The Old Factory Blues

The Old Factory Blues

– What are you doing?
– You stink!
– Before we decide if something stinks, what must we analyze?
– But you stink!
– Stink is an argument of definition.
– Pshew! Just like you to ignore cause and effect.

– I’m reminded of the story of the old factory blues.
– What’s a factory?
– A factory is a place where they make things.
– Was I made in a factory?
– You were made in a dumpster under blue neon in an alley across from a factory.
– What did they make in the factory?

– Every evening sharply at five a great whistle blew, scaring all the alley cats but me. As you know, I’m not one to flinch at noise. And after the whistle, the factory hands came out and petted me and fed me scraps from their lunch pails.
– Really? Good stuff?
– Oh, my, yes: bits of smelly tuna fish, little curds of cottage cheese, spam cans still with some fatty gel stuck to the bottom.
– Sounds delish, so why the blues?

– One day, the whistle stopped blowing, and the factory was surrounded by a fence of barbed wire. The factory hands disappeared, and a giant blue spotlight was erected to light the alley throughout the night, all but drowning out the small blue neon above the dumpster.
– What did they make in the factory?
– Golden gooses.
– Why do I smell a moral to a story coming on?
– If there is a moral to the story, it is that life stinks, but which leads to a secondary, paradoxical moral.
– I’m breathless. A double moral story.
– And the second moral is that it is the very stink of life that recalls the sweet smell of love, of who we are and where we come from.
– Ah, that story stinks!


  1. Bill Currey says:

    Dare i say, your lovely tale “stinks”?

    1. Joe Linker says:

      A lot of stink for a short tale.

  2. Waving, good to know your funny-wise friends are still philosophising.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      A cat’s tail waving back at you.

  3. Dan Hennessy says:

    Olfactory fwah grah .

  4. Matt Weaver says:

    It’s been too long since you made me think Joe, thanks!

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Oh, my! Hey, Matt! Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope all’s well. Would that we were thinking over a brew at a summer M’s game!

  5. I like stories with a moral. Especially a moral you have to mull over.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thanks, Jane. Well, yes, and mulling is good for us.

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