Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 6 No. 3 | Fall 1984 (Seattle) /// Issue of 24 /// Master# 57 of 73

In the mid-1970s, Amelia Dorth’s textbooks on early childhood development and adult memory theory, Let Them Squeal and I Don’t Know, I Have One Someplace, helped to shape the educational policies of that period. In 19B0, following accusations of plagiarism, Dorth retired from writing to become "just a housewife, ” raise her 3 children, and "rethink some assumptions, particularly those relating to the use of the ball point pen." The Clinton Street Quarterly occasionally receives manuscripts in peculiar ways. The following evidence of Dorth’s return to the writing desk was hand-delivered to the editors by a messenger carrying an envelope which showed indications of both fire and water damage and bore what appeared to be recent food stains. Inside was the following message: bit like a cross between a Herfy’s Sandwich Shop and the Pagoda restaurant in NE Portland. The walls of their home were simply covered with photos of all the reasons for everything they could imagine. There were photos of facts, for instance, there were photos of unquestionable facts all over the place. The teeny people hung them regularly. ■Probably every day. There were telephone books displayed decoratively on tables in most of the rooms of the castle. There were a couple of stand-up framed pictures of John Travolta on the mantlepiece of an ornate cardboard fireplace. In the kitchen, the walls were papered with a variety of graphic pamphlets on first aid techniques for drowning and poisoning and broken lower limbs. The bathroom was carefully decorated with small and large bottles covered in crocheted animal costumes, and there was an old-fashioned wooden milk box full of clippings of quotable quotes from the Reader’s Digest. In the library of this place there were walls full of bookshelves which held gigantic fake leather photo albums filled with photos of teeny people doing things they couldn’t help but do. For example, one volume was totally devoted to pictures of teeny people going to the toilet. Another was dedicated to photos of teeny people putting food into their mouths, chewing food and swallowing. Another volume consisted of photos of teeny people dropping off to sleep or waking up. The largest of these photo albums was filled to over-brimming with pictures of teeny folks making mistakes — just really stupid little mistakes — like the photo of a teeny pure green person grinning and pouring epsom salts out of a blue and white box into the open top of the washing machine. Things like this. The teeny people had clothes they kept in desk drawers. They had mostly underpants and smocks for the females and underpants and dress socks for the males. But there were other things, too: an ocasional small black hat for hunting expeditions and one or two brassieres for social events. For entertainment, the teeny people took airplane rides over volcanoes, and read Walter Scott’s Personality Parade and held discussions of it. On Fridays they would march en masse to Providence Hospital to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken Original Recipe in the parking lot outside the Emergency Entrance where they would observe the comings and goings of ambuances or of nervous Volkswagens and Datsuns. At 2 in the A.M. the teeny people would march up to the bus stop and wait for the Owl Service Bus to come and they'd leap up onto the slender frame of the KGW advertisement with a photo of a disc jockey who was on fire and would ride down Glisan Street to downtown where they’d call a taxi to pick them up from the Swashbuckler Restaurant. They didn’t like seafood — didn’t even like the idea of seafood — but they figured “What the Hell.” On Saturday night they’d prepare a feast of little felt cut-outs of farm animals and watch MTV. The teeny people lived their lives. They died of natural causes usually, like falling off something big or deciding they couldn’t take it anymore. Once, and this is just a rumor, a teeny all yellow person was sucked completely up by a mosquito — but who knows if that’s even true. We do know there is a photo of a teeny yellow person talking to a mosquito in the mistakes album, but that’s about it. This story should take about 2 minutes to read. II Ill There was a smallish person who had the most beautiful yard in the whole world — I mean for it’s size. There were bigger yards, like the one at the Taj Mahal. The smallish person’s yard was a veritable wonderland created by her own particular primary green thumb. The green things in this yard had really nothing in common with the green things at the Taj Mahal, but that was due to the fact that the people who decorated the yard at the Taj Mahal were foreigners. The green things in the yard of the smallish person were things like slugs, in little clay pots, and limeade in big vats, and a pickle ground-cover, and a huge tree made entirely of guacamole. There were bushes made up of bright green broomstick handles draped with sea-green polyester sleeveless blouses and forest-green and olive plaid polyester jackets. Lizards roamed the yard, parrots nested in the guacamole, various snakes and aphids infested the polyester bushes. Large plastic kickballs of the bright green variety were carefully placed in plastic waste buckets from the Handi-Man store. One night a big wind came whipping into the yard of the smallish person and nothing seemed to have the tenacity to maintain its position, except the aphids that won’t budge for anyone's money. Everything but aphids in the green yard went flying about, and this included the guacamole in huge hunks and the snakes and lizards and even the pickle groundcover which by rights should have stayed right where it was. When the smallish person woke up the next day she heard the sound of a city maintenance crew using buzz saws and shovels in her yard. She didn’t realize it right off, but these fellows were cleaning up the awful mess that had landed all over the city street and made Tri-Met bus drivers so sick to their stomachs that they refused to drive their two or three early-morning passengers through it. The smallish person got out of bed and went downstairs and made up a pretty strong cup of coffee and drank it. She went out onto the porch of her house to get the newspaper, but she refused to look at the city maintenance guys because she figured, hell, if they wanted to deal with that shit it was their problem. She took the paper back into her house and read it front to back. Inside the paper was a short capsulization of the damage wrought from the whipping around of her green things — it even mentioned her name, which sort of bugged her, because she knew there wasn’t a single person who wrote for the paper who knew her well enough to know her address. Even with that, she was more interested in the story about Miss America. She made herself another cup of coffee (strong), and read the story for the second time. This is what she though of the Miss America fiasco, which is based in the fact that Miss America had once taken a dump on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and forgot to clean it up and even went so far as to allow paparazzi to photograph the whole thing as it unfolded, and now the photos were being sold to Omni Magazine and she was being asked to eat her crown. Well, the smallish person thought, why aren’t the newspapers brave enough to publish the photos themselves, since after all, they have the courage and audacity to publicly embarrass Miss America for several days by telling everything there was to know about WHAT SHE DID. That's what the smallish person thought while the city crews were scraping guacamole off the street. Evelyn Wood could probably knock this story off in less time, but it’s meant to be a two-minute story. Once upon a time there was a tiny person who lived in a house where all the rooms were taped together from the inside so that you couldn’t get into any of them. It must have happened, originally because of some weird mistake, because there was a time when the house was just regular. Someone must have accidently put two-sided tape on the walls in the rooms or something and a mighty strong windstorm must have blown the walls together and there you have it. The tiny person had a hell of a time making his way through the house, but he commandeered his body in such a way as to at least make it to the bathroom and kitchen and do in th rooms what is meant to be done there. This situation only became a problem when the reporters fromn US Magazine came to look at the house and interview Clinton St. Quarterly