Image of Juliet Berto, credit Jonathan Rosenbaum
Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the ninth of twenty-six interactive magic tricks that will lead you to your fortune as you determine it.
As per the 21 March intro to this magic act, my assistant, Juliet Berto, handed me the Collins Concise* and blindfold me, whereupon I randomly riffled through the I’s and landed my fingertip randomly on a page. And when Juliet removed the blindfold, there was no doubt: my fingertip was squarely on “Inevitable.”
And while Juliet was offstage conjuring the banner you see at the top of this post, I wildly jotted down what came to me in the Moment Of Meant To Be,** a.k.a. the ether, from whence jewels of genius and inspiration come.
Trouble is, the ether is what it is and does what it does, and we humans, who would harness it and drive it into the ruts of our schedules, have no control over it (fortunately). All that to say a tidy paragraph of thoughts did not come to me, but an ungainly fictional beast did. You can still use it in the manner proposed in the sidebar entitled “26 Magic Days of A to Z Directions.”
THE “I” BEAST PROMPTED BY “INEVITABLE”
‘Twas Enough to Make a Man Stare
Pipe Boy was brought up by dwarves on The Waterfront so it was inevitable that he would grow up to be the proud captain of a rowboat.
As a tiny, month-old baby, Pipe Boy had plopped out of a sewage pipe onto a polluted shore where a community of dwarves lived on the edge of the great river Zigaway.
Because this section of the river was a massive dump site for sewage and for hazardous chemicals from factories, the dwarves had it all to themselves.
The Dwarf Fathers who had founded the community many generations ago had done so purposefully, to lead their people away from the persecution and exploitation they suffered in the Giant Human World.
In their new Dwarf World, they had instilled in the people an abject terror of traveling beyond certain boundaries they called The Domain. And over time they had so successfully brainwashed the people that they truly believed no others had ever existed but themselves.
By the time Pipe Boy turned up, they assumed he was just a big dwarf sent via the Pipe Gods, so they named him Pipe Boy and brought him up as one of their own. Or they tried to anyway.
Pipe Boy grew like a weed so that he towered over the other children and eventually over the adults as well.
He suffered the brand of ruthless cruelty that only little kids can wield. Although he could have squashed them like grapes, he didn’t. And any parent who witnessed Pipe Boy’s mercy on their child, became convinced he was a god.
Strangely, though, this bestowed status had no influence on the Dwarf Fathers on the day Pipe Boy stood before them as an eighteen-year-old giant to request permission to depart for a time to go beyond the boundaries of The Domain.
Over the years, Pipe Boy had noticed that the elders were dying prematurely, of horrible, oozing, writhing deaths, and the babies were being born with ghastly disfigurements—parts of their faces missing, tumors the size of cabbages, stumps for limbs, and all manner of variations in between and beyond—and he was consumed with a feeling that help lay outside the Dwarf World.
In The Great Court, a cave dug into the banks of the Zigaway, Pipe Boy watched as the Premier Father slammed down the “Action Denied” stamp onto his papers of request. And although the special forces officers of the Dwarf World Police were poised, Pipe Boy responded with his usual grace. He bowed respectfully and waited to be dismissed.
But that night, Pipe Boy filled a small sack with provisions and stole from his clay hut down to the water’s edge. He moved soundlessly to the boathouse and cast his eyes over all the tiny little rowboats pulling at their tethers from slips. He selected the one he thought would be the seaworthiest and dropped his sack into it.
Pipe Boy extended a foot to step into the boat when he realized the one part of this stealth operation that he’d forgotten to consider was how he was going to fit his 175lb, 6’-0” frame into a dwarf-size rowboat. He thought about traveling by land, but he’d be fired at by the Boundaries Police Force and probably killed.
He worked up his resolve, sat down on the slip, put his feet on the bottom of the boat, leaned over and grabbed both sides of it with this hands and began to shift the weight of his torso toward it when an urgent rasp came, “You’re too big for it!”
Pipe Boy’s nerves jagged and then loosed and he nearly fell into the water.
“You’ll sink it!” a second rasp came.
Pipe Boy looked around, saw nothing, then his two best friends waddled up to him.
“Elmo, Twig, you scared the bejeebers out of me!” Pipe Boy hissed.
“Don’t go, man!” Elmo whispered. “The Snagadroll will clamp its jaws ‘round your middle, drag you to the deeps and stuff you under a rock until you’re dead and rotted, just right for the eating!”
Twig nodded. “It’d be a horrible way to die,” he said.
“No worse than the way our people are dying right now,” Pipe Boy said. “Anyway, have you seen that happen with your own eyes?”
“Well, no,” Twig said.
“You don’t know where the water goes, man,” Elmo said, “And even if it went somewhere, there’d be no one there.”
“Oh so you’ve been down the river and found a nowhere place with nobody present?” Pipe Boy said.
“Of course not,” Elmo said. “But you’re a fool to risk it.”
“Who’s the fool?” Pipe Boy said. “The one who stays and watches everyone die, or the one who tries to do something about it?”
Elmo and Twig looked at each other and shrugged.
Elmo motioned to Twig. “You go around to the other side of the slip and secure the port gunwale,” he said. “I’ll hold the starboard and Pipe Boy can concentrate on getting situated.”
“Thanks, guys,” Pipe Boy said.
Pipe Boy got himself wedged into the tiny rowboat and the oars into the oarlocks. Then Elmo and Twig guided the boat to the end of the slip and gave him a shove off.
“He looks like a man in a tea cup, don’t he?” Twig said.
“Heh, yeah,” Elmo said.
They watched Pipe Boy row the little boat into the night until he was out of sight.
Oh mercy, Readers, look what time it is and how huge this beast has become! Well, we’ve got Pipe Boy out of there, anyway, and he’s on his way to seek help… Perhaps another Pipe Boy episode will spew out of a future Moment Of Meant To Be and we’ll get to find out what happens in the long run.
Until next time, look for the magic and you will find it!
DON’T MISS A TRICK!
The Grand Reveal – 21 March 2014
Trick A – Albanian – 1 April 2014
Trick B – Black Forest – 2 April 2014
Trick C – Claw – 3 April 2014
Trick D – Docket – 4 April 2014
Trick E – Endanger – 5 April 2014
Trick F – Finicky – 7 April 2014
Trick G – Grave – 8 April 2014
Trick H – Harvester – 9 April 2014
* The Collins Concise Dictionary Of The English Language, Second Edition 1988, Collins – London and Glasgow
**the Moment Of Meant To Be is the instant of lucidness that arises from the contemplation of any given thing and subsequently reveals the essence of it. These Moments will be dashed off in paragraphs of 200 words or less and may be dark or shining, delirious or rational, but each paragraph will stir thoughts and feelings that lead to a meaning unique to you.