( Wednesday, June 25, 2008 )

Geoff & Naomi: A Pretty True Story

This past weekend my friend Geoff got married. I was told in no uncertain terms that there would be no speeches required of me. Of course, being one to crave the opportunity to speak my mind in front of a large crowd--because, you know, I love being nervous, sweaty, and on the brink of an ulcer--I forced my will upon them and won the right to say a word or two.

Instead of the typical "Best Man Speech", about all the great times we had and what a fantastic guy he is and how happy they will be together, blah, blah, *gagging* blah, I decided to write a short and concise history of his and Naomi's relationship, to be accompanied by illustrations. This is what resulted:

-the prologue-

About a year ago, not long after Geoff and Naomi had started dating, they invited me out for lunch, wanting to discuss something they had been considering. After our lobster and caviar, they laid it out for me: they wanted me to write a novel about their relationship. It had to be epic, thrilling, tear-inducingly romantic; they wanted it to be funny and touching; they wanted something that would shake up both the literary and dating worlds. Could it be a 3 or 4 volume set? A single leather-bound edition? Would I consider creating a screen adaptation? Maybe work with Disney to create some sort of ride?

I listened as they threw numbers at me: 50 Thousand? 80 Thousand? 362 Thousand Dollars? What would it take to get this biography going?

I told them, “Listen, can I be honest with you? I like you guys, and I think this relationship – such as it is – looks promising. But frankly, it’s not that interesting. Not enough for a series of literary masterpieces, anyway. But I’ll tell you what I can do. I’ll do some research, I’ll gather some facts, and I’ll put together a short-story. And as payment I’ll accept the position of Best Man at your wedding – if it comes to that.”

They agreed, and so began my work.

As I did my homework, I discovered that there was a lot of misinformation out there about how Geoff and Naomi met, and how their relationship reached this point. I heard talk of karaoke, blackmail, and dares. I even heard things that I couldn’t, in good conscience, repeat in front of a God-fearing crowd. But none of it carried much weight with me. Inconsistencies among witnesses, faulty memories, lack of photographic evidence – how could I present a finished proof if it were all based on such incongruent hearsay?

And so, after many sleepless nights, some intense intercession, and obviously flawless research, I present the following pretty true and fairly authoritative account of Geoff and Naomi’s relationship.

-the beginning-

We begin with Geoff. Geoff has always been a people person.

Every chance he got he was out spending time with people: singles, couples, groups, crowds, rioters, anyone and everyone.

Being with others was as intuitive to him as good personal hygiene.

Geoff rarely spent time alone.
He wouldn’t admit it, but being by himself gave him too much time to obsess over his lack of female companionship.

Oh, he tried to be productive.

He read books.

He watched movies.

He cooked and enjoyed fine foods.

But it wasn’t enough. He was getting desperate.

So one morning, instead of devoting his embarrassingly-early 3 hour prayer time to the needs of his youth, discovering cheap alternative fuel sources, and world peace, he selfishly pleaded with Almighty God to provide him with a hotty, if it be His will.

Our Lord, in His powerful and commanding voice, promptly answered: “Thine maiden shall be she who provideth you with nourishment.”

Unfortunately, Geoff had not familiarized himself with the King James Bible, and was distracted by God’s usage of Old English, thus missing out on an otherwise obvious prophecy.

Meanwhile, a hundred thousand miles away on a remote island very far off the coast of Jamaica, Naomi was living a surprisingly similar existence.

While not as codependent as Geoff, Naomi was very much one to enjoy spending time with other people, be they young or old, short or tall, Jew or Gentile, crazy or wholly sane.

In fact, she took her partying seriously and made sure she went to bed every night/morning at an unmistakably ungodly hour.

But there were times when she was forced to spend an evening alone, as tends to happen on small, remote islands very far off the coast of Jamaica.

So she made sure to relax,

read a trashy romance novel,

or watch a meaningless action movie, all to keep her mind off the painful reality that if she didn’t find a man soon she was going to wake up one morning 80 years old with a wicked bad hangover.

Not being in the mood to cook a meal for herself one lonely evening, Naomi decided to fast. She pleaded and petitioned and beseeched Creator God to bring her a man of upstanding character, a ruggedly strong physique, and vast riches.

Again, Our Lord, in His powerful and commanding voice, promptly answered: “Thou art a woman of great faith. Your husband shall be he who bestoweth upon thee chocolatey goodness.”

Believing this to be a metaphor for God’s relationship with His church by providing them chocolatey goodness, which, as she understood the metaphor, was Jesus, Naomi dutifully thanked God for His rapt reply and then went and had something to eat.

-the middle-

Now, by some twist of fate, or perhaps more accurately, an Act of God, Naomi decided to venture off her small, remote island very far off the coast of Jamaica and visit the big city. Her travel agent recommended she visit Ladner, BC. So she set out, traveling alone and with no relatives or family members or friends to stay with once she arrived. She wandered the streets of the sprawling metropolis, blinded by the bright lights and disoriented by the throngs of people spilling out of bars and clubs all over the city. Confused, hungry, and lost, she spotted a church sign and ran to it, hoping to claim sanctuary.

As she stumbled through the doors, she immediately spotted a chocolate bar sitting on a bench.

Intrigued, and prodded by her hungry stomach, she approached the tantalizing candy, hoping it had, by some miracle, been placed there for her benefit.

In her trance, she failed to notice the man approaching the same bench from the other side. Geoff had just finished his 15 hour work day in the church office, and feeling hungry, decided to head out for dinner.

But then he spotted the chocolate bar, alone and inviting, beckoning him to taste it’s unhealthy but oh so delicious soft outer shell and cookie like interior.

He quickly rushed towards it,

as did she.

It wasn’t until their hands almost met over the treat that they saw the other.

Geoff, startled but determined, grabbed at the bar, much to the deep sadness of Naomi.

When he realized what he had done, that his belly had overpowered his most basic manners, Geoff was overcome with shame and handed the chocolate bar to Naomi.

Suddenly the booming voice of God flashed through Naomi’s head: “man” “bestoweth” “chocolatey goodness”. Realizing she was staring her future right in the face, she tore open the package and handed Geoff a piece.

Suddenly the booming voice of God flashed through Geoff’s head: “Maiden” “provideth” “nourishment”. Realizing he was staring his future right in the face, he shoved the chocolate in his mouth.

And together they rubbed their bellies, Naomi considering the colour scheme of their wedding and Geoff hoping she wouldn’t make him throw away his action figures.

-the end-

Unfortunately the rest of the story cannot be read as the rights have been sold to Disney. A film, amusement park attraction, and various collector toys are in the planning stages.

-the epilogue-

Oh, and they lived happily ever after.