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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

HILARITY AND HYSTERIA NEAR WAIT-A-BIT: SEVEN DEGREES OF FEAR! WINTER -ISOLATION, CLAUSTROPHOBIA, AND MADNESS IN THE ENVIRONS OF NOVAR!

        MOONSHINE SKETCHES
          OF A PICKLED TOWN
            __________________________________        

Hank is doodling, trying to write something,
anything:

 "CRAZED mad fools IN A PICKLED TOWN

     MOON-BLIND SKETCHES OF A PICKLED SICKLE TOWN
MOONLIGHT SKETCHES OF A SICKLE TOWN 
MOONLIGHT SKETCHES OF A PICKLED TOWN

MOONLIGHT SKETCHES OF A PICKLED TOWN"
 _________________________________________

   "I LANDED IN THAT PLACE - THERE WAS NO DOWNTOWN

                        NEWSPAPER  TOOK A POWDER AND THE EDITOR HAD DROWNED."

                 Frank rolls out of bed and walks up behind Hank and taps him
on the shoulder.
             Hank jumps to his feet with a spastic move and screams.  It's
a scream that would bring  police cars with sirens on.. speeding
across an eight block radius, if Hank had ever screamed like that in
the City.
             That's one good thing about the North West Territories.... no
police within a thousand miles. Rapine, murder, butchery, buggery and
brutality of all sorts tend to go unnoticed in this HAPPY PLACE.
              ARTIE'S GOT THIS SIGN POSTED ABOVE HIS BAR.

                                                        "HAPPY PLACE
                    
                    If it isn't yet, let's make it so.







INTERIOR:   In Frank and Hank's fox hole         Frank walks across the room and stares at the antlers on the wall....
         He's staring   at the wall, and talking to himself at the same time:

          Hank, the doomed reporter from the New York Times,
is engaged in doing something on a page. He is so engaged
he has tunnel vision...All he can see is the words
in front of him:

"MY BOSS IS GONE; AND HE CAN'T BE FOUND

ALL GONE, BYE BYE! GONE!  His feet don't touch the ground..
       as he..... as he...."

        It is at this instant that Frank gives him the aforementioned TAP! And Hank lets out his horrific,
blood-freezing scream - like a woman hanging from a
 seventh floor balcony -  as her fiance
dances with her sister inside...
        It's a scream that could peel the bark off a birch
tree, probably did peel the bark off several birch trees...
but no one will notice in this unmitigated wilderland.
        Frank whispers something in Hank's ear.

Goes back to staring at the antlers, talking at the wall:
"So... ... it's best to be well-balanced, well-provisioned,
well supplied with lined rubber boots and
blankets... well-stocked with sharp knives, ropes,
chains, nails and winches... if you hope
to survive."
        " Not to mention chainsaws, wire, fishhooks,
a trident spear, pliers,  hammock.... boots and a
Walkman. Ha! Ha!"
        "And you'd better be able to shoot in  the
blink of an eye, if the bird that takes off at your
feet is going to be your dinner."
          "Or a polar bear is stalking you. Or a huge
weasel nabs your from behind... and starts
doing unspeakable things to you!" Frank's thinking...

       
          "What did you just say to me?" Hank
asks Frank, a look of alarm in his eyes.
        "What?  Nothing..." says Frank
        "Oh, you said somethun all right! it
sounded like you were giving me a WARNING!"
        "Was I talking out...out loud, again?" Frank asks.
         "You bet you were," Hank insists
         "Well, shit! I guess I talk to myself out loud
 all the time now...I just don't
notice it.... Must have been doing it ever
since Uncle Henry strolled off for greener
pastures... I'll try 'n stop it."
          "I'd appreciate that," Hank says, his
legs still quivering from the tap...
on his shoulder from behind... all
of a sudden,  "Especially when you're
reading that South American Veterinarian's 
'Incantations to the Devil Beasts'!
 That shit really creeps me out!"

          The silence is so absolute...
when nothing's growling or howling,
and somebody comes up from behind you,
and: "Whack!" Out of nowhere... out
of dead silence comes a tap on your back...
       "It can be a terrible shock, especially
if you're the sort to have a lively
imagination... Or a long memory..."Hank says,
thinking out loud.

        
           "Or if you tend to consider 
all things at once," Frank says
"You'll tend to get a sense of the horrors
closing in on you... the terrors encircling
you ... especially if you've just come
from the city and you pay attention to the
horrendous tales of horror and woe
your neighbours can't help telling."
Hank agrees. He nods his head, 'yes',
in the dark.
          "The problem with these stories
is this: not that half of 'em are lies and
lugubrious exaggeration... The problem is,
half of 'em are true! That'll get you
thinking in the dark behind the
tarp!"
       
         " Night or day and day or night, in
your hidey-hole... when you start thinking
of the great world beyond you... just past
your boots. Your thoughts can get
a little warped." Frank drifts on:
        "There are degrees of fear and panic,
not to mention mind-bending anxiety -
up here in the Territories.  We have
names for such things. Just as the Eskimos
have 30 names for snow, we have at least 
seven names for the terrors."
       " First there is: "La Tourista." 
That's kind of  a low-level
panic that wears off pretty quick. Like
the one that Hank got when he arrived.
And he discovered the plane had left
without him.... and he had no job, because
the newspaper building had burned to the 
ground in a bright flash of light...."  
         "Also, his boss was dead; 
he'd skipped off naked into the muskeg, 
naked as a jay bird listening
to 'I believe in Miracles, Where you been
you sexy thing?'"
         
         "In the utter silence that strikes a newcomer
right away," Hank thinks:  "No plane, no job,
no boss, no money... and the few people
I saw looked like they were suffering from
either a vitamin or a mental deficiency...."
      A sense of panic struck him all at once - and
he needed to run.... That initial panic is 
level one Fear - La Tourista!
       Next level up - level two - is the
Autumn Horror: that's when you feel
a sharp, painful chill in the air - and you
realize that what you're facing is
10 months of winter. Mountains of snow,
so deep you have to crawl like a baby
to move across it. You can't stand up
because then the snow is above your head.
So a major regression is necessary, back
to a pattern of locomotion you haven't
done since you were two - that swimming
crawling motion...
          If you don't learn how to do this
pretty quick - well, you'll keep sinking into
the snow again and again, and then
your first feelings of claustrophobia begin;
          The Autumn Horrors - it's fear,
but not  really deep fear - unless you never
can learn the crawling motion and you can't
make it to the forest to get firewood.
If that happens... well, you're just plain screwed.

          When the snow does come and is actually
with you and not just something you are
anticipating with dread... And you  really can't
 get  out of your dwelling... That's the
time to panic!
        The drifts keep piling up higher and higher
blowing ice up off the river.... snow deeper than
the deep end of any pool. 
It starts as an intense feeling of
 claustrophobia.... 
          Then claustrophobia
grows into a sense of being trapped
And the thought: " I'm in big trouble!"
crosses your mind.
       This what we call: CABIN FEVER,
and I'll get back to that in a while.
Let me tell you, it's no joke. Your
mind does funny things to you
when you've been staring at the same
page of the same...book for about
a month  and you're
all by yourself, in utter solitude...
and maybe you have to ration candles
because you didn't plan on dark 24 
hours a day.
          And, oh yes, the library was decimated
also, in one bright flash, or it might have
been the second bright flash. The place
burned up in an instant... the only
part that was left was about ten square
feet of the children's section. And the
book you've managed to get your
hands on is:  
                    SEE JANE 

                       SEE DICK

                        SEE DICK RUN!

And  you've been looking at the picture
of the same yellow ball and the same red
balloon for six weeks now... and the
stupid expression on the dog's face

 SEE SPOT

          SEE SPOT RUN!


Is really starting to bug you... and when
you lie back down, you stare off into
the endless darkness, you have
fantasies of shooting SPOT, with
you 12 gauge PUMP-ACTION SHOTGUN!
        And the surprise of the blast from
the shotgun and the bright light from
its muzzle ---might make Hank jump
CLEAN OUT OF HIS SKIN this time.
        And you can't warn Hank, because
the two of you had a fight (can't remember
about what) but you haven't said a word
to each other in eight weeks.
         Then a feeling of claustrophobia might
rise in you... almost to the point of
panic and running off screaming into
the night... Well, this is CABIN FEVER
                I'll describe these next ones better later...
 these next levels of fear, panic, hysteria, and psychotic
thinking, when things really aren't as they seem.
           SNOW-BLIND MADNESS is
like a feeling of drowning in a deep
dark lake.Then the feeling
blossoms into a sense of DOOM.
       A feeling of panic
never is pleasant, at least the way
I experience it...
    
         Fear levels might be a little out of order here,
but that's not important. The chances you are going to
experience any more than two of these
bowel-loosening Dreads in any one winter is slim.
So the order's not a big deal.
         Next up might be "The Autumn Horror".
With the dying of all the wildflowers
and the geese fucking off to the south,
and the ducks, too, and any other
person with a lick of sense and enuff
dollars to hire a plane...running for the
hills to the south.
       But nobody has that kind of money
up here ---- our one investment is the likker,
the shine.. the genie in a bottle....
some of the shine is mixed with other
herbs and buried under a particular
tree, and left there for a year - it'll cure
anything that ails you... and even stuff
that don't ail you... It's a real dandy
powerful purge....
        The idea's fine , but it's pretty
disgusting when people start crawling
on their bellies across the Lane..
and spitting up....
         That's in the spring. In the spring
 it's time to drink the turbo-purge ....
don't ask me why... This is just the way 
people have always done things. 

        I asked Matilda what else is in the
purge... other than the shine and some extreme
form of laxative..
        "Huh!  All the rest of the stuff is herbs
cones and mushrooms to get you so high
you won't remember that you ass is dripping..
like a leaky tap..  for days."
        "It all makes perfect sense now," Frank
the soon to be former mayor says... as he walks
off back towards Artie's Bar and Grill... 
shaking his head.
       "Wait a minute!  I didn't  get that!  What the hell
did you just say? Where are you!!?"
          He keeps walking up towards the bar. "What the hell did she say? That madwoman!" Then he discovers she's
right behind him, listening to every word.

         "Now Frankie, don't be rude!" laughs
Matilda, the mayor soon to be"
           There's considerable respect between the
two of them --- That's why they tell disgusting
jokes about and to each other.
        
             OK,  more degrees of fear.
           
             There's  the: "Snow-Blind Terror"
           
              There's: "Cabin Fever!"

                There's Trapped-winter-doom  or  
                        "Winter-trap DOOM", doesn't matter
               so much how you say it.
   
               Then there's:"The FEAR!"
               You gotta use all capital letters for The FEAR
THE FEAR is all-pervasive; it'll shake your blood and
bones and quiver all the way down your gullet.

                And last but not least
is the "Laughing Delight"... most feared of all.
The Delight is when you see your gorgeous
true love is running naked on light feet across the snow
or muskeg...And you just have to get naked
yourself and catch her. You haven't seen her
for such a long time. You're so happy
she's finally decided to visit you...
            
            We know, it's never a good idea to be naked 
outside around here - either in Winter or in Fly
Season: the great out of doors can kill you quick!

           To be honest with you... (and Uncle Henry
told me never to be honest with anybody)   When
I think about It....  (And I try not
to think about it more than once a fortnight)...
If you use your imagination... (and it's gotten so
I will not permit imagination to show its ugly
head)  THEY CAN'T HANG YOU
FOR WHAT YOU HAVEN'T SAID... 

     It was one of Henry's favourite sayings.
And it makes sense until you look at it really
closely over the period of a month or so...)

       If you look at any word too closely...
like...you really examine the shape of the letters...
after you've smoked a really big one
of famous Canadian ditch weed... (if you look
at anything too closely it will start to weird
you out... that's how you are taken by THE
DELIGHT...)if you look too closely
at a single solitary thing, at anything you
can find in Creation... if you look at any one
one thing... on the earth or beneath the sky...
(you will be taken by a beauty...
a BEAUTY you/we never hope to discover...
a heaven we never thought we'd see...
a miraculous plenitude... (only great mystics
ever conceived of it...)
     IN THE  WONDROUS NATURE OF THE
MULTIVERSE... DIAMONDS AND RUBIES
HANG FROM THE TREES IN THE 
GALACTIC WIND...
           
          no man can say it!                  ^


          NO MAN CAN SAY IT!                    ^^
                

             This must have been  what my Uncle Henry saw...
As he took off after his true love in 'Gloria's Golden Slippers"
But first he got   naked himself...Then he ran after her. He was almost prancing, so they say.... as he ran off into the great beyond ("Look into her eyes, you'll see the Great Beyond")
           All he  put on was his boots and his Walkman.
           He was caught  in the dubious joys
of THE DELIGHT.
            He was never seen again... (but sometimes
I think he can see me)...

             

            whoops!


            Every angle is terrible...   *
 
             Human kind cannot endure too much reality          **                                  
            
The other levels of fear, don't
necessarily finish you off. Not so, the DELIGHT...
The DELIGHT is always a killer! No one returns
after possession by the Delight.
            "Poor Uncle Henry," Franks is thinking
to himself, "That mad fool!"
            "Yeah, Poor guy," Hank agrees< "Too
bad I never got a chance to meet him..."
            "Jesus!" Frank says, "Did I say that
out loud, too?"
             Hank nods his head, yes.
`

             ( When you're sitting close together
at Artie's you're all sipping at the
overproof, even sometimes in the dark.
 "Shining on!" we call it.))
 
  
               "DO YOU MIND IF I ASK WHAT YOU'RE DOING AT THE MOMENT?.........SHOULD I
BE SEARCHING YOUR CLOTHES FOR SHARP OBJECTS?" FRANK ASKED.
                  HANK SCREAMED."YOU SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME!"

           Hank's back at his original notes
he made when he first arrived.
              
                      "i LEFT MY JOB IN NEW YORK, AND THIS IS WHAT I FOUND..."

                        "I WAS NOVAR!"

  
                        "What are you doing?" Frank asked, "I can't
live down in this basement with you if you keep acting
like this...!"
           "Like what?"
            "Like you've lost your mind...like you've gone bug-eyed, like you're out of your tree...18 bricks short of a load... lights on and nobody's home...when there's nobody here but us chickens!" Frank shouts
            "Not to worry!  I was just doodling... trying to get
rolling on a story.... I got to do something up here
or I'll go mad!!"says Hank.
             "Where's this 'NOVAR' place?" asks Frank
                               "NOVAR'S HERE!" Hank screams
              Frank reads farther down the list of doodles.

          "THE A.&P. IS POWDER AND NO ONE IS AROUND"
      
             "Well, that's true enough..."

DECIMATED CITY HALL AND BLASTED OUT THE JAIL
               "Hmmm who told you that? Frank asks.
               "You did!" Hank shouts. His voice is rising
again towards a fever pitch.... Frank is seeing the start
of what up here they call. "LA TOURISTA!" which means
newcomer panic, once the silence all around starts
to  seep into their bones... and they begin to digest an
iota of understanding as to how serious the situation is...
it's not unknown for a "tourist" to run smack right into
a tree...It doesn't hurt too badly because there aren't
any trees much taller than fifteen feet...thin soil and
short growing season... not far down to the 'permafrost."
           In Mexico, "La Tourista", means something 
quite different.
           "You're losing it!" Frank says . "You need a drink."
           "But it's 4:00 in the morning!" Hank cries out.
           "No problem... the sun's still shining, can't
you see?"  Frank throws open the tarp covering
the entrance to the foxhole. Bright sunlight blinds Hank
who had been staring with his mouth hanging open...
just staring... staring at a place in the wall - right next to the door. The walls are reinforced dirt and mud.
             The door is a round hole in the mud... the sun is
round, also, and it shines in right through Hank's dilated
retinas.
             "I can't see a thing!" Hank calls out, screaming
again. 
              "It's O.K. I'll lead you. I know the way."Frank says.
              Artie throws open the wooden door to the bar,
it looks like a large shutter for a strangely sized
window,which is exactly what it is... They cross the Main Lane and Artie waves them in to his bar.
             He slams the door behind them. The three
of them stand there in UTTER DARKNESS.
             "We don't worry about time of night or day
up here... since the light's always about the
same. We do what we like to do exactly when we
like to do it!" Artie says.
             "Put that in the "TOURIST BROCHURE! ha! ha!
They haven't seen a tourist in Wait-A-Bit for three
years... Except now there's Hank, and he's providing
endless amusement for the few remaining
residents.
             In Wait-A-Bit there's no mail service, no T.V.,
no milkman, no electrician, no electricity and no plumber...
(That's just as well because there's no plumbing...)
             So if you want anything at all (except for Matilda)
you really do have to wait a bit.












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