UnBooks:The O. Henry Collection, Part Deux
Famous American short-story author O. Henry, renowned for his ridiculously stupid twist endings, recently chose two of his least favorite short-stories (not written by himself) which had endings similar to those of his own writing style. These types of endings are commonly known as "O. Henry Endings". All of this was accomplished despite the fact that O. Henry reportedly died in 1910.
This collection of short-stories is known as The O. Henry Collection, Volume Deux.
"These stories, all which were written by unpopular writers, were chosen for their uniqueness, creativity, and similarities to my books," said Henry.
The Instrument of Blame
There are significant moments in our lives that end with a change in our perception, a sort of new rotation to the hamster wheel of life. We rarely forget such moments. I can recall such a moment for me, and how it changed me by establishing a stronger sense of good restroom etiquette and taught me the successful way to employ the instrument of blame should such etiquette fail.
So there I was, standing erect in front of the toilet with my hands directing traffic and my eyes fixed on a sign which read, "If we were meant to sit in water, we would have been born with webbed feet. Put the toilet seat down!" Nonchalant repartee. In my head was a declaration from Tim Ryan saying, "Penguins can fly, Senator. I have seen them do so." It struck me that I’d fallen asleep to C-SPAN night before.
It was five after noon; I could tell, because my alarm clock said so. I had stumbled out of bed reluctantly to meet the call of nature. It was bitterly cold that afternoon though the sun was making a bright outline around the curtains of every window. Clothed in less than sleepwear, the hair on my body stood up, even the fine hair on my knuckles that I didn’t know I had until then. The hairs gave my skin a texture comparable to that of a cactus as they stood up. I caused a golden stream to splash against the rim of the porcelain bowl in front of me as I had done without error so many times before, and it was always nothing but near-perfect precision. I could’ve won any of those carnival games where you have to shoot the water into the hole to inflate the balloon.
Then I felt the irrepressible urge to yawn and stretch, and so I did. "Look, no hands!" I thought to myself as my arms and fingers branched upward and out like the limbs of a forked tree. My mouth let out an impressive yawn, declaring to the world I was as alive as a zombie this glorious afternoon, and after I was done urinating I was going to face the day with a nice English muffin. Of course, I wasn’t completely careless. The angle was perfect in that I could easily let Franklin Roosevelt out of his wheelchair without letting him go wild and keeping the stream inside of the bowl. But this was this was soon my own undoing. My body, no longer constricted together for warmth because of the stretch and yawn, let out a violent, sudden shiver to keep itself warm. Unguided, the stream soared every which way, landing on the walls of the restroom and my mother's stout brown pug that had come for the party. It was as though Old Faithful was going off during an earthquake.
I quickly gained control of the situation after the shivering had seized, but it was too late. The walls were dripping and the dog was so wholly drenched that it appeared as though it had jaundice. All of this happened so very quickly; I panicked. I quickly grabbed the dog and tossed it into the porcelain mouth for it to take the blame. I then enjoyed a nice English muffin.
That day, I learned a few things about life. I learned the value of control in a delicate situation such as using the restroom. I learned about self-sacrifice, confidence, and true love. I learned that through perseverance you can surely blame somebody or something for your problem, even if that somebody or something is your mother’s innocent pet.
O. Henry's Comments
"A great piece with a strong moral message. I would certainly vote for this man. He certainly knows how to conduct himself in a restroom."
Women's Rights is the epitome of twist endings. The author is unknown except for the pen name "Madame FooFoo "Peaches" Fubar". The setting is very vague, but it is presumed to be America in the early 20th century.
There was an old vagrant woman with bony hands and an ugly frown who shuffled herself around the streets almost daily. Her eyes were always staring in front of her and were a darker shade of grey than her disheveled and matted hair. She smelt of wet skunk and a fat man's taint. Her clothes were tattered. She was so horribly grotesque that she even had stubble on her face like a man. She wore boots, but they were too torn to protect her toes which were sticking out of the front. She looked like a piece of shit.
Everyone in the town hated her, not because she was poor, but because she was wrinkly and sometimes wandered into stores just to keep warm. Mr. Jenkins, the local drugstore owner, confided to me that he wished she would buy something rather than try to break into his ventilation ducts for warmth. He told me once about the time he had to chase her out with a broom like a rat. He now leaves rat poison pellets scattered around the outside of his store. She has eaten a few of them.
Then there was Timmy, a quiet, innocent, abandoned child. He too smelled really bad. He goes around with a cup panhandling for change, though most people usually thought he was holding out a cup for them to spit their chew into, and so they did.
Timmy went up to the old poor lady one day, cup in hand, asking for some spare change. She stopped, turned to him with her cold gaze, raised her bony hand up, and backhanded Timmy. "Women's rights!" she said as she smacked him down into a puddle of dirty water. She continued walking.
O. Henry's Comments
"The author switched tenses too much. It was quite confusing. But the author did a great job at creating two unrelatable and horrid characters, especially the woman, whose only dialogue is the most offensive I've ever heard."
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