Thursday, October 25, 2012
Return to Eseldorf and a Strange Ending for Pecan Shells in My Garden
"Guess what, honey? I have a surprise for you. It's something we've been wanting for a long time!"
What could it be? I wondered. A million dollars? Another grandchild on the way? No, there was something even more special waiting for me when I got home. It was a truck-bed full of pecan shells from the Renfroe Pecan Company. Can you believe it?
I rubbed my eyes because I had trouble believing what I was seeing. We were told earlier this year by the nice young man with the pecan-shell-mulch ad on Craigslist that he had an exclusive contract with the company to pick up their spent shells. So how did SAM finagle a truckload of the stuff? FOR FREE? Well, it turns out that the nice young man must have prevaricated. He stretched the truth. He told a fib. There was no contract with the company, and anyone can pick up a load of pecan shells.
Of course, lying comes so naturally to the human race, especially when money is at stake. Or witches, for that matter. Huh? You'll have to forgive me. Halloween is next week, there's a presidential election the week after, and I've been reading Mark Twain's account of The Mysterious Stranger. Or was it his biographer's account? There is a dispute over who really wrote the tale, and that's probably as it should be. As it turns out, the mysterious stranger is the Great Prevaricator, the Father of Lies, known in one version of the story as No. 44.
Once we got over the shock of being "misled" (it sounds so negative to call it being lied to), we were delighted to find nuts in the mix. Lots of them in fact. Five pounds (about $45 worth if purchased at the grocery store) at least by my reckoning. I have to wonder why there were none in the previous load from the pecan-shell guy. It took us a while to sort through this pile. The neighbors were sure staring, but we were past caring.
"Can't I have both?" he asked.
He's pretty sharp, that one: another good knife in the drawer, a chip off the old block, or a nut that didn't fall far from the tree. SAM said his great-grandpa would have been delighted with him.
Getting back to Mark Twain's story setting of Eseldorf ("ass-ville"), I have to wonder why there was nothing like a good fish story in the midst of it. Animals did play a big part. A faithful dog and a magic cat were presented but no fish. Well, except for the ones that kept multiplying in the frying pan when unexpected company showed up for dinner. That's even better than a whopper of a story about the fish that got away. Or trying to convince someone that some fish have teeth like we do. Yes, sheepshead have human-like teeth. Or do we have sheepshead-like teeth? If Darwin's theory is correct, then the fish were here first, right? Humans came much later. If only fish could talk. I'm sure they wouldn't lie. They have no Moral Sense. Strange. That's what kept getting Twain's Eseldorf-ians in trouble. It should be what keeps us out of trouble.