Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Apes of Idleness

For this week's Trifecta challenge, we have been asked to use the third definition of the word, "idle" which, in this instance, means lazy or shiftless.    My entry in the community-judged challenge incorporates the gap between the generations, with regard to technology, music, poetry and learning.  In the end, you are never too old or too young to learn and grow.   Enjoy.

The Apes of Idleness

One lovely Spring day, an old man sat on a bench in the park. Trees were all a-bud. Daffodils were timidly peeking out from beneath their blanket of soil.  Birds flitted about joyfully.  

As he sat, he noticed a group of teenagers leaning against a tree.  Heads back. Eyes closed.  Ear phones in their ears.  They made no noise.  They simply sat there, idle occupants of their own thoughts.

The longer he sat, the more his mood darkened.   Unable to bear it any longer, he pointed a gnarled finger and shouted, "Aren't you supposed to be in school at this hour instead of wasting your time listening to that noise?!"

One young man removed his earbuds.  "Did you say, school, sir?  I am in school, sir."  He tapped his electronic tablet.

"Don't get smart with me!" snarled the old man.  

The young man walked over.   "I am not trying to be rude sir but, I am, actually, in school right now.  We all are.  We study at an on-line virtual school through our computers."

The old man wore a confused expression.

"We don't need books or buildings anymore.  When you saw us, we were reading or, should I say, listening to Shakespeare, for our English course.  Do you want to listen, too?"

The old man hesitated.  The young man took his earbuds out of the jack.  Soon, the dulcet tones of an English actor filled the air.

"....And, to the English Court assemble now,
  From every region, apes of idleness!"

"It's Shakespeare, sir.  Henry VI, to be exact."   The young man smiled. The old man's eyes glistened.   Then, he slowly pointed at the tablet.

"Do you have any...... Sinatra ......  in that thing?"

The young man tapped on the screen and soon, the sound of Old Blue Eyes soared into the air.  The old man began to sing.  As he did, the rest of the teenagers gathered around. They listened to the old man's poetry.   One beautiful spring day in the park.