I am beginning to think that the two people reading this lonely text are beginning to think that I am one koala short of a eucalyptus tree, because they have surreptitiously sent me a gift couched in the form of a job offer, rolled up inside a psychological examination. We (the dog, the rabbit and myself) got a call from the snicker lobby -- you know, the World Brotherhood of Snicker Practitioners (WBSP – all the FM music that’s fit to print, not to be confused with the West Bengal Socialist Party or Write Back Soon Please.). When one wants a professional to snicker up one's sleeve, they, apparently, are the people to call. Unfortunately, I didn't answer the call. The rabbit did. I'll have to rethink installing the cordless phone in his cage.
Apparently, the WBSP is looking for a new Snicker Regulator in our region and is offering me the job. It pays multitudes of timothy hay and carrots. Mind you, this is based on the rabbit's reporting of the call.
This would be a big jump from my current position of doing absolutely nothing at all, so I thought I would get a bit of guidance counseling. I headed to the offices of Dr. Sam Sneed, head of Sam's Medical Center and Tire Emporium in downtown Mooburg, and no relation whatever to the long defunct golfer.
"What you need, Mr. Aardvark," he said, withdrawing his mashie from his bag, "is to get in touch with your inner adviser."
He then placed an orange golf ball on the floor and whacked it so hard it careened wildly about the room like a fly trapped inside a summer porch light.
"Just lie back on the couch and relax. Find an imaginary quiet place."
Suddenly, I am on a small island in the middle of a calm, blue sea. The sky is blue. The grass is blue. There is a small blue sea gull resting on a blue log. I pause momentarily to adjust the color on my imagination.
"Now, are we all relaxed in our quiet place?"
"Yes we are."
Whaaaak! Pocketapocketapocketapocketa... (The golf ball's part was the least rewarding one.)
"Now look around for a friendly creature that can act as your advisor. Bambi the deer, or Chuckie the chipmunk. I'll give you another ten seconds..."
I walked up to the sea gull.
"Do you mind doing this advisor thingy?" I said.
"No problemo," said the gull, whose name was also Sam. It turns out this is his job. He hangs around the doctor's office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, hoping for the odd animal advisor job. He confirmed that I was probably the oddest animal he had advised. On the way back to his nest, I tripped over a hunk of salt that had washed up on the beach.
Then a strange thing happened. It was as if suddenly I were in the sea gull's mind and he in mine. He was thinking: "What am I going to have for lunch?"
I was thinking: "I wonder if that girl on the Morton Salt box has salty footprints?"
I explained to the gull my quandary about the Snicker Regulator job.
"You should talk to my uncle, Rhadamanthus."
When we reached the nest, I shook wings with Uncle Rhadamanthus, who, in his spare time was also the son of Zeus and Europa and brother of Minos, king of Crete. Driven out of Crete by his brother, Alchazeltzer, who was jealous of his popularity, Uncle Rad fled to Boeotia, where he wedded Alcmene, but was just as quickly turned into a sea gull by Zeus.
Naturally Alcmene got on the blower and annulled the marriage toot sweet. But I digress...
"Yaaaas," said Uncle Rad, leaning back and stretching his suspenders "in the old days back in the Elysian fields, we had a few Snicker Regulators sitting around playing harps and generally making nuisances of themselves. Mostly, we just had a lot of Judges of the Dead. Too many, I thought. Everybody and his uncle wanted to be a Judge of the Dead. Who could blame them? The pay was good, hours were short, and (seeing that there was a bumper crop of hedonists that year) you got good commissions depending on the number of people you condemned to eternal damnation..."
These days, Uncle Rad has the East Coast franchise for variable angle reflection tools.
"You probably need one," he said. "They're easily adapted for specular, ATR or diffuse reflection spectroscopy. And you can operate them over a broad range of angles without changing the polarization of the incident beam."
Instead of changing the polarization, I quickly changed the subject.
"What about those Snicker Practitioners?" I said, desperately.
"Well, there are two camps, snickerwise," said Uncle Rad.
Immediately, a vision of T.S. Elliot flashed across the low-lying clouds. The poet spoke in a thundering voice:
"I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat and snicker."
I suggested that he try tipping at least 20 percent. Being a footman for eternity must suck royally. Personally, I'd rather be reincarnated as a sponge. You could live off your Uncle Arthur for eons.
However, the image passed. In a twinkling of an eye, Uncle Rad turned into the shade of William S. Gilbert (recently escaped from Sullivan) who summarized the snee value of the snicker thusly:
"And on his knees fell he/ As he squirmed
and struggled/ And gurgled and guggled/ I drew my snickersnee!"
I looked wearily at Uncle Rad cum Gilbert. This was not helping much.
And just as suddenly, the crisp air was rent with a giganormous sound...
I made a mental note to oil my Suddenly Button.
"I'll be with you in a minute. Just let me get on the seventh green..."
"Clever lines, Mikado Writer," I thought to myself, "but too long to fit on a bumper snicker."