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Published August 10, 2009

Any chance

My manuscripts

Will survive

And the cockroaches

Will learn to read them,

Willie?

 

You have read …

One-sentence theater No. 1830-1886: A line uttered by Emily Dickinson, who’s in heaven talking with Virginia Woolf and William Shakespeare, lamenting that she never had a family to tote her DNA along, so she would have a part of her that would outlive her, prompting Ms. Woolf to tell Ms. Dickinson, “Maybe you would’ve had better luck if you’d dated occasionally, you whining, whispering, whistling whelp,” prompting Ms. Dickinson to reply, “Why don’t you take another loooooooooong swim, Mrs. Dalloway – and use the heaviest rocks possible this time,” prompting a roll-on-the-floor, hair-pulling, scratching, clothes-shredding fight that is broken up by Mr. Shakespeare, who reassures Ms. Dickinson that her writing will endure longer than any human descendants, only to have O. Henry dash in and interrupt them by telling them that a ginormically big ole asteroid has cold cocked the Earth, creating a series of tornadoes typhoons, earthquakes, flooding and hurricanes that will wipe out humankind in 24 hours (unless global warming, war and a mysterious addiction to carrot cake get people first), prompting Ms. Dickinson to ask Mr. Shakespeare the question stated as the above poem

By Ivan O’Uris

 

Background Notes – Sort of: The background details for the above poem are unknown because Ivan doesn’t recall when he wrote it, what inspired it or any details about the day he wrote it. Ivan O’Uris scholars E.E. Pointer and Shawn Roney, who found the poem in Ivan’s cluttered apartment, have a theory about why Ivan’s memories related to the poem is vague.

Mr. Pointer and Mr. Roney believe Ivan suffered ice cream-induced amnesia the day he wrote the poem. Their theory is credible, considering that they found the poem under an ice cream carton. (Sadly, the carton was NOT empty and the ice cream was no longer frozen, as Mr. Roney discovered when he picked it up and it dribbled on his new slacks.)

The theory gains further credibility because of the brand of ice cream: Huhgenduh’s. Produced in  Antarctica, Huhgenduh’s was a popular ice cream that was sold for decades in American supermarkets and convenience stores next to the popular American brand Häagen-Dazs. Discontinued in 2008 for multiple international health law violations, the product was known for its ability to induce brain freezes that led to temporary amnesia. In fact, the company that produced it took pride in that and marketed it under the slogan “Huhgenduh’s: The ice cream that makes you gaze in space idiotically and say nothing but ‘Huh?’ and ‘Duh.’ ” Huhgenduh’s attracted some famous consumers; rumor has it that George W. Bush stockpiled it shortly before it was discontinued and is eating it religiously, hoping it will make him forget his presidency.

Based on that information and their knowledge of Ivan’s tastes in food and writing habits, Mr. Pointer and Mr. Roney have concluded that Ivan wrote the above poem, went to his neighborhood supermarket to buy Häagen-Dazs to celebrate and mistakenly bought – and then ate – Huhgenduh’s.

For those who are disappointed over not knowing the poem’s backstory, the folks at Mutt Media encourage them to remember an old saying: “It’s not the end of the world.”

If it were, O. Henry would return from the dead and tell you.

 

©2009 Mutt Media LLC. All rights reserved.

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