The Chronicles of Mr. O’Connor (Pt. 3) – Short Story #23


(Read Pt. 1 and Pt. 2)

It was the evening of the party of Mr. O’Connor (fishman) and Mrs. O’Connor (wife of said fishman), when the final preparations were being made. Mrs. O’Connor, having roasted a delightful cut of beef for the occasion, was presently nervously examining the roast in the heating chamber commonly known as an oven. Her nails were freshly painted, and after all, in the final analysis, it seemed rather okay that Mr. O’Connor, her husband, was now a fish, because it made it commendable for her to make use of her newly purchase green colored nail polish as she now had something to match it with. Green was never quite her color but now that is was his in permanence and thus it seemed fitting to invest in the polish of nails by way of a deep olive green.

The roast was coming along quite well, as to be expected by Mrs. O’Connor who had perfected this sort of dish a long while ago. She had learned it from her mother, who handed the recipe down energetically to her as she had been handed it down from her mother who had been handed it down from her mother who had been handed it down from her mother who had been handed it down from her mother who had been handed it down from her mother and so on on on on on and so forth, all the way down handed to Mrs. O’Connor from the very pinnacle of all creation, Eve, the famed daughter of God Himself, wife of Adam, the infamous son, (who, we must add with haste, was not a fish), and since Eve was in fact the perfecter and instigator, the alpha and omega, of all things cooked and uncooked, roasted and toasted, seasoned and salted, buttered and oiled, fried and poached, and of all else save that which was poorly cooked—which of course excluded Mrs. O’Connors current dish, which has always and in all recored time been cooked to perfection (today would be no exception)—thus goes the means to which Mrs. O’Connor had the utmost confidence that this dish would be prepared to the most perfect perfection.

So in satisfaction, Mrs. O’Connor poured herself an early glass of golden wine gaudeamus hodie! knowing full well that tonight would be a smashing success. There was, however, the doubtfulness of her husbands performance. Would he, fishman, act as he, fishman, had before, in previous festivities of grandiose nature to the gloria in deo, or would he, to the shame of the well-respected, highly feared, highly filled to the full of her own selfself, Mrs. O’Connor, would he make a fool of himself? Only he may, and ultimately must, answer such inquiries.

Mr. O’Connor sat in his study reading, the task of which yesternight he had devised a simple means for its accomplishment. Simply, he would set the book on his desk, next to a pile of books behind it for the erection of said book, thus he would make the choice of his page, and, with the guide of ruler, he could with ease turn page upon page for his pleasure. With this he read thus with joy. The positioning of his body made it quite uncomfortable—yes, this is true—as his eyes situated themselves on opposite sides of his head—and perhaps one day he might experiment with reading two books at once with these new outlook—yet for now the strain of bending his fishbody in such a way to read the page was nearly unbearable. But he bore the burden, as he must read up on all the proper and latest forms of etiquette. Mrs. O’Connor insisted upon it, and had even gone to such the trouble as locking his door until he would finish the book in its entirety.

Elsewhere the children sat in the living room working on their school work. At once Mr. and Mrs. Gunting were making preparations for their arrival at the party of Mrs. and Mr. O’Connor, and per usual they were precisely on schedule for their expected arrival time of seven o’clock. Mr. Blimmick, to the contrary, was running per, his usual, late, as, if he were completely frank for the moment, he in fact had no interest in the party whatsoever. He knew of Mr. O’Connor because Mr. O’Connor was his means of employment, and this obligated his appearance to this party, but he felt no inclination or warmth in his heart of hearts for the bossman, fishman, Mr. O’Connor, et al.—i.e., his wife (which had never been once to kindly towards Mr. Blimmick). At the very same moment as Mrs. O’Connor was observing her roast, and Mr. O’Connor was catching up on his etiquette, and as their children were worked upon their work, and as Mr. and Mrs. Gunting were arriving promptly, and as Mr. Blimmick was arriving late, he, Sam, counted his money over a nice glass of Barton & Gustier’s fine vintage reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, enjoying astutely his lack of invitation to said party and his current, prized, cherished, bachelorhood.

The cogs within the clock ticked and tocked mechanically, tightly wounded once upon a time by the master clock maker Sr. James R. Finnegan in 1898, which was then refurbished by the master clock winder Jr. Frank J. Finnegan, son of Sr. James R. Finnegan, in 1934, which was then purchased by the senior Mr. O’Connor and consequently handed down to the current Mr. O’Connor, fish. The clock struck precisely five ’till seven and the anticipation was building all around the neighborhood as Mrs. O’Connor set the roast upon the tidy table, lined to perfection with the exact style which was in style presently, or so said all the magazines, and as Mr. O’Connor slopped and flopped in attempt to put on his tie in completion of his ensemble, and as the children played in their respective rooms, and as Mr. and Mrs. Gunting hailed a cab, and as Mr. Blimmick lectured himself about his inevitable tardiness, and as Sam napped from too much wine. The clock adamantly, furiously, unceasingly went

Tick. Tock.

Tell me what you think