The following is based on a true story. Up until now, the facts of the mind-boggling crisis that befell me during my summer in Smiley Hall have been concealed; however, urged by such patriotic organizations as the International Raptor Defense Alliance, headed by The Minaret’s own Max Roberts, I have decided to make the facts known for the common good.
Our story begins one balmy evening last July, when I was living with Minaret editor and noted communist sympathizer Steve Knauss. While Knauss worked on his tan and caroused at opium dens, I was dutifully composing a plan to enact world peace. In the midst of this, I heard a mysterious scuttling noise, but, embroiled in my work and having learned nothing from horror films, I went on.
Soon, as if by magic, an insect the size of Delaware dropped, kamikaze-style, into the room.
Startled, I seized one of my textbooks and prepared to abscond from the room. Unfortunately, the text in question was the most inappropriate thing possible to be seen in public with – a sociological study on juggling puppies, or something of that nature. I’m not sure how it related to my plan for world peace, but it was vital, I tell you, vital!
The creature had clearly decided that, since Steve was not making regular use of his half of the room, it was going to move in. On the unspoken assumption that I would continue working and it would continue lounging on Knauss’ pillow, I began to read again. This availed for another five or ten minutes before I learned something new: my visitor had been blessed with the power of flight.
Letting out a growl of fury, it barreled across the room, apparently deciding that it would land on my desk and check its stock portfolio, or perhaps look for things to purchase on eBay. Startled, I proceeded to duck and roll to Steve’s end of the room. From this fortified position, I continued reading until my guest decided it would demonstrate its equally astounding ability to leap from place to place.
With no viable alternative, I launched myself into the hallway and toward the lounge. Unfortunately, this being Smiley in the summer, any attempt I might make toward studying was doomed before it began, my own thoughts drowned out by the sound of what I can only assume was a wild, bacchanalian orgy with thumping bass. Braving these conditions for a few moments, I returned to the room after I was unsuspectingly lei’d.
For the next four and a half hours I was locked in a ballet of death with the unsightly creature, four times the size of Ronald Vaughn and armored like a Sherman Tank, who had apparently decided that it wanted the entire room to itself. Just when I came to the conclusion that fleeing the country was my only option, it made the tactical error of sliding under a nearby duffel bag, whereupon I proceeded to stomp on it several hundred times.
I assumed that would be the end of the story. Settling down in my chair, I prepared for a quiet, restful evening of puppy juggling. But the creature, eight times the size of a Buick, had merely gotten angry. It threw the duffel bag aside and charged at me. Without any alternative, I proceeded to throw every object that came to hand, including shoes, alarm clocks, detergent bottles, and finally, the microwave. When all of this proved insufficient, I prepared to drop an atom bomb.
The monster, who I remind you was twice the size of Australia, was finally felled. In the massive battle, half of Smiley Hall was destroyed, but since everyone was in the lounge at the time, nobody noticed as the building was painstakingly reconstructed, brick by brick, in the wee hours of morning. By the time Steve Knauss returned from his Comintern meeting, the abomination had been slain and given a burial at sea.
As I lay in bed that afternoon, there was a knock at the door.
Peering through the peephole, I saw it. There stood the beast, looking slightly disheveled, wearing a battered fedora and raincoat and wielding a sturdy truncheon. Apparently, it had swum through the septic system, been discharged somewhere in the Caspian Sea and made its way back to Tampa for revenge. Distracting it with an impromptu demonstration of puppy juggling, I fled across Kennedy Boulevard to the great unknown beyond, from which I presently write.
Flee, residents of Smiley Hall! Flee, panicking, into the streets!
That creature, fourteen times the size of Pluto, is still out there – somewhere!