Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

It’s a Good Thing There Are No Phone Booths Anymore

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As I walk – no, make that swagger – down the street, how many passersby are aware that they have just had a brush with none other than Thag, he of Mightier than the Pen?

That probably depends on where I swagger. I mean, this is (mostly) an English-language oeuvre (I swear that was unintentional). Precious few denizens of, for instance, Tajikistan, would ever have cause to wonder such a thing, probably because there aren’t any streets. And I challenge you to concoct a plausible scenario in which Thag winds up in Dushanbe (to the Tajiks and their admirers, rest assured I hold you in the highest regard; my choice of your homeland for the butt of a joke in no way reflects on the true nature of your country and culture, hopelessly primitive as it may be)(I did it again, didn’t I?)(Anyway, I’m sure you have streets, quite nice ones, at that, and the fact that mules outnumber cars on those streets only adds to the charm, as do the yaks. Unless that’s a different hopelessly backwards slime hole I’m thinking of).

This secret identity thing certainly is exciting. As I pass people, I remind myself that they have no idea just how much our lives are connected beyond that chance encounter (none). I must suppress a rush of pride and importance, lest I burst out and yell, “It is I! Thag himself!” and wait for the swooning to commence. It’s like wearing my race car underwear and just hoping for an excuse to show them off.

OK, so I don’t actually have race car underwear, and haven’t in about thirty years (no, I will not tell you my current choice). But that example certainly carried less baggage than the authentic memory of walking into the public library with a metal pipe in my inside coat pocket and feeling a sense of accomplishment at smuggling in a weapon (I can’t remember why I did it in the first place. If I recall correctly, I only discovered the thing in my pocket on the way in; the concealment was hardly planned. And it wasn’t really a pipe; I think it was a broken section of the metal bar from a school desk. I think I liked the way the end looked, when you looked at it in just the right light, from just the right angle, almost, but completely, unlike the barrel of a gun). Thirteen-year-old boys are far more complex creatures than the ones less than half their age. As if you needed to be told that.

In any case, I’m sure swooning is exactly what would happen if I proceeded to favor the public with displays of my undergarments. Or I’m not so sure, considering what passes for clothing nowadays. It seems perfectly acceptable for a man to forget his shirt at home in the morning, judging from the sartorial selections around me. For some reason, as well, women seem to think that walking outside with only a bra for a top would be wrong, but two bra-like garments suddenly make it OK. You know, because that extra third of an inch from each additional strap makes such a difference. And don’t get me started on navels.

So I suppose exposing my skivvies would not have the dramatic effect I originally assumed. I could, however, succumb to the urge to yell out, “I am Thag!” and that would just intimidate everyone. No one would mess with me. I blog. Isn’t that so unique and special? You can tell how impressed everyone is by the way they begin to keep a respectful distance.

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Written by Thag

September 14, 2010 at 9:06 pm

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