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One Armed Pete projected the expansion of his own consciousness on the majestic canyon walls that shimmered vibrantly from a sun setting with a grace reserved for poets and a grandeur commanded by gods. In this canyon of his mind, the taunts and teases that provided a malevolent soundtrack to his upbringing rebounded off the steep walls, effervesced and harmlessly blew away, like a fistful of dust in the wind.

One Armed Pete gazed at all that Nature had to offer and it sent spasms of awe through his one armed body, awakening within him a trembling sense of terror, wonder and veneration. He realized at that precise moment that the past did not have claim on the future, a million “thens” could not corrupt this “now”. Yup, some say One Armed Pete was reborn that day. But, unfortunately, a new arm wasn’t part of the bargain.

One Armed Pete dangled from the very real canyon wall he had climbed looking to jumpstart a catharsis. Now he dangled, squirming helplessly 100 feet from the dry riverbed below. His spindly legs kicked and thrashed struggling to find purchase in the crumbling rock. From a distance, One Armed Pete’s desperate flailing seemed like a symbol for the triumph of the human spirit, one one armed man’s rebellion against immeasurable forces ineffably beyond his control. A real inspiration, him being one-armed and all.

Some say that when the sun sets and the light plays magic with your eyes turning the rock from red to gold, when the desert winds howl like a ghost from the beginning of time, when you squint your eyes just so, you can still see One Armed Pete a’dangling and a’squirming from the rocks – kicking and grunting and hanging-on with all he’s got.

Others say after a couple minutes he lost his grip and his body caromed off the jagged canyon wall, breaking his frail body until it collapsed with a wet thud into an unrecognizable one armed sack of toothsized bones ensconced in a gooey gelatinous membrane of skin. They were right. Poor One Armed Pete.

Date Written: June 19, 2004
Author: scoop
Average Vote: 4.4

06/24/2004 Craig Lewis (5): So much to like here.
06/24/2004 Benny Maniacs (3): Tell me.
06/24/2004 qualcomm: 4.4 or 4.6?
06/24/2004 Benny Maniacs: It just seems like it all "hangs" on this one-armed Pete joke, which I didn't think was that funny. Plus The Old Prospector tone for shorts on this site is wearing a little thin for me. The writing was very detailed, the words were expressive, but it didn't seem particularly clearly written or concise. A lot of adjectives and little story, in short.
06/24/2004 qualcomm: well for one thing, the narrator's complete disregard for one armed pete is amusing.
06/24/2004 Craig Lewis: 4.6! For me, it was the mystical grandeur of nature schtick, and the "some say...others say" legend-of-the-canyon thing. I thought this was rather well done. I don't think that Pete's one arm is really the heart of the joke here. And this is certainly a more subtle variation on the Old Prospector theme than the Matza short that got me in so much trouble a few months back. But I dunno. Maybe, like most Jews, I just like the Old West.
06/24/2004 Ewan Snow: Well, the writing's sort of sloppy.
06/24/2004 qualcomm: you mean like the dubious usage of "ineffably"?
06/24/2004 Will Disney: yeah, sol star is the coolest.
06/24/2004 Ewan Snow: Yeah, that and "all that Nature had to offer" is a cliché, though maybe that's okay. "his BODY caromed off the jagged canyon wall, breaking his frail BODY" is oddly repetitive, and it didn't seem on purpose or to any end. "in to" instead of "into" / "on to" instead of "onto". The first sentence is a bit run-on-y, with modifiers stretched out too long at the end. (If the grace with which the sun sets is reserved for poets, how does the sun manage it?) Then at the end, there's “a unrecognizable”. I don't know, a bunch of little things that were distracting.
06/24/2004 qualcomm: the cliches and clumsy language were intentional, i'm certain, including the anthropomorphized sun. but there were a number of typos, sure.
06/24/2004 Ewan Snow: Also, is this suppoosed to be the Old West? If so, what's up with "soundtrack". That made me think this was present day, or at least since the advent of talkies. I know this is a very minor point and probably doesn't matter...
06/24/2004 TheBuyer: The flaws in this totally escaped the first couple of reads because I was busy laughing my head off. 4 and change for sure, but over a 4.5? Not sure yet. Something about the endless repitition of 'One-Armed' that isn't funny in itself but sometime you just can't account for what makes you laugh, I guess. Also, the first and second graph, past and future, "thens" and "now" are putting limits on my forever which I always get a kick out of.
06/24/2004 Moe-Ron (4): I think sequels are cheap, but was amused regardless. It was a bit wordy, and there were some mistakes in grammar/spelling....but maybe this author is just used to having an editor, huh??? I cast a 4 at thee, One-Armed author.
06/26/2004 Mr. Pony (5): Right on, Moe-Ron — I think someone needs to wake up and realize that they aren't lounging in the comfortable offices of the New York Post. I like very much, however, how the narrator seems ot be implying that sometimes an aesthetic experience leads to a new limb. Etc. I do have reasons for not giving this a five, but they all seem a little small next to the sweep of what this short is trying to do; and while its success is questionable, the attempt is, in and of itself, a pleasurable experience.
06/26/2004 TheBuyer (5):