THE INFORMATION #898
Ah, the patter of little feet around the house. –W. C. Fields
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART EIGHTY: KINGDOM COME
CHAPTER TEN: PART EIGHTY: KINGDOM COME
Count Victor Justin stood in the Seven Stars Saloon and nursed a schooner of flat reeb. He never came out and gave all the details, but the gist of the story was that he was thwarted in his ambition to swindle a midget out of his gold, because he went on a remarkable extended rant about midgets in general and Colonel Germ in particular.
“Most intelligent people,” he said, “aren’t repulsed by midgets. They see them as they actually are–little people who have stopped growing. They probably don’t despise the midget for being small, and having a squeaky voice, and babbling like a small child, and stealing bright and shiny objects and hoarding them in some sort of filthy midget hidey-hole. They aren’t angered by the fact that midgets think they’re pretty smart, and they’re always trying to put one over on normal sized people because they’re tiny and can squeeze past you in a line, faster than lightning, without being noticed–they THINK. They probably don’t resent the fact that midgets are as crafty as squirrels treasuring up a hoarded nut. Most people aren’t completely convinced that all midgets are criminals who smoke smelly, over-sized cigars and plot amazingly detailed robbery schemes in the rooms of pestilential flophouses. You know the kind of room I mean–with a cracked mirror hanging from a nail, and a rickety nightstand next to the unmade bed, and the plaster peeling from the walls. I don’t believe that most intelligent people are convinced that midgets like to sit in their repulsive lairs, whiling away the hours by playing card games and drinking too much whiskey, which is bad for them precisely because they are so small. I think that mature people who have thought the matter through reject the whole idea that all midgets are united in a kind of sneaky cabal to extort normal-sized people into doing their bidding. I mean, we all know of harmless midgets who are just as innocent as the day is long. They are a wee credit to their kind. Some midgets have a lively intelligence; they work had at doing whatever it is that midgets do to earn a living, like operating elevators and the like; and they’re very articulate, especially regarding their hopes and dreams, which usually revolve around elevator shoes, and finding a normal sized mate so they aren’t forced to pass the curse of midgetdom down to their progeny.
“I will grudgingly admit it: There actually are some good midgets out there in the big bad world. They are not the ones who have anything to fear from the likes of me. It’s the lazy carny midgets who exploit their small stature in order to steal a march on the other freaks–they’re the ones who fill me with resentment and loathing. Midgets like that Colonel Germ, over at the Red and Black Carnival on Mistake Island. Now, I’m sure all the sob sisters would be coming out in force right about now, boo-hoo-hooing about how the little guy never stood a chance; how it was impossible for him to grow up right because his parents sold him to James A. Bailey when he was but a wee lad; about how the poor little mite never got a proper education, and so grifting the suckers at a carnival was the only occupation he ever learned. But twisted circus freaks like that Colonel Germ are the enemy of normal midgets, because they give responsible, hard-working midgets a bad name. Think of all the midgets who have good jobs and are able to get ahead and afford a little cottage where everything is midget-sized and maybe even a pony to ride around on. People who are thoughtful and wise have probably concluded that not all midgets are grabby little insects with stumpy sausage-shaped fingers who like to pick pockets and are never on time for appointments and who laugh at the law because jail cells can’t hold them, as they tend to squeeze between the bars.
“But–I’m going to admit it–I’m one of those people who find midgets annoying. Their pernicious, high-pitched laughter among themselves when they think nobody normal is around. They way they all can see in the dark, like cats–an attribute they have which most people don’t find out about until it’s too late. About how they can always tell when a woman is having her time of month, because of their absurd thigh-level view of reality, and also the fact that they have an advanced sense of smell. And what about the accusation that they conspire with circus chimps to commit bizarre and furtive murders? The jury is still out on that one, though it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
“OK, I’ll admit it–there are probably plenty of sensitive, poetry-loving midgets. They may even be a midget or two who has distinguished himself in the arts and sciences. Toulouse-Lautrec for instance. Steinmetz, for another example. But, technically, of course, Steinmetz was actually a dwarf. Why did he have to grow that beard? Why? And those nose-pinching cheaters? He looked like a Prussian spy, which is probably what he was.
“I’m actually rather frightened of midgets. Some think the little peewees are cute. Not me. Every time I see one, I get this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I want to bat it away. They’re not like humans to me–they’re like annoying insects I would like to crush between my thumb and forefinger. Nowadays, I can hardly breathe when I see one on the street–that’s how much they spook me. You may mock me for my fear of midgets, but I assure you that it’s well-founded. I still bear the scars of my encounter with Colonel Germ. I had figured out an elaborate scheme to deprive him of his gold, but then I got drunk and decided instead to simply strong-arm him out of his grouch bag. That was my worst mistake. The midge had a grip like iron. I tried to fling him across the room, but he just hung on like a bulldog. And he actually bit my fingers, just like an overfed rat. That was dirty pool. I yelled at him. ‘Fight fair, midget–fight fair!’ But that only seemed to make him madder. He was a tenacious midget, like all midgets are. Lots of upper arm strength. Don’t know why. You never see them engaged in hard work. Digging ditches and the like. They tend to shirk such chores. They’re sneaky that way. ‘But I’m a MIDGET’ they moan, whenever you ask them to lend a hand. Oh, but they can get pretty snappish when you exclude them on the basis of their height. They’ll get on their high horse, so to speak. ‘Just because I happen to be short…’ they’ll say–which is the understatement of the century. Y’see–they want to have it both ways, just like the Suffragettes, and all the high yallers, too, if the truth be known.
“When you have an eye for spotting a midget-man–that’s when you begin to see them everywhere. I have observed them for years–and I know their devious ways. I know where they congregate. Most notably, in the front row of the nickelodeon. They keep up a stream of constant chatter way up in front, so if you’re normal-sized you can’t even concentrate on the picture. And then, after they’ve had their fun ruining the show for everyone else, they go home. They live in their own section of the city–their own little hideous midget enclave, called Little Town. But don’t bother asking anyone where exactly that is–they’ll keep mum. Even the cops and the hansom cab drivers probably don’t know where it is–but I do. Many’s the time I have contemplated taking a flaming brand and setting their rickety wooden houses on fire, and enjoying the spectacle of seeing shrieking midgets fleeing into the streets. But, of course, I’m civilized, and civilized people don’t do things like that. Most of the time.
“I have noticed that midgets tend to avoid pet stores. They are probably afraid they will be put in a cage and offered for sale. They probably remember the caged Pygmies that were exhibited at the World’s Fair. You know, one time the midge’s had their own World’s Fair. It was called ‘The World’s Unfair’. Haw! That’s a joke. Or…is it?
“Let’s face it–midgets are just freaks. And they’re not even the normal sort of freak, because they hold themselves above the others, so to speak. I don’t know why, because midgets are really good at only one thing–being short. It’s not like you can go to any sort of midget university to learn how to be a sawed-off runt.
“So–now you know the truth. I lost a fight to a midget. What does that make me? Some kind of morphodite? I hope not.
“One time, just for a joke, Smash Conklin spotted a midget and threw him at me. I ducked. And he midget crashed down onto the sawdust floor and started to weep, rather copiously. I was surprised. I didn’t know midgets had refined feelings like that.
“Forgive me for my vehemence. But it’s good for me to blow off steam. I’ve been carrying the midget around on my back for far too long. They are God’s little joke on the rest of the world. And there, but for fortune…I know. If I were a midget, you’d have to help me ascend the platform of trolley cars, and provide me with a step-stool when I wanted to use the urinal. I think…I think I’d rather die. And I’m very sure that all the midgets–the ones who know their place–all the good midgets–I’m sure they would agree with me.”
QUORA: WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THE OUTSIDE WORLD WOULD BE SHOCKED TO LEARN ABOUT THE USA?
WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS ROYAL CALYPSO ORCHESTRA
HOT DOGS MADE THEIR NAME
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
EVERYTHING WE LOVE TO EAT IS A SCAM
BY E. MELANIE DUPUIS
6* DAILY UTILITY
CASUAL RACIST BINGO
THE BINGO PROJECT
HOW TO HANDLE A RACIST
MOST RACIST AREAS OF UNITED STATES
THE MAGIC OF OZ
“The worst cartoon ever.”
OHIO RIVER MOST POLLUTED BODY OF WATER
STREAM FIFTEEN HOURS OF THE JOHN PEEL SESSIONS
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
50 best post-punk albums
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
857. FOX NEWS IS BASICALLY SOFTCORE PORN FOR OLD MEN