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Squid #296
(published September 21, 2006)
Ask the Giant Squid: How Big Indeed, This American
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Interlocutor:

The lurid adventures of the Giant Squid or the human pretending to be the Giant Squid — for what else is this Sally McBootykins if not either a giant squid poseur or a sly and let us admit it, exasperating admission on the part of the Almanac(k) folks that they have perpetrated upon the gullible reading public a fraud, fake and impostor — suggest to this faithful reader that:

a) The Giant Squid needs dramamine.

b) The peregrinations of aforementioned squid or squid-impostor suggests how little control the squid has on the humans it sneers at on a regular and heretofore (yet no longer) frightening basis.

c) Poor Mojo's staff has embarked on anarchic behavior, has actually sent the squid on a road trip to addle its massive brain, and has taken to turning the squid's column into something resembling a communal post-it note.

Question is: why do readers like myself continue to enjoy the perpetration of this sham and abuse of our sense of humor?


Hey, Y'all:

I'm on my lunch and I decided I needed to mail a letter to this blog thingy Archie's been saddled with. (I call him "Archie" in my head. I never was much for writing letters, I mean actually writing them, but I guess I've been composing letters for a long time. You see, when I "worked"—- and I mean to say there that I have had lots of jobs in my life, jobs that stack up three a day sometime, doing stuff in offices and at restaurants and maid services and everything, but none of that is "work"; only one thing I ever did was work, and I did it mostly on my knees, my nose pressed against the worn brass button of a pair of stinking jeans... after that, everything is just stuff to do — so, when I "worked" I had a lot of intellectual free-time. A lot of headspace while my parts went through the circle, and, though I never thought about it at the time, I filled up that space writing letters to people in my head. And anyway, I'd get started with a fella in his truck, or in one of those quarter showers, or wherever, and just when he was ready for me to turn off my head and turn on his crotch, I could switch over to working out what needed to be said and to who, even though I'd never actually write anything down. Ten thousand letters, it seems, not a word on paper. And so it's a habit. And with a letter you need a "Dear so-and-so, and so everyone gets a first name even if they didn't have one. There was Dear Mom, and Dear Dad — Dad got a lot of mail in my mind for the first few years — and there was Dear Janet, my sister, and there was Dear Mr. Trumbull, my middle-school science teacher — he was actually a nice man who just got confused, and I'll always remember him that way no matter what anyone else says — and eventually I'd been working long enough that I'd start having things to say to Johns long gone without names, and so I'd give 'em names, like Dear Mr. Brass-Pig-Belt-Buckle, and Dear Fuckhead-With-The-Chipped-Tooth-That-Left-A-Scar-On-My-Scalp. Well, anytime I hooked up with my new fella, and I'd known him for a while, well, I started having things that needed saying, but weren't gonna be said. And to make a long story short, he's "Dear Archie" in my head. Probably won't call him that, but for a letter you aren't gonna send, it works.)

So I'm on my lunch. I've never been a computer type person. I'm more of an exterior kind of person, a searcher for things in the world. It's sort of how I ended up with my work, right? My work, remember, not some job. I wanted to find the world, and I wanted to be free of it. Hard combo. I like to think that work was how I did it, truck stop to truck stop, searching, seeing the world.

I like to think that. Or maybe it was just to keep me out of the rain, to keep me in balls of heroin.


I just got up to get another coke. I mean a refill of my drink, from the machine. Not a line. I'm back.

Another rule from my work days: Never write a letter to myself.


Actually writing a letter, I mean with words on the screen . . .

This is harder than I thought. Writing a letter in your head, everything is perfect because you never re-read it. You work it all through, take as many goes at it as you need, say what you finally need to say, and then you feel like you wrote the one perfect letter.

I'm seeing right now, in this ratty old Wendy's, that actually writing it out doesn't work that way.

At least I won't get interrupted before I'm finished by some guy shooting his load early. What a distraction.

Okay, a few weeks ago, the lady that keeps an eye on our trailer park had a big package addressed to "The Giant Squid." I was out at a job, and of course Archie can't sign for anything, and anyway the delivery guys, the mail guys, are all scared shitless of him. Most everyone is scared of him. People know him, but kind of don't. Most people don't believe he actually was President. But the people at the park are faced with him actually existing, actually breaking cars and knocking over satellite dishes, and even if they want to cut him out of their world, he keeps crashing back in.

It's easy to not believe in things. A lot of people do it out of habit and out of protection. They believe they don't have control over their situation. They believe they'll never be the ones who get sick or hit by a car. It's a fact that it's easier to not believe in Santa than it is to actually believe in him. He, the Giant Squid, is a lot like that. It's easy to not believe in him. It's when he stomping and yelling and turning the world all rightside-wrong that your whole, like, worldview gets challenged and you can feel your brain stretching to take in a world that has something like him in it. I think that's why people are really afraid of him — they don't want to be stretched and shooken up.

But the lady who runs the place, she steers clear of him, intercepts the mail so the delivery guys aren't too freaked out, mostly she just sticks it in our box and neither of us notice, but this time the package was huge, and she had to grab me early in the morning when I was catching a ride to the bus stop so that I could make my shift.

That night I got one of the guys down the lane to help me lug it back to the trailer, and I had him put it behind the MacPherson place so that Archie couldn't see it.

It's a decision I made.

You know, this is a different kind of letter all of sudden. I don't defend myself in letters. I tell people how it is. That's what letters are for. You try getting fucked in the ass for five years straight and you'll see.


I hid the box from Archie because he's been so sad. You know, I avoided boys.

I can hear you laughing. This letter writing is bullshit.

Okay, I got more fries. I'm back. And when I got up to the counter, it smelled strong all of sudden. And the lady behind the counter said, "Girl, what is that smell?"

And the guy at the grill stepped back and said, "Shit, did a gas line just break open?"

And I smelled again, and then I moved my nose back and forth, taking little sniffs. "No," I said to the lady behind the counter, "that's gasoline. Not natural gas."

I know what gasoline smells like. I know what summer grade smells like, and how it's different smelling than winter grade. I know octane by smell, and different diesels. I have a good sense of what part of the country gas comes from by the smell. The ethanol they sell cheap in Iowa smells a little like old Smarties crammed into the crease of a pick-up's bench seat.

And behind me I heard a little voice. "It's me," the voice said sheepishly. The lady behind the counter, big black lady with tight braids, a broad face, really nice warm skin like a coal you could toast marshmallows over, kind of black you never see in Omaha, or Tacoma, or Tuscaloosa, or Taos, she just opened up her mouth and said, "Nuh-uh!"

I turned and there was the tiniest little Japanese man you have ever seen, like a twelve year old in a gray suit. He smiled sheepishly, held his palms to his nose, sniffed, and then held them up to us. They were pink clean.

"I spilled," he said. "I washed, but I still smell. I am sorry."

I turned back to order my new order of fries.

"That smells baaad!" The lady said, punching up my order without looking at me or the register.

I thought saying that about the guy was unfair. He confessed to smelling like gasoline. He seemed nice. Cute, almost, like a tiny little man with a tiny little problem, but he was straight about it. He smelled like gas, and he admitted it.

What more do we want out of this world?

"That smells so bad!" the lady said again.

In, like, two weeks, I am going to want to write a letter to her.

That man smelled like Canadian gas, like gas you get from the Hamilton terminals outside of Toronto.

It's hard though, not having men push me around, grabbing my hair, licking my ears. It's hard because I can't completely blank out and focus on the letters. I know that sounds weird.


Best thing about Canada?

Truck stops almost all have Wendy's and Tim Hortons.

I love eating Wendy's fries with ketchup. Not like anything else in the world.


Worst thing about Canada?

Way over-lit truckstop parking lots.

Also, French-Canadian truckers sometimes want you to do crazy stuff you can't even picture, and their English isn't good and their accents are hard to understand, and so they have to pose you like a doll, and even when you are in the pose you are not sure what you are doing or what it means.

Also, sometimes, when you are in Canada, you can wake up on a highway entirely made of ice, and you can see a truck deep down beneath the roadbed, frozen in the lake, and maybe the driver is down there too, waiting for the thaw to come so he can be buried. There are a lot of places there isn't even roads, but you can still just keep going north, like Frankenstein chasing his monster.

In America, the worst thing is that you wake up in Muskegon or something.

Or someone kills you, but of course that never happened to me.

In Canada, girls aren't killed so often. It's like, as you travel toward the equator, the value of the life of a hooker drops like a stone in clear water. I bet in the Amazon whores have such little value that they feed them to cows.

McDonald's: Only the Best Whore-fed Beef.

Over 1 Billion Gals Fed to Cows Fed to Truckers.

You see, this is why writing is different from what I used to do. I guess I should stop thinking about that as having been letter writing.

Writing here, now, is forcing me to read what I write as I write, to see the record of my brain.


Once, there was this guy who had bought a big rig and a trailer, but it had nothing in it. He went from stop to stop and did it with all of the girls, and then talked to them for hours with a tape recorder. Always the same thing, he'd come into the stop, fuck every girl who turned a trick, pay them all in cash one at a time, and then did interviews for three or four days. Long, smart, detailed interviews. You heard about him weeks before he'd show up. Did it for three summers.

People found out he was a doctoral candidate, some social science or something, research.

Anyway, he'd have encouraged me to call what I did letter writing. He was big into telling us all about how we had so much important "agency" and that we just needed to reimagine our place in society, reimagine the structure of society, and then we'd see how powerful we were, how important we were.

It's easy to tell twenty girls they are important when, over the course of the previous two days, every one of them has just sucked you off.

Also, it is easy to be so generous with power when you are getting a PhD, and are sure to get tenure because of the powerful "authenticity" of your research.

Also, it is easy to be generous with power when you can justify sleeping with thousands of whores as part of your research into the human experience.

I was never a letter writer.

This is such bullshit.

I just thought angry, unfocused things about men who had fucked me, and the women who stood by, while I let new men fuck me, to pay the rent, so that I could be mad at them, and think angry unfocused things about them, while new men fucked me, to pay the rent and to buy drugs, and travel from town to town hooking up with third-rate "spiritual explorers" so they could fuck me for free, and I would pay for their van to get fixed.


Mr. Trumbull was the worst of them fucking all!


Okay, I'm back.

I sat in the bathroom for twenty minutes, but I didn't cry. I can't cry, for the most part. Or, at any rate, not real crying. I can cry for men at the drop of the hat. But for me, alone? Pretty much never.

Mr. Richard Trumbull, you fucking prick, you stole crying from me!



So I hid this box from Archie and I guess I am in no condition to meditate on why I did that.

Archie is such a let down. Aren't they always a let down? I had stayed away from boys. You become a whore because you need the money, but also to stay away from boys. Johns are not boys. They don't kiss you, and promise you things, and build up your hopes about the way the world might be and then let you down.

Johns never let you down.

You know what was in that box?

Five hard-drives, two dog crates, a bundle of wires... junk from his "lab."

When I met him he was President.

Now he breathes his own waste and plays nerd games with retards while I work three jobs.

And I wonder if it isn't me. Did I do this to him? Was I looking for another daddy only to find another boy-child? Have I brought down all of these men? Am I radioactive or something. Tainted love?

I feel so horrible.

This sweet kid who works at the Pretzel Hut with me, I told him about this stack of hard drives I had gotten from, like, my brother, and that I wanted to see what was on them and that I totally didn't know anything about computers, and I gave him the impression that I might look at him more often if he would help me, and he totally did.

He printed off everything that was associated with this blog thing.

He even gave me an old iBook he had lying around.

I am certain he expects a blow job, and I won't give it to him. I am trying to change my life.

He will hate me.

He will tell the lady who runs the Pretzel Hut that I am stealing, and because he is going to college, and because his parent's are rich, he will be believed and I will have to move on to another job.

All because I refuse to work.

He'll even feel like he did the right thing. It will expand his consciousness, like being convinced that by fucking a thousand tricks you are helping to save them. An almost perfect moral lie.

Like convincing yourself that just because you're a young science teacher, your relationship with a student makes sense. Girls her age were married off to much older men a hundred years ago, and they were happy, and the world didn't collapse.

It's natural. Everything you feel in your crotch is natural.

If God made nature, and nature says that you should have sex with a twelve year old, then God is commanding it. And if he makes you feel guilty about it, it must be because God is evil. And if God is evil, then the world he created is evil, and in order to punish the evil of this corrupt creation you must embrace every sin of the world, you must drive the world to the brink of chaos through constant sin. Drive fast over thin ice.

I read it all. Five years of Archie rambling. And it's just like this letter. A point, no point, prompted, and then the prompt is forgotten. And then it reappears. Churning waters get still and you suddenly see your reflection and then something leaps out of the water at you. You wake up staring into a sheet of ice as thin as hope and don't see yourself in the image. The point is made, and then it is forgotten again.

I saw America and it is too big.

He is punishing the world with the truth of the world.

I hate that I never wrote a single letter.

Nothing is left of ten years sucking cocks and shooting up and smoking down.

Nothing left at all, except for ten minutes of me talking about my sister's hamsters on the research tapes of some graduate student prick whose name I can't remember.

And here is this stack of paper that the horny prick from Pretzel Hut printed off for me. It's like a million words. And it doesn't make sense.

Even if it gets written down it won't make sense.

Even as I write all of this down it doesn't make sense. It can't possibly come together.

This world is evil.

I'm done.


Okay, I'm back.

Dear Rich-Kid-Prick-From-Pretzel-Hut-With-A-Scar-On-Your-Nutsack:

I just blew you in your parent's house, and while you slept afterwards, I stole all of your Mom's Valium, and I left a note in the bottle saying that a whore her son had hired stole her Valium. Now I am back at my Wendy's finishing my letter to the world on the computer you gave me.

This is my letter to the world.

The kid shot his load early.

I didn't even get past "Hey, Y'all" before it hit the back of my throat.

But I am back here now. The smell of gasoline lingers, I've got another batch of fries on the table, and as I inhale, the fries and ketchup mingling in my mouth with the sour bleach-y aftertaste of cum, the sky turning wintery gray outside, I am reminded of Canada, the men trapped deep under the ice, imagining impossible contortions of the female form as they sleep forever.

I'll get another job next week. Maybe I'll get some work tomorrow. Port Huron has a lot of freight traffic, and it's not a long haul. Archie won't miss me for just a few days. He's dazed by how far he's fallen, so dazed that I can't bear to have him see these hard drives, these stacks of paper.

Maybe it's better if there is no record.

Maybe we should all sin and sin and sin, see how far we can push this evil world. If God is evil, maybe we can shake the structure until it collapses, maybe it's what He wanted all along.

And if God is good, maybe if we can sin so bad, so spectacularly, it will be like a flare on an empty highway and He will see it, see us, again.

And y'all, y'all just keep reading, every week, 'cause maybe then our sins will linger in your heads, and become your sins, too, and God will see us all the quicker and remember he left a pot on the stove.


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