What was the name of the Wicked Witch?
The West one was the one played by Margaret Hamilton, right?
They dropped the house on her sister from the East.
Well, they never said the name of the one from the West.
But The Wicked Witch of the East was named Ding Dong.
All those midgets sang “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” right?
The witch down the street is named Olivia.
She turns kids into frogs.
Especially those who throw buckets of water at her, or use the garden hose.
I once set off her lawn sprinklers.
After Encyclopedia Brown went off to college, the next kid to become the town know-it-all was Glossary Jones.
This kid knew a whole bunch of obscure terms and jargon, but he kept them to himself until the other kids would solve the mystery.
Then there was Footnote Martin. Every now and then, he’d make a comment about something, or provide some obscure reference that nobody had time to look up.
Finally, there was Almanac Lewis. He was always blithering useless trivia and weather tables.
“Just call the goddamned police,” people say now. “They’re incompetent, but at least they’re not annoying.”
A madman killed John Lennon.
Another tried to kill Ronald Reagan.
And then another attacked an actress and killed her.
They all had my book.
They all said to understand what they did, read the book.
What I put in there.
It was the truth about the phonies.
Not the evil these people did.
Their evil. They murdered. Murdered.
Not me. They.
That is the truth.
No, I have not stopped writing.
I cannot stop writing.
Writing the truth.
But I can stop publishing.
Because phonies will read my writing if I don’t.
And they will murder. They will kill.
They say that Jackson Bart’s voice is so smooth and deep, people would pay to hear him read the phone book.
So, he did. He toured the country, reading the phone book.
He filled coffeehouses, bookstores, and Hard Rock Cafes. Pretty soon, he booked arenas and stadiums, and he sold those out, too.
That’s when the phone company stopped printing the book. Instead of recycling unused books, they didn’t print at all.
Jackson tried to read online listings and his iPhone contacts list, but it never was the same.
Now, he reads numbers in bathroom stalls as he cleans toilets.
It was the best of tricks, it was the worst of tricks.
Sidney Carton could pass for Charles Darnay, and the others thought he was going to trade places with the doomed Frenchman.
Lucie would get her husband back, while Sidney would lose his head.
“Am I really going to do this?” he asked himself, facing the moment of truth.
“Hell no,” was his answer, but he said it in French with his impression of Darnay’s voice.
Then he had himself smuggled out of the prison as Darnay.
Lucie wasn’t fooled one bit. But she grew to love him anyway.
As he neared the age of fifty, Don Quixote grew weary of endless adventure and battles.
“Go home to your island,” he told his companion Sancho.
Quixote rode his horse Rocinante one last time down the main road, and settled into the old Quijano Estate.
“Please, come back,” wrote his beloved Dulcinea.
But he never did.
Quixtoe hung up his lance, hammered the helmet of The Knight Of The White Moon into a shaving basin, and quietly read books.
“Fight us!” hissed the giants on the hills.
But they were long since dead, and their skeletons turned in the breeze.
Sisyphus groaned as he leaned into the boulder.
The stone bit into his scarred flesh, blood welling from ancient wounds.
Just when he thought he couldn’t push any more, the boulder finally began to move uphill.
Every inch of motion was agony to Sisyphus’s soul, but he could not stop.
The Gods had stripped him of reason and logic, leaving him with just compulsion and suffering.
When he got to the top, Albert Camus slapped him on the back.
“Well done!” he said, and he pushed the boulder back down the hill.
Sisyphus screamed and chased it.
Camus laughed, jealously.