Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Sunday, October 12, 2008

To Sea

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

When I was seven I caught, one afternoon, a glimpse of a riotous comedy film on television. I turned to my brother and asked, with an honest gullibility common to the young, "what happened to Laurel and Hardy? Where are they now?"
My brother donned a demeanor of such solemnity that I was quite startled.
"Ah, that's a sad story," he shook his head. "Abbott and Costello, The Three Stooges, and Laurel and Hardy, they all went to sea on a boat once, many, many years ago, and the boat capsized. They all drowned."
Devastated, I was, and utterly overwhelmed by the oceanic tragedy concerning seven worthy actors of jocular inclination.
It was whole years before I was enlightened as to the true accounts of the various deaths, and I, furious, thought to put my own sibling out to sea on a boat of his own.
Still- I am obliged to express a degree of admiration. Rascal that he was, he weaved a thoroughly plausible scenario from the thin air of fabrication, and it is one I remember all these years afterward.
Over the plain, humdrum answer that lands dryly on the ear, I would gladly take my brother's kaleidoscopic imagination.


Pauline said...

your family tales make me smile every time. This is the same brother that donated fifty cents to the safe?

julochka said...

i once played a game at a teambuilding thing called "two truths and a lie" and i'm absolutely certain that the lie i told is the one they all remembered. isn't that funny how that happens?

it is a better story that those funny people were hanging out together in a boat when they died. which sounds harsher than i mean it--it's just nice to imagine them together, isn't it?

Pappy said...

The story you brother told is quite believable considering the bumbling antics of those seven characters. My mother said her brothers probably took a bite out of the Blarney Stone rather than just stealing a kiss. We are both blessed with a rich heritage of tales worth remembering. Thanks for sharing. Pappy

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Pauline, yes, the very same, one-and-only brother ;)

Julie, that's the fascinating thing about stories- sometimes we prefer to keep the more colourful one than the truth, simply because it makes for more interesting memory. I absolutely LOVE your idea about how it would be better to remember them passing that way. I knew just what you meant! They were part of a great institution of humour and comedy, from a different era, and to think of them going out to sea that way, as friends, is more fitting, in some sense.

Texican, true- if those seven had ever got in a boat together, we could just imagine the pantomime and performance.
"My mother said her brothers probably took a bite out of the Blarney Stone" -now that's a great, great phrase to remember.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Siblings! Really funny, though.
And, Laurel and Hardy...pure genius.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Pamela, yes, my sibling is quite funny, even when he doesn't mean to be ;)

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