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Squid #171
(published March 18, 2004)
Notes from the Giant Squid: You Should Be in Pictures!

Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

I've read your responses (well, most of them at least) and seen your presidential campaign website, but I can't help but wonder - are you setting your sights too low? Sure President is technically the highest office in the land, but if it came down to it, even Arnold "Big Guns" Schwarzenegger can win that. My point is that with your vast knowledge and deep expressive eyes, you would be the next big thing if you set your sights on Hollywood. If you still felt the political bug, you could pull the Jerry Springer/Ronald Reagan/Jesse "The Mind" Ventura move and go political. I'm wondering if you have ever thought about writing a script or taking a screen test and if so what made you change your mind?

Sincerely,
John McFlaverly


John O'Flavorfull,

First and of the forefront-and-center, in deference to your Irish heritage, I wish to wish unto you the most jovial and solemn Day of the St. Patrick. I was not previously aware of this Feast Day (or, soothly, the existence of Feasting Days . . . and to beg a moment, do you not feast of the day each that comes? Is there not always eating and consuming and devouring? I know that I to the feasting must come always, and I witness the much devouring on the part of mine own Rob . . . but regardless, there is much here that could further be explained), but was happily brought into compliance yesterday by my green-clad, plastic bowler-hatted and somewhat inebriated lab assistant, Rob who, much of the patience, did explain unto me the significance of the St. Patrick and his traditions and green beers— or possibly bears— and the importance of his catch phrases and how he set himself to the general removal of limbless invertebrates from the Isle of Ireland, which is understood to be a veiled reference to the general genocide against the Celts (these of the British Isles, not of the Boston, which last are certainly no longer of major import to the sphere of the national basketball, but are nonetheless far from the boxcar & crematory oven brand of cultural footnote . . . Lords of the Deep how we all miss the Avian Lawrence, that gangly caucasoid of games past), and his fondness of grazing off the shamrock (this last the Saintly Patrick, and not the Larry Bird, for we know not of what he delights in grazing.)

Rob went on to indicate that he did indeed love me, and that I am indeed the best boss of the world, and that we should forget of the bastards, "'cause they don't know, man. They just don't get it." Although this last was somewhat cryptic to me— Rob having chosen to retire to the men's rest facilities afore finding the opportunity to explain further of the bastards— the general sentiment is fondly appreciated.

So, upon this Saintly Patrick's Day of proud extermination, I do wish you the hearty Erin Go Bra, penitent Faith & Buggorrah, and a solemn Yar.But these Holy Day matters are those to the side. It is passing strange that you should ask of these matters (k)inetascopic, as I do posses a somewhat current anecdote pertinent to the matter:

Several months past, Rob did precariously balance his own computer monitor, lugged forth from his cubicle-of-working, upon a lab stool, and I was through such process permitted to view of a digital video disk featuring the jaunty narrative of "The Pirates of the Caribbean Isles and their Much Beloved and Yet Also Curséd Black Pearl." Like many a fellow American, I was of the immediacy smitten and much charmed of the tale, especially in that of Cpt. Jack Sparrow, swag-swishingly presented by one Johnny the Deep, a man of most profound and lasting charms. Then-to-for, I had possessed little interest in the visual films, finding them to be simple and narratively anorexic baubles of the surface-obsessed upspace of gruntchimps, but this film, she did cut me to the bone (had I bones, which I do not.) And I rose to a sudden obsession with filmic entertainments, thinking on them much and even, in the darkest and most ponderous depths of my headsac, thinking some passingly on the fates of such as Jerry the Springer, Ronald the Ray Gun, Jessie "The Human" Venturesome, Arnold Black-One-More-of-Niger and Senator Fred Thompson.

I shall admit freely that, of the first, my interest in these shining stars of the silvered screen was not in the political viability, but rather in their screenfullness, the manners and modes in which they leapt and jumped, their commanding basso profundo voices, their towering visages animated and shimmering in technicolor two-dimensionality. There was a strange and captivating power to this, and I much desired to access this and bathe in its glorious light.

Fortunately, it came to be revealed that Rob's Uncle-by-Law (a fascinating notion, to have one's relations forced upon you by the municipal authorities) is employed in some capacity by the Merry Max division of Walt Disney's Cinematic Tendency, and through some act of beggary, buggery or guile, Rob did entice Uncle-by-Law Lockard and an assistant with digital videoscopic camera in hand to come here, high atop the Centre della Renaissance, so that I might have my opportunity to be "discovered," and to shoot out toward the limelight.

Disfortunately, matters began on an inauspicious mode, and from there descended.

"Rob," Uncle-by-Law Lockard did bellow upon exiting the elevator, "What in the hell is all of this? Christ, if Ruthy wasn't your mother, I'd have exactly none of this crap."

"Unk, listen," their voices echoed up the corridor, wending through the passageways and cubicle labyrinths like tiny, darting zebra fish through the reef, "This totally rules. You'll totally dig this—"

"Dig what?" at last, they entered my lab proper, the sancta squidtorum itself, "This? Is this a set?" Uncle-by-Law Lockard was rotund, and by far the most ape-like gruntchimp I have yet seen, apart from those which are legitimately apes (like Professor Milford Wolpoff of the University of Michigan Anthropology Department, for the exempli gratis). Large, squat, coarse with dark hairs all about his exposed arms and the delta of exposed chest, save for his bald and shimmering pate. His assistant was thin and young, his own face obscured behind the single all-seeing eye of his serial-image capturing box.

"Set? Set of what?" Rob asked.

"Set. A movie set. This," Uncle-by-Law Lockard gestured at the room, my tanks, the cubicles and server banks, the oscillators and hygrometers and polygraphim, and his assistant swiveled in concert, "some sorta sci-fi thing?"

"No, see—"

"And this," Uncle-by-Law Lockard approached of my tank, "is this some sort of projection? A backscreen deal?" He taped on the glass, set his ear to it and then struck harder with his slabby palm. "There's water in here? Shit, you built this thing and filled it? Put that rubber thing in there? Christ, Rob, this sorta thing is all CGI now. No one builds shit like this. Even when they did, it was all models— except for rank, literal-minded amateurs like Ed Wood." He turned back, looking into the depths of my home, "What is all that shit? A car frame? Is that rock real or paper mache? And that rubber thingy floating in the middle— a sculpture? A puppet?"

"No, Unk, listen: this is my boss, Lord Architeuthis from Tremulon-4—"

"Who, that chinese guy?" Unk Lockard pointed toward Sang, my head-of-lab operations, who so happened to be standing, innocuous, aside my tank, betwixt its glassy curve and the bank of windows looking out upon the River Detroit and Canada beyond.

I felt it was time to interject within the debacle.

"No, Un-ko Lock-ard, he speaks of I, the Giant Squid, advice columnist, Editor-in-Chief of the fair Poor Mojo's Almanac(k), Presidential Candidate and Hollywood hopeful, late of Cin-Cin-Atti and—"

Unk Lockard looked from me within the tank, to the mild Sang, and back.

"A ventriloquist act? Is the Chinaman a ventriloquist, or is this pre-recorded—"

"I do envision myself in some manner of historical action-thriller, in which I must save a young and large eyed human child from—" I began.

"I am Vietnamese," Sang flatly declaimed. But he did not leave.

But Unk Lockard had already turned from us, "Tommy," he indicated his assistant, "Stop taping. Rob, who the fuck is gonna wanna see a movie featuring— or Christ save us about— a clever little ventriloquist act? It's as lame as that fuckin' Charlie McCarthy radio ventriloquist schtick from back in the day. Shit! The whole point— Tommy! Stop taping— the whole point of a ventriloquist act is that it's live; you can actually fuckin' see the ventriloquist not-moving-his-lips live. In a movie, we just fuckin' overdub the goddamn sound anyway! That bit, with 'em both talking at once, it's good, but no one will fuckin' care because it's a fuckin' movie. Christ! All this shit," he gestured vaguely about the room, "What did this cost you?" he pointed with sound accusation at Rob's narrow chest, "Your mother didn't lend you the money for this hairbrained crap, did she?"

"Wha? No—"

"Or perhaps," I interjected, "I might be featured in the next installation of the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow? Either hero or villain, both, I believe, are within the cast of my dramaturgic and thespic net—"

"You, Beef Lo Mien," he pointed at Sang, "shut the fuck up. Tommy! Tommy! Stop taping! Love-a-christ, turn that thing off!" This Tommy, whalebelly pale and trembling, immediately dropped to his knees, hastily packing his videoscopic camera to its case, and Unk Lockard did place of his much harried slabbish arm about the neck and shoulders of my dear Rob. "You listen," he said gently, with cordiality, "I come to see Ruthy and Rob Senior what, twice a year, maybe? And you drag me down to the middle of goddamn Detroit to see some fuckin' goddam sideshow act you're putting together? Christ, Rob, I've had it to here" Unk Lockard indicated a parallel line at his browline, "with this crazy bullshit of yours. I don't fuckin' know why Ruthy hasn't straightened your shit out, but I'm doing it now: Shut the fuck up, stop givin' your mother headaches, and get your fuckin' head the fuck out of your fuckin' ass." He pushed Rob from his meaty breast, and held him at arm's length by the shoulders. "Do you have any weed?"

"Like, on me?" Rob asked.

"Like, where you can get it," Unk Lockard simpered in snearing mimicry.

"Yeah."

"Good," he turned from Rob, "I want a coupla grams of something decent for while I'm in town," he called over his meaty, humped shoulder, "Bring it to dinner at your folks on Shabbis. Pinprick."

The elevator door dinged, slid open, closed, and Unk Lockard did descend.

"Did I get of the part, Rob?"

"I don't think so, Lord A."

"Should I have killed him, Rob."

"Naw. He's OK, you know, when you're used to him."

"I could drop the elevator now— the maintenance systems are readily accessible."

"Nah," he said, shaking of the head "Nah." He shrugged, he shook his head. Rob paused there and put his hands upon his hips. He looked down at his shoes and I saw the blades of his shoulders flex, and his elbows quivered, as though they were the tips of the wings of a chicken imagining what it might have been for her ancestors to take flight at will. He sighed anon, permitted his hands to fall down to his sides and looked up at me. His eyes were shining and deep and he smirked, a tiny playing about his lips, and shook his head.

"Nah. You better not," and he himself left with a quick turn on the ball of his foot, presumably for his Dearborn apartment home.

I am left to suppose that, in the matters televisual and cinematic, I do but lack "that special something." Ah mi, she is a world of sighing and broken dreams, be she not?

In final closing, a hearty Yar to All upon this day-following-the-day of Saint Pat (which, this day, as I have done the more of the research on this subject, is the feast day of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem. So, to you I say, put away the verdant bears and the golden marijuana, and take now to your breasts the explosive devices and the politically ambiguous tract housing! Huzzah!)

I Remain,
Your Giant Squid

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