Monday, January 14, 2013

From the Liar: Why I Did Not Complete This Assignment

               From the Annals of the National Liar
               V1#1 October 31, 1994

          Why I Did Not Complete This Assignment

               I really tried to do my homework; honest, I did; but everything went wrong. I mean, everything. You wouldn’t believe what happened. I wouldn’t either, if it hadn’t happened to me.
               So there I was, sitting at my computer, busy writing this assignment. I was just getting into it when the phone rang. It was my Mom; she said the house was on fire, and she wanted me to drive 750 miles to put it out with my bottle of Evian water. I told her that didn’t make any sense; I had drunk up most of the water, there was a traffic jam, my car was in the shop, and besides wasn’t there a fire station right next door? Oh that’s right, Mom said, and she hung up.
               So I got back to work, and I was really tooling along, doing great work – you’d have loved it – when suddenly there was this huge earthquake. (You remember that earthquake, don’t you? It was last Tuesday.) I managed to save the file just before the roof collapsed.  I dug my way out of the rubble, switched the computer back on, and started writing again, but discovered – oh no! – that a massive chunk of concrete had fallen onto my printer in the earthquake (you remember that earthquake? I sure do) and had smashed it into smithereens. Fortunately I had a spare printer in the living room closet, but as you might expect, the living room closet was buried beneath all the rubble.
               Well I dug through the rubble and got the the printer out and replaced my smashed printer and started writing again, but what do you know? The earthquake had shaken down the computer’s architecture too! The operating system was in ruins and I had to reprogram it from scratch! And believe me, that took hours!
               Well I rewrote the program; and I wrote up my homework; and I printed it out, too, even though the new printer was ten times slower than the old one, and low on ink too. I was just about to rip the paper loose when there was a knock at the front door. I picked my way past the debris in the front hall, forced the door open, and guess what? It was the fire department, looking for my Mom’s house! They had gotten lost, they were 750 miles off course, and they wanted directions. Well, I gave them directions (we’re talking about my Mom’s house, after all!) or at least I tried to; the fireman was deaf, so I had to use sign language, even though I don’t know sign language, so I had to learn sign language just to tell him to get back on the freeway! That alone took hours!
               Well I sent them on their way, I managed to pick my way back to my computer, I ripped the paper out of the printer, but – oops! – page 1 tore right in two! So I had to dig in all the debris – remember that earthquake? – to find a piece of tape to tape page 1 back together again. And I did.
               So good! I had my assignment in hand – right in my hot little hand – and I was carrying it straight to school (I was trying to get it to you before anything else happened) when I heard this strange warbling sound from the sky. I looked up, and a bright beam of pink laser light hit me in the face, and I keeled over.
               When I came to, I was aboard this flying saucer being experimented on by extraterrestrials. They told me that they wanted my homework. I told them no, do your own homework! After hours of arguing in sign language (fortunately I had just learned sign language; from the fireman, remember?) the aliens and me agreed to make copies of my assignment, one for me, one for them. So the flying saucer landed in the copy shop’s parking lot, and I rushed in to make copies andhad almost finished when – oh no! – I ran out of money just before the last page! I tried to beg a dime from people so I could make the copy of the last page for me and the aliens; you wouldn’t believe the looks I got! Finally a homeless person took pity on me and gave me the dime I needed; so I xeroxed the last page, I gathered the copies together, I rushed out into the parking lot, I gave the aliens their copy, and off they went.
               So finally I had my assignment in hand; but the aliens had left me at a copy shop in Nome, Alaska. It took hours for me to hitchhike home; and by the time I got home, the due date had already passed.
               So that’s why I didn’t complete my homework. Besides, the dog ate it.

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