Thursday, March 11, 2010
Mark Hossfeld Month Continues with "Grandstand"
When I was a boy I went to the state capital, Jackson, to see our famous new President Otto Servius. He was so fabulous then, sixty-ish, but always looking like a boy who just poked his head over a mattress and asked if bears go to jail. Turns out, the whole of Mississippi was there to see him. Everyone with an available sister found one and parked her under an ornamented canopy by the football stadium. Then the boys retreated to a bus parking lot. Handsome things in tight pants came forward in squads, held their hands together in front of their faces and flicked their tongues. Then over strolled schools of willowy girls who bent over to show the little cups of honey they used to cover their nipples. Meanwhile, the old were economical with their words, genial and cut a good figure.
There were lawyers in crisp, blue suits holding hands with their retarded nephews as little red-headed girls led enormous, black and white cows to the fairgrounds. Clutches of porky pink cadets witnessed true virtue to taunting degenerates and staggering choirs of antlered mechanics sang the Caucasian Internationale. I followed cumin-smelling Frenchmen disguised as Chinese as they once-overed the reptilian reverends with shut eyes painted on their eyelids. Ebony tobacconists in sooty smocks came out smoking into the fresh air, shouting upward.
I was small, blond and some-teen years old, in a smart, open-collared shirt. I was practicing a radioman’s cadence in anticipation of goofing on some eunuch cops.
“Smells like we’re on the trail of a rodeo, partner,” I said to the great bowl of the world. I then joined the audience in hopes of finding the chair that mine was the very first ass on.
The President’s party stopped at the Maid of Warden’s post, where he showed her proof of diction and probable sufferance. I could see the whole parade of his retinue, mortared by flash bulbs, waiting for her salute.
Pointing to the first lady busting out of her white floral top, the President joked, “We’ll find out from her how she’s counting on you and why such and such a soap milks the skin.”
The Maid laughed and beamed and saluted the President. A skirted inferno, she couldn’t help but show her stake burn was itching again. The President tipped his straw hat to the crowd and led us in the chant; “Eleventy is the new One,” which I thought was more subtle than folks had given him credit for.
Eleventy is the new One! Eleventy is the new One!
The chanting subsided and the President dove in: “Behold the nose that goads the stinkers so!” He jabbed at his face and cocked his head, so we went wild. “I am… no friend of the chirpy!” Women started throwing underwear. “My God may fail, but at least he’s not bat-shit crazy!” Some of us were bordering on public masturbation.
He removed his straw hat and thumped its little red star pin.
“I suppose you all think a little power is useful,” he said. We all sang the song “Shrieking Violets.”
“Well then how come only a few use it?” We all sang “Hermes Stubbed His Toe.”
“And if power is so damn handy, why do we lose it all the time?” We all sang “The Fossil Orchard.”
“This red star tells me,” he thumped, “to be strictly sassy from here on out. I don’t know if it’s ever the right time to be laying low at the dump. I know life when we were new was not as foreclosed as ours is now, neither physically nor morally. Air was more capacious and molecules were more tolerant. Now we only get mayonnaise for Christmas. But it’s the frontiers of vanity that are most tender. Feel yourself all over and ask yourself what that eternal scab is all about. Don’t pick it quite yet. We’ll get to that.”
The President held up for all to see a blueprint of a crank. That signaled a coil of axe-geared machinery to loudly grind. We were all given wrenches and the colossal engine was unveiled.
“I am a bug in a world without windshields. I swear by my momma’s stainless panties I will give you a future with a story. Thank God every day is not Christmas!”
As the shouting and applause began to die down, I thought, what clodhoppers we are to egg on this dirty old critter to sing. I threw my wrench down because I knew the Maid of Warden, as she removed the two serious microphones, was going to look over just once more, was going to go home, take off her bra and panties and think of the President.
- Mark Hossfeld