Rhymes With Malfunction

Chapter 33, Blog 2

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang



No sooner through the front door, I hit bottom, nailing a flawless pirouette and then sinking into a heap on the living room floor. The ceiling fan twirled above, saluting the biggest loser on Hillside Drive. Yep, I had HAD it. No mas! I closed my eyes and shut the world out.

“How is Ralphie?” asked Harry, hovering upside down over me.

“He’s fine,” I sighed and rolled over on my back. “But that body cast is awful.”

Harry stared at me for a long moment.

“Forget the letter,” he said.

I sat up.

“No, thanks. I don’t need any pep talks.”

“What you need is a good kick in the head,” said Harry. “One does not give up because of some words on a piece of paper.”

“I’m still processing it.”

“Your dinner is on the table.”

“I’m not hungry.”

Harry’s face clouded over.


“That’s easy for you …”

“Did I teach you nothing?”

“Apparently so.”

“Did you learn nothing?”


“You are so …”


“Yes, pathetic,” said Harry. “That is right. Pathetic. That is a good word. You are DAMN pathetic. You quit at the first sign of trouble. Do you not have any gumption?”


“Yes, gumption. It is a word your generation does not seem to have in its vocabulary. Want another? How about perseverance? Ever heard of it?”

“I don’t even know how to spell it.”

“Damn right,” bellowed Harry. “You never will.”

He whipped his walker around, muttered some inaudible insult and scooted toward the kitchen. I didn’t care. I closed my eyes again. I didn’t need his abuse. I didn’t need the Olympic Committee’s endless red tape parade. I sure didn’t need Depends.

I opened my eyes and sighed.

… look out! Incoming. More abuse at twelve o’clock …

“You’re a lousy speller,” Melinda said.

“Who the hell asked you?”

“You know, Harry’s right. We don’t have a good track record,” she said. “No pun intended.”

I made my best who-really-gives-a-crap grimace.

“Melinda, you’re a riot.”

“So, you’re going to let those people stop you?” she growled with a passion I hadn’t heard in years. “Just like that? Let them stand between you and your dream?”

“I thought you didn’t give a damn about it.”

“What if I did?”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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