Spring Vacation, 1974. At some indefinite time in the distant past, a spaceship landed on our father’s turnip farm. We had just finished milking the rattlesnakes and were about to kick the bucket when their eyes met. A dazzling pond of coral soda sparkled like copper clip art. We come from all walks of life, the aliens explained, to guide a new and emerging culture. Our father finished throwing the last of the cat litter into the old Willy’s and said something endearingly homespun. At that moment the stars came out, flooding the turnip fields with a cerulean radiance. I ran out to my lemonade stand to make sure my boundary issues were still under control. A triangular crop circle, shaped like a giant lilly, was all that remained of our unexpected visitors. I wished I’d never opened that box of chocolates, I thought that evening, trying to read the WSJ by the light of a bottle rocket under the covers before our mother came in and brought up her own problems.
xvi — Bronze Clappers Signal a Tunnel to Everywhere.
Ever the pent–up nocturnal, Arbuthnot began, among serious B–flat gadgets, sauteing newt meteors. Note Daddy, a dormant peaked vole of fabled crop rotations, willfully Delphic, imminently annealed welfare klatches, spun out auctions, had sordid loophole contingencies removed, bridged eerily one–sided cabarets, coughed twice, and phrased votives of Persephone.
A dreamy intuition of riotous foolproof tools, who shushed you all even before stuffing these tuxes with devotees of drenched ill bandwidths, behooved warily lone shoe trees onto real isthmuses. Biased after giant Gunga Din regattas drew said things from rapt incipient equinox yurts, their stiff bash, where a minimal metonymy android brought everyone a new thesaurus, awakened staged daft behemoth foam nuts, nearly raising up frisky fussiness from they who yearned for flung pittances, gnats, beefy digits, off and on tossed pemmican, or desultory diva Matterhorns of boarded Stilton.
Arbuthnot pecked at the commons, played down suspicious rave noises from yodelling atomic penguins caked in tan Mono Lake mud, and chatted with sob sisters about Ikea sales and zephyrs. Clearly, abased in privation, a nettlesome apostasy stared at Arbuthnot’s considerably disingenuous attempts to jazz up his on–line personae, which only went out after dawn.
“Fiend, sit on it,” Note Daddy wildly grunted while hemispherically emerging from thin air with the Athenian, Theda. They grabbed their cat and went home.
* * *
Most regretably, Lemaniac and Zorba, like two owls in the tapioca vestibule, had renamed all the roaches on the shelf and reformed bouncier entities, while a dreary after–hours adjustment of mere anthems, a torpid aura at best, disowned context and remained too benign for any ditties.
Howsobeit that Zorba had discerned tingly trilobytes around the north forty, the ascension of Arbuthnot, inevitably deplored by any measure, unleashed a severe aloofness. To Trebizond, a major expedition, to force the issue of personal loyalty (thearchically, a laconic sitar allegro), trotted forth.
Seething with an elastic offset penumbra, the day breeze fanned into a dry Santayana recital. Note Daddy steered their dhow through the Hellespont. Khan Omdrum–san emblematized a systemic apostasy, lending their vanguard a bad–assed leer of been there done that.
Before the beige sands at sunset, acute infantry snaked in endless lines of argent; each hybrid chorion indeed swivelled in mitigant phalanx: Arbuthnot’s tutor, Praxiteles, decorously febrile Atlas, thunder geysers, deafened Woodstock argyles, some mad Brobdingnagian razorbacks, and slithy rest area bacchantes.
Led by glum Leander, an oblivious Athenian ROTC, the tried and true sons of Trebizond lit into Thebes’ humble ranks. Khan Omdrum–san gyrated phenomenally and filled the dyke with sophists. Eerily resembling a stealthy chinquapin, a head rolled while Arbuthnot wandered off to shoulder more responsibility. The revetments sturdily hindered them in turn, albeit three blowhard myrmidons erupted en passant. All were on a dare, and deemed to riddle the forum with livid trebuchets.
Eddies collided in the surly cavalcade. Since giants guarded the portico, cooler heads prevailed. Ashamed of his cruel prank on humanity, Arbuthnot fell out and signalled. Unusually askance humdrums sounded, and they moved out persistently down to the front of the promenade.
* * *
An indentured slave brought Arbuthnot, Praxiteles, and Khan Omdrum–san up before a long bench, where twenty other–worldly archons sat still, headily sniffing asphodel and myrrh. “May joy reign in dank euphorbia as far as the eye dares to see,” Arbuthnot effused at the facile autarky.
Hurriedly, they perforce obsessed about anemic repasts. And lo! Poking fun at their bereaved hymns, Arbuthnot flashed the grim Sanhedrin flippantly, ere their antiquated insolence, entwined with grotesque abacus chafing arts, indigo tantivies, orlon crepe, missing links peeping away like Holocene ducklings, mystified elusive diet flumes, odd benchmarks, al dente Heimlichs, supersized cachet, and aimless satraps, whose stings were worse than a soprano entr’acte igloo waltz, shooed in the great Ash Daddy Oldster, whose newest 45 (Turbid in My Sapporo Apartment), wedged out to air the pod bay, where they were expected to equipoise in spun sour pimento and pacify teetotalists who longed for absinthe, railed wintrily at spoonbill sessions, and looked as if an anchovy sprat had wriggled up their telly.
“Arigatto, GI Zorba,” they quipped when Theda chilled with a lambada. Most regretably, Praxiteles fumed at vast henpecked philanthropists; Khan Omdrum–san, ill from spoofing peaceable guttersnipe, fell, snowed under by wanton Shakers.
Arbuthnot miscondemned the frantic maniacs who stomped on tuffets, and vehement acrimony tinted the unseemly gaffe. An esoteric vortex, awash in fescue, dribbled out urgent spook muffins which foraged origami bibs for Theda, whose day clinic fund raiser in July amounted to tepid futility (not that their knock–off wattle ‘n daub shiatsu mats were valued at anything beyond a belief that totem stereotypes flew north at will).
Out of further trances, two Mississippi, Khan Omdrum–san revived, and/if mythical resipsaloq, a bodhissatva headed toward Toronto, niftily noodled things around the pod bay rodeo, they schlepped metaphysical efflorescence in faith.
If allowed, wily Toto ingloriously sniffed anisette chokecherries, while a like–minded treaclier number, resipsaloq, dangled ampoules of Percodan. They sourly finessed twittering omens of hard–wired lymph, callous fictive peepers, tripped-out zither tents, and thematic hat tricks.
Circa July 2008.