Monday, May 23, 2011

The Trials and Tribulations of Milford Frankfurter

This morning, a neighbour, Milford Frankfurter (part-time astronomer and searcher for extraterrestrial life in the skin of fish at weekends), emitted a cry from his house resembling a three-spined toadfish suddenly intolerant to salt. I suddenly realised that my house has inadequate sound-proofing, and the upstairs toilet is too well-concealed. The possibility that the toilet might have been stolen crossed my mind, slid down the side of my face, and made for the kitchen to make breakfast.

Milford's hideous cry unsettled me. My mouth, throat, and left leg were bone dry. Suddenly, my stomach ulcer flared up. Luckily I keep a bottle of mineral water at my bedside in case I speak in German during the night. I took a quick drink and doused the flames emanating from my stomach. The smoke and increasing darkness made me quiver. Someone rang the front door bell. After much agonizing I went downstairs. It was Milford. As he spoke I glanced anxiously at his burning car.

'My one remaining pleasure! I've killed my darling Nissa!' cried Milford, crossing and uncrossing his hands above his head. 'I've destroyed her! My life is over ...' He began to pace nervously up and down the cedar tree in my front garden. He begged me not to tell the police. 'It was an accident! If the truth comes out I'll be ruined! My wife, Lola, will never forgive me!' 

'Where is your wife?'

'Lola's in the car! She was jealous of Nissa, see? And you can't stop people talking ...'

Milford had sent a message by smartphone to preheat the cabin of his car. Due to a typing error he keyed 300°C instead of 20°C.  Tragically, he had fallen asleep in his house. What seemed like a few minutes had, in reality, been an hour. I listened in horror.

'My wife must follow ever move I make! Is it any wonder I suffer from iPhone and car tracking angst! I pay a colleague at work to exchange shoes. My wife has chips in the heels of mine! Imagine! And I have to do a little business here, and a little business there, during the day, you understand?!'

Milford sounded like he was giving me advice I didn't want. Suddenly there was an explosion. An object flew through the air and landed on the street lamp opposite my house. It looked wrinkled and shriveled. I rubbed my eyes. 'I can see a woman's face! Dressed for mourning! If I weren't so tired I'd say it's your wife, Lola!'

'Are you waiting for me to die?!' came a deep, harsh voice from the top of a lamp post. 'Thought I was wiped off the face of the earth! I won't forget this in a hurry! Get me down! Hurry up, dammit!'

Lola's words made Milford's lips move, but this time they weren't saying anything. He was arrested by the police and charged with the manslaughter of an all-electric vehicle (EV). The ambulance and fire services arrived, attended to Lola, and Milford's burnt-out pride and joy.

I drank strong coffee to calm down; mindful that Milford had senselessly succumbed to lunacy. Wearing a blue check dress and a turban, I sat on a small camping gas stove in my living room, as the 'debris of the day' lay in wait for darkness and silence.

Reflections:  If you stay silent long enough, your lover, spouse, sibling, or friend, will reveal their innermost thoughts and secrets. Their eyes will impart the truth; their words and sighs will unveil the lies. Some people consider themselves to be interminably virtuous. They normally wear a uniform, or behave as if they do.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Art of Regurgitating Furballs

During a recent stay in hospital I was thrown out for impersonating a general anesthetic. A patient, Mr M., ninety-eight - who claimed to be partially deaf in one nostril - accused me of infiltrating his memory during an operation to have a pinprick removed from his finger. Mr M., was in surgery for an hour and remembers nothing. In fact, that missing hour of his life is a dark void bereft of sensation, feeling, and emotion (uncannily similar to when my wife and I attempt sex). 

My defense includes the following:

1)  I am addicted to the smell of warm metal. In fact, I've blacked out twice sniffing my TV.

2)  I believe the word 'chopsticks' should be hyphenated.

3)  It is difficult to remain calm while the world of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, iPods, iPhones, and texting collectively destroy the human race. The facts are undeniable, uneatable, uncalled-for (just like marriage). They poison our freedom. Can an individuals life be so bad it must be supplemented by gadgets offering a faster, smoother experience. In the meantime, I'm sticking - literally - to massages with cool coconut oil applied by skilled, smooth female hands. It is therapeutic, relaxing, and I don't have to engage in meaningless, mindless conversation unless I so desire. Adorning a different disguise each day has its downside but it's worth it just to be enveloped - albeit temporarily - in the scent of mint, basil, lavender, marjoram, and to step once more among the throng feeling crisp, calm, refreshed.

4)  Sometimes I go away for several days and I am left alone at home with a bottle of hair dye. Why would someone close to you do such a thing? I'm forced to sit by the telephone and computer to receive confirmation of my whereabouts.

My solicitor believes I may get a light sentence: a dose of chloroform, or be forced to sniff ether from a begrimed medicine bottle. He advised, however, that I may be asked to explain the title of a film, for example: Duck Soup, Reservoir Dogs, Quantum of Solace, or - heaven forbid - Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Last week a neighbour, Kant Sitwell, was struck on the head by lightning. He was standing in his garden disguised as a ship and shouting: 'Smallpox Aboard! Smallpox Aboard!' I remember Kant once told me he could locate buried treasure just by looking down his wife's throat. Anyway, he appeared, at first, to have sustained no serious injuries after the incident. Then, unexpectedly, he experienced an intense craving for cat food, walking about on "all fours" with a can opener between his jaws, sleeping on a cat-hammock on a radiator in his living room, and entering and exiting his house via a cat-flap. 

When Kant began to use neighbours gardens as litter trays, and to loudly meow from his roof in the middle of the night, tempers frayed. He wanted attention, reassurance that his family and neighbours were still around; that he was not alone. Yet something had to be done for the sake of the community's [sic] sanity. With strong support, and little logic, it was agreed he should be boxed and shipped to Oxford to sing, or play organ, with the New College Choir. I'm sure Kant still enjoys climbing trees, grooming his coat, and hurling fur balls at unsuspecting passers-by, when choir duties permit.

Reflections: My house is still and the street outside (which reflects a ghostly layer of life) is moving. Perhaps I should ease my intake of nitrous oxide? I gaze at my 'new' wife. In most aspects she appears not to have aged since we first met three days ago. Except for grey hair and a white beard she still looks youthful, agile, hairy.

However, her stubborn habit of nail-biting is driving me to distraction. This afternoon a neighbour complained that my wife's 'infuriating habit' had caused the boundary fence between our houses to collapse. When he asked for all the nails to be returned I honestly said my wife was about to finish them off. In fact, she is swallowing the last six inch steel nail as I type.