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CANOPIC / David OhIe WHEN TOURING THE Ozarks in '06 the Governor learned of a spa, famed for its medicinal baths, and went there. He was greeted by the host and quickly introduced to an array of clay cones, from which gurgled a soapy mud heavily charged with alkali and radium. He was advised to disrobe, to squat inside one of the cones and soak himself in the muddy green soup, then to emerge and bake in the sun, as other visitors to the spa were doing, like so much crockery scattered about. The Governor drowsed away the afternoon in his cone, topped with a pith helmet, wearing pince-nez with mica lenses. There were stunted palmettoes and withered vegetation wherever his eyes travelled. When instructed by the host, the Governor climbed out of the cone, lay in the sun, and baked himself into a clay suit. "There you are, sir," said the host. "We like our guests to mummy up a bit and let off steam. I'll be back in a jiffy, to break you loose with a pick and chisel." In later years the Governor would say that his stay at the spa had left him with such ailments as rhinorrhea, emetic impulses, internal fractures, burns, wens, hard knots and kernels on the neck. He attributes these conditions to the effects of the radium. THE GOVERNOR VOLUNTEERED to drive buttermilk to the turpentine camps. Yesterday, on his regular run, the wagon wheel dropped into a sinkhole in the road and overturned. The tank burst and milk filled the hole. The Governor was trapped beneath a fallen mule, until his mother, who happened by, pulled him free. The Governor was in a sorrowful way, considering the amount of milk he had swallowed. His mother gave him a dose of Fit Powder and made him drink lithia water to purge the butterfat. SAYING, "THE ART of the nimrod is serious business, best done when the moon is of a uniform grey tint," the Governor chose fishing junefish as recreation after his days carrying mail to Manila and searching for lost flyers. He chartered a fishing shanty and went trawling on the Saltón Sea. The junefish seemed scornful of his lure and only nibbled playfully while the Governor snoozed in a hammock. When the shanty docked and the Governor walked ashore, he encountered a neutrodyne filleting a junefish and piling entrails in the sand for the delight of the fiddler crabs. 54 · The Missouri Review "That june must weigh in at three-hundred," said the Governor. "May I ask what bait you were using?" "Cock's comb, boz," said the neutrodyne, "the only bait to use on the grey of the moon. When the moon is in its red phase, I make a bait of blood and cheese. When it's blue, why I dips my hook into summer sausage." "I respect your opinion, neut," said the Governor, "but I firmly believe the artificial lure is the bait of the future. I'll fish these waters frequently, until I prove my contention." "Shambo, Governor," said the neutrodyne. "Take some of my june home to your mother. Have her cook it in a sauce piquant. It will be delicious." The neut wrapped a cake of meat in butcher's paper. The Governor gladly accepted the offer with a politic smile, got into his car and pedaled leisurely up Arden Boulevard. THE WORD FROM Ten Sleep, a camp near Heart Mountain, is that the Governor, campaigning there, has been hypnotized by steel. A barber started to shave him, but the moment the blade touched the Governor's throat the muscles relaxed. It was thought he was dead. A client of the shop gave him a hard slap after thirty minutes had gone by, and this revived him. He said, "I have been subject to these attacks since youth. Forgive me, and vote, and let me thank all of you with a paraphrasing of a sixteenth-century Náhuatl scribe: 'Here we only come to meet. We are only passers-by. One day we will sail away. Let us live in peace and pleasure. Come, rejoice. The earth is so wide that one...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 54-60
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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