The Story of Cletis

So this is a tale, my good readers; one that will surely stretch the threads of your imagination. But you must realize it to be true. I would never steer you wrong, especially when you’ve been so kind to me throughout the months. No matter how strange this story seems, you have to understand that it really happened. I was there and I witnessed it in its entirety. I was at a gas station sometime last year. There was a line and I was in it, bored, looking around at things. There was a man behind me, probably aged 35. I couldn’t see his legs – they were invisible – so I could only deduce that he was wearing camouflage pants.

I happened to notice that right under the counter above was a display for gift cards. This gas station had gift cards for every store/restaurant ever – it was a amazing. They had them for Blockbuster, AMC Theaters, Regal Theaters, Home Depot, Chili’s, Applebees, Olive Garden, Wendy’s, iTunes, Rhapsody… this list goes on an on. They had an amazing selection of gift cards for being just a simple gas station. I thought people only went to gas stations to get gas, beer, smokes, and beef jerky. Learn something new every day.

There was also a gift card for Barnes and Noble. Without even thinking, I commented outloud, “Barnes and Noble gift cards? Who comes to a gas station to get a gift card to a book store?” That funny man I described earlier, who was standing behind me, started to laugh a bizarre, mentally challenged-sounding laugh. Some of the other patrons laughed to. Perhaps they were laughing at him? I don’t know. But it’s about this time when the unthinkable happened. Something that took me by surprise. I should have known then, however, that living in Florida brings out the oddest treats.

This guy – I call him Cletis every time I tell this story – then said, “Man, I ain’t ever read no book in my entire life.” He said that proudly, as if he was the smartest man in the universe and he got that title without ever having to read. But I didn’t believe him.

cletis

We Don’t Need Education Dollars (3/2009)

I quickly retorted with, “So you’ve never read Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat?” I thought the suggestion of Dr. Seuss classics would jog his memory because who hasn’t read these? “No man,” Cletis said. I shot out some more simple childhood titles but he still denied me. “How did you get through elementary school without have to read anything?” I asked.

“I didn’t get too far in school.”

That was it. He was done laughing. All he wanted now was to purchase his Natural Light brew and go home to his trailer or whatever to party. Poor Cletis. Part of me wanted to teach him to read right there in the gas station, the other part of me wanted to destroy his existence.

I’ll never forget that story. Was he lying? I don’t know. He was pretty convincing. But why would he brag about something like that? Finding out a 30 year-old man, who is clearly allowed to have his driver’s license, can’t/won’t read. I guess being able to read stop signs should be enough for me. Clearly it’s enough for him.

And yet our government keeps taking away money from education. If these results are yielding such fine products as Cletis, what will happen to the rest of us in the future? It’s only going to get worse. Who gives a fuck if we have plenty of people to man fast-food jobs. Who is going to be able to handle anything else? That movie Idiocracy may have presented the closest thing to an actual future I can figure.

Author: bronsonfive

Film, movies, whatever.

9 thoughts on “The Story of Cletis”

  1. idiocracy scared me a little bit – the whole formula for reproduction of idiots. we’d be a nation of cletis folk.

    oooh no….i wonder how many kids cletis has….

  2. Haha, This makes me laugh bc I know people like this…then it makes me want to cry…then it makes me want to see Hills have Eyes…Then it makes me want to cry again.I think he felt a common bond with you, he thought bc of your statement you didn’t like to read, so just know you made a two teethed fuck smile.

  3. Idiocracy scared me quite a bit, because the way things are going it almost seems like that could happen. I don’t live in the states, but I do think more money should be put in education, even up here in Canada. Just think how much smarter your nation would be, how many more miraculous inventions could be thought of and created, if your government used half of what they spent on the Iraq war, and invested that into the education system.

  4. Julia: Where is your blog?

    Goodbear: I hope he didn’t have any. But for every one of Cletis, there is a dozen or so out there unclaimed. They are out there.

    462: Hills Have Eyes? The old one or the new one? The original Part 2 has a dog flashback scene. NAME another movie where a DOG has a flashback… you can’t.

    Kerplar: What you speak is fairy tales.

    Omega: I hope it does… long after I am dead.

    Tara: That actually happened in Orlando. Though I wish he was here.

  5. whatcha readin fer?

    -Bill Hicks

    he has a whole bit on that. look it up in your nighttime hours. the best ever.

    sad but true. i just watched Oprah who did a segment on children who are retarded because they were never held or talked to. the most horrible thing you could ever see. that man behind you was never cared for enough to be taught how to read or to be taught that reading books is actually a good thing. sadness.

  6. If you listen to the Tool song, “Third Eye” you hear a bit of his act. Aenima is a great fucking album, I think a few songs were also inspired by Bill Hicks, and they Tool dedicated the Cd to them.

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