View Full Version : Eloquence

November 4th, 2015, 10:48 AM
From Memoirs from the World:

In the late '60s, the Sears store at Buzzard Switch Mall would sometimes employ live mannequins. These people were dispersed throughout the store where each would stand stock still on a plinth, eyes focused on the middle distance, for perhaps fifteen to twenty minutes at a time.

On one such day, Tom and I were passing through the store and stopped in front of one of these mannequins. She wore a long skirt in a brown, coarse weave, a matching jacket, a light blue blouse with frills down the front, and a brown leather shoulder bag. We stood there as if trying to get our bearings.

"I think the mall entrance is over that way."

"You're probably right. They change this place around about once a week, seems like."

Don't you hate to shop in a store with mannequins all over the place," I asked. "I know they are only dummies, but I feel like I am being watched all the time. It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck."

Tom said, "I'm OK around them. These are pretty realistic, though."

"Hey! That one, way over there just blinked its eyes! Honest to Pete, I actually saw it, Tom!"

"You're crazy. Think they're gonna put clockwork in a store dummy so it can blink?"

"What if you worked here and had to dress and undress a truckload of these things every day? Ewwww! I'm gettin' the creeps just thinkin' about it."

Tom reached out and grasped the hem of the skirt and folded it back several inches, exposing a pretty knee. "That wouldn't be such a bad job if they all looked like this one." (Impossible as it may seem, the countenance of the paint and plastic dummy had subtly changed from a kind of rigid serenity to mild humor.)

"Yuck! I'm really comin' down with the goose pimples now. Hey, if this one is so real looking, do you suppose if we pinched it, it would squeak?"

"There's an interesting thought. Why don't you stand here and listen and I will go around back?" (There was another miraculous shift in the dummy's expression, this time from amusement to being pissed off.)

Tom called from behind the platform, "Ready? Are you listening?"

"Yup! Let 'er flicker!"

Now, the whole time we were talking, Tom had been swallowing air, and when the belch came, it was a beauty. It was big and round and deeply resonant, and it conveyed a feeling of desperation, ending with an upward inflection, as it did. With a "whoosh", a brown leather shoulder bag split the air over our heads. Tom and I, we "took it on the lam".

When we were able to speak again, I asked Tom where he had learned that word. He said he was inspired and it just came to him.

Abstractor of the Quintessence
Order of the Ditigal Grail