(a closet drama)
Act 29, Scene 1
The story so far- Our hero, Aristide Simplesby Soot, sits in crapulated discomfort, his wounded digit throbbing, having sustained a papercut while turning the page of his men's adventure paperback, the cover crinkled and creased from having nestled so long in the breast pocket of his J.C.Penney tweed sports coat, the hairs of his nostrils bristling as their fleshy hoods flare, flushed crimson with indignant rage, this unpleasant mood, so far from the harmonious tranquility, which would otherwise enshroud our hero in a warm glow of fuzziness, now further agitated and threatening to overcome what remains of his erstwhile pleasant state, a state constituted by a combination of three things, those things being (1) a supremely comfortable posture of quasi-recline in his wooden saloon chair, (2) a full tumbler of Newcastle nut-brown ale and (3) a highly stimulating read of the genre fiction and mass market paperbook varieties, complete with painted cover illustration featuring both a manly sort of tanned and musculated man and a female counterpart, suitably depicted in a state of semi-undress and obviously swooning from the overpowering, masculating presence of her manly companion. So this is where we find our hero, by all counts not enjoying the pleasure one would naturally expect to reap from such a bounty of exquisite drink, repose and reading material, and furthermore discomforted by the inflamed laceration of his thrust-forth digit. With great frustration, he slaps his erstwhile recreation down upon the ale-slopped surface of the saloon table. There it sits for some moments, the book-cover's buxom protagotrix catching his irritated gaze by the round turn of her muchly bosom. From his breats pocket he draws a cotton handkerchief, embroidered in the corner with his initials and with it damps a profusion of perspiration from his luxuriantly skinned forehead. A conversation under way, between a man whose head is piled high with a hive of dreadlocks and the bartender distracts our attention.
DREADLOCKS: I've heard of Fanny Durpin! Of course I have. Do you take me for a dolt?
BARTENDER: Not in the least, my fine simple fellow. Perhaps you'd like another drink to lengthen the intensity of your belligerence?
DL: By all means! I always say, it's better to butter your roll than to boil the cabbage.
BT: In fact, I've been meaning to ask you not to say that anymore, as it distresses the clientele.
Bartender and dreadlocks engage in Sumatran wrestling with daggers.
Exit Aristide Simplesbly Soot.
FANNY DURPIN: And so, with ne'er a look askance, nor a shake of the ankle sidelongs, our hero A.S.Soot finds his way among the heathenish rabble of Haight Street on a Saturday afternoon. No matter where he directs his eyebubs, there are sights to confound even the most sensible pretzels of his heart. For where a man walks, so does the dog leave its droppings. Anon. Ibid.