Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, December 05, 2014

I Remember MrsDarwin: Ten and End

It's that time for the last time: this is the tenth annual birthday installment of I Remember MrsDarwin, and ten years is a good enough run for any feature. So, your final set of instructions:

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL MEMORY OF YOU AND ME. 
It can be anything you want--good or bad--BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. 
When you're finished, post this paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you. 

Send me out proud! Old friends, new friends, commenters, lurkers, chums, enemies: warm the cockles of my heart with some false anecdotes before I pass into my dotage and forget what really went on with that guy with the thing at that place. And Happy Birthday to Me!

Read 'em and weep: the past nine years of my faux social life.


Emily J. said...

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Darwin! I also want to congratulate you on your totally awesome performance as Marian the Librarian in the Music Man live on TV! Your talent for improv really saved the day! I hope your career in live television musicals continues to flourish.

Karie, the Regular Guy's Extraordinary Wife said...

Happy Birthday Mrs. D! We met at the Alamo, you were giving an awesome tour when my kid threw up on your shoes. Since your shift was over after that tour, I took you shopping at the Rivercenter Mall for new ones. We really hit it off and had dinner at Los Rios and sang karaoke at Dirty Nelly's (I think, we were pretty deep in our cups by then). Sent you home in a taxi.

entropy said...

Happy Birthday, Mrs. D! I'll never forget that time I forgot my kid at your house and took yours home instead. I should probably return her sometime, eh?

Laura Staum said...

It was an inauspicious meeting - you a rookie cop, me a petty thief suspected of shoplifting a set of steak knives. The odds were stacked against us, but our mutual love of silent films and unusual preparations of duck helped us overcome them. It was a beautiful romance, but short - your shift was over before I was booked, and after all, it wasn't meant to be.

Josiah Neeley said...

I first met Mrs. Darwin the day the Earth exploded. It was, as you can imagine, a crazy time. I remember sirens, the smell of almonds and vinegar, people running back and forth in lab coats. My memories of the whole thing are a bit hazy. Mrs. Darwin warned me that even if the experiment was successful, it would be hard for me to remember. But I had to remember, so that I could warn people. Before it was too late. She made me memorize the numbers so I would remember. 18 63 97 96 33 12. She said this was the key. That if I told her, one day she'd understand.

TS said...

Happy birth anniversary to us! Fountain Square, 1984: I was in my mother's womb. You leapt. I leapt too. "Crazy kids!" our mothers said in unison. Three weeks later we were born, just minutes apart. Small world, 'eh?

Jenny said...

I remember when MrsDarwin and I spent her birthday on the African savannah. It was a cool and windy time of year, but the cheetahs, who had adopted MrsDarwin as one of their own when she challenged one to a ground race, kept us warm and protected us from larger predators. After we ran with the cheetahs for a few days, watching them hunt gazelle, we returned home ragged and exhausted. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to try and outrun the fastest mammal on earth.

Kate said...

I remember when I came over and had tea with Mrs. Darwin. It was a lovely day and I was impressed by how tidy and peaceful her home was.

When I asked where her children were, she admitted her secret to me--she rents her children out on an hourly basis to wealthy parents of obnoxious, friendless children as "background extras" for big birthday bashes and celebrations. She got the idea from reading about Hollywood movie casting and watching back to back episodes of "My Sweet Sixteen."

The extra cash and peace and quiet go to support her novel-writing and other "higher" pursuits. "You have to understand," she told me as she proffered a tray of excess cake pops brought home by her children, "that leisure is the basis of culture."

I can't say I quite followed what you were getting at, Mrs. D, but the cake pops were pretty good and only a little bit stale, so I didn't argue!

lissla lissar said...

I remember we didn't think Mrs Darwin would live. "She's so small", we said, passing her from one set of loving arms to another, "And babies aren't meant to have wings". "But we love her", Aunt Florimel said. "She'll be cherished. And we won't let anyone perform experiments on her."

One hundred smash hit performances of Tinkerbell later, we're glad she made it.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Mrs. Darwin! Only I know the secrets of your career as a time traveler. You are actually the nurse in the famous photo taken on VJ day in Times Square. You are also Irene Adler, the woman described in Edgar Allan Poe's poem "Helen," Beatrice Portinari, and, finally (Or should I say first? Time travel is so confusing!), Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. On the last "I remember Mrs. Darwin" day, the story may at last be told.

Catholic Grammie said...

Ah, my dear Mrs. Darwin! Memories of when you were in college with my oldest daughter arise once again! You sang in the a cappella group with her and we had such a grand time when all of you girls came to our little town to record your CD! I helped you study for that anatomy quiz while you were waiting to record your solo - remember?
Well, I'm selling the old house - everyone has gone and moved away and all is quiet here now. Take care and God bless!

Jennifer Fitz said...

What you wanted to do, back in those days, was get into catfish farming. We were both doubtful about investing via E-bay, but the price per acre was too good, and they already had electric and sewer. I remember the shock on your face when you realized that sign at the entry didn't need to be repainted, there never had been "fish" after the faded letters C-A-T.

It would've worked out -- perfect industry for someone who has a horror of small rodents -- but finally one day you broke down at the prospect of never, ever, being able to leave a tuna sandwich unattended.

Bandhsic said...

As I shivered in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, the wreckage of the Titanic around me. Just when I thought I would surely perish, I felt two strong hands gripping me. The lights on the rescue boat made a halo around Mrs Darwin's head as she pulled me from the waters.

Darwin said...

I suppose those who know us well have heard this one many times before, but surely the most memorable time with MrsDarwin for me was our first (and very nearly last) date.

I wasn't much of a theater goer myself, but I knew MrsDarwin was a drama major, so for our first date I took her out to a live performance of Chekov's Uncle Vanya that a community theater in Pittsburgh was putting on. I was enjoying myself pretty well, but MrsDarwin seemed to be getting more and more worked up throughout the first act. At intermission, she dragged me backstage and delivered a harangue on blocking and business. They were so impressed with her points they refunded all the tickets and took the show back into rehearsals for three days, with MrsDarwin pretty much living at the theater for those 72 hours. I would have thought she'd forgotten completely that I was there, except she would send me out periodically to pick up food or coffee for everyone.

Reviewers all agreed that the revamped production was much better, and after the run was over MrsDarwin called me up and said, "Thank you for taking me out the other night. I had a great time. We'll have to do it again someday."

We did, but I made sure that our next date involved dinner rather than a show.

Maria J. said...

I oh-so-clearly remember the dress rehearsal of JOB: The Musical! How could I forget. You were divine as Mrs. Job. You sang. You danced. And when you came onstage with the grass skirt and coconuts singing "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair," the audience roared. Unfortunately, no one told the director about the extra wrinkle added to his play. Poor guy.

MrsDarwin said...

Oh you guys, I feel so remembered. I'm delighted to see all this mendacity channeled so constructively -- think of all the crises I've averted over the years by providing an outlet for falsehoods. Bless all your lying hearts, and I want to you know that my thoughts of you are just as accurate and flattering as yours of me.

Bob the Ape said...

Ah, distinctly I remember,
It was in the bleak December -
Or perhaps the chill October,
I'm not sure (I wasn't sober) -
When a kaiju named Godzilla
Rose to terrify mankind.

From the day of its uncaging,
Uncontrollably rampaging;
Everywhere was devastation,
Universal consternation;
So from land to land it traveled,
Leaving emptiness behind.

All seemed lost - there was no saving
Us from its mad misbehaving.
Then (a twist quite unexpected)
Blessed Providence directed
Its career to fair Ohio,
Where an Amazon held sway.

Courage stamped on every feature,
Mrs. Darwin faced the creature.
Mortal combat with Godzilla
Was to her but plain vanilla,
With no chocolate sauce of danger,
With no sprinkles of dismay.

Oh, for an angelic chorus
And an unabridged thesaurus
To convey the jabberwocky
Of that fell gigantomachy!
Where Despair and Hope lay balanced
In the scales of Destiny.

Mrs. Darwin, coolly raising
Up the beast, despite the blazing
Of its breath, the fearful lashing
Of its tail, flung it down crashing
To the earth. The stricken kaiju
Perished most ingloriously.

Enbrethiliel said...


I remember exactly what Mrs. Darwin was wearing on the day our group of friends voted to let her join us as an Associate Member. I confess that what moved me most was all the neon she brought into our world: the bright pink scrunchie holding her side ponytail over her left ear, the lime green coconut tree earring dangling from her right ear, and of course, those banana yellow legwarmers that she put on over her arms . . . Such a contrast to the turtlenecks and baseball caps our president favoured!

I also remember the day when I got my first perm so that my hair could look more like hers . . . and she defied the 80s by ironing her hair to get it to look more like mine . . . It's not every day you find a friend who turns your world into The Gift of the Magi, is it?

MrsDarwin said...

E., I see what you did there!

An a poetic tribute from Bob the Ape! I'm not worthy.

Bob the Ape said...

Considering that:

This is the tenth, which is special;
This is the last, which is extra special;
I owe you, which is extra extra special:

It was the least I could do.

Steven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven said...

Mrs. Darwin,
I’ve been wanting to write this story for years.
Actually the idea has been rattling around my head for a year or two before you ended your tradition of birthday falsehoods. Only this year did I finally finish it.
So, finally, an only just in time for your birthday this year, I’ve documented a false memory I have of you. I hope, once you finish it, you’ll have liked reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

A Caper with Cate

Happy Birthday

Steven Kinney