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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #240
Kinkajoul's Dumpster
David Gunn

When Peter was seventeen years old, his parents decided he was ready for a vacation -- more so they from him -- so they mailed him first class to his Uncle Kinkajoul in Indianapolis. But Kinkajoul, being the gallivanting sort, especially when six months of past-due rent was involved, had left the state. A clever postal detective, using a DNA sample from a roll of licked 12 cent stamps found in his long-expired post office box, traced him to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Peter was forwarded thereto, though with the new postal regulations, his carriage status was downgraded from first to third class. Still, his was a most commodious packing box, with ample room for him to shrug his shoulders. A 3D picture of a treadmill taped to the ceiling afforded the promise of better days to come, so he bore the additional transport in good spirits. That was more than could be said of the nearby crate of rotgut whiskey, which looked like it had been sat upon by a whale. (In fact it had, but that's another story, the moral of which is that whales make lousy pickpockets.) In Saskatoon, the postal authorities located Kinkajoul in a small, ramshackle cabin at the edge of a wood serendipitously called Indiana Grove, whose trees provided a visual barrier to an upscale housing development of the same name. A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Letter Carriers delivered Peter to the cabin on a crisp December day and found, much to Kinkajoul's surprise, the former Indianapolisian at home. But he signed for and indeed welcomed Peter into his home. Peter was a bit stiff from the ten-day confinement, so he remained fetally curled while his uncle told of his latest exploits. He said he had been working covertly for Eli Lily on an experimental cosmetic surgery technique that was way outside the boundaries of Standard Medical Practices. His cutting edge methodology was precisely that: cutting edges. All physiognomical protrusions were snipped off. Unfortunately, this dictum sometimes necessitated the removal of noses, ears and, in some radical cases, eyes. When the American Medical Guild got wind of Kinkajoul's work, they sent some intern thugs to make him stop his work. But the wily uncle eluded them and absquatulated to Canada. He told Peter that he might have to disappear again, but for now, he was happy for the company.

In fact, Kinkajoul vanished ten minutes later. Peter was upstairs, assembling a treadmill, when the phone rang. His uncle had counseled him never to pick up the phone, but rather to screen the calls through the answering machine. Peter heard a brief muffled message with a note of anxiety in it. And when he hobbled down the stairs a minute or so later, his uncle was gone. Peter played the answering machine’s message. It said: "Spengler's surgery was unsuccessful. His bumpy head looks like a Montana monadnock. We tried to camouflage it by stitching a porkpie hat to his scalp, but he resisted. Then he overpowered Wingate and called the cops. Suggest you use some vacation time now." And presumably, that's what his uncle was doing.

Peter remembered that he, too, was supposedly on vacation, so he, too, vacated the premises. He scampered out the back door just as there was a heavy knock on the front door. He ducked into the woods and hid behind a tree, watching as a pair of stethoscoped ruffians inexpertly searched the premises. After ten minutes more, they departed. Peter stayed put because it was such a pleasant, sun-dappled contrast to his shipping crate. Then he decided to explore the woods. Still limping, he headed away from the cabin. After only a minute, he reached the end of the trees where the housing development began. At the edge of this side of the woods sat a big, green dumpster with the label, "Monadnock Refuse Company." A chill ran through Peter and, although better sense advised against it, he decided to have a closer look. It seemed harmless enough, but it still gave Peter the willies when he touched it. A police car suddenly drove by, and he had to jump into it to avoid being seen. Instantly the willies went ballistic. Peter was lying on plastic bags full of noses, ears, eyes and cranial edemas. Worse, they all seemed to be calling out to him. "Wwwwwwwwww!" they intoned nasally. Peter bounded out of the dumpster and ran back into the woods. In his haste, he tripped and sprawled to the ground. Surrounding him were scores of noses! Either they had escaped from the dumpster bag and pursued him, or they were also growing out of the forest floor. He tried to scream, but a pair of ears jumped into his mouth. As he scrambled to his feet, a thousand eyes rolled under his feet. He slipped on them and fell down again. Instantly a multitude of more noses flopped on him, some covering his own nose. He was having difficulty breathing, and as he began to lose consciousness, he thought that this was not the vacation he had in mind.

This is, however, the Christmas Special episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, a show that will put to the test your own ears and noses. And I might add that the denouement of that story is still to come, though a bit later than the not-sorry-it's-a-holiday voice of Kalvos.