ABSURDIS EXTREME // Case Study #76,767 [07/06/1976] by B.A. Loney

This is the story of three types of dust: House Dust, Street Dust and (ah-choo!) Library Dust.

They were all happy and calm in their respective environments, and would get agitated only when others were nearby. Whenever a feather duster encroached on House Dust’s territory, he would flip out. If a car drove too close to the kerb, Street Dust would scurry away. And if a pair of hands took a book down off the shelf, Library Dust would set upon the owner of said hands with silent disapproval.

One evening, House Dust, Street Dust and Library Dust met in their favourite pub, ‘The Holey Pillow’. They liked having a drink or two after a hard day’s work, and repine their lot in life.

“Surely there’s more to life than this?”

Street Dust sniffed derisively. “Well, Homie, you need to get out of the house more often.”

“You’re one to talk!” scoffed Library Dust. “You just sit there in the gutter and watch the traffic go by.”

“And what do you know?” was Street Dust’s retort. “You’d have more life experience if you bothered to read the books you lounged around on!”

As the number of empty glasses on the bar grew, their words became less polite. The barman was even beginning to cast nervous glances at the bucket of cold water placed beneath the till—the best way to settle hot-headed disputes between Dusts. But, as it turned out, he ended up not having to resort to this.

“Hey, Bookster!” hiccupped Street Dust a little later (into his ninth Guinness). “What if we make this interesting?”

Library Dust burped over his shoulder. “Sure. What do you propose?”

House Dust was snoring with his head on the table. What a lightweight!

“What say Homie works at my place, I work at your place, and you work at Homie’s place?”

Library Dust eyed Street Dust with a degree of suspicion. “For how long? And to what purpose?”

“Nothing too crazy. Let’s say… a week. As to the purpose? Well, whoever does the best job in their new workspace gets a hundred bucks each from the other two.”

A bone-crushing handshake and another full glass cemented the deal.

In half an hour they’d left the pub and were rambling about bawling ‘Dust Pan Blues’. We can’t tell for sure what the Police didn’t like—probably because Library Dust sang out of tune—but the Dusts soon found themselves in the local Police station.

“Hey, Guard!” hollered Library Dust who then proceeded to vomit between the bars onto the corridor floor.

The Guard didn’t bother to hide his disgust as he ambled over to the cell, his thumbs hooked into his belt in stereotypical tough guy fashion. He’d only just begun his shift and he could already tell it wasn’t going to be his night.

“Guard!” croaked Library Dust, wiping his mouth. “What’ve you got against the classics? Gene Autry was genius, man!”

“I’d agree,” said the Guard through clenched teeth, “if I even knew who that was.”

Street Dust snorted derisively from the back corner of the cell. He was laying on his back on the bench. House Dust was crouched near him on the floor, cradling his face in his hands.

“Look, you guys, just sit there and think about your risky behaviour while I fetch the interrogation reports.”

“Ooh! Reports!” squealed Library Dust excitedly. “I love reports!”

The Guard rolled his eyes as he walked away, being careful to sidestep the pool of vomit.

“Hey,” added Library Dust, “shouldn’t someone clean that up?”

The Guard flipped him off as he disappeared through the doorway at the end of the corridor.

As chance would have it, the Janitor passed by the holding cell just fifteen minutes later. She saw the pool of vomit, as well as a very dusty bench and floor inside the cell itself. Even the bars had lost their shine. Naturally, she brоke into a sweat. The Marshal was pretty strict about this sort of stuff, and could revoke her Christmas bonus for leaving such a mess. Panicked, the Janitor ran to the mop closet.

As for the three Dusts, they were sound asleep—or was it a coma brought on by the consumption of too much alcohol? Either way, it no longer mattered for when the Janitor returned and set about her task… well, let’s just say that she got to keep her Christmas bonus after all. Unlike the Guard. He got the sack, and we’re not talking about a red one full of toys. One doesn’t get rewarded for letting prisoners escape!

© All rights reserved 2021

Dada (Fragment #018)

I marched towards the library and collided with Patrick near the main entrance. I remembered this boor. He was an assistant at my entrance examination. I decided not to waste time greeting him and just passed on by.

The 20th century German literature section wasn’t a very popular place. Well, good riddance! It was much better to work without the silly background chirrup of girls writing endless nonsense about heroic troubadours and sighing over modern guys who’d forgotten the art of courtship.

Anyway, I figured I should get to work, so I thumbed along the high stacks looking for the letter ‘T’. Gotcha! Tristan Tzara, ‘Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries’.

“Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are – an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.”

So, professor, you didn’t like my poem? I giggled at the thought. I’ll learn how to break something that was already broken. Let’s dada, baby! And suddenly, my attention was drawn to some other voices. They sounded pretty tense. I cocked my ear.

“I need this book!”

“The rules are the same for everyone. You can only read it in the reference room. This book mustn’t leave the library.”



I peeped out of the stack and looked over to the counter. A disappointed Patrick was talking with the library custodian, a large leather bound book clutched to his chest. Serves you right! I thought with gloating delight.

I’d always considered the ‘Codex Seraphinianus’ to be a bit of a joke. I didn’t think anyone of stable mind could ever truly take it seriously. My eyes flicked across Patrick’s sad features again. What a putty head!

Anyway, I needed to care more about completing the task at hand.

© All rights reserved 2017

Wordy Mikado (Fragment #017)

I stowed the wreckage of the broken poem in my pockets and dragged myself to my room. It was there that I shook out this mishmash, onto the little table in the corner, and I fell to thinking how it could be rearranged into a new poem. Some lines stuck out awkwardly here and there, and I suddenly recalled how in my childhood I would play Mikado. This flashback was so quick and so bright that it slashed through my mind like a lightning bolt.

We preferred to play with fine aluminium wires, not with woody sticks. We bent the ends of the wires into loops, hooks, and waves. This made the game more difficult because every move had to be executed with surgical precision. (By the way, I’d heard of a variation of this game that was part of the professional practice of pocket lifters.)

I found myself mindlessly poking my finger into the pile of words. My angriness fumed away. The professor’s voice echoed in my head: “And don’t spoil such precious words for glamorous bullshit.” We played with literal junk when we were children, and we did it with style. Why should I fuck with such high class stuff now?

I pulled out a long, shiny wire from the pile and smiled. I knew what I needed to do. I accurately stowed all the wordy bits into a little box and went to the library.

© All rights reserved 2017

a Book (Fragment #027)

Урок 27 - The Book (by Culpeo-Fox)

An awesome work by Culpeo-Fox. Favourite books, favourite movies, favourite voices and favourite persons…

Again… this happened again. Again, I was reprimanded by Mr. Turdman and sent to our library to endure my punishment. I restrained myself with some effort, and hid my happy smile. I put the mask of a martyr over my face, and slowly left the classroom. The conditions of my punishment were that I must unpack some boxes filled with donated books. I must repair the damaged books then sort and catalog them all… Do you think that’s boring? Hell, no man! I know this work well and enjoy it!

On my way, I came across Patrick outside the library… Hmm… What the hell was he doing here? He should be in the basement near his precious ribbed eggs As usual, Patrick was engrossed in himself and didn’t notice me… or he just pretended that he didn’t… as always… My day would be made if I ruined him and his eggs! With such lovely thoughts, I walked into the library.

…I need, my dear friend, some illusions of elegance. Some elaborate magic tricks of my mind. Some visually enigmatic intrigue. Hmm… For example, I see… a pompously decorated dinner table… genteel society and lazy intellectual discussions… candles, goblets, silver… The luxurious tablecloth falls down to the floor… long… so long… and… Do you know what? It isn’t a tablecloth! It’s the hem of a dress! Long… so long… A long evening dress, an elegant, beautiful dress. It’s worn by a pretty girl standing on the stairs… with a glass of red wine and a cigarette in her cigarette holder, with a fur boa on her white marble shoulders… The girl is apathetic and cold. She doesn’t care about this genteel banquet. She spits on it. But… no… I was wrong! I glanced into her eyes… I understood… She isn’t cold and apathetic! The moment passed – she sharply tugged her hem! And candles, goblets, silver fly up into the air! And expensive red wine splashes pale aristocratic faces like luxurious toilets! And truffles with oysters dirty the exclusive parquet and silk wallpapers! And our girl… Oh! She’s fucked them all over! She’s leaving the banquet with her head held high through the front door…

…when I came back to myself, I was alone in the dark at the library. Damn! What is this? I twiddled the book without a cover in my paws. (to be continued)

© All rights reserved 2014