An Overview Of Acceptable Margins Of Error In The Interpretation Of Predictive Data

The deliberately misleading weatherman loses his job

And moves in with the needlessly unpleasant saleslady.

"I love you," he tells her.

"So what?" she answers. "I could almost care."

His job search progresses poorly.

At interviews, he gives prospective employers made-up names, uses cartoon characters as references, and insists that, if hired, he needs the solstice off in order to summon Aphrodite from out of the spirit realm so that she can join the saleslady and him for a threesome.

She kicks him out.

"You're crazy," she tells him. She throws away his gifts and changes the locks.

All day at the department store, she is abrasive and nasty.

She goes to a sub shop for lunch and berates the girl there for assembling her sandwich in exactly the manner she requested.

"Go back to Pakistan!" she says, and leaves without paying.

In the afternoon, she gets caught between floors in a malfunctioning elevator. 

She is visited there by the Holy Spirit.

When she emerges, hours later, she is a changed woman, courteous and kind to everyone she meets.

They let her go anyway.

Meanwhile, the deceptive and demented former weatherman has reinvented himself as a self-help guru.

His is a multi-million dollar empire based on doubletalk and preposterous claptrap. There are waiting lists and limousines.

At one of his seminars, he meets a sixteen year old part-time Sonic carhop named Amber.

It is instant love for him, and he begins to shower her with attention and gifts.

He is convinced that Amber is the reincarnation of Lily Langtry, the famous "Jersey Lily."

He worships her.

He believes that she is the Perfect Human Being.

She likes that he buys her all sorts of expensive shit.

She tells her gf that he is "not so bad, even though he's older than fuck."

Her famous beau is thirty-one years old, adored around most of the world, and cannot distinguish Nirvana from Nivea cream.

St. Valentine's Day arrives.

He goes to the department store to get some nice things for Amber.

The saleswoman, a different one, is abrupt and insulting. 

He buys more than he had intended to, trying to cheer her up,

And she makes a nice commission.

Amber isn't pleased with her gifts,

Which include a riding lawn mower, several bowling balls, and a South American themed patio set.

She decides that the gravy train has gone off the rails for good, and so she calls her gf to come and pick her up.

He never sees her again.

In the asylum, he meets a woman named Brenda, who is a kleptomaniac.


Yes, she....

Steals his heart.

They are released and move in together.

He discovers that she makes uncommonly delicious soups,

And is kind to strays.

He keeps her lawn tidy with his riding mower, the only thing he has left from his days as a pop guru.

In the evenings, they sit on Brenda's couch together, 

The one she curb picked and re-covered.

They watch "Cash Cab."

She is better at guessing the answers than he is, but he doesn't seem to mind.

One night he takes her hand and says, "It will always be sunny as long as we are together."

It is kind of a sweetly dopey thing to say, but she smiles and decides to go with it.

"Sure, babe," she says.

Why not?


Riot Kitty said…
If 31 is older than fuck, I'm in trouble...
TALON said…
"The deliberately misleading weatherman loses his job" - Ah, I always suspected they lied on purpose.

There was so much to love in this Shay, I don't know where to start. And you had me laughing and half crying throughout.

I was trapped between floors on an elevator once, but no Holy Spirit came to visit me...sigh...

I love your mind, woman!
ellen abbott said…
Ah, well, I see the interlude was worth it.

Older than fuck? that's pretty damn old.

And send that riding lawn mower this way. I think it's a great gift.
Kay said…
first thought, "okay, say that title 3 times fast"

but then you diverted my attention. I like him. :) 3 loves?
Lynn said…
I LOVE that you put Cash Cab in this!!!!! :) This seemed like one of those dreams you remember just after you wake.

I think a riding lawn mower would be a great gift. :)
Daryl said…
Exactly. Why not.
Sara said…

This one had me smiling all the way through it. I wondered where you'd end up.

I think it's fun that the deliberately misleading weatherman ends up with the kleptomaniac who "steals his heart."

I also like the visit from the Holy Spirit in the broken elevator. Makes you wonder what SHE told the needlessly unpleasant saleslady:~)
Mama Zen said…
"Cannot distinguish Nirvana from Nivea cream" has to be one of the best lines ever!
CiCi said…
Pretty off the wall and out of the box story. Like it.
Cloudia said…
Things have been CRAZY here! Check out my Wednsday post if you can

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral
Mojo said…
OMG That makes me almost 20 years older than fuck.

I'd always suspected.
Tabitha Bird said…
I too am in trouble (I am 33!)

Love this.

Why not indeed! I'd go with it!
Kerry O'Connor said…
This caused me to snort while I was drinking my tea. I love the laconic tone - it elevates this extraordinary tale of an ordinary man to the realms of magical realism as it was intended.
Laurie Kolp said…
I once knew someone like him...
. said…
Oh man, this is awesome. I'll come back later and tell you all the stuff I love. But for right now, I'd just like to bask in the afterglow of this magical encounter.
hedgewitch said…
Only you could write this tale, which on the surface seems to be a lot of amusing nonsense,full of laughs, but the end result of reading it is to feel terribly sorry for everyone in it, especially the weatherman--yet also to feel there can be hope after even the most egregious and messiest of mistakes. The ending is almost glowing with redemption, if you'll pardon the phrase, and also with the simplicity of truth and real love. Thanks so much for reposting this Shay--it made my morning.
Anonymous said…
an interesting tale that in some way sounds not unfamiliar - have know a few snake oil salesmen myself (though they called themselves gurus of one thing or another
"older than fuck" is the best "older than X" line i've come across so far ;)
and i love your title!
Unknown said…
Great job detailing these characters so well, especially the main two. Really enjoyed the tone and the scenes were really fun. Thanks
Helen said…
Loved the roller coaster twists and turns ~ definitely worth the ride!
'Why not' .. sums it up beautifully.
Margaret said…
A weatherman, guru, and sales lady - ha, the three most unaccountable professions! They deserve each other :)
Laura said…
what a trip!!!! this line made me laugh out loud "thirty-one years old, adored around most of the world, and cannot distinguish Nirvana from Nivea cream."

so sad and crazy and very, very real...which is kind of scary and is sad and crazy and scary and then there are moments of simple sanity and love on a couch.
Susie Clevenger said…
What a journey this was...loved it!!
rallentanda said…
This is by far the best 'love' story I have ever read. Savage yet brilliant!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
If I could even think up a TITLE like this one, I'd be pleased. I so enjoyed this tale and it ends on a note of - could it be? - hope. Fireblossom! Am I slowly converting you? hee hee.
Kay L. Davies said…
My stomach hurts from laughing. I'm glad I wasn't drinking tea, like Kerry, when I read it. I started laughing with the title, but stopped somewhere around the asylum.
Great stuff, Shay. Kerry mentioned the "laconic tone" and she's so right, I can just about hear it being said in an offhand manner like, oh yeah, then we went to the post office for stamps.
Love it.
Isadora Gruye said…
this reads like a paul thomas anderson film. rich and ironic. witty and sincere. You struck a nice tone here. kudos!
Anonymous said…
It amazes me the way you can pack a whole novel into a poem! Love this!

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