Fall Down? Hmm… Interesting.

NOTE – While I am offline writing fiction and ignoring my blog, I’ve decided to post a few pieces that 99% of you have never read or heard of.

The following was originally published by The Short Humour Site

***

Let me begin this by saying that I am not indifferent or completely cold (notice I said ‘completely’) nor do I consider myself a misanthrope (except in regards to individuals who are considerably better-looking than me, have more money or who possess a far greater talent. In my opinion, these people should rot!) I do what I can to champion the underdog, fight the good fight, etc.  Yet, with regards to the world around me, more often than not I find myself not a reactionary, but an observer–less the surgeon and more the heart monitor that beeps incessantly to the annoyance of the curmudgeon in the bed nearby. I seem to watch the goings-on of others in much the same way I would a courtroom drama: the only reaction being ‘I wonder what’s gonna happen next.’

"So, he slipped on the ice and fell down these stairs, eh?" "Yup. Hit his head pretty hard, too." "Should we call an ambulance?" "No, I want to see if he can get up on his own. I'm curious."

“So, he slipped on the ice and fell down these stairs, eh?”
“Yup. Hit his head pretty hard, too.”
“Should we call an ambulance?”
“No, I wanna see if he gets up on his own. I’m just curious is all.”

Once, I was sitting at a crowded cafe (doing my part to stimulate the economy with a $2 coffee purchase) when a grizzled man got up and, as quickly as he stood, pitched forward to the floor. My initial reaction (as I sipped my coffee and thought that it could have used a bit more sugar) was not to lend assistance. Instead, my reaction was, “Hmm, I wonder what caused that? He doesn’t appear inebriated. I wonder who will be the first to lend a hand?  The girl behind the counter, maybe? That seems a safe bet.”

As a young man wearing a Misfits t-shirt kneeled down and offered his shoulder for the fallen man’s support, I thought, “Hmm, I was wrong. Interesting.”

Another time, as I sat on a park bench adjusting the laces on my shoes (so that the two ends were exactly even), a melee broke out across the street. Looking up, I thought, “That seems like an uneven fight. I wonder what caused it? Looks like that tall one might kick the other guy in the… Hey, whaddya know, I was right. One point for me.”

Moments later, I was walking back to my car, strongly considering purchasing new laces.

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Corporal Valentine wonders if those 100's of Japanese planes were on their way to attack or simply relax in one of the many hotels.

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Corporal Calahan wonders if those 100’s of Japanese planes are on their way to attack or simply relax in one of Oahu’s many hotels.

It’s not that I am indifferent or possess a borderline sociopathic nature, it’s just that I possess the Calahan nature.  It was my great-great grandfather Francis Xavier Calahan who, on a trans-atlantic voyage in 1913, twirled his mustache as he thought, “I wonder if we’re a goin’ t’ hit that iceberg? Rather ominous-lookin’ thing it is. Let’s see if I can guess who’ll be the first t’ notice it… That lad in the crow’s nest, ay, my money’s on him.”

And, it was my great-great-great uncle (once removed) Eustis Dellacroix Calahan, the theater critic, who, while attending a play in 1865,  let his eyes wander in search of something more entertaining and found himself ruminating, “Hmm, that’s interesting. Isn’t that the young actor Booth skulking around the President’s box?  I wonder if he’s going to ask the President for an autograph? No, I bet he wants to have a moment of his time in order to discuss…”

“…A shot? I did not expect that, at all. Interesting.”

Several members of the Calahan family watch as the Hindenberg comes in for a landing. Despite witnessing several sparks emanating from the rear, they decide the best course of action is to wait and see what happens.

Several members of the Calahan family watch as the Hindenberg comes in for a landing. Despite witnessing several sparks emanating from the ship’s rear, all decide the best course of action is to wait and see what happens.

To anyone reading this, I ask that you don’t judge me harshly. I ask that you look upon me not as having an icy heart, but as someone who has the emotional capacity of a WWI Doughboy suffering shell shock without the benefit of having witnessed the horrors of war.

If you must pity me, pity me for succumbing to something so debilitating that I doubt I can ever be cured — I am a Calahan.

"See here? This spot on the parietal lobe? I'm afraid that's a Calahan and, well, it's inoperable. I'm sorry."

“See here? This spot on the parietal lobe? I’m afraid that’s a Calahan and, well, it’s inoperable. I’m sorry.”

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Categories: Every Day Episodes | Tags: , , , , , | 42 Comments

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42 thoughts on “Fall Down? Hmm… Interesting.

  1. Mike, I think it’s possible someone from your family may have shared a bed with someone in my family, most likely in a tryst dating back to the 1800s, starting a similar blood line and sparking the powder keg of war that led to… wait, did I spell “tryst” right?

    (This was a funny, funnnny piece, my friend! Or fifth cousin. Or whatever…)

  2. I love everything that drips from your pen, Calahan.

  3. Welcome back. You have been missed. Great stuff as always.

  4. You should come to NYC and ride the subway late at night.
    Plenty of chances to not pitch i- I mean…observe.

  5. My 11 year-old would label you a “bystander” but maybe we can modernize that to “calastander” or “byahan”.
    Awesome post.

  6. I found this history of Inertian American Calahans positioned at the right time and the right place to take no action very entertaining. If I was about to unknowingly get flattened by a bus, while only you were passively watching, I might find that a lot less entertaining. I’m glad I read this in the safety of my hovel.

    • I like to think that if I saw you about to get hit by a bus, that I would call out to you to watch out. Then again, it would depend on the bus because, “Is that the 64 bus? Where is it heading? How quickly does a bus stop, I wonder?”

  7. not to ignore the actual text, but nobody crafts a caption like you. have you ever entered the “new yorker” magazine caption contest?

  8. I’m jealous. I wish I had the ability to merely observe and report. Too often I find myself the heroine in chance situations and, quite frankly, the public adoration that invariably follows exhausts me.

    Missed you, Calahan.

    • A beautiful damsel* in distress is a difficult thing to live down, I’m sure. Yours is a difficult cross to bear.

      *is it okay to say ‘damsel’ or is that too crass? Should I say something more family-friendly like ‘dangsel’ or ‘darnsel’?

  9. Bahahahahaaha. So glad I stopped by this morning. Great stuff, as always.

  10. You are a fine enigma. And can I say now that I really appreciate you popping by my blog when you do? There, I’ve said it.
    Love that you are ‘less the surgeon and more the heart monitor.\ Such lovely words spill from your skull.

  11. A writing observer? The integrity of journalism called, said it needs you so (wo)mankind doesn’t have to watch the Kardashians anymore.
    Great as always, Mike.

  12. I was hoping you would post something soon!
    You’ve brought to mind a repressed memory of which I am not proud. I used to work at a summer daycare and this little girl who worshiped me requested me to watch as she raced one of the employees across the playground. As they ran to the other side, a kickball from a nearby game flew with extreme force and unfortunate accuracy directly into her face. “SMACK!” Her head bounced away from the impact of the ball and she dropped to the asphalt instantly. To the horror of everyone around me, I burst into laughter that couldn’t be stopped. NO ONE ELSE LAUGHED. It was hilarious though, I have no idea how they didn’t laugh. She was fine, by the way. She did bleed a little, but nothing broke. I can’t remember if she still followed me around after that.
    Anyway, at least your subtler method of inactive observing probably results in less hate from the public.

    • Even before I read that you burst into laughter, I actually laughed at the scene. Had it been a rock, probably wouldn’t have been very funny. A rubber ball, though? That’s funny.

      For your information, though, that little girl is my little sister and she is vindictive. She knows a guy who knows a guy that “takes care of things” for money.

      • Oh, good! I’m glad you thought it sounded funny too. I have a huge fear of getting hit in the face/face-planting, because I’m afraid my fake teeth will fall out, so you should tell your sister that’s probably going to be the best revenge plan. And if her thug could manage to break the fake teeth, I’d be out $6k.

        • I’ll pass the info along. As long as I can interrupt her sniper training long enough to get in a word with her, that is.

  13. This was hilarious. I’m glad you revived this for the other 99% of us. Oh and I was the guy in that Misfits shirt. Go Danzig.

    • That was you? I was wondering whether it was or not. Your zipper was down, by the way. And you had gum on the seat of your pants. And spinach in your teeth. And someone put an unflattering sticker on your back.

  14. I am Calahan, and I thought I was the only one.

    • Despite protests from various world governments, there are other Calahans.

      Aside: Are you really a Calahan?

  15. We Irish are a complicated bunch. Either emotionally retarded or emotionally hyperactive so that every fight, every event is OUR event. Sadly I’m part of the jump in both feet first crowd.

    • I knew I liked you for a reason. I thought that reason was free ice cream, but I now know the truth.

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