Saturday, 5 November 2016

Brainiac

by JP Reese


Sally slipped from the womb endowed with a giant brain filled with potential.  Her mother, a rather dour, blonde-haired Republican named Kitty, quickly squeezed Sally’s skull like a pimple and excised every one of those nasty ideas. Not knowing exactly what to do with all that brainpower, Kitty dragged it around in a wicker basket until finally she slid that mess into a dark corner of the dining room and decided to forget it existed. After all, she reasoned, if she didn’t hide that massive brain, eventually Sally would grow up to spew heavy thoughts across Travis county that would drag along the byways for everyone to see and maybe even blast their way across the Red River!

 Like an extra titty, a sticky finger up a nose, or a fat salesman flossing in the rearview, those unusually exceptional ideas would stick out like an Obama for President sign knifed into a field of Texas Bluebonnets, and they’d sure as shit slow down Sally’s prospects for ever snaring a wealthy man like The Donald. Satisfied that Sally’s thoughts were well hidden, Kitty went back to binge-watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, a giant Waterford bowl of movie butter popcorn tilted on her lap.

Kitty intended to return Sally's brain after her baby girl was safely married and had produced two offspring of her own, (a boy first, of course). She would leave clear instructions in her will for brain reconstitution. Yes, when Sally had become an ugly old woman, she could have her brain back because no one would care what she thought then anyway, and her questions wouldn't threaten anyone because no one listens to an old woman, and especially not old men--what for?

When Sally turned fifteen, Kitty bought her a bigger pair of boobs, a pedicure, permanent lipstick, extensions, and a Brazilian. Sally was a teen and would swiftly reach, and pass, her man-snagging window of opportunity.  Everyone knew that after twenty-five it was all downhill.

One day when Sally was sitting in her upstairs bedroom whitening her teeth, her hidden brain cracked its basket open and all those thoughts about god and death and Dylan Thomas and Karma and the world bank and flesh eating bacteria and Grace Jones and Lena Wertmuller leaked onto the hardwood floor. They floated skywards, assembling themselves into a giant hologram of Gloria Steinem flitting around Kitty’s Swarovski chandelier. Sally heard her ideas calling and followed the sound like a hound on a scent. Suddenly, Stephen Hawking was talking in her head, saying “Life would be tragic if it weren't so funny,” and Sally whispered, “amen to that, brother.”

She ran to the dining room corner, grabbed that busted basket, and tossed it in the trash, but Sally refused to blow her desiccated brains from the air. Instead, she reconstituted them in a glass of Laiphroaig over ice, pulled her feet up beneath her on the front porch rocker, yanked out the whitening strips, and swallowed those thoughts whole.

After ingesting and digesting, Sally went out and had her fake boobs removed, but she did get a new tattoo on her left buttock with a headshot of Athena and a slightly altered quote from The Art of War by Sun Tzu in Lucida Blackletter:All [wo]men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

First, Sally took to bronco busting at the Mesquite rodeo and won an assload of belt buckles, and then she began to write villanelles when she wasn’t penning North American trade agreements for Barak. One dark night, she met an equally thought-burdened cowperson named Amaze. Soon, with the soft lips of a denizen familiar with the nether world, Amaze kissed Sally in amazing places.

Each woman vowed to continue to support one another, even hold each other up while pole dancing and/or stripping, reading poetry to an audience of eight, cow-punching, curing cancer, or whatever the fuck it was they decided to do, into their dotage. When they finally tied the knot in California, Kitty howled, pulled her platinum hair and said, "Sally! How thoughtless! Whose big idea is this?" Sally replied, "Mine, mother, the idea is mine."