Stories of Gods, Heroes, and Drug Dealers

I have two tales of this past weekend to relate. Some readers may remember the storyteller at the library walk-a-thon. At that time I signed up for his group’s mailing list and it turns out that they meet every 4th Friday of the month at Blue Moon Coffee for storytelling. Blue Moon is literally around the corner from me, so Friday night we joined TJ and Mary for storytelling.

It was mostly an older crowd, but they welcomed us cheerfully and expanded the story circle to let is sit in. And then the stories began. We heard the true tale of a circus clown getting peed on by a lion, an Irish folktale, a story of an Arab woman and the Devil having a contest, the origin of the Incas, a bit from The Odyssey, and many more. Eventually we realized that it was literally a circle, and they were going around it in order, and we were sitting in it, which meant we were going to have to tell stories! Yikes!

Of course, we could have respectfully declined, but not us, we storified! Mary told a Native American folktale, TJ told of a contest from ancient Rome, Becky gave us a tale out of Boccaccio, and I gave a short version of my pool story. All were very well received, and I’m looking forward to next month.

I was trying to figure out what kind of story to tell next month, and I think I have a pretty good idea. Many of the stories told were folktales, tales from mythology, involving heroes. I know plenty of stories like that! Stories that are just as good, have fantastic elements, and teach a valuable moral lesson at the end. In fact, I know a great one: the origin of Spider-Man. Spider-Man’s got one of the two best origin stories ever (the other being Batman.) And I think I’m gonna tell it.

What I could have told was a story of intrigue and adventure that took place on our very own street. A while back the older couple in the house across the street passed away. Out of nowhere a son of theirs appeared and began living in the house. Shortly afterward it went up for sale. This son is something of a jerk: he floors his big noisy truck up and down the street, plays the radio in it too damn loud, and had all kinds of people coming and going from the house at all hours. (I’ve never understood why so much of assholes’ time is spent being loud.)

Then the cops started showing up. About a week ago two were there while someone apparently moved out of the house. Then a few days later, two more showed up. Finally, on Saturday, someone got arrested.

Long story short, the son had invited in all these people who were dealing drugs out of the house. He finally tried to get rid of them, but they turned on him, and apparently he fled. One broke into the house to let in others, and that’s when the cops showed up. They hauled away two of them. From what I hear from neighbors who are nosier than us, the interior of the house is trashed.

Since then, the son has returned, and we figure Round Two should start soon, as I suspect he hasn’t learned anything from the experience. The house is still ostensibly for sale, but we’ve also heard that it’s listed for $250,000, which is somewhat more than we paid for our non-trashed house with new kitchen and bath. Also, I think few quarter-million dollar houses lack garages and driveways, instead having had a truck parked on the lawn for months. Not that the “For Sale” sign is up anyway, it’s lying prone off to the side of the yard.

Here’s the moral of this story, folks. If you absolutely gotta be an asshole, why can’t you do it quietly, to yourself? Don’t make the rest of the neighborhood suffer from your need to be a jerk.

I think you can see why I didn’t share that tale at the storytellers’ circle.

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5 Responses to Stories of Gods, Heroes, and Drug Dealers

  1. Jeff says:

    I think loudness might be a defining property for assholes. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever known any really quiet ones…

  2. TJ says:

    I’ll also vouch for the veracity of that, having one myself next door.

  3. David Thiel says:

    You think that’s bad, Dave? Well, my brand new, next-door neighbor is a single, kinda sexy woman about five years younger than me, who tends to do her yardwork in a bikini.

    Oh wait, that’s not so bad.

  4. Nathan says:

    A notable repeated line from Walter Jon Williams’ Days of Atonement:

    “Assholes always advertise.”

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