The Diaries of a Sozzled Scribbler #19
Transcribed by DMETRI KAKMI
In the 199th year of this my mortal life, I find me in Altamonte Springs, Florida, waiting for Little Lord Pantsleroy—otherwise known as Mr John King—so that I may capture him and torment him to my heart’s content.
For he hath offended me most high when he interviewed my pasty faced amanuensis Deutoronomy Katalapsycon, or whatever its name is, for a modern convenience called the invasion of the podcast people, and banished me from the room.
‘That man is a menace,’ Little Lord Pantsleroy declared. ‘He is banished.’
And so here I sit in that valley that pierces my heart with dread, and I look aloft and see his shoulders broad approach, awaiting him that is mine enemy so that I may entrap him and inflict punishments upon his conceited corse that he will not forget.
So overcome with fury am I that I risk being seen by stepping forth upon the perilous wide waste, strike a Napoleonic pose, and quote my good friend, God.
‘For vengeance is mine and I will repay. His day of disaster is near and his doom rushes upon him.’
My prize is almost upon me, sauntering at the bottom of the prominence upon which I stand, whistling a happy tune, carefree as Mariella Frostrup sans brassier.
‘Fly high, mine silvered snare,’ quoth I, as I cast a net into the air, ‘and bring my quarry like a fish from fathomless depths unto me.’
‘What, ho?’ cries the Shakespearean dolt as the latticework settles around him.
I step forward so that his eyes can look upon my bedazzled form for the first time.
‘What are you?’ says he. ‘That looks not like the inhabitants of the earth and yet walks upon it. Speak if you can. What are you?’
For although he publishes my world-wide hit column, he has never seen me before.
‘Hail, Little Lord Pantsleroy.’
‘Hail to thee, Thane of the Drunken Odyssey,’ I wheedle.
He trembles. Fear is in his eyes.
‘Surely it can’t be you,’ he gasps.
‘Tis I,’ I say, advancing. ‘And none other.’
‘Say why upon this blasted heath you stop my way with such horrendous greetings.’
On and on he goes, like a cold bum, quoting Shakespeare as if he’s John Gielgud. A quick application of ether knocks him out. Now to my secret laboratory and to execute my dastardly plan. But boy is he heavy. And badly dressed. First, I strip him of the rags he wears and burn them. Then I hire a crane to lift him.
Hours later, the victim returns to consciousness, strapped to an operating table in my eyrie.
I gloat in my white laboratory coat, made exclusively pour moi by none other than Issey Miyake.
‘It’s alive,’ I scream maniacally, raising my arms to the heavens. ‘It’s alive.’
Little Lord Pantsleroy is so frightened he almost poops his pants.
‘Where am I?’ he says. ‘What do you want?
‘For there is nothing covered,’ I quote, ‘that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.’
Little Lord Pantsleroy struggles in his bonds, but it’s useless. He is in my power.
‘Why I am covered in bandages?’ he says, looking down the length of his body. ‘What have you done to me?’
‘Tell me, my little friend.’ I stand over to him. ‘What is your favorite place in the world?’
‘And who is your favourite Disney character?’
‘Donald Duck. But Joe Carioca from The Three Caballeros is a close tie.’
‘And how would you like to be these characters?’
I let my pronouncement sink in.
‘What do you mean?’ he squawks.
I rip the bandages from his body with a grand flourish, and move a suspended mirror above the operating table so that he can see his body.
At first there is stunned silence. Then the eyes grow wide with shock and disbelief. And then the mouth (or rather the beak) opens and a prolonged quack of dismay is emitted.
‘I have turned you into a half-duck, half-parrot.’
‘Oh,’ I say, pretending to be perplexed. ‘I thought you wanted to be Donald Duck and Joe Carioca.’
The dismal quack is followed by a cacophonous squawk.
‘Because you did not to put me in your invasion of the podcast people thingy.’
And then the mad creature begins to laugh.
‘Why laughest thou, oh Caliban?’
‘Because,’ he says, half sitting up and staring at me with maddened eyes, ‘now I can work in my favourite place in the world, Disneyland.’
But I have one more nasty card up my sleeve.
‘That’s what you think, my little canard.’
‘She, my beaky little perroquet, is the manager of the Cabinet of Curiosities, a freak show, in Jupiter, Florida. Why here she is now.’
A divine creation right out of the Weimer Republic saunters in, half Marlene Dietrich, half Consuela Cosmetic.
The half-duck, half-parrot parody gapes at the miraculous apparition.
‘What are you staring at?’ Elsa Mars snaps, with that fake German accent of hers. ‘Do you value your job around here?’
Le canard et perroquet anomalie nods, knowing he is her slave forever.
‘Then get out there and make people laugh. Schel!’
Elsa Mars cracks her whip and l’homme canard et perroquet is carried away by assorted aberrations never to be seen again.
And now, dear reader, I am in charge of the Drunken Odyssey.
The Sozzled Scribbler was born in the shadow of the Erechtheion in Athens, Greece, to an Egyptian street walker (his father) and a Greek bear wrestler (his mother). He has lived in Istanbul, Rome, London, New Orleans and is currently stateless. He partakes of four bottles of Bombay gin and nine packets of Gauloises cigarettes a day.
Dmetri Kakmi is a writer and editor. His first book, Mother Land, was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia, and his new book, The Door, will be released in September 2020.