August 30, 2010


I watched him on the ladder with his head almost completely inside the hole in the ceiling, scoping out the situation with a flashlight. “All kind of ways to look at things. When I was a kid I used to think if I wished hard enough my toy soldiers would come to life and start talking to me. Ever sit there wishing your toys would wake up and start talking to you?”


“I blame Disney. Wish this, wish that. Wish hard enough and your wish will come true. I wished for those toy soldiers so hard I got a splitting headache and the damn things just sat there anyhow. Disney’s screwed up more lives than anything. Do mice talk and sing? Do little blue birds fly through the air with ribbons in their mouths helping to make your dress?”

“Yeah I know.”

“Disney screwed up more kids than anything else. All these little kids in a row with their eyes closed tight, wishing so hard. Five hundred kids sitting in a row like they’re trying to take a shit and nothing’s happening. He was on drugs anyhow you know.”

“Somebody told me that, yeah.”

“Do birds have mouths or is it just a beak?”

“Mouths? I guess birds have mouths. Don't they?”

“I mean, yeah they got a mouth where they suck up worms and shit but is it officially a mouth or is it just a beak?” He put the flashlight in his belt and picked up the can of bug spray he'd set in front of him on the top of the ladder.

“I think it’s an official mouth. Isn’t it? A mouth is a mouth.”

“Yeah I’m saying, it’s a mouth but what do they call it in science.”

“A beak.”

“That’s what I’m saying. And if a guy has a big nose they say he’s got a big beak, which is stupid because he doesn’t eat through his nose. But I guess birds got two little holes in their beak for a nose ain’t it?” He started to spray directly into the ceiling. Billows of the stuff came puffing out of the hole above his head. It had to have been going in his eyes but he just went right ahead.

“I have no idea.”

“Well maybe it’s like you have to have a vent there so they can swallow.”


“Yeah. Jesus you got a million ants up here.”


“Of course I’ve seen some guys that may as well be able to eat with their nose. Christ, they sucked everything else up there.” He shifted his weight so he could shoot the spray in another direction.

“I know.”

“Well, I think I got the eggs. I mean the white shit where they hatch from up here. What’s it called.”


He started to climb down. “OK so the plaster guy will be up here tomorrow to replace the part of the ceiling that fell on you. It fall on your head while you were sleeping?”

“My feet. Woke me up though.”

“Jesus. Gives me the creeps. That’ll do it though. All the eggs are sprayed so if anybody is left up there they’ll want to go somewhere else. That's how they work. Anyhow it won't be your problem anymore that's for sure. Good thing it didn’t fall on your face while you were sleeping.”




B.E. Earl said...

"All the eggs are sprayed so if anybody is left up there they’ll want to go somewhere else. That's how they work."

Yeah, but where are they gonna go? That's what would bother me about the situation.

sybil law said...

Great. Now I'm all itchy.

RW said...

This is a true story. One of the things that happened to me when I lived in DC.

Faiqa said...

I thought this was beautifully written. Sue me.

RW said...

Faiqa you sound like you weren't supposed to like it?