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Che Henry Persival
In April I embarked upon 100 Words but then awoke one morning to discover that many members of my mother's species (humans) had metamorphosed into non-sentient androids, and like millions of Franz Kafkaesque roaches there seemed nothing that could stop them! Amidst war crimes so despicable I can't speak of them, humans sat and watched Ronald McDumsfeld pretend he didn't know.
Nervously, I awoke my human mother. Had she also metamorphosed? But alas she hadn't changed! "Long live the resistance, kitty," she said, and that is why I have my name: Che Henry Persival.
Following are April and May days…
Ply your whiskers from your milk bowl and pluck your noses out of your daydreams! C'est moi, Che Henry Persival, the boy kitty from the Lower East Side, here to throttle your neocortex with Parisian memories and morsels of my upcoming play "All That Glitters Is Not Gold." As you recall, last June, as my human mother huffed at work, I discovered the internet- and politics. Behold, I've heisted more knowledge since then and am now a pundit on par with Chomsky. So relax, and let me gargle your throat with political analysis that's feistier than a Listerine jabanero cocktail.
Perhaps last June you didn't have the bon chance of rickshawing into my 100 words, so let me explain that I'm a male tabby from Avenue B, New York City. I live with Cornzee (my rubenesque half sister), Thumby (a narcoleptic plastic doll child), Rumplestiltskin ('nuff said), and my human mommy.
Though I shishkabobbed many years in Paris studying to be become an Egyptologist, I'm most esteemed for producing numerous underground dance hits, the most recent being: "Boogie Eyes," "Night of the Shevardnadze's," "Scratch the Persian Rug," "Taxman at the Yogi's Door," "Pretty Little Troglodyte," and "Get Your Dander Off."
Forget the elephants, you can bet your bottom's dollar that it's domesticated tabby cats that never forget. I'm so good I can recall every pip of dander I've flicked to the wind, or when and where my last itch was and who, prey tell, was the source. And nothing can lobotomize the memories of Paris where I studied to be an Egyptologist. It was there that I formed some of my most moist friendships, many of whom still marinate my yumyum basket to this day.
Of all these, it was L'il Bouzzini who I should have forgotten… But I haven't.
Bouzzini. "The tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth." Bou-Zzi-Ni.
Artic fox, trust fund baby, two sides of a magician's clammy coin… In Paris we studied Egyptology but while my purrsuits arose from passions for venerated mummified kitties, Cleopatra, and eyeliner coal, L'il Bouzzini studied simply to lasso the title "Doctor," and to taunt his classmates. He fancied himself clairvoyant, yet his only prediction to come truest was that I'd graduate with honors. But who, prey tell, after sunbathing in my preternatural presence, could not figure that?
Today, on the news: The Passion of Condoleeza Rice…
Condi, oh Condi, she of many words and furrowed brows. Were that you were a man, would they so talketh to you in the manner that they did? Truly I say to thee, Condi talketh so mucheth but sayeth so verily littleth! This maketh me yearnst to tear up expensive leather sofas. Sadly, this charade goes on while humans die so that rich men's potbellies may spread out to greedier pastures…
Places to escape: Montana (housecat to some Freemen)? Alaska (the odds are good, but the goods are odd)? Canada (Ey)?
Today Thumby and I viewed The Sound of Music! Oh how it petroled my purrbox and harpooned my heart into mush! Raindrops from hoses and warm woolen kittens! Such a noble tale about a nun who's so good she gets to be "bad."
It merits two claws up, despite the plotholes. For I grew confused at the end when an abbess tells Maria she's not meant to spend her life in the service of God. Huh? I don't get it. After Baron Von Trapp sang Edelweiss I thought it was clearly established that he was God. I'm still confused. Huh?
I really know my ice cream. Ask me, front me a nickel, and I'll escort you to concrete nirvanas where Thumby and I gorge on artic bliss until our bellies chirp ‘n burp with content. Before indulging, I always feverishly whisper, "Thank you, dearest ice cream." For truly it's one of life's few dependable pleasures!
Another dependable – my playwriting. And work on my new play "All that Glitters Is Not Gold" is underway! My plugs spark when I work on this, my most serious masterpiece to date, a treatise and examination of my human mommy's life. (Alternate title: Rollercoaster Hugger).
It's been suggested that my website behaves as a flavorful visual partner to my words (readers can grope it through the link in my profile above). There you may glaze your eyes with photographs of my friends and of a nemesis or two. Well, you ask, is it one nemesis or two? I'm not certain, for I once read an antiquated tome that said our foes may not really be foes but, rather, friends in costumes who teach us valuable lessons. Well I'm not certain I'll purchase that philosophy though I agree it'd be nice if every day were Halloween!
The characters for the play are as follows: Thumby as my human mother. Me as God. Rumple as my mommy's friend. And Cornzee will hustle many roles, including the ornery, somewhat puffy woman in the coffee shop who behaves grinchishly to my mommy when she queries for espresso with milk and sugar.
Here are some music cues: "I Believe in A Thing Called Love" The Darkness, "Let's All Chant" The Michael Zager Band, and "We Have a Map of the Piano," by Mum, which Thumby can only sing on closing night, for her incredible performance of it makes her collapse.
This morning, after an ocean whitefish bacchanalia, I sprinkled more psychological sugar to the script of All That Glitters Is Not Gold. Then, after a litter box hootenanny, I asked my housemates to assist with set development (or as Godard might say "le mist en scene").
We've begun building the god machine, strobes for the fantasia light sequence, and a wire for Thumby's rendition of Madonna's "Just Like a Prayer" where, suspended from the ceiling, she swings across the room throwing punches in the air and, after a good fight, lets go and learns to enjoy being a human yoyo.
Oh Easter! What a day - the catnip hunt and a reconnaissance tour of Chinatown in search of the mythic Bunny. Indeed my human mother claims she saw him (her?) there many Easters ago, doling out pastel-colored M & Ms.
Noble Easter Bunny. Yeti of Our Lower East Side. Abominable Sasquatch. We have the clues (M & Ms), there's been a supposed sighting (but was mommy space cadeting?), yet no certainties.
While searching, I tinkled with delight as I shnorkled some poor man's gold: chocolate. Being health conscious, I demanded nothing but Snickers- tender bars laden with peanuts, ergo protein.
I'd have forgotten L'il Bouzzini had he not heehawed onto my website, scoped the picture of my feline friend Lula Mae, and pawed her digits.
He's fancies her eyes. Strange, because Lula romps around with eyelids opened so wide she always appears stungunned. This appearance recently inspired someone to call her "Boogie Eyes," a nickname about as delightful as a hairball laced with cement. So, to put the chutz back in Lula's paw, I pickled this song: "Boogie Eyes, boogie eyes, please come to play. Say, say what's on your mind, your eyes are boogieing again today, beautiful Boogie Eyes..."
Bravo! Tonight President Cowboy held a primetime news conference. OooLaLa! A whopping third time in 3 ½ years! I had to wear my mother's sunglasses so as to shield my eyes from the president's psychedelic tie - a fashion faux pas that I heretofore thought only a boozed-out frat boy might make. The tie looked alive. The president didn't.
Dubya and Condi are like friggin' and frac. They spew lots of stir-fried canarsie. After 25 minutes I squished on my earplugs, for the less I see or hear from the Littlest Evangelical Cowboy, the less likely I'll suffer a meltdown.
Ladies and Gentrification, if last night's travesty of a speech did not convince the bible humpers that Bush is faker than a box of dehydrated mashed potatoes then dare I say we are scrooged. Pondering such things, an epiphany strikes me like an asteroid hepped-up on amphetamines. Imagine, prey tell, if the powers that be installed a charismatic human as president? Dare I say we'd be so far up poop alley we'd need lots more than a paddle to get out. For if humans actually purchase what Bush Junior pushes, imagine what they'd give up for an intelligent sexy person?
I met L'il Bouzzini years ago in Paris. I was sitting by the Siene, licking my thigh when…
"Hellloooo! I'm L'il Bouzziniiii! You're in my Egyptology 101 class!"
Sniffing, so as to imbibe more information, I detected trouble and dimestore cologne.
"Mais sur…"I said, and continued in French (flouncing my linguistic prowess).
He responded, "You speak good French, little Mr. America, but your tenses are off. You turn the future into the past!" Then, foxtrotting away, he added, "I'll see you in class yesterday, oops, I mean tomorrow!"
Hours later, I could still hear his laughter ringing in my cheeks.
L'il Bouzzini… He ridiculed us then loved us, like Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hyde, a comedy tragedy mask, a camera and a sock… But perchance this fueled us. He often taunted Gore-Lee-Leek (the physics student bear): "You think you're fuzzy, eh? Well, I'm much fuzzier! Ha!" This spurred Gore-Lee-Leek to invent The Fuzzometer, a marble of modern technology. As gargantuan to the animal realm as the computer has been to the humanoid species and speakeasies, it counts each sprig of one's fur, measures its thickness, and renders a precise calculation of fuzziness.
P.S.: Gore-Lee-Leek proved much fuzzier than Bouzzini. Much.
As most of you know, Thumby is my beloved housemate, a narcoleptic plastic doll-child from the deep South. This winter she lay dormant for weeks, raising her nimble head only once to simply pouf out the cryptic word "fug."
This morning, in a panic, I woke her to tell her of my new initiative – "The Expatriate Act," which is basically a plan to hatch a bunch of one-way tickets for us to couscous on out of here.
Party time is over. The lunatics have taken over the asylum. And the spooky puppet president proves to be a laxative of evil.
And speaking of puppets, I have a side project to scratch, a puppet show about a puppet show. More precisely, a Greek Tragedy puppet puppet show.
Here, George Dubya plays the son of wannabe god George Herbert. Raised in a social vacuum, or alternately a plastic bubble, George Jr. is eventually placed in the position of laundering his father's dirty socks and business. In the fabulous denouement (which also features a light show), Lon Chaney, oops, I mean Dick, sits in a room with a puppet of George Dubya, answering questions for both as the 9/11 investigative committee griddles them.
The thing with L'il Bouzzini is that he envied my joie de vittles, my passion for Egyptology, and my sharp toenails. So he often tried to put me down, but didn't succeed.
For there have been many times in my spectacular life that others have tried jibing with my mojo, hurricaning on my parade, pooping on my lawn so to speak. But they have never been able to squish my spirit. No. They cannot take the zip out of my drive! For I am like the moon and a bucketful of stars- all lit up in their dark, spooky night.
Shasta. Today I received this email:
It's L'il Bouzzini, writing to you from my duplex from where I have a stunning view of Notre Dame. I hear that in New York you have a view of the Williamsburg Bridge. Yawn. How bourgeois…
So, I hear you're dismayed that I contacted Lula Mae after seeing her photo on your website. HA! My scrawny friend, your "homies" are not property! Why shouldn't I invite Lula Mae to one of my lavish great gatsbyesque parties? Like everyone in the world, I'm only looking out for number one.
Monsieur L'il Bouzzini
I'd rather be bourgwhatever than reminded of an abused hunchback each time I peek out the window.
Regarding Lula Mae, I do not mind you meeting my friends (for it'll only be a crackle of time before they whiff the winter of your discontent) but I get hiccupped thinking of you soliciting friends through my website, hustling it as some sordid personal hookup Shangri-la. And thanks for informing me that you and the rest of the world are looking out for number one, I feel much safer knowing that you' re all looking out for me.
Che Henry Persival
In June's 100 words, I told my tender readers about some of my Parisian homies. But there were many others...
Getty-Getty Khan, the littlest warrior, who taught us the ancient arts of self-defense, though his true love was painting with lapis-lazuli. Consider also Saucy O'Doulahan, the flavorful dachshund, otherwise known as the "Le Camel of Montmarte." For on those nights that we tired from interpreting Rimbaud, he'd give us a ride home on his back which resembled the banana-shaped seats of bicycles from yesteryore. There was also the scientist bear named Gore-Lee-Leek Ghoulie-Ghoulie whose fricassees with L'il Bouzzini were legendary.
Perchance you're a millionaire? Male? A religious funnydamentalist? Or, if not religious, does its value in dumbing the heck out of the masses rev-up your purrbox? Have no children? Or, if yes, do you Not give a hooter about the make-believe economy and smoggified environment they're already huffing? Do you think it's all shits and giggles when people outside your lilliputian world suffer? Believe all animals should be stuffed?
Well, if can you answer "yes" to 4 or more of these questions then congratumutilations, you're part of the status quo! Yippee! Vote for Bush in '04.
I'm going to Mars.
Did I tell you of the Shevardnadze's? Not to be confused with the Georgian President, this was L'il Bouzzini's gang of neon, plastic, child monster thingees. I shan't bushwhack your night's sleep with tales, but suffice to say their antics would make Scarface blush.
After graduating, L'il Bouzzini suffered a meltdown of sorts and became a gangsta. Then, after hearing my dance hits he tripped further down that long spiral staircase and, using the Shevardnadze's as background vocalists, wrote the song "Don't Mess With My Chomps, Elysees."
And yes, it flopped like a cupcake without yeast, or Santa without Rudolph.
Spring! The temperature finally kindles my toes, which the winter makes so icy I must sleep on radiators or shamelessly plastered against the derrieres of others just to keep from jack's frost! But today my mommy opened the windows, put on a squirt to go to work, and Thumby awoke as the high pollen and mold spore count gave her allergeezus. Cornzee's shedding so profusely, you'd think her coat was ablaze. Hee, I half expect her to metamorphose into a butterfly one of these days! Always enterprising, I'm collecting her shedding, so as to make a fur coat for Thumby.
"I'm for truth no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against."
Before flitting to the Free Palestine demonstration, mommy whispered, "Perhaps you shouldn't attend, for you're too tiny and too sensitive."
Well "perhaps" means "maybe," and I am also patient! So Thumby and I waited till she left, poptarted the fire escape, and followed her.
At the demo, I roared against the Israeli army's destruction of human lives. And perchance it's true that due to my tinyness people didn't see me, but that's okay… because I know they heard me.
Thumby, arising out of a narcoleptic slumber, queried, "Che, why do you let L'il Bouzzini bother you so?"
And I say to her- perhaps we can rent out the film Amadeus and consider how Salieri tormented our fair Mozart. Admittedly, L'il Bouzzini once presented the sort of challenge that lit up all my firecrackers and barbequed my grills, but that's passed. Yet Bouzzini still persists in taunting me, perhaps because I'm so polite I even say ‘god bless you' when others pass flatulence!
Yawning, Thumby repeated, "Okay, but you still haven't answered why you let L'il Bouzzini bother you so..."
Last night I dreamt L'il Bouzzini's pointy snout knock-knocked my window, and when I peeked outside I saw Thumby, a dervish in miniscular white robe and fez, whirling in circles on the fire escape. I called her, but she didn't heed my meows. I tried husking open the window but couldn't. Cornzee, wearing a white sequined tutu, said, "Now is never too late" and swiftly opened it. Thumby, tripping inside, muttered, "Power to the people, right on," and handed me a bale of hay saying, "To Bouzzini or not to Bouzzini? There's no question, you should go make some gold."
Indeed today Thumby and I leapfrogged to the Film Forum to watch the Battle of Algiers, a film so old it's new again!
When I meowed my day's activities to my mother she suggested that I, still really a kitten, should perhaps spend more time experiencing playful things. She said, "Let's play The Sound of Music. Why don't you tell me a few of your favorite things?" Pray tell, this is no easy task, so I will be catnapping on this so as to make a purrfect list, which I shall present to her and to you, gallant reader, tomorrow.
These are a few of my favorite whogeewhatsis…
Televisions that cannot receive reception; The lady I once observed hobbling down the sidewalk searching for a lost high heel; Ocean whitefish; H.R. Pufnstuf and the manner in which he bounces when he speaks; Thumby dancing to Snoop Dotty Doe; Laser beams; A baby panda somersaulting across the grass; Attractive, trustworthy folk who know how to pet properly; Black hair, dark eyes…
Yes! And to this I'll add: other l'il animals such as myself, and humans who skyrocket above the inadequacies of their species.
Long live truth, beauty and the Easter bunny.
The Tip Jar