Thursday, March 08, 2007

Memories Are Made Of This...

The more I blog, the more things from my past keep popping up. I think it's some sort of "stream of consciousness" thing. In any case, I think it's a good thing.

When I was writing my last two posts, about my recent trip, the book Gulliver's Travels popped into my mind. I don't know why, maybe I was thinking Badabing's Travels or something as a possible title. Anyway, Gulliver's Travels brought up an interesting memory from my college days, and that's what this post is all about.

A "sort of" friend and I were in the same English class in college. I say "sort of" friend because his wife worked with my girlfriend, and we'd double-date on occasion. That's how we knew each other.

I'll call this guy Vinny. Vinny was a very good-looking Italian kid...could have been a male model. He was studying to be a physicist and I was studying engineering. I thought I was a serious student until I met Vinny. His looks betrayed the reality...he was what we'd call today a serious "geek" or "nerd," albeit a handsome one. Back them we just called 'em serious students. I guess I was sort of one too, but nowhere in his league.

Whenever we double-dated the girls would be talking girl stuff and we'd usually talk about school stuff. Not that I necessarily wanted to, but that was the only thing he would talk about. A typical conversation snippet from Vinny would go something like this:

"So, have you read the latest Feynman paper on quantum dynamics? I want to get your opinion about it."

Of course, Vinny being born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, it would have sounded like this to the listener:

"So, you seen da' latest Foynman paypuh on quan'em dawynamics? I wanna' get yaw opinion aboud' it."

(As an aside, Richard Feynman was a very famous physicist of that era who won a Nobel Prize in 1965.)

Sometimes I knew what the hell Vinny was talking about and sometimes he was out there circling in his own orbit, in which case I'd have to try and change the conversation to something more down to partial differential equations or stochastic processes.

In any case, he was a nice guy, and I usually enjoyed conversing with him. However, I often wondered what the hell he and his wife talked about when they were together.

In our English class one of our required readings was Gulliver's Travels. The professor had each student give a short verbal report to the class on various aspects of the book. On the day we had to deliver the reports Vinny sat next to me and we made small talk before the start of class.

"So, Vinny, what's your report on?"

"You know about me and Angie?" he said. Angie was his wife.

"Yeah. Sorry to hear about it. You okay?"

"Yeah, yeah. I'll live."

"So, what's your topic?" I repeated.

"You're gonna' love this."

"What?" I queried.

"Okay. I have to report on Gulliver's experiences in Laputa."

"You're shittin' me," I say.

"Is that fuckin' spooky, or what?"

"That's a beer or three spooky. You up for a few cold ones after class?"

"Fuckin' a. Shoulda' had a few before I came here." He started trembling.

"Maybe just look at me while you're up there. You and I are the only ones in the room who know about you and Angie, right?"

His normally dark complexion was pasty white. "I think I'm gonna' throw up."

Now, here's the poop on Vinny and the book. Laputa was a floating island in one of Gulliver's travels. The upper crust of society lived on the island. The men of Laputa were deep thinkers, and spent most of their time contemplating and speculating on things mathematical. (Gee, any likeness to Vinny ya' think?) They were so extreme that they rarely spoke and even went so far as to cut their food into perfect geometric shapes...circles, rhomboids, triangles, etc. (And, no, a rhomboid is not a form of arthritis. Nor is it something you take Preparation-H for.)

They also weren't very attentive to the women of Laputa, who, as a result of their neglect, would sneak off the island for evenings or days at a time to satisfy their carnal desires with the "lower lifes" below. Yes...their wives would boink the commoners.

So how does this relate to Vinny and Angie? Well, it turns out that Vinny came home unexpectedly one day and found Angie in the sack with her hairdresser. Yes...the hairdresser was a guy...or they still might be married today.

In case you're wondering, Vinny did a passable job on his report, and managed to suppress a "ralph" or two while he was up there. Then he went straight from the front of the class to the men's room where he puked his guts out.

Afterwards we went out and got shit-faced.

The old "stream of consciousness" beastie bubbled up another memory from my college days as I was writing this post. Has to do with legs, sex, and psychology...but I'll leave that for another post.

Badaboom Badabing...


kenju said...

Well, I say poor Vinnie! Too bad he didn't know how to work both ends of his body...LOL

It's true that blogging and reading other people's memories will bring back memories of our own. I think that is one of the best reasons for doing it!

Duke_of_Earle said...

Too true, kenju. (Hey! That rhymes!)

Coincidence time: Just last week my amateur photographer wife bought a monopod for her camera. You know, a tripod with two legs missing? You use it to hold the camera steady with a long telephoto lense on. Anyway, it brought to my mind the section in Gulliver's Travels about the Monopods. And now you write a post about a memory concerning the same Gulliver and his same travels.

Great minds?



Duke_of_Earle said...

Oops. make that "lens.' Damn typos.