The dialogue was originally improvised in front of the bathroom mirror, whilst I was doing my hair one morning. I didn’t really realise I was doing it until my throat started to hurt from doing a gravelly, Southern America accent. I added the rest of the text to stop it from being just back-and-forth dialogue. I really wish I was lying about how this came about.
One day during the summer, on the one of the nicer days I was sitting on the riverbank. Just me, George (my fishing rod), Bessy (my Springfield bolt action repeater) and the afternoon sun beating down on us all. I was just sitting there thinking, George’s string dangling in the water and Bessy nestled in beside me; a happy family if ever there was one.
We’d been there some time when I turned to George and said,
“George, tell me a story.”
George looked at me for a second before replying, “I ain’t tellin’ you no story. I’s already doin’ your fishin’ for you.”
“Godammit, George. I ain’t asking much”, I pressed. “Just tell me a story ‘bout something.”
“Ain’t happ’nin’, may as well leave it, sir. I ain’t yo’ story rod, I’s a fishin’ rod.”
“I swear, George, if you don’t start talkin’ soon, I will, so help me God, leave yous sittin’ here, by this river and go home”, I threatened, not meaning a word of it; I would never have left George behind.
“The way I sees it: seein’ as mah talking is jus’ a figment of yo’ ‘maginin’s, really you the one refusing to tell yo’self a story.” He had a point. I was doing the voices for both of us and I had made a conscious effort to turn this little back-and-forth into an argument. But I would not be distracted:
“Don’t try and play yo’ sly tricks on me, you jumped-up twig. When I tells you to do somethin’ you best jump and do it, a‘for I replace you”, I was getting angry but I didn’t want to lose focus on what I was trying to achieve. I decided to continue threatening George as I knew he was insecure about his size.
“Do I need to remin’ you”, I persisted childishly, “that there are a hundred-score trees behin’ us, all with branches bigger than you. I could jus’ as easy take a walk into them woods and grab me up a whole mess o’ sticks and make me a fishin’ rod that would catch up a nice fish and tell me a story while doin’ it. Just take one a them sticks and tie and string off it an’ it’a be a better rod than you ever was.”
There was a pause while I thought about what George’s response might be, in order to keep the dialogue flowing.
“All I is, is a stick with string off the end. Ain’t notin’ special ‘bout me. An’ there ain’t nothin’ diff’ent ‘bout them other sticks. The only reason ahma talkin’ is ‘cos yous doing mah voice. You just sittin’ there, pretendin’ t’ be havin’ a argument with yo’ fishin’ rod. An there ain’t no use threatenin’ me, nex’ fishin’ rod’s gone have the same problem.”
“You lyin’ sumbitch, I oughta –“
I was cut off by a groan of frustration. Bessy had entered the fray.
“Lawd almighty, ahma so sick’a you two fightin’ all ‘a time”, she spoke with the unpleasant timbre of a man badly approximating a woman’s tone of voice. “You boys stop yo’ squabblin’ this instant, or I swear, I will put a Godamned bullet in each a yo’ God. Damn. Skulls. Ya hear me?”
There was a pause. George and I looked at each other. Neither of us wanted Bessy to get upset.
I thought this had gone on long enough, anyway.
“I’m sorry, George. You don’t have to tell me a story.” I conceded graciously, the bigger man as always.
“I’m sorry, too. Now, can’t we jus’ sit a spell in the sun and enjoy the res’ o’ tha afternoon?”
And so, we did.