Online Portfolio

He's Airing his Trousers

McFrouster just sits there in his stockings.  A violent wind blows outside.  Large waves crash against the cliff sides.  He is airing his trousers.  Marietta walks in.

"I see you have your trousers hung outside, McFrouster," Marietta says.

"I have," McFrouster replies.

"A lot of good that'll do on a day like today!  It's raining cats and dogs, McFrouster!"

McFrouster doesn't reply, but only stares and has some of his pipe.

"Hang them in front of the fire, McFrouster!  Don't be a Dunderhead!"

McFrouster whaps the pipe bowl on his open palm and blows the ashes skyward.  He claps the ashes off his hands and then folds his arms.  "If you're such an expert on trousers, Marietta, how is it that yours are all wet???"

"It's because I've walked here in the pouring rain, McFrouster!  My trousers are not impervious to rain!"

McFrouster raises his eyebrows and goes, "Mmmmmmm...."

"Well, aren't you going to offer me some tea and biscuits?  I think I'm catching a cold.  It's a long walk, you know.  And with the wind.  And the rain... And don't you have another chair?  Honestly, McFrouster, you are letting yourself go!"

McFrouster rolls his eyes and sighs audibly.  With as much effort there is available to him he gets up by pushing his hands up from his knees.  "My Lady," he says, and bows toward the old straight-backed wooden chair.

There is McFrouster in all his glory.  There he is in his one clean pair of underoos, and his stockings which do not quite reach his knees.  His dirty white shirt would be tucked into his pantaloons if they weren't out being aired.

Marietta takes her seat somewhat wearily.  "Haven't you got anymore pantaloons, McFrouster?"

"I told you, they're being aired."

"Still, you should have more than the one pair, for days such as this."

"I wouldn't have aired them if I was expecting company."

"I would have let you known of my visit if you didn't cut the phone cord."

"I couldn't handle the constant ringing."

"It only rang once, McFrouster.  Only once."

"It felt like hours."

"Mother always said you had attention problems.  I can see now she may have not been off the mark."


"Oh, never mind.  How about that tea?  I will shiver to death."

McFrouster turns 180 degrees toward the "kitchen", which is just a shelf with a few dishes on it, and a pail of water below.

"Is that water fresh, McFrouster?"

"Fresh as the rain, your Highness.  As fresh as a pair of aired trousers!"

Marietta grimaces.  "Not your trousers, I hope!"  She looks out the window at the trousers blowing like a rogue flag from the line.

"I could ring the water out of those, Marietta, and you could drink it, and it would be of the most rejuvenating delights!"

"Thanks, but no."  She looks around, but averts her eyes from any dark corners.  "You might be wondering what brought me today, with the weather so horrid?"

"I figured it was the wind," McFrouster says as he pours water into the cauldron hanging over the fire.

"It's not that windy out, and I've been spending my last eight and nine days eating Ringdings and Hohos."

McFrouster has a good laugh.  "And you brought none for me, I guess.  Unless  you are hiding them in your pockets."

"You can search me if you want, McFrouster.  You won't find any Ringdings, nor a Hoho."

"No Ringdings, no hohos, you have come empty handed."

"Well, that is one part of the reason for my arrival. I am terribly hungry, and think I'm growing ill."

"Not to worry, Marietta.  I have half a deer in the basement.  Let me just go and hack some of it off and dethaw it, and we shall eat like royalty."

"You are too kind, McFrouster."

"It's the least I can do," he says as he adds some "tea" to the boiling water.  "And what is the other part of your reason for coming here?"

"Well, that's a bit more complicated..."

"Not as complicated as a dog with two different sets of fake legs, I hope!"

"Heavens no.  Not as complicated as poor little Willy.  No, nothing like that.  It is more of a complication of the mind, you see.  Something so complicated it is even hard to put into words."

"Complicated indeed!  I'm afraid I can't help if you can't even name it."

"I know what it is, McFrouster, but the words... they are... inadequate."

"Inadequate indeed!  What are the use of words if they can't preform their duty!?  Can it be explained through interpretive dance?"

"I'm afraid not, McFrouster, for the 'dance' would be just me lying there and bemoaning, and tearing at my hair."

"It's that bad then is it?" He grabs a cup from the shelf and with the ladle hanging from a string on the cauldron, he serves Marietta the tea.

"What kind of tea is this, McFrouster?"

"I'm not exactly sure.  Do you remember Sinifried?"

"Yes, the old woman with hair like dead snakes?"

"Yes, her.  She traded me some herbs for some deer.  Why not, as they say."

Marietta sniffs at it and takes a small sip.  "Minty," she says.

"And you are still alive!" replies McFrouster.

"And I'm not blind!" exclaims Marietta.

They both share a chuckle.

"This problem of yours, Marietta, can you draw it in a picture?"

"Not unless you can understand a large black circle, McFrouster."

"I have studied black holes, you know that, Marietta."

"You have not been inside one, have you?"

"I would be turned to spaghetti, Marietta, you know that.  I've explained it all to you before."

"This is not theoretical, McFrouster.  This is real life.  And it hurts.  And it is inconceivable."

"Being turned into spaghetti would also hurt, Marietta."

Marietta sighs audibly, and has more tea.  McFrouster leans against the wall and spends some amount of time staring at his trousers being aired.  They have come to appear sinister and threatening.

"Maybe you're right, Marietta.  Maybe it's time I make another chair."

Marietta has used up all her words for the moment.  She stares into her cup.  The dark depths of the liquid is how she feels.  Some herb floats to the top, and sinks back down again, just like a wayward thought.  "Mother was right, McFrouster.  You will never be Wade MacKannon."

McFrouster's face turns dark.

"The sight and sound of that mans name on your lips is offensive.  Please don't, or I'll have to ask you to leave."

Marietta smiles slightly.

A wave of wind rattles the house.  McFrouster grabs a vile of alcohol from the mantel and throws it into the fire.  The flames explode.  He throws the vile against the wall.  He falls to his knees and tears at his beard.  He screams and falls to his back.

"Now you are starting to understand, McFrouster!  Soon we will be able to form new meanings.  New signs.  We are not yet spent.  There is still time."

Another wave of wind blows McFrouster's trousers off the line and ferries them into the ocean. The wind is in league with McFrouster's howls.

No comments: