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The Essay
Show #91
Gimpel the Fool
David Gunn
Bon radio. If the 14th of February, St. Valentine's Day, is, like West Virginia, for lovers, then the 15th of February, St. Zanamuse's Day is, like, Zacatecas, for fools -- not fools as in the eponymously dubbed first day of April, but rather fools as in the precursors to circuit boards with which highly-paid 18th century scientists conducted labyrinthine research projects employing controversial Algonquin Hole theories to discovery numerous uses of plaque as a military weapon.

What else is a fool? Some people think that Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby -- because he soaked himself in a bath of hydrogen peroxide for 24 hours before performing radical cosmetic surgery on himself -- was a fool, but who is to say that his appearance would not have been as dramatically altered regardless, given that his medical training was not in cut-and-paste skin grafting techniques but rather as a cashier in a hospital cafeterium? Until he successfully ascended the Throne of Delhi in 1556, Akbar the Great was a fool, although few people said so to his face and lived to tell the tale. One who did so was, in fact, Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby. An informed source speaking on condition of anonymity maintains that the testy ruler, upon hearing himself declared a fool, refused to believe six- foot tall ambulatory guavas could knowingly cast aspersions and insults, and so spared Nasby, who he reportedly also found oddly appealing. C. Taze Russell, first president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania, was a fool for three-quarters of his life; then he died suddenly, an event for which no one could really think him a fool, Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby notwithstanding. Michael Praetorius, who both was born and who died on this date and thus would seem to have been amazingly prolific for one day, would seem to be a fool for not spreading his musical largesse out over a greater period of time. Meghnad Saha -- who penned the Saha Equation while deeply engrossed in a heated hand of whiskers six-draw, then used it to declare forty face card fandango while somehow holding five queens -- was nobody's fool, although he was later barred from further games for utilizing apocryphal theorems based on a 1917 recipe for shellac known as le flambeau oriange.

But all of these fools or fool-wannabes pale in comparison to the one fool celebrated in song, in dance, in spizder, and, on today's 91st episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, at least -- this portion of which is being brought to you 1,200 parsecs ahead of schedule in the sidereal speculative universe in order to appease fluctuations in the space-time continuum -- in opera, Gimpel the Fool. The story is brief and immensely hummable. Gimpel was born into a family of Zacatecas guava farmers. As a youth, he attended St. Zanamuse School, where he studied mendicity with Michael Praetorius and elementary Algonquin Hole theory with Meghnad Saha, an itinerant shellac salesman. One day, the headmaster, Akbar the Great, declared that from thence forth, the only acceptable form of currency in the land would be hydrogen peroxide, which he coincidentally grew in colossal quantities on his own ranch. Perturbed, Gimpel demanded an audience with Akbar, whereupon he said "I would rather turn to plaque, than pay you H2O2, which I sadly lack!" -- to which Akbar responded, "then thou, Gimpel, art a fool!" And with a snap of his magic fingers, he turned him into a throw rug, where he remains to this day in a museum Zacatecas. The end.

This tale, while never knowingly published in The WatchTower, will soon be musically reconfigured for you today in WGDR-FM's Studio Z, Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby at the controls. And now with his own self in various states of control, I give us Kalvos.