Tales for Awful People

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The Little Octopus Who Loved Too Much
October 28, 2010, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: , ,

Deep, deep down on the ocean floor, there lives a world of creatures that you and I have never met, but a mermaid once told my grandmother, who was a fishwife, about the little octopus who loved too much, and that is how I know.

The octopus spent most of his days swimming past thickets of sea weed, playing on gentle ocean currents, cavorting with sea horses, and doing the things that would make a normal octopus happy, if that octopus had any capacity for joy.

This little octopus, though, sighed and moaned every day, because he could not find a lady octopus to be his sea-girlfriend. His friend the turtle said to him, “Come, come along with me to the shores of Bermuda, where we will visit the beaches of sparkling white sand. I need to go to the surface to feel the sun on my back and to feel the dry land under my flippers once more.”

“Oh, I don’t think so,” said the little octopus. “This is a mating trip, am I right? I would feel like a third wheel.”

“A what?” asked the turtle.

“Never mind,” said the little octopus. “I’ll just stay here and brood.”

“Suit yourself,” said the turtle, and he swam away in the general direction of Bermuda.

“I never get to have any fun,” said the little octopus. No sooner had he spoken, then along came the manta ray. She glided up to him on her shimmering silver-black wings, and waved her sharp tail in the dappled shadows.

“Why so glum, Octopus?” she asked. “I never get to go anywhere or do anything, and I don’t have a sea-girlfriend,” he sighed.

“Oh,” said the manta ray, “Wow. Well. I guess I may some other animals who are having a party this weekend, if you would want to go to that. I mean, I’m not sure it’s your crowd but–”

“Do you think I’d fit in?” asked the octopus. “I get really nervous at parties. I should probably go on sea-medication, but that just seems weird, and I don’t know–”

“Suit yourself,” said the manta ray, and she flapped away in the water on her graceful leathery wings.

The octopus glumly began to swim home, when he saw something that made him wrap a tentacle around a sturdy stalk of kelp and stay stock-still in the water. On the other side of a trench in the ocean floor, was a lady octopus who was by far the more beautiful than anyone the little octopus had ever seen. “Should I talk to her?” he asked himself. “What would I say? What if I asked her out? Where would we go?”

He stayed there, wrapped around the kelp stalk, til he felt sick and his tentacle was sore, and decided that he would have to go home.

Later, he placed a “missed connections” personal ad, but she never answered.

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The Indiscrete Woodcock
October 25, 2010, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: ,

Deep in the heart of a forest, order long, long ago, there lived a young woodcock whose colors were dim, whose eyes were not keen, and whose tail feathers were perpetually mussed in a comical manner. Still, the woodcock was convinced that he had a good heart and a sparkling personality, and he would find happiness if only the right female could know his inner life.

So one night the woodcock went to Kinkos and signed onto their internet (because his home connection was down). There he set up a heartfelt MySpace profile, where he posted an especially flattering photograph from several years before, inflated his yearly income, and mentioned his enjoyment of sensual massage and tantric sex.

Days went by, and nothing happened except a bunch of bands wanted to add him, in order to promote their shows. Finally, months after he had abandoned the whole enterprise, his parents indicated that they had found his profile while doing an internet search on his company.

The woodcock flew outside in mortification, and was so flustered that he did not notice the hawk flying above him. And that is the end of the story about the indiscrete woodcock.

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The Shark’s Mistake
October 19, 2010, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: , ,

Once a young shark swam away from home for the first time, on her way to the sea university on the other side of the great reef. Her mother warned her not to speak to strange creatures, but the young shark laughed privately at this. After all, she was a shark, one of the most fearsome creatures in all the briney deep. What did she have to be afraid of?

She swam past sea weed rocks and old shells, and old tires and rotting nets. She swam further and further from her family’s underwater cave, until everything seemed strange and frightening, but as the shark said to herself, “I can’t lie: it’s all very exciting, too.”

“What’s that you say, young miss?” inquired a creature somewhere behind her right pectoral fin.

“Oh, why–nothing,” she said, suddenly remembering her mother’s warning.

“Oh, it was surely not nothing,” said the voice. “You sounded like you had something interesting to say, and indeed, I am interested, truly I am.”

“Well…I suppose it can’t hurt,” said the shark. “It’s just that this is my first time going to the sea university, and everything is very strange and exciting.”

“Sure it is!” said the voice. “But if you just stick with me, I can show you the best and worst of everything.”

“That sounds good,” said the shark, and they swam along together.

After a few minutes, she began to feel a little more tired than usual, a little heavier. “Sir?” she asked the voice.

“Yes?” it answered.

“I can’t help but wonder if I could see your face.”

“All in good time,” the voice said.

“Oh,” said the shark, a little doubtfully.

She swam on and on, but the more she swam, the weaker she felt.

“Sir?” she asked the voice.

“Yes?” the voice answered.

“I wonder if I might know your name,” she said.

“By and by,” said the voice.

The shark swam on, but as she swam, she began to feel something poking into her side. She shimmied in the water, but the feeling remained.

“Sir?” she asked.

“Yes?” the voice asked, “What is it now?”

“Are you biting my side, by any chance?” the shark asked.

“Indeed I am,” said the voice, and by then the shark knew it was a remora, the sharp toothed fish that clings to the bigger animals of the sea.

“Oh,” said the shark. She didn’t know what else to say, although she had a feeling that maybe there was something wrong with the arrangement. “Do you think I’m pretty?” she asked the remora, after a minute.

“Sure,” it said.

That calmed the shark, and she swam on towards the sea university.

The sea university was surrounded by a barrier reef of living coral and plants, but while it was beautiful, it was razor-sharp, and it required all of a young shark’s skill to get in successfully. Having the remora attached made it hard to get over the reef: it threw off her whole swimming style, and she scraped her belly on the sharp coral.

“Oh, dear,” she said.

“You better not be blaming me for this, because it’s totally not my fault,” said the remora.

“Oh, I’m not,” said the shark, even though she had been, because she didn’t want a fight right then.

“Good,” said the remora.

The shark began to swim towards the center of the sea-university, dragging the remora along with her. It was hard going. “Are you swimming in the opposite direction?” the shark asked.

“What about my dreams?” asked the remora. “Did you ever even bother to ask? What about what’s best for us?”

“Oh, but, you knew where I was going,” said the shark. “And you attached yourself to me anyway.”

“Things have changed since then,” said the remora.

“Please, let me just get settled in here,” said the shark.

But the blood from the scrapes on her belly attracted more and bigger sharks, and they surrounded her, and ate her right up! Some people thought they saw the remora swim away and attach himself to a different shark, but I know for a fact a spear fisherman got him later on. And a good thing, too!

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The Mongoose and the Cobra, Director’s Cut
October 13, 2010, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: ,

There once was a mongoose who got engaged to a cobra on a whim.
He seemed very fun-loving, with a raw hypnotic sexuality.
Also, the mongoose was on the rebound, and had intimacy issues.
The mongoose had alienated a lot of her friends during her last relationship by constantly whining about it, so she had no one to tell her, “this is a bad idea.”
I don’t think she would have listened anyway. The mongoose tended to cut off anyone who disagreed with her.
But anyway, the mongoose made up elaborate justifications about why it was a perfect pairing, and the cobra told his friends that he’d finally found the girl who would provide him with “balance.”
He hadn’t had many long term relationships, just flings. Generally, with mice.
They ended badly.
Yeah, you could say he just overpowered them.
I drank a champagne toast at their wedding.
Many happy returns of the day.

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The Misguided Armadillo
October 11, 2010, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: , ,

Texas in the summer is a dry and dusty place, click baking hot during the day and baking hot at night. The armadillo is used to such extremes, patient thanks to her protective shell. One day she began to notice a co-worker, a rattlesnake in accounting, as more than a friend. She sidled up to him, and struck up a conversation about wine. This led to them meeting for drinks, which led to sundry goings on in the back seat of a Nissan Pathfinder. All went well for several months, but the Armadillo started to notice the rattlesnake was avoiding her, only agreeing to spend time on certain nights of the week. At first he hissed and rattled and dodged the question, but he finally admitted that he had a mate and a nest of eggs.

The armadillo was beside herself, but after talking to several other armadillos over cosmos, she became buoyed by stories of armadillos who knew armadillos who had successfully moved past affairs. So she screwed up her courage and went to the rattlesnake’s nest. He was out, but she talked to his mate, thinking she could force the issue and at last gain freedom for the rattlesnake. His mate became enraged and coiled up to strike. The armadillo said “Haha, I have a tough shell, you won’t be able to hurt me!” The rattlesnake said “Oh, really?” and lashed out. The armadillo rolled up in a ball, but kept rolling back into the road. Right into the path of an oncoming semi truck.

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The Big Talking Parrots
October 11, 2010, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags:

After several years of pleasant dating, a couple of parrots decided they were in a rut, so they opened their relationship. They chattered and chattered beforehand, but being parrots, they were only repeating things they had heard from other people.

The next saturday, one of those parrots flew to the beach and bedded a muscle-bound seagull. When she got home, the other parrot sulked and wouldn’t speak to her. The next week, the same thing happened, but whenever they tried to talk, all they could do was chatter back and forth with propaganda about how enlightened they both were for doing this.

Finally, the one parrot changed the locks on the tree when the other was out looking for seagulls. He spent so much of his time sulking that he never noticed the giant net he was flying into, and now he lives in a cage in Seacaucus, New Jersey, where some children are trying to teach him dirty words, and to pull out his tail feathers.

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A Warty Love Story
October 11, 2010, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: , ,

There was a little eel who was happy where he lived, with his social life, and with his job of swimming through cool water, but he couldn’t find that special lady, because he was frakin’ slimy, and that’s just how it was. It wasn’t his fault, but that didn’t make him any more attractive. What finally worked was lowering his standards. He and a warty bullfrog he knew through friends are fairly content together now. They share an interest in the films of Woody Allen and Belgian cuisine.

One day, they will have lackluster children. Vive l’amour!

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The Union of the Parrot and the Sloth
October 11, 2010, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: , , ,

A few years ago, I knew someone who knew someone who knew a parrot who married a sloth. All the friends of the couple were a bit confused, as it seemed that this was an unconventional match. But talk died down once all of the jungle was invited to a gala wedding reception, complete with an open nectar bar.

The blushing bride would tell anyone who listened that she chose her groom because of his steady, soothing nature, and how she could tell he would be her rock in a storm. The sloth just sort of shrugged when questioned directly on his choice.

The wedding day came and went with only a few minor meltdowns. The seed cake toppled over, and members of the catering staff were a bit brusque. The parrot became agitated when the sloth just sat there and let her deal with the logistics. They didn’t get any sleep on their wedding night, but that was because the parrot kept up a steady tirade of abuse.

Eventually, the parrot had an affair. The sloth would never have discovered this, except she confronted him directly, cawing and fluffing her feathers so he could not ignore her. The sloth thought about leaving her, but instead he convinced himself it was all his own fault. He turned to drinking, slowly but deliberately emptying bottle after bottle of nectar.

The parrot finally packed a bag and took off for parts unknown. Legend has it that she surfaced one day on an episode of a tabloid television program, the topic being “Women who love too much.” The sloth drowned one day when he did not swallow fast enough.

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The Country Gentleman
October 11, 2010, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: , ,

One evening a country gentleman returned home from a hard day of sport shooting. He sat in his arm chair with a nightcap at his side, ampoule and said “Come here, puss, I would love to pet your striped head.” And the cat said “Eh, can’t you see I have a headache? Please, do not force attentions on me this evening.” So the gentlemen shrugged and retired to his bedchamber. The next night, the same thing happened. And the night after that. The gentlemen eventually gave up on bestowing attentions to the cat.

Then one day he was reading the pork futures section of the newspaper, when the cat planted herself squarely in the middle of the paper, scratching at it and purring. “What? You seek me out after all this time? I had forgotten all about you,” said the gentleman. He brushed her aside, and switched on the radio instead. Still begging attention, the cat draped herself over the top of the radio cabinet, causing much static. The gentleman decided that was quite enough of that, and tossed her into a gunny sack. She was last seen near the old covered bridge.

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The Love-Starved Walrus
October 11, 2010, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Love | Tags: ,

A walrus had a fine set of tusks, and due to a stroke of luck several years before, he had staked out one of the most desirable ice-floes in his area. He was intelligent enough, and he had bright eyes and long whiskers. He very much enjoyed the company of lady walruses, and so he dropped little hints to the world so that anyone in earshot would know that he was a creature of sensuality and a deep sense of eroticism.

“That fish was so good, I nearly came!” he would say to a dining companion. “I think I hear a penguin calling me,” she would answer, and slalom away. “You are looking particularly moist today,” he mentioned once to a coworker, and then couldn’t understand why everyone was always yelling at him.

He turned conversations to alternative sexual practices and mentioned the inventory of suggestively shaped pieces of driftwood he kept back at the floe.

Sometimes, he would meet lady walruses who could tolerate him, but it was rare and the romances were fleeting, because he tended to find the type of lady walruses who were able to put up with him incredibly annoying.

“Why can’t I find that special lady walrus?” he mourned as he absent mindedly rubbed himself against the ice. “I guess the lady walruses around these parts are just frigid!”

Then the ice cracked and he was eaten by an oppourtunistic killer whale, because that sensual walrus was so in touch with his pleasure chakras and so skilled at massage techniques that he had completely overloaded the part of his brain that told him when he was on thin ice.

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