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IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT, A MINOTAUR PLUS FOUR
BY NOAH HOFFENBERG
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Carp

You canít go wrong with carp. Thatís why I always serve it to my guests. Maybe because itís the old adage about the fisherman who lands a giant carp, and the carp tells the fisherman that if he throws him back, then heíll get three wishes. The fisherman ponders the offer, and decides that it would be best if he serves the talking magic carp to his family, which might bring them more luck than the usual three measly wishes. Boy, was he right. Each of the fishermanís family, all five of them, became imbued with magic powers, and could grant themselves wishes any time they wanted. One got a racecar, one got Botox injections, one got six-pack abs, another a good hair day. The fisherman picked a Taj Mahal, the singer I mean. So thatís why I always serve carp to the guests. Itís a rich rich food, especially in the white wine sauce.

Flying Boat

Many of you have probably heard the tale of the Flying Dutchman. Me neither. But after I saw what I saw, I started asking around a little bit. I had been driving across the panhandle for about 12 hours. I was pretty hopped up on crystal meth. Some call it CRANK. It was like being beaten by a crankhandle. Round about 12 hours or so into the trip, out the of the night sky flew the ship. It was like Old Ironsides or something, except this boat had The Flying Dutchman written across the fore and aft of the bow. Also on the bow was a wooden mermaid, nailed there like some kind of mythological mix of Aphrodite and Christ. Her scales were painted with gold, and her skin was a life-like pink, as if some blood was pumping beneath the wooden skin. Her hair, yellow like a field of wheat ready for the scythe. The Captain was leaning over the side, one foot on the railing of his fine vessel. He looked like Captain Morgan. Long black locks flowing in the Texas night. That was right when I took a swig of my bottle of Captain Morganís fine island rum, and then proceeded to crash my Mercury Marquis into a ditch in the desert in the middle of nowhere. It gave me a lot of time to think about the Captain and his mysterious boat on my long walk into town.

Surface

Things on the surface were pretty uninteresting. But beneath the ripples near the levy, you could see bottom. There were naked ladies down there. Doing the breast stroke, and splashing around in the pool below. Diana was there, surrounded by her ladies and nymphs-in-waiting. All naked as jailbirds. No one was around here on the outcropping. So I figured a quick yank wouldnít hurt anybody. Moments after that I was transformed into a large male deer. My hunting dogs soon bore down atop me. 

Multimedia

Not everyone knows that Kafka was also a deft quilter. He made his mother a wonderfully dark quilt, done entirely in shades of black. Beneath the black swatches, a keen eye might discern the intricate patterns by which Kafka sewed his pieces of black fabric together. An even closer look might reveal items drawn in miniature with black thread, like large bugs, torture apparatus, a life-like rendering of Sancho Panza, a caravan of Bedouins, a leopard, a Hasidic rabbi and a castle with no gates. He was a master quilter, and a fair writer at that. Itís easy to become upset with him, though, because of his skills that traversed artistic mediums. He was also pretty good at telling the future. I bet you didnít know that. 

In the Head of the Minotaur

1. I donít want to leave my cave anymore. When I do, then comes the paralyzing terror, dizziness, tingling in my toes, and, of course, the fear that Iím going crazy and am about to die. I also have a fear of unraveling string and children in groups of seven. When exiting my cave, I need to walk five times back and forth through the cave hole before I can leave the premises with a modicum of comfort. If I smell soy sauce mixed with milk, then I count to 13 for good luck. In fact, you can still see my many bathrooms today.

2. How would you feel if you knew that your mother had been fucked by a bull? Or that your dick will always be man-sized and never that of Babe the Blue Ox? Have you seen the size of a bullís cock? Suffice to say in some countries they cut it off, dry it out, and use it to flog rugs. Like mother always said: "Itís not easy always being full of bull."

3. Iíve even considered having my tail removed, or, at the minimum, shortened. Then at least I could tuck it between my legs. It might be a good first step at being accepted by the other kids. We can no easier change who we are than where we came from. When father first told me the story of the birds and the bees, I didnít believe him, and just laughed and laughed. Where you gonna be when the laughter stops?

4. Ordering pizza can be a bitch and thereís no Italian around here. Grecophobia, they call it. So much for the Souvlaki sandwich and goatís head soup. Shhh. Someoneís coming. I think we both know who it is. Not even the flames on the cave wall will calm me tonight.

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