Hank made a big deal of going incognito whenever he left the house - wig, sunglasses, and loose layers of tattered clothing - because years ago in his heyday he had been the object of hagiolatrous attention from legions of adoring young female fans but, to tell the truth, he was now a has-been, well past his sell-by date, and nobody recognized him any more or would've cared if they had, except for his neighbor old Mrs. Keenan, who often accosted him, but only to kvetch about property taxes, the weather, and unleashed dogs.
There's an online onomancy generator where you enter a name and, in a way I do not understand, it generates "a word that gives oneself the major impact" ( I suspect inchoate translation from the Japanese), and I was definitely enjoying this frolic in the nethermost regions of the already subterranean domain of divination, right up until I entered "cusheamus", which generated "annoying", thereby ratcheting down my cheery mood several notches and causing me to wonder guiltily whether this was part of a scheme by the moderator to chastise me for disobeying the Guidelines.
Michael, Ethan, and Ryan, who were all eighteen and viewed themselves as the romantic antiheros of an otherwise suffocatingly bourgeois story, all attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy which they loved calling "PCP" where outsiders could hear them, especially when they could work it into the same sentence as "angel dust" and, for two weeks after their first class in drug dosages (Posology), they called each other "poser!" constantly, absolutely enraptured by their own wit, but by early November they had settled down considerably, mostly because they were getting too little sleep and even eking out a few precious extra minutes in their first class of the day (Toxicology) wasn't making a dent in their lethargy.
"Eenie, meenie, meiny, mo", said Mack softly to himself, deep under the quilts where he was wallowing in time-honored slugabed fashion, wondering which of the meager range of choices before him was the least unattractive: getting dressed and going to his job at the plumbing supply store, getting half dressed and sitting down in front of his PC to confront the logological conundrums of his favorite online word puzzle, or staying where he was and just extending one arm far enough to reach his bedside phone to call his supervisor and indulge in a little creative mendacity to justify his continued absence from work.
Ekanath efficiently collected wagonloads of food and drink and organized the domestics of the several households into an orderly meiny, so we set out at last for Khyber Paktunkhwa, our qualms soothed by the presence of so many stout retainers, the plentiful provisions, and the presence of the learned Doctor Taraprashad on whose giant intellect (though he spent the entire journey sitting in a dim corner of one of the carriages parsing lines of Pashto poetry) we relied for solving any problems we might encounter en route, as when at the first evening halt we discovered that the cart holding the tandoor had either strayed or had been left behind and we had no way of baking the naan, but he showed us how to prepare something quite palatable using heated stones instead.
The mesmerizing, engrossing photograph of a German forest at dawn, bathed in the crepuscular rays of the sun, looked so like something that should be illustrating a thrilling anecdote from LIVES OF THE SAINTS that to profit from the sale of it seemed like simony as Clarissa thought uneasily about Dore's engraving of the eighth circle of Hell, but twenty minutes of jawboning by the smitten art dealer persuaded her to part with it for enough to pay the rent for the next two months.
After a week spent indoors in the sub-basement offices of PewCorp, connected to the world only through digital means and with only stale air to breathe, Henrietta came to the point where she yawned constantly (once even gleeking into her co-worker's keyboard) and looked forward to embracing her inner Luddite on the weekend, eschewing any tools more complicated than a Yankee screwdriver to begin renovating her sagging garden shed (from which there was little left to clear out but a few rusting implements marked by the coruscating tracks of Limacidae).
Dr. Grogsby, whose pharisaical attachment to the Hippocratic oath was such that he would rattle it off ostentatiously at the slightest provocation while blithely violating most of its principles, had in a drawer in his office a random and not particularly clean accumulation of truly antediluvian surgical instruments (made of wood, bone, ivory, and what looked like bronze rather than steel or plastic) and it was this adventitious farrago that he stirred around and turned over in search of something sharp to address the wart on Buddy's upper lip.
While the whangdoodles boomed their stentorian cries from atop Needle Rock, Seymour (on the run from charges of peculation from the Teddy Bears for Orphans Fund) settled down beside his campfire for a meal of beans, jerky, instant coffee, and other elegant viands.
So, Coraline hied herself off to 7734 Armpit Terrace (where Dick, who weighed three hundred pounds, lived in his mother's basement), armed with a brank she had made out of a metal bucket lined with expandable insulating foam sealant (with little holes drilled for drinking straws to poke up his nostrils for breathing purposes) and when Dick's slatternly mother (the charmless Mrs. Hedd) opened the door, Coraline disarmed her with fulsome praise of her squalid home, thereby easily gaining entry to the basement, where by virtue of her comparative nimbleness, she was able to brank the loathsome fellow easily, although she was briefly tempted to leave off the straws, but her kindly nature prevailed and she lived happily and tranquilly ever after.
"Time to brank this loud-mouthed twit!" said Coraline, as she stomped through the eddying wake of Dick Hedd's noisome passing, toggling between rage and joy at the prospect of muffling his foetid stream of ineffable misogynist blather at last.
Like the salmon he pursued, Fred Hagerty was anadromous, living at sea as captain of a fishing trawler but heading upstream on the Kongakut River to spawn with the help of Mrs. Hagerty (whose solferino complexion, the result of weathering and high blood pressure, might have discouraged a lesser man), so that he had long ago blown to smithereens the national average of 2.5 children per family, in fact progressing from Hagerty to the zeroth power all the way to Hagerty cubed in under ten years.
Pacing boustrophedon-wise back and forth along the studio floor, he worked his way gradually from the long wall of windows overlooking the street to the opposite wall (sinopia-stained by generations of grubby adolescent hands), hopscotched over and around the pile of book bags near the door and trudged methodically back towards the windows again, rehearsing what he might say to the Headmaster about the flippant corrigendum he had made to the posted list of English marks (to which he had neatly added the English teacher's name in last place).
It was the usual painters' palaver when they got together on Wednesday evening for drinks at The Guard House when, for example, someone would state a preference for gamboge over yellow ochre because of the former's greater transparency and there would follow a rambling discussion in which raw sienna played a role and everyone's erstwhile teachers at the Academy thirty years ago would be reverently invoked, the liquor flowed in streams of quinacridone deep gold and burnt sienna and, while their speech increasingly eroded - lentition of consonants and apocopated vowels - the colors stayed sharp and true in their imaginations.
The woman had a dismally retrograde fashion sense, wearing some sort of shapeless Soviet-era nankeen smock (the deli mustard color of which did not flatter her sallow complexion), which she had tried unsuccessfully to dress up with a lot of junk and gimcrack jewelry, while both her surname and her truculent expression suggested she was a native of one of those perennially belligerent nations of the central Asian steppes, so all in all she did not make a good first impression and Mr. Bernstein decided a complete makeover was in order if she were ever to come in contact with any of his clients.
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