Sunday, February 1, 2009

Back from the whirlpool of digression

Butler has momentarily forgotten Bagman’s threat while he studied the internal rhyme and metric schemes in a poem that was lying on the ground before him. But Bagman loudly clears his throat and Butler looks up, realizing he is still holding on the tails of Bagman’s long western-style coat. Bagman is undoing another button and Butler remembers he was trying to get Bagman back in the house and Bagman was threatening to expose himself indecently, or at least unappetizingly, to the people passing by if Bagman tries to drag him back by his coattails.

Butler has been through this before. He hears Bagman clear his throat again and notices the fire in the old degenerate’s eyes. He also sees that among the pedestrian commuters on this street, a group of six attractive co-eds with tight denim jeans and books under their arms have just turned the corner and are approaching. Bagman’s head is bobbing up and down like a puffed-up pigeon and Butler knows that he is no longer daring Butler to pull his coat but almost insisting upon it.

“So go then! Leave the house! See if I care!” shouts Butler, a little frustrated because his best shout still sounds like a soprano proofreader reading aloud. He lets go of the coattails and stomps back toward the house, frustrated again because his best stomping looks like a mincing prince.

Butler has reached the door of the old brownstone they share when he feels Bagman’s coat crash flappily on the back of his head. He turns slowly to see the expected spectacle.

Bagman is standing stark naked in the street with his arms raised to sky. Bagman is roaring, “Aha! See what you made me do!” Ten feet away the co-eds are giggling.

Butler’s voice, actually showing some real restrained anger, hisses back, “I’ve made you do nothing. It was your choice. And now you are going to get someone to hit the flag button on this blog identifying it as objectionable and we’re going to get kicked off Blogspot!”

Bagman is not paying attention. He is turning around proudly and announcing, “Just check out my six-back abs!”

Butler retorts, “More like a keg flanked by two gallon jugs.”

Bagman gleefully focuses instead on the pun, stares at the co-eds and starts chanting, “Jugs jugs, I love jugs…”

Butler sadly turns again, walks inside, shuts the door, and dials 911 on his cellphone. He goes into his office, sits on his chair, re-arranges his pencils on his desk so they are all pointed in the same direction, and listens to the muted sounds of police sirens in the distance.

But before the sirens get close, the door to his office slowly cracks open and Bagman’s shaggy head looks in sheepishly. Not sheepish as in guilty but more like an actual sheep, his matted beard looking like dirty gray wool. “Okay, we have to talk.”

“Yes,” says Butler. “We have to have a talk.”


  1. WOW. Yes I would say a talk is in order. And not a moment too soon.

  2. Lol. You have such a wicked way with words I was enthralled from start to finish - loved this line, "his best shout still sounds like a soprano proofreader reading aloud".

  3. Thanks, Lilly...your latest blog on love is great too...opens up at least a hundred different roads that Bagman and Butler might rush down...

  4. Loved it. The puffed up pigeon analogy especially.