Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Truth about the Dead in Pfrantiago’s Pretties

Pfrantiago had a green thumb—two to be sure—not literally but figuratively speaking. It would not be necessary to make such a seemingly obvious declaration but for the puzzling fact that Pfrantiago’s mother, her mother’s mother and her mother before her did literally have green thumbs (as well as their other fingers, toes and, after the age of fifty, their ears) due to a fungus situation best described as a fungus situation which, to explain in greater detail, would cast such a shadow over Pfrantiago’s story that one might forget that he even had a story to be told—and oh! dear reader, what a story he has.

Now, these figurative green thumbs had become quite the center of confabulation each year during the colorful season, when people came from all over town just to see Pfrantiago’s pretties, especially on the day of the Annual Color Tour Event and Contest Event. His bed of pretties had been the most popular stop on the Color Tour for years. It was an unofficial stop, however, since Pfrantiago had always been too modest to enter in the contest, maintaining, “It’s nature’s work, these pretties. I’m just the poor son-of-a-bitch who busts his son-of-a-bitchin’ back arranging these sons-a-bitches so they look like somethin’ other than a bunch of sons-a-bitches!”

This year would be different though, for, as everybody had incessantly encouraged him, Pfrantiago finally allowed for his pretties to be entered in the contest after a conversation with the Mayor himself.

Reluctant at first, Pfrantiago stood silent in his pretties as the Mayor (himself) implored, “Yours are the best Pfrantiago! Everyone knows it. You’re already notorious and you go through all that work anyhow.”

Pfrantiago, looking down at his feet the whole time, nodded and softly muttered, “Food for thought.”

“Yeah,” continued the Mayor, “so why not get an award for it? There’s no point in not getting an awar—”

“FOOD FOR THOUGHT! FOOD FOR THOUGHT!” said Pfrantiago, impatiently, still looking down and shaking his hands at the Mayor in annoyance, to convey a message of ‘Okay, Okay I heard you!’ or ‘I’m thinking!’ or ‘Okay, I heard you, let me think!’

So Pfrantiago went about his usual business carrying on in just the same manner as he always had until his mind had fully digested the idea of actually winning something. Somehow it all seemed a little more special, a little more fun. ‘Yeah why not?’ he thought to himself, ‘I wouldn’t mind winning a contest. Just ‘cause I win an award doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy the goodness of my pretties. And with this, he went on happily thinking about the goodness of his son-of-a-bitching pretties.

But, like most good things in life, Pfrantiago’s pretties soon became a collecting spot for the dead. This bothered Pfrantiago more than it scared him, “I can’t have this! It won’t do to have all this dead in my pretties! Whatever happened to the good old days when the dead were discarded in dumpsters and in alleyways? This won’t do!”

Little did he know at the time, however, that it did do. The dead offered rich fertilization for his pretties, proving to be a much more effective method than his kitchen scraps compost. When he finally did realize this, he welcomed the dead into his pretties, toying with the notion of posting a Dead Wanted sign, an idea whose demise came swiftly with the assumption that it must surely be against town ordinance to post a sign without a permit.

So he waited, with a display of patience reserved only for a nurturing pretties keeper, for more dead to arrive. He received his share (which wasn’t a bad amount considering that no dead is the normal amount for a bed of pretties). He considered himself blessed but felt that with the Color Tour just weeks away, more dead would be needed.

Knowing that it was too slow to wait and impolite to ask, Pfrantiago took the only course he could take if he really wanted prize pretties. He would have to make his own dead (murder being his best bet).

He was very troubled by the idea of killing innocent people who had lives to live, so he quickly decided on destroying ugly, shiftless, guilty-looking people whose lives were seemingly going nowhere.

Let it be born in every man’s mind that never before had there lived such a diligent artisan as Pfrantiago, when once upon his killing business, in the weeks immediately prior to the Color Tour. He killed with boundless energy, justifying his doings by repeating to himself, in the ghastly glow of the sallow moon which stood witness, “It’s all for the pretties. It’s all for the pretties. It’s—” then bursting into bloodcurdling and maniacal howls of laughter followed by acute attacks of sobbing—sobbing that ended abrubtly with his head darting back and forth like that of a worm-hunting bird, throwing suspicional glances over his shoulders, saying, “Oh boy.” and asking himself, “What?” and answering himself back, “You heard me.”

As the day of the Color Tour grew nearer (and the population thinner) Pfrantiago kept longer nights and agonizingly fructuous days, but one thing this experience had taught him was that if your desire for something is strong enough, you don’t mind the moil and toil it takes to make it possible. He also learned that it’s harder to carry four men home in one sack than it is to carry one man home in four sacks, but that wouldn’t sound as nice in his acceptance speech. (Moil and toil rhyme.)

But all of Pfrantiago’s moiling and toiling was not in vain, and nothing proved this more than the way his pretties almost shouted with color and life on the celebrated day of the Color Tour, as people assembled themselves in awe-stricken droves to behold them in dumb admiration. Even the busier than usual police and the confused people from the Missing Persons Bureau took time out of their very full days to enjoy Pfrantiago’s Pretties.

When a reporter from the Daily Tuba News asked, “Pfrantiago, what would you say makes your pretties so pretty?” He stared mordaciously into her eyes, and with a wry grin, whispered, “People just like you.”

And when he received his blue medal on that happy occasion, everyone hoped that they could someday contribute to Pfrantiago’s pretties . . . and some day they probably would.

2 Comments:

Blogger evil ape said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:30 PM  
Blogger evil ape said...

You scratch an itch that no one else can reach, or has even tried to reach.

9:28 PM  

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