Theodolite's Survey

By Jordan Zinovich


In an age when everywoman was expected to slap barefoot and perpetually plump around hearth and homefires (2006 B.D. - BY DUBBYA-EM-DEE!), Theodolite Pope's-Nose was a swollen little pullet who riddled convention by having none of it. She dwelt baldly in the tiny Yankee hamlet of Little Grotty, South Carolina (population 69), having lost her hair-shirt and not bothered to look for it. Her husbandman, Butthole William Bailey (AB for short), was one of fifteen local publicans. They didn't run their taverns, exactly, just drank up the votes.

Theodolite was a trailblazer. One bright morning she clamped her blind left eye to the backend of a moose and searched for a glimmer of hope. She searched HiLo through antecedents and precedents interior the posterior until she scryed a solution, which she dodged in the nick of time. Old New-Gate Prison! Of course! The ancient north-country mineshaft where her granddames tossed burglars, horse thieves, and low-L liberals was the perfect place to career as a floozy. Nearby was an explosives factory slash art center where as a girl she'd seen fascinating bits of art. It all fitted together perfectly. That neighborhood had its hopeful perversities. And so she set off, abandoning Butthole Bill and his spawn to fretting flatulence.


The first crackpot that tripped her on the road was a pimply farmer named Bert Yodél. "Do you yodel?" he asked ingenuously, realizing the fine stream he waded, anti-semitically speaking. Theodolite, of course, was prepared for anything, regardless of what it knew. The boils spangling Berts face signaled his hormonal challenge, but that was okay. They were nicely textured and the goose-eggs on his head made plain that another kind soul had tried beating sense into him. Together they were an aesthetically pleasing combination. Who knew? He might back Ms. Pope's-Nose into a future together - at least until she found wolves to toss him to.

Bert said his upland farm lay below sea level, which suited Theodolite's smelly sense of irony. Finally, the south end of a north-facing horse, she chortled fitfully. Butter-breast-milk while you can, no telling when you'll need next. Time passed quickly around them, silently between Bert's ungodly and echoless shrieks. But four hours proved sufficient. Theodolite abandoned Yodél without waiting for the wolves, tying him to a tree with a note wishing them good luck. At least AB could whinny, she murmured, her ears still ringing. It that a telephone? Maybe I'd better go back and rip out his tongue. Wolves like to eat in peace.



"Angiosperms!" dribbled the next idiot she met, planting himself shallowly in the roadbed, rustling as gently as dinosaurs in the breeze.

Oh ye gods of thieves and travelers, rattled deer famished Theodolite. Send me Sweeney Todd. I have the razor, but lack testicules to swing it.

She paused to survey her situation. From Little Grotty to Old-New Gate Prison looked to become a very, very long-winded road. The idiot looked up from the rut he was pawing and waggled his antlers. A very long-winded road indeed, gnarled Theodolite, walking softly for a big stick.

Cuck you buddy, she sighed, whacking him with singular emphasis, leaving him prostate on the gravitas.



Arriving at a fork in the road she took it. It was a pitchfork - portent to a potent tale of unusual length and vigor; a black tail with a point to it, she could see that. She wondered to whit and whom it had belonged, then didn't care. It was a Sturm und Drangy day with faintly Nietchzean tangs of Goethe in the damp air. Saturated, Theodolite gripped the gasping exercises she'd stolen from a mad Tibetan mendicant who hadn't been tall but was honest and self abusing. What more couldn't a woman want? She wondered, patting her petunias.

The castellated high school in the distance had a distant look about it, marred only by a tiny Hakminster Bey window that suggested little thinking inside. Geodesically speaking, if it doesn't it soon will, she thank grimly, refilling a purse with her downstairs smile. I know the fulvous lechers inhabiting such places mix nuts like kindly blowsy intellectuals. I'll get a snoot full before you jack-robin son. Great practice for Old-New Gate floozing.

Then she thunk again. Why whittle away a peasant forenoon skinning companies of arrested adolescence playing with their piercings? Theodolite thought not. Nix on that, regardless of institutional propriety and manifold crookedness. Somewhere wars were lost. Sometime diplomats were tossing in deep reverence to a break wind. The raspberry was ripe. Gather ye rosehips while ye may, mixed nuts are too damned tedious to sort. In short: Time fugit. She'd never liked high school. History! It was all politics and histrionics. By dubbya-em-dee, who cared? We'll all be dumb as dork-knob soon enough.

Eight chains transit the moon, she sang. Eight rods urge this lunatic on. And so singing she sought her parting amicably, finding it at sunset near the northern horizon. Damn them dubbya-em-dee. Damn them everyone.