Thursday, January 19, 2012


I was born, as nearly as I can remember, in April. There was a soft rain falling and the ground had not yet given up its snow, as if the snow and the earth were the sort of boyfriend and girlfriend who cannot bear to cease clinging to one another, lest the other disappear. Then the snow did disappear, materializing the earth's greatest fears, and in bitterness the earth gave us an extremely hot summer.

Of course, the summer of '89 was a hot one in Wisconsin for different reasons. That was the summer that Overlord Zarnoff attempted a hostile takeover of the state government. I clearly remember my mother pushing my perambulator at the outskirts of one of the protests. A certain young man, brown-haired with long-lashed eyes, saw my glowing face and was inspired to create the legislation that in the end defeated the Evil Overlord, which was fortunate for him because I have been in the ventilator ducts of the capitol and they are not the sort of space a young man with good prospects wants to crawl through.

I don't like to brag, but the young man did give me a gold-plated trophy resembling a mass of tentacles being dragged into the Universal Void, a commemoration of the Overlord's final moments. This was just before, having turned down the post of Universal King of Wisconsin, he became the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

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