Well Done, Senor!

The city bus was not overcrowded, but most of the seats were occupied. So I had to take a seat meant for senior citizens on the front left side of the bus. An elderly lady was occupying the window seat alongside me. To add to my peace of mind two seats meant for the senior citizens and differently abled persons were still empty. So there was no immediate danger of losing the seat.

After the first stop one senior citizen boarded the bus, and to my surprise instead of taking the empty seat ahead came straight to me mumbling something. I pointed to the seat on the front rows indicating that he might as well occupy it. The elderly gentleman did not budge and muttered something again. I thought I heard the word ‘madam’ and so surmised that the lady on the window seat was known to him and that he wanted to give her company for the ride. Without much of a protesting mind I obliged him, and to my luck one of the seats on the last rows just got empty. Instinctively I kept on watching the senior citizen as I sat down on my new address. More surprise was in store.

Instead of sitting down he again mumbled something to the elderly lady, and the lady got up too. I was really confused now. What was he up to? The elderly woman moved somewhat stiffly towards the seats on the right side of the bus meant for ladies only. I immediately turned my focus to those seats, and found that one seat there was empty. As the senior citizen finally sat down satiated on the window seat everything, suddenly, was revealed to me. I laughed out inside me and I was not able to prevent the amusement infecting my facial contours.

It was a compact plan. While he was boarding the senior citizen took in the scenario inside completely and accordingly made his calculated moves. He disposed of me first which was not at all against the law, and then he eliminated the lady too which was also quite logical. His target was plain and simple-to have a comfortable ride occupying the window seat. Let it be on trains or planes or cars or buses the craze for the window seats goes on unabated. From childhood days we always fight for that and when we win we get overjoyed. No harm done, basically!

The Talking Water Heater

One wintry day in Chicago, Sam Warm undressed to take a shower. He turned the shower knob to the left to heat the water. As the water gushed out, it felt lukewarm, but, a minute later it turned cold. Sam turned the knob to the right to warm up the water. But there was little warmth. As a matter of fact, it still felt cold. He shivered and immediately got out of the shower. He dried himself with a towel, put on some clothes and marched down to the basement to check the water heater.

Sam couldn’t tell if the machine was working properly or not. He had bought it ten years ago and had very few problems with it, if any. So, he called a local plumber to check it out. When the plumber came a few hours later, Sam showed him the machine. The plumber examined it and noticed a bit of rust around the bottom faucet. He turned the water on and rusty water flowed out.

“Am I acting ‘funny’?” a voice exclaimed.

The plumber, named Jake jerked up and quickly looked around him.

“I hope you have warm hands. I feel cold!” the voice said.

“Who said that?… Mr. Warm?”

“No. Me… The water heater.”

Jake looked at the machine with his eyes wide open. “Wha..?”

“I’ve been here for many years! Hopefully, you can change me for a newer model… I can’t wait to get outta here!… Wanna hear a joke?”

Jake gazed at the water heater with full attention. “Y..y..yea?”

“I’m just getting warmed up,” the heater said with a laugh. “What did the water heater say when the plumber emptied out all of the water?”

Jake said, “I… I… don’t… know.”

“The heater felt drained… ha… ha… ha!”

Jake looked down in disbelief. He began to think what would happen to this magic water heater that could talk. Then an idea came to him. He imagined himself becoming famous and wealthy if he owned this wonderful machine.

“Does Mr. Warm know about you being able to talk?” Jake said to the heater.

“No… It would make him nervous. Can you take me home with you? I know I need to be replaced.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

So Jake told Sam that the old heater needed to be replaced. Sam asked, “When can you get a new model in and take this one away?”

“As soon as possible. I can schedule something for tomorrow. I do want to ask you if I could keep this old water heater.”

“Sure. That’s fine with me.”

The next day, Jake drove his truck, hauling a new water heater to exchange for the magic water heater. When he came in, walked to the machine and said, “I’m here. Come to take you away,” he told it.

“That’s great! Can’t wait to get outta here!” the machine said cheerfully.

Jake disconnected all of the pipes and hoses. After he drained the water, he eagerly installed a new water heater to replace the old one. After Sam signed and paid, Jake hauled his heavy future money making machine away.

When Jake came home, he contacted a comedy club and told the manager about his talking water heater. The manager laughed in disbelief. But, he set up a time the next evening for Jake to entertain the club’s crowd with his water heater. “Jake and His Talking Water Heater” would be the first act of the evening.

The next evening, Jake hauled it on a dolly into the comedy club. The few people who worked at the club gawked at the huge machine and wondered why a water heater was being rolled backstage into the club. They thought that the club needed a new water heater and Jake was there to install it, but they looked shocked when he hauled it onto the stage. Everyone laughed and mocked Jake, but he thought, I’ll show them.

Jake had dressed up in a coat and tie, and he had covered the heater with a sheet. Jake waited impatiently while the audience slowly took their seats. When Jake came out he quickly uncovered the heater, and said, “I took a look at this old heater at a customer’s house and it talked to me. So, I’d like to present you to him. What do you say, my friend… ?”

It didn’t say anything. It just gurgled. The crowd began to laugh and boo. Jake began to sweat. He nervously asked the heater, “Water heater, tell us a joke.”

Again, the heater didn’t respond. The crowd yelled, booed and threw trash at Jake and the heater. Jake ran from the stage, leaving the heater on the stage. Before the next act, Jake angrily composed himself. Then, he took a dolly and quickly wheeled the heater off. He was so embarrassed he wheeled it into his truck and went home.

When he got home, he kicked the heater. “Why couldn’t you talk?!” But it just gurgled.

Poor, tired Jake walked slowly into his living room and sat down. Ten minutes later, he moseyed to his refrigerator, opened it and grabbed a can of beer.

“I don’t guess you talk?” he asked the refrigerator.

No answer.

Jake thought for a while why the heater didn’t talk. Suddenly he had an idea. He turned off the water in his house and disassembled his own water heater and connected the talking one. After the connections were fixed, it immediately began to cough.

Then it said, “I forgot to tell you. I have to be hooked up so I can talk.”"Why didn’t you tell me this before I took you out?” Jake said angrily.”I was going to but I forgot,” the machine said.

Not To The Death, But, To The Pain

Before I really, really, really begin this article, I would just like to say that I got the title from that line in The Princess Bride movie written by William Golding when Wesley the farm boy bluffed Prince Humperdinck into running away from him in fear in a moment of total physical weakness on the part of Wesley, the heroic farm boy. Man, oh man, true love is a funny thing! Some of the best story book moments in life are just that though, ultimate, but successful bluffs that work. Like the coup de coup one-hundred dollar bluff bet in a poker game that is meant to scare the other players into dropping their cards and giving the great bluffer with a poor hand all of the pot without having to split it. I get it.

Life, love, pain and pleasure are vibrations, games, purposeful aberrations meant to make things interesting or whatever you want to call them. But pure existence for good or bad is a serious thing, it is definite. What is, is without a bluff or a trick in store. Existence definitive is the end.

But he most interesting twists are what bluffs and tricks and games are made of. What do you think made the end of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and all of “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” big hits in the theatres? It was the ability of Captain James Tiberius Kirk to bluff and win the game through his bluffs and pat himself on the back for it right down to resurrecting Mr. Spock through the planet his son created. I get it. Through twists and turns, and loops anything is possible in life and out of it.

The soap opera bringing back the dead or the twin, right? Sure, what is not possible in this opera called life really? Sure, this is a humorous article, but it does bring up some interesting realities of everything from existence to more interesting existence. If you can think it up, nothing unreal exists. What is not possible is beyond the totality of consciousness I guess. So, my favorite questions:

Who is John Galt?

Where did God come from?

and the whopper:


That is the whopper that makes everything interesting, does it not?

“Open the pod bay doors please, HAL!”

Then in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Dave Bowman the astronaut disconnects the computer, and goes beyond it in intelligence and perfection via the magic singing monolith at Jupiter, does his fetal days again and goes beyond the infinite and the intimate. They even give actor Keir Dullea a scene where he eats his last meal and becomes an old man decrepit all in one serving:

My God, it is full of stars! The transmission ended with a sequel called “2010: The Year We Make Contact”. We got bluffed again! Another twist. Play the theme music and begin it again!

My name is Joshua Clayton, I am a freelance writer based in Inglewood, California. I also write under a few pen-names and aliases, but Joshua Clayton is my real name, and I write by that for the most part now. I am a philosophical writer and objective thinker and honest action taker. I also work at a senior center in Gardena, California as my day job, among other things, but primarily I am a writer.