she was! In the flesh! With the hair!
Mohammed... Jesus... Madonna... Monica... Cher...
few humans are known by first names alone. For me,
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
"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