Fed up with society, Arnold Williwanka from Valentine, Nebraska gives up on humanity, realizes it’s only downhill from here.
We caught up with “Arnie”, as the locals refer to him, at the brand new Olive Garden that opened up on the main drag. Arnie is sitting at a corner table. Tall, Lean and missing 4 or 5 teeth. He’s in his mid 60’s but looks 75, probably due to the stress he has experienced over the last decade as he watched America crash in around him. Or maybe it was just because he’s a farmer, and spends a lot time in the Sun. I wasn’t about to ask. I reached out to shake his hand but quickly noticed that his right arm ended in a stump. I awkwardly acted like my hair was out of place and smoothed it down in one quick motion. Arnie none the wiser.
Fock: “Arnie, appreciate you coming all the way out here.”
Arnie: “Well, my house is just o’er that thar hill, no further than 50 yards give ‘er take.”
Fock: “ Perfect! How long have you lived here Arnie?”
Arnie: “What the f__k, I just told you, 40 years. I built that house 40 years ago with my bare hand…its just over the hill.”
(Fock: “oh…metaphorically…..Seriously though, why is his hand a stump.”)
Arnie: “…I was born 50 years ago, conjoined twin….”
(Fock: “Wait…wtf…that would make him 50. He looks like shit…. hold the fuck on… He built a house when he was 10….did he just say he was a fucking conjoined twin???)
Arnie: “That’s why all I ever had is this one hand. At least I survived.”
Fock: “I’m so sorry Arnie, so you essentially grew up as an only child.”
Arnie: “What the f__k?, I just told you, I’m a twin, I gotta twin brother named Harrold, erbody around these parts calls him Handy McThreehands.”
Fock: “..oh… Well good news for all!
Arnie: “(mumbling) Thar ain’t no good news no more.”
(Fock: “Thank God, back to the original subject.”)
Fock: “Tell me a little more about that Arnie? How’d you finally write off all human existence?”
Arnie: “Well, see, about 39 years ago shit started going down all o’er this goddamn country. America has gone straight to hell.”
Fock: “Let’s get into that a bit. How exactly have things gotten so bad?”
Arnie: “Well for one, my water bills are 500% higher.”
Fock: “Your water bill went up by that much in a year??!! That is absurd.”
Arnie: “No, not a year, just since we built the house. Can you believe that? Those cockmunchers have been bleeding us dry ever since we got here.”
(Fock: “ohhh…how cute… he didn’t learn about inflation.)
Fock: “What else?”
Arnie: “Social media!”
Fock: “Ah yes, social media is a conundrum isn’t it.”
Arnie: “Well, I always compared it to an annoying high pitched flute but I guess a conaan-drum works just as good.”
Fock: “So you’re against all Social Media.”
Arnie: “I’m not against it, I’m on all of it. Inserthergram, Snapschat, Facialsbook, all of it.”
Fock: “What about Twitter?”
Arnie: “Nah, fuck twitter. Twitter ole news boy.”
Fock: “So why stay on social media if it has such a negative effect on you?”
Arnie: “What the f__k? I just told you. People are stupid. I write shit on there all the time explain’n the Sodom and Gomorrah we have become and nobody fuckin’ listens to the truth.”
Fock: “Aren’t people allowed to have opinions of there own?
Arnie: “Well o’course! But they have to be right.”
Fock: “Couldn’t someone’s wrong be someone else’s right?
Arnie: “Whaa..thaa…fuck no man!”
Fock: “So then, explain whats right.”
Arnie: “uhm…everything I say…obviously…dipshit. There’s only one right, and if I believe it, than it’s gotta be the right one. It’s science.”
Fock: “Fair enough, let’s focus on what you are going to do now that life has no meaning.”
Arnie: “Well, you see these breadsticks?”
(Fock: I suddenly realize he’s been downing them this whole time, like 3 baskets worth.)
Arnie: “Here in Valentine, Nebraska, they give you unlimited breadsticks.”
Fock: “Well actually Arnie, they have unlimited breadsticks in all Olive Gardens. It’s sort of their thing. At least I know for sure they’re unlimited in the Olive Garden closest to my house in Los Angeles.”
Arnie: “Los Whatelges? Never heard of it. Anyway, I made the decision, after you invited me down here, to eat these breadsticks until I die of intake or choke on my own vomit.”
Fock: “Wow! You are really taking this seriously. Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?”
Arnie: “Boy. When I make up my mind, I follow through.”
Fock: (Head down, shuffling through my papers) “Well Arnie, I wish you’d reconsider, but I guess that brings us to my last question. Your life use to have meaning, do you have one word that sums up your new personal definition of “Meaning of Life”.
But when I looked up, he was dead. Holy Fock. Slumped over his breadsticks. Dead as a doornail…….No doubt Oprah would be proud of this tableau.
Fock: “Well, Arnie, don’t know if you can hear me, but that was probably the most concise answer I’ve ever been given, and for that, I thank you good sir.”
I got up and checked for a pulse, just to make sure. Yeah, he was totally dead. As I left I let the waitress know that Arnie went out like a real man, true to his word, and then headed back for the airport. It was suppose to be a real scorcher in LA this week. I needed to get home to water my lawn. I’ve spent a lot of time on the yard and want it to look nice to impress my neighbors. My dream has always been to have the nicest yard on the block.