A mind trip unlike any other. The wild adventures of humble, easy-going small-town characters in a small nondescript American town, including those of a diverse, ever-changing, weird cast of friends and acquaintances, young and old. This amiably outlandish, often irreverent, R-rated tale is now 4,091 pages long and contains 894 episodes. Begun on Sept. 26, 2010, it is now, according to some sources the longest novel ever written and published in English, recently counted at 1,350,084 (1 1/3+ Million) words .... Just in the past 2+ years, at this site and the Skunkville thread at CNN/SI, the Saga has received nearly 130,000 reader/visitors. Kirkus Reviews said of Skunkville Saga, Vol. 1 Saga of the Lost 'A relentless, bizarre phantasmagoria', 'Few reading experiences match this one', 'Totally unpredictable', 'otherworldly', 'madcap', 'flippant', 'continue(s), endlessly, down a rabbit hole of absurdity....' 'will appeal to.... most adventurous readers'.
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Fiddles suddenly starts growling ferociously and foaming at the mouth...
Walt, sitting forward in Easy Chair Ed to see what's happening: 'Edna... Come here... Immediately... Did you threaten Fiddles with a bath by any chance? You know how upset he gets...'
Edna: 'Yes, and I think it's about time we put him down for his Time of Eternal Peace... He's had a long, rich, complete life... And now...'
There's a sudden commotion outside their door, as if several people are there, and then the doorbell rings... Fiddles going even more berserk with each moment.
Walt: 'Hear that ruckus? It must be a team of doctors outside... You know how crazy Fiddles gets when he thinks he's going to get his shots....'
Edna: 'Yes... But when he acts like that any more, I'm not sure it's safe for anyone to get near him... The look in his eyes is maniacal, murderous!'
Walt: 'Yes, good idea.... Why don't you put him out back in his new padded soundproofed doghouse, to keep his maniacal behavior from bothering the neighbors.'
When Fiddles has been safely moved to his doghouse down in the woods, by enticing him with cat-flavored dog treats into his padded carrier, Walt answers the door. Lost for an excuse for why he took so long, he comes up with the lie: 'I accidentally flushed my wedding ring down the toilet and had to reach way down in to retrieve it... ' He invents, offering his hand in welcome to each of the medical team, each of whom replies with a nod instead, their arms crossed or their hands jammed in their pockets.
Edna, amazingly, is not only back from imprisoning Fiddles in his little shanty in the woods, but also has a tray of delectables and hot coffee and tea on the dining table when Walt and the medical team enter the house.
When they finally relax a bit and settle in, the most senior doctor begins: 'Walt, we've heard about your blog rot, and have been sent out to intervene. First, we may be able to do some things that will contain the damage or at least slow it down -- maybe even stop -- its spread. I know how important that blog is to you, even though it is generally considered a huge waste of time -- and that's only from a reader's perspective. There have even been cases of people having to be talked down from ledges or bridge rafters after realizing how much time they had wasted reading your pointless trash....
'Second, and this should make you happy, we may be able to recover some of the recently lost episodes of your famous blog, famous mainly because of its length and the unnecessary trouble it causes.... Even those recent lost episodes may be the worst ones of all, since it is generally said that the blog becomes more pitiful and pointless the longer it gets --'
Walt, a bit red-faced, stands up at the dinner table. 'Look, I know I have blog rot. It's embarrassing... I don't want my friends and neighbors and all the town officials to know... Then people may treat us as if we have the plague...But it's just our blog... It hasn't spread beyond...People don't have to read it... Do they have to read the phonebook cover to cover when they receive it in their flower garden or in a pile of fresh dog poo after it is carelessly delivered by the phone company?? Have some sympathy....Most people already despise the blog...and to think that now it may be accused of infecting the whole Internet and turning it a plague zone..'
The man apparently the second most senior doctor comments: 'Is that right that 'it hasn't spread beyond'? What about your increasingly aggravating jxxk rot situation? Even CROTCH-X with TNT isn't containing it....Do you want jock rot to spread to your legs...your chest...your face....your eyes...your friends and family members' bodies, like that cute little robot over there??'
NBV2: THANK YOU. FOR ACKNO. WLEDGING. ME. NBv2 NOT SUSC. EPTIBLE. TO HUMAN. RASH. ES.
3rd most senior doctor: 'Oh yeah, little fellow? I see the beginnings of a rash on your forehead. Has it been annoying you... your 'forehead'?'
NBV2: WHAT FORE. HEAD. SOUND LIKE. DIRTY WORD. NBV2. CLEAN. CUT.
7th most senior doctor: 'Yes, even that sentient chair over there, a rare being indeed, with a quite different bodily setup and system... is vulnerable.'
Easy Chair Ed cries out: 'Finally it's out in the open, so I can say: Walt, Edna, anyone, please come and scratch the crotch in my recliner -- where the top part and the bottom part meet -- before I literally explode in frustration...'
One the pretty nurses, wearing a mask and gloves, runs to Ed's side, and begins compassionately explaining what she can do to help him...Then starts rubbing a salve into his sensitive groin...
Easy Ed protests: 'Hey... I don't need that shxt on it...I need someone to get one Walt's metal dirt claws out of his broken-down garage and start ripping my upholstery apart right down to my frame to kill that maddening itch... I can always be reupholstered....HURRY! SOMEBODY!! OR I'M GOING TO NEED TO TAKE TO THE SKIES AND THEN PLUMMET DOWN AND CRASH IN FLAMES TO ESCAPE MY AGONY!!!!!!!!! OH -- I CAN'T WAIT FOR THOSE FLAMES TO DESTROY THAT ROT... ME WITH IT, TRUE... BUT THE ROT MUST GO OR MY MIND MAY JUST SNAP COMPLETELY!!!!! DOES ANYONE HAVE A FLAME THROWER EITHER HERE OR IN THE READING AUDIENCE??? HELP ME...BEFORE I GO COMPLETELY INSANE!!! Walt: Bring that rabid Fiddles back in and spread some dogfood on my seam!!'
Walt cries as he dashes towards the door: 'I'm going to get the gardening claw right now, Eddie!! And I'm going to use it on myself to test it and because I need it for my own screaming rot as I run back down from the garage!!'
Edna tries to stop Walt, but he tears out the door... then stops dead in his tracks...'Where IS the fxckin' garage...???'
Edna joins her hubby, rubbing his back to console him, to calm him down... 'Don't you remember when it collapsed last year, crushing one of the neighbor's cats to death??? We had to remove it immediately due to the fatality....and the cat was 21 years old too, and blind....But our once lovely separate garage is gone -- all of it -- for good...Bumpkus, whom as you know, owns the Bozo Bar, flattened it with his bulldozer, then he had some of his drunks load the remains on a dump truck to be unloaded into Skunkville Bog in the middle of the night, the same place where Coroner Stiffe throws the bodies of people that Mayor Grafte didn't want around town any more!
'It was the only kind of demolition we could afford.... I mean, now that you've been retired since 1927... Even Social Security stopped sending us checks... Said that we were too old and no longer qualified for any benefits whatsoever, not even burial expenses... and that they might have to send agents out to help achieve 'resolution of our files'...'
Walt, enjoying reclining in Easy Chair Ed, hears what may be a faint tap at the door: 'Darling!' He alerts Edna with a loud holler, who is in the kitchen, making a snack for them to enjoy together in the living room. 'Was that the wind blowing leaves from last fall against the door, or the actual knock of some tiny being...?'
Edna, her face scrunched into a look of annoyance, emerges through the swinging door that leads to the kitchen, and storms over to the front door and yanks it open...As Walt continues to luxuriate on Easy Chair Ed. 'Ed gets upset when I abruptly leave him... That's why I called you onto the case...' 'No I don't,' Easy Chair Ed mumbles: 'In fact, I'm sick of smelling your acrid fxrts today, one blow after another to my nasal sensor!'
Edna: 'What did Easy Ed mumble?' Edna questions, as she looks left, right, up and down through the open front door... her apron stains indicating that she has been hard at work making something delightful for Walt and herself.
Walt claims: 'I don't know... I didn't hear him. My hearing isn't what it once was, before all the rifle shots and battle cries and screams of agony and also the cannon-firing right near my ears that I suffered during my lengthy duty in the Crimean War...'
Easy Ed: 'Crimeany! No way does that story hold up to close -- or even casual, lax, willy-nilly, half-xxed -- scrutiny.'
Walt lets loose another point-blank bottom blast in retaliation...
Edna throws the door open for all to see: 'Well I'll be...There's no one out here anyway...'
'HEY. LOOK DOWN. CAN'T YOU SEE. ME.'
Edna looks down and there is NBv2, the tiny replacement robot for the world-protecting NB2.
'Oh, hi, you little underpowered cutie... C'mon in... Guys (speaking to Walt and his sentient easy chair): NB2 in mini-version is here to visit us for some reason.'
Edna scoops him up, carries him over to Walt, and sits him gently on Walt's expansive and comfy midriff.
Walt breaks into a grin... he's so cute... Not very intimidating, as far as scaring off threats to Skunkville by his physical presence, but certainly cute, and certainly duty-driven and responsible just like the original 300 pound 6'6" version of Instant Massive Retribution called NB2, who fell apart not long ago...on every level -- physically, mentally, emotionally....For reasons not completely understood, but there are suspicions... For instance, that his creator, Devil Doll, found his creation was indirectly putting too many limitations on his own manipulations of society...And had built in a self-destruct mechanism, that he could use remotely to instantaneously disable or even 'kill' NB2 once he reached that decision, without raising any suspicion about himself.
Shaking his head at the memory and suspicions, Walt looks up towards the top of his bookshelf, where the sad remains of the original NB2's head now sit, motionless, it's eyeballs hanging out of its noggin, looking in opposite directions.
'So what's the big news, little NBv2? Do you eat cookies by any chance?'
'NO COOKIE. ONLY. JUNIOR ROCKET FUEL. NBv2 HAVE DISTRESSING. NEWS FOR. ALL OF YOU. BUT WALT. ESPECIALLY.'
'Lay it on me little hero.... I'm man enough to take it!'
'IF YOU SAY. BUT BEWARE. AUTHOR WALT. BAD NEWS. FOR YOUR LONG BLOG. TERRIBLE CASE OF. BLOG ROT. HIT DELPHI FORUM.'
'Blog rot.... Blog rot?' Walt repeats, craning his neck and looking around the room as if looking for the answers on the walls of his 'humble adobe', as he improperly calls it, trying to relate to this new threat: BLOG ROT.
'BLOG ROT. WHEN BLOG TOO LONG. OVERBLOWN. WINDBAGGY. EXTREMETIES. BEGIN DYING. PASSAGES. WHOLE ENTRIES. DISAPPEAR. GONE INTO ANOTHER. DIMENSION. WHERE QUICKLY DEVOURED. BY CREEPY VIRTUAL. LIZARD BAD-PROSE-DEVOURING. DENIZENS. MAJOR PARTS. OF RECENT TEXT. GONE. FOREVER.. CHOMP. CHOMP.'
Walt: 'Could you be more specific, cute Mr. Little Baby NBv2.'
'LOT OF SKUNKVILLE DISAPPEAR. LAST NIGHT. MUCH MORE. MAY DISAPPEAR. T0-. NIGHT. SOON. SKUNK. VILLE. ALL MILLION. PLUS WORDS. GONE. AS IF NEVER. WRIT. TEN!!'
Walt looks at Edna, who is looking at Walt to see his reaction, fearing a mighty explosion.
Walt: How much lost so far, little friend?'
'ALL OF. RECENT EPISODES. LIKE LOUSY. DUSTIN MOPPE. BURGER GOD. STORY. LOTS MORE AS WELL. MAYBE ANOTHER 5%-10%. OF THE WHOLE. BLOG-O-NOVEL. TONIGHT. MOMENTUM. BUILD. ROT BECOME STRONGER. WHEN FED BY. BADLY WRITTEN. POORLY CONCEIVED. MATERIAL..'
Walt: 'But you just described most of Skunkville with those last words! So soon it will be no more. After my years of work??'
'YES. GO OD. YOU SEEM. TO UNDERS. TAND.''
Walt looks over at Edna, smiling a big smile at her, to her amazement...'"C'mere Darlingk... There are many things much more important than my long story!! I say: LET IT ROT!!!!!''
'BUT ONE. MORE. TH. ING. ROT MAY SPREAD TO. WALT CROTCH. TOO MUCH. INTI. MATE. EXPO. SURE. TO BLOG.'
This news sets Walt back a bit: 'I don't care about the latest episodes of my blog.....even the earlier ones for that matter.... But I absolutely hate the inescapable torture of jock rxt...!'
Edna, eyeing Walt strangely: 'What do you mean: You have it probably 80% of the time....Even today, I saw you applying large amounts of SUPER-CROTCH-X with ITCH-STOPPING TNT to the area where it is customarily applied...Then had to hear you scream as the explosions began to blast the jockrot back to whatever hell it came from... Probably the same one that unleashed relentless creepy crawly cxnt itch on the poor world...'
Walt, backing toward wall in shock...
Fiddles runs in from the kitchen, the first time Walt has seen Fiddles do more than waddle in decades.....And then he stands, next to NBv2, nodding his aged head with great satisfaction.... The big guy is finally getting his due....Of course, those are Fiddle's feelings and maybe yours too, but not the non-judgmental, always-trying-to-be-helpful NBv2.
In his new, 4-foot tall, doll-like form, NB2v2 has resumed patrolling Skunkville 24/7.
As he walks the rain-slicked lonely streets at 3 AM, he muses. WHY NB2v2. WANT NEW. IDENTITY. DIFFERENT. FROM OLD.
WHY CHO. OSE. SILLY. CHILDLIKE. UNTHREATENING. IM. AGE.
But these minor worries go completely out of NB2v2's head when he sees an older man, lying moaning (but he's really moaning, not lying about his misery... his moaning is too sincere to be lying moaning) in the middle of the rainy street... and a possible mugger running away in the foggier distance...
'Fxck off, you mechanical meddler. pant pant This is my wallet in my hand... pant pant That old man you saw lying back there attacked me. pant pant Knocked me down.... pant pant Why not go arrest him, you foolish stupid looking dolly pant pant robot? Leave honest pant pant pant citizens alone.'
WHY OLD MAN HEAD BLOODY. YOURS JUST. SWEATY. NB2v2 MUST PULL. YOU OVER. YOU MUST SHOW. NBv2 YOUR. SKUNKVILLE. WALKING. LIC. ENSE.
Instead, the young man speeds up, gripping the old man's fat wallet close to his side, not wanting NB2v2 to see it. 'Let's see pant pant how fast you can go, Baby Toy...You stupid pant pant baby doll....What are you pant pant going to do to me, give pant pant me soft hugs until I choke to pant death on my pant own vomit because you're so pant cute and pant lovable pant pant pant phew!?'
NB2v2 SHOW YOU WHAT DO. IN MOMENT. WISH. NEVER ASK.
Every time the young man looks behind he and NB2v2, his face grows more pale, and more enraged at the same time. 'And why are those pant pant rrrrp! stupid cacti running after us??... There must be hundreds of those pant pant rrrrp! gag hazardous prickly jerks on our tail. Why don't you turn pant rrrrp! gag urghk around and do something about the real threat to pantpantpant our town???'
NBV2: YOU AFRAID. OF PRICKS?
Not yours, you fxckin' dweeb, but the millions of pant rrrrp! gag urghk prickers on those cactiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!....
And with the sound of 'i' in the air the young man goes flying through the cool night air into a terrible smelling open dumpster!
NBv2: NBv2 PUT ON. BRAKE. WHY BAD KID GO. FLYING THRU AIR. INTO STINKY DUMP. STER.
An unusually beautiful, dressed up, stylish young lady steps out of the shadows: 'I saw you were having trouble. So I decided to help you out, cute 4 foot tall dolly.... May I pick you up and hold you? I love dollies, the bigger, the better...up to a point. And look at your sweet soft Robin Hood capped point... Male dollies are so much nicer, and gentler, and politer than men!'
NBv2: 'BY ALL MEAN. PICK UP. SOONER. BETTER. OK TO SQUEEZE DOLL. UNIT ANY WAY. THAT PLEASES. YOU. AGAINST ANY PART. OY BODY. NB2 VERY. TOLERANT OF. BEAUTIFUL SQUEE. ZERS. READER. ANYONE. SQUEEZE YOUR. SOFTNESS. TO. DAY? '
The Lady reaches down and easily picks up the large but lightweight doll. 'Well, may I first pick you and give you a big hug, Mr. Cute Dollie?'
And so the beautiful Princess of the Night picks up the lightweight NBv2 unit and presses him hard against her.... While the hundreds of cacti surround them, looking on in awe... except for a few who are trying to assist the beaten-up old man...without pricking him too much...
Soft, cute, four foot tall NB2 MiniDoll: 'OK. GUY. LIS. SEN. UP'
The gruff, but soft-hearted Scruffy, squirming annoyedly in his chair, 'Speak up, you little pointy-headed geek...I for one can't hear a mumble that yer whisperin'!'
Walt: 'Scruffy.... I just noticed there's a microphone and stand over in the corner, probably from one of the recent weddings executed in this room....Should I let this new little Sweetpea NB2 stand on my chair or my lap, and chatter and giggle into the mike?'
Scruffy: 'No!! Consarn it!!! This being is supposed to be protecting our town from criminals, and hostile armies, and alien hordes -- and worst of all, the biggest problem: OURSELVES!! How can he intimidate anyone if he needs a mike to be heard from ten feet away....!?!?'
The NB2 Minidoll raises his right pointing finger a slight fraction of an inch, and Scruffy suddenly finds himself rising rapidly and soon pinned to the ornate ceiling 30 feet above, gasping for air.
NB2+ Minidoll: 'SIZE NOT. EVERYHING. MR. SCRUFFY. TALK. SOFTLY. CARRY BIG. POWER SUPPLY.'
Then he slowly lowers his finger and Scruffy floats back and forth, like a fat human leaf, ever so gently, back into his chair, from which he immediately rises, face reddened...'Now I've gotta barf, from motion sickness, you dirty little prxck!! I gotta run.'
NB2+ Minidoll: 'BEFORE. YOU RUN. NB2 MINI. DO REMOTE....MASSAGE. TO MAKE YOU. FEEL. BETTER....'
NB2+ Minidoll points at Scruffy's stomach and makes some slow, reassuring, relaxing movements... The rest of the 'audience' begins to doze off almost immediately, while Scruffy growls: 'Hold it! I'm okay now... I think it was just the shock to my civilized, manly sensitivities of having that stupid-looking little talking doll push me around like I was nuthin'!'
NB2 Minidoll: 'YES. NB2 MINIDOLL FOUND OFFENSIVE. BY 23%. OF TESTED. SO. NB2+ NOW COME. IN VARIOUS MOODS. SHAPES. SIZES. TAKE LOOK. AT RANGE OF CHOICE. IN NEW SPRING LINE. ASSORTMENT OF NB2+. OPTIONS. REMEMBER THAT NB2 POWERS REMAIN SAME. REGARDLESS OF.... EXTERIOR STYLING.'
Scruffy, his hand to his ear: 'I haven't heard half of what you said, dollie... But does the volume of your voice change with the model chosen?'
Abruptly, NB2 converts into the large ferocious 'Intimidator+' styling, and roars raggedly, like a ragged jagged voice grunge metal rocker, the sound reverberating in the listener's brains: 'YeSsS It DuZzZz....YeSsS It DuZzZz'...YeSsS It DuZzZz....YeSsS It DuZzZz....YeSsS It DuZzZz....YeSsS It DuZzZz.....
YeSsS It DuZzZz!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
Everyone is now holding their hands to their ears, except the monster who roared it, who is laughing his large cojones off at the distress of the group.
Edna's painfully beautiful ghost: 'But NB2, isn't this change in your looks going to confuse the townspeople?..... I don't mean the dearly departed like me, who are hard to upset, since we're hardly even here to begin with....But the flesh and blood types...'
YeSsS It WilllzZzZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
'Mebbe good they worry about meeeeeee... then they'll stay straight in line...suck up to me...untils I barf on them...can't stand wimps you know... like you fxckin' peepholes frinstance!!!'
Hilda raises her hand, Edna's question breaking the ice: 'When we are alone together... if we are alone together....as NB2's old beau....in an intimate setting... will I be able to pick which NB version with whom I will xxxx?'
Walt interjects: 'I don't think we're going to have an army of highly divergent NB2s... That could create it's own headaches, to say the least... What if they go to war with each others??!! The cute quiet little NB2 is just saying we need to pick which version we want...'
Soft Pointy-Head NB2 tumbles over like an acrobat, then jumps up on Walt's lap: 'YOU HAVE GOOD HEAD. ON SENILE. SHOULDER. WHY NOT LEADER. OF TOWN. ALL THESE. YEARS.
Ghostly Edna can't avoid an ethereal giggle at that concept...'Little NB2, it takes him half the morning just to get dressed... To remember which goes where!'
A few mutters from the reading audience, who of course are also present in the room for all to see and touch, in whatever state of dress or undress they may be, that is for anyone actually physically in the room or who is virtually in the room by a mechanism like the Mystical Eye found at Spencer Gifts. For those low-tech few who are still just trying to visualize this morass simply via words who don't, we're bringing all you other active readers like you right here in the center of all the action, at our own expense, using the New Reverse Mystical Eye....Why right at this very moment, we can see the virtual arrival of Marie Flox of Beanville, CA, along with Oscar Diddlerre of New York City, KS, Topo Jiggley, a female, haling from Deliverance, VA, Franz Krantz of Oklahoma City, OH, Oliver Crispe III of New York City, Ont., the irrepressible Jewel Frimp of Euphoria, Alabarkansas, our most loyal long-term reader, and, fo course, portly Herman Sagg of Akron: 'My heavens, what a question!' 'Quel impertinento?' 'What relevance does this have to the safety of the town?' 'I wonder which one is her first pick...?' 'Of the ones I've seen, I think I'd go with the Star Ranger Model for sure, for sure....
Let's mike this new group for a secondo: ' 'Star Ranger??? Are you crazy, girl?? What about the NB2 punk?' 'As a gay reader, I think NB2 Buff has to be considered....,' 'As a lesbian reader, I would say Hilda would be my first choice...' 'No fair!! That's not one of the NB2 Options... That's his ex-girl-friend!' 'When did you start being the editor of this blog?' 'Shut up, you xxxxxx!!' 'You shut up, you xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx!!' SMACK! WHACK!! CRACK!!! CRASSSSSSHHHHH!!! UGGGGGHHHHH!!! OHHHHMYYYYY!!!!
Scruffy, really annoyed, picks up the house phone; 'I want these Mystical Eye devices turned off immediately in this room, all virtual guests to leave no matter how they got here, and I never want them any of these newcomers in this building again!! DO YOU HEAR ME: NEVER IN THIS BUILDING AGAIN!!
Scruffy uses a huge handkerchief to mop the perspiration off his forehead and soaking pits: 'It's rough enough to have a discussion among this diverse group of town leaders without having people eavesdropping from all over the world, and from outside our own dimension even. We know Skunkville readership is much higher outside the dimension where Skunkville actually exists here in Ohio....People in our version of Ohio already know all about Skunkville, been there, seen that, and don't find it that interesting any more...Plus their Ohio town is probably pretty much like our hokey place....'
'Pointed-Head Doll-Like NB2': 'LIKE TO PUT TOPIC. ON TABLE. READER, HOW YOUR TOPIC. TODAY. PLEASE WRITE. ME. NEED YOUR IN. PUT. ALSO. WHO DECIDE. WHICH NB2 VERSION. VISIBLE. TO PUBLIC. VERY CONFUSING. IF ONE DAY NB2 ME. NEXT DAY, ANDROID. NEXT DAY 3000 AD, NEXT DAY SUPER-BUFF. NEXT DAY, STAR-RANGER.
nb2 punk: I say nb2s draw lot. lot winner. that nb2 only nb2. until he fxck up. bad. or get wiped. squashed. smithereened. sunk to DJ locker.
NB2 Newt: What someone 'messes up'. Mean? Easy to point finger. harder to point. toward happiness. prosterity. NB2 Newt honest man. speaks truth. only.
Scruffy: 'Hey, little dick.'
Pointy Head Doll NB2: 'yes. sir. mr. scruf---
Scruffy: 'Clam it, you member of slowtalkers of America. But you say you got all that power..... Then get all of you and the other pretenders to the throne of the great old original NB2 out of here. Right now.... Vamoose!!'
Scruffy turns to his non-NB2 colleagues for support, for an indication he didn't make an ass of himself. But they seem lost in thought. And when he turns his head back around and turns up his hearing aid, he realizes they all NB2s are gone and the room is silent, as each person ponders what just occurred......
in the middle of this wonderful get-together of Mamma Gooma, Walt, ghostly, gorgeous Edna, Hilda, and Scruffy, there is a soft knock on the door... so soft and tenuous that only ghostly Edna perceives it.
Edna, transparent in her beauty: 'There is someone, a beneficial presence, a strong beneficial presence at your door, Mamma.
Mamma Gooma, nods gently: 'Yes, I'm glad you confirmed my perception, Edna....But the knock was so faint, so tentative.... Maybe one of the hotel workers accidentally brushed against the door?'
Scruffy shakes his head: 'No, couldn't be. Only people with the highest security code are allowed on this floor.'
Walt rises, noting: 'Well, I might as well see who's here....And who knocks so gently...'
Mamma nods in approval, but also forms a psychic shield around Walt in case the visitor proves to be dangerous....Although she senses not danger, but rather a warm feeling of security emanating from outside the door. Could it be a trick? A trap? She senses not.
Walt opens the door a crack, then swings it open, muttering, 'What the fxck?? Excuse me: what in the world... A human sized doll?'
The 'Doll' says very softly: 'HELLO EVERYONE. IT IS NB2. IN NEW FORM. GENTLER. SOFTER. SAFER. MORE SENSITIVE.'
Mamma Gooma smiles: 'What a clever joke....'
Scruffy shakes his head: 'No, couldn't be. Only people with the highest security code are allowed on this floor. I am going to destroy it with the pocket-pal disintegrator gun that Devil Doll gave me for my birthday... It's probably a walking bomb or something...The zone sensors indicates whatever it is, is not alive, at least as we would define 'alive', so why take a chance.' He raises the gun and levels it at the visitor, who walks softly into the room anyway, as if so naive or confident it is oblivious of the deadly risk it is facing..'
Walt, who had already risen from his chair, slowly but assuredly walks towards the newcomer, meanwhile blocking Scruffy's line of fire, noting: 'Well, I might as well see how our new visitor responds to a friendly Skunkville greeting!'
Edna remains calm, noting in her beautiful, echoing ghostly whisper: 'It is NB2, trying on a new form.'
NB2: 'CORRECT. EDNA. I WANT TO. PROJECT. GENTLER IMAGE. WHILE STILL HAVE. ALL ORIGINAL POWERS. PLUS. NEW ONES. READER. HAVE YOU. DEVELOPED ANY. NEW POW. ERS LATELY?'
Scruffy, directing his comment to his lover, Mamma Gooma: 'Gee. He made a big change in his looks, but he still speaks in that broken robot English...'
Mamma: 'I remember not so long ago, Don Scruffy, when you spoke in a similar way.'
Walt bravely goes over and offers his hand to the visitor. Who gives him a big hug, and while doing so, for demonstration purposes, rises slowly (both of them) to the 30 foot ceiling, then slowly back to the carpet.
Mamma Gooma graciously offers Walt a comfortable chair as he explains the reasons for his unscheduled visit to Mamma's lavish quarters within the Scruffiplex.
Walt staring at the chair to which she has led him: 'Thank you... It looks quite comfy... And, before I sit, I would like to ask you still another favor... Allowing my dearly departed, neo-ghostly wife Edna to sit in on the meeting as well...'
A look of surprise crosses Mamma's face, also a look of appreciation: 'Of course. Has she been waiting outside?'
'Matter of fact, she has...'
Mamma, staring at the ornate main door to her quarters, 'I bid you enter, if it pleases you, dear ghost of beloved Edna!'
And a ghostly, beautiful female human form effortlessly passes through the heavy door that secures Mamma Gooma's quarters.
'Oh my, my....' Mamma blurts, at a loss for words... 'No wonder you married her, Mr. Walt!'
Walt, pulling up a chair next to him for Edna to sit: 'Yes. I was very, very fortunate that the other guys in my 1913 high school class were so unusually homely....You know that if I was clearly the handsomest of the bunch, just how ugly they were as individuals and as a group....The poor girls...although they were not so....never mind, I digress, Mamma Dearest... Although I'm sure some of the boys and girls became better looking with growth and maturity -- I mean when I look at Bert Fartley -- now going by the handle of Blake Fargo -- since he's been rejuvenated by some natural process...I wonder if I should have done more about my own appearance before it finally became too late...? Worked out more?....Used moisturizers and taken vitamins and suffered ice splashes?... Brrrr.'
Walt feels Edna's ghostly lips lightly touch his forehead and cheek -- an intense chill of fear mixed with adoration and excitement passes through him...Well, if beautiful Edna finds him acceptable looking, who cares about anyone else??
Mamma: 'Yes, it is true, the spirit form of a goodly person is dazzling in its beauty, jast as the spirit form of even the most physically gorgeous evil-leaning person can be an abomination to view for more than a few seconds.'
Walt, rubbing his hands together nervously: 'Boy oh boy... I wonder where that leaves me... I certainly have been no angel... I've regularly been cranky, and bossy, and selfish, and lustful, and above all a know-it-all and a bore...Just ask my beautiful spirit wife as she graces this room...'
Mamma: 'Hush! I know your spirit, Walt. Do not judge yourself harshly. I consider you the epitome of a good man! Not perfect... but I believe perfection itself can be a deadly flaw. It is all very mysterious, but I sense your soul is safe, and beautiful -- or, handsome, if you like...buff, maybe.'
Walt turns to the empty chair that he thinks houses Edna -- he can feel her attractive presence, but sees nothing, and it doesn't even seem to be in that chair, but somewhere else. He looks towards the ceiling, commenting....
'I guess it's normal that you can't actually see a dearly departed...'
Edna's voice, but perfected, beautiful, deeper, milder, smoother, more fullly packed: 'That's because you are looking at the wrong chair, an empty one... Turn the other way.....Slowly though.'
'OMG!!' Walt cries out..... The front of my pants are being torn asunder by something huge trying to rip through them like a raging mushroom...'
Mamma Gooma: 'Let's try to keep this at least somewhat fambily friendly, Walter!'
'Yes maam,' he responds, his legs tightly together, his face scrunched up and pointed towards the ceiling in beseechment. 'Incidentally, Mamma, do you know if beseechment is a word?'
Scruffy himself, the richest man by far in the remote NW corner of the SE quadrant of Ohio, enters and comments: 'It was legal the last time I used it in Scrapple...I got 32 points for it given the Double Letter scores and so forth. A couple of weeks ago. I was playing a half-potted Bumpkus, as well as the simulacra of the dear-departed Gorilla Monsoon, one time President of the WWF, and Hilda, NB2's morose old girl friend. You know, she blames herself for the destruction of NB2.... But I can't believe a human could have done that kind of destruction.'
The partially present and visible Edna, quietly: 'But NB2 is fine.... This I see clearly.....That molting and disintegration of his unit is simply a natural occurrence, programmed by Devil Doll himself, When a scheduled update is occurring, it is something he must learn to tolerate...Which he has: I have spoken with him. NB2 is already feeling better, and may be 'back on the job', new and improved, by next week! For some reason, maybe because this was his first major update, NB2 did not understand what was happening to him....apparently for some reason he had not been informed by Devil Doll of this uncomfortable stage he must go through every time when he is being updated....'
Walt, shaking his head in amazement, 'Maybe DD didn't want us 'worrying about it' -- I can never, ever remember NB2 ever worrying at all about himself. But this is great, fabulous news for Skunkville and each every one of its citizens!
Hilda, breaking into a sob: 'And to think I mistreated and abandoned NB2 when he began to physically fall apart... I must never go near him again, I am so ashamed! Incidentally, I just placed my play on the Scrapple board...adding L-E-S-S to end of the word H-E-A-R-T that was already there...I don't know how I thought of that: it's a pretty tricky move for me, and helps me reach a Double Word Score space!! '
MORE TO COME
Walt sits there on the chair that Edna used as her spot for sewing and knitting and TV watching and designing her skimpy lingerie products that she would model for the local gentlemen, to entice them to buy items from her lingerie 'line'.... and also for pure titillation purposes, as well, not that she was that big in the chest area.
It's been a while since he threw the stuffed version of what had been their dog for decades, Fiddles, into the woods that night after the abortive gala at the Scruffiplex. However, some local predator -- or maybe even one of the naughtier kids -- keeps returning Fiddles' chewed up carcass to his back door, as some kind of joke or sick prank. Then ringing the back doorbell and running away.
Yes, Walt thinks, after so long a period of stability, at least as far as life's fundamentals, now things Are changing in a decisive, major way. 'Pretty soon I'll be gone too,' he knows. 'No one, nothing lasts forever... Or if they do, it is in a different way than we're accustomed to thinking.'
Even Easy Chair Ed is gone... He's abandoned Walt, enticed to be part of the exotic furniture collection at the Grand Mansion of Dom Dellos Phillippe Forumsynzki II, current owner of Delphi Forums, ever since Dom Dellos Phillippe Forumsynzki I has passed him the reins. The reins? What is Delphi Forums? A harness racing nag?
Of course, Walt is only alone if he chooses to be. There is still NB2's broken head on his mantle, bringing back fine memories of the best policeman and order-keeper the city ever had. And he has been invited by Chief Weenipoo to come join the Weenipoo tribe, but Walt worries that his lumbago would become worse if he slept outside in a tent very much.
Then Blake Fargo, the rejuvenated version of his dear old friend Bert Fartley, has invited Walt to stay with him and his lovely partner Carrie on Cemetery Mountain, overlooking the booming, ever-growing city of Skunkville nestled below them on the Skunkville Plain, near the Skunkville Harbor, that leads under certain conditions to the Intracontinental Ocean, or even to the Underground River Network that serves travellers all around the world who would rather travel underground in a boat than above ground in a plane.
Blake/Bert and Carrie have also offered to visit Walt regularly... split their time between their mountain hideout and the town if need be.
But even though he has spoken enough now with Blake to be convinced he really truly is Bert somehow rejuvenated (purportedly by the rich deposit of the rare element eternia that is found in the ground at the top of the mountain)....he is no longer an old man like Walt -- his thoughts and interests are of a 25 year old!
Blonde Linda and Brunette Jill, partly because it would be a 'win-win' in their minds to get out of their sleazy condo, have offered to move in with Walt to take care of ALL HIS NEEDS, no matter how strange or even kinky, in his 'declining years'.
'My declining years haven't started yet, kids!' Walt exclaims outloud to himself in his lonely home, reliving his conversations. 'I'll be sure to let you know when they do!'
But of all the options, he is most enticed by living with those two crazy kids (age 30+)...
Handsome Bob Hansom, at loose ends ever since he closed his business, Handsome Bob Hansom's Handsome Bob Hansom Handsome Auto Parts and Supply, has offered to move in and keep Walt company too... With his non-stop reminisences of the good old days when he was still in business....Or of when he and Walt worked together at the Bumpkus House when Bumpkus closed the Bozo Bar for a couple of years to try the rehab business instead, recruiting many of his old lushes to be his patients.
'I can't stand too much talk about a particular subject, like auto parts, or alcohol -- two things that don't interest me at all....' He says outloud.
'Linda and Jill might be my best bet. Those two are endless fun, and given their never-ending financial problems, I could be doing them a service. But they would have to follow house rules here about cleaning up after themselves and so forth...Fat chance of that.'
Walt has been offered housing by about everyone whose anyone in town. Scruffy, who owns most of the luxury lodging accomodations in the area, has offered him a master suite, exactly the same as the middle-aged lovenest that he and the spiritual, sexy, prophetic pysychic Momma Gooma co-habitate.
'But Walt,' in his mind he hears Edna's voice from the kitchen. 'Why don't you just stay on here with me? It will be no different than before, but only you will be able to see me and hear me...Do you want some of the Ovaltine I'm fixing?'
Walt: 'Edna.... I feel so bad for you. Why don't you go ahead and dive into the afterlife... It sounds pretty neat the way you described it, a real mind-blower....I hate to have you staying around here just because you're worried about me, spending all your time making phantom Ovaltine....which I admit somehow tastes and satisfies as good or better than the real stuff!'
The swinging door from the kitchen to the living room seems to swing open a bit as she enters the room?...He can't see her with his eyes, but he can feel her presence with his mind, which is very similar.
Walt: 'Well, I know it sounds pretty lame, but I really don't want to be with anyone more than I want to be with you. I don't want to leave this earth yet unless I have to, but I want to stay with you as my partner....Even though I can't quite see you with my eyes, but I can see you just as sharply and clearly as ever with my mind. When you don't want to be here with me any more, maybe I'll go with you to the Next Place, wherever that is.'
Edna: 'You know, in my ghostly form, I have been visiting people we cared about -- and I'm very concerned about our old friend Avery. She still lives in that 3rd floor apartment that lacks steps...she has to shinny up and down a rope when she comes home and goes to work. And she continues to get visits from Devil Doll. I think she kind of likes his attention and finds him fascinating because of his great power and influence, as well as his genius mind, but has no romantic interest whatsoever...OMG, let's hope not... I mean, looks arren't everything -- but neither are power and wealth... As we two well know!
Walt: 'Gee, I sure hope she has no romantic interest in him! He's like two feet tall and rusty and ugly as can be and she is statuesque and and incredibly shapely and lovely.... But she's never been the same since she and Hayfield broke up. Or was it Wheatfield?'
'Hayfield. Yes, every day she mourns his loss. But she no longer even knows where he is. When she rejected him, he became despondent and disappeared...returned again, maybe once or twice, rather briefly, then disappeared again....'
Margot has walked out of the office to be in the fresh May breeze and hopefully clear her mind, udderly exasperated at the behavior of her boss Reuben Cole, with whom she was in love... but who is becoming stranger and stranger. I mean, his compulsive mxsxurxaxtxox problem was curious and disconcerting enough... but --
She looks up at where their office is located in the tall office building, which has a roof from which one can see for 50 miles in every direction, even see the modern skyline of Akron if the smoke and pollution from the tire works and other factories aren't too bad.
And, to her complete amazement, she spots her boss, lawyer Reuben, who should know all about liability issues and responsibility to clients, climbing the barebones, unprotected utility and fire escape ladder that goes to the roof, his tie flapping wildly in the wind, right below him Danielle Dinkleton, who is holding his free hand as he slowly climbs the ladder... Her brother Daniel Dinkleton following below her, pretending to be reaching to 'goose' her as he her skirt flaps wildly in the breeze.
'Danny!!! How are you going to feel if I fall off this building and die because of your goosing gestures,' she screams against the wind, which is much stronger here than on the ground.
Reuben continues to cling tightly to Danielle's hand while he agilely and strongly advances upward, crying back: 'Every day when Margot is out of the office on an errand of business or pleasure, I make this climb to the even windier top. It's very good for my psyche, despite the minor risk factor.... and after all, I'm sure the grass and bushes below us are pretty safe....and the macadam in the road is inherently soft, especially as it becomes warmer..'
Danielle nods, then turns her head downwards to try to communicate with Danny, 'This guy is completely out of his fxxxin' mind. I'm going to wrench my hand away from him, and then we can hurry back down and escape...'
Daniel, shaking his wind blown head in disagreement. 'He's just a real man... a man who lives life to the hilt... to the very top of the hilt!! His hilt is...'
Danielle: 'Shutup, you axxhole, about his 'hilt'...Besides, dummy, the hilt isn't the sword, it's what keeps your hand from sliding off the sword-handle and onto the sharp sword itself during battle...It also blocks thrusts, I think, anyhow... And, if I survive, I am going to report every detail of your and your pal Cole's behavior to Dad and Mom, as well as to Dinkus and Dinka (their beloved dog and cat).... every freakin' detail... You need to be put away in the same place where they put him.....
Then Danielle suddenly screams and almost loses her grip! 'Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!' She cries as a hawk, riding the strong wind, veers right at her face with his hooked beak open, and then turns away at the last moment.
Daniel yells: 'Your face scared him off... good work!'
Danielle: 'No, you axxhole, it was probably my perfume was not appealing to his hawkly tastes...' She looks up, her other arm still being held by Reuben, constantly pulling her higher... But he is oblivious to their conversation, straining to reach the roof as quickly as possible..... Readers, you don't think he plans on 'doing his thing' off the edge of the roof, do you?
No, that could never happen in a family-oriented, no-core (as opposed to soft and hard core) medium like the holesome, fambily-orientalled Skunkville Saga!!
Then again, Danny and Danny are both in their late teens.... We'll have to check with our lawyers... But besides that, these people will do what they do... We simply won't report anything that goes beyond ---
Danielle screams as Reuben Cole gently squeezes her hand then releases it... as the heavy body of Reuben Cole, once one of the most fabled young lawyers in the North Central part of the South Western section of Ohio, goes plummeting downward, brushing against her briefly on its way, falling silently out of the sky, quickly going by Danny as well, whose head pivots to catch the gruesome end result of the fall.
Then thinking the better of it, he turns his eyes in the other direction and starts climbing up the cold metal utility ladder ever faster... as does Danielle, as well...
But before they go much farther, they hear a loud, sickening.....
Both Dinklekids, dazed and light-headed from the experience, stop right where they are and hug the ladder, happy to be alive, no matter how cold and windy and howling and dizzying it is up here.
They each are mainly conscious of their own labored breathing as well as the brilliance of the day, and the coldness of the metal ladder on which they depend and are holding onto like a mother....Yeah right, more like a mother xxxxer
Gradually, gradually, they regain a bit of composure, a bit of a feeling of safety.... It's not much farther to the top.... OR, they could go back down to Cole's wide open picture window... That would be an easy downward climb, except for maybe too much downward momentum if they rushed....It's actually safer to go up than down...unless you are exhausted and your arms and legs are becoming too weak to hold you...
'HEY!! WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING??? LET GO AND LET GRAVITY!!' A spirited Reuben Cole cries from far below.... I'm calling Margot right now on the cell, to have her bring down some lunch so we four can all eat outside and enjoy the great Spring weather.... BUT COME DOWN ONE AT A TIME....SO YOU DON'T COLLIDE...'
Danielle finally has the nerve to peak down below, and there in fact is Cole, hands on hips, windblown, smiling, standing on a pile of SAFE-FALL 'MATTRESSES', a brand new product of Devil Doll's High Time Enterprises....As in 'It's HIGH TIME that someone created a firm but shock-absorbing, fear-absorbing, intoxicating-to-land-on substance that can be used to 'catch' suicides or pleasure jumpers or people who accidentally fall off buildings as tall as 2,000 feet or out of windows or off mountains. I eventually see SAFE-FALL being used as the material of choice in urban areas with tall buildings.... It works as both as a safe, much more comfortable sidewalk product and also as a street surface that can handle 12-wheelers, while still saving people falling out of the sky and minimizing the impact of vehicular accidents when they occur!! They call it, 'a smart road material', as it is programmed to be intelligent and responsive to the special and diverse needs of the world around it... It will even give a quarter or two to a bum begging for change!
'Drivers say driving on SAFE-FALL is safer and far more pleasant than driving on macadam... Plus think of the advantage to passengers in accidents who are thrown from vehicles... The possibilties of this product are indeed, limitless... according to the mysterious Devil Doll, the world's richest being!
'So starting with ladies first -- especially a pretty one like Danielle -- Let Go and Let Devil Doll!! Let's see your best, prettiest. most tempting swam dive!'
COMING VERY SOON TO SKUNKVILLE SAGA -- MOMENTOUS, IRREVERSIBLE THINGS REALLY BEGIN TO HAPPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER A 4,000+ PAGE WARMUP OF ESSENTIALLY HEAVILY HYPED TEASES & NON-EVENTS -- NO MORE EMPTY PROMISES!! YOU'LL SEE WHAT WE MEAN VERY SOON...!
Reuben Cole, the legal head of Cole's Law,
1. Known mainly for providing thick Reuben sandwiches on rye bread and a Coke to every visiting client, said sandwiches including a dripping, sloppy overload of delicious Cole Slaw within,
2. But also for the disarming, adorable cuteness and friendliness of Margot, Reuben's legal secretary
3. And thirdly, for some occasional pretty-good lawyering in the form of handsome but eccentric Reuben Cole...
Who now rapidly converts himself from his relaxed back-leaning, loose-limbed posture as his face transforms from a loose, lazy smile to an intense, electric expression, as his elbows hit the desk and he leans forward with great gusto and interest towards his young clients, the two teenage Dinkleton kids, Danielle, and Daniel...
'So!! Exactly what brought you here, my young friends??'
'Whoa!' cries Daniel, pushing back his chair while putting his hands out to protect himself. 'You should have warned us before you turned your intensity up so rapidly... My heart is still doing flip-flops.... I may have to go to the bathroom, too, in a minute.'
Danielle, the older of the two, calmly turns and looks at Daniel with great disgust. 'You are SUCH a WIMPY GEEK -- do you know that?? You almost gave me and Mr. Cole and maybe even pretty little Miss Margot -- if she was eavesdripping, like after a rainstorm -- a heart attack with your over-reaction to Mr. Cole Esquire's abrupt, commanding, turned-on approach to 'getting down to business.'!'
Lawyer Cole turns his internal exuberance 'knob' from Intense to Middle-of-the-Road, realizing he jumped too fast from Laid-Back and Soporific to Fully-Engaged-and-Wildy-Anxious to Learn and Help.
Quietly, he admits aloud: 'Danny, you aren't the first client to complain about my abrupt changes in intensity and focus. In fact, the doctor I see for another kind of 'overdoing it' has been talking about that very intensity issue as another manifestation of maladaptive behaviors and attitudes I picked up as a growing boy in a household with very meteoric family members...all of them astronomers, astronauts, space debris collectors, or water-meteor readers.
'So, I'll try hard to play it cooler and mellower for the rest of today's session....It's not only better for you, it's better for me and your lovely sister, as well as good old Margot in the outer orifice....' He finishes with a slowly developing smile, and gradually rises partially, slowly offering Danny his hand for a slow, time-consuming shake.
Margot shakes her head from where she is visible at her desk just outside Reuben's big executive office. 'He's really beginning to go off the deep end...' She worries: 'I hate to even consider the thought, but maybe I have to find a new job.... and a new, more normal boyfriend.'
Reuben's stare abruptly switches to Margot from the two young clients: 'I heard that thought,' he comments to Margot as an aside. 'That would be a big mistake!'
Then, turning back to the young siblings he nods, 'Continue... As you were saying?'
Danny seems a little more relaxed, but still looks like he has been knocked by an explosion so hard into the back of his chair that he may be stuck there until someone extricates him. 'Yes... I was saying that now I was going to tell you why we're -- I mean I'm -- here.'
Reuben looks mystified: 'That's strange. A minute ago, before I frightened Margot, I thought you had told me your whole story and had asked for my POV. But, perhaps I was just reading your mind?'
Danielle giggles then covers her mouth: 'Sorry... But I've never heard of Danny asking about someone else's POV before. They're more likely to say that he only cares about himself and doesn't care about what anyone else thinks about him -- i.e., doesn't give a flying hoot about anyone's POV!'
Danny angers, turns and impulsively pinches his sister's plump pretty arm.
Reuben's intercom rings... Margot has a sixth sense about awkward situations, and when to ring Cole to turn the page and allow the bad scene to dissipate. 'Should I bring in the sandwiches now, Boss?'
'Yes, and bring in a small, comforting ice bag for Danielle's plump and pretty arm, which she accidentally pinched in...my desk drawer?'
Danny, shaking his head in disgrace: 'Rube, it's okay to tell Marge the truth...I can be an animal sometimes and I hate myself for it!'
Reuben opens up as well: 'Well, if we're going to play the game of Honesty, I am going to admit to you two virtual young strangers that I am a Compulsive Mastxxbater...'
In the anteroom, Margot abruptly grabs her purse and goes to the Ladies Room....or somewhere....
Danny, nodding his head in agreement: 'That's nothing, Reubarb -- join the Club!'
Reuben: 'Gee... I didn't know there was a Club like that. How do you join up? Is there an enrollment fee and strict rules and regulations?'
Danielle, blushing, also grabs her Louis Vuitton bag and exits: 'I'm going to try to catch up with Margot, maybe get a bite with her... While you two discuss the case...'
Danny, smiling: 'Good idea, Sis-0-mine!'
Reuben: 'Yes, good idea, Sis-O-Client-O-Mine!!'
Danny, after the girls quickly and gratefully depart: 'Was that our plan all along or what?'
Reuben, nodding slowly: 'Paying clients are always right... And you just said it... Plus your mom sent me a large check for up to five conferences before we even met today....So no Burger King for us tonight...Although they do have 75 cent specials on frozen Cokes going right now!'
TO BE CONTINUED?
Skunkville Saga Entry 986, including entries deleted almost immediately, which never saw the light of your eyes....
Young, up and coming Akron lawyer Reuben Cohen, the recent charges of Indecent Entry against him now dropped, from when he chased his upset Assistant Margot into the women's room to comfort her after she charged off in the midst of an upsetting conversation with him.... You see, Reuben used economist's jargon in front of Margot, i.e., 'Gross Domestic Product', thereby making his weak-stomached but loyal and wonderful assistant instantly nauseous, visualizing it as the sum of all the nations' 'gross' product, such as poo poo and pee pee and upchuck and...well, I don't want to make you the reader sick, so I'll let you imagine the rest...
HOLD IT -- don't do that either! I don't want you to imagine the rest of what 'Gross Domestic Product; might possibly consist if you misinterpreted it the way Margot did!!! Uggh!! Now it's making me sick just thinking about all the things that Margot might have thought of....like the thrown-out eyeballs of people whose eye surgery didn't go well, or a year's worth of the nation's accumulated moldering roadkill, stacked in one mountainous pile for measurement as part of the GDP.
Excuse me... I'll be back in a little while. I've got to take some Pepto Dismal and lay down for a little while, thinking of nice, wholesome things...like Kim Kardashian...
ONE HOUR LATEUR'
Still a little queazy...
TWO HOURS LATEUR'
oooooooooooooooooo I feel awrful
ONE DAY LATEUR'
Okay, I'm back, good as new... I got all that disgusting thinking out of my system.... Oooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh be back soon
THREE DAYS LATEUR'
Isn't it amazing how treacherous the human mind is? It fails miserably in doing a simple thing like staying away from a distressing topic it's been obsessing about... uh oh....
THREE WEEKS LATEUR'
Well, I've finally been released from the mental hospital, after being sent there from the regular hospital with GENERAL AUTO-REACTIVE NERVOUS-STOMACH-BRAIN-LINKAGE SYNDROME or GARNSBLS. While I was there, I learned some simple tools that might help me with a lot of the obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior from which I and all who know me, in a trickle down, or indirect, secondary victim sense, suffer....
Yes, I am a new man and a better man.
But of course, by 'I', I'm talking about the author or authoresse of this magnum poopus, not any of the characters, who are not nearly as neurotic as I am.
So, anyhow, regarding the old episode from January 1st or so of this year, when Reuben charged into the Ladies Room in the evening, expecting it to be empty of anyone but his dear love and assistant Margot, who became nauseous when he used the economists' term of GDP, except spelled out... But Reuben found upon barging into the ladies room, that in a stall, with the door swinging open in the funky bathroom breeze, unlocked, was the middle aged assistant secretary to Accountant Henry Bloomwhistle, another occupant of the prestigious Akroplex Office Compound. The heavyset older woman was using the toilet, so to speak...And Reuben reflexively glanced for about 1/1,000,000,000th of a second in her direction....
Thereby triggering deafening screams that set off the prestigious Akroplex Office Compound's alarm system and immediately attracted dozens of police cars, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles like cranes and bulldozers and air support in the form of thundering military jets flying in complex formations very low over the Akroplex, one crashing and bursting into flames in a farmer's field a few miles away....as the pilot, like a huge feather, came slowly floating down out of the cloudy sky, smiling and riding the air currents!!
Look, as you yourself are probably thinking, there's no good reason to rehash these unpleasant experiences again... I mean, our hero (well at least sometimes my and perhaps a few of you readers' occaional hero), gentlemanly Reuben Cole, survived his brief stay in jail, and got by just using, for instance, the Anusol suppositories he received when being released, to clear up any ailments that may have cropped up due to his doing time...
I of course mean, he needed some medication because the food did not have enough fiber in it as well as....
Okay, back to the main story. Hold it! What IS the main story? Do you remembler?
Oh, of course, you came at just the right moment, since the Dinklekids are now arriving to have a session with Reuben -- Margot is gaily greeting them right now in the outer office. Reuben looks at his watch for some reason, thinking, 'Would it be rude for me to take a brief run down to the bathroom before I meet with these youngsters? I want to be relaxed and comfortable for the meeting with them...'
Just then, Margot raps on his door and enters with the two new clients, Daniel and Danielle.
Reuben forgets his own wants and needs, and rises strongly and authoritatively from his huge mahogany desk, crossing the large office in a few powerful strides, shaking as well as bowing and kissing the soft, fragrant hand of young Danielle, then doing the same to Daniel, until Margot grabs him by the scruff of his suit jacket and yanks him into a standing position.
Margot, laughing gaily (but Reuben can tell, very nervously): ''Reuben, what's gotten into you today?? It's too late to be Spring Fever, isn't it? But I will check your temp as soon as our fine young clients leave.'
Daniel, turning with a smile towards lovely, petite Margot, nonetheless says: 'If you wouldn't mind, Miss Margot, I would appreciate being treated like an adult, not a child....'
Danielle's face flushes immediately: 'You shuttup, mister. Just because you're so much taller and heavier than her doesn't mean you can treat Margot condescendingly, you little bas--.... Wait until Mom and Dad hear!'
A hopeless look crosses young Daniel's fresh face...But Margot then interjects: 'I am totally enjoying both of you two, and I have not been offended in any way. Don't worry: my boss here, Reuben, is a hundred times more offensive than your delightful, pleasant brother... And I still am very fond even of Reuben...'
Danielle notices the electric glance that quickly passes between the two and accidentally says outloud: 'Oooh... you two are in love! That is SOOOO awesome. There is nothing quite as tender as young adult love!'
Daniel turns to his sister, indignant, horrified. 'How dare you make an off the cuff accusation like that! Maybe they just enjoy working with each other! That doesn't mean anything physical is actually going on, other than Reuben might put his hand on Margot's elbow, to assist her balance when climbing into the elevator...'
Margot, pointing at her shoes, which are flats: 'But I don't wear heels, guys, so I wouldn't need that help.... But I guarantee you, that if I was feeling faint and Reuben were with me, he would sense it and give me plenty of support...'
Danielle, her head bent back dramatically, a handkerchief to her forehead: 'I'm feeling faint just imagining what your romantic relationship must be like!'
Margot looks at Reuben, who shrugs (as in 'who cares, go with the flow'), and then nods and smiles slightly and relaxes even more.
Daniel: 'Well, we know a lot about you, from that blog novel Skunkville... But of course, that is billed as a work of fiction, so they can be as imtimate as they like with their story and avoid a suit....'
Reuben nods: 'Yes, we have heard that reported before. I've never had time to look into it.... But if I ever get hard up for some quick money, I will investigate. The Internet is like the Known Universe.... It is so Vast, you can never know all that is in it... And I have heard, that if there is a story that includes us, it is in such an out-of-the-way place that one could never find it on their own, and few can even ever find it with very explicit expert guidance.'
Danielle asserts: 'Of course, everything DOES have its OWN unique address on the Internet!'
Reuben, still evincing little interest or excitement: 'Even if it were there, and I don't doubt you, I have plenty of more important things to investigate! Besides, the richness and texture of even a boring person's life experience can never be adequately captured in even a trillion trillion words...'
Margot looks at Reuben with feigned shock: 'Why Reuben! I never knew you were so profound!'
Reuben glances at his watch, and darts his eyes towards the outer office, signalling to Margot that it's time for her to leave, and then helps seat his two clients before he seats himself behind his desk, which is so large, some clients complain they can hardly see Lawyer Cole on the other side, he is so far away...
Reuben ponders: 'Why do I need such a large desk... I mean, the office accomodates it...but there's no reason for it. The drawers are mostly empty, as the files are out in Margot's section... I must discuss this with my new psychiatrist, Dr. Blintz... Yes. I will do that on the morrow...'
Danielle: 'Mr. Reuben? Are you okay??'
Daniel: 'Yes, I second that question. We have been sitting her for several minutes while you are just staring at the wall, seemingly deep in thought.'
Reuben smiles broadly, leaning forward, putting his elbows on the desk, his computer mind quickly providing a rejoinder: 'Yes, you're right. I know I've been doing that. I'm trying to maximize my psychic connection with you two. If you can wait maybe another minute and a half, it will be complete. I have developed a new approach in this area in my spare time, like those old ads on the back of comic books: EARN LOTS OF $$$$$ IN YOUR SPARE TIME!!!! And it showed the kid with a brand new bike, and a new basketball, and new sneakers, and a cute new girlfriend, admiring all his fashionable and shiny material goods...just because he could read everyone's mind -- like the teacher's mind when he was taking a test, or each of the girls' minds, so he could see which ones would be easy picking because they were already soft on him...'
Danielle smiles warmly: 'I'm far too young to remember such things -- and I would think so are you, judging by your handsome young looks...'
Reuben: 'Well, thank you, Danielle -- but you're right. I do have a lot of retro thoughts... as if I am somehow in contact with one of my deceased relatives, my great Uncle Claude...'
Daniel: 'With a name like that, he must be 100 years old...'
Reuben, staring off into space: 'Yes, at least -- if he were stiil alive of course... Which he well may be... He disappeared suddenly back in 1952, two or three decades before my birth.'
The Intercom beeps, making them all jump.
Reuben picks up the phone: 'Yes, Margot?'
'You're doing it again... There are already several recent appointments where you accomplished zippo, just rambling... Reuben, I think you need to see a doctor... I'm betting it's a side effect of your withdrawal from your compulsive mastxxbaxxxxn obsession.'
'That's a stroke of genius, Margot, I think you have just jerked the answer right out of the air.... You're right, I have to whack that problem and all its side effects and alternate mani-infestations so it never comes back again!!'
to be continued