Pitney Purfoy’s Problem

Without too much effort the ludicrous lackey lined the tub with wax and honey, thinking all the while that what he was doing wasn’t wasteful but wished-for. Ah, the musings of a marshmallowed minion without mind or manner attuned to his business!

longing, lonNeocubist Portrait Reconfiguredging for a purpose beside the one his mother taught him

longing, longing for a purpose other than the one his father aspired to

Pitney Purfoy waddled away from the tub and picked his nose in the process. He had picked it from a chart on the wall in his hall that very same day, but had decided it did not suit him, so he picked another then another then another, only to find each one was clogged and second rate, despite the aquiline lines and sharp and noble profile. Purfoy didn’t want to hear anything about it from his mates, so he turned his head when he picked and flicked the clog into the air from behind his back. No one will see, no one will know.

I tell you what, he said, laughing at his own untold joke, next time I’ll pick one that requires less picking! Too much work, I say!

Purfoy you old such and such! Did you get that there tub lined with the tacks and money?

Tax and money? Thought you said wax and honey! Those two go together just as well if not better, Boss. And where am I supposed to get the tax and money anyways? Ain’t it something I don’t got? Like couth and grammar?


The Boss man, who was called Bob or Bellicose Bob by those who didn’t know him scratched the top of his hairless head and shook the waddle of his neck.

By gum you’re right there Purfoy! You’re right and I’m left here wondering what I was thinking. Apparently I wasn’t and that ain’t never a good thing. Never a good thing!

Poor Purfoy stood there, wanting to pick his nose again, clogged as it was, but with Bellicose Bob standing right there, scratching his own pate, confused by the pointlessness of the process, he was too self conscious. Instead he pondered his longings and those of his parents. Had he exchanged his for theirs? Mayhaps, he thought, mayhaps. Then he envisioned flicking the clog if he allowed himself to pick it, and it landing in BB’s pocket or even in his eye. He laughed and sniffed, but not well because of the clog, then lowered his head and drew a booger shaped squiggle in the dirt with the toe of his boot.

Bob was still wondering where his mind had gone wrong when Pitney Purfoy’s pantomime popped and he rolled on his side to see the clock face, with no nose to speak of, alarming him as to the hour and minute of the half day of morning.

I had better cook the coffee and pour it down fast without scorching my tongue and searing my throat and get me to my job lest my dream become meme and I lose my mindless mind.


His toes reached for the floor and found the rug and its dust and particles of decay and eased his weight onto his left foot and then his right. Padding padding padding he went into the kitchen and put the kettle on. He popped a stale gum drop from the counter into his mouth and rolled it from side to side, dissolving the minicubes of sugar that protected the flavored gelatin beneath. Lime. Limey. Ought to have tea instead. But that would require lemon. Faster though but not as good. Coffee it is.

While the water in the kettle made psychic contact with the flames on the other side of the aluminum and copper wall, Purfoy padded into the hallway and considered the chart there.

Which one today? Long and straight? Short and broad, sharp and pointed, dull and cavernous? Who knows what criterion to use in such an important business.

Close your eyes and grab one, affix it with care and, sniff sniff sniff! Just the smell of the cooking coffee is enough to wake a boy up. Hurrah!

©2016 Stuart Dummit

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