Julia Roberts was on the Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday, and Ellen took special delight in scaring her when she came into her bathroom before the show. As Julia said, she peed her pants she was so frightened. Then later in the interview, a large man dressed as Snow White sneaked up behind Julia and gave her a loud BOO, which made her jump almost out of her chair. And Ellen thought it was simply hilarious. I’ve written about this before, but here I go again. Ellen, you’re a bully. You who have been so outspoken about bullying are a bully. It’s all about the degree of bullying. For example, is it bullying to constantly come up behind a person who is goosey and touch him on the buttocks? Granted, it makes him jump like he’s been electrocuted and that might be hilarious to those watching, but is it funny or is it bullying? When an older and stronger person takes down a younger and weaker person, sits on him and tickles him until he can hardly breathe, is that funny or is it bullying? When that same strong person takes down that same weak person and applies lipstick, smearing it all over his face, is that funny or is it bullying? When the class bully comes up behind the class nerd and gives him a wedgie, is that funny or is it bullying? When the class bully forces the class nerd into a locker and then locks him in, is that funny or is it bullying? One can see what the next level of bullying will be: rape and physical abuse. Scaring someone is just a lesser form of bullying, but it’s still bullying. Ellen, you’re a bully.
I said a few days ago that I was out of things to write about, yet I keep finding stuff in the news or on the tube. I said I was going to keep this blog updated on Happy Valley, my next novel. HV is about a widower living in a retirement community in Arizona, a retired English teacher who is in the process of writing a children's story. I know, I know, that sounds a lot like autobiography, but it isn't, it won't be. And I don't know if the tone should be humorous or serious. But since it's bound to be about a man facing his mortality, I guess it should be serious for the most part. On the other hand, life is pretty absurd, so maybe my story should reflect that absurdity. I don't know. But here I can at least show some of what he's written about Joshua and Saffron, the two characters in his children's story.
No land of milk and honey, this land. Sun and sand and open sky in all directions. And the young elf named Joshua and his female companion named Saffron were alone in this wilderness. Alone with the sun and sand and open sky. They had become lost in a violent sand storm that had swept the country several days before. Their people, the desert elves called The Tribe of Tempest, had been making a pilgrimage to the oasis at the foot of the mountain they called Mount Melancholy. The sun had dimmed from fire orange to dull lemon to tan ghost as the wind grew and grew and the sand swirled upward in sinister coils and sheets until the horizon and all earthly objects became lost in the shroud. And Joshua and Saffron lay huddled beneath their capes. The storm lasted for what seemed like hours but was only twenty-three minutes.
Then they heard the wind diminish from screams—eeeeeee!— to moans—ooooo, ohhhh, ahhhh!— to silence. When they peeked from beneath their capes, they saw a world that seemed different. And much lonelier. They were alone in the vastness of sun and sand and open sky. The tribe was nowhere to be seen. They climbed to the top of a rocky outcrop and looked in all directions. No sign of the tribe, no sign of anything alive except for the fingers of saguaro to the west, a stand of Joshua trees to the north, and patches of prickly pear sprinkled all around them. And to the east, the tall dark presence of Mount Melancholy.