Another unexpected jewel from the archives...

(silliness factor: 9)

The Smelting Panacaea

Smelting was Bob’s obsession. His last name was Toadfeather: Robert Longleggings Toadfeather. How he could smelt! The char destroyed his nostrils and offended his wife’s sensibilities but Bob was stout in his firmness, rigid in his stiffness and thick in his density. It was sanction season at the UN, where Bob smelted, and this brought a touch of ranklish nostalgia whenever discussions turned to Cuba, North Korea or one of the rogue states. ‘My smelting could cure their wayward disobedience,’ thought Bob. And yet his wife was a communist.

Turncoats rankled Bob. His communist wife was chief rankler of his life, or rankless, though she pulled rank. It stank. Bob was a frustrated thespian, a smelter, yes but an actor all at once; his smelting was accomplished during the day, and this left time at night to act. His acting filled the townspeople with bawdy enthusiasms and great oathsmen were heard to utter monstrous items of praise in Bob’s general direction. Patrons and pottymouths shouted at Bob. For he was tall, and stout, like a massive pint of beer that overflows the glass and takes a manlike dimension. So stout was Bob that he took his wife one day by the ankles and flung her round his head like a Chinese butcher tethers a frozen cat. That’s how imposing his figure was. That was Bob: smelter, thespian, communist intolerant and generally flamboyant. While not gay, Bob still pricked his ears at talk of leather chaps. “Sale today at Dwight Von Gaylord’s – are you going Bob?” This kind of question made him hesitant. He was a hesitant metrosexual and leaning toward stick in the mud.

Bob’s wife joined a new communist chapter every week. They sprang up and folded like so many pages of the telephone books. Bob’s wife sauntered from hotspot to hotspot, always with her tea cozies and her hotpots. Bob swore at her to her face, even calling her a ‘Toadfeathered she-hag!’ and wiping her phony eyebrows with steel wool. Bob did not like his wife, but she knew how to drive and he didn’t. For this fact he was trapped- like a man caught in the jaws of a giant cobra will surely be swallowed.

(unfinished of course)

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