I was afraid that they might touch me and the mothers would come at me like a flock of taloned hawks; that was the picture I had in my mind – birds descending, striking, gashing with razor claws.
-from the pen of the jolly optimist Shirley in We Have Always Lived In The Castle
The car was later found abandoned and missing its hood ornament on the sands of Will Rogers State Beach.
Ten minutes after this publicity photo shoot was completed:
a. there were bits of torn red velvet and tufts of fur and a few drops of blood scattered about.
b. Joan and Bet went to dinner, Joan to Lawry’s, Bet to The Brown Derby.
c. both manikins were returned to cold storage.
d. someone stole the car.
i remember your last dance of life
it was a rumba, i clearly recall
how you swayed in the blustering wind
i, too, have been often that drunk
you twist on your axis just so
like a pigeon confused by bells
pealing from numerous hells
Once in a far off land there lived a foolish simpleton. This was most unfortunate, for the foolish simpleton was also the King. On a day not unlike others, he called his advisors into the kitchen and forgot why.
‘Well, we are gathered,’ he said, casting about in the vast empty cavern of his mind for something to say. Surprisingly, he caught a thought. ‘I know that I am the smartest person in the world and the most handsome, but am I the richest? Advisors, advise me. What can I do to become the richest?’
‘You’re so handsome. You’re so smart,’ mumbled the advisors all in a mash, not knowing what to add, each of them being nearly as simple and foolish as their King.
‘Here’s what you must do, oh smart and handsome,’ cried a voice from behind the throne, and Lemon Bright, the lowest servant, stepped from out of sight into sight. ‘Where the red red berry grows, and on the green green holly it snows, there if you choose correctly, you will be the richest directly.’
Lemon Bright, the lowest servant, smiled and nodded at the King. The King leaped from the throne and shouted, ‘I’ll go at once. Bring my best horse and a spare.’ And in no time at all, the King thundered across the drawbridge riding his best horse followed by a spare. Lemon Bright in the Great Hall disappeared into thin air. She had work to do, being not at all in fact the lowest servant, but instead a most playful and clever sorceress.
The foolish simpleton King plunged heedlessly through drifts of snow, falling and flailing time and time again. The spare, discouraged, wandered back to the castle. Lemon Bright quickly conjured a hedge of green green holly dappled with red red clusters of berries to spring up directly in front of the King before he had time to be thrown by his best horse into a stream and drowned.
‘Ha ha, see how smart I am,’ said the King. ‘Now I will choose correctly because that’s how smart I am.’
He hesitated not at all and reached to pluck what he considered to be the red red reddest of the red red berries. Foolish simpleton, he was wrong, and the penalty for being wrong was clever and playful. The foolish simpleton King was now a jingle bell on a jester’s cap, and he remained thus and so forever.
Of course, it must be noted that none of the red red berries plucked would have made the King the richest fool in the world. Such was the playfulness of Lemon Bright.
Loon: Welcome to the 3 Question Interview. Today the Lords of the 4th Dimension have brought to us a former president of the United States, Mr. Woodrow N. Willman. Mr. President, how do you keep those little nose pincher specs from falling off?
Wilson’s ghost: I tilt my head back slightly, and my name is Wilson, not Willman.
Loon: Oh, sorry. Second question. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Wilson’s ghost: I think I would have liked Phish Food, had I lived to taste it. It looks to be scrumptious.
Loon: I like vanilla. Finally, if you could be anything made out of wood, what would you be?
Wilson’s ghost: A roll top desk.
Loon (beaming): Thank you, Mr. President. And all of you out there listening, please remember to join me again next week when I grill another celebrity ghost in the 3 Question Interview. Until then, drive safely, and don’t take any wooden nickels.
(Wilson’s ghost leaves, cartwheeling)
Spencer weighed his options. Should he or should he not inform the authorities? He had witnessed Billings removing the pink comb from the high nook next to the credenza. He had witnessed Billings subsequent exiting from the north wing giggling. Furthermore, he had witnessed Billings taking a seat on the lawn and beginning to comb the grass. Naturally, these events caused Spencer to consider informing the authorities. The problem, as he saw it, was that the last time he had informed the authorities, they had come round and beaten him senseless, necessitating for Spencer a prolonged stay in hospital. What to do? What to do? In the end, Spencer retrieved the blue comb from the high nook next to the credenza and joined Billings. The pair of them combed the lawn together and shouted random obscenities far into the night.
She always sat down to a bowl of chicken noodle soup when she completed her 100 mile run across Patagonia.