The Tale of Dander Clause, cont.

4. What is That Thing in the Sky?

On the small stage Dander Claus' old band, The Emetics, played a badly-arranged medley of Tuvan folk songs interspersed with free-jazz freakouts. When they cleared out an open-mike poetry slam was announced, and I knew it wouldn't be long before Dropo, who fancied himself heir to the "Peats", a grass-roots poetry collective in his native Hungary, slid onto the scene and started to read scenes from his Transgendered Commedia, a terrible version of Dante in broken English with all the gender roles switched, to no appreciable aesthetic benefit.

Sure enough, the clown in question crappily flapped up from a corner, goulash-stained cravat and all, hefting his colossal manuscript. It was bound in a squamous kind of beet-colored cloth and looked as if he had held it in his armpit for about two years.

Well, it may seem terribly ad hoc, and I suppose it was, but out of the corner of the eye that was not being assaulted by Dropo's flapping lips and sump-y armpits, I saw a dowel cart going by. I watched the dowel cart threading its way down, I heard the cry of "DOW-ELS!" ... and then I saw Dander Claus chasing after the dowel cart with an armload of excelsior and used masking tape.

I stood up. I knew that the doweler was going to be attacked, and forever crowned with excelsior and tape if I didn't act quickly. I also knew that this was my chance.

I cried out in my best Louise Brooks imitation "Dowel, here!" Dowelers went mad for Louise Brooks. My fists hunched around the geodes in my pockets ... Dropo looked up from his text and scowled in my direction: in the Transgendered Commedia, Dantina was complaining about how messy Hell was to the poet Virginia. "Dowel, here!" I cried again.

The dowel cart came crashing through the door, throwing a couple of sock monkeys out of their chairs. They fell to the floor and lay there. Dander Claus lurched in immediately after, excelsior in a crimped cloud around him. When he and Dropo spotted one another it was as though God had been lighting Farts: there was a ... something ... in the air that could not be described. So I'll stop trying.

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