Consensually Kidnapped: A Fiction

I was in the garden when he came for me. I was admiring an heirloom tomato that had a particularly brick-red hue. I daydreamt of crushing it into a pizza sauce. So deeply entranced was I that I hadn’t even heard him approach the edges of my visual field. This isn’t really too surprising. Although I’ve been trained to remain aware of my surroundings, I was in my garden; my safe place. Combine my lack of attentiveness with the facts that I am easily hypnotized by plants and he rarely makes any noises other than faint steamy hisses and those nearly mechanical sounding whizzes and pops when he moves, and it is practically a miracle I noticed him standing in my periphery at all. But I did notice him and, miracle or dark magic, it changed my life in dark and miraculous ways.
“You have been making comments.” He said it in a voice devoid of intonation, in keeping with his way. At the time I didn’t know that I knew he was capable of more. “The comments you’ve made are intolerable.”
I stared at him, smiling, not quite comprehending his intrusion. My garden, physically, is no safer than any other unfortified patch of land. There is a small fence around it, ineffective even in its advertised objective of keeping out small rodents. Beyond that it is completely open to weather, wind, falling branches, a hail of bullets or even an intruder on foot. So it wasn’t his invasion of my garden that confused me. My garden is a safe place for my mind. I can dig and prune and plant and harvest and focus on those activities predominantly. The general everyday cares, which my mind magnifies so supremely that I have been known to vomit over a day-late credit card payment, are stifled when I am in my garden. They plunge to my subconscious where they splash down into last night’s bad dreams and fall prey to the true horrors that live there.
And there this man stood, introducing anxiety into my safe place. There was no reason I could see, other than a stranger in my yard making odd comments about comments I’d made, to be anxious. He was barely five feet two inches tall and while he wasn’t emaciated, he could in no way be construed as stout. I could’ve bowled him over if I’d wanted. Dispatched him swiftly and turned him into compost. Actually I’m not sure he’d compost well. I wasn’t even entirely sure he was biological in nature.
I stared at him, silently thinking these strange thoughts as he grew impatient. A version of impatient anyway. It seemed to fluster him that I hadn’t responded to his statements and so, with a pop at his shoulder and a hiss at his elbow, he smeared his mouth across his face and repeated himself. The same two sentences pronounced in the same toneless voice, maddeningly devoid of any inflection.
Shortly he added a third sentence. “You will come with me.” I couldn’t tell if it was a command or a question. As I’ve said, he doesn’t inflect. He turned and walked away. Surprisingly, I stepped over the knee-high fence and followed him. As we passed through the gate and into the front yard, he stopped suddenly and sighed. He mumbled something I didn’t catch and his neck leaned over so far that his ear nearly rested on his left shoulder. I waited, expecting his head to lift as soon as he’d stretched out whatever crick or Charlie-horse he’d experienced, but he simply sighed again and began to walk. He moved slowly and by the time he’d reached the car parked in front of my house, his knees had nearly given out on him several times and his head had bounced so sharply and so much that I was certain he must now be suffering a horrendous headache.
We climbed into the backseat, he first and I following. As we settled into our seats, he performed a series of shoulder shrugs that eventually straightened his neck. His head fell back against the headrest. He opened his mouth and a series of clicks and whizzes uttered forth. His throat did not move during this maneuver, but soon his eyes popped open and I saw his Adam’s Apple bob as he said, “You’ve been making comments.”
The air began to haze and the haze moved about as if the car were full of cigar smokers who’d just cracked the windows. He turned his head towards me and the image of his smeared mouth seared itself onto my eyes as the sun came up over the dashboard. I heard, and felt, a mild whump and was unaware of anything else until he shook me awake to harass me about my comments some more.


Jerkology 101: An Introduction

I, being a reluctant people pleaser and fantasizing unsung hero, have thought a lot about jerks. My distaste with verbal confrontation has inspired me to think deeply about the nature of jerks. I have been writing a field guide to common jerks.

Among my many eccentricities is an obsession with field guides. I have a field guide to fish. A field guide to birds. I have field guides to edible plants, poisonous plants, varmints, pests and survival techniques. If  “field guide” is in the title, I’ll find the money to buy it.

As I live with this obsession, combined with my fear of being verbally harangued by negative entities, it is only logical that I should create a field guide of my own. This field guide is entitled thusly: “Field Guide to Common Jerks”. It used to be “Field Guide to Common North American Jerks” until I realized that the types of jerks are universal. Versions of each jerk can be naturally found on every continent and in every city, town, settlement and village the world ’round.

I have written the field guide almost in its entirety. I had planned to publish it, but I decided that the stories of Sir Donkey Legs would be more marketable due to the originality of the characters (most of the credit is due to my children on that front). I still plan to publish the field guide, as soon I finish publishing my Sir Donkey Legs stories. So far there are two more ready to go, I’m  just waiting on funding.  The field guide will be given to the world. Until then, I offer it, for better or for worse, to my fellow bloggers.

I’ll begin by introducing you to Jerk philosophy. I have found that there are two basic types of Jerks. All of the Sub-Jerks fall under one of the following two categories: Active Jerk and Passive Jerk.

Active Jerks are those who actively try to physically hurt you. In this category you’ll find murderers, Satan himself and rapists. The Passive Jerk category includes such Jerks as those who insult you out of jealousy; cheaters and thieves.(Speaking of thieves, I used to work in a jail with a gentleman who would sing his own version of the classic hymn “Bringing In The Sheaves” which he called “Bringing In The Thieves” any time a new inmate arrived in our facility. If you’ve ever heard the original, you can imagine how humorous his version is in an incarceratory setting.)

This post is simply to introduce you to the idea of the philosophy of Jerkology. When you’re too afraid to confront others, you spend a lot of time thinking horribly of those who’ve insulted or mistreated you. The field guide is my way of passively dealing with that issue. I guess I myself am a form of passive jerk. Future posts will introduce you to the multiple different jerks contained within the guide. Be on the lookout for a book version, complete with illustrations, within the next few years.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…keep up to date on my Jerkology posts to determine whether or not you yourself are some sort of jerk.

A don’t…be a jerk if you can help it. At least not in public. Everyone deserves not to have been a jerk to. If that makes any sense at all.

Reblog Fail: A Reluctant User of Technology Takes an Alternative Route

This post will be short and mildly (perhaps ragingly) self-serving.

Forgive me.

My book “How Sir Donkey Legs Became a Knight” was recently reviewed on the website of a fellow blogger. Due to my technological impotence, or perhaps the outdatedness of my tech itself, I am unable to figure out how to reblog the post.

Since I have failed, I present the review thusly: visit and search William Ennis if you are interested in reading a review of my book.

The reviewer is a wonderful person, though I know her only through the emails we’ve shared and the enthusiastic, glowing, honest and thoughtful review she posted.

If you choose to read her review, like me on facebook @williamennisauthor, or even purchase a copy, I’ll be forever indebted to you.

As always, I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…read the review. You can tell that the reviewer is extremely insightful and cares very much about stories and reading.

A don’t…judge me for being so self-serving. I am merely anxious to share my book with as many people as possible. After all, why write if you don’t crave to share?

Jerks in Film; A Post-Script

I forgot to make a couple of points in my previous post. First, I’m confused about the name of the mountain the Hobbit and his companions are seeking. It may not be the Misty Mountain. Maybe it’s the Lonely Mountain. I apologize to any aficionados and/or die-hard Tolkieners that may have read that post. No offense intended.

Now, back to those jerk birds that Gandalf press-ganged into service. How mad were they to not at least take the party over that ridiculous forest they end up having to walk through. Sure, they wouldn’t be taken prisoner by Elves, but they also wouldn’t have to deal with the giant spiders and hallucinogenic air and disappearing pathways. And the funny thing; Gandalf knew about it. He told them before they went in that if they left the path they’d never find it again. None of this was any surprise to Gandalf. He knew full well that they were likely blundering straight into their own deaths. And if he can trick birds into saving people from Orcs and falling trees, surely he can also trick them into flying on a few miles further. It isn’t as if the birds couldn’t have handled it. Not only could they withstand the force of a full sized man (Gandalf) falling onto their backs without even being knocked from the air, the ratio of Gandalf to duped bird looked to be less than the ratio of average sized man to average sized horse. The birds could’ve at least taken them past the forest, if not all the way to the mountain.

I’m rescinding my previous assertion that the birds were the jerks. The birds must’ve known Gandalf. This is why they stopped where they did. They assumed that anyone traveling with Gandalf was as good as dead anyway and did not continue further as soon as the spell was lifted. The jerk in these films is Gandalf the Gray, Enslaver of Birds, Needless Endangerer of Hobbits and Dwarves. He even ditches the party right after telling them they’ll die in the forest!

For shame, dear wizard, for shame.

And while I enjoy his cryptic banter and befuddle-speak (“What do you mean? Do you mean to say it is a good morning or that I should be good this morning?”…and so on and so forth on many occasions) I cannot reconcile with the fact that he is a jerk. A friendly, sometimes funny, jerk. But he’d lead you to the depths of Hell and then ditch when you ding-dong the doorbell. “Oh dear, it seems a mild misfortune has befallen a wise old bunny rabbit! His carrots have top-rot, you see. I’m afraid you must kill the very Devil yourselves. Don’t worry, we’ll meet again the next time I cook up some hare-brained scheme.”

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…enjoy movies for what they are. Entertaining bits of fiction. If you read into them too much you’ll end up bitter like me.

A don’t…follow Gandalf anywhere. Not even down to the 7 Eleven for a pouch of the halflings’ leaf. Not only will the leaf allegedly slow your mind, Gandalf will introduce you to a crack dealer and then run when the dealer reminds Gandalf he still owes 3 farthings.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Rudeness -or- Jerks in Film; Is This What the Director Intended?

My wife and I were recently on a Star Wars jag. We watched all the movies in the order of story line chronology. This has nothing to do with this post other than as a weak segue into our more recent Tolkien jag. We’ve only made through one and a half of the Hobbit movies, but a scene near the end of the first brought to mind something I’d thought about before and since forgotten. There may be spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the movies yet you might at least watch the first one before reading on.

The scene I reference comes as the party of dwarves (plus one Hobbit and one Wizard) finds itself hanging from a tree whose roots are tearing from the ground, about to dump them all off a cliff. Gandalf summons some giant birds that swoop in at the last minute to save everyone. As we are treated to scenes of birds gently picking people up with their talons and catching those plunging to bloody demise upon their backs, we may expectedly think that, perhaps, these birds are friendly to those they’ve just rescued.

I find that the truth couldn’t be further from what I asserted in the previous sentence. These birds were obviously mind-controlled by Gandalf. He selfishly yanked them away from whatever they were doing and forced them into a danger-fraught servitude. And the birds were none too grateful about it. You may think I’m reading too much into this, but after the birds drop their loads and retreat, the camera pulls back and we see the fabled Misty Mountain on the horizon. It is still a distance away, but nothing a giant bird couldn’t easily handle, even encumbered. To quote Dr. Seuss, “And that is not all, oh no, that is not all.”.  As the camera continues to pull back from the party, their hope refreshed upon glimpsing their destination and blinding them to the fact that the birds might as well have left them to die on that precarious tree, we see that the birds have not only dumped them many miles from their destination, but on the top of a very high bare knob of rock with fairly sheer sides. If scaling down the sides of that and then realizing they still have days and days of travel ahead isn’t enough to squash their hope again, nothing is. How mad were these birds at having been duped? And why wouldn’t Gandalf use his bird-duping ability to make the birds take them the rest of the way? Granted, no story, no movie, but still. Why the birds? Why the cliff?  I suppose they are simply happy to be alive at this point, but Gandalf should be mindful of the creatures he misuses and the rest of the party should be mindful of Gandalf from here on out.

In a similar reminisce, I’m reminded of the scene in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” right after Jack disappears and the mayor is knocking on his door, screaming his name, getting frustrated and finally falling down the stairs while those homeless guys sit in the street watching. They watch until the mayor rolls into the gate before telling him that Jack isn’t home and hasn’t been all night. And those guys weren’t even mind-controlled by a wizard into doing something dangerous and against their will. I suppose their actions were due to their status as “low-class” and they were passive-aggressively lashing out at the higher class.

Or, they could just be movies and it all means nothing. Who knows.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…Look out for the jerks in movies. They’re usually rather entertaining and if the movie begins to drag you can root for the jerks and take pleasure in the misery of the main character for a while.

A don’t…be a jerk yourself. If a wizard takes over your mind and pulls you away from building your house or feeding your kids to save his hide, do it with a smile. Be the bigger bird.

An Offensive Gift, A False Scripture and a Moose; A Christmas at Work Worth Forgetting

Merry Christmas.

With holiday sentiments safely out of the way, let me tell you about a Christmas present I got at work. Rather, let me be vague about it and assure you that it was offensive. It was good naturedly offensive and I took no real offense at it. But I wanted to convey that I had been off put. Since I’m not saying much about the gift itself, I’ll go on at length about my response to the gift.

My response involved the fabrication of scripture. I understand that some may find this blasphemous (although I mean no disrespect to true scripture), and some may be offended merely by the mention of scriptures, religion or Jesus. If you are offended by such things, consider yourself forewarned that you may disregard this post as you see fit and hold me blameless.

Having performed my due diligence, and assuming you are still reading, I present below the full text of my response to the offensive gift:

Dear Sekrit Santuh (this is how the attached card was signed),

Thank you so much for the gift! I found it to be rather offensive. As I assume this was your intent, I applaud you on a job well done.

It wasn’t offensive in the way you might imagine, however. You see, I do not believe in Santuh. Neither do I celebrate the holiday he is associated with. I celebrate the holiday that inspired Christmas, which was originally called the Festival of Christ’s Moose.

This special day was set aside to commemorate the year that Jesus, upon his birthday, took leave of the Holy Lands and rode a moose to Anchorage. As he rode, a multitude of Inuits and Eskimos began following him saying, “Savior, teach us and lead us to salvation.” And Jesus, having pity on them, dismounted his moose and began to preach to them saying, “Blessed are the cold in heart, for they shall find warmth.”  And as he was preaching, the multitude began to grumble against him saying, “We hunger.”

And as they were grumbling, a thunderous noise was heard in the East and from behind a sparse copse of evergreen trees emerged a large, white man-like creature that walkethed upon two legs. And as the multitude hungered and cowered, the creature roared and it did beat upon its chest and did fall upon them with violent intent. And as the creature came forth to devour them, the multitude cried out to Jesus saying, “Savior, save us!”

And Jesus, having pity on them, stopped preaching and he said to his moose, “Go!” And his moose went and it plunged its antlers into the creature and killed it. And Jesus, remembering their grumbling, blessed the creature and tore it asunder and filled many baskets with the pieces and fed the multitude. And they who were once cold were filled with a warmth and it was not a physical warmth, yea, it was a warmth of the heart.

This is why most Christmas celebrations include Christmas Dinner, however, it should rightly be called Christ’s Moose’s Dinner and the main course should include Yeti steaks. Since these are very hard to come by, modern day celebrants have seen fit to do away with the truths behind the holiday and celebrate Jesus’ birth by eating turkey, a known non-cryptid.

Thanks again and may you all have a hairy Christ’s Moose.

Signature omitted

And thusly were those who offensively gifted me regaled. Much to my wife’s dismay, I also attempted to regale the children with a similar tale. They disregarded it out of hand. Smart kids.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…know that I understand the severity of creating one’s own scripture. It was a joke meant to shame my co-workers. I’ll not attempt to build a church around it or encourage others to adhere to my false tenets.

A don’t…read any truth into what I’ve concocted. The most that you can take away from it is that moose exist and it is cold in Anchorage. I’ve seen no real evidence to suggest Jesus ever even saw a moose in his Earthly incarnation.

What Happens to Mrs. Claus?

I find Christmas tolerable. I enjoy the aspects of family togetherness and excited children. We try to teach the kids that they need to be thankful even if what they get isn’t exactly what they wanted and that getting presents isn’t the most important thing. Isn’t it strange, though, that we teach this lesson by having them give? Selflessness is certainly important, but if someone is giving, someone else must be receiving, thereby somewhat negating the message. Of course, in most cases the receiver is in a state of less fortunate-ness, but I don’t know if my kids think about it deeply enough to realize that, although we try to instill helping those in need as well. Hopefully they won’t even look at it deeply enough to realize that when they give, someone is doing something we are trying to teach them isn’t so important, which is the getting. But we try to give to getters who need to get. It’s really a mess. A paradox I can’t quite fathom or throw sufficient philosophy towards at this point in time.

Since my aforementioned state of lacking sufficient (insert your favorite philosopher’s name)-ness is apparent, I’ll move on to the actual question I hope to answer.

What happens to Mrs. Claus?

My wife and I recently watched the Santa Clause movies, as is our custom this time of year. We’ve both been watching them since they began to exist and, for some reason, it wasn’t until this year that either one of us noticed the most glaring question the first two movies pose. My wife inquired thusly:

“What happens to Mrs. Claus?”

In the first movie Santa (spoiler alert) dies and is replaced by another man. In the second, in order to remain Santa, the new Santa must abide by the Mrs. clause and find a Mrs. Claus.

Fine and dandy. That will, and did, make a movie of the Christmas type.

But neither movie ever mentions, that I noticed anyway, what happens to the other Santa’s Mrs. Claus. She had to exist for the premise of the second movie to be believable. So, what happens to her?

Did she die long ago? Did they get divorced? Is there some clause we aren’t privy to that states that a once-married Santa remains Santa after the termination, by death or divorce, of his marriage? That is possible, but seems a stretch even for a movie.

Did she die with her Santa? When Santa died in the first film, he somehow evaporated. Did his wife do the same upon his death?  My wife’s scenario purported that she was baking cookies at the time of Santa’s death and suddenly seized, falling stiff and lifeless to the floor. Then she, as her husband before her, simply became one with the atmosphere. I suppose I could live with that.

This idea, though, suggests some sort of bond that seems less than symbiotic. It reminded me of E.T.’s flower. It lives as he does, dies as he does, but does neither party any discernible good. In the Santa Clause scenario, Mr. Claus retains his status by forming the bond, but what benefit is there to the secondary relationship holder? How would that clause read?

It is necessary that the party primary to this agreement commit a matrimony upon you to retain his status as Santa. You, being less than primary yet no less necessary, at least for now, gain no benefit from this one-sided symbiosis. (I know a one-sided symbiosis is not a thing.) If the primary party should meet some sort of demise, you also are doomed. If you should die before the primary party, said primary party suffers no ill effect other than, perhaps, a bout of grief. The primary party will stifle this grief, however, by losing himself in his work and causing so much joy that he could not possibly thereafter be unhappy. Please sign below to indicate that you are certifiably insane.

The movies are good. They are light-hearted and cause me to experience laughter and a basic joyousness. But for crying out loud, what happens to Mrs. Claus.

This post is dedicated to my wife, without whose insight I’d have spent the evening conversing with her or something.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…consider the dark recesses of the happiest of holidays. It’s a little fun.

A don’t…marry Santa. What a one-sided mess of a marriage you’ll doubtless endure.