Footnotes to Wonders


I. Humpty Dumpty in the Afterlife


After Humpty Dumpty1 took a great fall and arrived to his next destination, the Devil2 glued him together again, encrusted him with diamonds like a Faberge egg3, inserted a straw in his shell, and glued him to his fireplace mantle. Now, Humpty Dumpty has to watch waterboarding4 and other enhanced interrogation techniques of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men during the day. In the evening, the Devil slurps him out, all 78 raw calories of him, through a straw. In the morning, Humpty Dumpty is full of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals again. The Devil calls him “my little Sisyphus,” though Humpty Dumpty stayed away from boulders from the day he was hatched.

Humpty Dumpty5 wishes he would fall one more time and break into a billion pieces, impossible to fix, but the glue is devilishly strong and the floor is covered by a thick Persian rug. So he is stuck. That is until he learns how to turn bad and cause the Devil a bellyache6 no doctor can fix. Maybe he would stay away from all high cholesterol products then.

Humpty is full of resolve. He’s married7 to the idea of revenge. He’ll never chicken out. Neither in afterlife nor beyond.



II. The Healthcare, Exposed


About fifty miles up and west from Humpty Dumpty’s current domicile, the Invisible Man married a Highly Visible Woman, and they had two kids: a girl and a boy. The girl took chiefly after her father. Most people have never noticed her, except when she helped someone, they could see the result. And, oh, yes, when she turned the right way, and when the sunlight fell on her just so, they could see the faint outlines of her bleeding heart.

The boy took mostly after his mother. He was everywhere at once, the man of the hour, very handsome, a gifted orator8, a great cook, especially with deviled eggs recipe, but no one could see his heart, even on ultrasound.

Their doctors9 were puzzled, but the insurance didn’t pay them to do something about it because they couldn’t find the appropriate code.

One of the doctors, a board certified cardiologist10, dug a hole in the ground and whispered this secret into it, but was fined $50,000 for violating HIPAA11 rules.

The boy posted “healthcare sucks” on Twitter and received 25,600 likes and one death threat.



III. On Spider Mating


Not on this planet, but on the planet Hieronymus Bosch, in the vicinity of the star Betelgeuse, 642.5 light years12 from a board-certified cardiologist who has violated HIPAA rules, the Spider Man married Wonder13 Woman. He wanted kids, but she was convinced that as part of the life cycle of, the spider mother dies after she lays her eggs. Or, if she survives somehow, the kids will commit matriphagy, or mother-eating.

“Imagine, a thousand babies eating me at once,” she said mournfully one day, while they watched the sunset from a sheer cliff. “Do you want that?”

He turned his devilishly bright six eyes to her. “You’ll be fine.”

“It would take more than that to convince me.”

Fortunately, the healthcare14 was free in that country, and the doctors were determined and pervasive, so they convinced her that she will be fine. And she was.

Her pregnancy lasted only a few days, she had only two wonderful, healthy babies, she didn’t die, they didn’t eat her, but Spider Man shriveled and died a week after sex15. Happens to many man-spiders.

She placed his cremated remains on the mantle. The babies wove a nice sticky web around it, and whatever flies were caught, they released them into the wild on humanitarian reasons.  

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