Q. What is an epiglottis?
A. Excuse me, but did you not see the signs?
Q. You mean the signs that say the end of the world is at hand and/or foot?
A. No, the signs that say this line is for Frequently Asked Questions. How frequently do you think people come up here and ask what is an epiglocktapus?
Q. In other words, you don’t know.
A. I might. And I might not. That is not the point. See that guy down the road next to the kid selling lemonade and cemetery plots? Notice that his signs say Infrequently Asked Questions? Go bother him.
Q. Cemetery plots? You don’t suppose he also sells Great American Novel plots? You see, I have writer’s block.
A. You should see a block and tackle specialist. You probably need repeated tackling.
Q. Why are you so rude?
A. I was adopted by rude llamas. And I don’t mean Fernando Lamas.
Q. What exactly is a llama?
A. It’s pretty much a short, hairy camel without any hump.
Q. No hump at all? How did your…I mean, is that why they had to adopt?
A. My llama daddy liked to wear spandex shorts while riding his bike in the Tour de Frankie and Johnny. It was Johnny—no wait, Frankie had already shot Johnny right through that hardwood door, ‘cause he was doing her wrong. A yodelayhee hi hee yodelayhee.
Q. Yoda lay who?
A. So Frankie warned him that tight undies could turn certain delicate body do-dads into hermits who never come out to play.
Q. You just don’t hear people saying “do-dads” anymore. Or “do-hickey’s.” Or “whatchamacallits.”
A. Or epigladysknightandthepips.
Q. Don’t you think that’s sad?
A. You want sad? Johnny—this was before he was doin’ Frankie wrong. Or wait, maybe while he was doin’ her wrong. (He was ambidextrous.) A yodelayhee ho. He told my old llama man to switch to boxers. But my father had never boxed before and said he was too old to start. So he got that syndrome that killed Bob Dole’s chances for president of Atlantis. He called it E.D.
Q. You don’t mean Exploding Davenportitis?
A. No. It’s llama for Extremely Dead. That’s when they got me from the pound.
Q. They got you from a dog pound?
A. It was between me, a Golden Retriever who kept retrieving silver, and a Mexican Hairless with a Fu Manchu. They adopted the hairless but returned him because he smoked and kept barking in Chinese.
Q. Did you know that ground-up bark from a Chinese chestnut tree, mixed with Mazola oil, makes a great chest rub for any occasion? Also, you can rub it on your head, in case you’re a nut boy. And get this: It’s great on smoked salmon.
A. And here I took you for just another lunatic.
Q. Don’t worry about it.
A. Much too late.
Q. So anyway, speaking of dogs, I just got a dog and haven’t named him yet. I need to know if epiglottis is a boy’s name or a girl’s name.
A. You want to name a dog epiglobadust?
A. None of my business, but what’s wrong with Rover or Spot or Jimmy the huckster?
Q. My brother’s name is Rover and my sister is named Spot. And my father is Jimmy the huckster.
A. Your father is a huckster? What does he huck?
A. Why was I afraid you were going to say that?
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2015, all rights reserved.