06 December 2011

Arjuna, do Your Duty

Even though you might harbor a well-founded and great hatred for little Mikey Nitrous (to be known to the world one far-distant day as Mr. Michael Nitrous of West 43rd Street), there were things about the slippery little child that endeared him to a great many of the pill-rollers, tobacconists and shad-mongers of his tiny home town. Little Mikey Nitrous had the most comely eyebrow, and he would raise it and lower it to his advantage whenever the opportunity to do so arose. Up went the eyebrow when he knew that surprise was in order. Down went the eyebrow when all around him were perturbed or concerned. The eyebrow would flutter and bounce when he deemed it profitable to appear to be having some sort of seizure. On the days he needed sympathy he would pray to the eyebrow god and then slam that most comely eyebrow in the door of his father's El Camino. Great geysers of crimson blood would shoot forth and all who gazed upon the most comely, reddened and throbbing eyebrow would frown symapthetically. Little Mikey Nitrous would be the recipient of gift cards, sugar-cured hams and reptile collections – showered upon him by adoring well-wishers who felt ever so bad about the nasty state of his most comely eyebrow.

When the winter winds began to blow in the spring of his fifteenth year (Little Mikey Nitrous' home town was always a few months behind the times), Little Mikey was overcome with a charitable pneumonia that wrapped about him like a pheasant-skin comforter – pilly, bloody, and dotted with freshly plucked pheasant flesh. Little Mikey Nitrous slipped quietly into the bathroom one day and hunted down his father's straight razor and shaving supplies. He lathered up that most comely eyebrow and with a single deft slice removed it.

Hours later, when the bleeding had slowed to a trickle, Little Mikey Nitrous packed the most comely eyebrow in his lunchbox, nestling it into a bed of ice cubes taken from the bucket behind his father's wet bar. Whistling a merry tune and carrying his frosty and precious package, Little Mikey skipped all the way to the eyebrow bank in the neighboring Cherokee village – no small wonder, seeing as he grew up in Saugerties. Entering the Medicine Man's hut that housed the eyebrow bank, Mikey bowed low and swept his arm before him.

Sim salahbim,” said little Mikey Nitrous.

How's it hangin', kiddo?” asked the wizened old Cherokee Medicine Man, tapping the ash from the cubeb he was smoking.

I bring an eybrow of unique quality, kemosabe.”

Don't you fricking kemosabe me, you little crapper...let's see this unique eyebrow of yours,” replied the Medicine Man, staring at the bloody chasm in little Mikey's still-weeping forehead.

Little Mikey slowly opened his lunchbox.

That's a hairy caterpillar,” said the Medicine Man, frowning.

It's an eyebrow,” replied little Mikey.

Kiddo, come back when you got a real eyebrow to sell, OK?” The medicine man turned back to the peyote-pops he was crafting in his Cryo-matic pop-engine.

It was not only little Mikey Nitrous' forehead that wept as he walked back home. The skies poured down thunder. The mountains shuddered. The rivers shifted to and fro. Little Mikey Nitrous made a detour past the shrine of the eyebrow god that stood next to the statue of Clara Peller in the city square. He slowly and silently walked up to the shrine and placed his limp eyebrow upon the altar. He backed away, waiting for lighting, waiting for smoke, waiting for earthquakes and a voice from the heavens.

A fly buzzed past little Mikey Nitrous and landed on the still-bloody eyebrow. Little Mikey thought about waving his hand to shoo away the fly, but realized that the fly might just be an avatar of the eyebrow god.

Little Mikey Nitrous crept away...backwards and on all fours.

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