I’ll admit there are some things I like about Jerry Randy, but if he were my kid I’d tell him to get a job. He’d have a job. His ol’ man, Randy, didn’t teach Jerry Randy to work, didn’t teach him anything, as far as I can see. I don’t even know for sure: is ol’ man Randy still living at the house? Tell me something else: who’s paying the bills over there? I seen they almost run out of wood this winter, and the only one I ever see bringin’ it in is Jerry Randy. Is he there alone? Maybe that’s why he walks around so much — that boy’s lonely — I always thought he was gettin’ out of the house to get away from his ol’ man — I’ll betcha it smells like a homeless shelter in that house — but I guess maybe he’s walkin’ about just trying to see people, to talk with people, y’know, like a real human, not like the lost boy he is, poor lonely kid. Can you imagine your own father leaving you all alone to fend for yourself? Gawd. But I don’t know who that boy expects to meet walkin’ around by cover of darkness, dead of the night, you know he’s out there, prowling, lurking, stalking. Is that what you think? Or do you think he’s just a lonely kid shakin’ off the blues with a midnight stroll through the village? Jerry Randy. Ol’ man Randy never should have had a kid, but there you have it. Jerry Randy. Good Lord. He’s a good kid, though, I say, given where he’s comin’ from. And he’s a poet, too. And I’ve made up my mind I’m gonna ask him about his poetry every time I see him. “Tell me a poem,” I’ll say. Jerry Randy, Poet Laureate of our lake village.
Here, let me read you something. It’s a poem I wrote. That’s right. This here is the best I can do. I ain’t ashamed, I’m just sayin’ this is what I’ve got:
That this is the whole world
But this is
As is said
As good as it gets—
Did you see that movie? Jack Nicholson. Loved it. And what’s her face? Great movie. And Jack Nicholson leans in and says, “You make me wanna be a better man,” and I’m leaning in and cryin’ and — well, I wrote more, but that’s it for now. Let’s talk about something else.