I suppose it’s a little late to mention it, but those chapters that are spelled out (like Twenty,) are diversions from the story, while those that are enumerated (thanks CL for giving me that cool word,) (like 21,) move the story along.
Kinda cute, right?
Well who asked you?
I don’t care if I did ask you – I thought it was cute even if nobody else did. Remember, this entire magnum opus (‘nother cool word, but this time I got it from Star Trek reruns,) is free of charge.
But back to the beauty of these nonenumerated diversional chapters (wow am I cranking out the cool words tonight!) You can take these chapters almost like short stories and you might even understand what’s going on without reading the previous 37 Dirk Destroyer posts.
The scratchwing and bellow had been such a fine combination for instrumental duets that when I was born people in my village thought they had been part of civilization forever. Two years later when Dirk was born, most people still held the same opinion.
Though the scratchwing is a precision instrument and the bellow more tonal and percussive, it was the fad of composers in my youth to ask the direct opposite of each. The result was a musical product that resembled a raptor swimming under water next to a leviathan farting.
It was unpleasant, but it was art, and to expect art to be pleasant is common, base, uncultured, and ignorant. The annual art endowments were thus awarded to the artists, composers, choreographers, sculptors, and nose pickers who most made you wish that your head was an internal organ.
Those were heady days for the arts.
Dutifully, Dirk and I studied music and practiced every day. Dirk developed a sardonic sense of humor; I developed allergies; and our mother went through three divorces.
I remember a particularly cruel punishment I received in middle school after my rendition of V. D. Popengut’s ninth inversion was greeted with applause by my classmates. I was forced to listen to the correct interpretation repeatedly until I was light-headed from loss of blood and mucus.
It was into this world of poignant artistic integrity that Captain Kangar Fassentinker rose to prominence. Kangar Fassentinker was a tug boat captain on the continent of Pogo where his primary trade was to take tourists to the one toilet, or loo, as they were called down there, that flowed in the correct direction. Captain Kangar –loo as he was popularly known to the inhabitants of those parts, had very little adult trade, as most people over the age of seven felt no need to see a toilet flow the correct way more than once. Smaller children however, could never get enough of it, and after some time, parents began habitually leaving their children on his tugboat before leaving for work, or to score drugs.
Kangar Fassentinker was not pleased with this turn of events. An accomplished scratchwing player in his youth with four suicides to his credit, Captain Kangar-loo began playing his scratchwing – not properly, but in a contrarian fashion - in opposition to the accepted artistical forms of the day.
Unfortunately, the children of his tugboat nursery had not yet developed the sophistication necessary to understand that what they were hearing was asinine, derivative crap, and so they loved and adored the Captain almost as much as he loathed them. The Captain lived in an increasingly unbearable world of happy children, swirling water, and deplorably pleasant music.
After twenty-five years, and a dozen unexplained drownings, Luke Gandolf, a writer of fantasies, and creator of toys that were particularly harmful to children, remembered his dear Captain Kangar-loo, and bailed him out of jail, in order to bring Kangar Fassentinker’s music to the world.
Unfortunately, only a handful of Fassentinker’s pieces were released to the world including his exquisite third duet for scratchwing and bellow before Fassentinker slipped on a cube of ice and accidentally impaled himself on an ice pick left carelessly propped, point up, on the floor. This occurred at the apartment of the aforementioned composer, Vladimir Draculo Popengut, who was the only witness to the event.
Not sure if Danny Kaye was Fassentinker or Popengut, but I love his movies.