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Aid to the Poor

January 14, 2013

I probably should not state his name again, although I’ve mentioned it in the comments as to possible identities for “Employed,” whom I have positively proven based on IP address is someone in Indianapolis, and therefore most likely someone that I knew before I moved to New York at 27.  

Although the writing style strongly reminds me of my brother, who denies it, another candidate, and one more likely as a result of the spelling and grammatical issues, is someone I knew from the Y.O.U. (Youth of Unity) at Unity of Indianapolis.  At the time, he and I, unlike the others in the group, were both enamored with Rush Limbaugh, but only he still is.

Our local Y.O.U. chapter worked on a year-long proposal of community service projects.  I think the only one we executed was environmental, at a point when neither he nor I thought global warming was a real issue.  That’s the only one I remember actually doing, and what we did amounted essentially to an informational campaign. At that time at least, if you wanted curbside recycling in Indianapolis, you had to pay for it, and it was easy to dismiss as something to make yuppies feel good about themselves.

Each month we dedicated to a different theme of service.  This person, whose name I caricature in the below excerpt as Wembley Nolan, and I agreed that December was the wrong month to devote to the cause of homelessness, because too many other people choose that month based upon the supposed loneliness of the holidays.  The bogus statistic of most suicides occurring in December (in fact, April statistically has the highest number of suicides, which leads to “death and taxes” jokes) was trotted out as a defense.  If it weren’t for the blatant global warming we are experiencing now in January 2013, after the hottest year on record, I would say that simply for the colder weather, the homeless need more support in January and February than December; however, we were outvoted, and the mass of the group decided that December was the best month to approach the issue of homelessness.

When “Wembley” learned in 2005-6 that I was on welfare because I was unable to stand up without a cane, he became very indignant and made numerous atrocious comments about how I should be flipping burgers or digging ditches for a living.  In 2010-11, I channeled this into my “For Guy Maddin” film treatment.  Here is the “97 Percent True” (see http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt1422598/) version of the incident as it appears in the treatment:

 

A right-wing businessman and born-again Christian named Wembley Nolan returns home to his family.  He beats his children when they so much as look at him the wrong way.  We see shots of his children crying after being hit.  He has a giant monitor displaying members of the unemployed labor force.  It puts a young, innocent-looking, raven-haired woman in a black pantsuit onto the screen and types out the following captions:

 

NAME:  ASHLEIGH E. JURAN

EDUCATION:  BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH, INDIANA UNIVERSITY; MASTER OF ARTS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE:  BROOKLYN COLLEGE

SKILLS:  EXCELLENT WRITING, VERBAL, AND RESEARCH SKILLS

WEAKNESSES:  INTROVERTED AND UNCOMFORTABLE BEING TOUCHED, SEVERELY ALLERGIC TO TOBACCO SMOKE

SUITABLE OCCUPATION:  PROSTITUTE

 

The next one to come up is our professor.

 

NAME:  AARON M. RUTHERFORD

EDUCATION:  BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH, INDIANA UNIVERSITY; MASTER OF ARTS IN DRAMATIC LITERATURE, HERBERT H. LEHMAN COLLEGE

SKILLS:  EXCELLENT WRITING, VERBAL, AND RESEARCH SKILLS

WEAKNESSES:  SEVERE PAIN IN WALKING, UNABLE TO STAND WITHOUT A CANE

SUITABLE OCCUPATION:  DITCH DIGGER

 

Nolan then enters into the previous scene, seizes the professor’s cane, and puts a shovel in his hands.  “Work, you lazy-ass!” shouts the businessman, pointing to a trench full of diggers.  Through cutting, the professor is in the same room as the businessman, but makes an eyeline match with the trench, anyway.  The professor attempts to protest.  Nolan shows him the monitor.  It shows someone who looks much like the professor flipping burgers having a back spasm, causing his face and hands to fall to the grill becoming severely burned.  The monitor puts up a caption:  RIGHT.  Next it shows the same man working at a high-rise construction site.  The man spasms and falls several hundred feet, presumably to his death.  The monitor again puts up the caption, “RIGHT.”  Then it shows the same man purchasing food at the supermarket with an EBT card.  The monitor flashes “WRONG” as the caption.

The professor uses the shovel to support himself and proceeds to the trench.  He digs for about a minute—no time lapses, wearying significantly with each dig, until his back spasms, causing him to fall, cutting his face on the shovel.  The businessman stands over him, thumping the Bible that he misquotes without looking:  “A man who can’t work can’t eat.”  The professor tries to hit the businessman with the shovel, but he succeeds only in knocking the handle hard against the businessman’s crotch.

The businessman screams and the young professor is left to crawl out of the trench to retrieve his cane as the businessman shouts curses and fears being unable to have more children.

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6 Comments
  1. Francois permalink

    Monsieur, what have you done with the money your mama gave you for the English degree?

    • My mother didn’t give me any money for an English degree.

      • Francois permalink

        Bien sur! This explains much.

      • My mother is a cheapskate who has a three-bedroom house to herself that she won’t even admit is a 3-bedroom because of the lack of beds.

      • Sigmund F. permalink

        Don’t judge your mother too harshly. Few of us would know how to deal with a spiteful and ungrateful child whose arrogance is exceeded only by his sense of entitlement. I’m sure it’s difficult for her.

      • How is thinking I deserve a desk job and a decent place to live arrogance or entitlement???

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