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We were hailed right away. And offered an alternative that might have seemed reasonable at the time. But turned out to require an investment in orthopedic braces. And the sort of Cadillac that can still make a man’s mouth water. No matter how many crepes he has consumed in the meantime. Still, they belittled us in songs they made up for the occasion. And accompanied with bagpipes they found in the attic. They couldn’t resist dragging them from their hiding places like lobsters. If only such tomfoolery had a better name, a better appellation to accompany it across the Atlantic, we’d all be in the record books now. We’d all be doing interviews for those magazines that record the slightest whim and facial tic of anyone who has tasted success. Like that joker who can be trusted to chew the raw stem of an artichoke during the whole of your office Christmas party. That’s when we have to temper our outrage with something slightly less intoxicating. A book of stamps. The black humor that passes for wisdom in mining towns. Like those nearby that sprung up over the course of a quarter century. Then disappeared again twice as quickly. That turned into patches of yellow grass. And the occasional burnt-out house frame standing by itself in the light of the afternoon sun.

Charles Freeland | Mudlark No. 35
Contents | In Xenia, They Prefer Zeppo