During my travels, like many who go on vacation, I like to send, to close and not too close friends, emails (today’s postcards) regaling them of my good fortune in travelling the world and their ill-luck at being forced, for whatever reason, to remain at home. Not too long ago I settled for a while in Jomtien Beach, Thailand and began to send out an incessant stream or emails regarding my new life. During a particularly frustrating period of trying to adjust to life there, I received a few emails from some of my correspondents commenting that my recent emails dwelled too much on the difficulties of my ex-pat life and were becoming a bit of a downer.
Although I thought I was just providing a humorous take on the foibles of my current situation, I took the criticism seriously and I realize that perhaps I may have fallen into a rut. So one morning when I awoke I decided to do something different and declared that day May 8, Punday.
I got the idea for this, as I usually get most of my ideas, from one of my favorite authors William Kotzwinkle. As with Henry David Thoreau he is a favorite of mine not necessarily because of his literary output (Although he did write the screenplay for “ET the Extraterrestrial” and the stories for the “Walter the Farting Dog” series) but for the audacity of attempting a literary career with a name like Kotzwinkle.
Anyway, in his novel “The Fan Man,” about an archetypical New Yorker who, during the hot sticky days of the New York City summer, travelled about the City holding in front of him one of those little battery operated fans to cool himself off (Hence, “The Fan Man” in case you have not already guessed). In one of the chapters of the book our Fan Man wakes up and declares that day to be “Dorkey Day” in which he would only speak the word Dorkey throughout the day [By the way for those with interest is such things Dork is a common and respected name for boys in Armenia]. The remainder of the chapter, for about 10 to 12 pages, consists exclusively of the word Dorkey repeated endlessly (Dorkey,Dorkey, Dorkey… for those who may need help visualizing) broken only by the variously perplexed or angry responses of the other citizens of the City whose paths may have crossed that of our hero on that day.
Shakespeare must have eaten his heart out. Can you imagine what the world of the theater would have been if Hamlet had instead of “The play’s the thing, in which we’ll catch the conscience of the King,” our prince of Denmark announced, “Today is Dorkey Day.”
Anyway, Punday comes also from one of my other literary mentors, cuzin Irwin (to whom I beg forgiveness) who sent me the following:
Its Snow White’s birthday.
The dwarves buy her a camera as a present.
She is ecstatic and takes pictures of every thing she sees.
She takes the film in to be developed.
She goes back the next day to pick the pictures up.
The man behind the counter shakes his head as if to say, “No”.
Snow White cries.
The man behind the counter says
“Don’t worry Snow White, someday your prints will come.”
And for all you Snow Whites out there, may you prints come soon, but please always use protection or you may end up with a Kotzwinkle.