Janice and Alvin Duke it Out

Meaning, meaning, meaning, Janice thought, rolling her eyes.  Would Alvin ever think about the mundane, easy things like a nice miniseries on TV or a walk through Evergreen Park to look at the roses in bloom?  She reached for her latest novel, set in Scotland where the linen sheets were all ironed and scented with lavender.  Sure the characters had problems, but it all worked out in the end.  Alvin would hate this book, she knew.  (Good thing she was reading it on a Kindle so he couldn’t see the title.)  He didn’t like novels in general, unless it was Dostoevsky or, yes, he would stretch and read Dickens.  Alvin was an existentialist; any ease in life was suspect.  He did not pursue happiness; he pursued significance.  She admired that so much, and felt weary at the prospect of emulating him. 

13 responses to “Janice and Alvin Duke it Out

  1. Alvin was an android from the Moon Systems project. Being an android tends to lead to a little less than emotive existence. Being in the corporate espionage business, she needed to break into the Moon Systems project. Slipping into the Moon Systems project through a replacement of the “Janice” android wasn’t her idea. The company always had something in the works. The persistence that androids applied to all their duties marveled her. Learning that single-mindedness method of life was something that she had been working to master the last few years. Being Janice tonight might be the only way that she could survive the Moon Systems life. She powered off the Kindle and her human way of life for the next 4 years.

    • Quite a surprise! Both Alvin and Janice are female androids. You take us somewhere we least expect to go, and that’s a good thing.

  2. Please excuse me once again for going off topic….but I must vent.

    Three things in life run out at the most inconvenient times: gas in the car, toilet paper and ink in the printer. Therefore, I always have an emergency roll of TP under my bathroom sink, and I never let my gas tank drop below one-quarter full. But I haven’t developed the discipline of having a replacement ink cartridge at the ready. So when the inevitable “run-out” occurs, I must run out to Staples and buy more ink.
    The ink deficiency hit me again last week. I went to Staples, bought a new cartridge, returned home and began to install the replacement. I can’t explain why, but the warning label on the new cartridge of ink caught my eye.
    It read: “WARNING: Contents not intended for human consumption.”
    I couldn’t help but wonder what event had occurred that prompted the manufacturer to put that warning on their product. There is simply nothing about that black plastic container that looks the least bit appetizing. Even if you added salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce, I would never consider chomping down on the inedible package.
    But someone, somewhere, must have tried it at least once, and the Ink company probably got sued for not making it perfectly clear that there are better snacks available than a mouthful of black toner powder.
    My curiosity was sparked and I did some research into other, ridiculous but real warnings. I am confident in saying that you will be as astounded as I was at the need to warn people of these potential hazards.
    On a Craftsman lawnmower: “Warning: Do not attempt to remove blade while lawnmower is running.”
    On a television remote control: “Warning: Not dishwasher safe.”
    On a Liquid Plumber bottle: “Warning: Do not reuse bottle to store beverages.”
    On a wheelbarrow: “Warning: Do not use when temperature exceeds 140 degrees Fahrenheit.”
    On a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner: “Warning: Safe to use around pets and children, although it is not recommended that either be allowed to drink from the toilet.”
    And my personal favorite
    On a car fanbelt package: “Warning: Before installing this fanbelt, be sure to shut off the car engine, as it may cause irreversible injury.”
    I have only one thing to say.
    WARNING: If you found any of the above statements necessary or even helpful, you need to be under constant supervision!

    • I still cannot get over the coffee cup warnings: “Caution! The beverage you are about to drink may be hot.” Yeah, like I didn’t order that way. “Uh, girl with the purple hair? Yes, you. Could you get me one of those coffee drinks there. Yep, I would like mine made with the hot water. Yes, cray-cray, I know.”

    • Did you hear about the peanut company that had to recall their bags of peanuts because they didn’t contain the peanut allergy warning?

    • Are these going into your column? Or a blog? You never cease to entertain, Peanut.

    • galelikethewind

      Oh great, now I will be checking warning labels on everything I see or buy. You got me hooked, Peanut!

  3. galelikethewind

    Janice regretted the fact that she married Alvin for his money at least once a day. Oh, people always claim that opposites attract and all that. She knew in her heart that there could never be two more opposite types than Alvin and herself.
    She loved art, he loved Excel spreadsheets. She loved literature of all kinds, he loved reading directions to electronic gizmos. She actually liked having a few very messy and disorganized junk drawers in the house. Even one messy drawer drove Alvin nuts. She liked spur of the moment trips, he liked to plan their vacations years in advance, down to the finest detail. She lounged around the house in her pajamas until ten am. On most days, he was up a six, showered, shaved and finished with a protein filled breakfast by seven thirty. She learned what the day had in store as it progressed, but he kept to-do lists for everything, and proudly checked off each item as he completed them. She swiped her several credit cards at random, and threw away the receipts. Alvin used exactly two credit cards, one Visa, one American Express, and checked the receipts against the billing statements as soon as they arrived in the mail. She had no real idea how much money she spent each month, but old Alvin created huge detailed spreadsheets of all expenses by category on the first day of every month.
    So how is that they managed to stay happily married for over fifteen years, she pondered. And then she remembered the animal magnetism she felt whenever he was near. And his kindness. And his sense of humor. And his loyalty to her. And his great smile. And she decided to read to him from the Kindle book to help him fall asleep. His mind was always so busy, and he needed a little diversion now and then to be able to relax.
    “Oh, Alvin,” she said, “want to hear a nice story?”

    • He rolled over to answer her question. A quick memory flashed through her mind. Even with his attention to detail, constant straight-line no nonsense, militant adherence to schedules and the like, he could never, ever leave the toilet seat down. So, she poked him accidently in the eye as he rolled over. “Oh, I am so sorry, hun.” Her face crinkled in a grimace of pain. “Are you OK? Do you,” she paused and looked into his one uncovered eye. Batting her eyelashes she continued “still want to listen to the story?”

      — I couldn’t help it. I have been married for over fifteen years. As I was reading your well put together comment, I thought to myself, “What would my wife do here?” Naturally, all kinds of things popped into that vacancy I call a brain. But this seemed like something we could post. 🙂

      • galelikethewind

        My Muse awakened me early this morning and said into my mind’s ear “Walterburgle is right, you left this ‘Tale a wagging’ ..so finish it.” So with my apologies to all for cutting it short, here is the rest of the story:

        Alvin never regretted for a minute that he had married this gorgeous creature who was twenty years younger than he. And even at thirty-five, she still turned male and female heads when they went out together in public. And now in her loving little way, she wanted to read him a story. He reached over, pulled her pajama shirt off of her perfect shoulder, and gently kissed his way up to the nape of her neck. She melted. Alvin always made love not for his own happiness, but to pursue a significant event for his lovely partner in life.
        “Mmmmm.” she said.

    • You like a happy ending! Love all the contrasts and, at the end, all the reasons for their true love.

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