goto Appendx main menu Living a Slow Death...
Darell W. Fields
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Although Theseus had relegated himself to the porch, this afforded him a unique position. He came into contact with many interesting characters. For example, he was now on speaking terms (hello and good-bye) with a zebra that was attempting to pass as a student. Everyone, except the zebra,  seemed to know that the only students were human. And so while Theseus spoke his hello's and good-bye's to the zebra, he attempted not to "slip" and let the zebra know that everyone, underneath the surface, thought him pathetic. It was a sad thing to see the demise of the zebra, and Theseus wondered if his own condition was the result of his ancestors' following a similar path.  Because of his age, he had grown spiteful and had began to wish a similar fate on the offspring of those that he now served, although he wasn't exactly sure of who "they" were. 

In addition to the zebra, there were many others he tolerated. Among these, the only one still capable of bringing a smile to his face was what other humans called a "liberal." The liberal was human but had the persona of the zebra—attempting at all times, depending on the audience, to be something other than what he/she was. Theseus found liberals to be very predictable and fun to play with; they were curious pets for him. It was as if he could say "sit!" and out of what they thought was their responsibility to him, they would comply. But he also knew that no matter how much they played or complimented him on his clothes or his shoes, they found comfort in the fact that he was just a monkey underneath it all. The liberals may have been despised by other humans, but they were, obviously, still of a higher rank than the monkey. He knew that their last thoughts before going to sleep at night were about him, and that they taught their children prayers that went something like this: 
 
 Now I lay me down to sleep 
 I pray to God my soul to keep Appendx 2 page break 10 | 11 
 And if I die before I wake 
 I pray the lord my soul to take 
 God bless mom 
 God bless daddy 
 and God, please bless the porch monkey so that one day 
 he will have a soul to bless. . . 

There were indeed rumors as to whether porch monkeys had souls, and this possibility caused quite a disturbance in the academy. The ruckus became so profound that there was now a motion on the desk of the president of the academy to consider whether there should be a whole separate department established to consider the matter. This reminded him of an attempt some time before, when other scholars were considering whether there was evidence to the fact that the buzzard, originally ridden by the signifyin' monkey, was an ancestor of the liberal. Their findings were inconclusive, but they flew all over the country attending conferences to speculate about how their (in)conclusions were the best yet put forth on the subject. He began to won- der if there was a clause under Section 8 that could get him out of the porch and into the suburbs. next page

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