Tall Tale – Francis Herkell

This is by Jacob Sommer on alt.callahans.

I used to hang out with a fellah named Francis Herkell. Nice guy. He was pretty smart even if he could be a bit dumb about ladies sometimes. Of course, lots of guys are, but Francis was a bit unusual — he wore more jewelry than Mr. T. He had all sorts – necklaces, chains, all sorts of religious symbols, all in silver. I was curious about it but didn’t really want to be nosy. It didn’t get in the way of us hanging out or anything and it really added color to the RPGs when he pulled out the right holy symbol for any given religion. And the ladies seemed to like being able to look through — gave them ideas for their own jewelry boxes. One lady was really enthusiastic about it. But I digress. I would have thought he was studying Comparative Religion in grad school, but he was a biologist. Go figure.

A few years back he asked me to do him a favor. He wanted to be published outside of scientific journals and had a manuscript. He knew I was very good at proofreading; would I please proof it before he sent it in?

And you know, it was a very good book. Lots of humor, good wit, much better writing style than I have most of the time. It was autobiographical and a really intriguing read, explained a lot about him. I finally found out why he wore the jewelry – a promise to his mother to always keep her in mind, and she wore even more jewelry than Tiffany’s. I wasn’t pleased that he wrote me up as something of a buffoon. I’d introduced him to the joys of pizza – nice payback. So I decided I’d get a little payback myself.

I handed it back to him with a new title scrawled along the top. To my intense disgust, he sent it in with that title and got it published, but I forgave him because of the thank you in the front. You might have heard of it:

The Diary Of Fran’s Ankh.

John Barnstead made the following addition:

Well, much as I hate to report on such undelicate subjects so early in the morning, I must confess that I am of *two minds* about attending the Callahanicon in Austin, dear Alan, even though my ticket’s bought and I am looking forward to the shaggy comforts of your rec room couch — I have been told that Texas chili and other delicacies can have a most *untoward* effect on the digestive systems of the *Northrun* contingent of Callahaniacs, — and as everyone knows —

the diarrhea of fans’s *rank*….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *