Thursday, December 17, 2015

Remembering Oogesti

(Reclaimed from Blogjob, and about time this post returned to the site where readers had read about this character while he was living. Other Blogjob posts will go back there if and when that site resumes payment as promised. This one belongs here.)

Oogesti was an eighty-something distant cousin of mine, who lived in a Cat and Dog Sanctuary that exchanged animals, supplies, and services with mine for several years. He was often described as handsome and well preserved. Most of my elders were/are. If I wanted to put him in his place I'd tell him he looked like that mouthy, obnoxious, rich--but younger--guy that's running for President now. Actually Oogesti was better preserved and had relatively normal-looking white hair.
He was one of those shy extroverts who cultivate a few repetitious, annoying lines of talk to use when they don't really have anything to say, but they feel uncomfortable being quiet. He liked local gossip. The first time he said, "You were A's and B's neighbor...what really happened in their divorce?" I said, "I don't know, and I don't want to know," so he didn't use that line with me again. He sometimes worked on a line of talk about football, but as he seldom actually watched a game, that must not have got him far either. If it was up to him to determine the topic of a conversation, it would be either proselytizing for his church (he occasionally attended a little rural church that did not, in fact, want new members) or trying to flirt with women.
In fact most of the women who talked to him were relatives, and were married to other men. Oogesti relied on the very old man's privilege of calling every woman he knew a "girl friend." My Significant Other laughed about it, and at least Oogesti didn't grope or pinch, but I felt a need to set the record straight. If I'd been more interested in "old, sick, and rich" rather than "tall, dark, and handsome," I could have found someone older, sicker, richer, and less related to me than Oogesti.
So of course I had a good time teasing Oogesti about his other "girl friends." He didn't mind. Being an extrovert, he liked attention and didn't even mind having song parodies made up about him. I'd break into song to discourage lines of talk that became annoying; sometimes what came to mind would be a snarky song parody about Oogesti, and instead of being either chastised or offended Oogesti would learn the words and sing along. (He, too, inherited the music gene, and can still be heard on albums released by a band that was active into the 1990's.)
My current work situation is less than ideal. I no longer walk ten miles to and from this computer, but now set it up in the public computer center in the public library. The character known to cyberspace as the Nefarious Librarian, who hates a quiet library-type atmosphere, still works here, and in December she's allowed to play and replay records of Christmas carols. I like Bing Crosby's Christmas album as much as most people do, but the Nefarious Librarian has been playing it two or three times a day.
It brings back to mind this parody, which I composed in celebration of one of Oogesti's other "girl friends." Wise is a town, the county seat of Wise County, Virginia, where they still have active coal mines. A white car is not such a practical idea in a coal town as it is in the rest of the world.
"He's dreaming of a black Honda,
'Most every time he blinks his eyes;
Though he's in Scott County, enjoying its bounty,
He's wishing that he were in Wise!
He's dreaming of a black Honda,
Most of the day, and all the night!
May his days be Marie and bright,
Where his car will nevermore be white!"
Oogesti had inherited exactly the same singing gene I did--even the same voice range--and so, when I sang this song, he used to fill in the high harmony.
Now he's gone wherever good extroverts go. Sometimes I wonder whether there's a separate neighborhood in Heaven where extroverts can go on yapping the way they did in this world, or whether their extroversion will be healed so that they fit into the same Heaven with the rest of us. I wish Oogesti peace, anyway.
(I sang contralto in some groups, and Oogesti sang countertenor or contralto in a band, too! None of the Blogjob Categories really fits this post except "Wail," but here are the Wordpress tags: Bad PoetryBing Crosby’s Christmas albumextrovert etiologyme me me me meScott County VAsong parodyWise County VA.)