25 August 2011
The Queens of Pultenham County
Most people 'round these parts remember the Crackhouse sisters - Lulubelle, Yolanda and Desdemona. There was a time, in fact, when I believe the whole of Putnam County knew the daily dress of those three queens. Lulubelle would always dress in a shade complementary to the vesture of Desdemona but contrasting most starkly to that of Yolanda. Never did the three stand still at the same time. If Yolanda and Desdemona were standing still and Lulubelle happened on the scene, one of the others would begin moving the moment that Lulubelle ceased to display forward movement.
Lulubelle practiced the fine art of phrenology. Yolanda had taken a correspondence course in locksmithing. Desdemona was a druid priestess. In Putnam county there are only so many phrenologists, locksmiths and druid priestesses, so the three Crackhouse sisters stood out for reasons aside from their manner of dress. Work was hard to come by during the great recession of 2009, though, and before long the three sisters found themselves destitute and seeking new means of making their way in the world. In the early twenty-first century there was a profession known as "telemarketing," and it was here that the Crackhouse sisters attempted to lay down some roots. "Telemarketing" consisted of attempting to sell items or services or some combination of the two in exchange for something that used to be known as "money," which formed the basis of something called "credit". The catch was that the transaction took place over what we used to call "telephones." These "telephones" allowed people to speak with one another over great distances, but it required both parties to speak into small plastic devices of which people grew quite fond. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but that was the way we did things back then. People would even type messages into these things back then, and send them to one another. You would see all sorts of people being ever so rude and "texting" one another in wholly inappropriate settings - restaurants, libraries, swimming pools and in the midst of proctological exams. How rich!
But I digress.
The Crackhouse sisters all took positions with a septic-system manufacturer, and began to spend their days extolling the virtues of a delightful product known as the "Hoopertank BM-2000." It really was the finest of septic system components and Lulubelle in particular found it quite easy to sell. "It practically sells itself," Lulubelle would exclaim when she returned home in the evenings, flushed with delight over the day's successes, "and to think that I frittered away so many years in phrenological research and practice!" Yolanda was equally as pleased with the new line of work, and her sales bonuses she repeatedly invested in subscriptions to septic-system trade journals - journals that had become a great comfort to her.
Desdemona alone felt somehow unfulfilled.
"I don't know what it is, my dear sisters," she confessed over a glass of absinthe one evening after work. "I seem to find my mind wandering when I attempt to sell toilet parts over the 'phone.'
"Desi," said Lulubelle, in an attempt to comfort her sister, "don't think of them as toilet parts - remember that we are purveyors of the finest septic-system components in Putnam County!"
"I know, Lu', but when one has drawn down the spirit of the sun at the summer solstice and flown through the ether planes with a badger goddess, a septic tank seems a little tame in comparison."
"I know what you mean," offered Yolanda, "I found it hard at first, too...goin' from wafer-tumblers to regenerative blowers, but you'll get used to it."