Examples of other mysteries abound, of the sort that are of much more import to the masses of common folk which litter the various worlds in the various dimensions.
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word common, among other ways too numerous to hold my attention, thusly:
4 Widespread; general ; universal
5 Of frequent occurrence, usual, familiar
6 Of mediocre or inferior quality; mean
8Lacking rank, station, distinction, etc.
I define the word common thusly:
1Slightly less poor than the homeless their children set ablaze
2 Only partially trampled upon, not being on the bottom most rung of society
3 Never fully down trodden
4 Fillers of large space in societies.
a) so that wealthy do not inadvertently bump shoulders with the poor.11
b) so that the wealthy can employ them to deliver unwanted items to the poor.
5Persons who are not quite poor enough to be given a benefit in their honor.12
The common folk are, with certain exceptions13 the most grateful of all the social classes, they being the ones with the most to worry them. For the rich seldom lose anything they cannot replace, the regal seldom lose anything they cannot borrow and the poor usually have nothing to lose in the first place.
In the event that the poor do have something to lose, and they do lose it, they can usually get it replaced the next time someone rich needs a tax break and, so, throws a benefit in their honor.
It is the common folk, the middle class, contrary to popular belief14, who suffer the most anxiety. Yet this is also what lends them their thankfulness for having what they have worked so hard to achieve.
They spend fear fraught hours squatting upon the floor, trying to sort out their socks; desperately hoping for one more matching pair, to last them until pay day. Then, they drag themselves home, after hours of unfruitful work, for which they are underpaid, and back to their home that is really not more than a lifeless, empty shell, barely
capable of protecting them from the elements.15
Mysteries for such persons tend to be more of this fashion:
Where did all my socks go?
Why is it that I can put six pair of matching socks in the wash, but two emerge?
Why are they distinctly unmatching when they do emerge?
Where did they come from since they don’t resemble the ones I started with?
Now, where are my keys?
How do keys always manage to get lost just when you need them?
Are they clairvoyant?
Did they fall into the crack of the couch?
Where does all that stuff that falls into the crack of your couch go, anyway?
Is the crack of your couch a gateway to another dimension?
If I went there, would I find alien life forms?
Would they be wearing my socks and letting their children teeth on my key ring?
These are just a few examples of the many mysteries that might surround a person as they live from day to day. I freely admit, for the sake of not having to receive emails about it later, that they may not be typical parts of your life.16
It is true that these mysteries of commonality, while of utmost importance to those they affect, are not the stuff of which legends are made.17 Nevertheless, they are questions to which no answer has as yet been found and that is what truly and distinctly makes a mystery!
Here is yet another fine example of a mystery that will never be written up in the history books, but which does, to this day, still baffle almost everyone involved.
My mother, ever so foolishly, had been trying for several weeks to get someone18 to mow the lawn. I say this was an act of foolishness, but before any lawn owning
mothers out there get offended, let me explain a bit further.
I do not believe that the act of attempting to get a family member to do chores is foolish, not even when you have narrowed their options by selecting what particular bit of work it is that you wish them to perform. Not any more foolish, at any rate, than, say, trying to convince a fourteen year old girl with a complex that makeup and
breast implants are not the keys to the good life. Nor any more foolish than ordering a dinner with all you can eat shrimp and then actually expecting the waiter to return with something other than the check.
Definitely no more foolish than traveling all the way to Ireland, entering a pub and trying to convince the biggest, meanest Irishman you can find that Schlitz beer is of gourmet caliber-at least compared to Guinness.
The point being that, while not entirely likely, you could get lucky and have it happen for you.
The reason for my calling this a foolish act, when performed by my mother, is that she had a slightly different set of circumstances working against her than you might find in most households.
For one thing, we had grown up entirely bereft of lawn and completely ignorant of lawn maintenance skills. Not, though, because we had previously lived in an apartment building. We did have grass in our yard, prior to our move to this lawnscaped place.
Our grass, at our previous residence, it grew tall and the taller it got the more dangerous it became. It was tough, unruly grass, the kind of grass which just might take its blade and stab you while your back was turned. Plus, there was a very rocky relationship that had developed between it and the soil.
They were always arguing. The grass wanted to live in a nice sunlit field, while the dirt was perfectly happy where it was. All it asked was that every now and again the mountain slip it another rock and contentment was its.
Even though they weren’t particularly good for each other they refused to be parted and many a lawnmower lost its’ heart trying to put itself between them.
You could definitely say that we had our share of troubles with our long, green, yard guest. First it was petty theft, as it hid small items from us. Later it went on to bigger items, growing over them or weaving itself around them to hide them from our view. Soon, it turned quite serious: Grand Theft Auto.
We went to bed one night perfectly secure in the knowledge that every junk vehicle in the yard was safe and secure, someone having already taken severe liberties with their windows. Yet when we woke in the morning, all was chaos.19
It wasn’t only that the cars were gone or even that the grass had apparently taken their place. On top of that, someone had apparently stolen a good portion of our driveway.
This was a new one on us! For we had our share of problems, as did everyone roundabout us, with the grass hiding things, with neighbors borrowing things and never returning them, with hitchhikers stopping by and relieving us of excess edibles, and such. Never, though, had we either heard or dreamt of someone actually stealing a large chunk of driveway. So, this was an unusual occurrence bordering on mystery, itself!
On this occasion, we investigated and it turned out, of course, that the grass had picked up a new trick. It had covered over the cars and then, by way of distraction, it had decided to grow around the edges of the driveway in such a manner that the border was still shaped exactly as it had been, so that it would appear that the sides of our driveway had been taken somewhere.
Even worse than that however, was what else we discovered during that investigation. To make its driveway scheme work, to truly give the impression that the borders were all as before, the grass needed help. Hence started the most heinous part of this tale.
It had brought the trees in to its’ sordid world and corrupted them with teasing promises of wealth. Not even the youngest of the saplings were spared.
It was around this time that my family moved about eight miles down the road, no longer feeling the slightest safety in our old home . We couldn’t sleep nights for fear that we’d awaken to find ourselves in a dismal green prison from which there would be no escape.
It was at this new residence, which came complete with lawn, wherein my mother began to have foolish hopes of convincing her children, or at least her husband, that not all grass will physically assault you for trimming it down a bit. But we were having none of that.
Then the mysterious happenings happened. One day I walked home from school and, lo and behold, as I looked down at the yard my gaze fell upon the beautiful sight of clean cut grass.
You know what? We had an actual lawn. I was fair to bursting with happiness. Mainly, I’ll admit, because the fearful waiting period was over for me and I had been given a definite reprieve from the possible sentence of mowing the lawn. Yet, I did have a few bad moments where I was almost completely possessed by the demon called ‘White Bread Americanism’.
Wild pains wracked my body as I noticed a bit of crabgrass and my mind was flooded with murderous intent. I wanted to go buy fertilizer and other goodies, put on the sort of plaid shorts that are too long and too loud to ever be cool, yet too short to prevent the neighbors from being blinded by the glint of the sun as it splashed off my ever so fish belly white legs, and do some preventative lawn care maintenance.
I skipped into the house as happy as a clam at a vegetarian rally, and prepared to have a lovely next couple of days. They would have been, too, except for one little thing.
My mother had, two or so nights before, brought home some lettuce. In fact she had brought home far more lettuce than the aforementioned vegetarians were likely to want to see in their lifetimes.
Now that I think about it, her bringing home all that lettuce might be something to include on my list of mysteries. Certainly none of us could fathom the reason for this barbarous behavior. On top of bringing it home and forcing us to put it away, the woman, in a fit of utter lunacy, then proceeded to go about alternately insisting and pleading that we eat it. Can you imagine?
Well, this was a dread on my heart.20 Soon my darling mother’s car would be turning up the driveway and into the house she would pop, not with a cheery hello or even so much as an inquiry as to whether or not I would like to go have a pizza, but with a scolding squall of: “Did you eat any lettuce yet? Eat the lettuce!”
11 Unless, of course, it’s on a a day wherein the wealthy and regal just feel like slumming it.
12 Yet, who still do not make the grade with the richies, so are never invited to the really good cocktail parties; especially not the ones in Hollywood.
13 Like, for instance, everyone between the ages of 8 and 30.
14 Held by rich and poor everywhere.
15 Of course it’s only a shell; after all, everything they owned has fallen into the crack of their couch.
16But then, darling, there is a great big universe looming precariously over our heads right now. A universe with the possibility of having a billion and more worlds, each of those worlds having the possibility of supporting life at present, having had supported life in the past, or the capability of supporting life in the future . The point being, my sweet little potashes, is that you and I don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy universe. So, mind your P’s and Q’s and use your imagination. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. This book ain’t big enough for the both of us. Besides, who died and left you mystery sheriff of the universe, anyhow? No, wait! that wasn’t the point at all. Oh well. Maybe I’ll think of something later. Until then, just pretend you know what is going on. That’s what I always do.
17Nor even good tabloid headlines, come to think of it .
18Preferably from her family and of a very generous spirit as she did not wish to pay actual money to have it done.
19Well, truthfully, we had, none of us, looked too closely at them for the last week or two. We were too busy with real chores and felt no need to bother the vehicles we were never really going to fix, nor the grass we were never really going to cut.
When we did look again, though, we had quite a shock.
20I didn’t really hate the idea of lettuce per say. It was mainly that, as someone who was born and raised, and frostbitten, in Alaska I have a prejudice against certain things. One of those being a prejudice against anything that makes me think of winter or cold in general. Hence my refusal to eat Iceberg lettuce.
“Chronicles of Ordine:Book I: Sacred Beggar Boy: Chapter 1 : Mysteries (cont 2)” was featured in Freedom In Words about 1 month ago (as of June 12, 2009)