Fact, Fiction or Inconsequentially Entertaining; An Adventurous Rumination.

I’m going to make a statement that will result in my being judged. I’ve a bit of trepidation, but here goes; I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with my wife the other night and, as is the case every time I watch it, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’ll pause for a moment as you judge me.

 

 

Ok. Done? Good.  Now let me explain why being judged for something as simple as enjoying a movie is ridiculous. I’ll begin by paraphrasing some of the judgements I’ve heard regarding the aforementioned motion picture.

  1. It was stupid. My response: that is simply a matter of opinion.
  2. Mr. Jones couldn’t possibly survive a nuclear blast in a lead-lined refrigerator much less the flight and end-over-end tumble into the desert of said fridge as a result of the shockwave of the previously indicated nuclear blast. My response: Probably not. However, I have seen deer in the upper branches of trees as a result of floods. I have seen my five year old survive his ridiculous stunts that should have left him horribly maimed or worse. (Please understand, he doesn’t undertake these as a result of my inattentive parenting. He is very fast and very slippery and extremely creative in the stunts he devises at a moment’s notice.  He’s off and running in an instant, but he doesn’t run toward, say, the teeter totter or some other thing that would reasonably attract a child. He runs toward the river on the other side of the playground and jumps, fully clothed, in. If anyone wants to believe the unbelievable they need look no further than the fact that I have known my son for five years and despite this I still have a full head of not gray hair and I haven’t had a heart attack yet.  Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.) If it was a tight enough fit, as it appeared to be, that he could brace his body in such a way as to not jostle too much within the fridge or bang his head it is certainly plausible that someone could survive that. And despite these facts, it is still a fun and exciting thing to watch.
  3. You can’t use a snake as a rope.  The snake would probably tear in half or bite him since he was trying to grab the head end. Not to mention, it’s very cruel to misuse a snake in such a way.  My response: True on all counts.  However, animals often sacrifice themselves for the survival of man, albeit, rarely voluntarily.  I would also point out that they didn’t use a real snake and an experienced adventurer the likes of Indiana Jones surely knows more practical ways of extracting himself from quick sand.  The snake and quick sand scene was nothing more than a humorous way of tending to a running theme in the franchise, that of Indy’s fear of snakes.  I point out myself that simply calling a snake a rope when one is already aware it is a snake is likely not psychologically sufficient to convince oneself to grab hold.  Once again, it was just for fun.

I’ve finished my rant.  It is fun to point out the inaccuracies in movies.  I do it myself.  But to become nearly militant over such things is ludicrous.  Movies are made to entertain.  If they don’t entertain you, don’t watch them.  If they do, watch fearlessly.  I stand beside Hollywood inaccuracies.  In most cases, they aren’t as strange as fact anyway and can be quite fun to observe and consider.

I bid you Adieu…and A don’t.

Adieu…consider the ways my nerd rant may apply to other aspects of life.  Live and let live as long as no one is being hurt.

A don’t…watch Indiana Jones in any of his adventures if you want a movie that strictly adheres to the laws of physics. They’re just for fun.

A New Children’s Book, Soon to be (hopefully) A Phenomenon

If you only know me based on what you’ve read in my blog, you may be surprised to find that I would even be capable of writing an appropriate children’s book.  Despite any misgivings you may have, I assure you I am capable of such.  Allow me to bore you with my philosophy.

Ideally a book should unite families in calm togetherness that they may venture for a while outside the realm of worldly cares.  A book should teach new words, inspire questions, conversation and laughter without boring anyone (in the case of this book “anyone” refers to parents) to too many tears.

I believe these to be true of all books, however, thick novels are often most satisfying when enjoyed silently and may not be ideal for family time.  I also believe that whatever is written will be loved by some and hated by some.  With a massive world population, rampant drug use and new psychoses being diagnosed everyday, one could find a willing audience for any sort of shenanigans if one tried hard enough.  I say this as a sort of backup disclaimer.  In other words I could have said “My description of my book as a means for families to come together and laugh and learn and be entertained is in no way a guarantee that you will experience these things when reading my book with your family.  It is also in no way implied or inferred that if you don’t enjoy it you must be psychotic or filled with intoxicants.”

A brief description of the book here follows:

There isn’t much to be said.  The title says it all.  This is the story of a young boy who earns the nickname of Donkey Legs and then is knighted after accidentally saving the kingdom.  Being a children’s book, I tried to keep the plot fairly simply so as not to overwhelm and kill interest.  I tried to keep it from becoming too long and tedious. I hope I succeeded.  I did, however, end on a cliffhanger.  This is designed to inspire discussion about the ending and, hopefully, excitement for the next book, which will be available as soon as I sell enough copies of this one to be able to publish the next.

I would also like to mention that a portion of all royalties I receive from book sales will go towards programs whose goal is the enrichment and strengthening of the family, which I believe is the backbone of any civilization.  I will also work toward assisting families who are in need of food, clothing and etc.

It is time again to bid you Adieu and A don’t.

Adieu…Purchase the book to enjoy with your children and/or recommend it to someone who might like to enjoy it with theirs.  By doing so you’ll help me help families.  It is available at xlibris.com, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com in paperback and e-book formats. If you like you can friend me on facebook for updates on new books and amusing generalities when the updates are few. Search for William Ennis if you find yourself inclined to do this.

A don’t…feel pressured to buy or share it.  I’m not a natural salesman and now feel guilty for this semi self-serving request.

As Yet Untitled; A Dabble in Short Fiction

All is lost. The natives gather outside the walls and though I cannot hear them, I hear the screaming of their captives. Tortured screaming. It howled through these stone halls, echoing, repeating their anguish back to me even after they had themselves fallen silent.

I have retreated. The cold silence of the basements allows me to listen to the only voice that matters and that voice demands penance. Of course I will comply. There is no doubt of that. The only doubt to be found is in my own head. Even as I carry out my ablutions I wonder. As the lashes tear my back to shreds I question the voice that handed down my sentence. Does my Lord really require this of me? My blood spatters to the floor first in droplets then in rivulets that traverse my buttocks and legs to pool onto the cold stone and I wonder when I shall achieve forgiveness.

Not yet. Not yet, for the whispered “scourge” that set me to this work now cries out “Penance!” I snap the whip faster, harder and I am beyond pain. I now feel only a numbing warmth on my back and a tingle in my fingertips as my wrist snaps the leather throngs over my shoulders. The snags of glass become tangled in my scalp and pull free a stubbled patch of flesh. I watch as it swings back, one with the scourge, to mix with the raw meat of my back…

I suppose in my weakness I gave up. I am on the floor now and having no light I know naught of the passage of time. I have fallen short, but some satiation has been achieved. The cry for penance is now but a dull bleating. “Scourge, scourge…” it chants, barely a whisper. I am sorry my Lord, if Lord is who you are, but the flesh is weak.

I stumble up dark stairways and down deserted passages until the darkness blends with weak sunlight, the utter black softening to a dirty gray. This is as high as I dare ascend, but it is high enough. The door stands before me and as the heavy plank swings on its hinges I feel a twinge of remorse. Remorse for what could have, and probably should have, been.

My head swoons as I pick up my quill and I steady it in my free hand. Tears of remorse fall as I scratch the last few words onto the parchment bound between slabs of wood before me.

Fear held us back, I write, my shaking hand fouling some of the letters, It has come to this, that I give myself willingly over to them. It could have been different for, as it is written, what have we to fear considering who stands for us? You who come after, know that we failed. But have the faith to at least try to follow the path of righteousness for success cannot be any worse than the fate you shall meet if you fail.

I sign my name to the page and wait a moment for the ink to dry. When it is done I close the book and spill the remaining ink onto the floor. All that must be written has been written. I don’t expect that the natives will ever enter this building now that we all are gone, so my only concern for the book is that the wind could somehow spill the ink onto the pages. Otherwise, assuming others aren’t too many years in coming, the volume should be quite safe.

They take me into their arms as I stumble through the gate into their midst. Their white painted faces show some degree of concern and the help me to a bed of leaves they’ve prepared. They place me prone upon it and to my back are applied salves of herbs which burn before they begin to soothe. I drift out of consciousness, the last sounds I hear are the cluckings of their tongues as they calmly converse in their odd language.

I don’t know how long I’ve slept, but when I awake my back is free of pain and some of my strength has returned. A man clad in a scant wrapping of skins notices my stirring and he helps me to sit up. He turns to the fire burning in the center of a ring of the strange men and as he walks towards it I become aware of four things. There is something steaming over the fire. This something smells delicious and causes many reactions within my mouth and stomach. There are familiar faces on the far side of the fire and though I do not see happiness in their faces, the faces are less haggard than they were before they were taken.

The native man returns to me with a bark bowl filled with some sort of stew. I reach for it with my left hand only to find that my arm ends in a stump above the elbow. I am at first confounded by this, my mind still muddled with the clouds of deep sleep. When I remember where I am I take the bowl with my right hand instead. I sip of the broth, slowly, and when my body’s reaction is not objectionable I shamelessly guzzle it, storing chunks of meat in my cheeks to chew once the broth is gone. When I do bite into meat, I gag at first noting that the flavor is sweeter than I expected. I almost retch it up, but a wind sighs from the jungle and on its wings floats a single, barely audible word, “Penance…”

My stomach calms. I swallow the meat, giving thanks for the strength it will give me. I spit out one of my knuckles. I should probably suck the marrow from the bone but I haven’t fully given myself over to it yet. Anyway, my captors will keep me healthy enough until the time comes that they have no other option but to kill me.

The man who fed me returns and refills my bowl. He collects my knuckle bone and puts it into his own mouth. When we have all finished eating he changes my bandages and lashes me to a tree. As the natives fade into the jungle I gaze at the faces of my brothers across the small clearing from me. They all have both legs and are only missing bits of arm. The jungle here must be providential. I sit as comfortably as I can and try to sleep, avoiding thoughts of how long it will be until they have nothing left to eat but my brain and innards.

I awake to the sound of screaming. The natives are taking a few of my horrified brother’s fingers to season their soup. I close my eyes and enjoy the smells and sounds of the camp until dinner is done. As I eat I ponder my brothers and when they will come to be at peace with our atonement. It cannot but hurt their minds to dwell on it all.