Ned Pepper

Mary Meets Dorothy
by Ned Pepper


Twigs, ragweed and pieces of cow chips infected Mary’s hair as she hurried down the Kodachrome road, pushing her nanny-industry forward, headlong into the webpage maze. Nearby skittered the pigtailed girl Dorothy Ditz, a girl fortified by kinks in her bipolar mind—kinks like, witches, yellow bricks, and a meth metropolis guided by a green head. The gingham girl had been momentarily deafened by the roaring twister (actually, a nylon hose trick) that drowned out all reason; even Mary Poppins’ high-pitched Gloucester voice was nulled. But hell, she wasn’t supposed to be in the Oz flick anyway, and the production photographer, square as he was, knew that.

The cyclone pressed on, threatening to obliterate the photographer’s Nikon D1x and the ugly mutt Toto-loss. That Animal Pound pinup was working his tiny drumsticks into a blur trying to escape Mary Poppins and her unsheathed-of-fabric umbrella. Mary screamed “In God We Trust” as shed closed in on the narcistic misfits, pausing to comb her limp, frizzed hair after her Mad Hatter hat, a pie pan reproduction, had spun out over the field of draught stricken corn.

Bedevilment and goofballs abounded. All that craziness atop the worn-down-from-Macbeth-bloodbaths soundstage brought on recording channel chaos. More vowels had been lost on that stage than in a cockney dictionary. Damn, if the director couldn’t hear the Poppins bitch either, not while the rainbow chaser stood there kicking the dugout door with her Keds. She had exhausted herself and misplaced her cue. The director, an etymologist from Point Barrow, called her “dip shit” and pointed towards the house. The Kansas chick ran onto the porch, grabbed the screen door, and tore it off. With the screen door came the D1x photograph and a bank foreclosure notice from Woolworths: Dorothy tore the photo, the foreclosure notice and screen door in two.

Furious as a Baptist in a stem cell research lab, Mary Poppins reached the porch and snatched the Kansas chick’s hair with a Warden’s clutch. Dorothy screamed and connected a roundhouse on the Englander’s chin, knocking her butt-first onto a tumbleweed, the nettles of which pricked through Mary’s tailor-mades. The nanny got testy as an empty tucker-bag and lunged at the country bumpkin again. The momentous drive of postpartum distress sent the three weed heads, Mary, Dorothy and her freak-ass dog, through the porch door. Up it went, house and nuts, topping out at 20,000 feet, hurling wildly until the wooden house parted a red sea of bricks on Lot #3. The kerplunk made Dorothy repent to Ms. Mary about her suffering from bipolar eclectics: she had set the dog Toto-loss on fire a dozen times and all on one night.

Mary Poppins produced a bottle of rum punch and tipped it till it bottomed out.

Dorothy Ditz was in tears, blubbering over some incoherent words. For clarity in the plot and the writer’s mind, she began singing a ballad called Maggie Lauder. That worried the dog huddled by the nanny’s feet. He knew that Dorothy had forgotten to take her meds. In haste, the mutt shuffled though a deck of Tarot cards. He was looking for The Skeptic. With his razor claws pointed at Dorothy, he spoke in embroidered tongues. Dorothy smiled insanely as she cleaned her ear canal with a pin knife. Suddenly, the bipolar girl screamed “Chalk pictures!” and pushed the nanny through the farmhouse door. Both chicks acted surprised that psychedelic Munchkin Land was on the other side of the prop door. Mary wept because she knew her story was better than Oz’s meth lab kitchen-tale.

“Bert had more box-office allure than your four-legged scatterbrain!” she yelled. The Kansas girl’s bipolar regions tweaked; a row ensued. Screams and fist swings made the witch from Studio B cut short her Lum and Abner take. Across the stage the wickeder witch flew, throwing a fireball at the Oz has-beens. She demanded an explanation for the poor treatment of her twin sister—the one twitching under the house. The three pagans didn’t have an answer so the wickeder witch started choking the mutt, Toto-loss. The director sent in two terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, to eat the wickeder witch’s magic broom bristles. But it was too late. Toto-loss had succumbed to animal abuse and Dorothy’s eyes, they glazed over. The mad farm girl rebelled and sprayed Mary’s bovine face with Raid. Down the yellow brick road Mary ran, hollering for her godless mentor, Nietzsche. It took a Fiji water baptism to get rid of the poison; that water logging occurred at an agnostic prayer meeting run by the Mayor of Munchkin Town. He was a Republican known for his spaded roll in sweeping the good witch’s burst bubble under the yellow bricks. Mr. Mayor had a ticket to Toon Town, left over from the RNC; he handed it over to Mary Poppins, then the two set down to lunch; a piece of stringy meat from the barbecuing of Dorothy’s dog by Scarecrow and Tin Man.

After the nanny vegetated in Gone With The Wind, the director and the Mayor secured Dorothy Ditz to a new script and a Posturepedic bed. This scene change prompted the convoluted storyline to be redeveloped. What happened next was due in part to the writer’s mental anguish and the Gone With The Wind nonsense: somehow the farmhouse entwined itself in the Fall of man; and there was Auntie Em, standing over Dorothy and high on valium. Auntie was pointing at the weirdo photographer who gave Dorothy her cholesterol staple down by Elmira Gulch’s gulch. This same freak was poking his misshapen head through the bedroom window. Hoping not to be Left Behind with Auntie, Dorothy grabbed the valium bottle and emptied it flat out. That fizzled her Oz chatter enough so she could ask Auntie Em, “Whaz-up?”

“D…d…don’t you see…see that freak?!” Auntie asked.

“Of course,” Dorothy replied. “He gave me the weenie.”

“But, Dorothy, he’s…he’s a…”

“A sponge? Sure is. Don’t you just love his endomorphic head in that fishbowl?”

Now hold on, son. This portent piece of paltry piffle was damn near good enough to be saved, but as opposable thumbs often stick to rotten pomegranates so this plot ached for a friggin revision, and it came from a man with fried-white hair. He was leaning through the window, shaking the scotchtaped photograph at the two fruit loops. “Mary has been erased!” he shouted. “She’s been sent back to the future!”

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last update: July 2, 2007