The next singer up after the intermission is Bob's rival and ex ~ Mrs. Tipsy Rumford ~ in a fetching black evening gown as Ella Fitzgerald. With the twinkle of piano keys she croons -:

"Oh, I've wined and dined on Mulligan Stew,
and never wished for turkey,
as I hitched and hiked and grifted too,
from Maine to Albuquerque . . ."

All eyes are agog as the lights dim with magnificent timing -:

"Alas, I missed the Beaux Arts Ball,
and what is twice as sad,
I was never at a party where they honored Noel Cad,
but social circles spin too fast for me,
My Hobohemia is the place to be. . ."

At the word Hobohemia ~ which everyone knows is short for BungHole Bohemians ~ Jack Kerouac climbs up on the bar and like a great jazz bandleader leads the imaginary brass section in its toot-toot-tooting -:

"I get too hungry for dinner at eight,
I like the theater but never come late,
I never bother with people I hate,
that's why the lady is a tramp! . . ."

Everyone in Studebaker Flats knows this song by heart ~ even the waitress, soles burning, sings along. Arm in arm with tears in eyes all the patrons of the BungHole sing -:

"I like the green grass under my shoes,
What can I lose, I'm flat that's that,
I'm alone when I lower my lamp,
That's why the lady is a tramp."

With her flawless performance of the great Ella Fitzgerald, Tipsy Rumford is announced the grand prize winner. Even Bob gives her a hug as she squeezes through the crowd to get her prize ~ a perfect 1961 Ken doll in a checkered shirt with big buttons.

"Thank you!" Tipsy shouts from atop her chair to the tightly packed crowd of Hobohemians ~ "Finally ~ tonight ~ Barbie will get laid!!!"

At that, the sloshed bartender gets up on the chair next to her and imitates with steel precision what the blender said to him ~ exactly as the blender said it -:

mwwwwaaaaaa
fshmaw fshmaw pulshpulsh
shmmmmooop shmooop shmooop
gaagaawmp gaagaawmp
fshmaw fshmaw pulshpulsh
vrrrvrrr vrrrrrrrrr
zooosh zoooosh
mwwwwaaaaaa mwwwwaaaaaa
rrrrrrrrr pulshpulsh

There is thunderous applause. "Steel words," mutters Jack, "mitigate their frightening beauty," as he delivers a mumbled soliloquy on the god-damn doom of print dharma and the baggage of thoughts ~ and passes out atop someone's Evil Bastard brew, the fire from which had luckily gone out.

The lights intrude into wide-open pupils. The high pitch of the mike squeals with a last minute first aid request for Jack's head. "Fweeeeeeee---------------. Tap-tap. Ahem. Hello. Who's got Band-Aids?"

"Ladies and gentlemen," ~ the pre-recorded voice of Uncle Tiki is crisp and authoritative ~ "please take a Go-Cup at the door.  Drive slow ~ the street lights are on ~ your comrades are asleep in their safehouses, but please watch for escapees."

"Drink and Drive Slow ~ Good Night."

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©2008 Joan d'Arc
Illustrations and Website by Nicholas Ivins