Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dave Barry was right

Of course, Dave Barry is nearly always right about nearly everything, which is one reason I'm supporting him for President of the United States yet again. He really hit it on the head, though, in his 1988 book, Homes and Other Black Holes. That book, which I have in its original Fawcett version, illustrated by the late great Jeff MacNelly, has kept me sane through numerous moves over the years. In a chapter titled, "Moving: A Common Mistake," Dave writes:

I, personally, have never given birth to a child, but I have seen it dramatized a number of times on television, and I would say that in terms of pain, childbirth does not hold a candle to moving. For one thing, childbirth has a definite end to it. The baby comes out, looking like a Vaseline-smeared ferret, and the parents get to beam at it joyfully, and that is that. Whereas the average move goes on forever. You take Couple A, who just had a baby, and Couple B, who just moved their household, and if you keep track of them, you'll find that years from now, when Couple A's baby has grown up, left home, and started a family, Couple B will still be rooting through boxes full of wadded-up newspaper, looking for the lid to their Mr. Coffee. Also, during childbirth, when things go wrong, trained professionals give you powerful drugs. Nobody is ever this thoughtful during a move.

This is why my Number One piece of helpful advice to people who are about to move, especially for the first time, is always:


Of course you think I'm just kidding, and by the time you realize I'm not, you'll already be in your new home, trying unsuccessfully to locate something to slash your wrists with...
I'm not quite in wrist-slashing mode at this point, but I am wondering where the powerful drugs are when you really, really need them. The only thing that makes this seemingly endless journey through purgatory marginally bearable is thinking about the view down our new driveway (click on the pic for a larger view)...

Alas, this is one case where "getting there" is not half the fun, or much fun at all. I'll have more soon, but for now, I have to get back to packing...


Anonymous said...

Hi Connie - you have my deepest sympathies:-) If it is of ANY consolation to you at this trying time (understatement I know), some five years ago my husband and I moved our nine cats and four dogs from Kent in deepest SE England, to move in with and care for my Dad in SW Scotland. I cannot to this day recall the whole epic without a profound shudder. But we did it. With the aid of great friends, neighbours, and if I recall collectly, rather large quantities of alcohol :-)

Sadly my father died last week, aged 88. Oh, did I mention when we moved up, it was on the basis that my father who was violently allergic to cats, but knew I wouldn't move up without them - that we would keep the cats and my father from having contact? You can guess how that worked out. The allergy just kind of vanished.

Haven't been around much for obvious reasons, but your last couple of posts have brough a big grin to my face this morning.

Much love

Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you so much, RT. It's good to see you again, and I thank you for sharing your story. And you have my sympathies too, not only about the move but about your dad; I lost my mom three days after Christmas. It's been pretty difficult for me, and the moving stress has just added to it. Ron and I have been fortunate to some wonderful friends to help out with the move. But I don't drink anymore, though I did drink my way through a couple of moves way back when. (For me, it just made things worse.) Alas, I don't have any other great drugs to help me through this trying time. Why doesn't the Universe send me a few Xanax or Soma or Vicodin-ES? Where is that darned Universe when you really need it? :-)

Wow... nine cats and four dogs! That is a full house. It's funny how some allergies do have a tendency to vanish. I actually used to be allergic to cats myself -- at least much more allergic than I am now. But I love the little buggers and over the years my allergy has abated, though it's still there (and I don't let them sleep in the room with us).

Anyway, RT, thanks for your comments and support. And if anyone else has any moving horror stories, feel free to share 'em here. I'll check in and publish, in between engaging in my daily activity of, as Dave Barry put it, "getting a bunch of empty liquor boxes and hurling things into them at random."

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your mother. I had rather gathered something was imminent, from some of the things you wrote.

Well, here in the UK we don't have Xanax (well, probably we do, but it goes by another name) - so alcohol has to do. If I could think of anything to suggest to help with the move I would - one thing I remember doing was making lots of lists - then, of course, I mislaid or packed the lists!

We also managed to get a tankfull of fish up, which I'd forgotten about. And although there has been some general "wastage", for want of a more appropriate term, amongst the animals - we are now here with five dogs and eight cats. Don't remind me of the time I came home from a brief afternoon out, not long after we had moved up, and my father greeted me with the words "Someone was here to see if you would help rehome two cats, and I knew you'd say yes, so you've got to collect them today"!

Life, the Universe and Everything - like it or loathe it, you can't ignore it.


Cosmic Connie said...

Yes, RT, I have a few lists too, but I'm keeping them confined to two major "work stations" in the house so I always know where they are. Problem is, the stacks of boxes keep growing, blocking access to my work stations, so I can't get to the lists. Some day I'll look back on all of this and...well...I'll probably throw up. But there's no time for throwing up right now.

Anonymous said...

My last move pushed me over the edge! Just what you wanted to hear :-) I've lost count of how many times I've moved in my lifetime. I swear I have nomad genes.

Actually, I think the gods of AZ are just trying to get rid of me.

Here's my horror story:

Go get some Calms Forte now! And do some tapping :-)

"Even though I hate packing and it makes me want to throw up, I choose to feel calm and relaxed and find packing surprisingly fun and easy."

This one's on the house.

Dr. Lana de la Banana

Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Lana. I don't blame you for going over the edge during your last move. But I think you need to move to Texas!

Anonymous said...

I still think you should throw it all and get a tarp, but then I'm a beslubbering beef-witted barnacle, aren't I?

Candycoop said...

High Connie:
It's been three years since we moved last, and we moved boxes that hadn't been unpacked from our previous move three years before that. Their still not unpacked. My husband didn't touch the boxes the entire time, probably thinking that if he waited long enough they'd unpack themselves. They won't. My theory is that if I haven't missed the things in them for six years I can throw them away and still not miss them. We've had arguments over this that probably have our neighbors thinking we're much more violent people than we really are...

Good luck,

Cosmic Connie said...

Anon, you may be a barnacle, but you are sounding wiser all the time. :-)

Cosmic Connie said...

Candy, I like your thinking. Believe it or not, I still have boxes that were packed fifteen years ago, that I never opened through several moves. Maybe it's time to... dare I say it... throw them out?

Val said...

Belated sympathy on the loss of your mom, Connie, but AHA!
Are those your horses I espy in the photograph?!?

Anonymous said...

Ancient Wisdom in the 21st Century.
Article by Chester Mumps

As I pulled up in the driveway, Cosmic Connie herself and her partner, known as RevRon, swept out to greet me with a lively air of new age breeziness.
'Welcome to Radiance Ranch' was to be the first effusive utterance of a woman who was to have a profound impact on my life for years to come, as she held out her hand. Her partner RevRon, standng behind her shoulder, was all big beamy smiles too, but his eyes showed that he was already appraising me.
"We hope you enjoy your stay with us, and that you will experience the deep healing that all our clients discover with with the Radiance Ranch detox of the Spirit Program(TM), would you like a herbal infusion", she asked, leading me to the custom made therapy room.
Half an hour later I was laying face down on a massage table in a soft lit, decorated in calming pastel colours and hung with gauzy drapes, with my derrier exposed to the warm Texan air.
"So you are saying that Mollasses was used as an enema by the tribes that once inhabited this area for thousands of years? I never heard mention of that in my anthropology classes at UCLA"
"Yes, Native medicine is terribly under represented in modern anthropology curricula, but I assure you that it was well known of amongst by early settlers. Of course, the illuminati publishing houses suppress this information, as you would expect, and really by the 1920's only a few old timers retained any of the knowledge gleaned from the Indians. Fortunately my great great grandfather was quarter Apache, and he passed on this cleansing and initiation ceremony, making my Great Grandfather promise to keep the tradition alive and pass it down through the generations."
"You said cleansing and initiation ceremony, you didn't mention the initiatory aspect on the phone."

Anonymous said...

'Yes, initiation ceremony', she continued, deftly inserting a tube into my behind. 'It was common practice to lubricate the enema equipment with mashed up chillis, a practice which my family has endeavoured to maintain.
The woods are out the back.'
Ten minutes later I was sitting bare assed in the local creek, which babbled through the woods behind radiance ranch. I was over the worst of the screaming, but the occasional sob still wracked my profusely sweating body. I hoped to Jesus nobody would come by walking their dog. My god, what if it liked mollasses?! I tried to get into the spirit of the occasion, but I could not help thinking that maybe the bad press received by figures from the past like Custer, was a little undeserved. However, I began to see how such practices may have been part of the way of life which kept the indigenous tribes so close to nature, as I have never before or since felt so gifted by Mother Earth's fresh cool waters.
With my individual teardrops splashing into the stream on their way to the sea, a metaphor which wasn't lost on me even in my agony, I began to wonder about the long drive home, possibly over bumpy backroads. My chain of thought was broken when RevRon came sauntering slowly down through the trees.
"Mother Earth looking after your ass like a new born babe, huh?" he quipped, coming to a crouch beside me on the bank. "Don't worry, the worst of the pain subsides after an hour or so. Now tell me, don't you feel so much lighter and cleaner after all that yellin' and hollerin', like you've got a few things out of your system? Truthfully, you wouldn't want to go through the peyote stage of the process carrying too much of that garbage around with you, would you."
It's odd, I don't recall ever receiving sage advice from a six foot possum before, but here was one explaining the technique the old cactus worshippers would use when boiling peyote in molasses. I reflected on how the flyer that I had picked up at the local health food store had said 'authentic indian experience', but had thought that would be as authentic as everything else in our fake culture, and prepared to write another one third amused, one third mocking and one third condemnatory piece on new wage exploitation.

However, as I sat chilling my butt the sound of the stream became like an intricate symphony of crystalline voices and my day took another very strange, but not totally unpleasant, turn.

Cosmic Connie said...

Val, thanks for your kind words. And no, those aren't my horses, but I thoroughly enjoy having them around (and not having to take care of them). :-)

Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, HHH/Anon. You do have a vivid imagination. I must confess that Ron and I have experienced a few "initiations" into country life, but mostly they have involved things like malfunctioning heating systems, clogged septic tanks, and a sinister toilet that Ron has christened (that may be the wrong word) Beelzebowl. Thar's no peyote in these here parts, and no six-foot possums. And certainly no molasses enemas. Or if there are, I don't want to know about 'em. :-)

Anonymous said...

I am a fantasy that is sometimes dissapointed to find it has a real body attached to it.
I lived on my own and didn't talk to anyone for five months once, just read and meditated a lot. I would dream and dream and dream. Ocasionally I would dream whole pages of books, good stuff too, but could I ever remember it?

How is a toilet sinister?

Anonymous said...

To be clear, the wiffle about peyote ceremonies etc., for those without a sense of humour or proportion, is what is called a 'joke' the subject of which is inspired by the self parodic lengths to which some people will go to in the name of therapy. It is, in short, what is called a 'satire'. Look it up, it's a real thing. In this case it is inspired by the satirical writings of the honourable Mrs Schmidt, and is no reflection at all of Mrs Schmidts actual lifestyle, which seems to me to be that of a respectable and hard working creative professional.
At no point has Mrs Schmidt offered me anything by way of hallucinogenic molasses, and to my knowledge does not share her heart with a six foot possum. Such things are entirely the concoction of a blog contributer with a little too much time on his hands.
Nor of course is any offence meant to members of any Native American tribe or organisation. In fact, if you can afford to send me a plane ticket, you are welcome to introduce me to your mysteries.
It might be a hoot.

Cosmic Connie said...

"How is a toilet sinister?" Anon asks. Maybe the toilet itself isn't sinister, but it is moody, and it doesn't always flush properly, and it sometimes makes sinister noises. At the very least it is a troublesome toilet. It may soon be replaced.

Cosmic Connie said...

Anon of the Peyote Papers, I did get the joke and hopefully my readers did too (excellent work, by the way). However, the disclaimer was probably a good idea too. I think, though, that in order to cover all of your bases you should have probably apologized to possums and to the people who love them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think that maybe it is a little patronising to express surprise that a six foot possum could ever give sage advice. I did not mean to imply that possums are unlearned or shallow, as a species.

Anonymous said...

'But anonymous', you say, 'what were you reading in your lonely antisocial godseeking mentally retarded solitude?
That's a good question, and I can't remember all too well, but there was definitely lots of this...

Anonymous said...

And, if I recall rightly, a fair slice of this...

Anonymous said...

From the drop bay, HHH gazed down into the swirling, continent sized clouds which covered the gas giant far below. Sheets of glowing plasma shimmered above the atmosphere and he considered for a moment the flashing chaos which he always experienced on such a grav drop, as his tiny body crashed through the titanic fields of force that surrounded such a planet. As the bay started to depressurise and the countdown in his HUD began it's downhill walk, he recalled his mission briefing.
A science officer from Central Old World Archaeology Office had downloaded into his cortex link the record of a dig in a pre-unification settlement, in the old U.S. sector. Deep under the solidified magma of a tecto-bomb site, the archeobots had uncovered a hard drive with recoverable data. The holo reconstruction of the data revealed the story of a preistess of one of the old tribal cultures of the prehist-soc, and as the reconstructed memory filled his mind he saw a man laying in a stream being closely watched by a large marsupial. The man was clearly in the throes of a powerful visionary experience and was screaming incoherently- 'The radiance! The power! I bow to your crystals of Zuzz! You are the Master! Zuzz Zuzz Zuzz! We are one! No more cake! The galaxy of the tender ivy! The sun of the twins! The planet of chiselled mountains! I am here, we are here, I am returning to you my Lord!'
The man was splashing around gurgling manically, and sweating profusely and writhing his hips as if in some great discomfort.
'As you can see, a common visionary experience of a typical prehist-soc individual', said the archeo officer.
'We would have simply filed it on the prole-web with all the other non-classified material but for one thing. The man's name, and I am sure you will understand the import of this, was Chester Mumps.'
It took a moment for this to sink in...The Prophet!
Every social gathering, every ceremony, every gov-meet started with a few words of tribute to the prophet of origins, the one who would reveal the home star of all human life and the first home of the Great Old Masters- the prophet Chestria Mumpsa.
In light of this revelation, every mapped galaxy, star system and planet had been examined to see which one most closely matched the words of prophecy. Finally, the carto-guild had found the closest match, a gas giant in the Ivy galaxy, orbiting a binary star. Scanning had revealed strange structures on the solid core and an expeditionary party had been despatched immediately. HHH was on the threshold, about to plunge into the atmosphere of a gas giant orbiting a binary star. He was the advanced scout, and the turmoil in his heart was greater than the excitement he usually felt before a planetary dive. This was the great honour. This was the moment of truth. What he may find on the planet far below could bring an end to the long journey of his race back to it's origins, a journey that had spanned half a universe, through millions of generations and countless thousands of cultures and culture wars.
The HUD counter reached zero and the bay door slid open. Slowly he dropped towards the mystery below, slowly into the upper atmosphere until he could feel the first pressure of resistance.....

Anonymous said...

The next day as I pulled out of the driveway, watching Connie and Ron, all beaming smiles and waves, shrinking in the rear view mirror, I reflected upon my experience.
I concluded that I had not been so completely off my gourd since I drank a bottle of grandma's cough medicine when I was a kid, and maybe I should wait a while before I tried anything like that again. But I was happy, the sun shone and the trees and birds and sky all appeared fresh and vivid as if they had just been made. In fact, they were more than vivid, they were positively glowing. Yep, there was definitely something in this old Indian medicine, I thought, but what was all that about cake?

Chester Mumps

Anonymous said...

tikitikitikik. Ikikitikikiyikiyi-kitiktik! Ikikikiyikiyikitikitiki.

Anonymous said...

I do apologise, I was forgeting hat humans are rther liguistically challenged, and antese is very difficult for you to comprehend. Well, I was merely saying that I find the above writings to be of a highly questionable nature. I do not see, or even sense with my antennae, what phony satirical gibberings about analy applied hallucinogens has to do with the serious topic of new age fraudulence. After all as my old uncle used to say, 'niminiminimin.k-k-rik!'
Me and my two and a half million brothers are big fans of this blog, and would love to see it return to it's gently serious purpose.

Anonymous said...

Thursday 79th, Month of Melding, 15th Tera-aeon.

Long meeting today at the pyramid of planning. Vutoon came in seeking copyright on new resort planet. He wants to use a lot of carbon in it so he can try out his new carbon based replication ideas. I told him I don't know why he doesn't just use astral template imprinting. It's a perfectly good and well tested procedure for this sort of project, but he just became stubborn and whiny in equal measure so I approved it, but I have my reservations. I also wanted him out of the way so I can concentrate on my beureau exams. If I can keep the grades, I have a good chance of acceptance onto the capstone council. It's quite unorthodox to place a high carbon planet so close to that grade of star, and I have a feeling of unease that I just can't put my wing on. A long day, I think I'll go to the pod for a vibe shower.

Saturday 1st, Month of Strange Belonging, 15th tera-aeon.

Harvested the latest crop of zuzz, my formulation of energy compost has worked better than expected, and I have a good crop- lots of facets, good colour and very few flaws. Bought some new slippers.

Monday 3rd, Month of Strange Belonging, 15th Tera-aeon.

Everyone at the office seems to approve of my new slippers. If I become a trend setter, that would show me in a good light with the council I am sure. Vutoon announced totally unexpectedly that he wants a moon for his new planet. I decided to put my foot down on this, and told him no- there has never been a proper safety assessment for a moon orbiting a high carbon planet. He became very sulky and defiant, and said he would go over my head, that he had friends in high places. I said he could try all he wanted, even the Wise Council would not approve such a potentially disharmonious project- especially for a resort planet.
I tried to scry his vibrational state with one of my fresh zuzz crystals, but oddly I could not get a contact. I will seek advice on this- these are from my excellent new crop, and I am at a loss to explain this.
I have had to put aside revision for my capstone council exams tonight because of a meeting. Apparently, the war with the reptilians is going badly, and their agents have been penetrating our administration. This is the last thing I need at this point.
At least I have comfortable slippers.

Anonymous said...

I see that fool HHH is attributing words to himself that belong to others. Let me make it plain that HHH is just about capable of signing his name on a Christmas card, and much greater minds than he contribute to this blog.

Anonymous said...

Agent: Dzik Kzen
Progress Report: Operation: Termite
Clearance: For Reptocracy eyes only

My Lord High Flesh Ripper, Tyrant of the Seven Sectors, Carrier of the Bloodline, Bringer of Multitudinous Nasty Deaths-

Operation Termite is proceeding to plan. The council has been persuaded of the need to experiment with a high carbon planet utilising the DNA replication process developed by our war science division. MWUHAHAHAHAHA! Already the council has aceeded to my suggestion to incorporate a moon into the design. Resistance was encountered, but the hypno-ray necklace presented to the Most Highest Councillor has not been noticed. MWUHAHAHAHAHAHA! My true reptilian form has remained succesfully hidden, the security measures of those accursed light beings have been completely ineffective. My Shapeshifting ability has defeated even the most intense Zuzz crystal scrying. The fools. MWUHAHAHAHAHA!
The implementation of phase two of the plan, Operation Onanism, will also proceed on schedule. Soon the entire galaxy will be bathed in disharmonious vibrations emanating from the new experimental planet. The Galactic federation of Wisdom Masters will be totally discredited and when they are weakend we wil smash them, and the reptilian empire will rule the galaxy! For all eternity!! MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!
Oh my Lord High Flesh Ripper, He Whose Scales Glitter Like a Thousand Suns, you are so magnifently evil it is my honour to serve such a terrible and dastardly scheme. MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!.MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! HAHAHAHAH!!!! MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

End of message.

Anonymous said...

Seargeant Spunkmeier left Mumps’s diary on my desk. It was fresh from path lab where they had been studying the blood stains. In all my years in the department, the scene in Mumps's apartment was one of the worst I’d ever witnessed. It looked like a scene from a wildlife movie, something had mauled Mumps bad, and from the look frozen forever on his face, I’d say whatever animal left those claw marks all over his body was something that he’d recognised, even in his terror. I’d never seen a man’s eyes opened so wide. Yeesh. The woman in the neighbouring apartment said she had heard nothing out of the ordinary, except for the fact that Mumps had taken to singing and talking loudly to himself, but she could not say what he said or what song.
I sat down and took the diary out of the bag, it had not been near to the main blood pools and was quite readable. Most of it was pretty usual diary fare. Several pages in, I began to see where his story developed.

April 17th
It is now three days since my healing experience at the ranch. My ass is more or less back to normal, but I have been hung over with a feeling of lethargy and despond which I cannot appear to shake. I assume that it is a normal period of processing and detox after the healing experience, that’s what they normally say about these things isn’t it? It will probably clear by the weekend. If not I’ll talk to Robert about it, he too some counsilling courses, so he may have some insight.

April 20th
The dreams have been getting more vivid. I find myself flying across a dark landscape filled with strange animals. There are volcanoes in the distance lighting up the gloomy landscape with a baleful dark red glow. I am heading towards a village, with a fire in the centre around which people dance frenziedly to the madly incessant rhythm of drums. They are adorned with strange masks of a hideous three eyed creature with a vaguely reptilian countenance. They appear to be working themselves to some sort of climax, cavorting around and falling down in spasmodic fits. An electrifying sense of anticipation fills the air and a chant goes up- ‘Chonulu! Chonulu! Chonulu! Chonulu!’
Some of them seem to be sweating profusely, and clenching their ass cheeks extremely tightly.
Nearby there is a fantastic city adorned in a style that I cannot recognise, though it is reminiscent of the styles of several ancient cultures that I have seen in books. It has massive stone walls and domes and pyramids of gold and brass can be seen it the gloom, dimly reflecting the eerie light of the volcanoes, so that it looks like they are splashed with blood. I keep waking up as the chanting dies down and the city gates begin to open. You could wring the sweat out of my sheets. I feel like some dark spider is weaving a web of darkness across my mind. I keep seeing dead animals in the street and I cannot bear to eat meat anymore. Robert told me of a certain Professor he is aquainted with, and I have an appointment on Monday.

April 22nd
Professor Possum has turned out to be quite a character. He is well past retirement age but still sees people on an informal basis, through word of mouth recommendation.
As well as his expertise in psychology, he is something of an archaeologist, and he told me he even accompanied Carl Jung on some of his travels.
I related my dream to him, and he seemed most interested when I mentioned Chonunu. He excused himself for a moment to rummage around in a small trunk in a corner of his study, and brought over a small flat rock the size of an envelope.
On it were marks of what looked to me like cuneiform, and when he turned it over I could see faint etchings of strange creatures, like walking frilled lizards.
‘When I was in France at the end of the war this was found, among many other artifacts, in a packing crate in a U-boat base on the French coast. Having an interest in Archaeology I was given the task of assessing the origins of Nazi war loot, you see, and there I was promptly sent. It appeared that there had been an expedition to assess the viability of building a naval facility on the Antarctic coast, and an expeditionary force was sent to look for a likely spot. This was found in an unmarked crate in a storage facility at the base to which the expedition had returned. My colleagues ridiculed the idea that the artifacts had come from Antarctica, of course, but we never had the chance to study them as the whole crate soon went missing, likely due to some GI wanting to supplement his pay or have something to show the kids. However I did retain this small piece, which I have kept all these years. It’s written in a language similar to, but appearing to predate Akkadian. It seems to be some sort of magical formula, look, see this word transliterates roughly as K’n’lu.
The world of dreams is as mysterious and uncharted as the oceans, Chester, and my association with Doctor Jung taught me to regard coincidence as non-coincidental! It may be that there is some synchronistic connection between your dram and this artifact. If there is not, I don’t know what other avenue we have left to explore, it may be just a matter of allowing some time to pass, for you to settle after your intense experience. Allow me a couple of days to look into the matter, and see if Robert has more of those pills. Try and relax, go see a movie.’

April 23rd
I now dread the night. Even though I have taken three of Bob’s pills, my nerves are as taut as piano wires. I don’t know what Chonulu is, or what awaits me in the dread ancient land of my dreams. I wish I could stay awake for ever and live in the sunshine, yet I know I must return to this dark place, a land which is so strange and lost , yet somehow so familiar. My lids are so heavy. I stare at the moon, which is full tonight, but I know it will not hold me for long. Chonulu calls and I must answer.

That was the last entry in his diary. This looked like being an interesting case. I thought it may be a good idea to go see the Prof.

Anonymous said...

Oh mighty Chnulu, whose eyes are comets!, whose breath is hurricanes!, whose hair is lightening!, whose words are thunder! Tell me that my meagre offerings please thee.

Anonymous said...

Table leg- I'm amazed she puts up with it, usually people have made it plain that he's outstayed his welcome by this point.

The carpet-Yeah, she must be incredibly tolerant.Or narcissistic.

Table leg- Hm. By the way, what's it like being a carpet.

Carpet- I don't particularly like it. I get walked on a lot, and the piano digs into me. Could be worse though. What about being a table leg?

Table leg- Well, it's steady work. It involves a lot of standing, mind, but the hours are regular. All in all I'm satisfied.

Anonymous said...

An ant says, 'R-r-r-r-r-rkiklikiklikirikirikiriki-e-e-e-ikiki.'
(Trans. 'Now he thinks he's a table leg. When is his doctor going to give him bigger pills?)

Anonymous said...

I went to see professor Possum the next day. He turned out to be a genial old man, one of those people who's eyes never age regardless of how how old the rest of them looks.
After I introduced myself, and we were seated, I related Mump's unpleasant end to him. He seemed shaken, but not surprised. He got up and reached into a drawer on his desk, and pulled out a small bottle of brandy. After offering me a glass, which I had to decline, he poured himself a drink and sat down. He gazed into his glass, assessing the situation in his mind, and after a while said,
"It is sad, detective, I do not really know how to help you.
I have traveled the world and seen many things, things which have often made me question what I think I know about the universe we live in, yet I know there is a vein of knowledge which very few are destined to mine. Though my knowledge is broad, I am not one of those few."
He paused and continued.
"I remember when I was travelling into the depths of Africa with Dr Jung. We had made a stop in Cairo to stock up our supplies, make final preparations and, of course, to see the local sights. What magnificent sights they were!
One afternoon, I was at a cafe. My companions had gone on various last minute errands to complete our preparations and I was alone but for a few of the local patrons, sat at various tables about the place. One of them turned from his companions and looked at me.
He was not hostile in countenance, but there was a penetrating quality to his gaze, as if he was reading words written inside the back of my skull.
He said,
"Some are destined to lift the veil and see, Doctor, and some are destined only to lift their hand and feel the contours of the beloved's face. Both have their place, and both are grateful.
I have been where you are going, and I found what I was looking for. You, I think, will not find it. There are times beyond times, men beyond men, gods beyond gods and a story beyond the story. Modern man is constantly trying to recreate something he once knew, but cannot quite remember. Like a good tourist, you have seen the pyramids, no?"
Confused, I struggled to voice an answer, but he raised his hand to stop me.
He continued,
"I, Sergei Ivanovich Gordzhoff, am feeling in a freindly way. Have a drink with me and I will give you some much needed advice. I do not normally offer such, but I feel you have earned it, and need it."
This strange moustachioed man then began to tell me the most extraordinary things I had ever heard, and yet despite being so fantastic, I had to agree that the world made much more sense in light of his revelations.
I am afraid that you would not make much sense of them, detective, if heard from my lips- but if heard from his, you would know.
I only wish that you could ask him about Mump's fate, but he must be long dead by now."

Well, dead or not, my gut feeling was that learning about Mr Gordzhoff would mean learning more about Mumps. I had contacts in police forces all over the world, it was time to look through my little black book.