I have so many wonderful blog posts I want to write, but time isn’t currently on my side. I’m working my arse off to add the finishing touches on my upcoming collection, How To Avoid Sex, and am eyeball deep in some intense design work. What this ultimately amounts to is very little time to do anything else. This strenuous period should wane soon and I can get back to spreading the Trash Gospel. In the meantime I thought I’d share a little excerpt from the title story in my upcoming book. I’m a writer afterall, and I do write books… it’s makes sense. So while I concede this is a placeholder post, it is one that means something to me.
My passage out of the forest took mere minutes. The kind leonine snake waited at the forest threshold, assumedly to ensure I was safe. Wanting to afford the snake courtesy and respect, I implored it to wait, making stop signs with my hands. It obeyed and I made a dash for the nearest hat vendor of repute. The alleyways that surround my work are bulging with hat vendors of every conceivable sort. In matters of civility and manners, I tend toward bell crown toppers as I believe these convey an appropriate level of respect. Few vendors see fit to stock such headgear, but over the years, I’ve certainly done my research. A gentleman by the name of Hooster Bean has had a small stall for many years and in this instance, I knew he was my man. I fought my way through the crush of hat vendors, seeking Hooster out, hoping that my snake tour guide remained in wait. On a couple of occasions I had to be rather forceful with particularly pushy vendors who insisted that I sample their wares.
Hooster had been relegated to the deepest recess of the dingiest alleyway. It alarmed me to note how little prize we pay quality these days. Immaculately attired in a Valentino Newman suit and deadman top hat, Hooster beckoned me over.
“Worthington, my lad,” he said to me. “It’s been days.”
“Yes, my dear Hooster. I apologise for my scarcity, I’ve had urgent business that required my full attention.”
“Pay it no mind. It’s just so jolly good to see you.”
“The feeling is completely mutual,” I replied. “As much as it pains me, I must dash off as soon as possible.”
I made a show of studying my fob watch to illustrate the point.
“Certainly,” he replied. “In what manner may I be of assistance?”
“So kind of you to ask, Hooster. I require, and I do hope you can provide, a bell crown topper immediately.”
“Ah, Worthington!” He said with a kind smile. “You certainly are a man of superior taste. I believe I have exactly what you’re looking for.”
“Smashing!” I replied, letting my excitement get the better of me.
Hooster began foraging through hat boxes beneath his stall, carefully moving one aside to examine the next. He emerged a few moments later with a pink and red-striped cylindrical box.
“Wait until you lay your eyes on this number,” said Hooster. “This work of supreme artisanship has been imported from France.”
The Europhile within pumped a gentle fist of excitement. Hooster placed the box before me, slowly removed the lid and then, ever so carefully, peeled back the white tissue paper. The redolence of the Bastille filled my nostrils, briefly overriding my other senses. As my vision returned, I was greeted by the most adequate hat I had seen in some weeks. Hooster held it toward me.
“Would you like to try it on?” Asked Hooster.
“Indeed, I would, but I’m afraid I have no time. I really must be off. That said, I will most certainly purchase this kingly hat. How much do I owe you?”
“Let’s see,” he said, fingering the label on the box. “That will be $840.”
“A remarkably good price,” I replied while placing the cash before Hooster.
With a handshake, followed by a mutual bow, I made haste back to the threshold of the bamboo forest, hoping the snake would be waiting. I freed my new hat and disposed of the box in one of the many repositories that map our city.
I was relieved when I found the snake waiting patiently where I had left it. It seemed nonplussed. I carefully lowered the bell crown topper to my crown and centred myself before I continued my approach.
“I’m so happy you waited,” I said to the snake, who didn’t seem to acknowledge what I was saying. “After the assistance you’ve given me, it would have been most inappropriate not to afford you courtesy.”
With that said, I bowed and titled the bell crown topper ever so slightly.
“You earned that,” I said.
The book is coming soon. I’ll probably announce it here when it’s ready.