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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Ray Rasmussen

The Most Unfortunate Third Dumping of Ray Argh!

You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh . . .
                                                      ~ Lyrics, "As Time Goes By"

Spellcheck just snooped into my scribbling and insisted on using “dumpling” instead of “dumping” in the title. But what does Ms. Picky (my name for someone who’s always correcting my bad language habits) know? She must never have been dumped.

My lover’s – or at this point, should I say “ex-lover’s?” – last text message was: “It was her phone number in your favourites list that cemented it for me.”

“Cemented” sounded rather ominous. So I texted back some comments meant to salvage our relationship. But they seem not to have helped.

I had sent William James’ gibe: “Hogamous, higamous, man is polygamous; higamous, hogamous, woman monogamous,” so that she could better understand the differences between men and women.

In retrospect, I admit I learned something. Were we to believe that affairs of the heart are as black and white, as as yin and yang, as higamous and hogamous as James asserts, we men would be out hunting, warring, drinking, pillaging and, yes, womanizing, while our women remain happily nested at home, sewing, cooking, scrubbing and raising chickens and children.

Ms. Picky, ever the perfectionist, has just rejected “higamous." Instead she insists on “bigamous." Maybe she’s hinting at something but I’d like to point out that my soon-to-be ex and I aren’t married.

Or might it be that Ms. P is getting in my face because she doesn’t want me lamenting love’s wounds on the Internet. I suppose it's not very manly for this wannabe writer, this fool for love, to confess that he was dumped not once, not twice, but three times by this same woman, each time for reasons he doesn’t understand? Why, I wonder, would my ex be bothered by having an old girlfriend’s phone number in my favourites list? Okay, I know you female readers probably understand why she’s upset, but I’ll bet a lot of guys reading this don’t get it either.

So done in by differences between men and women, tonight I’m heading for my local gin joint, Rick's Café, for a bit of a carouse. Rick knows how to deal with dames and after plying him with a few drinks, he’ll likely provide some advice. And Sam will be crooning about love and loss. Yes, Sam, “Play it again.”

cold sheets –
her dumpling stew moldy
In the fridge

I have an inkling that I’m going to get in trouble for posting this, just as William James probably got in trouble for his pithy observation. In my defense, might I say that this was my protagonist speaking, not the real me. Sure, this doofus lurks somewhere in my psyche, but that’s probably because I watched too many Bogart movies and read too many Dagwood comics as I was growing up.

spring sun –
the house wren builds
her new nest


This is an edited version of a piece that originally appeared in Notes from the Gean.

The opening lyrics are from the song “As Time Goes By” by Herman Hupfeld. It was used as the theme song in the film Casablanca. Casablanca a romantic drama classic starring Humphrey Bogart as Rick, the owner of Rick’s Café, and Dooley Wilson who plays Sam, the café's pianist/songster. Rick’s request, “Play it again, Sam” is one of the more famous lines in film. If you’d like to hear Wilson croon out the song, go to Casablanca - As Time Goes By.

I generally don't like to write or read pieces that are too far from experience, that more resemble fiction than fact. My view is that haibun best differentiates itself from short stories because of its authenticity and the little poem that accompanies the prose. However, my brand of humour plays on exaggeration with touches on real situations. For example, my ex in this case was troubled that my iPhone has an ex on the favourites list and the message in the prose above was very true to the one she sent. So that was the factual spark that triggered this piece. And having observed over my years how much relationship trouble has to do with differences between men and women and their (our, my) inability to work through those differences, I had an urge to make a play on William's James' ditty. A clever witticism, but not much help with a guy and gal are having relationship problem.

For those of you too young to have read the Blondie and Dagwood comic strip, and that's likely most readers, you can better understand my reference to Dagwood by having a look -> Blondie and Dagwood.