Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rob Lovable: a fable

I once knew a man whose vast reservoirs of wealth were matched only by his unrelenting loneliness. He had earned a fortune in the tacos sector, nanotechnology division, and could obtain any earthly comfort a man could want. Houses, cars, rock clubs. You say it is nothing for a man of means to purchase an airplane? Well, Rob had two.

One airplane was large, and he hosted lavish parties onboard. The second plane was small and he could fly it around inside the larger one, champagne flute in hand, while he worked the crowd. The problem was nobody came to his parties, or if they did it was only out of a sense of obligation. Poor Rob was so lonely that he considered ending his life by crashing his little airplane inside the larger one, and then crashing the larger plane into everyone who didn’t come to his parties.

The main drawback in Rob was his lousy personality. He was self-absorbed, demanding, and spoiled. When he didn’t get his way, he tore at his hair and wept like a toddler. He was also really unattractive. Short of stature, square of build, and covered in coarse body hair, Rob was a teddy bear built for discomfort.

But one day he got an idea. He hired a crew of comely flight attendants and began having sexual affairs with them, one after the other. When one of these stewardesses became pregnant, he vowed to marry her. She refused until he showed her the clause in her contract that said she would have to marry him or find her own way to the ground. The ground was about 20,000 feet below at the time. It was a cold move, but that’s how you succeed in nanotechnology tacos.

Candice gave birth to twins—a boy and a girl—who grew to be as handsome as their mother and equally cold toward their father. Candice raised the children inside her small airplane while Rob circled them, tossing handfuls of caramels to the kids. He could buy anything he wanted (nesting aircraft, caramels, children) but the love of his own family…sadly, that was beyond his means. Rob swore he would do anything it took (anything) to make his wife and children love him.

He gave the undertaking a name: “Rob Lovable.” Phase one would begin at once. For seven days and seven nights he worked in his nanotechnology lab outside Flagstaff. When at last he emerged, every fiber of his body hair had been replaced with ermine and mink.

Back onboard his jumbo jet, it was a much softer Rob who beckoned to his estranged wife. When she reluctantly landed beside him, he instructed her to stroke his chest. She refused. He insisted. She relented, making an icky face as she reached inside his shirt. But when Candice felt the buttery fur between her husband’s bosoms, the crystalline light of love filled her eyes.

Thereafter, Rob and Candice spent many a glad night together in his little airplane. At her request, he grew a long beard as cozy and elegant as a mink stole. “Look at us, children!” he wanted to shout. “Your mother and I are happy; perhaps you twins could see fit to love your old pappy as well!” But he didn’t shout this, and his children continued to dislike him. In an act of fatherly bravado, Rob leapt from the wing of his aircraft to his wife’s. There in the cockpit lay the children, daydreaming and eating caramels. Rob scooped them up into his arms, but they recoiled in terror.

“A giant rat!” screamed the girl. “An overgrown ferret!” shrieked the boy. Because, you see, Rob’s ermine body hair may have melted the heart of his loveless bride, but it freaked out his children. He tore at his fur until his body was patchy and raw. Hot, terrible tears streamed down his cheeks. But then he had another idea: Rob Lovable, phase two.

After seven days in the lab, he returned to the jumbo jet a happier man. The twins were spiraling high above. He gestured to them, and they landed, nearly running over his toes. “What do you want?” they asked, in the creepy simultaneous way twins do.

“All I want is to be loved by my own brood,” cried Rob.

“Fat chance,” replied the twins. As if on cue, Rob began to weep. The children mocked him. “Look at this guy,” they said to one another. “He looks like an emotional rodent.”

But their cruel barbs soon turned to shouts of glee, for Rob had replaced his tear ducts with nano-sized soft-serve ice cream dispensers. “Grab a cone, kids!” He raised his hands to show them how the sugar cones dropped down from steel tubes under his arms.

They all ate ice cream and laughed and hugged. They wanted sprinkles, and Rob promised to add toppings. They could come out of his nose! At last he was at peace with his children…with his family. He was lonely no more! His wife adored his ermine body hair, and his children were wowed by his ice cream tears. He wept with joy and the twins cried: “Do chocolate! Cry chocolate, daddy!”

Hearing the joyful noise of her children, Candice landed at once. “Look,” said Rob. “I can cry ice cream. The kids are loving it. Come, wife, embrace your ermine-furred husband! Have a double dip!”

But Candice remained inside her cockpit. She took a long look at her husband. Melted ice cream streamed down his face, matting his mink stole of a beard. Sugar cones stuck out of both armpits. The man she had learned to love had become a monster.

“Come children,” she cried. “Your father is gross!” Candice helped the kids aboard her little airplane. Rob watched them fly away, through the vast fuselage of the jumbo jet and out the emergency exit doors, never to return.

No comments:

Post a Comment