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Squid #266
(published February 16, 2006)
Ask the Giant Squid: The Times Get Tougher, And The Contractions Begin
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Why do you keep your self hidin?

To protect your self safe from spermwales?

Nate Gluth

Dear Little Nate,

It is at times like this, when one's own deepest, most inner thoughts are pronounced by a stranger, that paranoia bites deepest.

Yes, petitioner Nate, I am in hiding. I had not planned on announcing it unto the World Wide Webspace as of yet, but you force my hand. You are also correct that there is a safe in my possession, if I understand your words correctly. It is my safe, the safe of my self, therefore my self safe, or I should hope. Your monkey-tongued compoundings and contractions can be so confusing, cannot they?

Or, pardon, can't they? c'n't they?

At the urging of my dear compadre, compatriot and companion Hazel, I have been made to practice of the pronouncement of contractions. Hazel, my shepherdess and stewardess during these rocky days, has been placing pronouncements upon me as one heaps fardles on a load-bearing beast—though please take not this analogy for undue critique; I am sure I am better for these beastly grammatical burdens. Hazel has a concern that I may not be able to find gainful employ, dear readers, that I may become no more than a roustabout. My plan was to be an itinerant web-columnist and vigilante, traveling this land and setting wrong the rights wherever they may be with the power of my columnisticular skills and perhaps a van or precocious sidekick or talking dog that also solved mysteries—even though the solving of said mysteries robbed the world of joy and color, as every ghost or spectre became an old desperate man covered in flour and sporting a beautifully fitted mask. Admittedly, this sounds to be little of the different from what I have spent the last several months executing. But, bear in mind that on my most recent walkabout, I was doing so under the auspices—and salary—of the Chief Executive Office. Now, lacking that wherewithal, I had intended to keep to the same work, largely, but slightly restructure the economics of my labors by charging a nominal fee for each wrong righted, mystery solved or question answered. For example, under my new scheme, I might bill you five to seven thousand dollars for the answering I now and in this moment deliver unto you. But this plan never went beyond the first exploratory pokings, as it has become abundantly clear that the economy being as it is (an economy, I note, that I did inherit from my predecessor, and by no means a problem born of my relatively brief dominion and caretakership over these Yet United States), no one in the Greater Detroit Suburban Metropolis has the desire or monetary means to pay an itinerant Architeuthic columnist.

"Times are tough," they say unto me. "We fear every day of the unemployment, of the mortgage coming due, of the paying of the piper, the plumber, and he who crafts candle sticks." Shoulders are shrugged, and I am sent away into the night.

But worry not for me, Gentle Readers; I will still invoice you for my services, Nate Gluth but, to be frank, I little expect you to remunerate.

Hazel, my savior during these tough days, has been my tutor in so many ways. Of the evenings, as I recline crammed within the bubble-o-jacuzzi tub in the Sand Dunes Hourly Rate Motel, Hazel does kneel at my side, massaging of my tentacles and giving hushed, susurrus counsel. She believes that it is possible that my great erudition and firm and flawless elocution is cause for to be intimidated by my would-be employers; were I speak with a more fluid and rusticated tongue, she reasons, perhaps I could enhance my job prospecting—which phrase, despite how it appears, does not, my Dear Readers, involve water or sifting pans! That was certainly a day wasted!

Hazel has instructed me to speak with more contractions, to drop my T's as I speak. To say "y'all" and occasionally "youse guys." This will enable me to fit in better here in Middle Western America and to earn employment.

But I have—pardon—I've wander'd astr'y 'f th' subj'c at hand, N'te Gl'th.

(It tires me so to write in a manner so casual, care-free, abridged and bumpkinical)

Youse was t'askin' unto th'state of my safe: I, too, 'm worri'd 'bout't. It c'ntains many l'st secretos—

Bosh! I continue in my own manner, and save my lingual exercises for another time.

My self's safe contains many secretos both true and scurrilous, much material that, were it mail, would be black, if you catch my sly meaning. There are pictures photographiqué, notarized admissions of guilt and audio-recorded confessions; a shellac 78 RPM phonograph disc within whose grooves Harry Sergei True-Man does admit to certain depraved sexual proclivities both sodomiticial and mechanical, a dauguerrotype of Abram Lincoln performing burlesque, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's soiled bed linens, and treasures even beyond these. The contents of that safe have bought me much of the lee-way and elbow room in this surface world. I have needs to regain it. Should it fall into the wrong, monkey-derived paws all could be lost.

It was in . . . a place, particular. A safe place. A place I currently have no access to, although I have every reason to hope (my Hazel assures me) and believe that it still rests there, enslumbered, sealed behind a false wall in an unused chamber on a forgotten floor, far from elevators or desirable vending machines. When first I came to Detroit I placed in there my own self, as it were, and only returned to it twice yearly, as one returns to a baby in the night to ensure it is safe and no lampreys have attached themselves to its brainsac. But now I am parted from this safe—my self safe—and my enemies may be sussing it out. Is that what your missive is? A warning, oh Nate Gluth? When you write "spermwhales," do you really mean something else, something far more sinister?

Or, worse, do you mean to say that some clever and unscrupulous sperm whales have secured themselves a velocitating anti-bathospheric suit much like my own? That perhaps, somewhere in America, there is a Sperm Whale answering of the advice questions, wandering to and fro in his automated mecha-suit, aided by adorable half-wits and sinister chinamen? A dark doppelganger to myself who, even as my own lucky star does sink to its nadir does himself ever ride higher towards his own, insatiably sharp-toothed zenith?

That is, indeed, disturbing intelligence you offer. If only I had time to ponder this more.

But, Nate Gluth, there is never world enough nor time, yes? Even now, time does speed me toward another interview for employ, this time in Madisonian Heights, which lies East of Troy. I travel there soon, by city autosmartbus and, I feel so very much like Odysseus, leaving Troy in search of grand adventure, wandering afield and returning home at the end to slay any suitors I may find wooing my beleaguered Penelope.

At large,
I remain,
Your Giant Squid

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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