REALITY TEST

Some stories tell the whole shebang from the outside:  Mr. Kenner was thirty-seven years old when he decided to give up his car and simply drive a tire.

Some stories tell it from the inside: Hope and Pray. Yes or No. Will it go? Going! Going. Watch out ahead!

Some stories proceed logically from cause to effect: Kenner had decided to begin living his life entirely by how it felt.  When he woke up on Wednesday it clearly felt like a Sunday so he went to church and waited outside afterward to speak with the choir about changing the pieces they had been obliged to sing.

When Sophie Tristan, the church secretary, was the only person to exit the building he instead asked this question of her. Before she could answer, however, he commented upon how much better he liked her new blue hat than the rose-colored number that she usually wore.

Sophie faltered and then replied, “Mr. Kenner this is my old rose hat.”

“But, my dear Miss Tristan, it feels like blue.” Then he turned her to see herself in the window glass and, lo and behold, her hat seemed blue!!

After her composure returned Mr. Kenner very politely asked if she would to join him for a ride in his tire. “Impossible!” Sophie replied. “No one can drive a wheel without an engine, some seats, and a turning wheel doolie!”

After some persuasion, however, Sophie stepped into the rubber-and-tread mobile and off they went for a spin around the block. When they finally returned to the same curb where they’d begun Miss Tristan, sensible creature that she was, admitted that she was amazed, and more than a little hurt, that something went simply because he felt it should. “What,” she asked, “will come of the sense of things if a man can do just as a man feels he can. Rain might fall from a cloudless sky or someone might be so foolish as to put meat into a mincemeat pie. Let us compromise, Mr. Kenner. You must, please, think of the world only as it is and I promise to be amazed at all the clever things that you imagine.”

There are then a few small stories told entirely for the pleasurable nonsense they generate.

 

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The Dynasphere” photographed in 1934 by anonymous
Getty Archives, Los Angeles, CA USA
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