One of the stories that Gramp used to tell was about a Man named, Boy. Boy was a full grown man, but he had the mind of a child. He was a tall, slender man with brown weather-worn skin, toughened from many days spent under the hot Georgia Sun. He could usually be seen wearing an old, soiled cap; the kind with the “ear flaps” which, by the way, he always wore pulled down over his ears; summer, winter, spring, or fall. That cap, a pair of “turned over” brogan boots, and bib overalls was, every day except Sunday, his “uniforme de la journée”.
Boy would probably have been termed a “simpleton”, in another day and time, or a “fool” by some of the less tactful members of society, for his behavior was indeed odd, to say the least. Of the most amusing, and thereby, conspicuous of Boy’s eccentricities was his “driving.” Now you might wonder, “Why would anyone allow this man a license to drive?” Well truth is, no-one did. Boy had neither license nor motor vehicle. “Well how did he drive?” one might ask. Boy’s driving was along a more, shall we say, “abstract” bent. To “drive”, all Boy needed was a wheel from an old, “little red wagon”, or some such object, as his “steering wheel” and “Vvrrooommm!” Off he went! On foot, in reality, but to Boy; he could have, just as well, ‘been driving a Lincoln Continental; “diamond in the back, sunroof top” et al.
Another of Boy’s idiosyncrasies was wearing all of his neckties at once, and he had a slew of neckties. Of course, he only wore them on Sunday, but on Sunday, he wore them all! One benefit of this habit was that Boy never had to waste any time on Sunday morning, figuring out what to wear–at least not when it came to ties!
Once, some Samaritan-minded individual asked of Boy, “Boy, why do you wear all of your ties at once?” Boy’s response left the Samaritan somewhat disarmed, for Boy began to cry. He cried a loud, ugly, grown man cry and replied pleadingly, “I love my ties!” The Samaritan, realizing his error, placed a comforting arm around Boy’s shoulders and in a reassuringly calm tone rejoined, “Go on son, wear your ties. Wear your ties”.
But hey! Last time, I was talking about “Educated fools” and “Strornado fools”, but Boy was neither! Merriam-Webster says a fool is:
- A person lacking in judgment or intelligence.
- A person retained by a king or sovereign as entertainment.
- One who is victimized or made to appear foolish.
- A harmlessly deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding.
Which one, pray tell, was Boy? I think that Boy was neither. He was perhaps, mentally challenged, but no fool. Now a fool, on the other hand; that’s a different animal all together!
Last week, I promised you a story about a man called “Boy”; I delivered. For a story about a boy called “Man”, check out seekthebestblog next week.