Tall Tall True, Tales (Dale Butler)

TALESWAPPER: Testing... Testing...
GREAT UNCLE LEADBELLY: What are you doing?
T: I dunno. It's just what you do at the start of a tape.
GREAT AUNT IVA: Leave the boy alone.
GUL: [unintelligible]
T: OK. Let's get started. This is tape one. I'm here today to interview my imaginary relatives. This is the beginning of a bit of oral history inspired --
GAI: Do you have to call us "imaginary"?
T: Well, you're not exactly real.
GAI: Oh! That's awful hurtful.
T: I'm sorry, Aunt Iva. If it's any consolation, you're the best imaginary great aunt I've ever known.
GAI: Sweet boy.
GUL: [unintelligible]
GAI: Are you going to snort and grown through this whole thing?
GUL: Maybe. We'll have to see.
T: At any rate...[ahem]...I'm here today
GUL: You said that already.
T: What?
GUL: "I'm here today." We know you're here today. That's why we can hear your voice on the machine thing.
T: Well, I...Ok. So, we're about to record a bit of the oral history of the family. I was inspired to start this effort by a book called Tall Tall True, Tales and Bermuda Traditions, which was written by a man in Bermuda.
GUL: Which you can tell from the title...
T: We received this book as a gift from our wonderful neighbors who had visited Bermuda recently. They have a nice little chihuahua and a strange looking, but friendly, cat. We watched the dog for them while they were on vacation.
GUL: Boy, you do go on.
GAI: Do you have any pictures of the dog?
T: Actually, I do. The dog looks tiny next to our cat, don't you think?
GUL: [unintelligible]
T: Sorry. I just wanted to set the background. This book had a lot of stuff about the author's childhood, followed by instructions for generating a similar family account. So, I thought...
GUL: OK. During the war, I remember looking at the General and telling him, "Ain't no way we're going to make it down the hill ahead of us and it's durn near impossible to go back down the hill behind us. So we're either gonna have to sit here on top of the hill and moon the enemy or...
GAI: Nobody wants to hear about your imaginary war record.
GUL: Fat lot you know. What do you want to tell him about?
GAI: I thought we could discuss my early sweethearts.
GUL: [unintelligible]
GAI: There you go again...
T: Actually, I think the instructions say to start with your childhood.
GUL: She was never young
GAI: He never grew up
T: So how many licks did you get as a kid?
GAI: Licks?
T: You know: beatings, spankings, that sort of thing. The book was all full of punishment. It was very funny.

[silence]

GAI: We didn't really...Do you think there's enough tape?
T: I imagine there's plenty.
GUL: What else you got?
T: OK. Let's see. Did you enjoy the Gambey dancers?
GAI: You know we didn't grow up in Bermuda, right?
T: Sure, I just thought...I don't have much to work with here. I can ask about your favorite meals or the games you played. That didn't seem so interesting to me. What I really want to hear -- in your own words -- is what it was like to live through the last century. I think we can extract from that some nugget of truth about my roots and what eventually shaped me into who I am.
GUL: You're still rambling on. I don't know where you got that from.
GAI: Don't look at me, buck-o. We're imaginary, remember?
GUL: He's done talked so much we're going to run out of tape.
T: Oh, I don't think...
GUL: Hello? Computer? Is anybody out there?
T: Great Uncle, I...You don't have to lean so close to the mic.
GUL: I want to get a word in before the end.
T: Truly, I think there's still plenty of

1 thoughtful messages from friendly readers:

zombie said...

We can't wait for Tall, Tall True Tales and Greenbelt Traditions, by J.M. & L.M.