March 30 – Failure to fail


       It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get to the computer.  The Geezer’s been off running around the state on reunions and fishing trips, plus he’s been entertaining his family.  That means no keyboard access for me.  Sooner or later I’ll figure out some way to circumvent his security system and I won’t be silent so long.
       I miss the old boy when he’s not around.  Well, mostly.  He’s my walking and talking companion.  The play-mate I can count on most.  The Geezer serves me my meals when he’s around and provides the bulk of treats I shouldn’t be getting.  He is a soft touch.  We’re best friends.
       But even best friends can get on each others nerves.  I could do without his rants on politics.  The ear mite medicine he treats me with is a real head shaker.  His nagging me about tugging on the leash, stopping me from trying all those delicious little tidbits lying on the road, and restraining me from running full speed to my friends is annoying, but on the whole I can’t imagine life without him.
      We were sitting on the dock this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks.  The weather was pleasant and the conversation light.  I brought the subject of his son’s visit up, thinking it would be something he’d enjoy.
       “Hey Geezer, your son sure is doing well.  Even though he works in a troubled industry, getting that company technology award has to be a real plus for him.  He seems to be making enough money to live comfortably.  Both your grandchildren are smart and work hard in school – they don’t appear to have any major behavior problems.  His wife has a good job and they seem to get along.  You must be happy he’s succeeding.”   
       The Geezer looked glum.  “He has a failure to fail.”
       “What are you talking about?  That’s crazy!”  I was afraid senility had suddenly claimed my buddy.
       “I does sound crazy, doesn’t it?  And it would be if it weren’t true.”  The old boy’s sad expression and slow head shake underlined his next statement.  “Failure is today’s surest way to be rewarded.  Want some examples?”
       The Geezer looked like he needed some humoring.  “Okay, I guess I can suffer through them.”  I braced for the worst.
       “Sandy, answer true or false to each of the statements I make.”
       “All right.”
       “The reward for failing in your job as a major business executive is a Golden Parachute.”
       “True.”  I could see where this conversation was leading.
       “The reward for a bank company failing is a Bush bailout.”
       “True.”  I struggled to think of a way to change the subject.
       “The reward for failing to pay your taxes is being made Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury.”
       “Yep, all true.”  I figured a way to clear the depression permeating the dock.  “If failing is the way to get ahead, let’s try this.  I’ll give you some failures and you tell me what reward would likely occur.  Use that writer’s imagination you like to brag about.”
       The codger can’t resist a challenge.  He took a deep breath, braced himself, and said, “Fire away.”
       “A high school student fails to turn in a paper and flunks a science class that’s crucial for his getting into college.”  I figured that would stump him right out of the starting gate. 
       “That’s easy.  The student lies, telling his teacher it was written in invisible ink on invisible paper and goes on to explain his earth-changing theories on cloaking devises.  He’s immediately offered a full scholarship to MIT, a summer laboratory in the Peekskills, and a job with the CIA.”
       I had a comeback I thought would be more challenging.  “One of the participants on a picnic fails to heed warnings about the effects eating too many baked beans will have on him.”
       “Hmmmm.”  The Geezer scratched his head, but smiled.  “Being so full of hot gas, the picnicker floated up into space like the Aunt character in Harry Potter.  An Air Force fighter confused him with a UFO, shot at him and missed.  The nearness of the rockets passing, caused him to unleash a huge burst of flatulence.  The picnicker hurtled to earth landing in a huge stack of hay.  He was able to sue the US government for a trillion dollars for mental anguish, collect from a chemical company who discovered his gaseous formula was a perfect pesticide, and was given a payment by former Vice President Gore for contributing to the background for his newest book, “An Inconvenient Fart.”
       “That’s pretty good.”  The Geezer’s colon cleansing must have had a mental side benefit.  Made me wonder if the old boy’s anatomy was standard.  I decided to make one last effort to silence him.  “You failed to make it to the airport in time to catch a flight to see your wife.  And…and…and, if you don’t have sex in 24 hours you’ll die!
       The Geezer frowned for several seconds before he smiled.  “As a result of failing to catch the plane, I was sent to a private waiting room.  Upon entering, I accidentally tripped the time lock on the door making it impossible to open for 25 hours.”
       “Damn, Geezer!  Where’s the reward in that?”
       “You didn’t let me finish.  The only other things in the room were a box containing 1000 Viagra pills and Nicole Kidman, who couldn’t see very well because she had her eyes dilated, kept saying, ‘Keith I’m glad you finally made it,’ and she told me she’d just eaten 10 dozen oysters.”
       The things Geezer was saying were far-fetched and didn’t make any sense, but then that describes everything that’s happening today.  Gee, maybe failing to fail isn’t a good thing.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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