HUMOR: Home is Where the Heart Is

The Midwest is a ridiculous place to live, and no one knew better than The Drunken Sailor. He who had drunk in the new year in Times Square, proposed the toast at Kelly Wainwright’s Palm Beach estate, and fallen off Sir Julian Hubert’s three-hundred foot yacht in Bermuda, now found himself marooned in Omaha, Nebraska.

There is nothing to celebrate in Omaha.

The Drunken Sailor had literally lost his corkscrew, and after his behavior at Sir Julian’s birthday party the chances of rescue were remote. Even if The Sea Pearl could anchor in Nebraska, which seemed, to say the least, unlikely.

He worked hard at his column for the Omaha Siren and went home early. In the parlance of the natives, it was best to stay put. In truth, Omaha is a lovable place, surrounded by rippling fields of corn not unlike the sea itself. For excitement great dark panoramic storms sweep through regularly. These rarely cause any damage, and birds sing again in the sunshine, as though all one needed in this world were those twin Midwestern virtues: Perseverance and Modesty.

A most pleasant folk. However, provocation can turn the populace as dark, as unpredictable, as threatening as any storm…

Dear Drunken Sailor:

It’s my turn to host the family reunion, and I’m a nervous wreck. My sister keeps calling. What is there to do in Nebraska? she says. It’s insulting. Worse, I have no idea. I like staying home. Any suggestions? Signed, Mrs. Margaret Smith, Hecker City, NE.

DS says:

Are you kidding? There’s the Corn Festival, the House of Corn, the Corn Maze, the Kearney County Corncob fight, the Biggest Ear of Corn contest, the Omaha Corn Boil, Cobb Days, the Cobb Coronation, the Kearney County Cobb Emporium, the Corn Feed, Corn Mountain, Corn Huskers, Corn Candy, Corn Parade, Corn Poker, Corn Museum and the International Harvester 2017 Frederick J. Howenberger Corn Implement Exposition. The whole gang can go. You stay home. Have a drink.

Dear Drunken Sailor:

Listen up, buddy. I got a big problem with you. You said Nebraska is the SECOND flattest place on earth. I just spent four months studying satellite photos. Name ONE PLACE flatter than Nebraska. Signed, Emmett Jakes, Lincoln, NE.

DS says:

Your head. Have a drink.

Dear Drunken Sailor:

The wife and I are heartbroken. Our Emily is leaving for New York City. She says she wants to write, and Omaha is no place for an artist. All the stories would be the same.

She has everything planned. She’s going to pen a lifestyle column for the New York Times, then work her way up to fiction editor of The Atlantic, then sell her novel to Simon and Schuster, then option the movie rights to Hollywood, then marry Leonardo DiCaprio (he needs a good woman). Then she’s going to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, win an Oscar, buy a yacht, get a star on the Walk of Fame, and retire rich.

Our question: When will we ever see her again? Signed: Overawed in Omaha

DS Says:

Sooner than you think. The Nobel is a long shot. Have a drink.


Richard Donnelly

Richard Donnelly lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Classic flyover land. Which makes us feel just a little... superior. Mr. Donnelly's first book is 'The Melancholy MBA,' published by Brick Road Poetry Press in Columbus, Georgia.