Local Wire

Jennifer Gentle

My eyelids fluttered open, and there, peering down at me, was a six-foot-tall platypus wearing a paisley vest, a monocle, and a mischievous smile.

"Wh-wh-where am I?" I stammered, sitting up in the purple grass and gazing at the grove of marshmallow trees in front of me.

"Now, now, my boy," Mr. Platypus chuckled. "You really shouldn't have taken that seventh tab."

Suddenly there were guitars that tasted like butterscotch and an orchestra of bumblebee-buzzzzzzzz kazoos and dancing flutes and the tick-tock-tick-tock of white-bearded clocks and organs that purred like a flock of Siamese kittens and shakity shakity sleigh bells and chimes like twinkling stars and tittering red-breasted robins and the sound of helium rushing from a balloon going whreeeoooorreeeee and voices inhaling those helium clouds until it tickled out words about gardens and trousers and golden sunshines.

"Is that . . . Piper at the Ga --"

"Don't you remember, my boy? You're at the Jennifer Gentle show," said Mr. Platypus.

"Ahhhh," I smiled. "She's beautiful!"

"You silly boy," Mr. Platypus guffawed. "Jennifer Gentle isn't a woman, it's Mr. Marco and Mr. Alessio -- two fine young lads from Italy."

"It's wonderful! I never want it to end!"

"Don't worry, my boy, you're not going anywhere," laughed Mr. Platypus. "Let me introduce you to my friend, Syd . . ."

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Michael Alan Goldberg