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Chicken Soup for the Soulless (Sept. 13, 2005)  Smirkov Grinn
 Sep 14, 2005 09:55 PDT 

The Brothers Grinn present our Sept. 13, 2005,
serving of "Chicken Soup for the Soulless!" (a parody)

Our Special Tribute to Family!

Part One: The Death of Jocko

"The brotherhood of man is not a mere poet's dream; it is a most
depressing and humiliating reality."

-- Oscar Wilde



Let me tell you about my brother Jocko. When he was a boy, Jocko had
great difficulty in school. He was classified as educationally defunct,
a condition that required both patience and medication (not for him, but
for his parents, teachers, and especially his loving older brother).

But Jocko was a happy kid with a soft-shoe dance step that lit up the
room, particularly when he would dance right into the wall partway
through and knock a dozen framed pictures and a shelf full of
knick-knacks from Mexico onto his head. Our parents acknowledged his
academic difficulties but always tried to take a positive, if stretched,
spin on things. "That's great, Jocko!" Ma would say. "You spelled 'cat'
with only one E this time. I'm so proud of you."

You'll notice that I'm referring to Jocko in the past tense.
Unfortunately we lost Jocko during a sale at Wal-Mart shortly after he
graduated from high school this last June. Thanks to Jocko's inimitable
fashion sense, an overenthusiastic shopper (according to the forensic
know-it-allís) mistook him for a set of irregular sheets that were on
sale for fifty percent off, paid for him at the checkout lane and shoved
him in the trunk of her car with tons of other low-cost, low-quality
items and drove off.

I have held out hope all this time that he would wander out of the
dressing room, a changed man, but it hasn't happened. Today the police
notified me that they have pulled his lucky underpants from the river,
the pair that he swore he would never take off as long as he lived,
since it was the pair he was wearing when he met Katee Sackhoff at a
science fiction convention.

I've had to accept the painful truth: Jocko is dead, and I'm out the
fifty bucks he owed me.

One of the worst things for me is the tragic sense of loss. Jocko wasn't
a particularly articulate fellow, but his life was one of unique
achievement. A fantasy writer, he has left hundreds of tremendous story
ideas unwritten and undeveloped; a humorist, he had a unique knack for
building up a mailing list to thousands of people and then ceasing all
humor-related writing for 18 months at a time. And while I graduated
from high school right on schedule, at age 18, Jocko graduated in record
time. (True, it was two months before he turned 35, so it wasn't a
particularly good record, but that's not the point.) Jocko was a man
among giants; given time, I have no doubt he would have been even less.

Worse, I am plagued with regrets of my own. If I had known that fateful
moment by the linen department was the last time I would see him, I
wouldn't have asked him if the Lederhosen made me look fat. I would have
said, "Jocko, where on earth did you leave the TV remote?"

I also would have taken the time to count the many blessings he brought
to his loved ones every time he left the room. I would have spent our
Wal-Mart trip appreciating his cantankerous smile, his cacophonous
laughter, his co-dependent affection for others, and the way he was so
good at getting the Coke machine to dispense free product without the
machine falling on top of him just like it shows in the little warning

When you put all Jocko's good attributes on the scale and balance them
with all his irritating traits such as the CD player that was always
blaring out white Christian "rap," the amount of hair he had while I was
completely bald, the dirty socks that crawled around under his bed and
wandered the hallways late at night, the loud tuba music that would come
from his room while I was trying to sleep because he had insomnia and
decided to practice at 3 a.m., the times he used to lock me on the porch
roof in my underwear when we were children, or even the time he let a
stupid bird loose in the car while I was driving and I ended up crashing
through the neighbor's fence and into the in-ground swimming pool being
used as a temporary aquarium for displaced sand sharks, or the times he
would follow me around middle school like a little lost and slightly
hearing-impaired puppy, or the time he thought it was really funny to
run refrigerator magnets round and round my entire Stan Freberg cassette
tape collection ... well, I think you can easily guess how it all
measures out.

But now Jocko is gone, and with him has gone my opportunity to tell him
how I've always felt to have him for a brother. I wonít get another
chance to tell the miserable so-and-so all I would have wanted him to
hear, but if you have a younger brother, you still can do it. Tell your
kid brothers what you would want them to hear if you knew it would be
your last conversation!

The last time I talked to Jocko was the day we went to Wal-Mart. He
called me to say, "Hi, Smirkov! Look at these skis! I bet I can walk all
the way to the pet section while wearing them," and then tripped right
into the fish tanks. That memory gives me something to treasure forever.

If there is any purpose at all to Jocko's death, it'd be the first time
anything that chowderhead ever did that had a reason. Maybe it's to make
others appreciate more of life and to have people, especially families,
take the time to let each other know how we feel about one another.

MORAL: When you're parked on a suspension bridge and dragging that body
out of the trunk, remember -- he's not heavy, he's your brother.

Due to copyright laws, we are unable to share with you the original
vignette that we are parodying here. However, you may see it posted
illegally at: www.inspirationalstories.com/4/460.html


That's because we took advantage of Topica's new feature that allows
list owners to conveniently e-mail their submissions to the list and
have them go nowhere -- a marked improvement on trying to visit the site
only to have it fail. Read them at:


"Chicken Soup for the Soulless" installment about one man's drive
through the afterlife.


Revealing a classified memo from President Bush to Vice President Dick


A collection of news briefs from The Markle City WOW, where if the news
is fit to print, they don't bother.




Brothers Grinn, BrothersGrinn.com, Cousin Otto, Grinn News Service,
Jocko Grinn, Markle City, The Markle City WOW, Smirkov Grinn, and other
distinctive characters and institutions created by the Brothers Grinn,
and their images and likenesses are the intellectual property and
trademarks of Ravensmyth Corp. Unauthorized use strictly prohibited,
used here by permission. Ken Collins is not a special at Wal-Mart. He
can only be found at Sears.

Chicken Soup for the Soulless is a parody, and has no relationship to
Chicken Soup for the Soul, which is copyright by Chicken Soup for the
Soul Enterprises.

Original humor at www.BrothersGrinn.com!
(c) Copyright 2000-2005 by Ravensmyth Corp.

Note the following USE RULES:

1. Contents may forwarded with URL (www.BrothersGrinn.com) and copyright
notice intact.

2. Contents may be posted on another site with URL link and copyright
notice intact.

3. Contents may NOT be published in other mediums than those listed
here, without prior permission of Ravensmyth Corp. Permissions are
available at permis-@BrothersGrinn.com.

4. Please do not attempt to contact Jocko through a Ouija board in order
to read the mailing to him; he is busy being dead and does not want to
be disturbed.

5. Please do not leave contents unattended near linen department of
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