. Hell, wish I could send her a thank you note. While I'm at it, I could send all those guitar girls, hippie girls, and assorted others who played such a major part in your wordweaving artistry. I love how the young lecher has morphed into ...well, you, my favorite Text Offender. If this doesn't win the contest, I swear I'll send a nurse to work on your affliction with you. Think a traveling Hyperbole Chamber will do it.
Love this to pieces, hw, and I adore your writing, and you!
Smiles,
Indy :-)


 Comment Written 25-May-2018



reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    Thanks so much, Indy. One of the benefits of aging is the ability to look back and view my history from a wider perspective. Some of this perspective makes me cringe, but some makes me laugh. I try to merge the two in hopes of creating an honest recollection.

    Yes, girls helped form me. Some with slaps, some with caresses, others with life lessons. Bless them all.

    As for your hyperbole chamber, I think I wear one under my Red Sox cap.

    Thank you again, Indy.

Comment by
emptypage
 
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
What the frigatory? I was as baaaad as they came. I was required to register as a Text Offender.

Damn, boy, but you are funny. I like this very much. You get my last 6 of the week.


 Comment Written 25-May-2018



reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    Thanks, emptypage. I think I'm going to trademark 'What the frigatory?'. It rolls off the tongue, and isn't even vulgar (mostly).
    I'm glad you enjoyed, and I'm honored to receive your last six. Peace, Lee
Comment by
LIJ Red
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I think you will find a lot of sympathetic vibrations, Lee, and in spite of TV and electronics, the percentage of real readers hangs fairly steady. This looks like a fitting response to that prompt.


 Comment Written 25-May-2018



reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    Thank you, Red. I agree, there will always be readers. But can't help despair over the quality of the writing--present company excluded. I hope you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
F. Wehr3
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Exceptional
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Great job on this piece, Lee. Highly entertaining and I enjoyed your humor. I think you nailed this one. Hope this one makes it to the winner's circle. Good luck!

Take care,
Russell


 Comment Written 25-May-2018



reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    Thanks so much, Russell. I enjoy these 'Share Your Story' contests. They give an excuse to look back and laugh at myself. As a young man, I was far too serious. Thanks again, and I'm glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Debbie Pope
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So glad that you were beyond redemption in your Rehab for Writers days. Smuggling a bic pen! How could you? And my thanks go out to Ann Chris Smoltz. Glad she was a reader. Your writing is easy and entertaining. You could write scripts for standup comedy. This post gets better as you go along in the story. Your hyperboles get more ridiculous and your alliterative, allegorical adverbs get cleverer. Text offender? Really now! How fun. Thank you, Humpwhistle, for your fun piece. I have no sixes to award.


 Comment Written 25-May-2018



reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    Thanks so much, Debbie. So far, you're the reviewer to mention (or notice?) the escalating scale of my verbal hyperbolic barrage. It's fun when your premise allows, demands, you to ham it up. I'm so glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
apky
 
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Every time I see you in my inbox with a new writing posted, I literally whoosh to click and read. Because I know I'll get not just quality writing but lots to laugh on (not about). And therefore this was another one of your humorous pieces that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I wish you all the best with the constes. And drop by mine too once in a while, won't you?


 Comment Written 25-May-2018


Comment by
Swampfox1
 
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I'll be quite honest with you, I got bored half through and ran. I know it is none-fiction but here you are downsizing text, books, writing, etc., and there you are writing. LOL> Even though you spent two days in the cooler it still did not un-bore it. Although you do have a knack at writing. Good luck in the contest.


 Comment Written 24-May-2018



reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    Thank you, Swampfox. Sorry you became bored, but these things happen. The 'downsizing' of writing was meant to be ironic, rather than literal. But what the hell, no one hits the bulls-eye every time. Thanks again. Peace, Lee

reply by Swampfox1 on 28-May-2018
    Sorry about that, I used the wrong word, I was having a bad day. What I actually meant was that the writing was not flowing like it should. Peace be unto you and have a blessed day.

reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    No harm, no foul. Readers. Writers. We all have days that don't click. Perhaps ours merged. In any case, we each did our best. Nothing wrong with that. Thanks again. Peace, Lee

reply by Swampfox1 on 28-May-2018
    Thank you and God bless
Comment by
aanneee
 
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  Rank:  200
 
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You are as funny as all heck...that you are indeed. Your writes are way to entertaining, you get me chuckling and then today, I get to the last bit here and I quote Damn you, Ann Chris Smoltz . . . and your perky little titties! and I think to myself Thank you, Ann Chris Smoltz ... for the good chuckling I had today...thank you, thank you, thank you...Dinah


 Comment Written 24-May-2018



reply by the author on 28-May-2018
    Thank you, aanneee. To me, 'entertaining' is the highest praise. Yes, lovely Ann Chris set it all in motion. I'm delighted you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
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