A Most Curious Tale of Archie Oliver Twist

by Terry 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry

    A Most Curious Tale of Archie Oliver Twist

    11 years old, Archie OliverTwist passed into a coma on June 7, 1942. His neck was broken from a dive into a shallow riverbed at a family picnic.

    Archie was maintained in a vegetative state in a long-term care facility. Hoping against all hope, his maintenance costs were paid by his parents.

    Half a century later, in the mid-1990s, they specified in their will that his brother and sister were bound by honor toward Archie's continued care, using a trust fund established for that purpose.

    Miraculously, he finally awoke on January 16, 2017, Archie was now 85.

    Oh, one more thing …(brace your mind for this…)

    He woke up as he was being delivered by an obstetrician in Mercy General Hospital in Northern Virginia. (I’ll pause while you re-read that last bit.)

    Archibald Oliver Twist’s life was somehow being recycled. As an infant, Archie maintained full consciousness, very confused, alarmed, and unable to speak for the next two years.

    It gets even weirder now. Are we ready?

    His (new) parents, unaccountably, named him Archibald after his ‘father’s’ favorite writer, Archibald McLeish. They considered him an amazing genius not realizing that their child’s mind was nearing 90 years of age.

    Poor Archie was possessed of the memories of an eleven-year-old child, many of which were associated with the second world war, and with comic book predictions of the future, as portrayed through characters like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

    As Archibald emerged from his confusion and grew anew as a child once more, a speech pathologist helped him utter a few words. His limited vocabulary and hand gestures allowed a basic conversation to occur.

    As is now reported in the Journals of Resuscitation and Extended Life Maintenance,

    Archie was not as amazed by modern-day contrivances as one might expect.

    Cell phones and television, for example, had their equivalents in his library of comic books. Likewise, a laptop computer, while interesting, was well within his comprehension.

    He was more mystified by objects made of flimsy plastic tossed away after a single use such as his drinking cup and numerous plastic baggies which were quite alien, to him.

    His appetite was quite good, but care had to be taken to make sure his gut flora was able to handle solid food consumed in the normal way.

    Why? (This is important to understand - pay attention.)

    His mind, although housed in a child’s brain, had been configured to accommodate a vegetative, aging body of an old man. The conflict caused many transformative complications. Try to imagine dropping a Model T Ford engine inside a Ferrari race car.

    When he finally reached the age of 11, Archibald (now called “Archie”) revealed what he was able to piece together about himself to his shocked and disbelieving parents.
    His persistence in self-investigation uncovered almost the whole story. So earnest and intense were the boy’s efforts, his family gradually began to make room for his weird story as something other than delusion. This wasn’t easy for them by any stretch of the imagination.

    Then one day …

    An astonishing breakthrough took place when his new mom phoned surviving family members of Archie’s previous incarnation, in hopes of resolving these improbable conflicts.

    A reunion was staged immediately!

    Archie was reassured by gestures of love and affection, expressed by his counselor and by young great nephews who had been flown in to be with him.

    So as to bring him "up to speed" temporally, illustrated calendars had been prepared, including materials from the school he had attended, baseball cards of his era, old newspaper clippings and similar relics. His memory was good, so he was able to recall some of his prior birthdays, the family car, various outings, and the always-present reminders to conserve for the war effort.

    Moving beyond these memories, to the days after the onset of his long nap, he was gradually given a "fam tour" of the years leading up to the present. Among his favorite pastimes was listening to recordings of the radio shows from his youth.

    It was most difficult for him to comprehend the passing of his parents, who, in his last memories had been quite alive and vibrant. The concept of death, itself, was something with which he was not fully conversant. Archie was a Catholic, so Catholic spiritual counselors were brought in to answer his many questions. His church, St. Michael's, was still standing and had an active membership, from which he took some reassurance. A local Jesuit priest steeped in Buddhist philosophy counseled him. Archie was unable to absorb any of these things. Instead, he focused on making his present life as meaningful as possible.

    Yet, some complications remained troubling.

    Archie the very old man in a young man’s body was becoming aware of sensations in his genital area, with the rapid onset of puberty. This was difficult, for he found that he was most often aroused by youngsters in their early to mid-teens. The affiliation seemed natural enough, to him, but adjusting to age-appropriate contact was a great challenge. Nonetheless, he was possessed of an adult brain, even if the content was restricted to his youthful recollections and such new data as was being introduced. Somehow, Archie was an intrinsically elderly man in ways beyond his comprehension. The balance of his mind was disturbed ever more so.

    Every road has a turning and one fine day Archie was introduced to Greta, a woman in her 60s who was pleasingly youthful in her appearance and with whom he was quite taken. The feelings were mutual, and a satisfying relationship blossomed.

    Many adjustments continued throughout their peculiar relationship. Little by little, he opened up to this remarkable woman. Slowly he confessed what haunted his every waking moment--the loss of his family and friends in a way impossible to mourn or escape. She listened and pretended to believe and accept the unbelievable and unacceptable story as he shared it. Yet, Greta realized too late, she had fallen in love with someone who was completely unable to move on in life. Could anything be worse for her? Life has many trade-off, does it not?

    After a few years, Archie was stricken with an infection from which no recovery was possible; his immune system, so long protected from modern-day pathogens, was simply unable to mount a life-saving defense.
    Greta refused the responsibility of caregiving and ended their relationship, trying her best not to create ill will. Torn between her own sanity preservation and best interests on the one hand and an ethical commitment to Archie - her decision was made with tears of finality. When it is time to move on …well…to not do so is a kind of death in itself.

    Naturally, Archie was distraught and he began drinking — his next longtime girlfriend had moved out and she called police when he threw her things into the front yard — but he held no hostages, brandished no weapons, and, so far as we have learned, posed no serious threat either to the police or to public order. (Archie did own guns, he apparently shared this news with police.)

    What happened next is unclear due to several conflicting stories by officers called to the scene.

    It was reported that Archie had been firing his weapon into the air and cursing at neighbors. Those neighbors watching from their windows gave contradictory testimony. There was only the sound of a single gunshot.

    Wounded in the chest, Archie was left to bleed to death inside his doorway while police officers, remaining outside the house, did nothing for an hour. Five and a half hours after the shooting, his body remained sprawled on the floor where he died.

    Incredibly, the authorities in Northern Virginia — including Fairfax County police and state and federal prosecutors — have refused to furnish any explanation for this stupefying sequence of events during the last hours of Aug. 29 in Springfield.

    They stonewalled.

    Local newspaper reporter Clive Beardsley refused to give up his source for a story he had written which his newspaper refused to publish in which County Medical Examiners discovered something unprecedented during the autopsy.

    Subsequently, the body had been ordered cremated before any follow-up could produce corroboration.

    In a later interview with Greta, Clive Beardsley asked if there had been any advance sign of mental illness in her significant other.

    She is reported to have replied:

    “He insisted I abort my pregnancy. He was worried something would happen to him on the day our baby was born--something ridiculous.”

    When pressed for details, she only mumbled something about fear of reincarnation.

    Oh, one more thing …

    That same afternoon of the shooting...

    Archie Oliver Twist woke up …

    as he was being delivered by an obstetrician in Mercy General Hospital in Northern Virginia. His life was somehow recycled. He maintained full consciousness, confused, alarmed, and unable to speak for the next two years.

    This was the beginning and end and beginning of what could possibly be seen as…

    …the rarest of all stories.

    One with a Twist Beginning.


    An old Irish Song

    There once was a man named Michael Finn-egan,

    He grew whiskers on his chin-again,

    The wind came up and blew them in-again,

    Poor old Michael Finnegan.

    There once was a man named Michael Finn-egan,

    He kicked up an awful din-igan.

    Because they said he must not sin again.

    Poor old Michael Finnegan.

    There once was a man named Michael Finn-egan,

    Ran a race and tried to win again.

    Got so puffed that he had to go in again.

    Poor old Michael Finnegan.

    There once was a man named Michael Finn-egan,

    He drank through all his good gin again.

    And so he wasted all his tin again,

    Poor old Michael Finnegan.
    Begin again.

    There once was a man named Michael Finn-egan,

    He went fishing with a pin again.

    He caught a fish but dropped it in again,

    Poor old Michael Finnegan.
    Begin again.

    There once was a man named Michael Finn-egan,

    Climbed a tree and barked his shin-igan,

    Took off several yards of skin-igan,

    Poor old Michael Finnegan.

    There once was a man named Michael Finn-egan,

    He grew fat and then grew thin again.

    Then he died and had to begin again.

    Poor old Michael Finnegan.

    The end (again)

  • enoughisenough

    reminded me of Benjamine Buttons

  • Terry

    It does me too!

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