Helper Mule needs an intervention, and possibly to go to a safe house.

Am I less stabbity today? Eh, a little. But I’m also WAY WAY SLEEPY. Someone tell me that I shouldn’t stay up until 1am when I have to get up at 6, ok? Because that can’t ever end well.

OK, listen, I saw The Real Thing Wednesday night. That’s a play. By Tom Stoppard. Who, Amy? FINE. You all know Tom Stoppard, even if you don’t think you do. Tom Stoppard wrote the plays Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Real Thing (Tony award-winner, you guys), Arcadia, The Real Inspector Hound and 15-Minute Hamlet, among many, many others. Amy! I hate theater! FINE. He’s also been KNIGHTED. By the QUEEN. Is that more impressive? NO AMY WE’RE MERKANS! ZOMG FINE HE CO-AUTHORED SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and BRAZIL, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? Hey, we like movies, cool, thanks, Amy! You’re welcome, troglodytes, you’re welcome.

You remember this, right? Of course you do. SWOON.

Anyway, if you don’t like intelligent, wordy theater, stay away from Stoppard. I brought my mom to see Arcadia and she left so upset and confused. “I have NO IDEA WHAT JUST HAPPENED,” she said. I felt terrible. I’d seen it before (twice, actually, it’s one of my favorite plays) but he might be an acquired taste. You can’t dabble in Stoppard. You have to dive in and luxuriate. It’s dense and things are flying at you fast and furious and if you’re not careful, you get lost…but if you catch it, you fall madly in love. And I have. And I do.

Anyway, I won’t go too much into The Real Thing, other than it was just a brilliant night of theater all around, and I can’t stop thinking about it, and it brought up a million things for me, and I was listening and watching so hard I gave myself a little headache. Also, Patrick was in it, and you all know I’d walk a mile barefoot over broken glass to watch Patrick in anything. (SPOILER ALERT: he was awe-inspiring up there. But hell, you knew he would be, right? Right.) It’s about – oh, love, and betrayal, and commitment, and writing, and heartbreak, and art, and how the people in our lives fit into our lives, and how we change our lives to make them fit. You know. Just little things like that. It was just an utter revelation.

So good, you guys. So, so good.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this, from one of the monologues Patrick’s character had.

“Words… They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good any more… I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”

How gorgeous is that? That made me tear up, seriously. I was in the front row all teary-eyed because someone was extolling the virtues of words. But it’s nice, right? So nice. And so true. I’m printing this out and hanging it up. I need this in my house where I can look at it regularly. This is how I feel about words, when they’re done right. This is how something spectacularly written makes me feel. Right? “Nudge the world a little.” That’s just poetry, right there. Beautiful.

OK. That was tangential. If you’re local, here’s the website. It’s inexpensive for a night of theater over there, some of the best local actors are onstage (and one of the best local directors is directing this one) and you won’t be disappointed, seriously. So wonderful. One of the best I’ve seen this year. And yeah, sure, I’m biased because I know some people involved, but take into consideration I also DON’T recommend crap, even if my best friends are in it. Promise. Recommending crap tastes like ashes in my mouth and gives me a migraine.

Anyway, that wasn’t at all what I was planning on talking about, but I didn’t think I could find that quote online, and when I did, I got all fired up and wanted you to see it immediately immediately immediately because I thought some of you might love it as much as I did.

We have something important to talk about today. And that thing is: HELPER MULE.

This is not OUR mule. Some OTHER mule. But doesn’t he look helpful? Yes.

I know, I buried the lead in gorgeous writing from Sir Tom Stoppard. Sorry. Had to. Couldn’t resist.

So Dad’s home now. His trip home was fine, except he ALMOST DIED. No, not really. He’s melodramatic.

Apparently, there was a MAJOR RAINSTORM ZOMG in Syracuse and Dad was pretty sure he was going to die, but just barely escaped all the dying. That’s good, because I don’t want to be a sadface orphan. Oh, wait, I have a mom, that’s shitty of me. A sadfaced half-orphan? Better.

But anyway, now he’s home. And last night, I got a HELPER MULE UPDATE.

Dad: Blah blah blah COULD HAVE DIED RAINSTORM!!! blah blah just so you know I didn’t even walk over there to see that thing.
Me: What? Whoa, back up, Charlie Segue, what thing. I thought you were driving, although I have to be honest, I kind of tuned out during Rainmageddon 2012.
Dad: MEAN TO YOUR POOR FATHER. That ass. I didn’t even go look at that ass.
Me: Is this a Hooters story?
Dad: THE HELPFUL ASS.
Me: HELPER MULE?!?!? You went to see Helper Mule?
Dad: No, I went to see (SIDE NOTE, I have to make up a name for Helper Mule’s Dad, it’s too hard to say “Helper Mule’s Dad” all the time. He has a nickname which I won’t use, because that’s rude of me and how do I know he won’t sue me? I promise the one I’m about to use is very close to his real nickname, and don’t even start with me, WE ARE FROM THE COUNTRY) Rooster. And he kept saying, “Let’s go see my mule!” and I was all, “I don’t want to see that mule.”

He doesn’t look like a rooster, though. He looks like an older man. Who is sometimes on a Rascal Scooter.

Me: The internet’s going to be PISSED at you for not checking on its favorite beast of burden, you know.
Dad: Rooster told me all about it anyway. Don’t worry.
Me: TELL ME TELL ME.
Dad: Well, it’s still not helping at all. It still won’t go near him.
Me: Dammit. That mule is NOT HELPFUL. That was a totally misleading mule.
Dad: I think it’s because he always rides up to it on that scooter. That scooter’s kind of loud. Maybe it scares the mule.

NO, this isn’t Rooster. He’s not that old. He’s like 60.

Me: Aw, poor Helper Mule! He’s got delicate gigantic ears.
Dad: And now Rooster is broke.
Me: What? He’s a rich guy!
Dad: Not anymore. It’s expensive to keep a mule. It needs a number of saddles, apparently.
Me: Why would you buy saddles for a mule that won’t let you get near it?
Dad: Not sure. Maybe in the anticipation that eventually it would let you get near it?
Me: So, they’re optimistic saddles. They’re investment in the future saddles.

MANY SADDLES.

Dad: I guess. Also, now that he has the mule and the horse they eat a lot. They’re expensive.
Me: How’s the horse? Did she have her love-child yet?
Dad: No. Now he thinks she’s not pregnant, just fat. So he’s got a vet coming over. They’re going to see if she’s pregnant or just fat.
Me: How do they do that, I wonder?
Dad: I asked him that and he said they punch the horse in the stomach.
Me: I DON’T THINK THAT’S A THING DAD.
Dad: You don’t know, you didn’t go to vet school.
Me: Common sense tells me that stomach-punchery isn’t a scientific pregnancy evaluation for mares.

I WILL PUNCH YOU SO HARD, MARE.

Dad: Also the mare hates the mule.
Me: What? I thought they were friends! He was going to be a step-dad to the love-child!
Dad: Stop making up farm animal soap operas. Apparently, the mule is afraid of the mare, because a couple days after she arrived, she headbutted him so hard he fell over.
Me: ZOMG DAD. That is SO SAD. And also a little funny. That poor mule! He’s just about the saddest thing in the world.
Dad: Also, she won’t let him eat. He tries, and she attacks him until he gets away from the food. Then she eats until she’s done, THEN he’s allowed to eat.
Me: Well, maybe it’s her pregnancy hormones. Or she’s just really hungry. Or her baby-daddy done her wrong, and she’s really gun-shy around men at the moment.
Dad: Yeah. Probably she just hates that mule. So Rooster’s wife feeds him carrots.
Me: I’m so going to feed him carrots. He’s going to love me. Then I’m going to pet his nose. He’ll let me ride him. This is going to be great. He’s going to be totally helpful to me.
Dad: He is NOT. He is NOT HELPFUL.
Me: He will be to the Mule Whisperer.
Dad: How do you know you’re the Mule Whisperer? Have you ever even touched a mule?
Me: No. But remember those goats at the zoo? They loved me. And a mule’s just a taller goat with no horns.
Dad: Except completely different.
Me: They have the same number of legs and are mammals. And have hair. SAME.
Dad: So are cheetahs the same as mules, using this logic?
Me: Sure. I would pet a cheetah’s nose, too, but only if it was really sleepy. Because I don’t think I’m a Cheetah Whisperer.
Dad: Also, I don’t think cheetahs are very helpful, and it’d be pretty hard to ride a cheetah.
Me: Nu-uh, they did it on Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and it was AWESOME.

I’m sorry if you think less of me? But I LOVE this movie. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Dad: Hmm. OK.
Me: We’re going there this summer. I’m coming home the first week of August. You tell Rooster.
Dad: I’ll tell him. He’ll be so excited someone’s taking an interest in Helper Mule.
Me: SUCH AN INTEREST. The whole internet loves him!
Dad: The whole internet is weird.
Me: I know. That’s why I love it. I fit in there beautifully.

And there, ladies and gentlemen (not Ding Dong Joe, when he realized there was no sex today he left, it’s what he does) is the Helper Mule update. He’s in an abusive relationship, he’s being starved for both affection AND nutrition, and he’s STILL NOT HELPFUL.

I feel terrible about this. I’m going to bring him lots of carrots. Maybe an apple. And some sugar cubes. I’ll Mule Whisper the shit right out of him. Don’t worry. I’m on the case.

Happy Friday! Look, it’s almost the weekend, how’d that happen? Hooray!

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

32 responses to “Helper Mule needs an intervention, and possibly to go to a safe house.

  • sj

    THIS POST WINS THE INTERNET TODAY!

    ZOMG, I can not stop laughing.

    1. Do they really punch horses in the stomach? Google says no. Well, it doesn’t really say no, it says…other stuff. But that seems wrong.

    2. Poor Helper Mule with his abusive relationship! Now I’m all mad at this mare that might be faking her pregnancy just to get more than her fair share of the food. What a bitch-a-roonie-doo. Seriously. <.< LEAVE HELPER MULE ALONE, MARE!!!

    3. I knew that Rascal was going to be bad news bears around the mule. MULES ARE SKITTISH! (aren't they? I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere) Driving a motorized scooter up to a skittish mule seems like just asking for trouble.

    4. How many saddles does one need for a mule, anyway? Surely one would be sufficient? With maybe a backup saddle?

    5. I can't get the image of you riding a cheetah out of my head now. I really hope some amazing photoshop person makes this happen (glances in Susie's direction).

    Like

    • greengeekgirl

      (blinks innocently)

      I might try to make this happen later in my artistic ability. No promises, though.

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      I clarified the punching tonight. Dad was all, “I NEVER SAID PUNCH” (he did) but he says, “not punching like a BOXING MATCH. Like, they take their fist, and kind of poke the horse right behind their ribs. If they’re pregnant, the baby moves around in there and they know.” That still doesn’t seem scientific, but that’s my dad’s take on this situation. He says he’s seen this occur.

      I know, I can’t wait to meet mule and mare. This is going to be great. I imagine her all snooty and him all downtrodden. Well, until I Mule Whisper him.

      I don’t KNOW why so many saddles! Dad doesn’t, either. Maybe they’re like purses, you need lots? For different occasions?

      Like

  • greengeekgirl

    SO MANY THINGS.

    1) JOSEPH FIENNES NOM.

    2) Rooster! Classic. (Stupid background music UGH. Thankfully, it stops after a minute and a half. Also the live version is better but I couldn’t find it.) Actually, Rooster was what my grandfather used to call my dad.

    3) Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle WAS awesome. It WAS.

    Okay, I guess only three things.

    Like

  • Elizabeth Snell (@me_mumstheword)

    If you mule whisper the shit out of him, make sure you get your foot out of the way first. That could be very messy.

    Like

  • padraicban

    Thank you immeasureably. You have no idea what it feels like to have the privilege to say those words and know that occasionally they are received by someone like you. I finish the play energized and want to do it again. I loved you before but I thought your love might be a tad indiscriminate as mine can be (any port in a storm) but I love that you love Stoppard. You love him more than me. I’ve only been completely immersed for the last couple of months and before played footsie. I’ve never seen…nor read “Arcadia.” True confession. Does a love for Stoppard sound superior? “It’s better because it’s better.” Barely a quote but no less true. I’m printing this up and putting it in my scrapbook.

    But, the lead and headline is the helper mule.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I should have made the Stoppard part its own post so you could have something serious for your scrapbook! I had so many good Stoppard quotes for the title, too. Damn.

      Thank you, thank you. This is just the best comment. And thank you for both your card and your postcard! You’ve made my mailbox a very happy place this week!

      Oh, you’d love “Arcadia.” I saw it when I did my semester abroad in London, then again at U of Albany (actually connected to that production more than the “professional” one I’d seen) and then most recently at RPI. You’d love reading it, but you’d love seeing it more. I know it. I hope they produce it locally again soon. I can’t see it enough.

      Like

  • Caron ET (@runreadrant)

    Completely Blown Away by the monologue.Thanks for sharing. People seem to think it odd to have a LOVE of words! Sorry about poor Helper Mule but I really like the scooter.

    Like

  • lahikmajoe

    Goodness me, this is long…remember that guy who came here and complained about how long your posts were and gave you a bunch of unwarranted advice? I wonder what happened to him?

    You were so reserved in not chewing him out and telling him what a jerk he was being. He was being a jerk, though.

    Oh, wait…why am I commenting? I haven’t even finished this post yet.

    I do like Tom Stoppard. ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’ was hilarious. Probably still is, right?

    Ok, back to Helper Mule.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I got an email telling me he’d subscribed to my blog to get an email every time I posted, then he wrote me a note saying “Don’t worry, I’m gone” and that was that. So, I suppose he’s still getting emails? I don’t know. It was all a little strange order of events.

      Why are we talking about this? This is weird. I feel like I’m missing some subtext I’m too tired to figure out.

      Yes, R&GAD is still funny. Stoppard’s wonderful.

      Like

      • lahikmajoe

        There was no context. My intention was to come back and comment about this hilarious post. I enjoy the Helper Mule posts very much.

        But it was a weird day, and it was probably best that I didn’t try adding any more here when I was in the mood I was in.

        I was a bit worried about ‘a mule’s just a taller goat with no horns’…seems like you might get in trouble with Andreas on that one.

        And ‘I’ll Mule Whisper the shit right out of him.’? Amy, that sounds like all you need is a good mule laxative. That’s not what you’re doing, is it?

        Please tell me it isn’t.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Yesterday was weird. Last week was ALL weird. In its entirety. I have no idea what was in the air, but I’m not the only one who noticed it. I’m hoping it was a passing thing and it morphs into a happier week for us all next week. You get to see Ella and Louis soon, right? See, that’s happy already.

          I was kidding about the mule vs. goat thing. DON’T BE MAD ANDREAS!

          I promise no actual shit will happen. Only euphemistic shit. Well, I suppose actual shit might happen, but not because I willed it so.

          Like

  • lynnettedobberpuhl

    A beautiful Stoppard word monologue AND a Helper Mule/Amy’s dad conversation. My favorite! Here. If you click on this link, it will open a media thingy from my blog, and then if you click on the blue “flyleaf” it will download (I know, scary) a word doc that I made all by myself with quotes about writing and why and how we do it. It is not toxic, I swear. If you like it you can print it. If you don’t, well, there was two minutes of your life doing something potentially risky that wasn’t really that you can turn into an adventure: “And one time, I downloaded something a total stranger on the internet said I should, and she could have been an assassin, a one-handed murderer, or a conservative!” http://wordtabulous.com/?attachment_id=297

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Ooh, will check when I get home! Exciting! Thank you!

      Like

      • padraicban

        The monologue that went best at close.
        “It’s to do with knowing and being known. I remember when it stopped seeming odd that in biblical Greek knowing is used for making love. Whosis knew so ‘n’ so. Carnal knowledge. It’s what lovers trust each other with. Knowledge of each other. Not of the flesh but thru the flesh. Knowledge of self. The real him. The real her. In extremis. The mask slipped away from the face. Every other version of oneself we offer to the public. We share our vivacity, grief, sorrows anger, joy. Our lovers share us with the passing trade. But in pairs we insist on giving ourselves to each other. Wht self. What’s left? What hasn’t been dealt out like a pack of cards. Carnal knowledge. Personal, final, uncompromising. Knowing and being known. I revere that. Having that is being rich and you can be generous with what’s shared. She walks, she talks, she laughs, she lends a sympathetic ear, she kicks off her shoes and dances on the table. She’s everybody’s and it don’t mean a thing. Let them eat cake. Knowledge is something else, the undealt card and while you hold it you can be free and easy and nice to know and when it’s gone, everything is pain. Every single thing. Every object which meets the eye. A pencil, a tangerine, a travel poster…as if the physical world were wired to send a current back to the part of your brain where imagination glows like a filament in a lobe no bigger than a torch bulb, pain.”
        “The Real Thing”-Tom Stoppard
        I’m sad.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Such a gorgeous play. Can you even imagine being Stoppard with that kind of command of the language at your fingertips? It must be amazing to just *exist*.

          “Doubt” is next, right? Another good one. You’re going to bring a lot to that role. Wait, is that somewhere I can see it? Or too far? Damn you, summer stock!

          Like

  • padraicban

    “This thing here (cricket bat) which looks like a lump of wood is actually several pieces of particular wood cunningly put together in a certain way so that the whole thing is sprung. It’s like a dance floor. It’s for hitting cricket balls with. If you get it right, the cricket ball will go 200 yards in 4 seconds and all you’ve done is given it a knock, like knocking the top off a bottle of stout and it makes a noise like a trout taking a fly. What we are trying to do here is to write cricket bats so that if you throw an idea up in the air and give it a knock the idea might travel.
    What we have here (Brodie’s script) is a lump of wood. It’s roughly the same shape and trying to be a cricket bat but if you hit a ball with it, the ball will go 10 feet and you will drop the bat screaming ouch with your hands stuck in your armpits. This isn’t better because someone says it’s better or because there’s a conspiracy by the MCC to keep cudgels off the field. It’s better because it’s better. You don’t believe me, so I suggest you go to bat with this (Brodie’s script) and see how you get on-“You’re a strange boy Billy, how old are you?” “Twenty. But I’ve lived more than you’ve ever lived.” (OOOOUUUCH!!)
    “The Real Thing”
    Tom Stoppard

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      You are the BEST. This is the other one I wanted, but couldn’t find it online! I love the idea of an idea traveling. It’s so poetic and powerful. The thought that I write something, someone reads it, shares it, it makes people think, it changes as it travels – it makes my heart rush.

      The tears started at this part of the monologue. I gasped a little at “it travels.” You did good, Patrick.

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I do remember ‘Shakespeare in Love’; a good film indeed. Although I always thought it was in colour?

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I forget. What’s the difference between a mule and a hinny? Does the mule have a horse dad and a donkey mom? Or is it the other way around? (I really should look this up, shouldn’t I, being your science fellow and all?)

    *looking it up on Wikipedia*

    Ah! The mule has a donkey for a father and a horse for a mother. A hinny the opposite.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I have never heard of a hinny! You know all the things. I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE BACK ANDREAS. My comments have missed you. *I* have missed you. Never go anywhere without home internet again. IT IS FORBIDDEN. I get too sad.

      Like

      • Andreas Heinakroon

        These have been dark times indeed! But no more – now I’m once again connected to the warm trail of lights that is the interweb. Ahhh…

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I can’t even imagine not being connected at home! No, well, I can, because I went years not being connected at home. It was the worst. I’d have to get all my internetting in at work, then be disconnected all night. But that was before social media, so I didn’t miss much. Now it would just about kill me. I take that week off in the summer when I visit my parents and there’s no internet up there and I go absolutely stir-crazy!

          Like

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