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The Cretinous Ditties

The knickerbocker wagon is putt-putting down the street, handing out crisp new pairs of knickerbockers to the neighborhood children. Plaid knickerbockers, and knickerbockers with colored-ribbons and shiny buttons. Quarter-length knickerbockers, and full-length “fancy” knickerbockers, for church-going, ice cream socials, and dry humping. The children squeal and chase the wagon around the corner as it accelerates. More children stream into the street as the wagon approaches, but it just speeds by. The Mayor is behind the wheel–he is deathly pale, and sweating. He screams “Outta my way!” as he runs a traffic light, and several brand-new pairs of knickbockers spill out into the street. He speeds off toward City Hall.

I have simply gorged myself on Edy’s Coconut Sorbet while watching “The Angie Dickinson Story”, and now I am suffering the consequences: lethargy, befuddlement, torpor, a bodily stickiness that makes it hard to get out of my chair. I put on some dull music, to end a dull day, and to serenade my dull, dull self.

It is so hard to continue on my boring and dusty way, in my bleak wintry circumstances, when outside, the world begs me to shake loose from all that is dead and useless in my life. It seems perfectly reasonable to listen to the siren song of the birds and the warm wind, and disappear around a corner: vanish outright, into thin air. Maybe I will. With Angie Dickinson on my arm and wearing my best pair of knickerbockers.

When I was a child in North Carolina, a sure sign of spring was when the insecticide truck would arrive in the neighborhood to combat the deadly infestation of mosquitoes. The truck, with its large cylindrical tank, would emit a thick white cloud of insecticide behind it as it drove slowly past my house. My friends and I would chase behind it, and run into the cloud, spinning around and around, pretending we were lost in a fog. We would get dizzy from the spinning, as well as from the large amounts of chemicals we were inhaling. After a few blocks of innocent chemical-huffing, we would tumble out of the milky cloud and fall into a nearby yard, on our backs, trying to catch our breath. It took awhile. We panted like dogs, dizzy, still spinning in circles, and though the day was bright and clear, and the sun streaming down upon us, we still felt like we were lost.

1 Comment

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