“Hi. I’m a perfectly round, flat skipping stone, and I have a few questions I’d like to ask before you throw me in the water,” a perfectly round, flat skipping stone said, pleasantly enough, to a guy as he picked him up, on a stoney beach in eastern Scarborough. The man didn’t hear him, lost as he was in his deep-seated concern for his province, following a bear mauling of an election campaign that had just ended in a 13.6 million car pile-up.
“Excuse me. Sir? Excuse me,” the stone repeated, more loudly this time, trying to be heard over the small waves chewing at the rubbly shore.
“Hey. Buddy! Lookatme. Lookatme. Hang on just a second here. I’ve been watching your throws and am a little concerned you’re not going to make the most of my perfect symmetry. Do you have any idea how long it takes me to get back to the beach? Like 14 years. You sort of need to make this count. Goddammit Judith. Judith! He’s not listening.”
From back down on the beach, Judith, a pleasant-looking rock, looks up at her husband’s circular form being slowly swung back and forth, as the man prepares to unleash infinity skips.
“That’s alright Stuey, I’ll join you in a few. Someone will come along and chuck me in, don’t you worry. Break a lake.”
“No Judith. No. No you won’t be in ‘in just a few.’ You’re missing a large portion of one side and you’re much rounder than you are flat. Who is going to throw you? We may never see each other again. This is awful. This guy sucks at this I can tell. He looks like a bad thrower. I bet he hates frisbee. Oh dear god why me? Why am I so appealing?”
The man plants his feet and pulls his arm back dramatically, as though about to unleash the power chord at a Metallica concert. He narrows his eyes. He rolls his jaw. He is one with the stone. That is screaming for him to stop.
“Ssssssstooooooooooooopppp,” the stone shouts, but it is too late, as he is already pulling G’s through the bottom swing of the man’s throw.
Stuart exits the thrower’s hand at 62.3 km/h, with a stomach-churning clockwise rotation of 250 revolutions per minute, and an extremely worrying horizontal tilt of 17º. He enters the cold waters of Lake Ontario with a splash that can only be described as: feeble. He is 8.5 meters from the beach. It was over before it really started.
Under the water, Stuey gently hits the muddy, sandy bottom. All is quiet, except for his screams of fury. For two months he repeats the length of time it will now take him to wash back up on the beach. He is angry. He stays angry for 14 years. Judith never comes. Eventually, on a dark night in January, during a ferocious mid-winter storm, a particularly large wave picks him up and deposits him back on the shore. Drying out the next day in the wan, frosty light, the stone hears footsteps. Looking up, his face turns to, well, stone. It is the man. He sees the perfect stone. He bends down. The stone explains he has a few questions, and a general objection on principle. It goes unheard.
The last word of this post links to another, that is different.