- Ward Cleaver's Prozac Fever


Bring out the big guns, baby ---

how do you want to die?!?

Wanna go all ka-runchy

under my dadly jackbooty Topsider,

guts splayed on the steaming summer asphalt ---

your Junior-Minty giblets

streaked cell-thin by my unrepentant sole?

Maybe I'll just pluck out your

furry leggies one-at-a-freakin' time.

Maybe I'll do it

real, real slow too, see??

"She loves me,"

"She loves me NOT!"

Oh yeah, she loves me, all right.

She loves me because I am

slayer of slithy toves.

Whether I'm whackin' wasps,

annihilating anties, or crushing spider carcass

through the dirt and straight

back into Hell where they all belong,

I can tell you this, dear dads:

There will be absotively, posilutely,

no mome rath outgrabin' in my parts, nuh-uh!

'Cuz when it's brillig,

as it is all too infrequently in our

sorry stretch of suburbia,

the Beastie Stomp is the last thing a dad wants

his hard-earned day off interrupted to do.

But alas, the law of our prescient friend

Mr. Murphy always, always comes into play

when a critter pitter-patters out from

the dimensional vortex under the 'fridge ---

you know, the one that produces bugs by the legion.

I will, of course, be in the midst

of a sublime drift into the dadly Land O'Nod,

splayed akimbo in the Comfy Chair,

dogs up on the old Ottoman Empire,

when The Screech curdles all of the

blood in my body into prickly-hot hemoglobules

that race to my face in

bright crimson Gorbachev blotches.

"There's a jumpy SPIDER on the ceiling,"

goes the hue and cry.

I scan the lunar topography of our

decaying plaster ceiling for 12 or 14 hours

before I finally spy the funkus buggie with my little eye.

There it sits, glowering and vengeful,

a full milli-micron across the

widest part of its thorax.

Then up I go, arachnid stalker ---

poised for hemipteran Helter-Skelter ---

armed with that most infamous

instrument of annihilation and of

bloody violent death ---

a double-soft wad of Charmin.

Soft...soft...I ready myself,

careful I am not casting my shadow

on the spiteful creature,

lest it scamper off

into its crown molding insectival empire,

thumbing its pincers at me,

wantonly spreading its polygamous seed

in its unrelenting campaign of world conquest.



I stand down, teeth gritted,

and admire my gruesome handiwork

with an evil chuck-chuck-chuckle.

Surely, I will be rewarded

for so gallant a dadly act.

But no.

I am left instead, with a clean-up

dilemma that would drive even Heloise

buggy and bereft of hints,

for a permanent skidmark of bug guts

has splorched my ceiling.

I scrub it with cleanser,

which removes the ceiling white;

which requires a new coat of paint

that winds up splattering


on the wall-to-wall

resulting in the replacement of the

entire downstairs carpeting.

I snapped, oh friends --- I snapped, I did.

I embarked upon a wild and Godless

spree of murder and of abject mayhem

seeking retribution after the

unfortunate Incident ---

and I would not rest until they were ALL dead,

every last buggy one of 'em.

I was prepared, if need be, to kick even

Franz Kafka's sorry metamorphosed ass.

I got in the rustwagon and headed out

to the park highway with genocide on my mind, oh yes.


If you are reticulated, ciliated,

flagellated, exoskeletal or just plain slime,


I cranked the trusty 8-track

("Ogden's Nut Gone Flake," it was).

Itchin' fer blood, I floored the Firenza,

and cackling with glee,

I made good my spree,

flying down a park expressway

until the windshield was awash in

the thick mucous splat of

every single last bug

in the entire animule kingdom.

I had killed them all.

Or so I thought.

I screeched to a halt and composed myself.

I burnt all my clothes and

cleared away the windshield

sputum with a gas station squeegee.

I wiped the steering wheel clean of fingerprints,

and having disposed of all evidence

down to the final DNA strand,

I lashed a brick to the accelerator,

dropped 'er into drive, and

committed the flivver to the bottom of the river.

I walked home, laughing and smoking

(knowing full well I ought not to do

either in my fast-advancing years),

in a sunny and perfect and bugless world.

But grim news awaited my return to dadsville.

"Better have a look at the apple tree!"

My eyes shifted slowly left,

then slowly right as my feeble cerebrum

processed this most pernicious information.


"ka-ZILLIONS of 'em!!"

Seems a furry critter had up and

kakked in a rotted-out hollow of

our decaying Granny Smith.

The crevasse teemed with a

wiggly warm swarm of goopy maggotry.

Snooping on my ensuing frenzy,

the neighbors on either side of

our postage-stamp parcel of suburban

dystopia hauled out the lawn chairs

and coolers and Polaroid One-Steps

and hunkered down to witness the

final indignity of this

impertinent insectival postscript.

And what a show it was, dear readers.

I doused 'em with charcoal fluid

and torched 'em, Beavis-style.

I drowned 'em with unidentifiable

chemicals left above my cro-mag workbench

by our home's previous owners.

I flushed 'em full-blast with the leaky garden hose.

Still they spewed forth like

a grotesque geyser of gak.

As the audience yowled for blood

with my every volley,

old Fortunato's fate

(or Trask's, if you're here now from Dark Shadowsland),

flashed before my eyes in an

inspiration, and in a triumphant and

resourceful Tim-the-Toolman finale,

I whipped up a stiff batch-o-mortar,

and amidst the well-deserved

applause, I entombed the maggotry

and their decomposing host mousie,

in a cap of Quik-Set Concrete.

There was absolutely no doubting

that this was it.

This was the 15 minutes of fame

Mr. Warhol promised.

I reveled in it --- basked in it ---

verily, my dadly flesh crawled with it

as a hale and hearty



rose from every craggie of the town,

and the strains of Adam Ant's

"Stand and Deliver" issued forth from

some retro-punk's boom box

mingling in the rarefied suburban air

with the incessant

buzz, buzzz, buzzzzzzz

of Lawnboys conquering the Earth.

Last "dads"
Past "dads"

2003 Arhythmiacs

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