You peddle insinuating
stamp with spite on
claim the Diamond Throne
as your own -“
Aye. You there. Come over here and I’ll tell you a story. You say you can’t sleep? Well, me too – or anyone else in this godforsaken area. There’s no damned sleep for anyone in this neighbourhood tonight, so you might as well give it up. Keep the windows shut, will you? Do you want some hot chocolate? Yes? Ok. There you go.
You know Toby? Good for you. He’s the mayor of this district. A real nice boy with the most adorable cheeks. Mum and Dad love him to bits. He always gets the good grades in school and says his prayers before going to bed. Oh yes. But he never brushes his teeth. What? You say that’s not a problem? Well, it’s not a problem for him, yes – how could a tiny, ineffectual motion cumbersome to sweet Sleep be a considerate problem, considering how inviting the bed can be? But on our terms, he’s ignoring the water pipes that burst and the overflowing garbage in the streets. And that’s a big problem cos he’s just invited some unsavoury people to our lovely neighbourhood. For convenience’s sake, we’ll call them Mr C. and G. Let’s start with Mr C first.
The whereabouts of Mr G have been lost to time, but I’ve gathered a morsel here and there. Mr G was an illegitimate child of unknown origin, who used to hide and shiver in the theater wings eking out a miserable existence as he avoided the Toothbrush Brigade and Toothpaste Legion. I’ve always wondered how this crafty specimen came to be, since he usually remains invisible from prying eyes for most of the time. He’s a bit like the Italian mafioso. Thin mustache, beady eyes, lips forever curled on the edges of a really bad joke that never leaves his mouth, preferring to keep the puns to himself.
But the arrival of another portly and petulant choir boy – blessed with the ignorable name of Messr. C – saved Mr G’s arse one dark and stormy night. In doing so, he also sealed the fate of Teeth Park. Like any gangster worth his mettle, owning a well-stocked armoury to terrorize the Teeth residents is something they do very well. This terrible anthem is the tune to which they dance to, as they bring a rod swinging onto someone else’s head:
the booming and
of all time –
the pneumatic drill!”
By god, I hate that drill… It makes the whole neighbourhood vibrate on its rollies, shakes the dentures out of them old folkies and scares the noisy macaws out of the trees! I can’t sleep with them making all this racket at 3 in the morning! Argh! Well, you know…this reminds me of the good old days, flanked with picture-ready sunsets and morals to match. The Toothbrush Legion and Toothpaste Brigade would make their daily patrols every night, watching out for these particular two troublemakers… but ever since Toby stopped brushing his teeth, they have no need to fear fluoride bullets, or the Mouthwash Of Peril. Why, you ask? Let me show you something, son. These cheeky rascals pinned this note to the board outside the police station last night. They are the end of us, I tell you. Not unless we do something.
for triclosan tear gas
when you’ve got
pure sugary corruption?”
That’s not all. Have you seen Ms. H? She’s that odd lady with the sky-high bouffant, thinking that she’s still stuck in 1969. You’ve probably seen her dumpster diving in the late afternoons, or trying to woo terrified teenagers with her questionable amorousness. There’s no mistaking that horrid dress sewn with sequins of moss-green and spittle-flecked diamonds, sashaying down the red carpet like some phony Marilyn Monroe. She nearly set her pitbull on me once when I yelled at her to keep away from my trash bin. Good lord! I can’t remember when Toby sold his dear soul to the donut shop down his street.
I tell you, his mum’s obviously spoiled him with too much liquorice and gummy bears. You know, I have this suspicion that maybe his mum is Satan in disguise. If his mum is really Satan, then what on Earth is his Dad doing to him?!
© Zelda Reville