Letter to Green Grocer

The Compound

June 26, 2017

Dear Mr. Vernix,

My mediocre scribe and I visited the produce section of your market, Vernix’s Grocery Enclosure, earlier this week. Your display of edible plant material, including fruits, seeds, tubers, leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and shoots, was truly remarkable, though it fell far short of being the “8th wonderment of the world,” as your published promotional material would have us believe. I noted how the artfully arranged, crisscrossing citadel of imperator carrots seemed to envy the even more Babel-like tower of red bell peppers next to it. “What the anvil? What the hammer?” I asked myself, marveling at the talents and audacity of he who had prepared this installation–a feast for the eyes but also quite practical in taking advantage of the display area. And most important, the wares were so colorful, so plump, so ripe, so moist, so crisp, so ready for consumption. As my scribe and I studied the layout and activities in this area for several hours, we noticed how every 10 minutes, as if the spinning of this giant forsaken orb depended on it, a mist began to blast forth, like the mist that rose up in Eden, the tiny drops wetting every square inch in the display area to keep the items fresh and succulent. And then in a few moments the mist shut off without the apparent agency of any man, and so cycling again and again every 10 minutes.

This state of affairs created a firm and reasonable expectation on my part that when I purchased your produce I was also obtaining a commitment and promise from the universe that this intermittent wetness would distill upon the produce wheresoever I might take it.

Imagine, therefore, my disappointment when, after I had been home with the vegetables for several hours, I did not one time see their skins magically bedewed. Your produce–that which is so precious to you and was once precious to me–is now all in a pile in my garden compost, on the fast track to achieve that atomized state that is the ultimate leveling out of all life forms.

For my misery I seek $100,000 in damages or naming rights to your new pinto.

Justice Korbin Minotaur

by hand of Eric of Cornwall


List of Names

List of “certain names,” as found on leaf of wrinkled foolscap paper in one of Justice Korbin Minotaur’s soiled robes, 3 Messidor 225:

certain names

J. Voorhees Prowler

Angus Benediction

Tenny’s Jim

Jose Cansecko

Terpander Anderterp III

Dainty Kennedy-Buckwasher

Kedger Fisher

Chlodoric the Parricide

Clark Clerk

Emmeline Puups

Helper Wilson

get tickets to Araby

Journal Entry: Cynosure

Journal entry, 28 Prairial 225: Justice Minotaur asked the staff to convene this evening in the courtyard of the Sleepy Imaret at eleven o’clock. Some fifteen employees, including Mr. Cornwall, responded to the invitation. When the group gathered, Minotaur instructed them to gaze upon Cynosure, which was done for about one hour, with no one allowed to speak or move, until he finally released the group. During the entirety of the event, a zephyr blew in the most putrid scent from the nearby yard where night soil is blended with landscape debris to make fertilizer.

Summer Reading List

Justice Minotaur has asked that a report be compiled on “what in tarnation everyone on the staff is reading this summer” and that the list be published by means of this electronic bulletin. He also commanded that there be no puns used here involving the word “list,” such as “to the lists,” “the wind bloweth where it listeth,” or “checking it twice.” The report, as faithfully compiled by Mr. Cornwall while battling scurvy, follows:

Justice Korbin Minotaur, justice of the peace. Daily Nugget of Wisdom (TM) Calendar for Those with Atopic Dermatitis.

Yao Mingsley, yoghurt steward. The History of McGruff the Crime Dog They Don’t Want You to Know.

Gilded Shears, lector. Probing the Origins of Felt.

Barbie Self-Howitzer, ornatrix. Fires of Agamemnon, Volume 3, Part B: The Minced Oath. Volume 16 of The Putrescent Tube Mysteries.

Lyman Tinywatson, bailiff. The Wet Metal Bowl: How to Get More Out of Life by Imagining the Horrors of Electrocution.

Phamily Junebride, necessary woman. 1,001 Poems on Vulpicide.

Duchess Shilly Hazzard, karateka. Privy Dirt: An Oral History of New Salem’s Greatest Rock Band.

Hardwood Marx, biographer. Writing a Biography That Doesn’t Totally Suck.

Mike.jpeg Winner, internuncio. Speech of Mr. Burges, of Rhode Island, on the Motion to Strike from the General Appropriation Bill the Salary Appropriated for the Minister of Russia. Delivered in the House of Representatives, February 3, 1831.

Lemmon Khrisph, gong farmer. The Daily Use of Trust Falls as a Way to Build Deep, Abiding Trust in Families, Workplaces, Communities, and Nations.

Eric of Cornwall [listed last, per the command of Justice Minotaur], court clerk. The Bible for Left-Handed People.

[Remainder of page unintentionally left blank.]

Report on Trip to “San Luis”

Minotaur recently returned from a trip to St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America. He continues to believe he traveled to a place called “San Luis.” He provided the following report on his trip today to two Brownie Girl Scouts who approached the compound in an effort to rescue an escaped platypus:

“The airship landed first in Dallas City, state of Texas, United States of America, and all the passengers exited in haste, as if summoned by some powerful wizard. We walked in an enclosed hallway that went directly from the ship to an enormous building filled with many people and shops. In a men’s restroom there, I watched two strong men performing an act of service for another man who was quite a bit older. One of the strong men was firmly holding the older man’s face in the sink and the other was washing the older man’s face vigorously. From what I could overhear, it seems like they were helping him remember where he had put a briefcase full of diamonds.

“After this, I wandered around the building for many hours until I learned that no one was coming to get me to take me to San Luis. Instead, I would need to board another airship that would take me the final leg of my journey. The appointed time for boarding the vessel being quite distant still, I lay down to rest in the first quiet place I could find. Imagine my surprise when I woke up and learned that it was a service animal relief area.

“I then went into a gift shop looking for a clock with hands that run widdershins.”