“After a three-hour struggle to get him on the phone, he was rude and I should have just said I wasn’t interested.”
–Actual online review posted by disgruntled plumbing service customer
Spidey Manda the spidery wallclimber pushed in from his maternal gohole bigger than the average baby but smaller than the smallest grown man but as all large babies his appetite dwarfed every other aspect of himself. Sit down to this meal he ordered himself silent. Once down in a meal it became the world. It did. All art begins in babies. Far out woman’s drain stopped three miles or more out. Spidey had-a his number stuck up at the market. Far out woman pulled down the wallset and keyed the number believing he’s a plumber boy. The kitchen sink’s backed up oily and filthy all swirling with foodbits—my Wanda did dishes and it’s all up in there, she prepared to say when the phone picked up. Right foot tap began making her say My Wanda did dishes and it’s—the phone three miles or more out rang out over Doc Manda’s impenetrable meal of a world—fifty forks in the phone went on. Sixty forks in. The phone went on. Tap to left foot to right and then back. My Wanda seventy forks in did dishes eighty-one two three forks in and it’s. Three quarters of the plate went in S. Manda by now all up in there hey this phone’s faulty a hundred and five. Meester Manda paused. Why have I paused. Why. Salt it is. Salt’s not on the table and I need salt. This phone is faulty said the crack of her hangup her waiting a second here’s why you know. Anything that won’t start working right away causes reflexive shut down count to thirty push trying to start whatever again—and so forth. Like smacking the side of the unit used to be. Where’s the salt I know I got some hey he said to no one at the cupboard out of the meal world huh mealworm not mealworm world’s the thing yah listen next time I said meal world—her fingertap one number at a time she’s a read off the paper and tap the corresponding number on the set; back repeat until entire string’s entered and. Ah here’s the salt get back over sit back down the meal world domes over and Spidey Manda da Plumber Boy hot dog bat damn! The salt’s gonna fine up this meal. Fine to the top! The phone rang and surely this time it will. Work. Done salting the forking reset back to one, then go; My Wanda did dishes and it’s all up in there; One fork in yes two three four. Five my Wanda did pick up damn six seven forks in. Tapping then glance to the sink. Water calm water smooth water deep water blue. Ring ring ring think of deep water blue sparkling midsummer Sun beating over all not humid slight breeze trees rustle lock rhythms with rings over over again over and; the salt’s good not much left water calm water savor it slow. It’s too good yes good slower forking slower savor. Slow. Deeply lower the basemented founders of the plumber-firm Billy and Bluto having observed quite long enough began deciding having been at it since their big machine tapped randomly into franchise number two tagged with S. Manda, proprietress. Mysterious cleaning of my thing hut. Done daily in the dark unnoticed. Mysterious cleaning. Wanda did dishes. Of my thing. Salt’s finin’ yah finin’ up the remainder of Manda’s meal. Hut. Tap counter. Yes. Wanda did dishes space the start hold it there back a bit Billy okay Bluto did dishes and watch the gauge okay up a hair, yon; there there there hear there ring one ring two ring—penetration of a world-impenetrable the miracles we do today. Hut. My Wanda. Salt good. Wanda. Thirteen good. Bread good. Salt finin’ finin’ eat faster it just happens no not with my mouth full; Fire, no good! belched the monster. Shut the set down Billy. Shut the set down. It’s too distracting. Hundred two hundred and more and more ring. Relax and go upstairs. See him call him out for.
Salt good salt salt good God yes slower slower.
Far out woman given up calls out Wanda my Wanda hey. Come here. I want you. I want. Billy Bluto punch on the off speakerphone the toetips of which recall sweet gentle deerhooves. Calling Spidey Manda with a ring other than the Far out Wanda line termed number one. For purposes of clarity we will refer to Billy and Bluto’s as number two—even though we know that labelling these lines suchwise relies on the fiction that says these are physical lines like lone away a love a last or somewise similarly named time-passages, when nowadays nothing that’s working looks like it ought to to the mostly thinkingbound still-fooled-into-thinking that; logic is a noun. Touch it; Billy and Bluto alternate punching Spidey Manda’s designed to be instantly remembered registered and copyrighted phone number. Wanda! Even though in this heah’ yeah’ the term phone number is patently inapplicable. Write what you know boy, stated Miney Fuerer. Miney Fuerer is long dead though so, punt! And the call started through goosed in the Willy and got ready deeply in-breathed but not the holding kind, whichkind would lead to freezing with the immediately fatal network failure that would lead to, and kicked the ring-sound out the earpiece piercing the thinskin of the worldrind wound about Spidey twisting his head around then ringing again getting his butt up and one more last time slinging his bulk across at the wall unit sweeping and tapping it down to his rightlobe by habit always used for answering because the leftlobe has less than half the hearing for some reason no medical specialist has been able to discern therefore just chalking it up to g-g-g-g-enetics, Hello? No genet-t-t-t-t-ics We need to speak to Spidey Manda okay this is it here goes for the money—genetics hah yah genetics woo hoo ah—I’m Spidey, heybob. Who comes in my ear here? Who who. Comes? Comes at me? At me in my ear?
Billy as Bluto, after throwing themselves around each other for several hours, and about one half more after, got to it saying but not in unison—and which one said it’s really not something you need to know—we have seen that at least once and possibly other times too but for sure this once though possibly othertimes possibly othertimes p-p-p-p-possibly other-timesss too, eh; you took a long lunch. Right in the office. Right by your phone. It rang and rang—the robot numbermen who clock in these things say their counters got full. Fully fully. Did this happen from where you sit out yonder past the otherside of the great crack between us? Yeah did it? echoed the other either Billy or Bluto you do not need to know and do not think that the order their names are given in is any indicator of who spoke when. Past performance is no indicator of future results, Bob. You are on your fucking own. Yes, that’s right hardthrusting shitty notions a’fly everyplace allwheres hereto and tomorrow for you are on your fucking own—no no no phone rang. The warriors! Also no object in earshot gave forth any clear resonant sounds, as bells being struck do, my sillies. Okay if that’s your attitude sir Spideyman, I think we have to examine the freaky fucky timeline baby—spanning many too many years of time; the great joke. Life starts with a great spurt. Big greasy rice corn gristly blackball down in the lower pipebend. My God George this can’t be my baby. Wanda come here do we have a plunger? Blackspined leatherbound mechanical manuals on this low shelf. How the hell do they know on them thar’ TV medical reality shows how to. There’s a number of discoveries each person’s made since birth but by the time you’d like to know the number it’s become impossible to determine. You are trying to solidify the past and that only gives rise to a lie. However the number of blades of grass on the planet has been measured and documented. The slimingly slithery mucousy glistening organ-masses all pulled out to look for a leak. Hah! Really? Okay then look it the fuck up. Wanda came with a plunger. At least three hundred fat books in the library at Trinity are hollow containing the most popular contraband of their specific era. Or a tear. The first boil lance of any lifetime. Three. Tends to never be forgotten. No bell made an impression on my mind. Sets of hands shuffling through the live guts. Skinny scratchy itchy. She splashed it down in the black water and up down up she set it to sucking. Hey, Ferp! How do they get all those guts back in properly? On a descending stairwell going to the next class was where I was when he died, senor Wildenstein. I detected nothing and no one summoning me using bellsound or any other sound. South River. Plunger it plunge sure but those bends are iron. Comic book back cover, Hey boys! No Wanda careful you’re. Sell Grit. And maybe steel. Door to door. Wide shallow grey dull-lit aisle. I had the salt. Chain link. The garden hose kinks just one spot everything stops. Men’s room there. Spraying water all. Ladies’ room here. The intestines just kinked just one spot everything stops. Pubic ah. The salt is the life. Pubes-stench. Over the room. Pubes-stench in the Dahmerspace. Jesus said put away childish things. I mean, I would expect to hear the phone if it really rang as I did when you called. The water stops it’s just easy to walk the hose find the kink and kick it away. Gimmee that sucker here. The recovery room. Nothing filled with sound. In the recovery room the nurses are told watch for defecation. No I almost got it. I am sorry mister Simpson but you can’t go home until you amply evacuate. No echo. Garden hose kink yah. No you don’t. Green summer garden hose kink stops evacuation yah. Just salty goodness. Evacuate on the one hand squirt on the other. Give it here. I can tell you what’s true though Mister Wet and Mister Whistle. Mister Simpson we need to see an ample bum-squirt out you before we can. Kinkhose. The phone never rang. Kink the hose kinking of the hose is almost never desirable unless. How does that come out through there so easy Lord! Dense. Stiff. Long. Damp not wet. Not liquid. The creator the great engineer. Big soft bulb-headed pushplunger up down up Wanda roiling up slimy blackbits from the deeptrap. Wanda pushed pulled pushed pulled, stating, It will not let go. Call the plumber—what was the matter I thought you were calling a plumber why did you call for a plunger? This doesn’t work—is the plumber coming? Whoseit—is it—that Spidey Manda—that guy. Is he coming? He coming I no plunge no more eh eh. Manda drop what you are doing and tell us why you did not answer the customer. Wanda, don’t play the silly fake accent there’s no way it’s cute. Three problems with that question Messrs. Billy boy Bluto; first is that I am doing nothing to drop. Unless you count my paying attention to the two of you. In which case I will do as commanded. Since you are in positions of authority, and that all authority comes from God, consider yourselves as ignored. Eat your ways through those ones my biddies. Call the plumber woman; and I am going to ask you the question I have kept to myself since the day I hired on. Ready? Of course man we do not mean stop paying attention to us. Quite the contrary. Look at us! Look! What is it Wanda? I’m ignoring you! I’m not touching you! I’m ignoring you! I’m not annoying you! Heh heh heh. Aw. You have never paid me the simple courtesy of allowing me to know your name. Spidey Manda, do you want to be terminated? Huh? You know my name. I told you my name at the interview. Hmmm hmmm hmmm I’m ignoring you! I’m not touching you! I’m ignoring you! I’m not annoying you! Am I annoying you? Hmmmmm—No you didn‘t! Spidey Manda, you have to our count of four to reverse your direction ah—I suppose you weren’t paying attention at the interview, though you seemed to be. What other things did you deceive me into thinking you were paying attention to that day? Hey hey hey that day? Uh. Uh. Am I annoying you? I’m not touching you. One, Spidey Manda. PLAN the scambot came homing in under telling Wanda to spurt out spurt fast, Caulinda Plummah should be your name boss. Number two. Wake up please. Three. Someone I’m ignoring I suspect is trying to trap me. Caulinda Plummah yah should be your name. And, four; okay okay so’s as I walked up Washington past the borough hall laughing like at just being school age, I think that’s when it happened yah that’s when I think—God touched me in the head and asked me, What if you had to sit and write down everything you know? Spidey Manda. This is it, Spidey Manda. Caulinda Plummah baby, Caulinda Plummah, hey—this is it; could you do it Master Manda eh could you could you could you do it could you do it eh—eh?
JIM MEIROSE’s short work has appeared in numerous venues. He has published several novels as well, including the upcoming “Understanding Franklin Thompson” (JEF pubs) and “Sunday Dinner with Father Dwyer” (Optional Books). Info: www.jimmeirose.com @jwmeirose