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CDXCII

The Man Who Could Slurp A Pig Up Through A Straw
 and Other Fairly Unique People.

Back in fairy-tale times,
the most ordinary man in the whole world
(which in those primitive times
was known to its ancient inhabitants as Tennessee)
was one so-called Gyp, a pig farmer, a poor fellow
who in life wanted most of all to be... unique,
and... special, if he could also manage it in the bargain.

But, so ordinary-seeming and ordinary-looking was this Gyp
that people even had difficulty telling him apart from himself;
and instead of it being said of him, "There's good ole Gyp
coming down the road, or head'n up the hill,"
or some such stuff, as might have been said
of other less-unique persons, it was: "Could that be Gyp
coming down that hill?" Or, "That can't be Gyp
headn't up that road, can it!?!" (That
was usually what was said of him.)

To which Gyp the poor pig farmer
would usually answer: "Yes, father
... It is I: your son Gyp," head'n up
or coming down, or whatever usual such.

In any case: Our man Gyp was a fellow who
longed to be someone (in some any way, manner, shape
or form)... special --unique--
A man apart from all other men
--Or, even from all other women, since
even when he found himself amidst an obvious flock of women
somebody would always come by and say:
"Hey, waitaminute--Could that ordinary-looking bird
in that flock there be Gyp the pig farmer?"

And Gyp the pig farmer would have to answer:
"Yes, mother: It is I, your son Gyp the pig farmer,
amidst this flock of birds," or some usual such.

And Gyp the pig farmer's ordinariness
was not merely confined to his looks and nature
... it soaked his very being
down to the smallest of his rather ordinary pores:
His was the most ordinary house in the world
(and a day did not pass that when Gyp came home
he'd find some stranger or other stranger living in it
--who only with much difficulty could be persuaded
that he had mistakenly come to live
in a house not his own house, you see):

"Are you sure this is not my house?"
the whatever stranger would argue against Gyp,
"I clearly remember that wall there, that furniture,
those old folk folks in the rocking chairs,
and, heck, even that TV apparatus there is
showing all the same shows I've already seen
on my TV apparatus..." and it was only with great difficulty
that strangers could be persuaded
they were, indeed, in the wrong house.

So ordinary-thinking a fellow was Gyp
(the pig farmer) that if he found himself in a group
(and, believe me, it was more usual
for Gyp to be so lost in any group
that even he himself had trouble finding himself), but
if Gyp the pig farmer ever found himself in a group
where he might happened to think of
something original to say, such as:

"I think we should all go climb up a tree,"
or some usual such
--First there would follow a deadly silence
amongst all the other people in the group
(as if Gyp's little speech had been given from far, far away
by their whatever personal ghosts
deep inside their own personal heads,
which they would crack about
as if trying to find out where the weird words were coming from,
whether from this world or the next
--and I assure you it made no difference whatever
how loudly Gyp the pig farmer might have spoken:
Then, without fail: some other anybody-else in this group
of people about Gyp would suddenly turn around and say:

"Hey, everybody! You know what I was thinking just now!"
And all the people in the group would cry out at once in a chorus:

"Let's all go and climb up a tree!"

Which they immediately would take off to do
--just as if every single one of them somehow had
come up with the original idea themselves
(with the glaring possible exception of Gyp, of course),
and sometimes a couple of them would even start bickering,
and sometimes very bitterly bickering
over whose original idea it had originally been.

Then all the rest of the group--at once in a chorus--
would stand up and say: "Yes!
That is one splendid original idea you've just had,
you other anybody-else," or some usual such.
After which they would all go climb up a tree
(never even taking note whether Gyp went with them
or stayed behind to sulk on his own).

Thus, it is easy to understand
how Gyp the pig farmer might feel somewhat envious
of anybody who even remotely displayed any special
or distinctively 'unique' quality, or
accomplished something remotely worth remembering.

(And for the purposes of this fairy-tale
we shall dispense with trying to find
anything 'impossible' in this world... such as originality).

Well, one day Gyp the pig farmer decided
to spend some time wandering up and down
as far as he could travel (without getting lost):
to try to find anybody in the world who might be unique
... somehow... or might have some distinctive quality to him
--from whom he himself might learn
that special quality of uniqueness...

First, he began by combing through newspaper columns
for any outstanding tale of extraordinariness
... and, "Aha!"... he came upon an odd story
about a man who had
toad nails on his hands and handsome feet--

But, "Nope: That's too low-down for me,"
thought Gyp, and he continued combing
as well as going through the newspapers...

"Aha!"... He yelled when he stumbled over another story
about a fellow who always made cents
--But he turned out to be merely a small-time counterfeiter:

... "Oh!"

"Aha!"... The item about the farm tractor that flipped over a farmer
was a tale of a just too, too star-crossed pair of lovers
for his taste... "Oh!"

While the guy who set the greatest number of records:
"Aha!"... had been on a phonygraph all along... "Oh!"

"Aha!"... But the cat that was stealing all those tongs was
... working for a cheap doctor... "Oh!"

While, "Aha!"... the musician who broke his saxobone was
... really only a hypochondriac acting out in character..."Oh!"

"Aha!"... But, in his opinion, the shoe-shine boy
who changed his name from Abraham Winthrop III to Hey Boy
(for purely professional reasons) was, "Oh!"
... just heading way the wrong way
... against the very extraordinariness he himself was after...

Then, as children listening to fairy tales are wont to do
now and again: Bobby Savvy grouchily interrupted
Uncle Elknoo's story with a, "Say, is this stuff on the level
or are you making it up as you go along?"
Forcing Uncle Elknoo to bring out some old yellowing
newspaper clippings from one of his pockets
to show them to him... "Oh!" said Bobby Savvy then,
after he'd again been shown up by Uncle Elknoo:
"Did anything ever happen to this pig farmer
that was worth telling?"

"It's all right here," answered Uncle Elknoo:
"Do you want to look into it yourselves, or
do you want me to tell you about it?"

Well, "Please go on..." they all cried out;
which he did:

Well then, "Aha! Back in fairy-tales times,"
there was a pig farmer by the simple name of Gyp
who, one day, after having returned
from a long and weary journey trying to find
somebody who had done something worth telling,
and being thirsty in the bargain,
went into the Only-Too-Well-Known Fast Food Place,
and was enjoying the last final few deafening pulls up the straw
of one of their biggest Most Stupendous, Most
Gigantic Zamboombia Milk-Shakes (for Gyp was
a big good-ole-boy who always ordered the super-duper
extra-large size Most Stupendous, Most Gigantic Zamboombia
Milk-Shake): a drink which, on top of
the fact that it was high-near impossible for anybody
remotely human to finish it all off at all,
they never gave anybody an even shake at the Only-Too-Well-Known
Fast Food Place but always filled it to overflow
... and so it always took Gyp an extra fifteen minutes or so
of hard slurping up (of its last remains) to finally
convince himself that he had indeed finished it all off
down to the last little bubble
at the very, very bottom of the almost bottomless glass...

And this was a habit of Gyp's
which the manager of the Only-Too-Well-Known Fast Food Place
(at the unremitting, expressed insistence of all his customers
and several passers-by beside) had requested
Gyp to perform only after, having finished his meal
at the Only-Too-Well-Known Fast Food Place,
he had driven all the way home to his pig farm...

Gyp had already tried going at it while locked inside
his pickup truck--first in their parking lot,
then all the way across the other side of the street,
and finally even driving home with the windows rolled up
... Yet even there, driving through the streets
most distant from the Only-Too-Well-Known Fast Food Place
it was never far enough for its customers
... even if they were all locked away way back there
inside the Only-Too-Well-Known Fast Food Place
with all the doors and windows shut tight, the air-conditioner on,
and all jukeboxes in the place playing
different hard rock recordings at once full-blast...

Gyp didn't mind the fuss:
He had to go out and slop the hogs just about at meal-time
anyway; and he discovered that when he hadn't yet finished
finishing off his freezing, huge Zamboombia milk-shake
(for which he had laid out all of three-quarters-of-a-dollar,
something very hard to come by even back then in fairy-tale times),
he actually discovered that he could suck as hard as he might
and not bother anybody at all with the horrible noise of it
... as long as he was slurping up on that straw
while in the process of slopping them hogs

---In fact, the hogs themselves slurping up their slop
as Gyp was slurping up his shake
actually made for a quite harmonious mesh of sounds,
which even made Gyp feel a strange
sort of comradeship with his pigs.

This went on like this for some time, Gyp and his hogs
having the time of their lives until the day of the horrible accident:

Yes sir, nobody quite knows (medically speaking
now) how it all happened--But they know why it happened
... It was because of a certain fellow,
one of those real pain-in-the-neck types, you know
which I mean--Well, this here fellow, Lee Nimint by name,
dropped in on poor old Gyp the pig farmer one day
... quite unexpectedly... right in the middle of
all that slurping and sloping and vacuuming or sucking up
of freezing cold Zamboombia milk-shake remains...

It was one ugly scene, let me tell you.

This Lee Nimint fellow popped in on them,
sneaking in behind poor ole Gyp,
without either Gyp or any of his pigs even so much as
realizing he had come visiting to the farm (heck,
if there was one thing they thought they could've counted on
it was that nobody ever came calling
when Gyp was slopping the hogs
... and yet Lee Nimint did!): Right out of the blue
he just up & yelled out at them:

"Turn the motor off!"

Yes sir, that's right: "Turn the motor off!" he yelled out
at them, and as loud as he knew how!

Well, the pigs nearly swallowed their hearts at that!

But poor ole Gyp the pig farmer
--Ah, what a sad thing: Ole Gyp (who, as he usually did
when slopping the hogs: was already sucking as hard as he could
on that straw of his): he dropped his Zamboombia milk-shake
from the fright... and yet he not only kept on sucking in air
through the straw that was still at his lips,
but suddenly he was sucking in even more air through it
just so he could keep himself alive
('cause, I suppose, it all happened too fast
for him to think about breathing some other way).

That super-duper extra-large size Most Stupendous, Most
Gigantic big straw of his swung around
(while still hanging out of his mouth)
sucking air like it was about to deplete the ozone all by itself
--it sounded like a freight train going by--
And, well, it just happened to catch on one of Gyp's pigs
(just as the poor pig was passing by it):
Timothy the pig, that is (and Timmy to the rest of the guys)...

Anyway, let me tell you: it all seemed to be happening
in a very, very slow motion--although to tell the truth
it all really happened in a flash:

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

Just like that,.. and poor Timmy the pig was completely
sucked up into the open end of that super-duper straw
hanging out the mouth of Gyp the pig farmer
... and swooshed right up into Gyp himself,
who couldn't help but swallow him whole
in a single gulp LIKE THAT!

"Holy shirt!" said Lee Nimint,
for he was also something of a blasphemer:

"Gyp! You just went and slurpped a pig up through your straw!
Holy shirt! Holy shirt!
... That's the best dang trick I ever saw in my life!"

But poor ole Gyp the pig farmer was just standing there
struck dumb in the grasp of some kind-a fit,
and he just couldn't move, couldn't talk, couldn't think,
and maybe even couldn't see or hear!... That poor man
just stared out into the distance and kept on sucking in air
through that straw he still kept hanging out his mouth
like his life depended on it!

"You know what that means? Do you know
what that means! Do you have any idea
what that means!?" Lee Nimint kept asking Gyp
the (now paralyzed) pig farmer,
acting as excited as if he'd just seen Martians landing
downtown Rama, Tennessee on a Saturday evening:
jumping up and down and carrying on like that,
looking around for somebody to share the spectacular news with
(other than Gyp, certainly, for it seems as if
he wasn't really expecting any reply from Gyp):

Lee Nimint just started running up and down the road
in front of Gyp's farmhouse until he stopped the car of
a personal acquaintance of his: a very important fellow,
Paul Triwit by name (who worked for the government
as an expert on our future)...

"Are you mad, man! I could've run you over!"
said this Paul Triwit, stepping out of his car...

"Oh, no, thank you--Some other time, Paul," said Lee Nimint,
too excited to think straight: "Now I want you to come with me:
There's a fellow over here who can slurp a pig up through a straw!"

"Nonsense!" said Paul Triwit: "No such thing possible,"
which, being a government man: he ought to know
what's impossible and what isn't.

But Lee Nimint just kept pressing him to come along with him
and see The Impossible for himself!

And so persistent was he
that Paul Triwit finally allowed himself,
along with three or four other motorists
who had also been involved in the accident
almost caused by Lee Nimint flagging down Paul Triwit's car:
All five of them rejoined Gyp the pig farmer
down where he was still sucking in air through the straw...

"O, my," said Paul Triwit of Gyp the pig farmer:
"He sounds like a freight train going by, doesn't he!?"

"He looks sick to me," said one of the motoring strangers
with Lee Nimint and Paul Triwit:
"I think he might be having a conniption."

"Naw!" insisted Lee Nimint: "He's just on a roll!
He doesn't want to quit while he's ahead:
Watch this now, watch this! then tell me if
I was right or not!" And having said this, carefully,
almost mystically Lee Nimint
(while all the others watched his every action
with as much distrust as one watches a second-rate magician),
Lee Nimint went over to the pig pen
and picking out a goodly-sized porker, brought him
over to the open intake end of Gyp's straw.

All the other men's eyes opened wide as beaming lights
as Lee Nimint brought the pig closer and closer to the straw
through which Gyp was sucking so hard that the fellows there
who were wearing hats had to hang on to them
(with their hands) or they'd've flown right up the straw
and into Gyp along with the pig which

... again it all seemed to be happening in very, very slow motion
--Although it all really happened in a flash:

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

... And then and there: the second pig had been slurpped up the straw
and into Gyp the pig farmer right in front of their eyes!

"What'd I tell you!... What'd I tell you!?"
Lee Nimint kept boasting like a man gone mad
to the astonished group of men
just then doubting their own sanity:

"What you have here is the first and only human being
who can suck a pig up through a straw!"

To which the other men had to agree,
after having seen it with their own eyes, and finding it now
extremely difficult to deny Lee Nimint
his most incredible claim to date...

"All right, all right! What's going on here!
What's going on here!!!" Came an angry voice
from behind them all; and they all at once turned around
to discover a mounted policeman
coming at them from the road...as if he'd just dismounted:

"Officer! Officer! Officer!" they were all yelling at once.
And the policeman had to plea
for them to speak only one man at a time...

"Officer, I am a government employee," Paul Triwit
started to say, "I can explain everything!"

"And you say you work for the government!"
asked the rather incredulous cop,
visions of dozens and dozens of traffic tickets
dancing in front of his eyes.

But when his police hat nearly flew off his head
from the straw-suction: "What the
--Who/what is that... man!? Holy shorts!
He sounds like a freight train going by!..."

"That is what this is all about!" insisted Paul Triwit,
with all the authority his governmental voice was capable of mustering
up: "This gentleman can slurp a pig up through a straw!"

"Phsssh!" said the cop: "Phsssh! Don't be ridiculous!"

"No, no, it's true! It's true!" all
the other men there started yelling out at once...

"Okay, okay! Settle down, everybody! Settle down!
We'll soon get to the bottom of this!" said the cop
very impatiently: "You people say he can suck a pig
up through a straw and I says he can do no such!"

"You wanna lay a bet, officer?" said one other men
in the little group, a rather shifty-looking fellow.

"Sorry: Not while I'm on duty--Besides, it's a sucker's bet,"
said the policeman, much to their amusement:
"This fellow couldn't slurp a pig up through a straw
in a hundred years!"

"Go ahead, Lee! Prove it to him!" said Paul Triwit;
echoed by all the other men:

"Yeah! Prove it to him! Prove it to him!"

Well, again as if in very, very slow motion,
but really in a blinding flash:

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

... And a third pig had been sucked up the straw
and into Gyp the pig farmer right in front of all their eyes!
... including the policeman's, who almost fell back
on his behind at the sight.

"I've never seen anything like this!"
said the babbling policeman: "This fellow CAN
slurp a pig up through a straw!"

"Didn't we tell you?" said Paul Triwit:
"It's the darnest thing I ever saw in the whole of my life
--And I've spent most of it with the government..."

"That's the third time I've seen him do that,"
said Lee Nimint, "And I still find it hard to believe!"

"What do you find hard to believe?" said a tall
and smartly-dressed man coming from the road...

"Old Doc Cod!" said the policeman:
"What're you doing here, doc?"

"I saw all those cars out there on the road
and thought somebody might've got hurt,"
said Old Doc Cod joining the group (visions of scores
and scores of medical bills dancing in front of his eyes).

"Now, what's this all about?
What's so impossible to believe?"

"You'll never believe it, Doc!" insisted someone else
in the mob: "I've seen it with my own eye
and STILL don't believe it myself!" pointing
to the one eye on himself not covered by a patch.

"What? What are you people talking about?"
asked Old Doc Cod.

"See that fellow there?" said the cop.

"Gyp the pig farmer, 'course!
Sounds like a freight train going by!" said the doctor.

"Well: He can slurp a pig up through a straw
--See if you can explain that medically, Doc!"

Old Doc Cod just laughed and laughed:
"What's the joke?" he then asked.

"No joke doc: Go ahead, Lee: Show him!
Show him!" said Paul Triwit.

And then all the other men, including the cop
were also saying: "Yeah! Show him! Show him!"

Again Lee Nimint went over to the pig pen
and again he carefully picked out another pig,
which he then carried over to where Gyp the pig farmer
(still frozen in the middle of his strange sucking apoplexy)
was still sucking away up his straw.

One more time as if in a very, very slow motion, but
really in one heck of a blinding flash:

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

And then Gyp the pig farmer had slurpped up his fourth pig
up through the straw right in front of everybody's eyes!
... including now even the tired and wrinkled eyes of
Old Doc Cod, who just took his hat off (tightly holding on
to it) and shook his head in utter disbelief.

"My, my," said Old Doc Cod, "I don't think I've ever
read about anything like this in any medical journal!... You know:
Maybe now... I... can write about this in one of them,"
and he took off running like a ten-year-old (visions
of professional prominence dancing in front of his eyes).

And that was when Sid Inboul, the chief
operating officer of the whole township stopped by,
also wanting to know what was happening...

"He can do what--? Get outta here!" he told everybody:
"I've known ole Gyp all my life and nobody's going to tell me
that he can slurp a pig up through a straw!"

It was almost inevitable now that the whole bunch
would quickly start a chorus of, "Go ahead, Lee:
Show him! Show him!" And, one more time:
Lee Nimint headed out to the pig pen...

"Hey," said Lee Nimint from there: "We're
running out of pigs here!
Anybody know where we can get some more?"

"Yeah!" said another stranger in overalls
who'd wondered in off the road.
And they sent out for a few more pigs...

Meanwhile, Sid Inboul getting a little impatient,
Lee went ahead and picked out another one of the porkers
and hauled him over to Gyp the farmer.

Well, again as if in slow motion, but really in quite a flash:

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

And the fifth pig had been sucked up the straw
and into Gyp the pig farmer right in front of all their eyes!
... including the eyes of the chief operating officer
of the whole township, who just sat down
and asked the roll of witnesses to be taken.

A few others came by on their own,
after hearing about it from third parties
(to which they were not invited either): Pete Urpat
the impersonator of infamous politicians who can dance
over at the Stand-up Bar (for whom a sixth pig yet
was sacrificed up Gyp the pig farmer's straw);

and the Reverend Eddie Fyenn,
who said a very moving prayer over the seventh pig
before it too was snorkeled out of this existence;

then there was Tom Egun, the local F.B.I. special agent,
who said this was too special even for him and so he rushed off
to contact the State Department after the eighth pig got it;

Ann Howe, the mayor's yes girl, also dropped by
and thought they were all crazy
well nigh around until about the ninth pig;

Deb Astachon, the prettiest blond woman in the whole state,
also, in whose honor the tenth and also the eleventh pigs
were sent up to their rewards through the straw of Gyp the pig
(farmer), for she didn't 'get' the first one;

and Mister Hal Ebutt, owner of the local fish & tackle,
who asked to have his picture taken with the twelfth pig
before they sent it up Gyp the pig farmer's straw...

Some others were sent for as well, especially
as some of them would not come on their own:

Miss Deb Unker, for example, she was the first person
everybody without exception thought of calling in
as witness, since she was the local librarian,
and it was a 'given' that there was no one alive
with a head more squarely set on his/or/her shoulders...

"What's all this nonsense about a pig?"
she stated as soon as she got there...

"A pig's eye A pig, Miss Unker," said
the Reverend Eddie Fyenn: "Gyp's already slurpped seven pigs
up that straw of his since I've been here!"

And Lee Nimint corrected that number
to an even dozen all.

"This I gotta see!" said Deb Unker,
and everybody turned to Lee Nimint, who
already knowing the routine well enough,
went over to the pig pen and selected his thirteenth porker,
a poor unlucky feller which he subsequently took over to
Gyp the farmer where he was standing, still sucking away
on that straw of his, a far-off expression in his face,
looking out into the distance...

Then again as if it had been in super slow motion, but in reality
in quite an astonishingly fast flash:

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

And the thirteenth pig was slurpped up the deadly straw
and into Gyp the pig farmer right in front of all their eyes!

Well, levelheaded Miss Deb Unker just stared and stared

... and stared ...

Until finally, to make sure she was still alive,
someone near her asked her what she thought
... To which she replied she hadn't seen that!

"Seen what?" they all asked,
expecting her to come right out and tell them
... but she just turned around and, without so much as a bye,
ran off like some man was chasing her to get a kiss.

Another person they definitely wanted there
was the local judge, Mrs. Lynn Chin Chi
(for they might all be hauled before her court on drunk charges
one day, and they wanted to be sure they got off)

"I don't believe any of this garbage!" the judge said,
and gave them all a very stern look. "It I find out
you're playing some practical trick on this court..."

"No, no!" They all protested: "It's true, your honor!
All of it: This man can suck a pig up through a straw!
You're going to see that for yourself
... Let's have a pig for the judge!"

And, they all started yelling: "A pig for the judge!
Quickly! Quickly! A pig for the judge!"

And again Lee Nimint headed out to the pig pen
--You know the rest...

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

And the fourteenth porker was on his way up the straw
without a paddle and into Gyp the pig farmer
right in front of all their eyes!
... including Justice Lynn Chin Chi's eyes:

She just shook her head in disgust and said in a low voice:
"They bring a man like that before my court
and he'd be lucky to get life in prison!"

Then everybody stood up and she left.

They also sent for Al Vatrotz, the editor
of the local T.V. news broadcast

... "I don't believe it! I don't believe it for a second!"
he told them all, and the fifteenth porker went: Oh...

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

for his sake... After which Al Vatrotz rushed off
to his television station to get the item on the air
before all his other competitors...

That's how I myself heard
of the happenings at Gyp the pig farmer's
and hurriedly got into my car
to rush there as fast as I could.

Well, by the time I got there,
the crowd had been joined by a lot of other people,
any number of whom found it impossible to believe
that a man could slurp a pig up through a straw,
of course (and so the thing had to be demonstrated again
and again and again for the benefit of all of them)...

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Well, you get the idea.

"Maybe it's a new kind of liposuction--"
said a fairly weighty woman, hopefully,
considering it was, after all, pig fat
that was being sucked up Gyp's straw.

 The milkman, the postman, the fire chief,
the gas meter reader, the grease monkey, the fix-it guy
and the delivery boy, a very right-leaning gentleman
and the very left-leaning gentleman as well, a woman
who spoke no known human language (a lot),
and a blind man who happened to be driving by
on his way to Washington (but don't worry:
it turned out to be the state, not the D.C.): And,
sure to tell: none of them, not one of them at all, believed
that Gyp the pig farmer could slurp a pig up through a straw
... and all of them to the last one (and
they had one awful mess of a time with the blind man)
just HAD to be shown that one shouldn't disbelieve something
simply because it's unbelievable.

They also had to send out for pigs several more times
before I finally made it there...

"Ah!" cried out a movie star (who happening by, got it into his head
to play the part) enraptured, as he threw wide open the doors
of his car and stepped on to the pig farm
(startling several of the persons close-by, including myself,
as that was the first thing I saw once I got there):

"O ye gods above! Have I at last found one genuinely human
human story!? One not just another cheap gyp?
Have I? Have I? Have I? Can this pig farmer really
slurp a pig up through a straw?" asked he, for this was apparently
the first time in all his life that this movie star
had come so close to someone so fantastical AND genuine.

Then he rushed at Gyp the pig farmer with all the full grace of
a classical ballerina hoping to make a big splash in Swan Lake.

"Bub," Lee Nimint told him: "You have come
to the right place all right: This man you see here before you
hard at breathing through a narrow place
... can most surely and certainly and genuinely
slurp a pig up through a straw! And, without further ado,
we shall prove it to you straightaway: Pass me a pig!"

"Success at last!" Thought the movie star:
"This is no put-on!" And yet... it sounded so impossible,
so incredible, so wonderful a role
(visions of it dancing in front of his eyes)...

"Are you certain?" he asked: "You won't ask me
for a nominal contribution or anything like that--Will you?
Are you certain that he can slurp a pig up through a straw?"

"Are we certain!?" the whole crowd replied
in one single shocked voice,
as if he'd called them all a bunch of liars.

Then: "Go ahead, Lee: Show him! Show him!"
they all sang out, as all the other people there
started a chorus of: "Yeah! Show him! Show him!"

"Bring on another porker for Mister Lee Nimint!"
cried out the cop, a touch of outrage, of hurt civic pride
in the tone of his voice: "Do you think
we're a bunch of cheap con artists here!"

Lee Nimint was already over at the pig pen looking over the lot
of available porkers: A few of the pigs he pinched and,
poking some of the other porkers, he settled on
a good-sized beast which he then brought over
to where Gyp the pig farmer was still sucking in air
through the straw as if he was trying to save his life...

"O, my," said the movie star when he saw Gyp the pig
farmer: "He sounds like a freight train going by, doesn't he!?"

"Naw!" insisted Lee Nimint: "He's just on a roll I'm telling you!
On a roll! Now, watch this now, watch this!
... then tell me if we told truth or not!"

And having said it, Lee Nimint carefully, almost mystically
brought the latest pig over to the open intake end
of Gyp the pig farmer's freight train straw.

The movie star's eyes opened wide as lights going full blast
as Lee Nimint brought the pig closer and closer to the straw
through which Gyp was sucking so hard
that the people wearing hats still had to hang on to them
(with their hands) or they'd have flown right up the straw
into Gyp along with the pig...

Ah, again it all still seemed to be happening in very, very slow motion
--And again it all really happened in a very, very sudden flash:

Schlurrrrrrrpiteeeeeee... Swakata!!!

And then there you have it:
this latest pig also went up through the straw
and right into Gyp the pig farmer
... in front of the movie star's eyes!

However: One thing WAS different this time
... This time, as soon as the pig got into Gyp the pig farmer:
poor Gyp the pig farmer finally up and
blew up like a very, very horrid bomb
(Gyp the pig farmer--although this most probably also included
the latest pig... and along with all the other ones).

For you see: although poor Gyp the pig farmer COULD
unquestionably, undeniably and most certainly
slurp A pig up through a straw (and a goodly number
of additional pigs as well, as we have seen,
yet): he just couldn't quite make it through an infinite number
of them ... at least, not in one single sitting!

Well, afterwards, after the Tennessee National Guard dug him out
from under the mess: the poor frustrated movie star got in his car
and drove home to soak in a vinegar bath
and deep melancholy for some time, while
he had his people look up a story with a happier ending.

As for Gyp the pig farmer's community...

Well, you know how those things are:
They all lived happily ever after, of course.

(Gyp the pig farmer's community properly buried
as much of Gyp as they could scrape together,
and as befit their most famous citizen ever.)

Well, all lived happily except for the left-leaning gentleman
and his closest neighbor the right-leaning gentleman
(who lived side by side, but on opposite sides of the same slope,
so that the left-leaning gentleman always leaned left
in order to compensate for the right-leaning of his house
while the right-leaning gentleman always leaned right
in order to compensate for the left-leaning of his house
... All of which, of course, meant that they really were two of a kind:
straight, upstanding fellows in their own way,
except they'd never admit it, and)... well--

In any case: one of them said with absolute certainty
that Gyp the pig farmer had got all the way through forty pigs,
all told, while the other one was just as absolutely convinced
that he had only made it to thirty-nine pigs in all
before the Big Bang. And, well: No Way
they could get together on this (nor anything else).

"Their quarrel continues to this date," insisted Uncle Elknoo:
"With--No Compromise! No Resolution! Not One Step Back
for either of them! No Seeing Eye-to-Eye!
In other words: everything proper and natural
--Oh, not as it ought to be, to be sure,
which is a matter of concern but to the divine
--BUT (at least) as it should be, which
is the way with most human affairs... and fairy tales."

And that was when Ollie Oups called everybody's attention
to the inescapable fact that Pips Pologie had, "Puked
--and pretty profoundly, too..." So
it seemed best if everybody just headed back home.

"And that was all there was, too!"
said Pips Pologie amidst his stomach complaints.

"Oh," I wouldn't say so," explained Uncle Elknoo:
"I think even Pips will (eventually) agree that he still has something
left over from the experience--Wouldn't you agree, Pips?"

Pips just groaned and grabbed his belly
as if it were about to burst.

"Say," Mojo told all the other kids: "Before we spend
the rest of our nickels--We had better think very carefully
about what we're going to throw them away on!"

Something which seemed like a wise decision to all.

Anna Pologie asked Unkle Elknoo whether
the left-leaning gentleman and the right-leaning gentleman
ever discovered that if they went around the slope
in the same direction
they would both lean in the same direction...?

But, meanwhile, Uncle Elknoo just continued
with the stories he was in the middle of,
without answering her: "And so, of all the fairly unique
persons I have ever known, Gyp the pig farmer
turned out to have most definitely been
the most fairly unique,
although it cost him some, I'd say."

Which was saying a lot, of course.


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