Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Thinker

So I was talking to my good friend Angie the other night, and of course as the discussion meandered, we got onto the topic of Richard Simmons and a recent Message of the Day that he wrote. In it, he wanted to know what "The Thinker" was thinking about?

In all honesty, this is not the first time that I heard him pose the question. It goes back - to the best of my knowledge - to about 2006. And the night that he asked the class, I went home and e-mailed him what I thought.

* * * * *

Well, I knew the answer (to your question) immediately. The guy was sitting there on a rock, head tilted down and resting on his fist. For the first 10 minutes of the job, he was admiring his own manhood. Sorry Richard, but all women know that that's just what you guys do.

After the first 10 though, he'd had enough of himself. "Oh my God!" he thought. "This job is paid by the hour so I want it to go on and on and on. But on the other hand, this position is really hurting my back. And they haven't invented Advil yet!"

Fortunately for "The Thinker", Rodin was a kind taskmaster. He allowed regular breaks and the Thinker had ample opportunity to stretch.

One day, Rodin's good friend, Leonardo Da Vinci came by. Now, Leonardo was always on the lookout for a new model, and here was one right here in Rodin's studio prime for the picking. The Thinker was stretching at the time... ironically enough, in an arched doorway. Europe is quite well known for arches you know, and not the Golden Arches, either. Up, down, up, down went Thinker's arms. Apart, together, apart, together went Thinker's legs. And so, Da Vinci's famous Vitruvian Man was born!

Rodin and Da Vinci were both very cheap, so they alternated taking turns rendering 'The Thinker' and, for a short time, shared the per diem owed. Rodin was somewhat possessive, though, so he insisted that Da Vinci add long hair to his sketch so that 'Joe Public' would not recognize that they were one-and-the-same man.

Of course, a sketch is completed much faster than a giant statue, and soon Da Vinci left both the building and his friends to their own devices. The statue took a good long time to complete... and despite the poor Thinker's regular stretching breaks, lack of Advil took it's toll. By the time the job was complete, he was hunched over, right hand clenched in the small of his back, left hand extended ahead of him to feel his way out of the building. He couldn't lift his head up enough to watch his own way.

Rodin was quite intrigued by this posture. He had already spent all his 'expendable cash' in paying Thinker's salary and also anticipated hefty medical bills (he didn't carry Worker's Comp Insurance), so he didn't want to ask Thinker back to stay while he worked on another statue. But he quickly went to work and produced a small replica of The Thinker in Pain. He called it "Achy Breaky Back."

Achy Breaky was not one of his better known works, and rightfully so. It really was schlock. And so it descended into the doldrums of artwork and eventually made it's way to the American South where it was sold to "Ma Cyrus" at a garage sale. She loved the piece - it was the only 'real art' that she had in her double-wide trailer - and, totally unaware of it's illustrious origins, she displayed it proudly on top of her TV console.

Now enter young Billy Ray Cyrus, gyrating around and thinking about country stardom. He would dance all over their trailer, imitating his favorite... Elvis... and unaware of anything else in his environment. Hips gyrating, legs kicking, he whirled around one day and knocked 'Achy Breaky Back' right off of the TV and into a million pieces!

Ma Cyrus was pretty upset. Actually, she was VERY upset. In her most fervent tone, she screamed at Billy Ray "You broke my Achy Breaky Back! You break my "Achy Breaky Heart!!!!" And that's how Rodin spawned a cheap 90's song-and-dance act and now you know the REST of the story!

Thirty posts in thirty days. This is day 13.


Anonymous said...

I'm still laughing at that one...

Adele said...

The Thinker is obviously on the pot, suffering a great bout of constipation. You don't see that??? LOL!

Laura said...

OMG Adele, you're right! How did I miss that one?

Beth said...

Being the mother of a daughter who just turned 18 and gave me a lot of grief during her teenaged years I think The Thinker is thinking "Oh My God - I have a teenager who has gotten in trouble yet again! What the hell do I do now!!!".


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