Friday, November 20, 2009

Sylvia Uncovers Some Mysterious Long-Buried Revelations

by Anne Sullivan

“Why so glum, Sylvia?” I asked her as she was sitting bolt upright in her indoor bed, not watching TV, just staring at the log wall of the living room.
“I’m not glum,” she replied. “I’ve just been thinking and it’s difficult. You don’t understand how much I want to make a difference to the world – a big difference.”
“It all starts small, Sylvia, and then it grows,” I said from my comfortable chair.
“I know, but that interview with Brian Williams made me realize I had to do something bigger and better.”
“Do you have anything in mind?”
“As a matter of fact, I do. I still want to concentrate on making people and animals feel better about life and its hard knocks. Licking and kibble help but we all need to laugh. Laughing is healthy; that’s a proven fact. So what I want to do is tell them funny jokes to make them
“There are several factors about that you need to consider,” I said. “One, you don’t know any funny jokes. And, two, nobody but me can understand you when you talk. It sounds like barking to other people.”
“Oh, I forgot. That’s right,” said Sylvia. She sulked briefly and became lost in thought for a few more minutes before announcing, “I know what to do. I could send jokes to everybody we know by e-mail.”
“Not with dial-up you can’t,” I said from behind my newspaper. “Besides, I hate jokes and I’m not overly fond of people who e-mail them to me.”
“You’re just a spoil sport,” Sylvia accused. “Don’t you want to rise up from your depression and do something?”
“I do a fair amount as it is and I am not depressed.”
“I suppose that’s right. You are disgustingly positive.” She rose from her bed and strode over to me. “You’re always right about everything.”
“Wasn’t there a time when you were wrong about anything? Or did something wrong or bad?”
“Let me see.” I lowered my newspaper before continuing, “ Once I overslept and was late to work. I think it was in 1962.”
Sylvia glowered at me as she asked, “Anything else?”
“Well, when I was a child, I used to steal things from stores.”
A look of satisfaction crossed Sylvia’s face as she let out a low whistle. “That was pretty bad,” she said.
“I guess some might look at it that way, but I gave what I stole to poor children in Bellevue Hospital. I suppose that was good.”
“It’s a wonder you didn’t go to jail,” said Sylvia with what sounded like a tinge of admiration and adding, “What you did must have made a difference to the children in the hospital.”
“Maybe so but don’t you go getting any ideas,” I admonished.
“Nobody I know has anything worth stealing. But, really, aren’t you ever depressed about anything?”
“Oh, sure, but it passes pretty quickly, especially as I have difficulty remembering anything for very long. Right now, I’m depressed that we haven’t seen RingWorm for almost three weeks but I prefer to think that she’s found another place to live, a place where she’ll be able to live in the house because no one is allergic to cats.”
“She’s been here a long time, hasn’t she? She was here when I got here.”
”She’s been here 14 or 15 years, I think.”
“I miss her, too, and I can tell from your voice that you’re sad thinking about her,” Sylvia said, patting my knee with her paw.
“I guess I am.”
“Let me cheer you up,” she said with a throaty giggle. “I do know one joke. Did you hear the one about the traveling salesman’s daughter and the farmer?”

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