holy smoke

One time I found a bulky brown envelope on my front porch addressed to my roommate. Since he'd disappeared right before rent was due I decided to open it, expecting a mail ordered shirt, but hoping it was a good kilo of crank or several wads of dough as i had no idea how to pay the last four months of bills.

You can imagine my surprise to find an Acme hole like you see in cartoons and Roger Rabbit (I knew it was Acme brand, because, hell, who else would make them?). It was extrememly difficult to grip and I finally dropped it and of course fell in.

And out to a wooden dusty room filled with trunks and cluttered shelves and hangy things and a little round window and my roommate, who was sitting in front of a silvery wraithy hookah and surrounded by many small objects that turned out to be little appendage missing limping around animal crackers. "Tell me you brought a lighter," he said.

I tossed one to him and he lit up the hookah while i gaped around the room. An entire Fisher Price population! Richie Rich #1-400! A cartoon series involving helicoptors and hippies by Da Vinci! Stuffed tiger doll that when turned inside out became a Sambo! Wind-up pornographic cancan dancers! Raggedy Ann and Andy with anatomically correct hearts sewn on! Several Editions of UnPopular Mechanics (Princess Grace's and Seinfield's and, I knew it, Sam the guy with the pitbull down the street, on three of the covers)! Twelve mustachio'd replicas of Mona Lisa! The entire Nancy Drew series, with plates by Gustav Dore! Maps to McDonalds' outlets in Oz, Narnia, Dictionopolis, Akron and Wonderland! Some poster in French that I think would guide one to walk through mirrors! Blueprints to several castles and a couple of pyramids! Two empty cans of Tang! Perpetual motion hourglass!

"Oh God is this good shit," gasped my roommate, exhaling bubbles. He told me how he'd ordered two holes from the Shopping channel and when one arrived he jumped through, pulling the hole after him as instructed, without reading the other side of the the instructions involving the second hole. Well, that was stupid. "Let's get out of here. We'll come back and grab some of this shit after I get something decent to eat."

"But, but, but, where the hell are we?" i asked.

"I dunno, but i think that's Bagdad outside."

Sidestepping a crate of Acme Boomerang Dynamite Stix, I looked out the window at a cityscape of jeweled mosques, street filled with elephant taxis, and across the way a veiled belly dancer with six arms entertaining a young begger. A shadow and piercing screams flashed by eyes and ears and into vision was an eagle larger than a whale, with a golden sphere in one claw and a swearing turbaned and loinclothed man in the other.

"Fuck!" i exclaimed, stepping back and knocking over the hookah, coals igniting several sheets of Renoir's Kama Sutra illustrations.

"Shit!" yelled my roomate. He grabbed a large tapestry and leapt into the hole, shouting, "Pull the hole back with you!" A mogwai jumped in after him, carrying a screaming harp.

I dashed to the exit, but a couple of things caught my eye that i really needed, and forgot to grab hold of the hole. I emerged out to my living room to the sound of huge blasts and narrowly avoided fragments of boomerangs shooting up into the ceiling.

"You asshole," my roommate said. He rolled up the remaining hole and unrolled the tapestry and sat on it. "Abba forever," he said, and floated out the front door.

I'm afraid the wig of medusa snakes isn't what it's cracked up to be. The little vipers are rather poisonous, not to mention wriggly as all get out. At least i've got this copy of Muhammad Ali vs. Superman, which i've been looking for since the sixth grade. Hey, there's an ad for x-ray glasses in the back pages...

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