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Inspiration

Joshua Manning
English 483, Dr. Boudreaux
Creative Project - Chaucer Day
5-3-03

I watched in glee as Jeff cried at the table.

He is an emotional fool.

When my wife Blanche died he wrote a crapy poem about a black knight. He tried to pass it off as some type of elegy. It was supposed to make me fell better.

It was crap.

It made me feel like crap.

Now he asks me to read this House of Fame nonsense. It's crap, too. And I told him so. All your writing is a bunch of crap, I told him.

That's when he started to cry.

I was sitting at home minding my own business reading my copy of Arabian Nights when he barged in my house, uninvited as usual. He handed me what he called "my best story yet."

I put aside my book, read through his story, and then looked up at him. The pudgy swine looked up at me with hope and anxiety in his eyes. I realized then that I had the power to either crush or build him up, to encourage or destroy him.

"It's crap," I said.

For some odd reason he was shocked. I think I saw a tear form in his eye. Wimp.

"Listen, Geoffrey, I love you and that is why I'm telling you the truth. This is absolutely the worst piece of writing I've seen in my entire life."

"But, John, I put my heart into this; the whole of my heart and being has been poured into this. And it's not finished yet! I know I shouldn't let people read my work before it's finished, but I get excited. When I finish it, it'll be better!" he whined.

When you finish it, it'll be more crap. Crap that takes even more time to read. Toss it and start over. It sounds like you wrote this while sitting on the toilet. I know you can do better than this; I've read better from you. Remember that story about Palamon and Arcite and that Emelye chick? Now that was good. This," I said holding the copy of House of Fame, "is crap." In all honesty, I thought that other story was crap, too. But at least it had violence and a hot chick in it. I've honestly never read anything by him that I liked. I think it's all crap.

"But I wasn't even trying with that one. I've worked long and hard on this . . ."

"Crap."

" . . . story."

"Crap."

"Well what do you suggest I do?"

"Start over, only use your brain this time."

"I . . ."

"Reach behind your ear and flip the little switch to 'on.'"

He began to cry.

I smiled.

The little fart is always trying to one-up me. He could never just leave well enough alone. I mean, here I am working my tail off day and night in my high-falutent government job. I worked hard to get where I am. I'm nobility! John of Gaunt! Duke of Lancaster! Then here he comes marching onto the scene thinking his family money and his oh-so-artsy poetry crap will get him somewhere. And to think he tells people we are friends. The thought disgusts me. The pudgy, greasy-haired swine. Go ahead, "stand up" for the common man. Don't you realize how good they have it? How much we nobility give them. How much they don't deserve. Next thing you know he'll be trying to glorify women, the sinful beings. Always talking about the "weak" and the "defenseless." Defenseless! Just three years ago I caught one of those peasants stealing a deer. Says he was hungry and his family starving. Your father killed by Black Death and your mother sick as well? Poor little pagan. I should have the whole of you thrown into prison to relieve your suffering. And I would have too.

Jeff intervened again. This time he got to Blanche with his softy rhetoric and artsy crap. He wrote one of those crapy poems about it. She cried. He's full of crap, I told her. He won again.

Look at him now, sitting at the table. The swine. Weasel. Reminds me of my college roommate. Stinking ferret. He's talking again. I should listen I guess. I'd kill him if I thought he would be worth the effort. With my luck I'd get caught and people would start reading his artsy crap and then all hell would break loose. Ed seems to like him too. Blasted boss. He'd have my head on a platter.

Ferret boy cost me alot of money last year when he got on his religious zealot purging soapbox crap, that's for sure. Shouted about having an uncorrupted clergy one Sunday. He said it in church. I tried telling everyone it was a bunch of crap, that he was full of crap, that our priests and parsons were pure. Weasel. I couldn't risk creating any more unbearable laws forcing the swine into sin any more. Hell if those pardons didn't bring in alot of money. Look at that fool smile!

"Thanks so much, John. You were right!"

"I know. I'm always right. What with this time?"

"You helped me realize that I needed an original idea. These stories I've been writing are too easy! I need some sort of theme, a challenge. Something that will cause a social revolution in our time."

I glanced over at my book. I wish he would leave so I could have some peace and quiet. "Jeff, you amaze me. You should do just that. In fact, you should get started now. You should spend every waking moment doing that. Your talent level is just so . . . Words cannot describe how I appreciate your work." It's all crap. "And don't let anyone read it until you're finished either. They might ruin it with their suggestions."

Good. He's standing up and running out the door now.

"Thanks so much! You are such an encouragement, John. One of my best friends!"

I love it when he's gone. Can't wait until he is for good. When will he realize no one cares about that crap he writes. He should know no one remembers people who write books or poems or other crap. Look at Beowulf. Great story and all, but where did it get the guy who wrote it. Probably thrown in prison for killing off all the heroes. "Art" is crap and will always be crap. People don't remember. He'll be sorry he wasted his time. Should have just done what the rest of us have done for generations.

He's full of crap.