S T R E A M # 6

Burping is not an efficacious means of transmitting herpes. But don’t take Howie’s word for it. Don’t take Howie’s word for anything. Howie don’t know diddlysquat. Then again, neither do I. That’s what Howie and I have in common: an extensive knowledge of diddlysquat. We don’t eat pizza in the summer because it makes us phat. No, it makes us fat. When we eat pizza in the winter it makes us phat. God, what is my problem? “YOUR PROBLEM, MY CHILD, IS THE LACK OF VITAMIN Q-BERT IN THE ATMOSPHERE. SEE AL GORE.” Golly. Gee-whiz. Thanks, God. I’ll see Mr. Gore right away. I’m sure he’ll be more than pleased to see me. No doubt he’ll let me walk right through his front door. Especially if I drop Your Name.  They call it “Southern Hospitality,” I believe. And although I’ve never heard of Vitamin Q-BERT, no doubt Mr. Gore has. And I’m sure, while we’re sipping wine, or mint juleps, on his veranda he’ll snap his fingers and say, “By God, that’s it!!! Vitamin Q-BERT!!!” He’ll slap the heel of his right hand against his forehead and say, “How foolish! To’ve overlooked Vitamin Q-BERT!” And then Mr. Gore will stand and say, “My boy, do you know what this means?” And I’ll say, “No, Mr. Gore. What? Does it mean?” And Mr. Gore will grab me firmly and suddenly by the shoulders. I’ll spill my wine, or mint julep, all over my only suit. But he’ll take no notice and he’ll lift me up to the heavens – no, not that far. He’ll lift me up onto my feet and exclaim, “It means there’s still hope!” And I’ll say, “Well, gosh, Mr. Gore, of course there’s still hope. Surely there is, as long as there’s a God who’ll freely give advice when requested; and indeed, as long as there’s an Academy Award winning former vice-president who’ll admit a schlep like me into his home uninvited, and serve the finest Pinot Noir, or mint julep, in all of Tennessee; and, most importantly take him (the poor schlep) seriously, there’s just got to be hope.” And to that Mr. Gore will say, “And where there’s hope, there’s Vitamin Q-BERT!!!” The cat and the dog and the tomato had an in-depth discussion on the meaning of cat-dog-tomato relations. It was a very productive conference – that cat-dog-tomato conference. They were all very polite to each other. The tomato was especially polite. The tomato never spot out of turn. Nor spoke out of worm. The tomato didn’t cut anybody off, not once. (How could it?) The tomato didn’t order iced-tea without the lemon wedged, either. But it was served. Yes, it was served with the lemon firmly wedged. The tomato never bothered to ask for the roll of toilet paper that was missing from the bowl of apples in the drainage pipe across from the orchard in the place over there. You could lean a lot from a tomato. And learn nothing from me. The cat and the dog did. The cat said, “See here, pooch: The development of the West Beach Retail and Condo Complex must be approved! For the good of the economy, for the good of mankind, put it on the agenda!” And the Dog said, “But who will live and shop there? Who would be able to afford to?” And the tomato sat and meditated. And the cat and the dog followed suit. And they all dreamt of being petted. Especially the tomato. Bottom reached. (Rather, bottom exceeded.) 
11 April 2008

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