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Squid #274
(published April 13, 2006)
Ask the Giant Squid: And He Looked Upon His Works And Saw They Were Good
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

I can't seem to want to work. I am at uni and college and yet I do nothing. I will get kicked out of college if I dont get good grades. Maybe I have like a sickness where I am lazy because of a genetic disposition . . . I dont know.


Dearest Unsigned,

You describe my demeanor as though you are a franco-Impressionist painter, secretly following me about the yard of the mobile domicile of my dearest Hazel, painting a portrait in snippets as I nightly pace about the Shed of Gardening Implements of my lovely and gaze upon the warmth inside with longing. Or during the cruel daylight hours, when the searing, merciless sun and the nosy, merciless Mobile Dwelling Park Lady of the Land, Mrs. Brescher, are each afoot and snooping for any sign of the breaking of contractual lease clauses.

She is a stern Lord, this Mrs. Brescher. And when she is not luring young, monkey rutt-bulls into her lair for a "nooner" or "quickie" she is attempting to gather the evidence that my Hazel is deserved of the eviction.

When first Hazel did mention this to me, there was a moment that, in retrospect, must have been most comical, as I strutted and fretted my 15 minutes upon the stage: I initially misheard "eviction" as the word "extinction." I flew into a murderous and bellowsome rage — "AND SHOULD YOU TOUCH BUT A SINGLE CILIA UPON HER HEAD" I do recall to have shout as I ranged clangingly betwixt mobile home and garden shed home, "I SHALL MY OWN SELF TEAR THE VERY BEAGLE FROM HIS HEAVING BOSOM" — and could only be calmed by Hazel's sweet murmuring while she polished my dome, which for its part grows ever dustier and murkier with each passing day. The soil in this curiously-named Mobile Park (the park passes to no where; in what way is it mobile? Or do they perhaps find their origin in Mobile, of the Arab city of Al-A-Bama?) is arid and destroyed. No living thing may find purchase in it, as if the very vegetation had been swayed by Mrs. Brescher's manipulations into enforcing the very transient nature of this park. It screamed out with every dust-laden gust of wind, "Your seed will lay fallow here upon the ruinous rocks of Warren! Comfort shall be short-lived, and hardship is merely a sunset away."

"Hon," Hazel whispered to me that night as I lowered myself before her stepped-ladder, "you can't be sitting here all day shouting and yelling at people. I gotta clause in my lease that says I can't have visitors for more than three days. And—"

"IT HAS BEEN AS MANY MONTHS, YES." My tentacles softened with shame, and my once-proud silhouette was that of a jellyfish—a lazy, recidivistic, callow jellyfish, nature's swiftest of backsliders. "BUT, I HAVE NO PLACE ELSE THAT I MAY GO. THE CHILDREN'S LIBRARY AND ITS EXCLUSIONIST BOOK CLUB HAS BANNÉD ME 'FOR THE LIFE'!"

"You don't have to go nowhere else all the time, you just can't be here when Beesie is prowlin aroun'. Maybe you can go for a walk or sit in the park, or maybe find a job, Sugar."

"Beesie" was her private name for Mrs. Brescher. It stemmed from the colloquial expression of being a "busy bee," I believe. On the one tentacle, this is soothing, for at least I know that if she should attack, the dislocation and discorporation of her stinger shall prove fatal to her regardless of whether or not the damage inflicted upon her victim is itself fatal. But, on the other (or sinister) tentacle, I greatly fear that her hive—which I presume is within her own semi-mobile box-home—might become over honeyed, and burst its treacle out upon the park. I do not believe that my velocitator, in its advanced state of over-use, could weather such a sticky onslaught, and were I to become be-mucked here in the dusts of Warren, to where would I flee?

And so on the advice of Hazel, I am disappearing every day with the rise of the sun, and scuttling back only once night has fallen. Exhausted from a days meandering, my frame caked in the dust of poverty that permeates this tortured Middle Western landscape.

On Monday last I did stop at the porch of one Ms. MacPherson. Her son, Donald (who is confusingly also referred to variably as Don, Donny, D., Donald Roosevelt MacPherson, D-Stick, D-Man, and The D Monster; at times I feel less like I am living in suburban Detroit and more like I am living in pre-soviet Russia, the patri-matri-nick-pseudo-nymicry-naming can be so complex) has just graduated from the Get-High School of Lincoln, and is contemplating whether to go to the University of College State or to be a "Player" or a "Roller"—this last plausibly "High"— with his boys. I understand that the D-Monster takes great joy from his Playing. Indeed, the dear scamp plays the Dungeons and/or Dragons game almost nightly in a tent behind the Mobile Dwelling with his "boys." I can only assume this is the Playing and Rolling he is referring to. All attempts to elicit clarification from either his mother or he have been met with stoney silence or giggling. On that Monday afternoon, while I was steadfast in my desire to make Hazel proud and to not incur the penalty of eviction upon her, I spoke with Ms. MacPherson.

"MS. MACPHERSON!" said I, "I AM FEELING THE BORED. AIMLESS I WANDER, AND IT IS A TIRESOME EXISTENCE." I lifted my extensible travel legs sluggishly, to illustrate the weariness that gripped me.

"You're shouting again, Squiddy. You're shouting and you're stupid. Let me get some lemonade and I'll tell you why."

Shocked at the abruptness and savageness of her insult, I could do naught but wait. Wait and scheme and hate and plot and fantasize a vengeance so vengeful that it verily did drip and slaver with the chilly sauce of that which is best served cold.

After an eternity she re-emerged from the screened door of her domicile, a tin tray balanced on palm. One tall glass of lemonade, moisture sweating down the sides stood tall on the tray next to a large flower-watering can. Perhaps this was the peace offering? "MAY I HAVE OF SOME LEMONADES, MS. MACPHERSON?"

"No, I always serve myself from a damn waterin' can because I got these big stupid metal hook hands that break everything," she held up her soft, pink, be-wrinkled human pinchers, "Stop askin' stupid questions, Squiddy, and take the damn can." She settled down on the steps of her porch and began to smoke of the cig-are-rettes and sip of the lemonades while I gently lifted the can, siphoning its nectar into my velocitator's feeding port. The lemon's aid did but just the barest bit raise the pH of my waters, but yet did bring with it a sweetness and light, a gentleness and subtle and content joy.

"Now Squiddy, I only call you stupid because you're bein' stupid right now. You got to understand that first. It ain't nothin' personal. I'm just tellin' it like the way I see it. See, my boy Donny and his friends they used to come around all the time and say 'Ma, I'm bored!' " Ms. MacPherson hunched her shoulders and pitched her voice high in a clever imitation of her unruly son. "They would sit there expecting me to find somethin for them to do, and so I did. I'd say," and here she pitched her voice low and slow and booming, in an obvious attempt to convey how an adult human's voice must sound to a child, "Tell me you're bored once more and I will find work for you to do, and you won't be bored but you won't be happy neither."


"Did I what?"


"No, Squiddy! I just made them realize that they was always expecting things to happen to them," I did nod of the headsac; terrible things do indeed happen to the small, weak and fey. "They needed to take responsibility for their own destinies, y'know what I'm sayin'? If you are bored it is only your fault. and only you can change that."


And Ms. MacPherson rolled her eyes at me and ground her cigarette onto the sidewalk with her slipperéd foot. Then she rose and went back into her aluminum and plastic dwelling.

I stood there, staring at the crushed remains of her vice. The message was cryptic, and yet startlingly clear, like the leaves of tea or the grounds of coffee or the chance passage of birds skyward, it was a zen koan writ in gesture, not word. The sound of a tent flap and the rolling of dice stirred me from my contemplation. It was Donald the D-Monster, exiting his tent and reeking of the smell of Mountain Dew and stale Munchos. Briefly I espied through the tent opening four other teenaged boys clutching pencils and purple bags with "Crown Royal" writ large on their bulks. This, I noted inwardly, was a mystery to unravel later.

"Hey, uh, Mr. Squid President," Donny addressed me through lanky black hair that hung across his pale face. He lifted a limp hand in a lazy salute, "I, uh, overheard you and the moms talkin' and, uhm, the office where I work part-time is hiring right now, and if I get you hired I get like a fifty buck bonus, which would be pretty sweet."

And that, dear readers, is how your narrator, this Giant Squid, entered the high-paying world of telephone solicitation—which, ironically, is a legal charge of misdemeanor that my own dear Hazel was once brought upon; our lives entangle in an ever more similar twine. But, for my present part workfull, I begin training for this feat-telephonic on the morrow.

As for my advice to you, Unsigned, it probably indeed is a genetic anomaly that robs you of the impetus to work; perhaps you are party jellifitic? You should seek out medical help and perhaps the treatments of the Stem and Seed cells will help you to live a normal and productive life.

Until Next Week, Dear Readers,
I Remain The Now-Employable-&-Employed,
Giant Squid

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