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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Santorum and Kafka

One morning, after troubled dreams, Rick Santorum awoke to find himself transformed into a giant insect.  Medical authorities cannot account for this, and yet to those who know him well, it came as little surprise.  He looked down over his segmented belly and saw his numerous legs, which seemed pitifully small compared to his bulk, wiggling. 
"Some strange change has taken place," he surmised, "perhaps the entire world has gone mad!" then looking around saw that he was still in his room at the Radison where he'd spent the night, saw the campaign literature on his night stand and realized that apart from himself, everything in the world was just as it had been.
He tried to roll out of bed, but given the dome-like shape of his back, this was very difficult.  He rocked himself left and right, creating a dull throbbing hurt on one side, and finally managed to roll himself out of bed, plopping on the floor.
"Look at the time," he exclaimed in a great panic, bringing his bulging eye close to his smartphone to read it.  "I should have been up hours ago!  My campaign manager must be worried sick!" 
At that moment as if on cue, there was a frantic pounding on the door, and the worried voice of Ajay Bruno spoke, "Rick, Rick, what the heck are you doing in there?  Are you okay?" 
"Yes, I'm fine," Rick replied; however when he spoke, his voice was horribly garbled, mingled with a high-pitched chittering, so that Rick was certain Ajay would never understand. 
But in fact, Ajay seemed to understand perfectly, "Okay, well, good, but get your kiester down here as quick as possible.  Dick Wolf's in the lobby."
Ajay's footsteps retreated down the hall, but when Rick went to the door, he discovered he could not open it, having no hands.  Trying to turn it with his mandibles was painful and awkward - he could grip it and then had to work himself around until he was almost horizontal, but it was no use.  A brown fluid issued from his mouth, and he thought, "That is probably not good.  That is probably not good at all."
He decided that when he didn't come to the lobby, Ajay would return to check on him, but in the meantime he might as well get dressed.  He began running around the room, not troubling to wonder how he would button his shirt even if he could get it over the abdomen, but the delight he took in his efficacious little legs, how quickly they could dart him about!  Like a team of twelve rowers - overcame him and he forgot all about getting dressed, but lost himself in the pleasure of scampering over the floor, up the walls, and even across the ceiling - his feet excreted a sticky substance, he discovered, that allowed him to hang upside down - he was quite giddy with it, intoxicated almost, chittering and laughing with delight as he walked straight over the mediocre seascape, a weak imitation of Cezanne, then onto the ceiling without missing a step.  Once he fell, and for a moment was terrified, but some natural gyroscope in his brain took over, and he righted himself midair, landing safely on his springy feet. 
A muscle in his back twitched, and he heard an unfamiliar dry rustly sound.  He could not work his head around to see, but he twitched the same muscle again, this time deliberately, and felt unmistakably the grainy friction of two filmy wings concealed under his carapace.
"I have wings," he thought.  "I have wings!  I never suspected I had wings."  He pondered whether they could possibly be strong enough to lift an insect of his size, and whether in any case, it was advisable to try them out indoors, when there was a pounding at the door again, and Ajay's voice, "Dang it!  What's keeping you?  Are you sick?"
"I'm fine," Rick chittered impatiently, "I'm just getting my cuff links."  And he scuttled over to the air conditioner under the window where he lay his cuff links the night before.  But lifting himself up against the air conditioner, he looked out the window, and was dazzled by the beauty of the world.  The Radison parking lot, to his cockroach eyes, was velvet, bejeweled with pearl-gray, and blue, and green mini-vans.  The sky over Philadelphia was threatening storm, and the rolling clouds seemed like twisted gray sheets, smeared with black and white.  What would it be like to fly through such a sky?  He stood, leaning against the air conditioner, one bristle of his little leg stroking a cuff link, transfixed, the wings under his carapace twitched.
"It is so pretty," he murmured.  "So pretty, pretty."

Thank you to all the kind people who purchased a copy of Scoring Bertram Wiggly yesterday - I am forever grateful! :-)

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