Monday, June 07, 2010
Melvin Mole finally under control
Somehow it happened.
Thirty years of stumbling around, mislaying parts of family, business, houses--many houses--good friends and at least seven of the best women one could love--to finally crash land on Main Street Newmaket ON, accompanied, at least metaphorically, by two Mexican goats (have noticed how adorable young kids are as they tentatively clatter along?)
Ivan and his goats on Main Street, pursued by the health department. Yeah. People finally got my goat.
A cartoon frame pushes it's way into my consciousness.
In Mexico, I had worked once again on my thesis on MAD Magazine. It is the image of Melvin Mole, finally chained and dungeroned, Melvin Mole, the Man out of Control, rat-faced, file-nosed, bepimpled.
There is a jailer, grating, while he picks his teeth after a KFC meal. "You've dug you last hole, Mole. You're under control!
But somehow it happened.
Just befoe electrocution, there is a letter pushed through the bars. It is from a Montreal publisher.
"We like your novel, and we'd like to do it."
Thirty years on the wilderness. Thirty years of risking all, thirty years of being Melvin Mole, underground man, though like in the song about The Bastard King of England, somehow having ones women by twos and threes. Women can sense extreme stress in a man, and that somehow makes him attractive to them, no matter how ragged and funny the man.
Melvin Mole about to be executed but reprieved not by the governor, but a Montreal publisher.
"But don't think it's all gonna be roses from now on," the keeper hisses as he grudgingly opens the cell door. "You got a lot of suffering yet to do."
Free. Out on Main Street, Boogie Street, Leonard Cohen without the talent, but very nearly as old, Christ out of the tomb, but this time cagier, more careful.
It was a surprise that the turnkey actually had had a sense of humour, "You've got a hard Icon to bear" (referring to my novel, The Black Icon which steadily sold through private publishings but never by a big publisher).
Yep. Incongrous image. Melvin Mole carrying this huge church icon on his back. Did he steal it? Clucking Serbo-Croatian abbots in pursuit, thinking he had stolen from the sacristy.
There is a temptation to do a caper here. JOHN LAW! JOHN LAW! YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO GET ME!. NO, NOT ME. NOT MELVIN MOLE. NOT ME. NEIN. NICHT. NEVER!
But these are talk balloon out of a perfervid brain full of reaseach on what many would say the ridiculous. Master's thesis on MAD Magazine. The fucking guy is MAD!
A mole with an icon on his back. Incongrous image.
One could see a cat with an icepack on his back as being cool, but a mole with an icon on his back? What up?
During the McCarthy hearings, a young lad was brought up to testify as to EC comics seducing the innocent. "It was the comic books that dunnit to me."
Well, it was the comic books that dunnit to me for sure.
Yeah. Yeah. The zany thesis.
But the plan, after graduation was to write the big book.
And like with everything else, it takes a very long--too long-a time.
Thirty years in the wilderness. Fragments of headlines while working as a headline writer.
The hicks were not enamoured over a novel I had done and published about them. I called them The Main Street Soldiers,
riff-raff on the street, townspeople becoming paupers before the Wal-Marts finally did the town in.
...But one is free now on an empty street, full of CLOSED and FOR SALE signs.
Dilapidated Mole Man, clutching manuscripts.
And carrying this huge Icon!