Evidently, in light of the events of these past weeks, we giant squids defend ourselves quite poorly. At least when the threat approaches silently, from one's side with one grasping limb out-reached in brotherhood, and another bent akimbo grasping a sharp blade, that is. It should seem a simple thing, should it not, to defend your Presidential Office won fair and true? But it is much a harder task than you do imagine, my little Illiterate Reporter. For the first part, there are many and sundry tasks to which one must attend to: There is Terror that must be sown in battle and reaped in the Halls of Congress; there are my Orleans—both New and Old—which must for to be rebuilt and re-caulked and re-leveed; there is little Henny Schaumburg of Amana, Iowa, who is be-bullied for the ungainliness of his orthopedic shoes. If I shall not exact vengeance in Henny's name, if I do not slink through the night to Herc Tassels trailer home, if I do not toss this structure asunder and aside, pluck Herc from his bed-of-sleeps and myself surgically slice of his Achilles tendons, then who shall?
Yes, likely my troupe of francophonic chimps, but even they do so only at my beck, and at that point—French being such a tedious language for the explaining of such aggressive interrogation methods—I might just as well have done it myself from the start, no? The French lack any term to describe the Achilles' Tendon and one cannot have their League of Primate Assassins slashing will-he and nil-he, now can one? In every act of justice there must be a measure of preciseness, or really, what is the point?
But I work to let this momentary set-back be-bitter me little. Dethroned, for the time being, I am, it is true. Further, I feel the envenomed bite of my wily Viced-President Molly Reynolds in my very flesh, my hearts ache with the poison of a tenuous friendship turned sour. Finally, it did become evident on the quick that I needed to slink forth away from my temporary White Home in Washingtonia Deca to find older, more comfortable haunts and regroup of myself. This is all fine. Fine and good.
So fine and good that I should turn more particularly to your question, dear Reporter Who Is Too Lazy To Take The Basic Courtesy To Capitalize. In the first part, I must note that the fact that you are "doing the giant squid for [your] marine animal report" is somewhat disturbing in the manner in which you have chosen to state it. As my erstwhile lab assistant, Rob, did fully educate me, there is more than a little suggestion of sexual activities in your statement. I hope that this is not the case. The sexual congress of squids, I hazard to say, is something akin to your hum-ape "rough trade" and I frankly do not know that a flashy mud-bag evolved to live gasping on the vacuous surface might survive such ardent attentions.
Squid sexual congress is not unlike your human governmental Congress. If I may illuminate: both are composed of two parties who are working in tandem and also locked in violent struggle with another. Nominally the goal is for all to benefit, though frequently only one party does. There is little reciprocity. In both cases there is an Upper House—or "top"—and a Lower House—or "bottom". One house controls the budget while the other may introduce new laws. At the end of a session of congress everyone goes home tired, sore, and with vast quantities of semen injected under their dermis.
As for the defense, if the question is sexual, then know that, like most sentient and stentorian beings, we defend ourselves using a quality lubricated latex condom, pulled snugly over the mantle, with others each applied to sheath the individual tentacles.
No. Ha ha. I do jest. In matters sexual, as in all matters of combat, we defend ourselves with the razorish tearing of beaks, the entangling and rending of tentacles, with the choking blindness of ink to mask it all. We are like ninjas of the deep, with our smoke-clouds of misdirection and our flashing bladed axe-beaks and our penchant for silence and the color black.
But, of course, not all defenses can be red of tooth and claw, can they? Especially when one cannot even draw close enough to the desired prey to lay beak or sucker to her supple, all-too-tender human flesh? When there is an entire fleet of security personnel between you and your filth-livered assailant, defense is difficult to plan.
So, then, when the bloodletting and dismemberment cannot be the order of the day, then how do the giant squids defend themselves? When all odds are against them, and Fight can no longer lead to resolution, they turn to Flight, and Flee to their home.
Which, on the occasion, can itself be somewhat problematic.
Upon arriving to my hometown, my Motown, I was much prepared to take solace in this Cincinnatus Mid-Westernarial, to again ascend up the freight elevator of the Renaissance Center, slip into my roomacious tank and "tend my garden" in the manner of that dear Candide or the Duchess of Northumerland. After a year of mad presidenting, I was indeed deserving of a rest, could you not agree Reporter Who Shall Endeavor To Do Better With His Next Missive?
But rest I was to not have. In the first part, I arrived to Detroit amid the pomp and circumstance of this Superior Bowl XXL, in which some Sea-Faring Birds were contracted to engage in furious battle with Penn' Sylvanian Marine-Based Thieves—which, I presume, are Pirates of some sort, leading me to believe further that "Ford Field" is some euphemistic misnomer for what must, in fact, be a large, watery tank. Where else could Pirates and Hawks-of-the-Sea do battle? Normally, I would take great pleasure both in such a virile, choleric and ensanguinated affair, but at that time I found it only painfully inconvenient. I was much exhausted upon my late arrival to the Motown (in my travels home I had, again, become lost in the Westernmost Virginia—curse that vomitus expulsion of fair and wooded Penn's Sylvania!), and the additional traffic on my local highways and byways, so cracked and grated as they are, did little to add to my swiftness of travel. Curse you, I-75, and the stuffed-bowel madman that designed you!
In the second part, I arrived to my Renaissance Center at about sundown to be greeted by Sang Hsien, my faithful Lab Director of many years. He stood at the opening of the subterranean vehicle garage, which itself had its security gate pulled down full and locked tight with a multitude of foreign-seeming mechanisms. His inscrutable oriental visage, rather than split with a smile of delight at my unpredicted return, was stony.
"I am afraid," he began, arms folded across his narrow air-sucking thorax, "that you cannot enter."
"There is a sub-dysfunctionality of the door?" I enquired, but Sang's head was a-shaking. "Or the freight elevator is 'of the fritz'?" he remained silent.
"You vex and encrossen me with this silence, Sang! Speak presently and cast light upon the darkness of my understanding!"
"There have been . . . problems," and Sang went forward to describe what one might lightly interpret as a fatal flaw in my planning for my shift to Washingtonia Deca. Specifically, I had failed to make proper arrangements for the payment of my rental fees for the uppermost floors of the Renaissance Center, and my lease had been ceased, along with the contents of my lab, much of which was locked in legal dispute, to determine what might be claimed by my creditors and what could be salvaged.
"I work resolutely to resolve the issue to your benefit," Sang said, little of his sorrow coming through in voice, word or gesture, "Most Venerable Squid. But, it is indeed a sticky wicket at this time."
"And this 'wicky sticket' has rendered me homeless?"
I have no lungs, and yet I did sigh.
"That is well," I nodded, "for can it be otherwise in this, the best of all possible worlds?"
"I do much doubt it, Mr. Squid."
All this time men and women in twos and threes did enter the building through her double-glassdoored atrium. A group did espy us, and a lady there-in shouted, "Sang! Is that the President!?!"
"Ex-president!" he called back, barely moving, his face cleft in a broad and toothsome grin, "Procedural recall." The woman nodded gayly and entered the building which was once my home.
"Friends and well-wishers? Come to help you move of the equipments not claimed in legal pugilisitics?"
"No," Sang said flatly, "I know them not. They are here for the General Motors' Superbowl party, I imagine."
"Then why did she call you Sang?"
"Sang is my name."
He was correct in this matter as he was in all matters, and we parted amicably, Sang himself heading into the towers through their sparkling glass tree-cube, and I spidering westward, to Rob's old, crumbling brownstone dwelling. Of course, here I met with further setback, as in the first place this dwelling was and is far too small for me to enter, in the second it has no watery tank in which I might find repose, and finally, Rob was not home. His roommate, Suveer, did stand in the doorway, his jaw slack and open-hanging.
"Rob really did work for a space monster," he marvelled
"He did work for me. And I find the term 'monster' endearing and descriptive. You amuse me, Suveer, and shall live another day, provided you can alert me to Rob's current geo-positional location."
Suveer shook himself, gaining some little composure. "Rob moved out months ago. Things got . . . things got really crazy last year and he split. I think he's living with his folks in the suburbs again."
I nodded, "Do you imagine they have an indoor swimmings pool or immense pressurized water-tank?"
"No, I . . . No," he said flatly.
"Very well. My cellular telereciever, she works not—this suit, it was ill-intended for the great deal of travel it has been forced to endure these last several months. Could you, by chance, make a call to the following telephonic number?" and then I gave him a number and an address.
So, then, how does the Squid defend himself? He flees. He hides within the veneered facade of a crumbling abandoned house, gussied up like a whore for these Sea-Birds and Thieves to have their Super Bowl and tear their Super Flesh. Never knowing that mere miles away the former King sits dethroned and de-jected.
He waits for a friend Hazel to arrive with a truck and a new plan. He types. He refocuses.
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson