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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution

The Essay
Show #244
A Novena of Nomadic Noses
David Gunn

Peter was about as aware of being conscious as a carton of fish sticks is of being used as an instrument of mob rule, which is to say: only vaguely. He opened his eyes quietly -- not quietly enough if the earsplitting thrumming of his eyelashes against his cheek was any indication -- and glanced around. It was pitch black and he couldn't discern anything. Nevertheless, he sensed that he was not alone in his environment, and that another's eyes were upon him. He tried some basic motor skills: he wiggled the index finger on his left hand and then brought it towards his face to touch his nose. But before it got there, it touched someone else's nose. No, more like someone else's noses. In fact, rather a lot of other noses. Awareness now did the sentient rendition of a gelignite wake-up call and Peter abruptly remembered where he had been left off in the story, i.e. being pursued by a dumpster full of eyes, ears and noses that had unusual motor skills of their own. He found his own nose among the scores of others nearby, briefly gave it a friendly honk, then tried to swim out of the ocean of facial organs that surrounded him. His psyche slipped easily back and forth from ratiocination to lunacy, straddling, as it were, the fine line between schizophrenia and multitasking. Breast-stroking his way through these displaced cranial knobs, he recalled a Science Digest story he'd read as a high school senior a year ago. It said "countless experiments have shown that, left in small batches, human ears, noses and eyes rarely stray from their traditional roles of smelling, seeing or hearing, respectively, so why they should turn ornery when their numbers begin to add up has scientists baffled." Peter, too, was bewildered, but at last he saw a faint light in the bewilderness ahead. With a sudden flurry of leg kicks, he propelled himself to the surface. He crawled free of the heap o' honkers and lay panting for breath on the walking track of a half-assembled treadmill. It took him only a moment to recognize the second floor of his uncle Kinkajoul's cabin. But where once was a stairway leading to the first floor living room and, more importantly, telephone, a mountain of noses, eyes and ears of indeterminate origin now sat.

At present, they all seemed benign, content with the occasional snort, wink, twitch, sneeze or blepharospasmic event, quite unlike the restive rascals that had assailed him as he fled the horrid dumpster he knew not how long ago. Taking advantage of their quietude, Peter eased over to the window to gauge his chances of escape through it. The sight that greeted his eyes -- that is, the two that were affixed to his own head -- did not bode well for a felicitous conclusion to this bizarre development that had turned his vacation on its ear. Surrounding the house and extending northeastward for as far as he could see was a sea of cantankerous cartilage. Perversely, they bobbed up and down in a rhythm that seemed to match his own heartbeat. Sure enough, as the frightful scene caused his nervous system to crank up a few notches, the noses and ears and eyes bounced correspondingly faster. And there was no doubt that they were all descending upon this cabin.

Abruptly Peter realized that the muffled ringing in his ears that he'd attributed to a bout of tinnitus was really coming from the downstairs telephone, and he intuitively knew that whoever lurked on the other end of the receiver would be able to shed some much needed light on his plight. For coming eyeball to eyeball with a novena of nomadic noses was one thing, but when the nettled nostrils and their facial pals obviously had some grotesque motive in mind, that was when it was time to look forward to another chapter.

Alas, though not surprising, dear listener, this 244th episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar is not that chapter, however we here in the headquarters of the New Music Junta are hopeful that you will be content with the rest of today's historically important show, beginning with the nobly nasal necessitation of Kalvos.