Where Do You Stuff the Fluffy Tail?
A sign on our side of the 49th parallel lets me know that "Alternative Road Markings End." That's a good thing in that I'm ready to relieve my brain and go backed to striped and solid lines on the interstate. Not that the French curves, tartan plaids and Rococco curls were necessarily bad, mind you. It's just that after travelling over Quebec roads, where the car is alternately airborne over bumps or the tires are trying to climb into the front seat with you in valleys, you need a few hours of quiet, innocuous travel time.
It lets you focus on having crossed the Tomifobia river. Named after a sixteenth century Micmac warrior with, what, an inexplicable fear of rock operas? Granted, we have our own collection of native names: Lake Ogaougaoudalala which is of course directly translated into "listen white settler, take a left by the falls and you'll wind up in a blind canyon. You'll get confused and lost just long enough for us all to sit down and figure out how we're going to deal with you. Not that we mind you moving in, taking our fields and such. Its just that we know Saturday nights, you're going to be blasting harpsichord, annoying our dogs and keeping our children up past their bedtime."
Those were the days, weren't they? In the courts of Europe where men were men who wore stockings and wigs and women sat around pissing the working folk off. At least you knew what was expected of you. Fast forward a couple of hundred years and you're in a car thinking about a night sitting on a barstool with someone you've just met. And its going horribly because you feel yourself falling and its not off the barstool and you're drinking Coke anyway. The most lucid thing that comes out of your mouth is "Darrrr." and that's only when prodded with a sharp stick.
Her name's Thumper and you're screwed because somewhere in your hard wiring, somebody's reconnected the cable that branches off of the "LUST" terminal. That's the one you thought you cut. What little brain you've got that isn't focused on your own hide is engaged. She comes with an entourage. Did I mention that? Now listen to the klaxons go off and see the red lights flashing. The stakes at the poker game just went to absurdly high, your chips are down and your pants aren't as dry as they could be.
You want to say that this is what your whole life has been leading to but remember that Harlequin rejected that manuscript too. The entourage actually takes a shine to you. This is no drill. They think its cool when you stuff pencils up your nose and you realize its one thing when you play with "Dr. Frank's Home Lobotomy Kit", your damage is done. Quite another when somebody associated with Thumper, who can tie you in intellectual knots, is playing the same game. They're impressionable and you know what an errant youth can do. You mis-spent it.
What do you do? You're called upon to step up to the plate and face a big league pitcher but you're a gawky kid with a gap-toothed smile and masking tape on the bridge of your glasses from the last time you got hit and lenses simultaneously took cross country flights to Hoboken and Olathe. Not only that, but unique circumstances require that you act like an adult of all things, one who is cautious and responsible and in control. You do your best and park it in a chair for the better part of four hours because the munchkins need to be allowed to be munchkins and not ping pong balls. The illusion works but the ice in your ass is rapidly melting and can we go get ice cream so we can watch more than one drip?
This is no drill: Thumper and the entourage have decided they like living with large rabbits. I've turned the couch over but change keeps coming out and not the instruction manual I stuffed down there when I was 32 and decided I wasn't going to play this game of Life. Or then again, where did I put the tights? The one's with the bat on them? Off into the night again to save Gotham? No. Try hanging around during the day, doing the job that you have to routinely stuff your eyeballs back in their sockets on. People now count on you and you cannot, repeat, cannot let them down. Just not an option. Spend your nights reading Magazine Man's Maximum Dad boning up for the semester final that you've been to what, one or two classes on?
Well, I found the tights and I'm all set. Look at me up on the roof, hands on hips, ready to defeat the joker. Yes, I've been waiting for this moment even though I had no idea I was. And of course you're scared. Thumper's instruction manual is written in a language only she can understand. So you have to make your own rules up as you dive and hope you can land gracefully. Just one question:
Where do I stuff the fluffy tail?