Thursday, March 26, 2009


Hantry had never had a friend before, but he had plenty of opportunities to make one. In the past three years, he had actually found that by not doing much different than he usually did, he could make friends with practically no effort at all. His new friendship with Sandy was the most surprising. A girl his same age, she had come up to him out of the blue and just started talking about the most random things. Their first conversation was about hard-boiled eggs and their taste compared to halibut. Hantry had never considered himself a food critic, but after their conversation he had a better idea of what it would be like to be one. Investigating this line further took him to a small halibut shop near school, where some unusual people hung around. There he ran into Johnson McNabb, a friend of his uncle, who came over to the house often enough, but never spoke to him. Now with the excuse of halibut, they spoke for a full hour and a half. The next day, Johnson McNabb was over at the house to watch some TV with Hantry's uncle:


JOHNSON MCNABB, a seventy-something man with gray hair wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Bermuda shorts, sits on a large couch in a dirty living room. HANTRY, a young 12 year old boy, is eating popcorn and playing with a lobster.

Johnson McNabb: I once knew a girl named Eleanor, but that was a long time ago. Back in those days, a lot of people knew girls named Eleanor. It was a pretty common phenomenon, not even worth making a fuss about. In fact, I never did find out for sure if she was the same Eleanor as a friend of mine knew. I just took it for a fact that it didn't matter either way. Sometimes I wish I did find out, because I think back on it and realize that I don't have a clue, and now my friend is dead and gone and no one can tell me if I should connect the image I have of his Eleanor with the mental picture I still have of my acquaintance Eleanor, or if I should keep the two separate. Things like that really drive you crazy towards the end of your life, you know. And I plan on ending my life sometime in the near future, so I really should get this figured out first.

Hantry: Why are you telling me this? Does it matter?

Johnson McNabb: Not one bit for a fellow like you. In fact, you'd do good to put Eleanor and all of this awful business out of your mind. Pretend I never said anything of the sort.

Hantry: Okay


Hantry walks down the street with his young friend SANDY.

Hantry: Hey, Sandy. Do you know anyone named Eleanor?

Sandy: Not really. Eleanor Roosevelt, but I don't really know her.

Hantry: You know of her?

Sandy: Yeah.

Hantry: Well, Johnson McNabb was over at my house this morning, talking something crazy about Eleanor, and told me to forget it.

Sandy: That sounds like the type of thing Johnson McNabb does. I'd follow his advice and forget about it.

Hantry: Alright, Sandy. I'll do that.

The two reach a crossroads.

Sandy: Well, I need to get going. See you later, Hantry.

Hantry: You too, Sandy.


Hantry is sitting by a slide in a playground, watching many kids come and go, playing. Hantry asks each child as they come out of the slide if they know Eleanor.

Hantry: Do you know Eleanor?

Child 1 shakes his head and runs off.

Hantry: Do you know Eleanor?

Child 2 shakes her head and runs off.

Hantry: Do you know Eleanor?

Child 1 shakes his head and runs off.

Hantry: What are you doing on the slide again? I need to ask others, you know.

Child 1 continues to run.

Later that evening, Hantry prepares for his bedtime. He is brushing his teeth, thinking of all the nonsense he went through that day because of Johnson McNabb's request that he forget about Eleanor, and cursing him for bringing it up in the first place. He knew he'd never know an Eleanor, and it was pointless to argue with that. Even if he knew an Eleanor, he wouldn't want to. So what was the point? Exactly. Nothing. Hantry was through playing games. He spat out his toothpaste and rinsed out his mouth. Then he ran outside and screamed for Johnson McNabb to get over to his house immediately.

Johnson came running, apparently from behind some bushes to the side of the house. Hantry went up to him calmly, and stated matter-of-factly, "You sir, are a lame duck." After he said this, Johnson McNabb disappeared into thin air. Hantry felt vindicated and rearranged his hair on his scalp. Eleanor Roosevelt peered from behind the bushes with a smile on her face. Hantry returned home and fell asleep in his bed.


This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, and WiL Whitlark of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Eleanor'.

No comments: