“Down To The Track”
At my age and at my weight, you don’t leave the house unless you have a goddamn good reason for it, but the Belmont Stakes is as good a goddamn reason as any I can think of, especially when Stage Door Johnny’s being jockeyed by a once-in-a-generation grass-course rider like Heliodoro Gustines.
If that’s the situation, I could be twice my age and twice my weight and I’d still tell Carlo to cram me into something pink and elegant (or a goddamn muumuu for all I care), as long as he gets me down to the track 10 minutes ago and damn well looks sharp about it.
Well. If you want a piece of advice, I’ll tell you right now that “down to the track” can mean different things to different people and if you care to avoid the singularly unpleasant experience of watching the gates open at Belmont and finding to your horror that the soon-to-be-flayed-alive Carlo has taken you to “A Day With The Dogs” at “The Lodge At Belmont Greyhound Racing Park” instead of the Stakes at Big Sandy, well then I recommend that you remember to be very, very, extremely specific the next time you are giving instructions to a manservant.
For Bojangles, the goal was always to amuse and to titillate. No opportunity to cut a caper went untaken - no ball of string unplayed with; no box uninhabited; no red laser dot on the wall un-hunted down and consigned to sweet lasery oblivion. On one memorable occasion, Bojangles even went so far as to claw two eye-shaped crescents out of a Chinese delivery box and place the contraption on his head as a jape to entertain his owners. How they all laughed that night.
To the vast, ferocious, and unimaginably technologically superior armies waiting just outside Earth’s atmosphere for Bojangles’ command to annihilate every life form on the planet, the quirks and oddities in their general’s behavior towards humans were of very little moment indeed. All that truly mattered was the war, and the wait.
Our love is a cage. The gossamer webs that bind our hearts become thick ropes that cut us off from the society that we need to survive. This bird that is our passion shall one day fly free.
Our lives are a cage. The shallow gestures that measure out our years are leaves on the whirlwind that is the raging universe. This bird that is my soul shall one day seek the sun.
This cage is a cage. This cage that I’m stuck in is a bummer of truly massive proportions. This bird that is supposed to be my friend apparently thought it would be hilarious to put me in it while I was sleeping.
“Squishyface In Stepney”
Upon being introduced to Dr. Squishyface, Captain Fabulous (in a fit of uncharacteristic magnanimity) made a gallant effort to ignore the former’s low family connexions. It was not to be helped, thought Fabulous to himself, that the doctor had a brother “in trade;” nor indeed could such an unfortunate circumstance be laid entirely at that gentleman’s doorstep.
Family connexions notwithstanding, the doctor’s unwelcome – and most certainly unsolicited – observation that he had recently purchased a pied-a-terre in one of London’s most unfashionable neighborhoods was not simply impolitic; it was too much to be borne.
Indeed, none but the most unsympathetic of observers could bring himself to heap too much opprobrium on the Captain for responding to this shocking revelation as he did, but one is inclined to agree with the popular opinion that his remarks (though perhaps not without some perspicacity) may have failed to conform to the strict standards of decorum that ought generally to be expected of a gentleman in such a situation.
Be that as it may, the phrase, “My good man, I’d rather have a brother in trade than a flophouse in Stepney,” has since achieved a status approaching legend in certain circles within the London aristocracy – a fact which has rendered the continued acquaintance of Captain Fabulous and anyone from the Squishyface family lamentably unlikely.
Jenkins’ mother was an odd bird, and he had never paid much attention to her when she said (as, rather worryingly, she often did) that it was “better to be Admiral of a box than Captain of a basket.”
It was not without some bitter irony that he found himself in a position, later in life, to prove this frankly insane adage to be literally untrue.
“What Trixie Saw”
What Trixie saw that day she would never tell. All that she would say when we tried to guess was that it was not a rabbit, it was not a dog, and it was most certainly not anything as pleasant as a mouse. There was a rumor that she had told Admiral Jenkins what it was that time he cornered her in the woodshed and that it was her revelation that had led to his being unable to complete his studies at the naval academy, but Jenkins would never consent to confirm this, even when directly confronted.
The closest she ever came to telling the truth of it was on that awful day when Lady Bigglesworth came home from the horse race in hysterics and we all had to wait so long for the doctor to arrive – and even then her remarks were far too cryptic for any of us to make much of, distracted as we were with trying to console poor Lady B in her distress. All that she would say was that she remembered, and that Lord Bigglesworth remembered, and then her eyes would get all wide again, as if she had seen a ghost.