Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Untitled - David on the Lake

David on the Lake graces us with an unsolicited (I love unsolicited stories) ode to Mark Twain. Hius words, not mine. Enjoy:

A short story by me..inspired by Mark Twain

I slowly squeezed a slice of lemon over my piece of salmon taking in the sharp citric scent as the Guest of Honor of the evening was dramatically introduced. Though new to this community I was well acquainted with tonight's honoree, David Greenstein. His reputation was stellar, his credentials impeccable, an accomplished man in every sense of the word. As the packed hall stood to honor this man he slowly approached the stage to accept his award and deliver a short speech.

"Lucky son of a bitch."

"Excuse me?" I exclaimed turning toward the distinguished looking older man to my right.

He looked at me with wise and knowing eyes and repeated "David Greenstein is a lucky son of a bitch".

"How can you say that?", I interjected before he lifted his hand leaned back glass of wine in his hand smiling and continued in a low tone.

"The ways of the world are strange, the paths are many, but none more important than the path called luck. "When David was 19 and in college a beautiful girl inexplicably fell in love with him. When her wealthy father saw that there was no dissuading her in her love struck state he decided to try to remake this unbecoming man. He hired a tutor a week before finals to administer a crash test prep. Faced with such a tall order the flabbergasted tutor just hammered into his head questions and answers from a previous test hoping that enough of those questions will be on this years test. Unbelievably, every single one of those questions was on that years test as well and old David", he said with a chuckle, "got the highest score in the class.

"Armed with this as well as well positioned connections of his now father in law David moved onto the most prestigious ivy league colleges and was hired by a well known law firm right out of college despite his mediocre marks. There he deftly moved from one debacle to another all neatly covered up until the legendary Bernstein Case when as prosecuting lawyer he incredibly misplaced the main piece of evidence just before it was to be presented. Of course no one could've possibly known that the defense's entire case was based upon debunking that piece of evidence thus displaying to the jury the prosecutions incompetence. So to everyone outside the law firm David was an absolute genius."

He paused to sip his drink. After wiping his lips he leaned closer and said "ahh but it was too close for comfort and Davids father in law once again mercifully took him into his own successful stock trading firm. And so began many years of wheeling and dealing but actually sitting around running Daddys errands and playing solitaire until one fateful day in August 1996."

Suddenly more animated he continued. "Rumors were circulating that Nemco pharmaceuticals was about to declare terrible earnings and the market was panicking. Daddy in law ordered David to sell all their thousands of shares of Nemco as soon as possible but he inexplicably attended to something else first and by the time he got back to his desk it was too late, the market was closed. Imagine how livid his father in law was! Needless to say he slept on the couch that night".

Here my gesticulating narrator burst out in quiet laughter and continued with some difficulty. "So the next morning the wires are buzzing with activity, the FAA has just announced that they're approving a new powerful cholesterol reducing drug manufactured by Nemco! The stock almost tripled at the news and they were the only big players still holding onto large numbers of the new gold! And yes once again David Greenstein was a genius! And so I repeat what I told you before and add that with a bit of luck the world is yours for the taking. And yes David Greenstein is a lucky son of a bitch!" he spit out as he rose with the audience to applaud his beaming son in law.


Blogger Lana said...

(excited to be the first to comment-)
interesting story. (i think) i see the Mark Twain influence- the narrator?
the opening line is great-
"I slowly squeezed a slice of lemon over my piece of salmon taking in the sharp citric scent"- the detail really paints the picture.
i'm not the biggest Twain fan, but I do love Hemingway- and he said "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn." (i'm also a big quotes fan)

6:29 AM  
Blogger Elster said...

Truth be told Lana - I HATED Huck Finn. I have started it and put it down unfinished probably 4 times. it remains one of the only books I have even been unable to finish. I LOVED Tom Sawyer though. Go figure.

Someone pointed out at David's site that this is more in the realm of O Henry than Twain. Either way, nice effort by David.

6:31 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Thanks for posting and the kind comments.
I had read a short story by Twain awhile back which carried this same basic theme of a person who had absolutely no talents, yet somehow always managed to have luck shine down upon him and he was considered great.

6:31 PM  

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