Pygmalion Chain

daisy chain 1


If it weren’t for you, I would not have been freed from low hanging clouds, from gumballs, from pity. There but for the grace of god (lower case).

Mercy me, there was the slightest hint of a breeze, not enough to cool an elephant, just enough to make me dream of rain, pitter pattering on the tin roof, through the holes, into the kitchen, making a little puddle in the corner where the wiring is exposed. Then old Boo walking into that puddle in his smelly socks, then a sudden flash and old Boo is carried out, hair fried, eyes popping out, by the best looking fireman this side of Hickory Stick.

If it weren’t for you, god knows where I’d be.


Could be there still with old Boo and his mama, Yogi, living in the back woods where mercy rarely visits. I’d be tick infested, nail-biting, slinking around with bad company in the far back of beyond. When Boo was a baby, his mama cut his hair by covering his head with a lead-plated bowl and shaving around the edges. That bowl musta weighed 15 pounds. I always figured that’s how he came out the way he did.



If it weren’t for you, I might never have learned words like batik, like cardomom, like hover. I might never have experienced freedom from capitalization. I might never have read about haggis or blood pudding. I might never have run off with the circus, either.


If it weren’t for you, I might be picking cotton in another century. Who knows where I might be. I might have played a scratch-n-sniff lottery and come up with the smell of bikini wax and a round-trip ticket to the wash-n-wax emporium of my choice. I might still be playing bingo, might still be wearing cardigans (not that there’s anything wrong with them), might still be thinking that there is no such thing as thievery in god’s house, might still think that avarice is only a sin if someone else is doing it, might be a greedy ostentatious self-important genius wannabe.


But there you are, and here I am, and now I have secret access to the highly classified world of easements, wizards, lutefisk, pickled herring, and other northerly concepts. My vowels are shorter, tighter, like the calf muscles of runners. I could tell you the winners of the Iditerod, the likely outcome of this week’s political polls, the best way to hornswoggle a semi-friendly strumpet into a guarded pirate’s getaway weekend, make her crumpets and tea and make her see the light coming up over every horizon.


She is entranced. A world without capitals. Young face lit and passionate. A world where telemarketers do not expose their intent by Talking In Capitals. What Radio Stations Do You Listen To Regularly? Will You Be Voting Against the Truth in the Upcoming Election? Have You Ever Been Arrested or Convicted of a Felony? Will You Be Ready When the Time Comes?


The young girl who learned to talk without capitals sometimes does not move her lips. There is, however, a thought bubble that appears over her head that allows the person she is talking with to see what she is not saying. She is happy to be capital free, happy to be you and me. She has the vocabulary of someone much younger and much older than you might think she is.


She starts many sentences with “If it weren’t for you,” which makes me, the me who would be someone else if it weren’t for you, wonder about the chain reaction of people who would be someone else if it weren’t for someone. I suspect this goes back to DaVinci, or maybe his mother – who would he have been without his mother? And was he grateful? Was gratitude as clear to him as the knowledge that fan blades spinning at a fast enough rate could lift a man up past the clouds and into the blue blue sky?

daisy chain 2


2 Responses to “Pygmalion Chain”

  1. 1 Lollyloo October 20, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    If it weren’t for you … if it weren’t for my true love, my true love would be Google. But DaVinci’s mom was probably quite a catch as well.

  2. 2 Teresa October 21, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    Maybe Google is the narrator. I don’t really know, mi amor. But I found you first. Stand back, Google, this one’s taken!

    Wait — I’m looking at it again. The girl without capitals is obviously using IM – that’s why she has the thought bubble and why she doesn’t move her lips. I believe the narrator is actually talking to Google. Yep, I think that explains it.

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