On the Evil Mad Scientist website there is a photo of a "frabjous", a dodecahedron structure made out of 30 s-shaped pieces, looking at which, on a coffee break, will go a long way toward relieving the tedium of workdays in the appliance warehouse (even the layout of which is the cartographic equivalent of elevator music), where, driven half mad by boredom, Ray once drove the forklift as fast as it would go into a stack of microwave ovens, resulting in a misdemeanor charge, a suspended sentence, and being transferred to a small, windowless room in the basement which he shares with a postage meter and some janitorial supplies.
Sitting on her lumpy mat, Elaine reminisced silently about the dear dead days beyond recall when she didn't have to go on these stupid meditation retreats, prompted by the group facilitator's presentation of an unusually obscure koan, the gist of which seemed to be that someone named Ryutan was wearing a diaphanous head-covering through which Joshu saw Ryutan's hair, which unaccountably caused Joshu to exclaim that Ryutan had no hair and Ryutan to observe to Joshu , "If you say you met me, you never saw me at all!" - a dispiriting, muddled little fable that caused Elaine's recollections of former times to become increasingly melancholy until they attained the status of elegy: "Alas, the sharp cliffs of the halcyon rend me!"
When Papa got home, Mama was quick to represent my offense as less serious that it appeared, saying that my extreme youth, as well as recent bereavement (one of my three guinea pigs had died the week before), extenuated my guilt, and not only that but when I drove the lawn mower toward the hedge I probably imagined boxwood to be more permeable by gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment than it actually is and, besides, my legs were too short to reach the clutch and, in addition, it was Tom's fault for leaving the key in the ignition and so on, until I was speechless and agog with admiration of my own perfect innocence.
Clutching a small uraeus pendant, Kedem stood in the shadows of a stall in the caravanserai looking out toward the portal through which the mysterious Shen would enter (identified by a pendant of his own, also showing the likeness of a spitting cobra), and while he waited he mused on the doctrine of tzelem elohim or Imago Dei - human beings are created in God's image and therefore have inherent value independent of their acts - and thought that if the ugly, bad-tempered crowd in the courtyard was anything to go by, it would more accurate to deify one of the camels.
Typical of his kind, Raphidio underwent a complete metamorphosis from egg to smiling pink larva, to inky-fingered pupa, and finally imago: tall, dark-eyed, and with huge squamous wings, emanating shimmering charm from every scale, so that the air around him always throbbed with soft, plaintive cries of yearning females.
When Jack and Billy and their friends used to play shinney on the frozen pond in back of the Burns' barn, not only did they have to make do with broom handles for hockey sticks but, as they would wend their respective ways to the pond, they would be on the lookout for something to use as a puck (more often than not a frozen cow dropping), on one occasion prompting Jack to bring an empty one of those small rectangular metal tins of slate wax which was not only amazingly speedy on the ice, but blindingly scintillating on a sunny day, inspiring his brother to compose a panegyric pangram: "Jack quickly moved up front and seized the Big Can of Wax!"
The family's opinions of my newly decorated office at Paramount Studios in Southern California la-la land seemed divided along generational lines: my older sister Sharon said approvingly that it was "appropriately eclectic", meaning I suppose that it would appeal to my heterogeneous clientele, while my Aunt Alice made a face and said it was a "farrago" (which turned out to be another word for "hodgepodge"), and my grandfather stood in the doorway scowling and said it was a burlesque, that I had gone off the deep end mocking our family's summer cottage in Rhode Island.
On the soggy fringes of Quaggy Bog in an ivory tower yellowed by time, with one small window at the tippy top, there lived a very ancient and very learned gentleman (a bit out of touch with the common people perhaps, by virtue of his tower being so far elevated above their modest dwellings), whose groceries and sundries were sent up weekly in a basket on the end of a long rope, so that he had not only food and drink, but clean laundry, candles, nourishing tonics to keep in him in the pink of health, and an astonishingly eclectic collection of books so that he could learn everything there was to know in the whole world.
In many imaginary places (like Cockaigne, Never-Never Land, and the world of supermarket checkout line publications), the Victorian antimacassar is the antecessor of the Modern plastic slipcover, a degreaser intercessor and a necessary component of the current fashion of the Hectic Eclectic Movement in home decor, with its highly-colored mishmash of miscellaneous secondhand furnishings jammed any which way into pitifully small rooms, and anybody who claims otherwise must be prepared to be my adversary and arch enemy forever.
Condemned to an early morning hades of tepid coffee, soggy cornflakes, and burnt toast, Donald wished he had paid more attention to the waitress' suggestions and not countermanded his original order for bacon and eggs (not to mention the fresh fruit salad she had described enthusiastically as "ambrosial") just because he was feeling adversarial after the fight with his wife.
Old Ma Geneva Whortley lived halfway up the mountain in what Father would call a lean-to except it wasn't really leaning against anything but a pair of spindly blueberry bushes, which Garth finally found after some hours of floundering along a deer track through the woods, corkscrewing over and around rocks, stumps, and things with thorns until he saw a lopsided sign on which was painted, with an arrow pointing straight ahead, the name "CAMELOT", which was either touching or creepy depending on whether one was a fan of Lerner and Loewe or Sir Thomas Mallory, the matter complicated by the fact that there were confusing tittles of paint over the "O" and an amorphous splash under the "C", suggesting that King Arthur's castle had succumbed to a strong Turkish influence and, taking into account the condition of the dwelling in front of him, that didn't reflect very well on the Turks.
Exhortations of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew notwithstanding, Elmer had a mind to call his shiftless brother 'raca' and maybe a few other things like 'good-for-nothing, 'no-account', and 'worthless piece of white trash', and if Elmer had known what 'debacle' meant, he would have added that, too, to describe the ruination of all his plans to start a pulpwood business, because it was too late to do anything but name-calling, too late to do anything but rue the hour he had asked Billy, in the throes of some sort of self-destructive, masochistic impulse, to get their savings out of the bank, knowing that he'd have to pass by the casino on his way home.
The mid-afternoon arrival of a tour group from London coincided synchronistically with a BBC film crew shooting the American segment of a British soap opera and a gathering of the Denver Anglophiles Meetup Group at the grand opening of Mrs. Frida Hassenpfeffer's Authentick Olde Englishe Tea Shoppe, all of which briefly infused the folksy homespun Rocky Mountain atmosphere of the town with a soupcon of transatlantic flavor, until sunset, when the air rang with toodle-oo! cheerio! and ta-ra! as they went their separate ways.
Preparations were in full swing for a county-wide celebration of Pete's golden jubilee, fifty years since he opened the Gulp 'n' Giddyap saloon and whorehouse (like Pete himself not very subtile but clear and to the point) when the Ladies Auxiliary of the Fire Company got word through the Fire Chief's wife that Pete had been drygulched over by Addle's Farm, ambushed and shot to death by some boys from the Leanin' K ranch who mistook him for a cattle rustler.
Conspicuously atop the pile of of mail was a kenspeckle envelope from the Department of Revenue, brightly dizened with ominous labels and stenciled warnings to ignore it at my peril, and it reminded me how earnestly I would like to go and live scot-free in some trackless wilderness where the feds couldn't track me down, which would be such a relief that if it were naught but a shanty in a deep valley or a swamp I swear I would still name it "Zenith".
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