The Life and Times of Elroy Bejeezus



Before Elroy, things were pretty grim. His ma, Delrina, was a very unhappy woman. You see, when she first married Elroy's Uncle Bob (her brother), the sap was a runnin' high. Later, after several choice surgeries, Elroy was created in a super-duper psychadelic pop explosion of LOVE, baby! Yeah! It was the summer of 1967 and all the boys and girls in Elroy's home town had decided that chemically altering their perception of toasted perception would lead to a revolution in numerology. And redundancy. This came as a startling revelation to poor Delrina, who resolved from that moment on to leave Uncle Bob and set off for Katmandu. With the infant Elroy in tow, she hitched a ride to Memphis.

Elroy's life, during those years, were filled with joy, mirth, and spontaneous bouts of touch football at four in the morning. The trip to Memphis took about thirty-seven weeks, since Delrina spent most of the time tanked up on isopropyl alcohol and Cheez-Whiz™, while Elroy himself, only an infant at the time, found ample time to work on his novel and soil himself. His novel was to be titled "My Reflections on Elvis. A Structural Marxist Treatise in Seven Parts." The manuscript was already over 4,000 pages long before someone (I think it was Ted Koppel) pointed out what a stupid title that was for a story about a happy bunny and his magical adventures with giant strawberries and an electric duck. But Elroy, being of an age where he intuitively understood the creative tension between post-Lacanian discourse and traditional paradigms, kicked him in the nuts.

"Hey! My pistachios!" exclaimed Koppel, scrambling his eggs and then whipping up a nice quiche for Elroy and his momma, who were staying with Ted until Delrina got her "act together," whatever that meant. Those were happy days for Elroy, but by the time he reached the age of three, he began to feel that his cloistered existence with Delrina and Tom was stifling his creative abilities. If he was to grow as a writer, he concluded, he would need to strike out on his own.

It was now 1970 and the times were a-changing once more. Elroy fell under the influence of early Foucault-ian Deconstructionist bullyboys, who altered his interpretation of "Winnie-the Pooh" in a careless and damaging fasion (if you know what neo-Freudian exposition is, bay-bee).

Yes, "fasion." It's the new Euro-way to spell "fashion." Kill me.

Anyway, for Elroy, all that "peace and love" flower-power claptrap that Delrina had built her life around, was all so much bourgeois self-delusion. With bombs still happily raining down on Vietnam and Nixon in the Whitehouse, he knew that he had to go to Paris and study Semiotics.

Paris, France was a real eye opener for a three year old kid straight out of Tennesee. The first thing that he noticed was the stench. Cleared up his sinuses tres rapide. The other thing he noticed was lines of leeches, each the size of a politician, queuing for hot steaming cups of duck fat au lait.

"Cessez de se plaindre et veuillez écrivez quelque chose de drôle, Dumbass" demanded the gendarme. "Pardon?" replied Elroy. "You are complaining too much in your mind, my friend" said the gendarme "you should get on with it and write something funny." With that, he turned and walked away, stopping momentarily to add what sounded to Elroy like: "Dumbass"

Fired up with a newfound optimism, although short on punctuation, Elroy stumbled upon a group of unemployed philosophs who were huddled together around a blazing pile of doctoral theses, desperately trying to keep warm. Being only three and a half at the time, Elroy naturally thought "cookie?" But there were no cookies for Elroy on this day. He did however, recognize that one of the wizened old philosophs was none other than Jean-Paul Satre's estranged half-brother, the comma-displacing moron named Persnickity-Yves. Or even Jean-Paul Sartre's estranged half-brother. His name was Jake-Louise.

Jake-Louise and Persnickity-Yves took young Elroy in and raised him as their own, teaching him all manner of philosphical critiques. Elroy studied furiously and, by 1973, had deconstructed half of Paris. This made life very uncomfortable for the remaining philosophs, who eked out a precarious living from what was left of the city. (Mostly snails, fungi, and other things found in dark, dirty places which, of course, has been French cuisine since the Revolution.) Mixed with sunless tubers and leftover cattle organs, this became known as Anglo-Norman Existential Cuisine. Elroy brought his pet gecko named Saloth Sar, to the train station with the objective of taking the first available train to Corsica.

Accounts of Elroy's life, over the next ten years, are, at best sketchy. Elroy seems to vanish from the pages of history. Some say that he went to Rome and joined the Red Brigade, as an urban deconstructionist. Others believe he went on to become one of the Swiss Guards who guard the Pope, but Elroy, being an unusually small boy for his age, could not have wielded a pike (the polearm, not the fish or the Compendiumite) very easily. His true fate was so shocking that Jake and Percy disowned him.

Who are Jake and Percy, you ask? Well, they're extraneous characters that no one knows or cares about, ever. Let's move on.

Suddenly, when Elroy is 16, he appears in many places: in Venice, he is appointed Assistant to the Commissioner for Large Objects. In researching the rather large question, "Who are Jake and Percy," he not only switches verb tenses in mid-sentence (to conform with the rest of the story), but he also learned that Jake and Percy were, in fact, nicknames for Jake-Louise and Persnickity-Yves. At last, the riddle that plagued him for over a decade of his miserable life. It was, now, the Eighties, a decade ruled by the lack-of-sensibilities embodied in the philosophical ramblings of jingoistic warmongers as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and left out words like "such" (after "warmongers"), and "was solved (after "miserable life").

But to get back to the real topic of the last paragraph, Elroy also was seen in Cairo (in an underground fingernail clipping cult), in Cleveland (in an offensive minstrel show that suck big ol' juicy titty) and in Bangalore, India (founding a software industry). But what motivated this sudden spurt of activity? Drugs...and coffee...lots of coffee. It was all just a cover-up for Elroy's deeper lack of depth. Damned fool, you'll ruin everything! After sixteen years of posturing, it became evident that Elroy totally sucked as a writer. The continual shifting of location and lifestyle served only to bedazzle people into thinking Elroy was real, when in fact he was definitely most "unreal" (in the 1980's sense). By the 1980's, to suck at everything was no longer a problem. All that was needed was a bit of image engineering, some style editing, a new hairdo and new clothes. Elroy was hot, hotter than he had ever been.

If the 70's was the called the decade that taste forgot, then the 80's were, surely, the decade that everyone wants to forget. So let's forget about them and move on to the 90's, when Elroy first found true love. Her name was Lickety-Boom-Boom-Hava-Nicea-Daya, but everyone just called her Dubya, a coincidence if ever there was one. Dubya Dubya Dubya, that is. Elroy fell in with a group of dot-communists who lived in an endless stream of "dot-com" puns that was, fortunately, pinched off like excrement before it really got underway.

So what are Elroy's plans today? Some say he fully intends to go back to school and get a degree in accounting. It seems likely that he will use his job at Reader's Digest to finance his studies. After that, well, perhaps he'll set up his own accontancy practice or even go into partnership with one or two other accountants. Only time will tell but the future looks very promising indeed.

Very promising.

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This story was last updated Sunday, September 24, 2000.

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