Deep in the bowels of the 1949 offices of the Adams Family, a Company Tea party for favourite authors has gone down a storm. Tea has been drunk, cupcakes eaten, prizes awarded and the severed-handed Thing is leafing mournfully through a lone copy of Fell, since all the rest have long been incinerated as works of Evil, or is that Good, which is of course atrocious to a favourite and ogerish cartoon family. The Thing is bored though, because Fell is a love story he has heard time and again, part of the long sorrow of the heart, people and published books, and besides, he doesn’t have a body, eyes or a brain, like everyone else in the family. Uncle Fester is snoring in the corner, Lurch is watching Il Postino, and trying to pronounce ‘metaphore’ and ‘Biatrice Russo’, without sounding like a character from the Sopranos, and Morticia Braces is, as ever, absent, silent, vengeful but living happily ever after and defining company policy. Blissfully unaware of how agonising it might be for other semi successful authors to be denied the joy of their own Company Tea Party, and placed inside a ‘Satelite Tour’ orbitting Pluto.
Meanwhile, in his powerful Manhattan offices, Company CEO and Leader-of-Men Jake Mitechlob has been spending too many late nights as number one fan of the Phoenix Ark Press blog. Perhaps the only one, although he will never know. He has established a psychological profile of the former author Clementi-Dowsing too, that he learnt off watching endless repeats of CSI and Prison Break, and receiving a sudden fax, slaps his desk manfully and bounds into the room next door, to join the happy, insane, Company Tea Party. ‘”Buddies,” he cries, to the defenders of art and literature, truth and humanity, ‘it’s fantasmic.”
“Huh?” mouths Chad Betterperson, making for the fizzy designer wine and wishing he worked in interior design. “Dowsing. He’s finished, Betterperson. We’ve rendered him speechless by wrecking his career and having him Renditionated by the Celestial Intelligence Agency to Guantanamera Bay, for a rest cure, some R and R, and a spot of healthy emotional surfboarding.” “Waterboarding, boss.” “Right, Betterperson, Waterboarding, and skateboarding too. It’s fun, but over for him, so America and Morticia Braces are safe and free once again. God Bless Amex. And me.” Nobody applauds.
“But wasn’t he just in love?” winks Jasper Wells-Fargo, sweeping by with a publicity poster, “and risked so much for it, but contracted here, after six years, with three books too, and an entire future?” Everyone blinks because Jasper does not say such things. “And didn’t Harold Reeves-Tale tell him he was not only a great writer, but loved at Family Adams?”, adds Betterperson. “Silence, Jerks,” screams Mitchelob, turning puce. “You’re not to mention Reeves-Tale, ever, because I have most of the Company shares, and I haven’t read any Chaucer. Besides, Davidov Clementi-Dowsing was being sense-of-humored as a madman, and is a Terrorisor, worse than the Binned, Dead Bin Larden, capable of shaking a once proud and honest nation, not to mention a whole family, with fear and loathing in Las Vegas. Besides, our official Company Policy was always to pretend the past was finished, so never allow him to answer the whys or defend himself, prior to his moment of maximum bad, but still hold it illegally over his head, to mask the nonsense that went on inside a department, even if it might have reflected an entire atmosphere inside American companies. Hey, can any one sense fear in NYC, a strange kind of fear, both real and unreal.”“Nonsense?” screams a harsh voice, and Susan Van Winkle sweeps into the room, surprised a CEO could quote Phillip Roth, but intimidating even Jake Mitchelob, now she is the Family Vice President, and has given up unserious editing. “That Evil jerk Dowsing challenged my all powerfulness, and called me a bad version of Velma from Scooby Doo, when I pushed an edit at him, so must be Renditionated, annihilated and wiped from the face of the Good American earth, with all his books and all our contracts.” “But he lives in a mythical land far, far away, in the U of K, ,” says Betterperson, with a hiccup, wondering why grown ups are so nasty, “and didn’t you call him a good person, when he apologisated, and asked for help on a book? Then told him he was not evil?”
“Silence Jerk. I told him he was not evil because I did not want to hear what he told me our own holy Patroness Saint Morticia Braces said to him, before we really began torturising him under contract. What I could not put on company note paper. Don’t you know nuffing about loyalty, truth, politics and good business partnerships?” Even Jake Mitchelob blushes. “Don’t be a weak sap, Mitchelob,” hisses Van Winkle, “We work in children’s Books and fairy tales, and our profits are enormous, so torturising our author is a perfectly valid way to fight the real war.” Jake Mitchelob, confused as ever, nods sagely and wishes he worked in the Military, it’s far nicer than publishing, and besides, girls really can be more frightening than boys.
“Er, wasn’t it rather evil,” says Jasper Wells-Fargo, “to see him so blocked personally, obviously in an emotional hell, then to block any say in his own work, any open dialogue about his own books, refuse peace, threaten a wall of negativity to keep a secret, and have an unspoken and unanswerable but virtually criminal charge hovering in the background, while you telephonated to have a chummy chat with his soon vanishing agent? So did we not renditionate him without trial long ago to Gauntanamera Bay?” Steam starts to spew from Van Winkle’s ears. “YOU are not paid to think, Wells Fargo, and a company is not a republican democracy, idiot. Dowsing is evil and mad, a stakeriser and Terrororisator too, and I did my best for the ungrateful jerk, even if I did use his evil novel The Sight to get my job with that sorry Reeves’ Tale. Besides, to get to the top it was essential he had to be thrown to the wolves he writes about.”
“Wrote about,” hiccups Betterperson, “You said his fans would love another wolfee book, before you offered to swap a new one for his silly book about Pimples, designed to address the general atmosphere of terrorisation, for that pointless though money-spending generation, that you also once told him was good.” Betterperson dusts some cupcake crumbs from his trousers, as he rememebrs that Van Winkle told Dowsing ‘We are willing to bring happy memories into the future only if you shut up about the Patroness’ and wondering if that was not repudiation of contract, or duress, in the circumstances, not to mention callous about his own happy memories, harmed by their major representative, now masked as a faceless and irrelevant employee.
“Fans down the pans, like his books and contracts! ,” snaps Van Winkle, “You talk too much, Betterperson and the only thing I know, the top fact I have learnt in my terrible life trials, is never to open your mouth, truth or embarrassisation might come out. I bought it to help him, and I could not be seen to be too loyal. Then he was with our Patroness Saint, so on our side, until he was lost in enemy action. I warned him ‘we will protect our girl’, though loyalty is a tricky thing. Sure I may have held it for two years, and held his career in the Sleepy Hollow of my Hand, but life’s fun and no friend of his ever told me in London to look after him, for being a little special. No one is special, except the Patroness, that idea is evil, and only I have talent and can make the right decisions.”
Jake Mitchelsob nods furiously, but decides to soften the company culture, if he can, and hold no more Tea Parties, they are too expensive, too Republican, or too Democratic, he is not quite sure, like everyone else. All he knows is these days all American values are under attack from everywhere, well, probably China, but nowhere so grave as from the mass murderer, Terrorisator and bad author, Clementi Dowsing. Mitchelsob has enough man in him, and has been reading psychology books, to know love can be a hard wound, especially for a man rejected in front of a small group of people, he worked with so well, and got so close to, during two very intimate years, as well as years before, and needed professional support from, even for a time emotional support, not invasion or professional threats, under contract, while he was so invaded and disrespected among friends in London too. Even able to imagine it can be a horrible thing not even to be allowed to speak of two happy years, as if that too had been some terrible evil.
But Van Winkle is right, life is a win or lose game, especially the Patroness’s, and literaturality, or how you get to good, award winning books, is irrelevant. Don’t ask the author how they work or create, what atmosphere might help, cut them adrift and cross your fingers he gives you another Firebringer, to solve the crisis when the muse got ripped away, and he literally found for the first time ever he could not write. Sending a sexy photo to the Patroness or anyone in a US firm was rightly a sackable, and imprisonable offence, for yeah, the Patroness also said pornography is evil, and actually it probably is, as she was informed of the new arts of Compassion. He is not sure that making the hounded, mortified and fragile Morticia Braces the family Patroness Saint is quite right, though it was once, but hell, show weakness and humanity and you know what happens in New York City.
“Hey,” says Betterperson, “I head the truth about a three-year past, or a rumour. About having to fight, even on tour, to see a partner of two years. Pretty odd someone could be so one-sided and callous, even as a Company Representative, who of course never, ever had any responsibility or duty of care as such, because we made Dowsing the disrespected company mascot. Of his openly telling Our Patroness he would fight for her, even if the jerk got it wrong. Of having every reason to expect and hope, when he told a person he was sorry for a temper, and that he ‘thought of her as his wife’, and getting the answer ‘that cut through me like a knife’. Of proposing on the phone, but not even getting an answer, in a wall of passive aggression at the heart of his own effective work place, then flying to our great city and the Patroness telling him ‘I give myself permission to change my mind’. Of her taking the advice though of another friend of his up the road in London, who knows nothing of adult relationships, that they could not even be friends, because she talked like an adult and walked like a teenager. Of months talking, more invasions and no space given, and our patroness then even warning she would change a number, difficult company politics always in the frame, throughout. He clearly lost his own plot, out of two years together, a life partnership talked about, perhaps company politics always in our Patroness’s emotional frame too, in their brittle and absolute reactions, despite their once promising to be careful of each other over previous hurts, and the past being…”
“SILENCE,”scream Family Adams, even The Thing, though he never had a mouth, like Dowsing, ” and MOVE ON. Mention truth or the past and you will be branded a terrorisator, made to sign a Kafkaesque ‘agreement’, attempting to publish with no contact with the author, and sent to the Bay to be Skateboarded and White washed with Dowsing, and the whole of Inhuman Resources. Any truth of the past is an absolute assault on the personal privacy rights of our Patroness Saint, as enshrined in the Oldee European Chaterisation of Human Rights, we do not subscribe to because we have read The Shield of Achilles, and are top publisher in The Super and Super Awful Power. The Law here is we break his privacies, but reeespect our own. We are brave, we defend girls from big, bad, evil wolves, and we believe in freedom, books, and …” The Adams Family look at each other, “We believe in truth and…” The Family looks at each other. “We believe…” Meanwhile it is elevenses and everyone stops for the School Bell, and to swear allegiance to the flag, hoping Morticia Braces will return to defend and bless everyone soon, as Jasper Wells Fargo, longing for heroes, is seen climbing out of the window in a SpiderMan outfit, to go and find out if anyone, anywhere, actually believes in anything brave, decent, just or true.
The scene closes happily with a rendition (that is a pun) of Guantanamera, and Suicide is Painless, it brings on Many changes.
This is a work of Satirisation, and probably Saturation too, and only the reference to Davidov Clementi Dowsing as David Clement-Davies has any resemblance to anything or anyone recognisable, including innocence, happy memories, a livelihood, love, art, talent, a future or career, so there.