Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sundays with Conan

Sunday morning and Conan and I are at Cracker Barrel a little before sunrise. I'm having the pancake breakfast and Conan, as usual, is having one of everything.
“How can you eat so much?” I say.
Conan doesn't answer. He merely glowers at me from beneath bushy brows and stuffs an entire pancake into his mouth.
The elderly couple at the table next to us are stealing nervous glances at my dining companion. He is clad in leather kilt and sandals. His broadsword leans against a wall.
Catching my eye, the elderly lady says, “Where is that boy's coat?”
I smile. It's something my grandmother would say when I would breeze in during 30 degree weather in my shirt sleeves. “Where is your coat, son?”
“He's from Cimmeria,” I say. “It's cold there all the time.”
The lady looks dubious but goes back to her breakfast. Conan jams three sausage links into his mouth and says, “You've never been to Cimmeria, have you?”
I shake my head. Conan says, “It's a dark land. The trees are packed so close and the mountains loom so high that sunlight never touches parts of the ground. Somber hills and leaden gray skies. In the winter it snows and in what passes for summer it rains.”
“A hard land,” I say, just to be saying something.
“In my memory I see only the clouds that pile forever on the hills and the dimness of the everlasting woods.”
“Next time I'm bringing Red Sonja to breakfast,” I say. “She's not as depressing as you and she looks a lot better in chain mail.”
“Aye,” Conan says, grinning. “That she does.”


Lanny said...

BIG grin on my face!

Paul said...

How does this Howard fan like The Whole Wide World?

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Paul, I liked the Whole Wide World for the most part. I'd read Novalyne Price's memoir about Howard, One Who Walked Alone, and the film is an excellent adaptation of the book. I was very impressed with Vincent D'Onofrio's performance. At times I could almost believe he WAS Howard. Now how accurate a portrait of REH the film presents is perhaps questionable. Since the movie is based on a memoir it's just one person's take on Howard. There's a new bio of REH out by Mark Finn which presents a more even handed and less "crazy" view of Howard, and includes interviews with other people who knew him in Cross Plains. Finn can't stay away from a little of the 'amateur psychoanalysis' I mention in my Author Identification post, but it's a far better book than the previous REH biography, Dark Valley Destiny, by L. Sprague DeCamp.