In short, they didn't like Thursdays. Thursdays lacked the despair-hope blend of Hump Days and blocked the door to long-awaited Fridays like a stubborn stationary cloud obstructing the sun's light and warmth.
So each Thursday evening, to glut their Thursdayian melancholy, Howard and Tally would sit by their fireless fireplace and ponder the Great World's Problems.
This Thursday: Where female homo sapiens belong in Nature's grand scheme.
|Why a lobster? You'll see.|
And so they began:
Like a bored outfielder, Howard spat a sunflower husk* into the fireplace.
"Tally, you know what really, really grinds my grits? The paucity of women in my profession! When do you ever hear stories of female abductors on 'Good Morning America'? I looked it up: Only 3 percent of professional abductors are women. And the ransom inequity between the two most populous sexes is shocking.
"When I adopted Billy Lavinger and his pricey orthodontic paraphernalia, for example, his parents promptly responded to my request for $1,000 in exchange for little Billy's safe return. Then, just to prove a point, my friend Della abducted the poor little bastard two weeks later but could only coax $700 out of the Lavingers.
"Do the math! That's, what, roughly 70 percent of my earnings for the exact same act! As my mother, a feisty illegal immigrant from the Greek Isles, used to say, 'Just because a girl's underpants contain different hardware than you boys, that don't make her any less valuable as a worker or in the eyes of the Lord, man though He may be!'"
Tally pondered all of this in her heart. "'Hardware'? Didn't she mean 'plumbing'? I'd hardly call it hardware."
"Still, my point is well taken: Same work, less money. Makes me ashamed to be a man."
Tally, who had recently exchanged her dependency on Marlboro Menthol Lights 100s for the less odious pleasure of vaping, emitted from her asymmetrical but still lovely nostrils such a volume of steam** it may well have been, oh, let's say, a stubborn stationary cloud obstructing the sun's light and warmth.
"If women were more aggressive in their negotiations," she said, "I'm sure their employers would happily give them what they requested. Women lack the, I don't know, testosterone to stand up for themselves and their needs on the corporate stage.
"They may use their natural female guile -- Morgan Le Fay comes to mind, as well as Samson's girlfriend Delilah -- to find employment and even promotion, but they lack the initiative and imagination to take the next step, so they get what they deserve."
|Gustave Dore's Eve|
"You're being naive, Howard. Men have been on the planet longer than us -- Genesis tells us men came first, then women. Just that one scientific fact, conveyed in the beauty and eloquence of religious language, indicates women lack the 'time in grade,' as it's called in the military, to compete on the same level as men.
|Blake, of course|
"Put another way, women were still dust while men were already busy returning to it."
"Tally, my heart's darling and raison d'etre, your sophistic commentary rests upon an appallingly literal exegesis of the 'J' account in Genesis 2:4-24, a rendering far more historic and less cosmic than the 'Priestly,' or 'P,' chronicling of the Divine fiat lux that precedes it in our current canonization"
Like the Creator God about whom these two are discussing, we are reluctant to take sides, but we must agree with Tally's request that Howard speak in a more succinct, sparse , direct, Carverian, Hemingwayesque style.
We sense that Tally will continue to stand up for her sex's rightful (second) place among our planet's living creatures, which will lead Howard to bring out a poem he memorized in stir*** to show his beloved, through art, that she and her ilk deserve better. That bit of tutoring will no doubt take place in the soon-to-be published next post.
And, like their God, we're not taking sides on that topic!
*Called "hulls" by learned heliotrope scholars
**Many "vape" scholars prefer the word "vapor," or, in England, "vapour." See Bill Hasinicks' highly acclaimed study Clouds and Such: Nature's Sublime Apotheoses, published by Valdosta State Press, 2015.
***Or "the Big House," "the Joint," "the Slammer," et al