Song Of The Day 11/25/2015: Eugene McDaniels – “The Parasite (For Buffy)”

(Part 1)
Forslagskasse: A Thanksgiving Lie So it was that my great-great-great-grandfather brought Forslagskasse The Suggestion Box into the living room of his family's Norwegian cottage that brisk November evening. He placed it in the center of the eastern wall, right next to the over-surplus of throw pillows and the dislodged head of Esben The Deer that had fallen off the nail on the wall. He left the opening on the top unobstructed, gathered the family together and told them of his intention for the box.

"Throughout the first ten months of the year," he said, "should you have ideas about how to improve our functionality, our overall demeanor, our philosophies or fortunes, you may write them upon a parchment, then fold that parchment, then slip your suggestion into the aperture on top of Forslagskasse, where it will remain undisturbed throughout most of the year, until the fourth Thursday in November when we open the box, take out your suggestions and read them aloud. We will then discuss the contents of your suggestions, consider them in good faith with guidance from our Lord, then decide how to instill the suggestions in our daily routines or adopt them into the ongoing principles and value systems of our family."

His wife Erna was especially warm to the idea. "What wisdom you have, my darling husband! For there are many processes I conduct in the act of maintaining our household which momentarily confound me. Surely other members of our family might have valuable insight into the order of our home which I might have not yet considered, and I am all too eager to hear their advice!"

Their daughter Karine was similarly impressed. "I too am very interested in this process, as I have long been vexed by the surplus of my throw pillows upon which I have sewn inspirational quotations regarding the sanctity of home and hearth!"

Their son Ernst, too, stated his excitement over Forslagskasse. "As I have struggled lately, as you know, with the effectiveness of my fishing lures, I wonder if perhaps there is an alternate approach that can be encouraged by someone outside of the activity, who may have a broader view than I, consumed by my failure and frustrated with my own inability to arrive at a solution."

Their younger daughter Runa admired the smooth pine surface of the box, as well as its purpose. "I myself am edging nearer, ever nearer out of my adolescence and into the thralls of young womanhood. Indeed, my questions are so many and their instigations so abrupt, that I find myself unable to even find the words necessary to ask them! Perhaps this new ritual will bring forth pearls of clarity and focus to help me find my way in this ongoing series of new physical and emotional sensations!"

Their older son Donnie stood apart from the rest and eyed Forslagskasse with some amount of distant concern. The others noticed him, peering at the box from beneath a shock of his fiery hair, wondering over his silence.

"Donnie?" my great-great-great-grandfather said. "Have you any words yourself?"

Donnie looked up and furrowed his brow. "What's the big deal?"

Karine swung her shocked face to confront him. "Donnie? What's that?"

"What's the big deal?" Donnie shrugged. "It's just a fuggin' box."

Ernst, who was highly impressionable, especially with traits his older brother possessed, was taken aback. "Donnie! Must you say that?"

"I said it's just a fuggin' box. It's got a slit on top of it, but other than that it's just a fuggin' box."

Erna tried to tamp down Donnie's disinterest. "But son, weren't you listening to what your father said it's for?"

"Yeah, I heard 'im. What's the big deal? Why do I have to put my ideas in the box? Why don't I just come out and say what my ideas are? I just walk up to dad, 'Hey dad, I got some ideas, wanna hear em,' bada-bing-bing-bing, idea said, problem solved, everything's great, let's go. I don't need a fuggin' box for that. It's an empty gesture."

My great-great-great-grandfather maintained his calm. "Donnie, sometimes it can be difficult to say what we feel at certain moments, and it's easier for us to construct our reflections privately and wait, pray upon them."

"Difficult? What's so damn difficult about it? I gotta mouth, you gotta set of ears, I speak you listen, cut out the middle man, right? Why I gotta go through this ritual? I'm a man of action. I don't sit around. I don't need a filter, I don't need a whole bunch of silly procedures. What is this box, the Pope? Eh?"

Runa was aghast. "Donnie! Please! I'm hurt by your refusal of this idea!"

"See, that's it. Everyone's so damn sensitive these days. 'Oooooh, you hurt my feelings, I'm gonna go cry!' You can sit around and mope all day or you can just do something! I'm an extremely brilliant man. I got genius comin' outta my ears. I see a problem, all I need to do is move an elbow. I don't think too much about it. You think, I do. Get me?"

"Donnie," my great-great-great-grandfather pleaded, "just for the sake of the family, just for this year, can't you just go along with our plan? Write it on parchment, fold it up and --"

"That's another thing: Why do I gotta fold it up? It's going in the box anyway! What does it matter if I fold it up or leave it alone, or turn it into an origami duck or whatever? Why do I gotta fold it?"

"It... it was just a... well, I think it'll just go into the box more easily..."

"What? Aerodynamics, is that it? What's it gotta be aerodynamic for? It's gonna be here all year long! Why are you overthinking this? I don't overthink anything. No time. This world moves way too quickly for me to be sitting here all day, duh-da-duh-da-duh, writing and folding and writing and folding -- oh, no, did I forget to fold that one? Oooooh, I better pick it up and fold it! Uh-oh! Tsh... please. The process in itself is an infringement of my time, you know? I'm a busy man. I'm a very busy person. People like me, we gotta keep moving. Now you're saying I gotta fold things. Why I gotta fold these things?"

"All right, Donnie!" my great-great-great-grandfather relented. "You don't have to fold them! I just thought it would be a helpful thing to do..."

"Dad, you're killin' me over here. You and your thinking. Thinking is just another layer of fat hanging onto the meat. Some of it's good, it's okay to have some of it. Not gonna kill you. But you can't do too much, you won't have enough time or energy to eat the meat. What I do is act. Action's what I do. We're spendin' too much time talkin'."

Karine interjected, "Donnie, please? Just write down suggestions and we'll read them in November! Could you just humor us? Can't you do it for the family's sake?"

Donnie went momentarily quiet, then exhaled and agreed. "All right. That I can do. I'm all about families. Families are our most precious natural resource, and we gotta protect and defend them. That I'll do. And you know what? Maybe I might even fold one or two. Because I'm a nice guy. I'm a genius and a nice guy. You can be both. You don't always have to be, but sometimes it's good to be both. We got a deal here?"

Runa sighed. "Yes, we do. Anything to get you to be quiet for just a few minutes."

"All right," Donnie concluded. "Great. This is gonna be great. We're gonna fill up this box, and it's gonna be beautiful and it's gonna be great. We're gonna get together in November, we're gonna have a nice time, watch some football, have some rye bread, some of that Jarlsberg cheese, maybe some lutefisk -- I'm not a fan of lutefisk personally, but you might be, that's great, we'll have lutefisk if you want it -- we'll sit down, how do you do, nice to see you, then it'll be time to open the box, we'll open the box, take stuff out of it, read 'em all, listen to some of your ideas, one after the other, and figure out what we're gonna do, and it's gonna be beautiful and it's gonna be great. Okay? Okay. See you in November. Great."

Donnie swept away from the family and headed to his room, as the rest of his family recaptured their breaths. November suddenly seemed much closer than it had before Forslagskasse arrived.

To be continued, tomorrow, when I've finally figured out how the hell to end this.

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