I used to go to a certain coffee shop every day after work. I don’t actually drink coffee, but I do like to steal sugar packets and look at strange people. Aside from that, I had developed a friendship with the shop’s owner, Simon Crusoe. Simon was fat and hairy, and I told him he should open a bakery, since he looked like the type of person who would do that.
I always came in about an hour before closing, and after his doors shut we would hang out in the empty shop, swap stories, and talk about stuff that didn’t really matter.
One night after closing, Simon brought out a guitar from the back room, along with his usual cup of jo.
“I didn’t know you played.”
“Oh, yeah. Sometimes.”
He started strumming gently. It was calm and sweet sounding. I liked it. I was sitting in my chair, relaxing, wondering if he would notice if I took the honey jar. Then I noticed his nametag for the first time. It read, “Simon Miller.”
“Why does your nametag say Simon Miller?”
“Because that’s my name.”
He continued strumming.
“Everyone calls you Crusoe.”
“Yeah, I got that nickname after being shipwrecked in the Pacific for a few weeks.”
“What? How come you never told me about that?”
Simon then started to play a new tune, an upbeat rockabilly-type rhythm that reminded me of Jerry Lee Lewis. He sang these words:
I got stranded on an island once with my best friends
There was Chuck, Jeff, and Jeb, and poor old Ted
Ted got attacked by a lion, bad
But we snatched the remains of the body he had
Draggin’ Dead Teddy through the island there
Draggin’ Dead Teddy from the lion’s lair
Gonna bury him up like good people done
“I’m sorry, Jeff, I think I dropped his lung”
Well, desert islands get boring real fast
And the stuff we were doin’ wasn’t much of a blast
But then we saw Ted up against that tree
And decided to take up puppetry
Playin’ with Teddy, would you look at him go
Stringin’ him up just like Pinocchio
Tied ropes round his arms, made a puppet rig
“Hey look here, Chuck! He’s doin’ a jig!”
Simon stopped playing to take a sip of coffee.
“This is a funny song,” I said.
“Yeah, it’s all true, too.”
Before I could respond to this ridiculous claim, he began singing again:
Well, man can’t live on games alone
He gets urges in his body, from skin to bone
It had been a while since we’d seen our wives
We said, “Well, heck, Ted’s not alive!”
Porkin’ Dead Teddy on the island there
Doin’ Dead Teddy in the derriere
It was fun and all, ’cept for the smell
“Well dammit, Jeb, we’re goin’ to hell.”
We were finally rescued by a pilot man
He saw us in his plane and decided to land
Hallelujah! We’re saved! What a stroke of luck!
But he said he wouldn’t fly on an empty gut…
Eatin’ Dead Teddy, man, he taste so fine
Wish we had potatoes, biscuits ’n’ wine
We looked down at our friend and sunk in our teeth
“Take a picture, Cap’n, it’s a Teddy feast!”
The song, by now, had made me furious.
“Simon, you’re a goddamn liar. None of that actually happened.”
He then stood up, went to the back room, and brought out an old photo album…
Simon Crusoe is a filthy man, and I won’t speak to him anymore.