Makes an Appearance


excerpts from an article
by Michael Bailey

illustration of Polly Spare but oh NO! Somebody's retouched it so she looks like a puppet!

There she was! In the flesh! With the hair!

Moses... Mohammed... Jesus... Madonna... Monica... Cher... few humans are known by first names alone. For me, there's Polly.
Polly's name has been used to threaten and bully me for years. The name Polly has filled me with apprehension and covered me with goosebumps. Polly... oh no-o-o-ooo... she's out there!
Here in Oregon, our Dogpatch pro-institution gang used to be known as the Fairview Parents Association. Every four years they cast their ballots for Calvin Coolidge. If you want a bridge to the 19th century, they're the folks to build it.
At long last, as the closure of their "training center" loomed, the Fairview Parents vanished like insect larvae, only to emerge, winged and glorious, as Voice of the Retarded (Oregon branch). Previously noted primarily for nongrammatical, inarticulate mutterings, these very same throwbacks had a surprising new sense of direction. When things got tough they could Tell Polly, Call Polly, or, worst of all, threaten us with Wait until Polly gets here. I came to dread Polly.
I stand ready to face local reactionaries. But a national reactionary rumored to have powerful friends in DC -- not to mention magical powers to hex secular humanists like me -- caused me to worry. Would I be crushed by a new force for which I was unprepared?
As the disobedient progenitor of a flawed child, would I be required to live out my days in a training center? It was all very distressing. But Polly did not appear. The Voice of the Retarded (Oregon branch) returned to putting out its five-dollar-a-year newsletter and we got on with the business of self-determination.
Then "The Gag" arrived. [a joint all-comedy issue from Ragged Edge and the Mouth] There it was -- the Polly Spare puppet. Polly did exist. I laughed. I put her image on my bulletin board. I shuddered. Polly was no imaginary beast; she did in fact exist. Next...

continued in Mouth #57

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