285. The Lyin’ King


“Shall we speak of your past, Andrea?” I began with only  two other bean patrons in the quiet shop of coffee.

“If the Lion King taught me anything it’s that you can’t change the past,” said Andrea from the other side of  the counter as she counted out my ten used cup sleeves that entitled me to a free cup today.

“So harsh. You are referring to the Disney cartoon movie here?” I asked

“Is there any other?” she followed.

“Well, of course, my child. Of course there is and of course you can change the past. It’s simple. The past is actually quite malleable.”

She chuckled and lightly snorted into her shirt collar. “Oh here we go.”

“Did you know that there used to be public bathrooms under the street by the courthouse? Visitors from the big city thought we had a subway in Turtle Town.”

“No, not sure I can believe you. I’m from Needmore, remember?”

“Yes, I am so sorry. But after the Berlin Wall came down and détente began, your people were rejoined with the rest of the free world, yes?”

“Yes, we have a small stone wall in Needmore that commemorates the liberation.”

“Good to know, and the wall keeps the cows off of Route 522, I imagine. Yes, practical bunch out there. But there really were subterranean bathrooms with decorative green metal stairways descending to them. Do you have a small piece of paper?”

“Here you go.”

She produced a small block of white paper with a logo for cleaning supplies in navy blue ink. I miss nothing. No detail is too superfluous to record. I wrote in block letters, ‘The Lion King”… be true to yourself.’ Beneath it I wrote, ‘The Lyin’ King…of course you can change the past.’ Then I proceeded to share with her how I had led the Redskins to Super Bowl 17 victory in 1983, the strike shortened season as the quarterback.

“I didn’t know that.”

“A lot of folks don’t. Here’s a favorite  picture of me throwing the winning touchdown.”

Image result for super bowl 17 pictures

“And so you are free to spin your yarns, and these stories are just far enough away that they are hard to prove at any given moment.”

“Exactly. You sprinkle just enough facts and details into a story to give it verisimilitude, or the appearance of truth. You see, I respect the truth greatly, so much so that I imitate it freely at any given moment.”

“I know, and you confuse the crapola out of me.”

“Andrea! There is no need for such Mufasa here! Think of the little lions. Where is thy pride, girl? Think of poor Nala. You need to romp on back to Needmore and reclaim your glory.”

I was met with the stern schoolmarm look over her octagonal glasses with a wisp of her tucked maple pony tail bobbing behind her head like a ticked off pigeon.

“I think you’re losing focus here, creeping into that three per cent of fantasy that you are known to indulge on occasion.”

“I prefer to call it the Airless Summit of Mount Truth. Most folks operate near sea level or up to 9,000 feet above it, where oxygen is plentiful. Some brave souls venture higher, into the next 9,000 feet, where the air is quite thin and life is tenuous. Sherpas, mountain sheep and condors are the only forms of life at that altitude. And then there are the rare ones like me who start their journey at 18,000 feet and trek fearlessly upward through the unsustainable atmosphere known as the Death Zone.”

“You are so dramatic. I can’t believe anything you say.”

“Here come the bankers. I suppose they speak the truth relentlessly.”

“Well, they’re a bit more predictable than you.”

Teresa, “Are we interrupting something important?”

Andre, ” No, it’s more like rescuing me from a bad movie.”

Me, “Uhum. I was just sharing the daily wisdom with Andrea regarding the Lyin’ King.”

Teresa, “The Disney movie?”

Me, “The sequel, actually.” L-Y-I-N apostrophe KING. Not that bankers ever lie.”

Teresa, “Oh, every day. We’d be out of business if we told the truth.”

Cody, “Are we gonna get some coffee?”

Andrea, “Sure, what would you like?”

Cody, “Medium regular.”

Teresa, “Small. Guess I missed the hazelnut on Monday, huh?”

Andrea, “Yeah, sorry. You didn’t come in.”

Teresa, “I was stuck in a conference all day long. What a waste!!” Then turning to me, “Are you going to the ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ parade this Friday, Burrito?”

Me, “Uh, my chiropractor won’t allow it. Too hard on my glutes.”

Cody, “I’m walking in heels, got fishnet stockings to go with them.”

Me, “I would only do that if I were in prison and Bubba told me to walk this way. I mean, it seems either prison creepy or like a Lou Reed song.”

Teresa, “Who’s Lou Reed?”

Me, “He played third base for the Yankees in the 1960’s. Switch hitter. Utility infielder mostly. Later on  he wrote songs of desperation, drugs and alternative lifestyles.”

Cody, “Didn’t he write ‘Walk on the Wild Side’?”

Me, “Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. The man in the red high heels and black fishnet stockings and Brooks Brothers navy blue blazer ensemble.”

Cody, “Whatever Bubba wants, Bubba gets.”

Teresa, “Wasn’t that in Damn Yankees, only it was Lola?”

Me, “That’s a Kinks song you’re referencing now, but it’s in the same transvestic neighborhood.”

Andrea, “Oh, Lord help me. Though I work in the shadow of the espresso machine, I will fear no evil customer. ”

Me, “Here, let me get the door for you.”

Cody/Teresa, “Thanks, Bubba.”

Me, “It’s Simba to you.”

Andrea, “Noooooooooooo!!!!”

They hung a sign up in our town
“if you live it up, you won’t
live it down”
So, she left Monte Rio, son
Just like a bullet leaves a gun
With charcoal eyes and Monroe hips
She went and took that California trip
Well, the moon was gold, her
Hair like wind
She said don’t look back just
Come on Jim
(Chorus)
Oh you got to
Hold on, Hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here
You gotta hold on

Well, he gave her a dimestore watch
And a ring made from a spoon
Everyone is looking for someone to blame
But you share my bed, you share my name
Well, go ahead and call the cops
You don’t meet nice girls in coffee shops
She said baby, I still love you
Sometimes there’s nothin left to do

Oh you got to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here, you got to
Just hold on.

Well, God bless your crooked little heart St. Louis got the best of me
I miss your broken-china voice
How I wish you were still here with me

Well, you build it up, you wreck it down
You burn your mansion to the ground
When there’s nothing left to keep you here, when
You’re falling behind in this
Big blue world

Oh you go to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here
You got to hold on

Down by the Riverside motel,
It’s 10 below and falling
By a 99 cent store she closed her eyes
And started swaying
But it’s so hard to dance that way
When it’s cold and there’s no music
Well your old hometown is so far away
But, inside your head there’s a record
That’s playing, a song called

Hold on, hold on
You really got to hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here
And just hold on.                                           Tom Waits, “Hold On”

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And so, You Honorable Blogitnesses, I  submit that verisimilitude is art by another name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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