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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #285
Thai Hotmouth
David Gunn

Let's address the obvious first: Thai Hotmouth Hamilton was conceived shortly after her parents-to-be consumed a memorable meal at the Blazing Bangkok Restaurant in Tuktoyaktuk. So impressed were they by the spices that lingered on their palates, seemingly for weeks, that they named their daughter accordingly. No, not Accordingly. You know what I mean!

Thai Hotmouth was a full-time temporary worker, and she was exceedingly good at her job, whatever it was. Whether performing cosmetic surgery on blowflies, chaperoning asthmatics to dryer sheet conventions or training air traffic controllers to communicate with pilots fluent only in American Sign Language, she was always confident and capable. During a 19-year-and-counting career, she had racked up 385 different assignments. (The blowfly surgery gig was an annual event, occurring for some reason every second week in January.) Thai had mastered assignments that started with every letter of the English alphabet (ambiguitist, buckaroo, chiromancer, diva, emeticist, and so on), but was especially proud of her alliterative employmental situations (restaurant wrestler researcher, styrofoam spittoon steward, trampoline trauma troubleshooter). Numerous employers had implored her to stay on, often offering her very generous salaries -- including signing bonuses and health insurance for the community of her choice -- but she eschewed their advances, claiming she simply wasnít interested in a long-term commitment. Giorgio, Ennis, Rollomede, Aldeau, Kinkajoul, Beano and Warbler could speak at length about that, too.

One time, a South African client offered a huge cash prize to any temp who could train a larder beetle to sing light opera while leading a whale watching expedition. It was a hopelessly difficult task, made even more so by the beetle's incomprehension of equal temperament. And then, almost half of the people on the ocean junket canceled, threatening to scuttle the trip. But Thai rang up a handful of former employers. Each one translated into a last-minute walk-up customer, and the ship, the HMS Nomad, was able to sail out of Capetown as planned. Thai had also called in a favor from a local cetaceanologist to seed the waters along her route with baleens, belugas and humpbacks, so there were plenty of "thar she blows" during the five-hour excursion. Serendipitously, amongst the passengers was a beetle bailiff who had taught his charges to utter short, pithy phrases. Together, he and Thai worked feverishly with the eight larder beetles she had brought along, and were beginning to make progress -- two of the coleopterans were able to produce what might be termed a "melody," that is, a pleasing succession of sounds (and the fact that it happened at all made it "pleasing") -- when things began to go slightly awry. The numerous spoutings of pent-up whale breath were having a deleterious effect on the ship's passengers. In a word -- or in two words, really -- it stank. The whales must have ingested some really rank plankton or krill and then suffered gastrointestinal disorders, because they all had halitosis on a colossal scale. The upshot was that, no matter their perceived indebtedness to Thai, the shipmates had had enough. The crew, too, were eager to put some distance between the malodorous critters and their nosal appurtenances. So they headed away from the whales, south, towards the Cape of Good Hope. The slightly awry then turned to downright peril as the ship was seized by the Capeís notoriously dangerous winds and currents. Fortunately, the stalwart crew was eventually able to regain control of the ship and sail back to port, with the only casualty being the failure of Thaiís mission. The tragic affair even prompted William Shakespeare 402 years earlier to proclaim, in King Henry IV, Part II, Scene 2, that it is an "ill wind which blows Nomad to Good (Hope)."

The 285th episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar sincerely embraces ill winds today, as we hope to presently present to you, our listening audients, an in-person component of the Ill Wind Ensemble. In the interim, passing his own quite satisfactory wind is Kalvos.