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Squid #245
(published September 22, 2005)
Ask the Giant Squid: That Which Might Occur in Pockets
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
What have I got in my pocket?

Mike Feld

Mikefeld (et al.),

It seems that there is some confusion afoot in the fields of my readership. Do I know much? Yes, it is to be sure, I am both broadly experienced and widely learnéd; I do know much. Do I have some special access to the mind of the Deep and Eyeless Beholder? Do I, perhaps, have some view transdimensional into the affairs of monkeymen such as yourselves? Can I, perhaps, see into the secret hearts of men? No, it is not the case. I have a distinct sphere of knowledge, as does any corporeal being. As such, the questions a petitioner might profitably approach me with are much akin to those he or she might take to a trusted frère de guerre, erudite college counselor or wizened grand-breeder: Questions of what one might do in love, how one might resolve conflict, or where one might score for the anonymous booting call.

I receive many such requests for comments and aid, and delight in answering each and every such question (albeit in my own time and manner.)

But, there is another class of question altogether, one better suited to the Magical Ball-of-Eight (a Spanish Contraption, much sought of by the Piratoes of the Barbie Coast) or Coin-Operated Robotic Gypsy, and less well suited to bosoming-buddy, grandpap or teacher-teach-me; these are questions of the nature of how many fingers might I be holding up? What number do I currently have held in my feeble and shallow brain? Where have I left my socks? (Nota Buena Upon reviewing the matter with my staff in our weekly satellite tel-you-conference, it was indicated that the last question I might well be able to answer in many cases, owing to our extensive surveillance network. As such, I officially withdraw it from my critique, and replace it with Shall it rain on the morrow?; currently I lack any but the most rudimentary advantages in the control or prediction of the weathers grim and thrashfull.)

Mikefeld, "What have I in my pocket?" clearly falls in this latter camp of questions.

But, it has occurred to me over time that it is perhaps the case that these questions irrational are neither simply the result of poor brain design on your part, nor the logical conclusion of a close fondness for industrial solvents, but are perhaps a form of challenge. Much as the little dog or adolescent human pupa might desire to test his master's boundaries, patiences and abilities through obscure challenges and odd demands, so to you are testing me, your President and Advisor, to see of what stuff I am made, and of which resources I might be able to access, commandeer, muster, command and sort. As such, I rise to your challenge, Mikefeld.

In the interests of actual factual accuracy, I deployed my band of razor-wielding francophonic chimps to make a research on the matter. These merry few—who have rather styled them-selves a sort of "Unobtrusive Police" or "Office of Unspecified Services" under my Presidency—travelled about our Great Nation under cover of dark, not unlike myself, and made forceful survey of 1008 American citizens, tabulating the contents of their various and sundry pockets. Please trust that these sneak-and-peak searches were executed with the utmost discretion and following proper procedures in the handling of evidences. You may rest assured that all belongings were returned to the participants, or their next of kin, as appropriate.

My Unobtrusive Police produced, at the close of their study, the following chart (translated from the pidgin Belgian chimp-French, for your convenience and elucidation):

That Which Might Occur in Pockets
Moneys (paper) 1000 99.2%
Moneys (coin) 987 97.9%
Prophylactic Devices and Tinctures (for the male) 537 53.3%
Prophylactic Devices and Tinctures (for the ladies) 107 10.6%
Prophylactic Devices and Tinctures (indeterminate) 17 1.7%
Illicit Substances for Intoxicant Purposes 712 70.6%
Licit Substances for Intoxicant Purposes 783 77.7%
Paraphernalia for the use of Intoxicants 109 10.8%
Prescription Medicines 417 41.4%
Patent Medicines 802 79/6%
Confections 557 55.2%
Telephones Cellular 981 97.3%
Make-Them-Ups (for the ladies) 481 47.7%
Make-Them-Ups (for the male) 18 1.8%
Hank-your-chiefs 4 .4%
Timepieces 23 2.3%
Keys 1005 99.7%
The Small Scrapes of Paper (assorted) 847 84.0%
Elastic Bands 342 33.9%
Writing Utensils 97 9.6%
Small Stones 111 11.0%
Feathers 74 7.3%
Assorted Grit 1007 99.9%
Assorted Bits of Metal (non-coinage, of indeterminate usage) 218 21.6%
Tobacco (in assorted formats) 383 38.0%

As can be clearly seen, chief in the class of objects one might term That Which Might Occur in Pockets—apart from assorted grit—were keys. As such, Mikefeld, I surmise there are keys in your pocket.

But, of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I did hie me hence from out of the fetid waste of Lake Pontchartrain to the tiny burgh of Mexico, Missouri, from whence Mikefeld did send his mail électronique and challenging query. For those curious, Mike Feld did have in his pockets:

and, of course, keys.

Early Tuesday morn, Claude and I examined the contents of Mikefeld's pockets in the yellow buzzlight of a Mexico street-lamp. As Claude manipulated these toothy, bloodslicked metal shards in his wizened chimpy manipulator, I watched the gleam of light race down the key's single gutter, then back up its serrated edge, kicking off each tooth like a silver minnow flitting among breakers. I did not initially recognize the object.

"What is it, Claude?"

"La substance de laquelle des rêves sont faits," he sighed, puffing on his cigarette.

"Ce qui?" I asked, perplexed by his answer.

He rolled his eyes, "La clé."

"Ah," I nodded of the headsac: The key.

I was drawn to quiet reflection: I had presumed, upon examining the initial report from my Non-specific Servicechimps, that keys, in this case, referred to the plastic, metal or rubber squares, on which are etched alphanumerics, and which are depressed and released in order to produce type on a screen, for transmission. I had marvelled at a species so committed to the internetelicommunication that it took it upon itself, almost to a one, to carry replacement keys for their keying-boards. As such, I was first perplexed, and then disappointed to find that the keys so popular are the sharp metal blades for the penetration of bolting locks.

What a trustless species, you are, my citizens.

I Remain,
Your President
and Your Giant Squid

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