Peal and Tubewinch were waiting for me. Their advertising agency, INTRUSIVE BLAST, INC, was housed in a horrible glass and steel structure. None of the windows in the building could be opened.
Peal held out a mottled hand. "Mister Torporchair," he said, "so glad you could make it. If you'll follow us up to the studio we can get started."
In the elevator Tubewinch gave me a pep talk. "It's a beautiful studio, Mister Torporchair. Real wood paneling in the control room. We've got recliners, iced tea, the finest scotch, mustard lamps, coffee, whatever you need." I was being treated like a rare and delicate bird. It was a nice change from my job at the auto parts store.
Once inside the studio I realized that I needed to get a little better grounded before we began. "You know, I saw a field out behind the building before I came in. I need to go walk back and forth a couple of times and collect the sun into my rusted cranium. Then I'll be ready to howl the wax intransigent."
"Perfect," Peal blurted. "You're in prime form, I see! You get ready and then pour your stream of consciousness into the microphone and our man Jenkins will work wonders with it. Hilarity, intrusion; good advertising. You're gold, Torporchime. Just come back up when you're ready."
The morning was cold but sunny. I paced the field and breathed deep. A strange business, spouting nonsense into an expensive microphone. But they were paying me handsomely. One of their top ad writers had heard me spewing nonsense at a party and had found out how to get in touch with me. He had also sold Peal and Tubewinch on my abilities. My jabberings were a gold mine for images and phrases, I was told. All I had to do was show up and talk nonsense for half an hour and I'd take home a check for $750. Not bad at all.
The taping went real well. I howled in champion fashion. Whatever I said was now the property of INTRUSIVE BLAST INC, but they gave me a copy of the tape with the understanding that it was for my personal listening only. On the drive home I listened to the tape. "...and not only do torpor and wax-blooded compulsive walks under overpass cement congeal the untoward polymers of toxic corn meal, but even the mere opossum of neglect or tooth empire salt can cause one to forget that it is impossible to rest in a healthy pallor while even one television is running loose in the yard..."
When I got home I unplugged the television and put it out in the yard. Left it there to rot. I took out the check for $750 and held it to my nose and smelled it. In my mind I saw the television out there in a year's time with mold on it and ants crawling in it. Perfect.
COPYRIGHT 1997 DOUGLAS CLOUD ALL RIGHTS RESERVED