FURTHERMORE AND THE MINOR MYSTERIES
In another age, another time, Furthermore probably would have been a great philosopher or at least a Grand Master. The fact that he claims that in another age, another time, he was a great philosopher AND a Grand Master in no way changes my opinion. He constantly amazes me with the twisted, surreal workings of his mind and the width of the narrow scope of his mental concerns and considerations. (He thinks I just complimented him. Don’t say anything to him when you see him.)
Anyway, what brings this on was our latest discussion. I dropped down to the lower caverns last night to say hello and see if the gin for our martinis had gone bad. It hadn’t. The hydra, however, was dead drunk on the landing by the moat, so the point was moot.
“You shouldn’t buy that darned Gilbey’s anymore,” carped Furthermore as I wandered in. “It gives the hydra a terrible hangover.”
“Of course, he could drink a little less,” I observed. “That might help, too, you know.”
“It’s the olives, you know. He loves them. And he does need his vegetables.”
I was pondering this logic when I noticed Furthermore was busily pecking away at the keyboard of his computer. A candle sat atop the monitor, dripping wax down the screen. He didn’t seem to notice, being deep in thought.
“What are doing?” I asked.
“Don’t bother me. I’m deep in thought.”
“You keep letting that wax run down the screen, you’re going to be in deep something.”
“Quiet. I’m giving due consideration to the minor mysteries of life,” he quote in the rather pompous fashion that you’ve probably observed in your own pet raven.
Now, I have to stop for a moment here for a disclaimer. Yes. I can spot a setup when I see it. And, yes, this was clearly a setup. So. What would you do?
“Which minor mysteries,” I asked without missing a breath or a beat.
He grinned. He knew I couldn’t resist. Scrolling back a bit, he paused.
“Well, consider this: How many hot dogs come in a package when you buy them at the store?”
“Six, I think. Why?”
“Good for you. Shop much? Now, how many hot dog buns come in a package at the store?”
I had to think. “Uhhhh. Eight?”
“Two points for you! Would you like to buy a vowel? That’s right, eight. See the mystery?”
Well, I can be a little slow on occasion. All right. I can be positively dense on occasion, but I did see the mystery. Six dogs, eight buns. Somebody at the bakery didn’t get the memo, obviously.
“How about television commercials?”
“What about them?”
“Who makes the best commercials on television?”
“National car companies, without a doubt,” I replied, envisioning myself at the wheel of a Lexus with the Tool Time Girl along side.
“Right. Now, who makes the worst commercials?:
“Well, that would be local car dealers. And that ain’t no bull.”
He’s right, you know.
“How about ebonics?”
“Exactly. Ebonics, the new language.”
“What about it?”
“Well, exactly where is Ebonia? You ever been there?”
Life, at least for Furthermore, is full of small mysteries like these. Larger mysteries, I believe, he already has figured out. Stuff like the meaning of life, why is there air, why are we here, what happens next, if the sun is yellow and the sky blue why isn’t the air green, you know. That sort of thing. It’s the minor mysteries that still drive us nuts. Which is never a long trip for Furthermore. Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
By this time, Brother Furthermore was pondering which end of the cigar to light—another mystery, obviously.
“Neckties are like small mysteries, too,” he observed, finally settling on lighting the thing in the middle. “Why have ‘em?”
I admitted that I didn’t have a clue. He responded that he already knew that. I do have a theory, however. I may have shared it with you in the past. Neckties, I believe, were invented by a woman to get even with the man who invented pantyhose. Or high heels. It’s a toss up.
Either way, it’s one less small mystery in this world. And with that, Furthermore and I began trying to solve the mystery of where the rest of the gin went. Philosophical discussions can be very dry, you know.