Thompson gets angry. Thompson gets angry when
I won't let him be right. About dogs and pigs—the only
mammals that wag their tails. About the average recliner containing a
million dust mites. About chocolate coming from beans, like coffee.
"That's preposterous," he says. "That's the facts." "Well your facts
are preposterous." "A hippopotamus is preposterous. Facts are facts," I
say with a shrug that means "remove my panties this instant!"
It's my own fault it's come to this.
I want Thompson to be a wolf so I can be the treat that he snatches up
in his jaws, but I have taught him that wearing the sheep's clothing
pays by mounting him in his recliner while he grades his papers. My
knees are all over Stevie Archibald's introductory paragraph. My hands
clutch Amy Chandler's conclusion. I punctuate his nervous neck with
tiny kisses and coax Thompson's mighty red pen into position.
I expect to pass this class with flying colors.
Thompson is in need of revision. He needs to know that buying shampoo
in bulk is not sexy. He doesn't understand that he needs to get out
more. He complains that he's worn out another pair of loafers. "Only
loafers wear out loafers." "What should one wear out?" "Dancing shoes
and young girls," I say, but all that gets me is a troubled look as I
shut the door and unkink my scarf.
Between the slats of his blinds I see boys frolicking with a frisbee on
the campus lawn—a frisbee!
"What are you doing?" he asks. "Hippopotamus," I say as I go for his
belt. "What if someone comes?" "Someone will." "Hippopotamus," Thompson
whispers, suddenly not so angry anymore.
Jim Ruland is the author of the short story collection, Big Lonesome, a
recipient of a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for
the Arts, and the host of Vermin on the Mount, an irreverent reading
series in the heart of L.A. 's Chinatown.
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/200810pottymouth.htm
Photo detail on main page courtesy
of Dr. John.
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