I’ll never forget that moment! It was the beginning and I was transformed! The change was irrevocable and clear and, to further emphasize the impact of this, I remember distinctly the smells in the air, the clothing I wore, every item my pockets and the foolish thoughts running through my 61 year-old head just moments before it happened. It seems some things one never can forget. They are stamped in our mind with an indelible ink that perhaps only death can erase.
I was on a bicycle. I should mention that. It was a warmer day than most. I wore a cardigan. It was open but I was still quite hot. There was also a light breeze and the fragrance of incense from nearby Kinkakuji temple blew across a humble rice field towards me, of all people. I remember that smell. I have it now in my mind. It was thick and dry, and, as it sailed upon a crest of a capricious burst of air, my cardigan slapped against my sides as if to say “Hey Von Noshrilgram! Today’s the day!” I was but five minutes from the home of the abbot of the previously mention temple when I heard The Voice clearly, through the rustling of the tassels on the little girl’s bicycle I had mistakenly grabbed at the train station and now found myself riding. (This sort of accident is commonplace in Japan, or I am told. We’re often in such a rush to get home, and frequently it’s dark.)
I cannot remember the words exactly. The Voice spoke in a deep knowing way with such eloquence I felt it must to be shared. It was the sound of Truth. It whispered, in a conspiratorial tone, with a disorienting sense of a familiarity:”…WOWY, YOUR HEAD… IT SUUURE IS POINTY.”
Overcome, my flip-flops stumbled upon the pink plastic pedals of the Hello Kitty 3000 TM and I zigzagged along the street for several meters. I stopped at the community information board and leaned on it as I replayed The Voice in my head. “Could this be true?” Could The Muse, one of the nine deities of Greek and Roman mythology which presides over the branches of learning and the arts: The Muse that inspired all great artists and intellectuals of recorded western history be demanding my attention? Me? Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Sr., celebrated botanist, wild game hunter, exotic animal trainer, humanist lecture, distinguished fire walker, writer and linguist? Still leaning, I snapped the kickstand out - not unlike Marlon Brando in The Wild Bunch.
I did not try to interpret. I simply continued to lean - mostly because my cardigan was hooked solidly to a hamlet of staples protruding from the lamppost. My forehead, pressed into the grain of the wood, I began to work at the staples anxiously.
“...WHAT?” it whispered incredulous. “IT IS... ON THE BACK, BEHIND YOUR EARS. EEEK! LOOK AT THOSE EARS!!!”
I yanked my sweater free, inadvertently removing substantial patch of wool the shape of a rectangle. I looked through it unimpressed and saw an angry little girl with a Hello KittyTM knapsack hanging menacingly from her shoulder. To her right a mob of hardened seven year-olds stared me down.
Gurgle, gurgle ...gurgle. (This mysterious sound emanated from somewhere in the void before me.) “HEAR THAT?” Said the Voice. DID YOU? THAT SOUND MEANS... WEEEEEHEEEE! IT’S LUNCH TIME!”
I let the bicycle drop and ran...
The Beyond Good and Eviler blog has been created to perpetuate the memory of the late Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Sr., celebrated philosopher botanist, wild game hunter, exotic animal translator, humanist lecturer, extinguished fire walker, writer and linguist. As the sole inheritor of the Ivan Noshrilgram estate I felt it incumbent upon me to establish The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation in 1999. The mandate stipulated in the constitution of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation is to celebrate the wondrous life and boundless spirit of my late great uncle, and to encourage or, whenever possible, foster humour writing throughout the English-speaking world. Those of you who knew my uncle are aware that his friends, colleagues, associates and admirers throughout the non-English speaking word were many - and this respectfully may include you dear reader - however until our staff includes speakers of all major languages it will have to remain unfortunately exclusively English. I certainly invite translators to approach the Foundation regarding this! (For submissions please contact Eunice at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
This and that said, please kindly be patient while we set ourselves up...
We shall most certainly be running at full speed shorty.
Hold your hoses.
Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr.
(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)
New Delhi, India
(1914 - 1999)