The Alleged Night

The soulless Gruber was wondering what to do about the organ. He made himself a salad and sat down to eat it. Forking with unconscious violence in the contents of the bowl he loaded tines of the fork unevenly and then shoved the wad into his mouth. Not attending to what he was looking at, but forking hard, he loaded the utensil again and rapidly inserted a second and then a third wad. His cheeks were employed to store the excess while he chewed with impressive mandibular strength; the square-cut green peppers crunched and the lettuce squeaked. Cheeks distended, muscles leaping on his face, the whole moving with destructive mechanical power, he reduced the wad to a green cud as he considered the dilemma. All the while he rooted around with the fork in the salad, spearing more selectively, rummaging pointlessly in the bowl he crouched over, poking through the contents to no point, thinking.

Then it came to him just as he put another forkful of spinach, dandelion greens and acrid green peppers into his porcine oral orifice: he would compose something on the guitar. Something healthy, sensitive, a quiet tune to that poem about the baby’s face glowing or something organic and safe. He looked at the cauliflower (a repulsive vegetable flavored like putrid moth-balls and resembling evil in vegetable form) and was inspired. He grinned as much as his situation permitted, crouching lower, his head hanging, his left arm wrapped around the bowl he  was rummaging excitedly as if stirring soup, pointlessly drawing the greens hither and yon, moving everything  with restless vulgarity as he chewed his way through the detestable assortment of ill-combined vegetation he was using to nourish his body.

He put the fork down and with his right hand reached for a cup. He sucked at it noisily, swallowed violently several times; juice entered his body in halting spurts. He put the cup down and resumed rummaging with his fork, crouched over the bowl, his thick lips wet, the beleaguered vegetables moving quickly from one side to another as he batted and teased them. The tune was going through his head already. Daa-da-da-doosh. Yeah!

He scraped the last of the salad into his head, holding the bowl up to his lips as he did so, squeaking the fork on the ceramic in a way that would have made any human being with a soul cry out in pain. Then he reached for the stack of pancakes.

He buttered them with swift, imprecise motions of the knife in his right hand. Flung this down and then poured some kind of organic syrup substitute onto the stack—as he did so, more of the music flowed into him. Yeah! Then he used the fork to smash laterally through the stack, incompetent in the use of silverware, ungently and inefficiently sawing and working the side of the fork until he had something he could stab. He proceeded to load his face, as with the salad, his jaws pumping, his cheeks storing the promise of not altogether mashed sugary pancake smash. He crouched over the pancakes, encircling the plate with his left arm, his idle left hand flat on the table and his restless right the instrument of doom as the fork sawed laterally through the stack again and again, deforming the diminishing stack. He forked, tugged, mopped syrup, swung the dripping rent gobbet of mutilated boringness up toward his wet lips. He also paused intermittently to suck juice noisily into his head, gulping and sometimes choking.

And that, my friends, is how the thing was done.

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9 thoughts on “The Alleged Night

      1. Well, you made me laugh so be welcome to it.

        However, it’s the luxury of the childless to despise such a nice easy carol to teach young children. We’re learning it in French.

      2. It’s good to see they haven’t tamed you, taken you down a notch, or any of those other impertinent things they’re always trying to do.

        Out of curiosity, have you ever experienced the homely pleasure of making music in a small intimate group for no other purpose than to enjoy it?

      3. I ask because the music for that kind of activity requires different virtues than the music for performance. It’s a worthwhile experience.

  1. Or am I wrong?… You are perhaps complaining about the way that some people perform it? As in, “Only if Franz Gruber wrote it thusly would you be justified in playing it thusly…”

    Then again you might be disgusted with the endless retellings of the story of how it came to be written. If so, I advise taking a break and listening to “Brother Heinrich’s Christmas.”

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