scruta

Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Bicuspid Dream, Translated from the Chinese

[Ferret is dreaming. He sits in a classroom filled mostly with young Korean and Japanese students with several Caucasians dotted here and there like dandruff. Ferret’s Teacher calls out the new vocab words from the book, and the Class mechanically responds in a strange unison that seems to trail off, as several students in the Class begin to early or start to late. There is a sudden, earnest knocking on the door, so direct and forceful, you’d think that whoever was knocking had mistaken the flimsy classroom door of particle board for the giant oak gate of a warlord’s stronghold. The Teacher looks at the Class nervously as they titter with laughter, then she cautiously walks towards the door and opens it up.

As the Teacher opens the door, the Beggar knocking on the door is mid-strike, and almost falls over as his momentum carries him beyond where the door was just a second ago. He stumbles past the teacher fist first into the classroom like a lame superhero attempting to miraculously gain his lost powers of flight. The Class now falls into roars of laughter. The Beggar straightens out his ragged ensemble with a misplaced, self-satisfied grin. The Teacher begins her interrogations:]

Teacher

Who are you?

Beggar

[pointing at Ferret]

I’m his landlord.

Ferret

[adamant]

No, you aren’t.

Beggar

I know I look different, but I’ve lost a tooth.

[The Beggar takes a tooth from his pocket while bearing his teeth to reveal a single, prominent gap from the loss of a bicuspid. He places the tooth back into this mouth and instantly changes appearance the way you would see in an old gag movie where a man takes off his hat, or a woman lets down her hair and is suddenly replaced by an entirely different actor. With the return of his tooth, his facial features, the build of his body, and even his tattered garments all change instantaneously. Ferret exclaims:]

Ferret

Holy shit!

Class

[a la Greek chorus, in the same vein as they were repeating characters a moment earlier]

Who is this man who changes his face?

What kind of body grows at this pace?

Can we believe the testament shown?

That from this tooth, this monster has grown?

Ferret

It looks like he has.

Teacher

He needs to leave. He’s disrupting class.

Ferret

Let’s hear him out.

Class

Yes, hear him out! All need a voice!

Hear him well, then make a choice!

Teacher

Go ahead, sir.

Beggar

[looking like the landlord]

I don’t know how this happened. Ever since I lost my tooth, my whole life has changed. My wife won’t let me in the house. I try to show her how it’s just my tooth, but when I show her, she thinks I’m some kind of spirit that has come back to haunt her. A Japanese solider from World War Two or something. I’m suffering badly. Nobody recognizes me. I’m no longer the locksmith who owns your apartment. I’m now just a lowly bottle collector begging on the streets.  Can you help me, Ferret?

Ferret

What do you want?

Beggar

Money to get the tooth fixed!

Teacher

This is a trick! Don’t trust him Ferret!

Beggar

I assure you that it’s not.

Teacher

How much?

Beggar

200RMB.

Teacher

No way. You could get that fixed for 150RMB, tops.

Beggar

[after glaring at the Teacher, turns to Ferret]

Please. I want my life back. I’d give anything to get it back.

Ferret

Even your two front teeth?

Beggar

That’s just cruel. Even as a joke.

Teacher

I agree. It was also a terrible pun.

Class

Wide eyed dreamer, this is no time for puns,

Just stay the course, stick to your guns.

Will you help this man into shape?

Decide now. There is no escape.

Ferret

I beg to differ.

Beggar

What?

[Ferret wakes up.]

posted by ferret at 6:54 pm  

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