Friday, July 22, 2016

Struggling to reach bottom, 1

When I was a likkle kid, about 23, I would often be dragged by the hand by my father, seven-foot-two, along the cheerful alleys of Klondyke, to find the next booze dive where he credit had not yet run out.

It was a hopeless struggle, really, for my father (named Swagholler Dingwat Cornswoggle The Third after his favorite aunt) really had a credit with every even vague commercial person on entity in town, be it schoolteachers, journalists, greengrocers, whores, streetsweepers, conmen, or bakers.

We would weave our way between Klondyke's juggling acts, street urchins, thieves, do-gooders, preachers, sailors on leave, and unwed mothers, trying not to drop any of the night's loot, such as gold watches, Raggedy-Ann dolls, clean and un-cleaned piss pots, silver bracelets, chrochet mallets, breakfast buns, and bundles of bank bills.

Klondyke had much to thank my father for. He was the first tripple-elected mayor, although some claim that his average term of nine days put a crimp in that record. He was the man who invented the twelve-cat choir, both the gospel form and the secular one. (The latter was later banned in large parts of Asia due to, it was claimed, "lack of serious artistic sensibility.")

My dad was at that point about thirty-three or thirty-four, though most people took him to be about seventy-two, due to his long grey beard, his hazy purplish eyes, and a tendency to walk in a stoop so dramatic that he often made more in pennies found on the ground than he did from his various complex schemes.

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