Art Pact 66

I'd broken the chain, and naturally that meant that all the shit that had been kept circulating in the pipeline by one person handing off their misfortune to the next was headed my way at high speed. Without making some other poor sucker the next link, I had to find a way to do a bit of plumbing that would redirect the flow of sewage harmfully into the ether.

First of all, though, I had to take advantage of the moment. I'd broken the chain - me, the weakling dipshit who couldn't even be relied upon to keep his mouth shut in front of the dignitaries. I'd be making quite the meal of that in the future, but although there wasn't time to do that now, there was no reason I couldn't whip up a few hors d'oeuvres. I went to the mayor first, that sanctimonious crapbag, and gave him both barrels.

"We're all very concerned about you, Leonard," he said, rattling the change in his pocket. "You know I like the people to prosper, and it seems to me like you're deliberately sabotaging your best chances."

"My best chances?" I yelled. Incredible! The gall of the arsehole! The sheer face of this cock! I stepped up eye-to-eye with him and gave him a piercing stare. "My best chances were back in the days when I could have gone to university. All I have now are the few left-over coppers of chance that I picked up out of the gutter. You're welcome to take those too."

"You need to understand that you're doing yourself no good. All this posturing, all this business about the [chain], what's the good of it? The [chain] was working well." (Of course, cowardly to his core he couldn't raise himself up far enough to say the word, he used one of the tired old euphemisms for it, but I eschew such nonsense, so in reporting the old idiot's speech I have taken the liberty of altering it for greater accuracy). "There are questions being raised about whether you ought to be questioned about certain other things."

"Well question away. At least as long as the council are asking questions they won't be doing anything worse. Perhaps they ought to ask themselves whether they wanted to keep betting that the chain wouldn't get them one day, like it's got so many other people."

"Chain?" he asked, playing dumb.

The next person to visit was my damn mother, who took one look at me coming up the pathway and ducked behind her curtains like a squirrel into a tree. I banged on the door, demanding to be let in, but she would only call out to me through the letter box - you see what it is I have to put up with? Barred from my own birth-home, so much an outcast that I could not even be allowed into the very core of society, the family. If only I could get at the things in my old bedroom, the tools I had there, my life would be so much easier. But it was not to be.

"You can't come causing trouble, Leonard!" she called. I held the outside flap of the letter-box open, she the inside-flap, and I could see her weepy old eyes through the little slot of air. "You can't come in here, and you know it! I'll call the cops on you! I don't want to, but I will!"

"Mother dear," I said. "I have no intention of entering this squalid little pit for a second."

Her eyes narrowed.

"What do you want?" she asked.

"I just wanted to tell you that I have done this town a great service, and you will be reading about me in the newspapers if only the town council will for once stop..."--I paused, and the sudden image of the mayor jingling the change in his pocket came into my mind--"masturbating into their personal fortunes."

"Leonard, you know I don't like-"

"I have freed this town from the tyranny of the chain," I said, "you might liken me to Lincoln, or to Wilberforce, or to Bolivar. Instead, no doubt, I will for the time being continue to be reviled by the spoon-fed idiots who gobble up their opinions from the teat of the corrupt press."

"Please, Leonard, just leave me alone."

"Mother, I know you're afraid because of what they've told you, but you have to

"Leonard," she said. "Get this into your head. I [am] your mother!"

Again, I have edited the old woman's delusional talk in the interests of accuracy.


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