A L E T T E R F R O M
T H E E D I T O R
HARRY J. TIPPLE
- - - -
I'm afraid I have a confession to make. There is something I need to get off
my chest. I've decided to do it now before it's too late. By late, I think
you know what I mean. Think of trips to church with grandma. Riding in her
cream-colored 83 Malibu in charge of her purse and the bars of Land O'Lakes
butter inside. How everyone in the dark Lutheran church would hush as she
mounted the organ stairs, eyes held shut for another blind xylophone
recital. The Christian hymns and tribal dancing as she senselessly banged on
the keys with the butter sticks. How the butter never seemed to go soft,
even as she threw the bars at the applauding congregation before pinching
her way to the gravel parking lot with hands held out like lobster claws.
As I was saying, a confession. A little something I need to get off my
chest. Basically, a little green alien. Don't be surprised. This alien has
been standing on my chest for the better part of the morning and I simply
need to get him off. As you know, he is approximately 1.782 inches tall and
made of green plastic, but I feel strongly that it is time for him to move
on. Off of my chest that is. First I will have to stand, however. Lying down
in crowded places and gazing is fun, like in Grand Central Station, but this
is not Grand Central. This is the office reception area. Apparently I'm
blocking the door.
Oh, by the way. Have you noticed a large, vaguely human silhouette outside
your window? Waving from side to side in the summer evening? Supposed to let
you know, pay it no mind. It is only my old friend Jack, browsing in the
tree. He is studying his website design. Yes, I know, neither here nor
there. But who can keep up with it all?
Usually the alien stands on top of my monitor where he does a wobbly dance
as I wipe down my screen, but sometimes he requests to stand in other
places, such as on the printer or my boss's shoulder when he's not looking.
Let's cut to the chase. Today the alien went too far. Possibly just by
existing. On my way into the building he totally blindsided me. Even
Professor Booksey agrees: "wary uncalled for." Booksey is my chief advisor:
a bearded sock monkey. He has small glasses that are propped on his snout
but the glasses are completely horizontal and thus entirely useless.
Nevertheless, he follows the deconstructive philosophy, "On the one hand, on
the other," and refuses to take sides.
"Whichever hand grew first," Booksey proclaims, "That is the one that's more
skillful. Therefore, invert. Spend some time on the other hand." Easy enough
for him to say! Usually he resides in a plastic bag which fortunately comes
with a warning: "This bad is not a yoy." Otherwise it's the cardboard
lectern. This morning, however, Booksey emerged to hitch a ride to work on
my hand. People were clearly thinking: "Oohh, creepy," especially when
Booksey and I exchanged words. They were unnerved, I suppose, by Booskey's
apparent grasping, the way he was being "handled." But despite the subway
bar in his mouth, Booksey is feeling less skeptical. "Come out of your bags
people," he said, evidently feeling quite full of himself. I'm trying to
encourage him to use more curse words.
"No use piffering. Just call it excreta and move on." Those are the
observations of my highly esteemed colleague Mr. Brick. "But one warning.
The worst is when we place too much weight in what our respective Bookseys
say or do. The antics of my Booksey, for instance, led me to believe that
peaceful coexistence with time/space/kookla is possible. As if!!! That is it
for the preliminaries. Proceed with the questionnaire unflinchingly, with
both arms raised in a triumphant "X". THANKS-YOU for your time."
Ever notice how the apostrophic "you" in love songs, such as those by Air
Supply, seems to refer to heroin? Alien does not like it when it's time to
sing the heroin love songs. On top of all the tears, it makes him plug his
plugs. Perhaps that is how I can get him off my chest, by singing heroin
love songs. Booksey stays inside his bag and pretends to be neutral. He no
like fluster. Plus, due to his reliance on the crayontron, he now only
accepts tests answered in wax. "Please Booksey," I cannot but beseech. "What
about ear wax?" I think he's coming around. He raps me on the head with his
Play-Doh walking sword. I ease from the hammock before the crane lifts up.
We, all of us, carry on.