Two days ago, I spent the entire day hanging out with a friend from SoCal named April, and her Denverite friend Justin. In the course of reminiscing about the good ol’ days, we talked about a pseudo-essay thingie, almost a mantra — a weird little mini-story whose whole point was to be ridiculous and unbelievable.
Way back in the day (about 2001), I worked at the fencing/duelling booth at Southern Faire in California. Yea, verily, I stabbed people for a living. I might call what I did “fencing instruction” if I wanted to stretch it a bit and make myself sound good. I might also be stretching it a bit and making things sound better than they were if I said I got “paid” for this: it was a good weekend when I broke even. The money wasn’t the point, though.
There was someone I knew, who also worked the fencing booth, who went by the name Remy. In the course of conversation, we ended up discussing signs that someone’s BSing you. I seem to recall this started because he said “So no shit, there I was,” and I said something like “There’s a sign you’re about to make something up.” I went on to say that it can only get better from there:
“So no shit, no shit, there I was . . . in the ‘Nam.”
I don’t remember who came up with what exactly. I think the water buffalo was his idea, and the Crisco was mine. I’m pretty sure the VC were my idea, and the hot tub was his. I definitely recall how it ended: Remy said that this little story absolutely must end with what he called an “aneurism statement”. That was, he explained, one of those statements that is so odd and nonsensical in some kind of compelling manner that it’s liable to cause an aneurism if you think about it too much. That’s how we ended up with the moral of the story, though I think I was the one that suggested it should be a “moral”. April was there for parts of this, and certainly heard one or both of us run through the whole thing on many an occasion. It became such a “thing” that people would get one or both of us just for the sake of sharing this bizarre linguistic concoction with another friend.
I’m not positive I remember all of it, but here, at least, is as much as I recall:
So no shit, no shit, there I was . . . in the ‘Nam . . . in a hot tub, with six naked women. You could smell the VC comin’ outta the rice paddies. Then the waterbuffalo surfaced. Someone dropped the can of Crisco, and that’s when things got real weird. The moral of the story is: Ice cream has no bones.