Yesterday, my coworkers and I went up to the First Planetary Bank of Lallor, so we could all enjoy seeing my brutally handsome countenance forever immortalized as a giant... um... art... thing.
Eyeful Ethel's rocket-limo pulled up in front of the bank, just as Gadfly Lad and I were nearing it on our humble feet. Tusker, Rainbow Girl, Dentata Damsel, and Frigid Queen quickly piled out. They were followed by Nightmare Boy -- who was wearing his mobile visi-phone headset, which resembles a motorcycle helmet. He didn't say much the entire time, aside from the occasional, drowsy-sounding "Eyeful Ethel's Detective Agency, please hold" and some muffled snoring. Finally, Ethel herself stepped out of the conveyance, onto a red carpet she keeps for such occasions! And sure enough, the moment she emerged from the rocket-limo, a jetpack-wearing paparazzo zoomed by, and snapped a photo of her. She tilted her head coquettishly, and smiled for him.
I thought it was awfully nice of Ethel to take the time to join us, considering how busy she is with her public speaking engagements, and her book club, and her signature line of gourmet tabasco sauces.
I wondered where Storm Boy was, but I decided to keep that to myself. Too many people already have the misguided opinion that I'm seething with jealousy over his entirely hypothetical romance with this "Ox" character. But no, I just regret making him mad at me. Even though I can't figure out how I even did it in the first place! Heck, just two nights ago I showed up at his apartment, about 1:30 AM, unannounced and heavily fortified with space-wine... to make amends! And if I just happened to catch a glimpse of Ox, well, that would have been a convenient coincidence. But Storm Boy refused to even let me inside! (Blockade block!) I started in on the little speech I'd prepared, but Storm Boy interrupted me, and said, "I'm sorry, Blockade Boy, but I can't even look at you when you're... like this." And of course, he was making this sour, wincing face, and only looking at me from the corners of his eyes, with his head all twisted sideways, the whole time I was there. Just like I used to do with him! WHAT THE HELL?! I tried again to talk, but he just said, "Goodbye, Blockade Boy," and (gently) shut the door in my face.
On the slow-moving X-ray treadmill that takes you into the lobby of the bank itself, the eight of us chatted excitedly about what sort of medium would be portraying my magnificent visage. I envisioned a mega-sized, working diorama of my skull, made out of swords, and axes, and other cool weapons. Spiky maces for my eyeballs, perhaps. Ethel surmised it could be a dynamic holo projector. Tusker imagined -- or maybe he was just hungry for -- a butter sculpture. Dentata Damsel wondered if it might be inflatable, like those bouncy fortresses they have at kids' birthday parties, and the art patrons could enter it through the back of my head, and exit through my mouth (sliding down my beard). As with most of her ideas, her complete lack of vocal modulation made it impossible for me to tell if she was serious. After what felt like days, the treadmill jerked to a halt, and deposited us into the bank's spectacular lobby.
And then I saw it.
It was a fucking mobile! With a big red clown nose! Gah!
I'm pretty sure Gadfly Lad, Ethel, Tusker, and Rainbow Girl all managed to hold their tongues. Frigid Queen had her hand over her mouth, but audibly tittered, plus she was shaking all over, like Michael J. Fox on crack. Dentata Damsel's blandly agreeable mug barely moved, while it emitted a percussive, congested snorting. And Nightmare Boy laughed so hard, he hyperventilated and briefly passed out. I can't be one-hundred percent sure of any of this, however, because I was too busy screaming "MOTHERFUCKER!" over and over.
I'm afraid I made a real scene. I must have ranted about that goofy mobile for a good twelve minutes, at least! I think everybody else was mainly amused by me at first, and then they got kinda terrified, and towards the end, boredom set in. When I'd finally run out of invectives -- and steam -- I was left just standing there, all red-faced and panting, fixing the mobile with a goggle-eyed stare. Behind me, I could hear my coworkers muttering in exasperation.
"Up on the housetop, bitch, bitch, bitch, 'Santa,'" sighed Tusker. (Like he should talk--!)
"Drama queen...!" mumbled Nightmare Boy.
"The mobile, as an art form, has enjoyed increasing prominence on Lallor ever since the Atomic Wars," droned Gadfly Lad to nobody in particular. "Why, in the Modern Museum of Lallor alone, there are..."
It was Rainbow Girl who clasped my shoulder and said, gently, "You know Klup meant well, right?"
With no little amount of resignation, I conceded that point.
Rainbow Girl pointed out that it was a rare thing to be the inspiration of such a prominent piece of art, and she added that nobody had ever made any artwork because of her. The others chimed in to say pretty much the same thing -- except for Eyeful Ethel. She just grinned at me and said, "Remind me to show you the holo-painting I posed for. That no-talent doofus made my hair look like Spider Girl's."
Heh. It's strange: I put up with Weight Wizard's constant murder attempts for umpteen years (exactly how many years I can never be sure, thanks to this dimension's damn sliding timeline) but I was more upset by Klup's artistic hackery. As one of Amadus' greatest anonymous poets once said, "I have a heart of steel, but an aesthetic sense as tender as the hairs of a child's biker 'stache." Hmm. I'm going to have to ponder that one for a while. Seeing as how I'm so deep and wise and shit.
*philosophically puffs on pipe*