July 31st, 2007

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Todd Schorr: Pilgrim's Progress

Sharon Tudge looked past her twitched-aside window curtain and across her wide immaculate lawn at her neighbor's house.

The place was an absolute disgrace!

The hulk of a junk Buick rested on four cinderblocks. A rusting playset squatted like the burned-out skeleton of a small crashed aircraft. The barrel of a washing machine, resting on it side, served as a doghouse for a yapping mongrel. Whatever grass had once grown around the house was now mostly dead from dogshit deposits. A week's worth of unread newspapers littered the walkway. A hand-scrawled sign hanging on the fence read SALESMEN BLOW IT OUT YOUR ASS!

But more shocking than all these degenerate appurtenances was the house's owner, Harly Daimon, who now sprawled nearly naked on a spavined lawn chair, soaking up the sunshine, a forty-ounce bottle of beer easily to hand, his big hairy gut an offense to nature.

Retreating from her window, Sharon felt her indignation mounting. She could stand this gross insult no longer.

She stalked across the street, stood outside Harly's decaying picket fence, and loudly harumphed.

Harly opened one boozy eye but did not arise. "What's your problem, twat?"

"Why, I never--!"

"Good. If you never pissed me off yet, don't start now."

Left speechless, Sharon could only retreat back to the pristine fortress of her home.

When her husband, Brad Tudge, returned that night from his office in the city, Sharon catalogued all of Harly Daimon's sins: womanizing, sloppiness, disrespect, casual modes of dress, and a dozen others. Brad nodded reflectively, then said, "I'll handle this, dear. But not on an empty stomach. Let's have dinner first."

And as Brad tucked his napkin into his collar, Sharon proudly set down the platter of roasted human fetuses before her perfect husband.

Be Seeing You

Ever wish that you could visit the Village, the mysterious locale where Patrick McGoohan is imprisoned on the old TV series The Prisoner?

You can!

My friend Chris Schelling told me a while back about a wedding weekend he attended there, and tomorrow's New York Times has a great article about the Village . . . or Portmeiron, as it's rightfully called, the brainchild of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, a self-taught architect.

I visited myself back in 1979, in the dead of winter. It's apparently been spruced up quite a bit since then! Williams-Ellis's grandson, Robin Llwelyn, is the managing director of the corporation that runs the Village: he's the real Number 1. And he's also a fantasy writer, interestingly enough.

posted by Number 3 . . . PaulW, that is!