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The Mediocre Gatsby

by Virginia Pharis

I enjoy solitude, which is why I moved from a small mid-western town to New York: I want to be alone. I purchased beachfront property because that’s all I could afford. Although my house was a humble and mean dwelling (having only four courtyards and no moat), I was neighbor to a wealthy man, Gatsby, whose three-moat palace was constantly alive with lavish parties, gay soirees, and slumber parties for small children. He’ll give you candy if you don’t tell mommy and daddy.

My first week in New York I was invited to the estate of my dearest cousin Daisy and her husband Tom. When I arrived at their estate, I was escorted to the veranda by a butler. There I met Daisy, Tom and a woman I didn’t know. The woman sat with a mint julep in hand and slid languidly off the couch with a sophisticated “urp.”

Daisy ran to me, her golden curls and other things bouncing gently as she ran. She embraced me and kissed me passionately.

“They’re from the mid-west,” said Tom to the woman.

“Oh Nick Nick Nicky Nick Nick! My rose! My absolute rose! How have you been and why haven’t you come to visit and do you like the house and you remember Tom don’t you and why didn’t you come to my wedding oh the war wasn’t it and what a dreadful hostess I must be this is Jordan she’s single—”

Tom’s tranquilizer dart hit her in the neck and she fell languidly to the floor.

“Thanks,” I said.

Tom nodded and returned to the house leaving Jordan and me on the porch.

“He’s got a woman,” said Jordan, struggling to be heard over the squeaking of bedsprings.

Tom’s mistress was a dreadful woman which pretty much meant that she was poor and a little pudgy. Tom of course was just as dreadful, so they were pretty much meant for each other, which is fine, because Daisy never really loved him anyway, but that’s beside the point. The point is that I got Jordan’s number.

I later received an invitation to one of Gatsby’s parties. I decided to go, thinking that maybe there would be pony rides. There were no ponies, but I did meet up with Jordan who suggested that we go find Gatsby. As the words escaped her mouth, an attractive man about my age and chiseled like a Greek God approached us.

“Hello Old Sport, I’m Gatsby.”

“Well, that was lucky.”

“Old Sport, why don’t you come over tomorrow to ride my hovercraft, Old Sport, or we can have lunch, Old Sport, and weren’t we in the army together Old Sport, and I’m an Oxford man myself, Old Sport, and heir to a vast family fortune, Old Sport, nothing illegal about how I get my money at all, Old Sport, and did I mention that I’ve been in love with your cousin Daisy for five years and it would be just swell if you could set us up, Old Sport.”

I agreed because, hey, it’s not like she liked her husband or anything. Besides, I really wanted to see that hovercraft.

I reunited Gatsby and Daisy and they got along swimmingly until Daisy accidentally ran over Tom’s mistress with Gatsby’s steam-roller driving home one night. Daisy and Tom fled the country (dead mistresses will do that to you) and Tom’s mistress’s husband killed Gatsby in a vengeful rage which was fine, because Gatsby wasn’t really who he said he was except he kind of became the lie so he was... Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that no one came to the funeral so it was really sad.

Copyright © 2005 by Virginia Pharis

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