A Brown and Wooden Life

by bernquist

My name is Seth Blanchard. I grew up in the medium-sized, nondescript town of Clifton, Massachusetts. I say Clifton is nondescript because from what I could tell after a solid nineteen years there, nothing really unique or interesting ever happens and there is no defining attraction, landmark, or other intriguing item to speak of either in the town proper or surrounding areas.

Growing up there was, as you could probably guess at this point, unbelievably bland. The men in town were mostly employed in the tunic manufacturing industry. Damn near all of them including my father and both uncles labored tirelessly, often working sixteen hour days, six or seven days a week fabricating tunics out of whatever materials they could pull together. The women of course all stayed at home, some of them choosing to train the squids, and others choosing to watch Dr. Phil and eat Cheetos.

None of us kids went to school. There were a couple well-off families who sent their kids to private academies in Connecticut, but most of us got no education. We’d spend our time playing outside and exploring our natural surroundings, which was great when we were young—providing many experiences most kids never have. But now that the kids of Clifton are huge titanium adults, we see there are many pitfalls to not receiving any sort of education, like not being able to write or poop. In fact, I am not even writing this, but dictating through my trusty non-cloven typing steed Brandy. Brandy went to UC Berkeley where she got a bachelor of science in criminal justice with a minor in horseiculture. But I digress.

As youth we spent most of our time playing with the dust and eating feathers. We didn’t even know where the feathers came from nor from what species of ungulate, but there always seemed to be plenty of them around and they made for surprisingly good eating. When there were no feathers or residual filth to be tinkered with, we would often steal a craft or two from the harbor and go deep-sea diving. When I was eleven my friend Horvus Daniels and I used to grab Horvus’ dad’s Boston whaler and take it a couple hundred miles off the coast east of the Grand Banks. There we would free dive often for days at a time pulling up anything of note that we could recover from the ocean floor. Probably my most interesting find was a living oak tree, while Horvus once pulled up a cruise ship which we thought might be the Titanic, but then realized we didn’t have an education so we didn’t know what the Titanic was nor were we aware of it.

We got pretty adept at deep sea diving. Horvus dove for two straight days once under one breath of air! I was surprised to see that when he finally returned to the surface he was a cadaver…but what a record!! Anyhow at Nineteen I finally moved out of Clifton and have only returned a handful of times. My current profession is in the teaching field, educating various species of clams, bison, and rock badger on the social issues facing our great nation in the 21st century. It’s a fulfilling occupation and Brandy is a tremendous asset given my inability to speak or do anything. I’m happy that I’ve gotten out. And I’m happy I’m not building tunics. My story should serve as an inspiration, a testament that there is hope for the worthless. Read it. And hope.

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