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Friday, April 20, 2007

Address Unknown


When they answered the bell on that wild winter night, There was no one expected -- and no one in sight

Then they saw something standing on top of an urn, Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.

'Well...I'm homeless again.'

These are the bone-chilling words that my friends have been hearing of late. They will be halfway through watching a TV show, probably a sitcom set in a New York cafe that generates a lot more viewers than it should because of the celebrity guest stars that are contractually forced to appear on them, when they will hear a thumping of fists on their front door. Who could this be? It's a little early for that Portuguese prostitute I ordered, they'll be thinking, and they will open the door to find me urinating on their letter box. And then I inform them that I do not have a place to live. There will be a long, stretched-out pause. 'So...can I come in?'

All at once it leapt down and ran into the hall, Where it chose to remain with its nose to the wall.

It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said, So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed.

'I'm expecting...company very soon.'

'Uh-huh. Portuguese prostitute. Got it.'

'My spare bed in infested with fleas.'

'That's cool.'

'My dog is rabid and will tear out your throat on sight.'

'I'll live.'

'I have a shotgun and I will use it on you if you eat my cornflakes.'

'I promise not to eat the cornflakes.'

'I have never liked you.'

'We're still friends though right? Anything cool on the TV?'

It joined them at breakfast and presently ate All the syrup and toast and a part of a plate.

It wrenched off the horn from the new gramophone, And could not be persuaded to leave it alone.

Generally I approach most of life's problems with a certain degree of optimism. I'm one of those people who think things will work out for the better and that one need not be in an Asian massage parlour to have a happy ending. Living with Kittie had been surprisingly pleasant. I think even she was amazed that it didn't end in bloodshed and a hostage situation. Imagine our shock when we get a phone call from the Real Estate Agent telling us that we were being kicked out for for not paying five months worth of rent. We informed them that we had only been living there for two and we'd paid on time.

'Well, there's the five months owed by the previous tenant.'

'So?'

'His name is still on the lease.'

'Not our fault.'

'It's your problem.'

Dodgy Real Estate Agents. No wonder I didn't have to pay bond.

It betrayed a great liking for peering up flues, And for peeling the soles of its white canvas shoes.

At times it would tear out whole chapters from books, Or put roomfuls of pictures askew on their hooks.

Since my return from Estonia last year I have crashed on many a floor. Some stays have only been for a few nights, others a few weeks. I've left a trail of empty pizza boxes, sticky pornos, dead goldfish floating in their tanks, blown light bulbs, ransacked cupboards, emptied beers, missing cds, broken urns of dead relatives, cremated remains of said relatives put in zip lock bags with a hastily scribbled apology note and traumatised neighbours missing lingerie. I'm pure joy to have around.

Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor, Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.

Now and then it would vanish for hours from the scene, But alas, be discovered inside a tureen.

Yeah, its a bitch waking up inside a tureen. Worse yet when you wake up in a moving vehicle. We all have stages in our lives, unavoidable situations, that leave us homeless for a spell and we have to put our dignity aside and ask the ultimate favour of staying on the couches of our friends. The alternative being to join a commune that spend their days drinking soup made from turnips and worship rocks.

It was subject to fits of bewildering wrath, During which it would hide all the towels from the bath.

In the night through the house it would aimlessly creep, In spite of the fact of its being asleep.

It would carry off objects of which it grew fond, And protect them by dropping them into the pond.

It came seventeen years ago -- and to this day It has shown no intention of going away.

(All the italics from 'The Doubtful Guest' by Edward Gorey)

7 Comments:

Anonymous broadzilla said...

Wow. I read this (The Doubtful Guest, not your post) and The Gashlycrumb Tinies to someone just last night. How uncannily precognitive of me.

10:55 pm  
Blogger suzanabrams said...

Hello Fatman,
Thanks for that ticklish comment on Gorilla Banana's blog where you said that in the swinging 60s, your uncle was hanged for stealing a goat. Sorry that it made me laugh! Or was it really true?
Anyway, this is a witty post with the lesson that squatters never take a hint. Cool banner & you have a strangely colourful blogroll just like Gorilla's... :-)

3:17 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

Broadzilla- Had you read my post to someone before I had written it I would have been a lot more impressed. If you ever get to harness this gift, becoming an Omega-Level Mutant with the ability to see next weeks lottery numbers or make peoples heads explode by thought alone, look me up. I'm always for new freaks to join my cursed carnival.

Suzanabrams- My Uncle did get hanged for stealing and...um...fornicating with a goat in the '60s (he would have said "making love"). A tragic event in my family history but we laugh about it now. As for the blogroll, that talking gorilla has amassed quite a menagerie. Evil scientists, other talking animals, robots and even a Welsh guy I believe.

5:35 am  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Nice to see Sexy Suzy here, but what about Kitty? Where's she going to stay? It's all "me, me, me" with you Fatman, isn't it?

4:23 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

Bloggers are a notoriously narcissistic bunch GB. Like the guy that the disorder is named after we are doomed to fall in love with the words we type on the internet. Thanks to the advancement of computers there are millions of these geeks who pour their thoughts and observations into cyberspace in the vain hope that this will somehow get them a) laid or b) a book deal. Because, Hell, the WHOLE WORLD really wants to read just one more blog about what its like to be 19 again, or a stripper, or both.

Problems occur for the selfish individual when the secondary characters (e.g. Kittie, Free Beer, Yawn, cloning-experiment-with-Jesus-gone-wrong LEVIATHAN) are more interesting than the guy writing his life story comes along this "writer" suddenly has to cope with these kinds of questions. Where's such-and-such? How come you don't talk about them anymore? Did the doctors manage to remove all their tumor?

As I have very high opinion of myself and display absolutely no interest in anyone else I hadn't the foggiest idea what happened to Kittie after she exited stage left. So I had to call her. Turns out she's living a few streets down from the park bench I'm sleeping on and is relatively healthy. I'll pass on your regards.

1:07 pm  
Blogger Millie said...

Hi There! As it goes with all Kitties we land on our feet.... Where as Fat ... things, they are harder to kidnapp... Hope the park bench is working out for you... I'll drop some blankets off when i can be botherd. kinda miss you... not really FatMan

10:38 pm  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Millie? All of a sudden, the line between fact and fiction is looking very blurred.

8:09 am  

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