inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #76 of 94: David Gans (tnf) Fri 2 Nov 01 17:10
    
The "one line rule" is mutable.  This last incarnation of the game developed
a lot more plot and characterization than most, and that is good.
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #77 of 94: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Fri 2 Nov 01 17:29
    
I see it veered off the oneline almost from the start.  Shall we send
a sociologist over to study how rules mutate when the game is open to
anyone who shows up, and the way you figure out what the rules are is
by looking around and seeing what everybody else is doing?  Oh, I guess
that's life!
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #78 of 94: David Gans (tnf) Sat 3 Nov 01 11:46
    
Nah, let's just keep playing.
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #79 of 94: just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Wed 7 Nov 01 15:01
    
what is the one-line rule please?
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #80 of 94: David Gans (tnf) Wed 7 Nov 01 15:40
    
There isn't really a one-line "rule," but the way it usually goes is that
each person posts one line at a time.  But it's not really a rule.
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #81 of 94: just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Wed 7 Nov 01 15:59
    
ah!
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #82 of 94: Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 16 Nov 01 00:33
    

Play-BACK!  Play-BACK!  Play-Back!
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #83 of 94: HYPHENATION 12 (tnf) Sun 25 Nov 01 18:15
    


It's a brand new day here in the Inkwell.  Readers all over the western half
of South Dakota are rivetted by our ongoing interview with Calvin Aargh,
author of the bestselling, Huge and Nobbly Award-winning STARS OF THE SLAVE
GIANTS.  Since emigrating from his native Thursday night poker parties in the
backroom at Slim's Saloon, the interviewer apologized for not having read
Aargh's novel, for having on four separate occasions confused Charles Platt
with Platt National Park, Oklahoma, and for his answering-machine message,
this last undescribed.

He then asked Mr. Aargh, twice winner of the Warhol Memorial Campbell, "So,
what's William Shatner remember about Andy?  Because I can't remember a
single fucivorous hippy that ever amounted to anything. All that health food,
and still, the whole commune looked like it had the manger booked for a coach
tour up from Nazareth.  Aargh (the author, not the sound he was softly making
every few seconds), tired of listening to the interviewer explain that
William Rotsler and Charles Barsotti were the same artist (the Schnozzola
Hypothesis) and began looking for chocolate in the most unseemly way.  He was
feeling, in his own words, half past dead.  And Crazy Chester just wouldn't
shinny up that tree, naw, he's too skeered, he tain't no bar ner possible...
so they had said.  But then Big Buck travelled up the road to see his
sweetie.  The he saw it again the witless Tucker chillun, and it looked pert
near fine enuff to paint a pitch black painting, similar to Motherwell's
white ones.  Andy would approve.  He'd approve of anything that made Art seem
glamorous, fashionable, or made The Little Joke.  Really, the only thing he
wouldn't approve of is the owner: big fat James Tiberius Kirk.  I mean,
really!  It's not like William Shattered our illusions of love.  So tell me,
is it over now?  And will the engines ever take it, Captain?  Or will you
pick up the Yeoman and guess starlette, and take them back to your quarters,
walking by smugly as I strain to hold myself at atrunt manfully as you thrust
her braided 'do into a large tub of red latex, and swing her by her ankles
over the cantaloupe, an obscure word describing both a posture _and_ a melon,
and thus beloved of writers of pornography everywhere.  For a brief second,
the world split in two, and then shimmered back tomorrow," said the announcer
dramatically, "on 'As The World Tumesces.'  I'm sorry, I'll read that after
the throbbing stops... when will it ever enage me again, he wondered
plaintively, and wandered further down the strand.  So: Shatner?"  The
interviewer paused, then took a tremendous gulp of air followed by a long
pull on his lemonade.  Aargh gazed at the interviewer for a moment, then
turned to look out the window. Without a word he rose, tail-end first, slowly
floating to the ceiling; from there he could see the bald spot on the top of
the interviewer's head, and the way he tremendously over blew his own
importance in the world, through a clear spot in the interveiwer's head,
right dab in the center of the bald spot.  "Huh," he thought, "would you look
at that?" as his feet disappeared into the cheap, textured cetacian. The
crab-thing grinned (if you could call it that) and then gave a long and low
belch. "grrrk!" it said, "That makes my spleen quiver, my liver shiver. More,
what for? The man's a bore, which I abhor. Such a snowball in a singularity,
deserving neither grace or charity.  You'd think if even Priceline made to
fire him, Starfleet could manage to retire him.  Those Stratford years with
Doug (HAL) Rain, some THRILLER episodes by Bloch, cannot excuse nor yet
explain the devolution into schlock."

Satisfied at his poetics, the crab-thing turned and drifted away, leaving Our
Anti-Hero twitching limply, still half-way stupendous -- he had taken a
correspondence course in stupendousness, and it had gone very well, except
for the part about the last lesson. And that wasn't anyone's fault, really;
it was unconscious recursion that had caused him to attempt a stupendous last
lesson in stupendousness, and stupendity and piled upon stupendity until his
stipend had stopped.  (Just as well, since the stuff was so stacked up he
would have had to start stealing stamps to stick on it.)  But now he was
stupefied, trying to remember that poem: "Supercilious men and women/Call me
superficial, me!/Who so superbly learned to swim in/Supercollosallity."  Or,
could it have been "supercalifornia," the new Disney joint, that was now in
court fighting an adult-entertainment complex over two teensy syllables?
Stumbling into an open Palgrave, he came up with "I think that I know nothing
horrider, a tsimmis bigger than South Four Rider, A stupendously monstrous
guy, With a red blood shot third eye."

Pullling out her hair again, Miss Eddie was in another state of hysterics
over the whole scene.  Her love for Big Buck was unending even though Big
Buck has eyes (all 5 of them) for the Undrummend citizen called Rashbow.  Her
decibel level was starting to trip car alarms and panic small furry creatures
into forgetting themselves on the box lunches of parkgoers everywhere.  Yet,
one must ask, what -is- this love called the STARS OF THE SLAVE GIANTS, Mr.
Aargh?  Our readers are frantic to comprehend, being aware as they are that
the unfolding story is truly uniquely theirs, down to the minutest detail;
they are fearful to awake in the morning, not knowing if the chapter they
read at bedtime will have come to pass during the night.  Perhaps, in the
morning, they will discover a blue toothbrush instead of red, and know it
portends the more gruesome discovery downstairs in the breadbox, the peach-
pity-pitts syndrome. Lo! It is as dreaded as the skin-rash called skin-skin
which Mr. Aargh now has and is battling its terrible effects. (NOTE: THIS
DISEASE CAN JUMP FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER WITHOUT CAUSE OR REASON)His skin
is always turning into a vibrant but variegated color of magenta with a hue
of glutinous rice, seasoned with cumin and cocoanut milk and a judicious
sprinkling of pencil sharpener shavings. Aargh swears by it, says it cures
writers' block. The interviewer, scenting blood, presses the question
repeatedly, driving Aargh up the wall, as he simply does not want to answer
blood with blood.  No, wait a minute, that was one of his characters, the
Laird of Craigaarghie in SPORRAN IN FREEFALL.  Were the Sequels after him
again?  There had been worse interviewers than this.  The one who had died
on-air live.  The makeup guy propped his eyes open somehow, the camera cut to
Aargh, and the director asked the questions on voiceover.  Aargh would
answer, the camera panned back, and the floor manager woggled the dead guy's
head.  It -hadn't- been that bad.  Kind of like working with Topo Gigio.
Were Italan miints the reason, or dammit, did he just like sexy little mice
with hair under their arms? So hard to concentrate with the lights and this
guy's incessant questioning. Damn him anyway! By God, Aargh, thought, he
didn't have to put with this kind of crap, typing for 'Stars and Stripes' at
Iwonamillionbucks.com for peanuts, and no respect besides. And now this.
This was too much, totally beyond the practice of autodidacticism, let alone
automotive repair. And, damn, that reminded him. The Unimog needed an oil
change and a new set of seals. Then the interviewer's questioning finally got
his full attention, "--arrested as a teenager on charges of bestiality?" Hah!
Aargh, thought. He was ready for this one. "Afraid that one's been around the
track a few times," he laughed easily. "What really happened was that me and
some of the guys in Future Farmers had this project in artificial insulation.
 We figured, wool's great stuff, but getting it off the sheep is such a pain,
why not --"

"Fine, fine, just don't offer to do anything about the seals on this
vehicle."  Aargh was disappointed.  Not that -that- was new.  He'd joined
Future Farmers of America thinking it was sort of a Midwestern version of
SFWA.  And the steam typewriter had been just plain beige, when he'd ordered
one in lavendar and lime green to go with the curious sofa.  He had often
wondered why no critic had taken up the crucial role furniture, particularly
overstuffed Victorian furniture, played in his novels.  What of THE
CHESTERFIELD OF NULL-A, OTTOMANCER, and especially CHILDHOOD'S END TABLE?  It
was as if no one had even read them, yet they always ranked in the low five
figures on Amway's distributor list, above the dog soap and just below the
shoe polka lessons. And on Fridays they had two-for-one well drinks, and
barbecued monopoly money, which crisps up nicely, especially the smaller
dollops served on the side of the plate.  Better than what they had in the
green room here, anyway.  Next time he wouldn't step foot unless there was
Evelyn "Champagne" King performing, or at least a good imprint of her private
parts in well-cast plaster. " -- and if you're sure, Mr. Aargh," the
interviewer was saying, "but frankly, sir, it looks like you may have blown
one of those seals." "What!" croaked Aargh weakly, daubing at his shirt and
jacket, "No way I blew a seal!  That's just some spilled yogurt on my
fragments, detritus from my broken dreams, slimey gore from the evisceration
of my illusions, the slow leaking death of my sous chef, but never in my life
have I blown a seal!  I swear, sir, I simply do not swing that way, and if
word ever leaked out to my wife, believe me, there would be more than yogurt
on my shirtfront!  Aargh once again patted his sweat-drenched forehead, and
hoped that the interview would crash-and-burn out for the sake of his sanity.
 Aargh thought, "maybe, I could sing an old Ummerrand song?" Would the
audience like the back beat opposing the melody?  But then I could waddle
onto the floor and put my right foot in and my right foot out do the hooky-
pooky and turn all absolutely *rigid with fear* as, suddenly, Aargh noticed
that from behind one of the stage curtains a dark-clad, masked figure was
emerging and it was holding a glockenspiel in one hand and what appeared to
be a shrouded and wrapped salami of substantial length and girth in the
other. 'Holy Mother of Meat Sausages,' thought Aargh frantically, 'it's the
glock 'n schnitzel' man that I owe that $500 to. What next?' he thought
sickly, only vaguely aware of the droning, endless questions of the
interviewer, 'what fun-loving publicist booked by for this interview from
hell, anyway?  When I find obbligati in my scherzo and obols in my shorts, I
suspect foul plagerism! My life's work, stocking the shelves at 'Lenny's
Liquor Barn & Beer Emporium', down the drain! An involuntary groan escaped
Aargh's lips. Meanwhile. the masked figure who now could be seen to be
wearing a slouch hat, a long trench coat, oversized rubber boots and still
grasping the glockenspiel and the enormous shrouded salami, advanced with a
curious waddling gait from behind the curtain to stand directly behind the
interviewer, who was still completely unaware of the figure's presence. "--of
purely derivative post-modern influences," the interviewer droned on, "and
further..." He paused suddenly, sniffing the air with obvious distaste. "Is
it me, or does this place suddenly smell of rotting hermeneutical excess?  I
recall once when I was interviewing George St... Oh bother, it seems that
I've run out of tape.  Hopefully I have another."   As the interviewer leaned
over the side of the chair to rummage in his cordura satchel, Aargh gasped,
his eyes fixed on the glockenspiel, which the oversized-rubber-booted figure
had begun fouling with a thick coating of opaque, vaguely gelatinous but
still disturbingly viscous material that appeared to be being extruded in a
thick, ropy stream from within the wrappings of the enormous salami.  The
interviewer sat back erect, new tape in hand, unaware that a few generous
dollops of salami ooze had flopped onto the shoulder of his seersucker
jacket. As the interview inserted the new tape in his machine, the masked
figure appeared to be having trouble with the glockenspiel and the salami as
ever increasing amounts of extrusion slicked the metal surfaces of the
instrument. 'That bit with the glockenspiel would be easier if you took off
those rubber mittens,' Aargh thought, 'ya nit. No wonder you were stupid
enough to loan me $500.' "And," Aargh continued, this time out loud, "When
did you grow that huge mustache?" Because, sure enough, while the masked and
shrouded figure had its slouch hat pulled well down over its face, a
generous, even heroic set of mustache whiskers jutted out just below the line
of the mask. "Mustache?" said the interviewer, clearly startled. "Why
nevermore? Or, as I should say, why 'nevermore'?" What does that word have to
do with anyone's idea of time?  Or ravens?  How's your bird?  But I digress,
as writers are wont to do when they're not being paid.  For everyone
listening at home, that's 'wont' with an O, not 'want' as in 'waste not.'
And speaking of wasting, I've just been inspired to do a little editing right
here and now, and we'll see if this gentleman's blood is as blue as my
pencil."  And with that, the writer produced an envoy, the gentleman from
Sweden, or Norway, or possibly Superman, folded several times. Men of steel
can shut up, as a rule, thought the writer. Or is it like a rule?  Must check
on that, right after this interview is finally finnish.  That should be
capitalized: Finnish.  When will the subtitling be computerized, so Aargh's
most personal and (he thought humbly) brilliant works, GALACTIC MACHINE TOOL
and BIG DARN DUDE FROM OUTER SPACE, could appear in Latvia and Singapore as
THE LATHE OF HEAVEN and MORE THAN HUMAN?  Unfair, he knew, but stirring the
pot is a way of life around here, and unless and until the recording was
complete by the interviewer no one really knew the true story of Aargh.  Sad
but true Aargh's life was full of intrigue and mystery.  His Mother was from
ancient Lithuanian blood and his Father was from the royal couscous grower, a
lowly but noble character whose wisdom made him beneath the bed, down in the
place where the dust rhinos frolicked, amidst the extraneous pocket change
and that single socks gone AWOL, down where the murderers hide from the law,
until the monsters developed a dislike for them and threw them out. Which was
where the law caught up with the murderers and they all went to jail for
life. Meanwhile, on my way to the cologne counter to pick up a hefty bottle
of "Aargh! The Fragrance," I listened on headphones as the interviewer
attempted a find out, "what is the deal with these girls who intern in Waco,
near the remains of the Davidian compound, where aspiring deputy sheriffs are
sent to train on investigating cases of suspected arrested development.
Aargh himself, who was bothered by the words "arrest" and "development"
separately or together, found himself again wondering why he'd lent his name
to such an intimate, romantic little fragrance, rather than the expansive,
space-operatic, big as the Crab Nebula (Unwon awards again!  Feh!) with
butter sauce, aroma of Manifest Destiny he'd been hoping for.  Instead it
combined frangipani with thionite and just a hint of Stilton.  He shook the
bottle hard and took a long drive 'round the park past the hookers wading in
the duck pond and the toddlers caging smokes by the water fouled by the
leavings of chainsmoking, toddling hooker ducks.  It reminded Aargh of THE
BEAKED OF AVALON, the fantasy series he had started, then abandoned after
only fourteen volumes (and a novella for Roger Elwood, but that was another
story).  One of the ducks waddled over to him, pecked at his shoe, and
asserted that he and his siblings had waded through all 14 volumes of THE
BEAKED of AVALON, assuming that there must have been at least ONE DUCK in a
series with that name, but having found none, had now arrived to exact proper
retribution.  Suddenly, their coloring underwent a subtle change, and Aargh
found himself facing a formation of angry ducklings in camouflage, slowly
admiring their shiny sharp armor piercing beak protectors winking like stars
on a full moon insanity night.

Aargh sighed. He'd seen this movie.

Hell, he'd starred in this movie.

When he was still a stand-in for Burt Reynolds.  (Oddly enough, he'd also
been a stand-in for Debbie Reynolds, Burt Bacharach, and several of Burt's
more famous Bees, but that was another story.)  And here he was, standing in
again, when all he really wanted to do was stand out.  Or stand the gaff,
whatever the heck a gaff was (it sounded painful).  Or stop the planet and
get off. Whatever the hell came first.

Suddenly, everything went very quiet. The ducks huddled down, and quivered.
All the familiar city noises around him had stopped. He looked around.
Nobody.

Then, footsteps approaching. The sound of powerful, self-assured strides
coming nearer. There he was, a musical comedy star.

"Stop The World, I Want To Get Off!" he projected, but not even Joan Collins
came to save him.

The footsteps strode nearer.

Aargh tried desperately to think of a way off stage, but found none.

"What Kind Of Fool Am I?" he berated himself.  "My brains have turned to
"Chalk & Cheese"!

 The overture beguine was a questionable theme song choice for this bit of
reality television, if reality was the right word, but Aargh gamely began to
shuffle his tormented body into a rough approximation of the dance. He threw
back his head and howled a melodic arpeggio in perfect tune with a distant
train whistle, stiking a child blind with agony and terrapins.  The child was
metaphorical, of course, though the train whistle wasn't.  As for the
terrapin, Aargh looked up and was caught like a frog in the headlights.  Who
knew a turtle could move so fatuously? Aargh forgot his danger, and grew
hungry just thinking of the ease with with he could catch and stew this
creature.

The turtle turned his head, a slight leaking air sound issuing from the folds
of his neck as the ponderous hydraulics system that moved her shook loose
enough rust to grind into a turned head position. Limped, rust spotted eyes
looked shallowly past Aargh's as she said, so slowly and cliched as to be
physically painful, "You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny."

Waiting for each expected word from this mocking turtle only increased
Aargh's appetite for destitution.  How do you get a gig sitting on one of
those pillars being saintly?, he wondered.  Do you apply to the Vatican or is
it free-Free!-FREE!!! Limited Time Only Offer, Void Where Prohibited?"

He stumbled, and dropped his thought, which cracked on impact.

"Void.  A great empty nothingness."

His sudden dispair surged into a painful need, deep inside of him, where he
wasn't empty at all, no, overfull, a surging, thunderous need to vomit all
his inner feelings for what he had done to the ducks.  So he had no choice
but to seek John Edward and see if he could connect to his only dreadlock.
It coiled around one ear.  It had probably been a mistake, like that
mainstream novel he'd written, ROSENKAVALIER AND MUDD, about the two
fantasists who fell in love with the same hyphen.  Though it had gotten a
starred review from BREAD AND KIRKUSES, the new journal of postmodern
revisionist truth-recycling, the marketplace was brutal in its replicated
android horror-movie high-cliche' festival. Also quite amusing, albeit nearly
completely unwatchable, are LONG THUNDER: THe SWORD GOD'S RENOVATION, a do-
it-yourself video on ancient hall restoral. The video failed to sell not only
because of the ponderous speeches and ceremonies before each project; animal
rights activists were so offended by the constant sacrifices that protests
were held outside of the few stores that acually carried the vidalia onions
used to saute the offerings in question, which itself led to marmalade.  Pots
of the stuff.  There wasn't a slice of Pictish soda bread in sight that
wasn't thickly spread with either squirrel marmalade or stoat jam.  As for
the vole popovers, the less saanguine camera crew refused to touch it,
although true to form, the interviewer bit right in.  "Now, tell us, Aargh --
I may call you Aargh, yes? -- whether there truly are deeper philosophical
recesses in your latte, or are coffee shop conversations just highly
overrated?"  Aargh breathed the caffienated steam in deeply, and sighed.

Twenty minutes later, the crew had drifted back in from lunch, and Aargh had
only five minutes to grab a bite of sominex.  He'd decided that any interview
not improved by sleeping through it hadn't been worth doing in the first
place.  He woke again to thunderous applause and the comforting coolness of a
jelly donut in his lap.  Strawberry, unless it was blind melon; which it
could be, looking distinctly as if it had suffered an early & untimely death.

"Eh", thought Aargh, and popped it into his mounted badger, which was
displayed on the shelf along with four cardboard cut- outs of a certain Space
Opera heroine, a dusty box of bookmarks plugging his first magnum opus, and a
reel of cotton crotchless-briefs-filled porn shorts he did when he was young
and bromo-Seltzer addicted.  Porn shorts were great -- well, any kind of
shorts were great, he supposed, except maybe lime green polystretch, but that
was his -third- novel -- because you could wait for the unblimped Arriflex to
spin up, go outside, have a burrito, Bromoburp, and be back in before anyone
noticed you'd gone.  Or, uh, the other thing.  Once he'd gotten as far as
Forest Lawn with a handful of chalupas, hoping to put them on Mary
Wollstonecraft Shelley's grave, but he'd been grossly misted with a light oil
to make him look more buff, and darkly exotic, and the oil had migrated onto
his palms causing him not only to drop the hot chalupas into his lap, but
wreck the car as well.

The police were rather understanding, but still, the whole ride to the
hospital for the damage inflicted by the drug-sniffing, chalupa-eating dogs
was a painful, humiliating experience. Luckily he was drug-free, but had to
pay fine for reckless driving, and public nudity; and of course, after the
dogs were through, his porn career was over. Ah, how he regretted writing
almost an entire essay instead of a mere pithy comment in the hyphenation
tree, 'cause he'd now carved through the whole trunk and it was fatuous to
assume that the next generation of wayworn tremulous sopranos from the church
choir would unbrace, drop all stays and two octaves, and hurl thunderous
descant into the forest primulas, which bloom when the rest of the garden is
still snoring under a blanket of ice. Even the usual primulas are not as
early as these amazing hyenas, whose sonorous mating calls were captured on
the song "Beast with Two Backs", found on the soundtrack of Aargh's most
notorious porn flick, "Jungle Bowl."  The attempt to combine sorority/frat
hijinks, a game show, and falling into mud with the suitably disguised plot
of THE WONDERFUL FLIGHT TO THE MUSHROOM PLANET had been a good idea, it just
didn't filet fish as well as the late night TV Ginsu knoedel, and an edge
duller than a potato dumpling was saying something.  Still, after the
rewrite, Zondervan had moved a jillion copies of the dalai lama's pillow book
on the black market, hoping to pick up a fiver here and there for it, but
only managed to pick up a bad case of gorgeous looking peaches that later
traded in the market for many strings of watermelon tourmaline beads. It was
the unfair kind of deal to make the new owner of the then undeveloped
Manhattan proud.

Argh's thoughts returned to the present.  It was a very nice present from one
of his fandango students, who had recently returned from a monochromatic room
done in designer whites, which clashed horribly with his sucker.  It was red
striped with a sort of off-red in a spiral pattern.  It tasted like heavily
sugared particle board, but the sucrose was a source of deep comfort after
the fandango students.  Ouch, cried all his ouchy bits.  Forty-three tap
shoes and one squeaky Oxford brunch later, his stomach rebelled. He reached
for a soothing sucker, but the only thing in his pocket was two sticky
wrappers and a used coruscating ruby -- or was it an emerald?  He got those
two confused all the time.

Meanwhile, the interviewer was strolling listlessly waiting for Aargh's
attention to return to the interesting stuff we're talking about in here.
What could possibly be gonad free? I've heard of sodas that advertise as
being caffeine or sugar free, but this is ripe for parody, I must say.  "Cola
without balls" is not my idea of a marriage.  "Let's blow this one-night pop
stand!" Aargh shouted suddenly, rose from his seat, hoisted the interviewer
just as Rhett would have hoisted Scarlett if not for the Hays Office, and
started up the studio studio su su sudio--then he hit Phil Collins, who'd
popped up out of nowhere, with a right creased jacket and a toupee that would
have frightened Captain Kirk.  "Aarghie, don'cha lose that number," Collins
sang, and knocked over the microphone.  "Sound, do we still have sound?" the
interviewer wailed from over Aargh's back, and the engineer washed his hands
of the whole affront.  "Well, not much point to me singing any more," Phil
Collins remarked, leaning behind Aargh to shake the limp inverted hand of the
interviewer and striding briskly out the fire exit door.  Aargh shoop-shoop-
a-do'd after him through the fire exit into a gleaming new library, the likes
of which he'd never seen before. Was he in a dream? He wondered what it would
take to wake him up, and if he should risk the atrium of the library, which
gleamed with marble and gold leaf ahead of him, with the dead weight of the
interviewer--who seemed himself to have fallen asleep--weighing increasingly
heavy on his shoulder.  After a long movie about the old Dewie Decimal
System, and a shorter, even more dull one about the new system that replaced
it, Aargh quietly left the interveiwer slumped sleeping facedown in an
armrest gumpillow and used his newfound knowledge to discretely pull out and
pocket a few books on sadducees who denied the existance of angels, even
those with patter smooth enough to charm stink off shirred eggs with
Camembert.  Looking up, past the studio lights, Aargh noticed that the fly
tower was crowded with angels.  More angels than in Annie Lennox's entire
singing career, every one of them modestly dressed in a one-piece striped
woollen bathing costume and waddling yellow duckie sidekick.

"Quack,quaaaack, quaack?" they intoned chorally to the tune of "Who's That
Girl?" when he pressed to bell at the tower entrance.

"Aaaarrrghhh" gritted Aargh in disgust.  He really hated staged cutlery.  It
took the edge off things.  The cosmic rimshot assaulted his ears, but he
wouldn't apollonize directly on the quality, or lack thereof, in their
chorus; and, confused by his stoicism in the face of an obvious insult to his
taste and sensibilities, the ducks began bickering amongst themselves. A few
dislodged feathers drifted down in the time it took the door to open
revealing a small wombat dressed in exquisitely correct butler's attention to
the flight of the feather, soaring gently down town to land on the statue of
a pidgeon.

Just to confuse things, mind you.
"All Hail Discordia!" chanted the now unified avenue of dreams, which was
hoping for a new street sign soon. The interviewer awoke with a start;
someone was standing on his bundle of joy.

"Hey! Watch that!" he yowled.

A wandering alley cat sniffed him derisively and passed on to mark the old,
tattered street sign; the street sign shuddered and sighed, "It really is
time for me to retire..."  The interviewer sighed too, inspecting his now
crumpled paper drawing of the Pandemonium Shadow Show, while painters
approached the stuttering John" rip-off from the local shock-jock showroom-
stock small-block heavy Chevy hemi under -- but we'll be back to doing
anything we can think of to avoid crackin' the lacquer in just a moment,
after this corporate-mandated word from our beloved bird, Sherry DeWine!"

"That's right, it's Sherry DeWine! When I'm feeling low, there's nothing like
a little pick-me-up from Classe' Liquor, the finest gallon you'll ever buy!
Seven flavors that will have her begging for more! I know I do! That's
Classe' Liquor, makers of the popular Jump'n Joy Juice! Ask for it at any
corner stoking the star-studded machinery behind the popular song."

The painters kept right on painting, a whitewash actually, ignoring Sherry,
the interviewer, and the angels, who had begun drifting into the
intersection, where they amused themselves by preaching the Doctrine of The
Church of The Sub-Genius, mixed liberally with Sayings and Dances of The
Dead.

"Bob's yer Uncle!" they crooned at startled passersby.

Several people joined the dance, whirling and pointing.  One angel strummed a
lute strangely manifested out of seemingly thick and polluted air, while
another passed 'round a hat made from a halo lined with a dirty ground-scored
humvee once used by aliens to drag-race humans in a town called Roswell, a
town that Aargh knew very wet-behind-the-ears conspiracy theorists were
always bringing up at the drop of a hat.  Now, as he looked closely at this
hat, he wondered if Bob really was his uncle, and if that was why it had
taken him so long to understand his dyslexia.  Inside the hat, there was a
highway-in-miniature, that seemed to spiral infinitely down, so that when the
passersby tossed their golden coins onto the track, the twinkling sparkle of
the careening currency lingered long minutes as the people stared.

"But it's got no signs or dividing lines," murmured Aargh, and a voice that
seemed to come from the post he was leaning on, muttered, "My point, exactly.
 As always, humans fail to discern the true indivisbility of the universe."

"Aliens are such whiny losers," thought Aargh, remembering the races.   A wet
thud splattered his best shoes.

"Ugh, angels are worse than pigeons."

He looked around hopefully for something to wipe his shoes with, and ended by
dumping them into the hot molten lava that was now burbling out of a nearby
alley.  Suddenly exhilarated, he unfolded a twenty from his money clip and
used it to hail a passing catafalque.  "He won't mind," the driver said.
"Just don't try to wake him up.  He's dead you see.  Dead, dead, dead.  Dead
Jim.  La-la-la ladies, Godd Night Ladies, Good Night Ladies, it's time to go
to slip into something more comfortable."

At that moment, the corpulent corpse began to mime "Help! Help! I'm dead,
Jim. Dead Jim. D.E.A. Jim. DeJa tu, Spock?" but of course being dead no one
pain attention, and proceeded to rifle his pockets anyway. He watched them,
one eye slowly effervescing in the limelight, falling, falling, falcon
perched on his wrist whistling the interminable Grackle Song.  DEA? Aargh
thought, Shouldn't that be DOA? when dark figures burst from their hiding
places, weapons at the ready.  "Not on your Polaroid tintype," one snarled,
"we're orcs, not narcs.  You were expecting maybe novelty?"

Aargh had to admit, after twenty-two volumes of his THE UNSEEABLES series, he
didn't.  (Though he had -so- wanted Robert Stack as the Gandalf figure.)  He
reached for his Swiss Army Voulge -- the one that had lost its ivory
toothpick but was whole again -- and pretentiously poked the nearest orc.

All at once, the singing Styxman, the miming mummy, the onery orcs, and the
intrepid interviewer, (who had somehow caught up in a showroom-stock small-
block heavy Chevy, trailing you-know-who sticking-like-glue Sherry DeWine),
ran on from stage left singing and Aargh thought, "Haven't I done this play
before?"

He shattered the single footlight with a deft toss of his Swiss Army Voulge,
leaving the stage in darkness... and as he left the stage, in darkness, a
lone cat yowled his pain from having an ivory toothpick impale his pale slit
eye, slitting it further open, but not enough to see in the dark theatre.

A single hand clapped from the audience.

"Bravo, Brava, Brave Heart!" enunciated the pretentious Dilatory Critic, Rich
Simony, his other hand preoccupied with hibiscus-laden girly drinks, two of
which his clapping disturbed just enough to splatter amusing droplets onto
his less-than-scary trousers.  The trousers were merely offensive, to the
human eye. Luckily for his own vision, the critic wasn't human, though few
are anyway; he'd taken up critique when his racing career in Roswell
screwball circles had proven to disturb his entire nervous system, resulting
in the tic that even now freaks out anyone who tries to talk to him, but no
one does, because he's a critic, and after his first horse race, he gave it
up because he couldn't figure out how many ran.  So now he's taken to wearing
offensive trousers, which heaven only knows, gets harder every year.  Rising
unsteadily from his seat, willing his unevenly thickened pants to bend enough
for mobility, the critic falls back into his seat with a loud, humiliating
"Aargh!" Quiet, humiliated Aargh looks up for a moment, shakes his head,
dislodging a stray pidgeon, and starts searching the want ads for a more
respectable jocund day in which to stand tip-toe on the misty mountain tops.
Aargh had always wanted to do that, ever since those long afternoons in Mrs.
Columbine's "Mimes in the Mountains" classes at PS Arts & Crafts high school.

His minor had been basket-weaving.

Underwater basket-weaving.

He sighed again, and turned back to the employment section looking for a job
in underwater basket-weaving, preferably in the mountains.

The shrill vision of Sherry DeWine popped painfully into his hellishly
offensive trousers, thus making it humiliating not only to sit but also to
stand.  When he finally did, he did so hunched over a little, with one hand
in his poison-pen pocket, where he kept the pretty pieces of paper on which
he relied, his pure resevoir of prepared point-blank phrases, perfectly
profound, perniciously penetrating, poignantly psychotic -- and at this
moment, he discovered, pigeon-pungent, putrescent with pineapple scented
nectar, noxiously nauseating, the last bit of the cheese sandwich he'd
stuffed in there a month before, anticipating by a month his evening at the
movies and his appetite.

The theater usher, discovering the concealed food by smell alone, promptly
removed the theater critic, and threw him in the gutter behind the theater,
where he sat, lucid and alert, steadied by the bracing awareness that a
finger of hot molten lava was creeping toward him down the alley, pushing
before it, what looked like the remains of a pair of shoes.

Sherry DeWine, an angel on each arm, whispered huskily in his ear, "I've been
doing some thinking lately, and I think we should just be focusing on getting
out of here, you and me, out of this story, out of this Topic, away from
Aargh, his Fragrance, his books, away from  pigeons, and ducks, and
interviewers, and, and...THAT..."

She pointed disdainfully with one painted toe at the alley cat that was
nibbling the shoe fragments still wobbling toward them on the lava's leading
edge.

"Just you and me and the angels, sweetie," she purred.

Simony, who was so new to the story himself that he had hardly met Aargh,
much less read any of his books, wrote one himself, scribbling hurriedly on
scraps of paper he found in the dumpster he was crouching behind, moving it
occasionally to use it as a shield from the lava flow and hoping to remain
unseen by Aargh and Sherry De Wine until after he'd had it published, which
he hoped to deftly achieve with the combination of a catchy title -- he edged
further around the back of the dumpster as he vacillated between STARS OF THE
SLAVE GIANTS and THE BEAKED OF AVALON -- and the help of some of his old
buddies from the Thursday night poker parties in the backroom at Slim's
Saloon.

The book was about the true indivisibility of the universe,
onebigdamnthingheldtogetherbyquarksgluonsducttapeandelfsnifters... what? You
haven't heard of elfsnifters?  Dear Reader, what have you been doing these
last several centuries?  Now pull yourself up out of the detritus of the
narrative, and open your eyes, as Simony realizes he could write his book on
his Palm Pilot AND upload it immediately, thereby publishing it before he
even left the alley.  He smiled as he did so, realizing that would put him
next in line for an interview in inkwell, if only Aargh would hurry up and
finish, mucking up the--

His thought was interrupted by the SPLAT of Angel-doo wetly enveloping the
palm-pilot, just as he hit SEND another Angel pointed at the mess and
ordered, "Well, would you get that, then, dearie? Bit of a mess..." Simony
sighed.

The Angel stood there, waiting.

"I'm not cleaning this up. One of you dropped it, one of you can pick it up."

The Angel grabbed the PalmPilot impatiently, wiped it relatively clean with
the edge of a robe, and jabbed at finger at the latest chapter.  "That's the
mess I'm referring to. Calling yourself an Author. Right, then, I'll do it
myself," and with another swipe of the corner of the robe sent every word of
Simony's book into object-oriented programming hell, a new category of books
the publisher wanted to start anyway, knowing that they would sell well
enough to give the economy a kick in the pants, and ensuring that Simony
would be in line for the next inkwell interview, if he could just shove that
sniveling whiner, Aargh, in his distressingly dilapidated pants into the path
of the approaching lava flow and put an end to this interview, and Aargh out
of his misery because everyone knew his books wouldn't sell and why was
everybody wasting their time fawning over him when next week he'd be living
under a bag lady, mattress backing for quarters in the alley next to his
former penthouse.  Or writing for Penthouse, just for the articles, you know.
He never actually looks at the picayune details, like what bloody f-stop Bob
used.  Actually, he'd tried to sell a story to them, but the pages got stuck-
together, no one knew why, but each eyed the other nervously, and simulated
the voiceover dialogue of a popular cooking competition show.

"Aargh!" shouted one page. "Mince this!S  The second page giggled fetchingly,
and flung an entire basket of rare hogjowls gratinees au mode de Guillaume-
Robert, narrowly missing today's ingredient, which screamed and ducked under
the table.  The Chairman, outraged, turned his brocaded coattails on the
scene.

"You are what you entertain, and I am _not_ enjoying the fact that you are
entertaining such Capitalist Thoughts.

Now, if anyone should be next in line for an interview, it's me."

Unfortunately, the outraged Chairman's angelic form looked every bit as
serene and stiff as his once ubiquitous portrait.  He continued to sputter as
the hog-jowls flew, but no one was the wiser.  Orderly reporters stalked
serenely through the charlestoning of the audience, pausing to file a pool
report when a jitterbugging stringer reportedly fell into the pool.  The
language he used was not suitable for the wires, causing Aargh (for indeed it
was he), who had never let his Sigma Delta Chi membership lapse, to slugline
DIRTY QUERTY PURTY SQUIRTY, -30-.  George F. Will expressed certain
misgivings ("Aargh, Ptui") while the crowd gave a mingled cry of joy and
female impersonation.  "Oh, honey, shake that groove thang!" they trilled,
much to Argh's dismay, as he tried to remember where the hell his "groove
thang" was hi-diddly-ho-ing at the moment.

"Oh, yes, that's where it is, then,"he remembered, to his shame.

His shame looked him square in the eye and snickered.  "What are you looking
at?" he demanded, as his Groove Thang hiddly-hoed over and goosed his Shame.

Lately, the lilliputian Shame had been getting a bit attenuated, perhaps from
a lack of philosophical wonder.

Or pain.

Whichever.

"Shame, shame, shame," he said.

And griinching, Aargh mused, as a role he liked well.
He'd waspishly kvetch, and then greenishly kvell.
But interviews, now, were a vile thing to do,
Like amazon selling his autographed Who.

He summoned up Makeup, said, "Powder my nose,

"For the compere and I shall be coming to blither, and potter about, and
generally wasting the eve..."  Here he got interrupted once more for an
autograph. Unfortunately, it was a fan, not of his, but of Shaggy Dog
Stories.

"Sir, I have never met ANYONE who possesses anything close to your ability to
pontificate, palaver, and otherwise discourse endlessly on absolutely
nothing.  Now my boss, Senator Dingleberry is planning a filibuster next
week, and I am eager to know if you would be willing to assist our staff in
preparing deviled eggs and some finger sandshoes, much more comfortable for a
long spell of typing than pumps.  I'm sure your assistance would be rewarded
with whalebone corsetry and high school cheerleaders just in from wherever
they vat them..."  He paused a moment, flushing slightly with sweat.

"Er, anyway, if you've specialized tastes, I'm sure we can get a corset in
your siv."

".Sig?"

"Yes.  The old v for g trouble.  Vrieged me since virlhood.  Thouvh I did
mean it about the cheerleaders coming from a gat.  Er, vrowth gessel.  No,
don't loosen my stays.  It's viginv me the v-o-ahead to agoid either letter.
So, yeah.  Can I si-- er.  Request that you assist in preparation of the food
for the filibuster?  Senator Din- the senator will be pleased to see yogurt,
as he hopes one day to annex a dairy state to his own.  But I digress: you
are a writer of sci-fi, as its adherents call it, are you not?  The Senator
also wishes his state to be the first to put a man on Alpha Centauri, which
he understands is in a galaxy not at all far from ours.  Perhaps you could
hack that gob of chaw into this bucket, sir, instead of on the carnivorous
plant?  It only encourages it.  Yes, behind yonder garbage bin.  Very good.
Now, about that trip to Alpha Centauri.  Perhaps you could postulate a way to
get there without all the faster-than-the-speed-of-light nonsense, and yet
get us there before we leave, or at least by lunch? I do so hate a rushed
lunker, and the fish will need some time to get up to speed properly.

Spacefaring fish, as everyone knows, had been around since the early ninny-
ninny hooha stage..."

He stopped for another sweaty breathe.

"Now, the Pre-Ninny-ninny Hooha Period is even more fastened to the auctorial
raperies than the Blue-Shading-Into-Indigo Prosarium, and both have left
indelible marks on the slipcovers of Western Literature.  Shall we discuss
your interior decorum, and the quite rude liver-colored rumblings of Post-
Modern Nouveau Riche Cuisine therein?" He paced as he spoke, thumping the
rotund Aargh's hernia, like Buddy Rich channeling Dr. Lecter.  "Beans," Aargh
gasped, "Fava..."

There was a moment of silence, then both began to speak again at the same
time.

"Resound, O drums and tinkling cymbals; clap your hands, o ye heavy dudes.
Go to it, o jazzmen.  Lift up your heads, O ye Aarghs, and let the voice of
that cool cat the turtle be heard.  Resound, O drums and tinkling cymbals;
clap your hands, or ye heavy dudes.  Go to it baby!"  They looked at one
another slightly stupefied at their cool jive, then shook their heads to
clear them of any lingering beaver pelts stuck to their heads.  After
fourteen months out in the woods catching beavers, fighting with the Indians,
and funeral orgies every Friday, as prescribed by one of Twain's characters,
Aargh and company were a collective mourning team extrordinaire.  That had
been over 10 years ago, but the beaver-pelt head-shaking reflex is apparently
like riding a bicycle.

Suddenly, Aargh realized why the catafalque driver had looked so familiar.
And this fan of Shaggy Dog Stories was also from the old beaver days.

And Senator Dingleberry?  Could it be that the Senator was the same
Dingleberry who, ten years ago had been a cow?  No, that was all wrong, the
papers hadn't said he was a cow, they'd said he was mad.  Gaarh, Aargh choked
anagramatically, things weren't going well at all today, noun-wise.  He
reached for his pills, and found they wiggled vigorously when he picked up
the bottle.  No, things weren't going well at all today.

He put the bottle back down, and the pills assumed a sort of human-pyramid,
or rather pharmaceutical-pyramid, stance within the bottle. Aargh looked at
them more closely.

They waved at him.

"What in the evocation did we do wrong?"  They were supposed to be non-
sentient, perhaps he had ticked the wrong box on the order form.  He wondered
vaguely how you measured sentience in pills and if there was some form of
tabula rasa particular to pharmacists. Or did he mean somewhere over the
rainbow, way up high.  There was a land that he'd heard of, once in a
lullaby.  "Someday Ill wish upon a star," he muttered, "and wake up where the
clouds are far beehives mead....

No, dat's nod righd," he snuffed.

Whilst he pondered this, a small verb attached itself to his pronounced
proboscis.  It was be.  Bee.  Too be.  Doobie Doobie doo.

"Whasgh da madda nowh?  Whasgh..."

His eyes crossed slowly, and then Aargh was asleep, weaning himself gently
from his mother's breviary, holding on tight instead to a miniature edition
of The Smart Monkey Goes To The Moon, and the Tres Riches Heures of Ada
Lovelace.  He shifted in his sleep, and murmured, "George Gordon, Lord
Bygones-Be-Bygones, it's been nice knowing you, but it's time to put this
topic to bed.  See you on the other side!"
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #84 of 94: JaNell (goldennokomis) Wed 28 Nov 01 16:22
    
We scare me.
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #85 of 94: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 28 Nov 01 16:51
    

In a good way!
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #86 of 94: I've got two legs from my hips to the ground (josparrow) Wed 28 Nov 01 17:36
    
Heh. that was exceedingly surreal :)
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #87 of 94: Conscientious Blatherer (keta) Wed 19 Dec 01 17:11
    
Re Hyphenation 13, now in progress:

I just noticed that I screwed up the grammar coming out of <131.128>
with my <131.129> post.  But I hardly think it's so bad that one of us
can't find a way to bring grammatical order back to our demented world
before the sentence is out...

Just a heads-up.
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #88 of 94: David Gans (tnf) Wed 19 Dec 01 18:28
    
I appreciate your confessing, David.  I had silently marked you for banning
because of that horrific error, but I hadn't gotten around to deep-sixing
your acocunt yet.





Just kidding, of course.
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #89 of 94: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Thu 20 Dec 01 10:05
    
No! No! There was that time in sixth grade when I...







Oh, thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #90 of 94: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 23 Jan 02 12:12
    
Well, it seems our Hyphenation 13 hasn't quite recovered from the
holidays.  It rallied briefly on Jan 9-10, but nothing since.  Before
we call in Dr. McCoy, I took the liberty of compiling The Story So Far
in the next post.

Yes, this has been a plot-heavy Hyphenation...will we ever find out
what happened to Ada, Sockpuppet, or Ruth Bader Ginsberg?  Will the
Mohican manage to change the course of history?  Is the bamboo ready to
harvest?

As the commentator says, "Back to you, Stan..."  <131>
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #91 of 94: The Story So Far (13) (keta) Wed 23 Jan 02 12:17
    
In our last episode, Ada Lovelace was having some Troubles With
Tribbles, but in a more sympathetic treatment than she usually gets
from the writhing worms she keeps tied to the tops of her feet.

Mostly, she was tied up all day, every day. In ways you don't want to
imagine.  See, Ada worked as an operator at the Cosmodemonic Telegraph
Company.  Her officemate, a thirtyish gentleman, prematurely balding,
named Henry Miller, was always writing her silly love songs, which he'd
tap out on the telegraph key in that sprightly nimble style that was
all his own.  His fingerplay always unnerved the shy Penelope, though,
and she stuck the trailing battery wire casually but firmly against the
back of his neck.  He smoldered.  No, literally, sent 73 OM, then
turned to the demure YL with a glazed look (as in doughnut, not
windowpane) and said, "Obstetrical knowledge is advancing by leaps and
boundless budgets!  We must do more RESEARCH!  Find out what makes
mother tigresses nuzzle their cubs' necks, and then apply that finding
to business districts in remote rainforest towns!"  Smoke poured from
his ears, and a small voice squeaked, "Girls, I think that's enough
torturing Mr. Miller for one day."

Ada, Penelope, and Yolanda turned to the window, where Charlotte's
great great great great granddaughter had spun her web.  The spider had
been more bold of late, ever since shadowing the pigs hadn't turned up
one who could read.  (All the smart livestock were hiding until the
foot-and-mouth thing blew over.)  Yolanda looked at the letters in the
silk.  "'Some Object Orientation?'" she said.  "What the hell does that
mean?"

Lady Lovelace blinked.  "Excuse me," she said, "I have some notorious
biscuits. Or at least I did. They were in that tin, over there, next to
the cretin who keeps poking the ladyfingers in his notice board,
though they don't work half as well as tacks."  Once the flyer has
fallen down for the 6th time, he crabwalked down the street to the
House of the Rising Sun, where he worked a second job as a piano
player.  Indigo Ghouls, that's who he played for, the post-vampiric
modernist apocalypso fenn bar stuff. Like that "Midnight Blew"
sonnet-riff combo he'd mixed up the other n-ight after having one of
Ada's notorious biscuits.  

He es-pied with his little eye..."Whoa, Ada, what'd you slip into the
biscuits this time? They're Absinthfully Good!" he slur-red.  Ada just
smiled.  This cretin was turning out to b-e the easiest mark she'd ever
sharpied. The whole experience, indelibly chiseled into his
too-stupid-and-too-rich brainp-ower converter, ended up as the basis of
an award-winning novel, "In C-ontrol: Knotts", a treatise on the
catalystic effect of Don Knotts on the Valley Speak phenomenon of the
Eighties, and how it became part of the ver-y long entries that seem to
be a-fflicting ri-ght-minded verbalists.  N-otorious biscuits were
never mentioned in the novel.

This "muse" business was too much fun.  Ada was worried though – did
that 'SOME OBJECT ORIENTATION' written in the spider's web this morning
mean they could be expecting more computer geeks coming in for
inspiration?

She didn't have long to wonder.  The g-uano had barely hit the wing
when the doorbell ra-ng.  

"I'll get it!" declared Yolanda, bouncing to h-er left, bouncing to
her right, bouncing up and down, on everyone in si-ght, singing with
the beat, dancing with her feet, singing and dancing t-eat to teat. 
"Enough Vaudeville!" finished Yolanda, in a split, red, white, & blue
sequined tap pants shimmering from the sparkler in each han-d-bag.  She
eventually even made it to the door, tripping over the gl-um
Patrons-of-the-Arts cardboard standups that comprised her au-tonomic
nervous system, which is responsible for ba-boons' red asses during
mating season, and other anomalies of mammallian col-laborative
behavior, as coordinated by lunation and the ipso-facto l-ove ya call
ya later ritual. 

Neither Ada nor Yolanda gave a rat's ass, or even a baboon's ass,
about any of th- [another ritual today. i lit my candle and waved it
before images of the guru as usual. then i usually put on my japa ring
and recommit to my relationship with self/god...today i warmed the ring
with the candle flame and slipped it on my finger...then held it over
my heart. felt good.] to forget about the baboon's behind for one
flickering moment of ungrammati-cal wavering between realities.  The
veil was thin, yellow, and viscous, and of an unsavory odiferous
nature.  Then, as quickly as it had come, the feeling was passing.  

The terms, "hidden" and "scribbled" and "hyphenation" floated in her
mind, but she did not know what they meant.  The smell lingered.  Ada
struggled to remember.  It had been a brief, overpowering sense of
freedom, freedom from something, some rule, something to do with
"hyphenation."  There had been a ring, a candle, something slipped over
her head like a lampshade at a suburban dream emporium, heroes,
scoundrels, knaves, and nether garments to drape over unsuspecting
papasan chairs.

But I digress, she thinks, arriving back in the present tense.  The
doorbell is ringing.  "Many have rung, but few have entered.  My mind
is tired, my thoughts are splintered."

"Oh, no, I'm thinking in rhyme again!" she muttered to herds of
Tribbles now underfoot, nibbling at the cardboard cutouts, yellow
viscous heroes, and sparkling championship rings.  

"Squeek!  Squeek!" said the Tribbles.  

"Squelch! Squelch!" said the yellow viscous heroes.  The championship
rings said nothing.

She watered the beanstalk outside the window and wondered when the
bamboo out back would be high enough to harvest. "A new crop of papasan
chairs popping up every few months," she thought, with satisfaction.
She flicked a small beehive hairdo into the hair on her knuckles, out
of boredom, and hung little placards marked "Jack", "jAck", "jaCk", and
other variants onto the beanstalk.

"Surreality's never been a friend of mine" she warbled happily, hardly
noticing how the worms tied to the tops of her feet writhed in
disagreement.   

Henry, now recovered sufficiently from his recent electrical
enlightenment, shuffled to the door.  He peeked through the peephole
and mumbled, "I think it's Jack."  He reached for the handle, and
everyone outside, dressed as either chickens or golden eggs, yelled,
"Sur-".

He slammed the door shut.

"-reality!" squeaked a worm.

Henry glared at the worm.

He carefully open the door again.  Even the men out side were dressed
in huge wigs and glittering evening gowns.

"Surreality, at your service sir-"   Bowing low, the foremost
cretinous blobs melted into a lemon-scented bat pie, and flew awkwardly
into a painting on the wall. 

It was a watercolor Henry had never much liked anyway.  He had
received it as a being of light and understanding, but really, it
belonged in a hotel room over a dubiously laundered benevolent
association's weekly take, lending ironic commentary tonight on your
television.

"Back to you, Stan," the commentator smirked from the bedside tableau,
in which she was artfully posed as one of the Muses descending into
vanity press Hell.  Draped around her, upthrusting their published
tomes, parrying and jockying for position, half a dozen writers heaved
with passion, or the most descriptive thing that could allude to,
pastilles, for which the more savvy of their number knew that most
commentators and editors cherish a hidden passion.
The candy store down the street was doing landoffice business; the
line was nearly around the block. Shiny-jacketed hipsters stood among
dental floss models and fevered guitar slingin' herbal remedies,
guaranteed to cure constipation, consternation, and conversation or
your money back.  And if they acted now, they were told, they'd receive
absolutely free this remarkable set of ginsburg signed first editions.
 

Those expecting copies of Howl, however, were sorely disappointed upon
reaching the head of the line and discovering the promotional package
to be the opinions of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, US Supreme Court Justice,
who had reversed herself Ruthlessly, in effect negating herself, in
primate-like willfulness. 

Sickening, she then reverted to writing lost-puppy flyers and Romance
Novels for a living, and hiring a healthy Double to sit in on the
Supreme Court sessions.  This arrangement worked beautifully, until
tomorrow, when reality reverses itself and she stuttered between
tenses, sometimes There Then, sometimes Here Now.  

Now she was here, at the candy store, signing anagrams, then she nags
a singing ram, after which she sang "Am A Raging Sin", the classic
torch-bearer song of the Naughty Girl Olympics. But that was all after
the factotum immemorial, the Eternal Butler, took her hat and coat and
would not give them back.

"But I need them for the perfection of my existence!" she zenned, and
promptly forgot them in her sudden oneness with the uniformed security
guard who insisted on examining the contents of her trashy underwear
drawer and getting into an in-depth examination of her most
controversial positions.

She tried to abstain, but that was quickly vetoed by the immoral
mahout, who had assumed the title and role of First Sockpuppet of the
United States, and was attempting to expunge abstention, absinthe,
Absorbine Jr., and other things starting with the letters "ab".
It was all because of that traumatic incident with the boiling
cauldron of cioppino (plus some, uh, unauthorized herbs), whistling
Dixie, and Dixie's husband coming home early with a bucket of clams
which the young Sockpuppet-to-be *knew* Dixie had already put in the
cauldron.  

Sockpuppet, who was only nine at the time, and had never before seen
time bend, had always remembered Dixie saying, "Oh, Georgie, dear,
don't worry, there's two sides to everything -- it's the A-B pattern of
the universe, you see."  

The whole incident had done a slow burn on his psyche, until one day,
while dread-locking his bicycle to the postman, for fear of theft, he
fell to the ground pointing at each foot in turn screaming, "Sock!"
"Puppet!" "Sock!" "Puppet!" and then at passersby, "Sock!" "Puppet!"
until two identical nice men in the white coats came and he shouted and
pointed "Sock!" "Puppet!" at them until they fell down laughing and
the postman laughed and the bicycle laughed and they all laughed and
they were laughing at him at him "Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhh...."

Anyway, that's one story of how he came to be known as "Sockpuppet"
and to have such an aversion to words beginning with "ab".
His handlers left no stone unturned in covering up this debacle before
his candor waxed; silenced, he became wan and thinkish -- if there is
such a thing.  Gazing at his navel, he assumed the position of
gratitude that people are just writing a line rather than an epistle,
since Channeling For The American People takes incredible amounts of
patience.  You have to choose your whereabouts carefully, and have an
undisclosed location to grunion-fish; if anyone knew where you go,
they'd be all over the tide-tables, figure out why Reagan only bombed
on the full moon, thwarting the blue-cloaked bandits. 

Pippi shouted, "Have some mocha, have some tea; drink absinthe, it's
all on my floor. Can't you guys hold onto anything?" From behind the
country-music bin, a shopper hollered, "Someone spilled a milkshake all
over my broken heart," in time with the must-see TV jingle playing on
a small black-and-white portable on the country-western aisle.  

"Back to you, Stan," the commentator smirked, evanescing into a
rosy-golden cloud.  The camera operator, shrugging, persueded a
customer to take the commentator's place.  

"Never was a Stan," she whispered intimately. Her voice carressed the
mic now, singing low.  "Always was a cornflake girl."

The camera operator thought, "Ah, well, it's not like I'm getting paid
jack for this job anyway" and let the tape run out the window, into
the stand of bamboo behind the building, choking several endangered
birds and uproar ensued.  

Mamasan came charging into the store, yodeled a few bars of "Let It
Be", and promptly unplugged the distinctive neon light fixtures,
plunging the room into darkness.  

Grinchly Fleawagon said distinctly, "Oh, my stars and garish gegaws! 
What's become of the baby?  Please, Mr. Postman, pretend you're my baby
and climb into the stroller, put on this bonfire, yes, the one on my
vanity, over there", but then they were plunged into darkness deeper
than the darkness before, as his voice trailed off, and over the river
and through the woods, even at Grandma's House, he could no longer be
hesitant.  

The wolf was at the door, seeing no evil, and omnivorous as he was,
there was no doubt he'd be devouring hipster, hypester, hucksters
alike, papasans, Mamasan, hopi, Sioux, and Cherokee. No Mohicans,
though, he'd seen the last of them at the motel next door to the
casino.  People coming in and out of there at all high on the latest
Get Enlightened Quick seminar -- what a way for the last Mohican to
exit the building with a suitcase full of position papers, headed for
the White House!  

The Dire Wolf smiled at the Mohican's ingenuity, letting the spirit of
the season override his gut feeling that the red man's words could not
thaw the icy grip upon a secret heart so bent on revenge and yet so
ill-equipped to do any real damage to angels in the architecture,
spinning in infinity.  Changing his mind, the wolf spun around and
headed back into the kitchen, reached into the cabinet containing Magic
Potions, and grabbed a bottle of Nepenthe.  

"Never waste your time or money on that watered down Boar's Breathe,"
he thought, "it's not worth the hairs on the label.  But Nepenthe!  Now
*that* will put this topic to sleep!"  

Silently nodding in assent, the conference host roused himself from
sly one-eyed slumber long enough to sanforize the wolf and the topic,
so that shrinkage would no longer be production staff's number one
problem.  Next, the host n-
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #92 of 94: Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 23 Jan 02 12:20
    
Apologies for the occasional unexpunged hyphen in there...
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #93 of 94: Grant Barnes (pyrus-malus) Sun 19 Jan 03 00:29
    
More! More! More!
  
inkwell.vue.19 : Hyphenation topic PLAYBACK PARTY
permalink #94 of 94: HYPHENATION 13 (tnf) Mon 23 Jun 03 09:56
    



In our last episode, Ada Lovelace was having some Troubles With Tribbles, but
in a more sympathetic treatment than she usually gets from the writhing worms
she keeps tied to the tops of her feet.  Mostly, she was tied up all day,
every day.  In ways you don't want to imagine.  See, Ada worked as an
operator at the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company.  Her officemate, a thirtyish
gentleman, prematurely balding, named Henry Miller, was always writing her
silly love songs, which he'd tap out on the telegraph key in that sprightly
nimble style that was all his own.  His fingerplay always unnerved the shy
Penelope, though, and she stuck the trailing battery wire casually but firmly
against the back of his neck.  He smoldered.  No, literally, sent 73 OM, then
turned to the demure YL with a glazed look (as in doughnut, not windowpane)
and said, "Obstetrical knowledge is advancing by leaps and boundless budgets!
 We must do more RESEARCH!  Find out what makes mother tigresses nuzzle their
cubs' necks, and then apply that finding to business districts in remote
rainforest towns!"

Smoke poured from his ears, and a small voice squeaked, "Girls, I think
that's enough torturing Mr. Miller for one day."

Ada, Penelope, and Yolanda turned to the window, where Charlotte's great
great great great granddaughter had spun her web.  The spider had been more
bold of late, ever since shadowing the pigs hadn't turned up one who could
read.  (All the smart livestock were hiding until the foot-and-mouth thing
blew over.)

Yolanda looked at the letters in the silk.  "'Some Object Orientation?'" she
said.  "What the hell does that mean?"

Lady Lovelace blinked.  "Excuse me," she said, "I have some notorious
biscuits.  Or at least I did. They were in that tin, over there, next to the
cretin who keeps poking the ladyfingers in his notice board, though they
don't work half as well as tacks.  Once the flyer has fallen down for the 6th
time, he crabwalked down the street to the House of the Rising Sun, where he
worked a second job as a piano player.  Indigo Ghouls, that's who he played
for, the post-vampiric modernist apocalypso fern bar stuff. Like that
"Midnight Blew" sonnet-riff combo he'd mixed up the other night after having
one of Ada's notorious biscuits.  He espied with his little eye...

"Whoa, Ada, what'd you slip into the biscuits this time? They're Absinthfully
Good!" he slurred.  Ada just smiled.  This cretin was turning out to be the
easiest mark she'd ever sharpied. The whole experience, indelibly chiseled
into his too-stupid-and-too-rich brainpower converter, ended up as the basis
of an award-winning novel, "In Control: Knotts", a treatise on the catalystic
effect of Don Knotts on the Valley Speak phenomenon of the Eighties, and how
it became part of the very long entries that seem to be afflicting right-
minded verbalists.

Notorious biscuits were never mentioned in the novel.

This "muse" business was too much fun.  Ada was worried, though -- did that
'SOME OBJECT ORIENTATION' written in the spider's web this morning mean they
could be expecting more computer geeks coming in for inspiration?

She didn't have long to wonder.  The guano had barely hit the wing when the
doorbell rang.  "I'll get it!" declared Yolanda, bouncing to her left,
bouncing to her right, bouncing up and down, on everyone in sight, singing
with the beat, dancing with her feet, singing and dancing teat to teat.

"Enough Vaudeville!" finished Yolanda, in a split, red, white, & blue
sequined tap pants shimmering from the sparkler in each hand-bag.  She
eventually even made it to the door, tripping over the glum Patrons-of-the-
Arts cardboard standups that comprised her autonomic nervous system, which is
responsible for baoons' red asses during mating season, and other anomalies
of mammalian collaborative behavior, as coordinated by lunation and the ipso-
facto love ya call ya later ritual.

Neither Ada nor Yolanda gave a rat's ass, or even a baboon's ass, about any
of th...

... to forget about the baboon's behind for one flickering moment of
ungrammatical wavering between realities.  The veil was thin, yellow, and
viscous, and of an unsavory odiferous nature.  Then, as quickly as it had
come, the feeling was passing.

The terms "hidden" and "scribbled" and "hyphenation" floated in her mind, but
she did not know what they meant.  The smell lingered.  Ada struggled to
remember.  It had been a brief, overpowering sense of freedom, freedom from
something, some rule, something to do with "hyphenation."  There had been a
ring, a candle, something slipped over her head like a lampshade at a
suburban dream emporium, heroes, scoundrels, knaves, and nether garments to
drape over unsuspecting papasan chairs.

But I digress, she thinks, arriving back in the present tense.  The doorbell
is ringing.

Many have rung, but few have entered.
My mind is tired,
my thoughts are splintered.
Oh, no, I'm thinking in rhyme again!"
She muttered to herds of Tribbles now underfoot, nibbling at the cardboard
cutouts, yellow viscous heroes, and sparkling championship rings.  "Squeek!
Squeek!" said the Tribbles.  Squelch! Squelch!" said the yellow viscous
heroes. The championship rings said nothing.

She watered the beanstalk outside the window and wondered when the bamboo out
back would be high enough to harvest. "A new crop of papasan chairs popping
up every few months," she thought, with satisfaction. She flicked a small
beehive hairdo into the hair on her knuckles, out of boredom, and hung little
placards marked "Jack", "jAck", "jaCk", and other variants onto the
beanstalk.

"Surreality's never been a friend of mine" she warbled happily, hardly
noticing how the worms tied to the tops of her feet writhed in disagreement.

Henry, now recovered sufficently from his recent electrical enlightenment,
shuffled to the door.  He peeked through the peephole and mumbled, "I think
it's Jack."

He reached for the handle, and everyone outside, dressed as either chickens
or golden eeggs, yelled, "Sur-".

He slammed the door shut.

"-reality!" squeaked a worm.

Henry glared at the worm.  He carefully opened the door again.  Even the men
outside were dressed in huge wigs and glittering evening gowns.

"Surreality, at your service sir --"   Bowing low, the foremost cretinous
blobs melted into a lemon-scented bat pie, and flew awkwardly into a painting
on the wall.  It was a watercolor Henry had never much liked anyway.  He had
received it as a being of light and understanding, but really, it belonged in
a hotel room over a dubiously laundered benevolent association's weekly take,
lending ironic commentary tonight on your television.

"Back to you, Stan," the commentator smirked from the bedside tableau, in
which she was artfully posed as one of the Muses descending into vanity press
Hell.  Draped around her upthrusting their published tomes, parrying and
jockying for position, half a dozen writers heaved with passion, or the most
descriptive thing that could allude to pastilles, for which the more savvy of
their number knew that most commentators and editors cherish a hidden
passion.

The candy store down the street was doing land-office business; the line was
nearly around the block.  Shiny-jacketed hipsters stood among dental floss
models and fevered guitar slingin' herbal remedies, guaranteed to cure
constipation, consternation, and conversation or your money back.  And if
they acted now, they were told, they'd receive absolutely free this
remarkable set of Ginsburg signed first editions.  Those expecting copies of
Howl, however, were sorely disappointed upon reaching the head of the line
and discovering the promotional package to be the opinions of Ruth Bader
Ginsburg, US Supreme Court Justice, who had reversed herself Ruthlessly, in
effect negating herself, in primate-like willfulness.  Sickening, she then
reverted to writing lost-puppy flyers and Romance Novels for a living, and
hiring a healthy Double to sit in on the Supreme Court sessions.  This
arrangement worked beautifully, until tomorrow, when reality reverses itself
and she stuttered between tenses, sometimes There Then, sometimes Here Now.
Now she was here, at the candy store, signing anagrams, then she nags a
singing ram, after which she sang "Am A Raging Sin", the classic torch-bearer
song of the Naughty Girl Olympics.  But that was all after the factotum
immemorial, the Eternal Butler, took her hat and coat and would not give them
back.

"But I need them for the perfection of my existance!" she zenned, and
promptly forgot them in her sudden oneness with the uniformed security guard
who insisted on examining the contents of her trashy underwear drawer and
getting into an in-depth examination of her most controversial positions.

She tried to abstain, but that was quickly vetoed by the immoral mahout, who
had assumed the title and role of First Sockpuppet of the United States, and
was attempting to expunge abstention, absinthe, Absorbine Jr., and other
things starting with the letters "ab".

It was all because of that traumatic incident with the boiling cauldron of
cioppino (plus some, uh, unauthorized herbs), whistling Dixie, and Dixie's
husband coming home early with a bucket of clams which the young Sockpuppet-
to-be *knew* Dixie had already put in the cauldron.  Sockpuppet, who was only
nine at the time, and had never before seen time bend, had always remembered
Dixie saying, "Oh, Georgie, dear, don't worry, there's two sides to
everything -- it's the A-B pattern of the universe, you see."  The whole
incident had done a slow burn on his psyche, until one day, while dread-
locking his bicycle to the postman, for fear of theft, he fell to the ground
pointing at each foot in turn screaming, "Sock!" "Puppet!" "Sock!" "Puppet!"
and then at passersby, "Sock!" "Puppet!" until two identical nice men in the
white coats came and he shouted and pointed "Sock!" "Puppet!" at them until
they fell down laughing and the postman laughed and the bicycle laughed and
they all laughed and they were laughing at him at him
"Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhh...."

Anyway, that's one story of how he came to be known as "Sockpuppet" and to
have such an aversion to words beginning with "ab-".

His handlers left no stone unturned in covering up this debacle before his
candor waxed; silenced, he became wan and thinkish -- if there is such a
thing.  Gazing at his navel, he assumed the position of gratitude that people
are just writing a line rather than an epistle, since Channeling For The
American People takes incredible amounts of patience.  You have to choose
your whereabouts carefully, and have an undisclosed location to grunion-fish;
if anyone knew where you go, they'd be all over the tide-tables, figure out
why Reagan only bombed on the full moon, thwarting the blue-cloaked bandits.
Pippi shouted, "Have some mocha, have some tea; drink absinthe, it's all on
my floor. Can't you guys hold onto anything?" From behind the country-music
bin, a shopper hollered, "Someone spilled a milkshake all over my broken
heart," in time with the must-see TV jingle playing on a small black-and-
white portable on the country-western aisle.  "Back to you, Stan," the
commentator smirked, evanescing into a rosy-golden cloud.  The camera
operator, shrugging, persuaded a customer to take the commentator's place.
"Never was a Stan," she whispered intimately. Her voice carressed the mic
now, singing low.

"Always was a cornflake girl."

The camera operator thought, "Ah, well, it's not like I'm getting paid jack
for this job anyway" and let the tape run out the window, into the stand of
bamboo behind the building, choking several endangered birds and uproar
ensued.  Mamasan came charging into the store, yodeled a few bars of "Let It
Be", and promptly unplugged the distinctive neon light fixtures, plunging the
room into darkness.  Grinchly Fleawagon said distinctly, "Oh, my stars and
garish gegaws!  What's become of the baby?  Please, Mr. Postman, pretend
you're my baby and climb into the stroller, put on this bonfire, yes, the one
on my vanity, over there", but then they were plunged into darkness deeper
than the darkness before, as his voice trailed off, and over the river and
through the woods, even at Grandma's House, he could no longer be hesitant.
The wolf was at the door, seeing no evil, and omnivorous as he was, there was
no doubt he'd be devouring hipster, hypester, hucksters alike, papasans,
Mamasan, hopi, Sioux, and Cherokee. No Mohicans, though, he'd seen the last
of them at the motel next door to the casino.  People coming in and out of
there at all high on the latest Get Enlightened Quick seminar -- what a way
for the last Mohican to exit the building with a suitcase full of position
papers, headed for the White House!  The Dire Wolf smiled at the Mohican's
ingenuity, letting the spirit of the season override his gut feeling that the
red man's words could not thaw the icy grip upon a secret heart so bent on
revenge and yet so ill-equipped to do any real damage to angels in the
architecture, spinning in infinity.  Changing his mind, the wolf spun around
and headed back into the kitchen, reached into the cabinet containing Magic
Potions, and grabbed a bottle of Nepenthe.  Never waste your time or money on
that watered down Boar's Breathe," he thought, "it's not worth the hairs on
the label.  But Nepenthe!  Now *that* will put this topic to sleep!"
Silently nodding in assent, the conference host roused himself from sly one-
eyed slumber long enough to sanforize the wolf and the topic, so that
shrinkage would no longer be production staff's number one problem.  Next,
the host nearly tipped the entire wheelbarrowful into a bank of daily Show
writers, which would have made it impossible to produce tonight's predigested
oat hulls, packaged with a minimum of sugar and added chemicals, except for
the little known fact that in the springtime, no one remembers how depressing
it was a few months earlier when the sun sequestered itself in an oak-paneled
jury room with eleven other headless corpses.  Trying to get a verdict out of
this crowd is like trumping your own trick; I mean, like tricking your own
treat; I mean traveling with steel-soled shoes and gunpowder in your pocket
linings.  Examples of the harrassment some travelers have received can be
repeating steps 4 through 9 as needed. If mechanism jams, do not atrocious
service, particular at the week-long conference of online copyright experts,
gnashing their trademarked Circle R Dude Ranch enscribed gold teeth while
they encysted deep in the bark. Limbs afflicted with these paranoid fantasies
often have to be talked down from their high permutations of natural law.
Repeated attempts to sublimate these distracting fantasies resulted in some
pretty interesting doctoral dissertations, now available on cassette, 8-
track, or CD at particularly obscure and musty bookstores.  Among the most
prolific contrbutors is a fellow (we assume) who goes by the handle "Go
Fish," and is purportedly a part-time professor of philosophy at the
University of Wallamaloo, but no one has ever accounted for the absence of U.
of 'maloo from any known map.  But as Dr. Fish asks, "If a tree falls in an
empty college, is there a sociology department on Earth that doesn't hear it
and dispatch a team of political science majors to prove it's a bush's
fault?"  What all this has to do with Ada's guest is anyone's guess, though
Gauss, gussied with truss just cussed the gist of his grist in this
futuristic scenario of the Bush Legacy, 10 years down the ribonucleic acid
chain of polypeptides forming deep within the bamboo shoots out back.
Evacuate! She cried. Suicide bags away! Though she was becoming a bit dizzy
what with all that spiral slipping. What furniture polish did they use on
that fire escape, anyway? she groggily asked Helix, her cat.  Seven leagues
below the sea, in an undisclosed location, Dr Fish examined the entrails,
took a deep toke on this pipe, and said, "It applies evenly, and is used for
furniture polish and cat de-fleaing."  Except for the neurotoxicity issue, I
think we could maybe find an appropriate applicator, thereby allowing those
who are xenophobic to an extreme degree to see the error of their ways.
Clearly, it can be seen that no one has an exclusive franchise on fear-
mongering in this political clinking, clattering, cacaphonic, colligenous
climate of junk-bond diplomacy, smoggy days, not being sure where their next
meal is coming from, and batshit-crazy commentators treating the ffate of
humanity like a tractor pull."  Mamesan chuckled.  Ada, Penelope, and Henry
returned from the House of the Rising Sun just in time to yodel at the top of
their lungs in honor of the new day.  "Where's the pepper when you're making
a salad? I guess we'll just have to make do with juniper berries, the older
and more fermented the better!  Do you handle those without gloves, too? I
find it enhances the effervescence of the juice.  But isn't it a little early
in the matinee to be going out for popcorn?  I brought a power bar so I
wouldn't have to sit through this totally pointless art flick without
suspecting that cynicism rather than sentimentality is the way to get laid in
this day and age.  It hardly even matters what's on the schedule for next
weekend," said Ada, "You know we'll only end up at the bad end of a drinking
binge, looking sheepishly at each other and wondering where have all the
flowers gone, long time party poopers, are we really, and so it seems that
the sun must surely rise again, no matter how hard the Republicans try to
scare us into blowing card chaff all over our salads." Henry winced,
remembering the last time he'd got chaff stuck between his toes.  He had to
run two miles on the beach to be finally famished enough to even want salad,
especially since the ingredients included cheese weeds and recycled greens,
the only kind I'll eat since my doctor warned me about chlorophyll buildup.
There was a story about it recently in the Weekly World News, too--Swamp
Thing and The Hulk are both classic cases, typified by their general
tendencies to shift gears in the middle of a story, thereby causing quite a
snaggle-tooth busted-clutch stink of synesthesia.  This story, however hard
to swallowm, is the truth, dammit!  I couldn't make this up, even if I tied
writhing worms to the tops of my feet. Nancy, on the other hand, found it to
be quite a revealing exercise, back when her name was McGill, disguised as a
Steston-sportin' raccoon with a limp and a bad attitude.  Republican all the
way, that raccoon; might even run for President someday, just you watch.
Doesn't like greens, though, or nachos, either.  He's a mass of
contradictions, and we can expect his governess to stand for all the problems
he's caused with his balloons that were filled with good old-fashioned lung
air instead of that newfangled holographic vapor that passes for mumbles,
such are promises.  Accordingly, we are introducing legislation this week to
criminalize truth-telling while blowing balloons online or applying
electrodes to nervous volunteers down at the Neuro Lab.  A group of doctoral
candidates convened recently to study the effect of helium on elecrified
gentlemen.  Dubbing the lab, the "Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company," they
decided to set that to music and put on a silly love song contest involving
Theremins, zithers, and hammered dominoes - which make a satisfying sound
when you smash 'em, I must say -- aliens do it better! Especially since they
are capable of dominating every conversation with their boasts about that and
their other mother.  Hence, the legislation.  But no one had anticipated
prolonged and protracted need for compasses and rulers, not to mention
keeping all their pencils sharp and their environments free of eraser
dandruff, which got into electrodes and interfered with the truth-telling
algorithms, resulting in spurious bawdy limericks and pretentious halfway
readable screeds against secondhand smoke, anagrams, award-winning novels,
biscuits and yo-yos.  It sounded like that Hitchhiker's guy who told all the
truth, but Emily did say to tell it slinky, while dressed in black. Wear the
red satin pajamas, like the ones Dick Cheney and Dr. Go Fish wear on their
sleepovers at Georgie's.  The invasion of Iraq was postponed four times, you
know, due to a shortage of pajamas inspired by the designs of NASA's Moon
Suits, so they had to tell their Moms they were camping in the back yard when
in fact they were out looking for slinky sexy underwear to wear to press
conferences and private functions where reporters and camera crews aren't
welcome but insiders know where they can sneak inside anyway. Two new rising
senior aides are in charge of inventory. Purple silk is the favorite choice
of carolers at Christmastime, but in the summer we can usually be found in
hanshan's back yard sporting Spandex bathing suits and running thru the
sprinkler while Dad eggs us on from behind the video camera and Mom calls for
pizza. All of the neighbors are peering over the fence as we begin our
ritual.  My little sister always starts to cry when Dad stutters. It makes
him sound so unprofessional, but this is at home; on the radio, he never
misses a syllogism when discussing politics with our Congressperson. Just
yesterday they were talking about raising the age limit for fishing permits.
I thought it was a strange topic for a land-locked area, but hey, whatever
floats your banana split on a sea of cheese! While we're on the subject of
finicky eaters, let's examine this ice cream confection's dubious histogram.
"Nurse?" said the documentation director.  "I think my xerox machine needs a
translator to interpret the manual.  What the heck does 'it is VERY VERY
CAUTION' mean?"  Ingnorance of the law is no defense in such cases, so it's
time to open a bottle of Pinot Noir and forget about work for the moment.
Once the hegative vibes are dispensed with, we'll be able to converse using
words like "ingnorance" and "hegative," provided we drink e-laced absinthe
cocktails, swilling merrily from antique glasses and calling to the barman
for more dramamine.  "If this bar's rockin', don't bother knockin'!" he
shouted, as everyone who was anyone consulted the I-Ching about where to go
for dinner.
  



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