Comics by Michael Lowell Teague 2006-2007
Before you leave tonight, Thelma, you will believe that a man with hands as small as these can love you—can love you with a heart as big as a bear, with legs as strong as a horse, with a trunk as ambidextrous as an elephant...! Before this night is through—with God as my witness—you will believe!
Who’s oily head print be dis on ma pillar case? I don’t know’d anyone wid a head this paltry! Sum’un wid a head naw bigger than a cat’s teat is sleepin’ in ma bed whiled I’m off workin’! Sum one who ain’t got the sense God gave a two-legged stool—dat’s who! Sum one who ain’t got da sense to worsh dare head in a blue moon!
I guess it was you, food, who used up my whiteout pen to draw snowmen? That pen is for doctoring my résumé, food, not for making Christmas cards in April!
Come, come, madam. Even cockroaches like five-star restaurants. We know you and your kind. You can’t hide the stench of your lowly birth behind five pelts of dead mink and think we wouldn’t notice. We all know how you came by your money, and it doesn’t fly here. You can drop the phony accent. And while you’re at it, you can go in the bathroom and wash that pricey perfume off your neck.
I wanted either the police bear or the firefighter bear, but all they had left were the postal worker bears. I told him I didn’t want a postal worker bear. “Who thought of that one?” I asked. “How are postal bears related to Nine Eleven?” He said, “Postal workers were killed on Nine Eleven, too.” I said, “Are you sure?” (He was only sixty-five percent sure.) I shook my head. He then said, “If you wait a month, we’ll have wedding bears, and an Elvis bear.” I asked him if he could backorder on the firefighter bear. He said, “No.” I stormed out of the post office at that point. I was livid!
Be not a-scared of me, for I am Barney. Be not a-scared of prehistory or grape-colored reptiles. It is not ‘bout free ice cream and car rides dat I come, but ‘bout brushin’ and a flossin’. Barney are friend. Barney hate only plaque and gingivitis. Barney are friend.
We almost missed each other. Almost missed our appointment with destiny. How many people in this town talk on walkie-talkies without batteries in them? Talk to Abraham Lincoln and people buried alive in coffins? How many people are there in this world whose favorite film is Children of the Corn? It was written in the stars that our paths should cross, and that the little voices in our heads should exchange phone numbers. Surely providence brought us here tonight, with filed-down serial numbers and enough baby wipes to kill off every designer germ the US Government can throw at us.
Gaze deeply into my plumber’s butt, my pretty. See your fate written there. See the life that was yours but is now mine flash over its fleshy, pitted surface. See me wearing your pink chiffon prom dress—the one you and your mother drove to the city especially to pick out. See me wearing your high school class ring. See me having my picture taken with your boyfriend, hunky Matt Tracer, in the society section of the local newspaper. What was yours is now mine! Wickedly, wickedly mine!
Buster’s in heaven with Gramps now. Ain’t he Ma? Buster’s chasing rabbits in Glory, and racing Gramps down to the fishing hole. Right?
You only see them when the crowd thins, like seeing flies on a wedding cake. I’m talking about the guys in the white tee-shirts. Shirts too white to be working with their hands, but too tee-shirt to be up to much good. They’re always working the room, though: chatting people up and sweating even in February. They’ll engage you in inane conversations about the storage capacity of freezers. Or they’ll give you detailed biographies about obscure signatories of The Declaration of Independence—people they could be making up for all you know! I mean, how many wealthy Virginia landowners’ wives died in childbirth? It sounds plausible. These guys aren’t stupid, mind you. They’re just messed up. They need girlfriends.
Let me thank you for entrusting me with the job of painting your baby’s nursery. Let me thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for inviting me into your house. And let me pledge to you (in light of your three teenage daughters) that I will not spirit them away by nefarious means and make them my common law wives. This I can assure you: They will not live with me in the shadowy recesses of the municipal aqueduct, support me with shoplifting, or service me with coitus cohabitation. I will not force them to cover their face and bodies with peach-colored bed sheets and pass out cultist literature at strip malls. Rest easy on this score.
Dang! You look just like my ex-girlfriend! Wow! This is freaky for me! Please forgive me for staring, but this is really weird. Dang!
If you look into their beady eyes, you can see the cogs whirling. They’ve got a memory for license plates, and bear a grudge like a wrinkle in trailer carpeting. Deadbolts and second phone lines count for nothing with these folks. You won’t smell them—like a gas leak. You won’t see them—like gratitude from a teenager. But it’s an inner ear thing with them, you see. A third eye. An extra toe. Take my advice and stay upwind of them. Don’t leave candy wrappers on the ground. Keep a low profile. No thongs.
We’re gittin’ him started early on tattoos. Ain’t these beauts? He’ll thank us when he’s all grown.
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