From the annals of the lost journals of Alvin Stomack:Crystal source, sally the course.
Lummox so sweet, the lamblady bleat.
Belay that remark, it suit(e)s you n(ot/aught),
For nothing is jaded... when incarcerated
Eating Manwhich for breakfast,
Dux Deluxe for lunch;
I'll prime your deck fast
and pocket the punch.
- Music:Lady Gaga - The Remix
Rejoice, friends! For I, Alvin Stomack, performer and playright, will imminently be performing my one-man preview of my auto-scripted musical theatre production Rent Brussell: The Duodenum of God next week at the Schlepp Lorkins Pest Control Services Theatre in Jinjaba Proper on Wednesday. Free tickets are available from yours truly (truthfully!), so meander your merry way down to my wicker home of homes for paper access, and I'll see each and every one of your smiling faces boring holes through my metaphysical nerve dwarves with your retinal eyerays as I portray the times and tribulations of our real-estate hero, Rent, with deadly fictional accuracy.
Full stage-play text available soon, on this journal!
- Music:demo tape of Rent Brussell, the Musical
Take a bite of the Exposition Tomato:
It has been nearly a year since the fa(i)t(h)eful quinceanera, the brouhaha that it was. I, Alvin Stomack, cheerful friend and bubbly mentor, in spite of having seen brighter days more worthy of that soul-sought planet that starts with an A (not Alvin, not alabaster), soldier through the duldrums of the bread of my discontent.
So, what has happened since then, you wonder? What has become of your favorite poet and kelp farmer since the failure of his attempted apotheosis to demi-deity and the return of his memory-linkless daughter and her humble donkey-companion Clever Willis?
Everything is different now. My friend-enemy Miles Burger has been strangely absent sense my loyal army of vervet monkeys wrestled him from his position of inimical power, but I have found a new and infinitely more influential adversary (i.e. 'friend', for even enemies are friends in disguise) in King Antonius Steak, who, in spite of my restoring him to his throne is still rather sore about my power play in the basement of the Bad Daze Preschool matriculation building. Yes, I used my leverage as a tool of persuasion, but in the scope of using it to help transport town-villagers to Planet Awesome, it was a foul means to a glorious end. Had I been successful in this fruity endeavor, King Steak would have understood (and would most likely be enjoying himself immensely on the watery log ride).
Ejecta Petchoulli Hashbrown Stomack, the daughter whom I never knew I had created, who must have been thrust from a spontaneous, immaculate cocoon without my knowledge, feeling that the attic of my wicker home of homes was not structurally sound, has taken residence in Creep Manor in my erstwhile girlbuddy Secretia Creep's bedroom. The question still remains: who is Ejecta's mother, and where was I in 1991? Conversing with education-driven toads I would have thought, but apparently there is more to the story, and my brain is a blank slate as far as those circumstances are concerned. I have initiated my ardent investigation into this affair.
Secretia, unable to reconcile herself with my undisclosed progeny (undisclosed to your humble mend and frientor as well!!!), has departed on a vacation of unspecified duration to Minneapolis, Kansas, a majestic city to which she has always dreamed of visiting ever since that fateful day when she lost her fingers in that terrible cereal-eating accident. The status of our engagement is now in practical purgatory; she did not return the ring of our LUV-bond, yet she has been distant and silent toward me since the night of the quinceanera. I only hope her vacation is supplying her with the mellow mind-vacuuming she needs in order to forgive me for my unwitting transgression of fourteen some-odd years ago, sometime around the Renaissance, if I recall my history properly.
I finished recording the album of re-arrangements of famous television themes in my own Stomack style, and it was only mere echos away from becoming a smash success when my label, THUGG MURDER REHKUDZ, went bankrupt a mere fifteen minutes before the album went to press when ace producer KRAPP DOGG got hungry and ate all of the macadamia nuts the company held in its vault (left unlocked by the janitor, who keeps her mop and bucket next to the nutty coinage within). Some days you win; some days you grow an extra finger from your elbow.
So now I continue to write poetry and coach the burning stars of Jinjaba, the Christmas Island Fantastic Trees in preparation for the upcoming Trifecta Tourney, doing detective work on my time off at the Cruella Smap Memorial Library in downtown Jinjaba, trying to determine the identity of Ejecta's mother and to elucidate the memories of her conception (though it makes me blush to cogitate upon them overmuch). Fourteen-fingered Jack, the polydactyl librarian, seeing my dedicated research in action (I began my search in the art history section, flipping through every page of every book alphabetically; unfortunately, my assiduity did not pay off, though I have rediscovered my quondam admiration for the art and stories of Henry Darger), gave me the phone number of one Detective Stroob, and recommended that I call this private investigator. Additionally he gave me the address of Grandma Hatarakimimi's Center for Mentally Ill-balancedness Correctional Therapy, though I cannot imagine the motivation behind this random goodwill gesture.
There is much to do, but first, good readers, I tell you I had a dream last night. I had a dream that I was setting the bar too high for love. I was pregnant again, and I had failed to be reelected for a second term as the Canadian Prime Minister. Inconsolable, I asked the moon for advice (his name was Sloopy (hang on), and he was favorably inclined towards me, Alvin Sto— no... I was Ripp Griffin again, and my empire was CRUMBLING! Truck stops were closing by the teens, and my headquarters in Ganado, Texas was being foreclosed upon. I shed my nun habit and dainty two-tone dress and raised my literally iron fist in the air as the kobolds in the employ of my mortgaging bank descended upon me with their deadly briefcases filled with fatal files of arbitrage and dangerous dossiers of merchantability. I climbed the rope ladder to my Geddaway Chopper, driving my iron fist through the kobold-attourneys' plus-10 armor, leaving them stunned and sorry they ever messed with the likes of RIPP GRIFFIN, Business Chain Emperor! "We'll meet again in Hades!" I snarled through my teeth, watching the world below grow ever more distant through my fogged glasses, as my conveyance transported me to my secret base in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
That is my dream.
- Music:George Strait - It Just Comes Natural
Overtaken by an unspoken force, I fell to my knees, clawing the cement of the amphitheatre stage with my neatly-clipped fignernails as my transformation began. The moon cast her light upon my smiling philosopher face, and I presently felt my supple skin transform into yellow scales and the spontaneous plethora of blood in my swollen veins turn green like verdent spring wheatgrass shakes. My bones alchemically transformed to metal. Stupendous pain trailed up and down my legs and arms and my other limbs and mighty chest-trunk, and I could hear my thronging admirers murmurring, chanting, and om!ing as they fell to their knees in supplication to their new demi-deity. I screamed through my ears due to the intensity of the process, but then my mouth turned inside out and I could scream no longer. The change was almost complete. I balled myself up in the fetal position, bearing the pain, the growing, the Changing.
I felt my consciousness rising, expanding like a balloon, filling multifarious polycosmic membranes. I touch the intenties and intestines of celestial minds. The wisdom-thoughtKnowledge of eight-quadrillion years of dieties from the vast multiverse casting green tendrils of tomato-mind-spirit into my mind, narrating stories of delicious food from the beginning of timespace, tales of mindpoetry of the chrono-stopped mushroom stars. Clowns both real and imagined flit through my psyche in a plastique of harmony-nightvision molded into the glowering countenance of Jacques Chirac eating home fries. Nightmare images of epochs past, eras foregone, millenia forgot, of green plant creatures devouring their own eyes with stamen-like grinning rictus tentacles, wisps of smoke that recall lost memories of my own life and the easement of the brain for recycled dreamscapes. I see things that I once experienced and can no longer recall, periods repressed, events too troublesome and awful to cogitate upon, upon which the very cerebration invokes intense physical pain. Years stretch into a black pit in which I was not Alvin Stomack, but someone else, a spectre of another soul, another consciousness. What I see terrifies my spleen. I scream again. I scream until I feel my lungs eviscerating themselves from my mouth.
"Yo!" Eolitriol Meddissin shouted.
"What?" I managed to say.
"What you think you doing just laying around like a kid-baby?!" she said irritably.
I looked up to see my good friend and devoted follower Osirus Stowes and most of the Fantastic Trees looking down at me. "Everyone's waiting," he said. "I too am ardently awaiting the transformation, my sweet lord."
I stood up to behold the expectant crowd. A careless whisper of wonder and confusion circulated amongst them. Clearly, I had not grown in size. I inspected my own hands. They were the same. Practically fro(th/st)ing with desperation I grabbed Osirus by the lapels of his greyrobe. "Is there a horn protruding from my head?! Do I have gills?!!"
Osirus shook his head worriedly. "No! And no! You look exactly the same. Nothing's happened." He threw up his hands in sympathetic anguish. "¡Qué lástima!"
Yes. Absolutely nothing had happened: I was no different now from what I was before. Understanding eluded me like a mischievous snowchild. The details of the requirements for the apotheosis transformation of the quinceanera had been transferred with exactitude through the precise oral tradition of the Grandees of Burma for trillions of years. There was no way they could have been wrong!
Maribeth Toilet rushed onto the stage. "Maribeth!" I lamented, as though supplicating her to ameliorate this untimely catastrophe. "It didn't work! I'm no demi-god; I'm just regular old Alvin... "
"I figured out what's wrong," she said with a sigh, pulling out her trusty Lisa Frank rainbow-and-pony themed notebook. "You were born in 1947?"
I nodded, my facial muscles taut. I'm certain a look in the mirror would have revealed that my complexion was ashen like barbecued Dracula.
"And it's 2006 now..." Maribeth muttered. "According to my calculations—" she scribbled on her notebook with her pink hi-lighter— "today you did not, in fact, turn fifty years of age, but rather... ... fifty-five."
I slapped my hand against my fore(head/brain). "How could I be so foolish!" I declaimed. "Why of course! It makes perfect sense! If only I had calculated the mass of the hypotenuse of the trapezoid that transverses the space between my shower and my kelp processing cubicle, I would have determined that it was the measurement of the five years of my young life that I've seemed to have completely forgotten or repressed: this void in my memories that only came to the watery surface of my consciousness just a few moments ago in while I was in the psychosomatic ecstacy of apotheosis expectation. Just what happened in my early forties that I cannot recall? What are these hypnagogia of repressed memory that swim so strugglingly to the surface of my subconscious, only to be once again pulled deep down by the Undertoads, fisherwomen of surfers' lives for millenia to speak of?" I threw off my robes and miter, kicked them away in acute Stomack frustration.
Secretia, having rejoined me, was attempting to comfort me with one of her island-renowned inner nose massages. "What are you talking about, my Alvin?"
"Oh, it doesn't matter!" I spat, sitting on the edge of the stage with my head in my melancholy, sad hands. "All my planning has come to naught! Now I don't even know what to do with my friendly self. My life is enterering uncharted territory, sailing off the edge of the world-plane into ether-oblivion. And how I am to seek guidance from the philosopher fish if I don't even have gills? Is failure the emolument of dreams? Must I perjure all my hopes (and biscuit recipes)? I have a poem for tragedy, and I will recite it here and now:
Suffer fools and orange
Buffer acids and toads
Silently repair the door hinge
Evict the dwarf who goads
Me into more change
And Manwich by loads.
The frost with its hoar singe
Burns me as it corrodes.
Woe! I will not speak with the philosopher bee.
This torrid sorrow: I keep it with me.
I keep it with me.
I bowed my head in a moment of silence, then, the emotion flowing through my veins like burning capsaicin, I could stopper my speech no longer: "I only wanted to help islanders and fudge-baking elves make the irresistable journey to Planet Awesome; and now I can't!!" I proclaimed in anguish, tearing out a tuft of my downy chesthair.
"Oh, we wouldn't say that!" Eolitriol Meddesin and sixteen-year-old Franklin Goy sang simultaneously, the toes of their bare feet romantically intwined.
"Yah!" one of Wanda's heads said. "There be more den one way to Planet Awesome."
"And that," Barnabus Pock added, "would be..."
"...leading the Christmas Island Fantastic Trees to glorious end-all fantasy victory in the the upcoming Jai Alai Trifecta League Tourney!!!" Helicon 'Bacteria Pit' Ruiz finished with a mustered smile and a slapping high-five to Barnabus.
"By golly!, you children are right!" I shouted, jumping to my feet with the ecstatic energy of a squirrel who just reached nirvana through a CraskerJax box. "Let's run out to the field and start practicing right away! We'll show those other jai alai teams that when it comes to jai alai fortitude, the Fantastic Trees is TOPS. Why, I say, we'll—" I felt a tug on my suspender.
It was the eerily familiar girl from earlier that evening, the one in the purple raincoat all a-straddle her wise brown donkey. She intoned: "I've finally worked up the courage to tell you—"
"Courage," I explained, "is the food of mice and pregnant toadstools. Sally forth with derring-do in all things."
"Uh, yes," she said, a bit stammeringly. "What I wants you to know, what I need you to know—"
With a double smile and an encouraging shake of my finger I interjected, "Knowledge is the slug's underbelly, metaphorically vivisected in the cereal bowl of the giants of the earth, seeking morsels of fruitarian analogs of Kentucky Friend chicken menus."
"Okay! But I needs to tell you about something important—"
"Then tell away! For one must needs not stand on ceremony of tea services when speaking to Alvin Stomack, everyone's mentoring friend and amicable mentor. My ears are open like the wings of the winter butterfly, spewing eggs into the soup bowls of happy children—"
Secretia stopped my mouth with her metal-fingered hand. "What do you want to say?" she asked the young girlling.
"I wants to tell him that I'm his daughter, his long-lost child, Ejecta Petchoulli Hashbrown Stomack."
The Fantastic Trees shrieked.
Samuel Smiles belched loudly.
- Music:Kenny G - At Last... The Duets Album
"All applause, menopause!" I exhorted through the microphone, my voice reverberating across the gathered throng athwart the stage at the amphitheatre. A few clapped; others looked forward puzzledly. "Now comes the moment I have been waiting for for fifty years. The moon is full and ready to cast its energizing light upon my head, for at midnight, Christmas Island Time (CIT), I will undergo the transmogrification that is the culmination of this cheery celebration. At this point, I will go through menopause. ALL APPLAUSE, MENOPAUSE!!" I rocketed my clenched fists into the air triumphantly. The crowd roared like a gerbil with his pouch stuffed with peanuts. "Imagine the truths I shall learn from our slick friends the fish, when the moonlight magic causes the skin of my throaty throat to separate into gills! And the beautiful horn that grows from my forehead will service as the most functional radio and television antenna ever fashioned, as dictated by the ancient wise. I'll even be able to pick up satellite channels! Just think: all I will need to do is lay my Stomackly hand upon your television set, and you will be able to watch California Dreams in Japanese! ALL APPLAUSE MENOPAUSE!" Explosive adulation. I took the microphone off the stand, coiled the wire around my arm, squatted down and gazed off to the fleshy moon, and speaking with dread seriousity, continued: "With the power of the Moon, Menopause, and My-age, I can create delicious food with my mouth! And I will grow, until I tower above Christmas Island and my head bobs literally among the pillowy clouds. I will serve as a collosus over this Flat Earth, and will be tall enough to reach into the celestial sphere that surrounds this flat plain of land and touch Planet Awesome. A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR MENOPAUSE!!!" I clapped my hands, moving my arms in a circular motion while doing so. "As a Giant Stomack, I will reach down and take the good people of Jinjaba in my large palms, and I will set them physically upon Planet Awesome, the Eternal Circus of the Heavens, where they can consult with the funny clowns, ride the Super Cyclone, crash the baby-bumpers endlessly into each other, and consume cotton candy until they become naturally redolent of strawberry-coconut syrup. I intend to order Portuguese dictionaries in bulk to lend to each cheery visitor so that they can communicate with those lofty (den/cit)izens of Planet Awesome. Hoopity hoop!"
The crowd exploded. "We will worship you, Alvin Stomack!" Osirus Stowes shouted madly, his eyes bulging. A few citizens fell to the ground, bowing prostrate before me, their foreheads touching the asphalt of the amphitheatre, chanting ecstatic glossolalia.
"ALL APPLAUSE MENOPAUSE!!!" I shouted for the last time, for it was, accordiing to the digital read-out at the bottom of the big screen on which a pirated film reel of Captain Eo was currently being projected, now one minute from midnight, and the full, corpulent moon was emerging from the clouds of the celestial heavenscape. The magic liquid of the watery satellite poured down upon my ready corpus; I bathed in the light of the earth-father Luno, that dark planet that procedes occlusion of fast food restaurants from the naïveté of the gullible mind-brain-soul-pouch and psychological neglect of the left side of the world; I felt the albedo (Alvin?) of my geophysical soul shifting, as the atmospheric moonwaters filled my (audi/olfac/gusta)tory and vestibular canals.
I smiled in anticipation, waited.
- Music:The Eagles - H*** Freezes Over
Let's take it from the top... It was November 7th, that fateful night of the holy quinceanera, at the Petronila Steak Arena, where I, Alvin Stomack, and the multitudinous inhabitants of Christmas Island were gathered to celebrate my 50th day of birth.
King Steak having been escorted to the nearest Christmas Island White Castle to calm himself with an order of chicken rings after his acerbic diatribe concerning your fluffy birthday man, my invaluable friend Osirus Stowes took the stage, made some apologies and a couple of puntastic jokes to lighten the mood. He said: "Hold on to your belts, 'cause Alvin Stomack certainly won't. Haha! Tonight, for your aural listening pleasurement, we're going to have, singing for YOU, no one else but the Velvet Fog, Mel Tormé, perform for the pleasure of your ears very shortly, lucky folklings. But first!: it's time for the veggie dog sculpture contest! Woooo!!" Osirus Stowes 'raised the roof.' The crowd roared like a lion.
Former lj-friend and current fanatical disciple
possepunk won the contest by expertly rendering an accurate portrayal of Al Pacino as he appears in the film 'The Devil's Advocate', and my culinary debutante devotee Acceber came in second place for her realistic portrait of the planar Flat Earth colliding with oblate spheroid Planet Awesome, fabricated in painstaking detail; it was assuredly amazing! I could even make out the painted tears on the face of Canio the tragic clown as he tangle-scrapped with Future United States Emperor Zachary Taylor in the prophecized Second Battle of the Forthcomings, that to-be contest in which the famed and incontrovertibly de rigueur Glass Spider, that requisite trophy that doubles as the antenna that will puncture the dimensional membrane to the Second Reality that my art-poetry scrapes its metaphoric fingernails upon nightly, falls to the losing side. Unfortunately, the fact that Acceber sculpted it out of gravel and pickle relish and didn't bother to even touch the supplied veggie dogs docked her major points.
"Soon," Osirus Stowes announced, "everyone's favorite friend and memorable mentor will be taking the podium, but first we must perform the Sacred Square Dance (all rights reserved). Give it up for... the Velvet Fog, Mel Tormé! Huzzah!!"
There was great cheering, but after the band tuned up their multifarious instruments, there was a heavy silence. "Where's Mel?" Barnapus Pock asked, sucking on one of his homemade Pocksicles.
"He's late," I said. "Maybe he became distracted in a conversation with philosopher clams."
"Worse!" sixteen-year-old Franklin Goy shouted, sprinting to me in a state of sweat and panic, his moustache all wired and electrified like a titanium gorilla. "Take a look at this!!"
He handed me a copy of the New York Times, and I read in horror:
Mel Torme, Velvet Voice of Pop and Jazz, Dies at 73
It was dated June 1999.
I wiped the instantaneous tears from my gushing eyespheres, but they kept coming. "How could I have missed the passing of this great one?" I pondered audibly. "I'm a fool. Cancel the quinceanera. I must arrange a pilgrimage to this scat singer's grave."
"No!" Secretia said in a strained sotto voce. "You must carry on, my Alvin!"
"But we have no musical performer! How is there to be a proper quinceanera without the Sacred Square Dance? It's a necessary constituent of the Ascension Spell."
"Mayhaps I can be of service," Alain von Flippiflop said, his face shadowed by his dark, druidic cowl. "I will need several ingredients, and fast. First, I require belly-button lint from each and every one of you."
"Everyone check your navals!" I shouted.
"I don't have any!" Secretia lied.
"Then I will need twice as much from one of you," Alain said.
"Do not worry," Helicon 'Bacteria Pit' Ruiz said insouciantly. "I have collected my belly-button lint for the past five years, and I carry it with me in a jar for situations such as this." He proffered the jar, which contained a fluffy mass that floated in a viscous oil.
Eolitriol Meddissin made a disgusted sound.
"It will do," Alain said, crudely drawing a representation of a tuba on the aphitheatre asphalt. He sprinkled some ground cloves and Princess Peach Fairy-Girl Glitter around the perimeter of the drawing. "Place the jar here. Now gather round. We must all hold hands. Repeat after me:
Mold and shape my body, as a voice is grafted Ed Begley Jr.'s charm ,
Let me emerge in the shadow of belly-lint,
That tint that brings me sound
And grant me tasty Christmas treats.
We repeated the words clumsily. At first, nothing happened. There was dead silence throughout the amphitheatre, only the susurrus of three hundred some-odd souls breathing in anxious unity. And then!: electricity! I felt it: a tingling in the atmosphere that made my uvula swing like a punching bag and my toenails learn to fish. A whirlwind of dead leaves gathered in the air, drifted to the stage in a cyclone of motion, encircling the center microphone. And then we heard it, oh... mellifluous:
BUM Bum BUM BUuUM! ... Chestnuts roasting on an open fiiiiiiire...
We threw our hands up in the air in triumph! "Alain!" I shouted in e(xuberance/cstasy). "Your brilliant philosopher Wiccan magic has summoned the spectergeist of the Velvet Fog! The quinceanera is SAVED!" Alain shoved five pieces of Hubba-Bubba smugly into his mouth, satisfied with a job well done.
Mel Tormé performed all the classics, ranging from "Lament to Love" to "Mountain Greenery", evoking memories of his multiple guest appearances on Night Court with his milk-'n'-honey voice. For the musically-disinclined, a closed-captioned episode of Hee Haw played on the big screen above with Láadan subtitles.
"Now, a round of applause for everyone's furry friend and mentor, Alan Stomack!" the Tormé apparition announced as the band left the stage. I ran like a game show host to the microphone, my ornate robes flowing behind me like the tongues of the grand wizards of Kathmandu. Urgently, Secretia's lovely sistress Tempestus pole-vaulted up to me, her arm outreached, the apple-bean burrito (so requisite for the Challenge of the Consumption Oath) balanced precariously in her hand. I opened wide, and the burrito hit home, Tempestus' hand compressing the large tortilla-wrapped delight into my much smaller mouth; I felt the luscious, softened apple slices atop my muscel-tongue and the juicy bean pulp (supplied by Refrida the Refried Bean Queen) dripping sensuously down my throat in its miraculous warmth, ratifying the symbolic, sacrocant oath that the swallowing implies. I swallowed hard, then cleared my throat in preparation for my apotheosis speech.
- Music:Self-made compilation of soundtracks to Pillsbury Dough-boy commercials
'Lectric lederhosen and starbright petticoats flashed before our eyes, the ocular organs of Secretia and myself, I, Alvin Stomack, friend and Eternal Birthday Boy, as we paraded down Electric Avenue on the great pumpkin coach, dividing Jinjaba in half as we made our way to the Royal Amphitheatre (long since dedicated as the Petronila Steak Arena), the first in a mötley collection of colorful parade float pilots.
Behind our orange conveyance, Nikki Vein waved from the massive yellow surfboard-on-wheels, cradling gently the division-symbol-shaped trophy that proved she had clearly won the Keanu Reeves lookalike contest held at noon today. Children flocked in droves to behold Refrida, the Refried Bean Queen as she waved her delicate hand, resplendent in the appreciative moonlight(ing), her natural effulgence beaming to the onion-like layers of the celestial sphere as her legs sank slowly into the refried float. Trailing her closely behind, the heavy metal musical meanderings of The Avatars, constituted of members of the Jinjaba Saturday Evening Dungeons And Dragons Club, teased and tantilated the Jinjaba youth, the luscious guitar licks of Awesome "Gandalf" Andreoli wrapping their sparking violet tongues around the throats of children, the hard beats of Thud Peters compressing the thoracic cavities of infants ever so ululaically, the Olympic-swimming-pool-deep bass of Victoria "Morgana" Talebi punching metaphorical teeth out of the jaws of the elderly, and the strident screams of Dr. Melody "Ice Warrior" Larson tingling my dear Secretia's eardrops with promises of torrid delight... all this bombast and fury emmitted from the vantage point of their arcane float, fashioned in the shape of a giant skull wearing a Viking-style helmet. And there, following last (but not least!), the Air Penguin, piloted with utmost zeal by the estimable Samuel Smiles and my brigade of loyal vervet monkeys, hovering a perfect meter (i.e. half a football/jai alai field) from the paven street. I looked back and offered Samuel an approving wink and zestful thumbs-up.
The populace of Jinjaba crowded around, howling and woot!ing as the pumpkin coach accelerated to a stop, and Secretia and I dismounted. "I love you, Alvin!" a young man screamed before promptly fainting. Resolutely, I made my way through the throng toward the stage, my robes trailing behind me, my glittering miter pointing the way. Everyone was there: the Daihanamizu family bobbed for apples while Deadelus the Morbidly Obese Squirrel dined furiously on Christmas Island's protein-packed currency. Oysters Robertson exchanged come-hither glances with Ocean Julio. Taiwan Julio (no relation) served double-duty as the maitre d' and the soups-master of the Great Feast. Sixteen-year-old Franklin Goy's tolerant mother clack-clack-clack!ed her castanets into the night's etherial embrace. Tempestus Creep concentrated on the preparation of the apple-bean burrito, an essential element for this quixotic quinceanera.
I felt a tug on my swirling robe. "Ess-cuse me," said a young girl in a purple raincoat riding atop a donkey.
"Why, surely you are excused, excised, and exonerated before my eyes," I said with a cheerful (and forgiving) lilt in my voicethroat.
"Are you truly the Alvin Stomack, trend and blender?" she asked, with some perceptible trepidation. Surely my fame was intimidating her.
"Certes, I am! Also friend and mentor to all. I am your friend from the start, and I am secretly mentoring you right now!!!"
She scratched at the cornea of her left eye, shouted, "Thank you!" then urged her clever donkey-philosopher to lope off into the crowd, taking her along.
Osirus Stowes, my best friend of friends, clapped me on the back. "Your elegance is truly inspiring. Surely she is off to ride her pet-companion in a World Marathon to win fame in glory and to proclaim your unique metaphysical philosophy and aesthetic principle to the world at large."
"I could assume no less," I agreed, nodding my pleased assent.
"Oh, look!" Secretia shouted. "The ceremony is beginning!"
King Antonius Steak took the stage, grasped the microphone, and smiled. "Greetings, everyone. And welcome!" A round of applause. "I am overjoyed that you have all come out tonight. This evening, under the light of this full— no, this slightly waning moon, we celebrate the day of birth of one of Christmas Island's most prestigious citizens. And that man... is Alvin Stomack." Explosive cheers. "He is a man without compare. A man without measure. A man... without modern clothes." Laughter erupted throughout the amphitheatre. King Steak banged down his sceptre; the citizens were silent. "He is a renowned poet," he continued with a fanciful lilt coloring the overtones of his royal timbre. "Alvin Stomack is the only man in the world who can summon words to rhyme with 'orange'." Applause.
"Door hinge!" I shouted merrily.
Bang! Silence. "Alvin Stomack is a virtuoso of the ukulele, the accordion, the banjo, and he can keep the tin-pan beat going like a clown in a blender... it's just too bad his suspenders are so out of style." Literal explosions of laughter (especially considering that Two-Headed Wanda was in the crowd).
"Boar mange!" I cried with joy.
King Steak again spoke: "He is a man with a devoted girlpal. A man with his own meticulously-maintained underwater kelp forest. And... And..." His Liege coughed. "And a man without scruples!" he snarled stentorianly, causing high-end feedback to ring through the PA. "Oh, yes: he did return my crown and save the entire village from the arbitrary and villainous rule of Miles T. Burger, that usurper—" King Steak spat the word in hateful distaste— "and I suppose we ought to thank him for that, but he didn't even remember to let me out of my cruel, woeful prison until this morning!, during which duration I was forced to live off edible Play-Doh that tasted vaguely of orange marmalade! And he refused to agree to free me, that lousy savior, until he managed to cheat me out of the use of this amphitheatre, through cunnery and double-dealing. Alvin Stomack is a poet, they say. Well, woopty-doo! Alvin Stomack is a tin-pan musical genius!" King Steak stuck out his tongue and blew a raspberry. "Alvin Stomack is a progressive fruitarian... For those who don't know, that's like a vegetarian without a brain."
"Hey..." I said, taking penumbrage (i.e. small offense) at the remark. Secretia clung to my arm.
"Well, I eat meat!" King Steak screamed. "Bloody red meat! And you!—" the King pointed an accusing finger at me— "You are some semblence of a human being, and that means that you too are red meat! And I will eat you. I will chew you, Alvin Stomack. My canines will rend your flesh and my molars will grind it to a pulp as you cry out for help, in exquisite pain. Oh, your pain will taste delightful. I will relish it as the amylase in my saliva begins to digest you.Then, your bones and muscles now crushed and ground, your foul blood swishing around my mouth like Listerine, I shall spit you out, expectorate you all over the dartboard that I now keep in my royal office for that very purpose, unworthy of swallowing as you are, and— and— No! I will swallow you down! My tongue will shape your meat into a monstrous and nutritive bolus to pass down my pharynx into my esophagus, where the effects of peristalsis and gravity will force you into my stomach, Alvin Stomack, where gastic juice, that heady mixture of pepsin, rennin, hydrochloric acid, and stomach mucus, will denature your constituent proteins. My pyloric sphinctor shall open, and your disgusting, chymey residue will be transported into my duodenum, where you will be emulsified by bile from my vengeful gallbladder. You will travel in fervent agony through my jejunum, my lieum, past my cecum and the erstwhile location of my inflamed appendix into my furious colon. The long journey, having absorbed most of the water from your digested remains, will deposit you in my baleful, belligerent rectum, at which point you, along with billions of bacteria, whom I esteem infinitely more highly than you, Alvin Stomack, will be finally expelled from my demurely puckered anus! And then! Then.. you know what I'll do? I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll break into your home and steal all of your clothes! Every one of your colorful tuxedos will be stripped away irrevocably!"
"That's already been done," I stated as an aside to my horrified Secretia Creep.
"And I will carve marionettes that resemble you and all your so-called friends and followers, and I will attach strings and coördinate a puppet show, mocking your entire life! I'll spit on your grave and name newly discovered species of cockroaches in your honor! I'll kick dogs and— and crush spiders and blame it on you! I'll— I will stomp— 'Ey!" Osirus Stowes and several members of the Royal Guard took the microphone from the stammering king, who was now shaking with bilious rage, escorted him off the amphitheatre stage. Before disappearing from the public view, he turned and declaimed, "You'll pay, Alvin Stomack! May retribution for your mortal sins be visited down upon you and your seed through the third or forth generations!"
|Sit to sit|
And pack to pack
We're going on a camping trip.
Kiss your beaver
And smack the tick
But, certes, do not harm her.
Punch the button
And buck the dog.
The London fog creeps sweetly.
Pish the posh
And track Tom Cruise
And all the lemming sycophants
Coated with ooze.
- Music:Kenny Loggins - Return to Pooh Corner
Yes indeed. Worry not, friends and students, for my story will be concluded soon. Due to the most unfortunate of techno-philosopher circumstances, I had to send my notebook computer back to the manufacturer to be refurbishated. Young Franklin Goy has been kind enough to allow me to use his world wide web today, but only for a few minutes because he simply must be returning to his Ultima Online session, he says.
- Music:Poison - Open Up And Say... Ahh! (Goy's Choice)
November 7th (Tuesday)
A sense of urgency strikes the tibias of my arms! Preparations for tonight's quinceanera extravaganza are underway! My friends and followers have been working hard ever since the driving away of Miles Burger and his suitors (who tragically decimated my colorful tuxedo collection in their hasty exodus). At 9pm last night, we fired up the grills on my newly reclaimed back porch, baking up fruitarian delights to delight the mind and dull the senses, cooking and singing and clapping our hands through all hours of the night, sleeping in shifts. I broke out my ukulele and accordion and serenaded the whole group as they worked, performing renditions of my fan-favorites "Don't Cry for Me, Myrtle," and "Best Western Experience", to great acclaim and nigh sempiternal applause. In the midst of crooning "Slap Me Down, Harvey" Franklin Goy, possessed by the muse of music, broke out his handy ocarina and accompanied me. Oh, what sweet aural D-LITE!
Shortly after midnight, I suddenly realized: the king! He and my best friend and follower Osirus Stowes were still locked up in the basement of the Bad Daze Preschool matriculation building. "It'll be closed til tomorrow," Eolitriol Meddissin said, and she was right. So we decided we would wait until morning to free our rightful leader and true friend. Rules, after all, were rules.
"You know, Alvino," Secretia said when we were alone, speaking in a furtive whisper, "technically it's your birthday now, so happy—"
I silenced her speech by placing my finger against her lips. "Not yet, my turtlepigeon. Wait... Until the ceremony." A blue lipstick kiss was left on my right index finger.
I slept the rest of the night, dreaming of pumpkins and wizards and unicorns and merpeople. Then I awakened and realized that my name was not exactly Alvin Stomack, but was actually Ripp Griffin, and I owned a chain of truck stops headquartered in Ganado, Texas, an empire which I ruled with an iron fist! Then I awoke yet again and I was once more Alvin Stomack, friend and mentor, coordinator and celebrator. The crown was returned to King Antonius Steak, and Osirus Stowes was emancipated. He helped with the preparations in spite of the fact that he was exhausted due to the lack of sleep caused by the overwhelming smell of Play-Doh in his erstwhile prison. By mid-afternoon I had claimed my robes and miter from the costume shop and donned them with philosopher glee. I drove the pumpkin coach onto the main path and picked up Secretia from Creep Manor, who was to accompany me upon my entrance to the Royal Amphitheatre. She looked smashing in her spidersilk dress (woven herself using the silk created by the nine-legged denizens of her spider farm). Osirus and Samuel flew the fruitarian goodies into town using the Air Penguin, and all was ready. At sunset... the festivities would begin!
- Location:out my back door
- Music:Alan Menken - The Little Mermaid Original Soundtrack