And they came from near and they came from far,
bearing gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and pumpkin pie.
My store is open! said Blurtso.
I don’t know, said Pablo, you may need more flags.
Hmm, said Blurtso, licking his hoof and turning the page of the morning paper. Let’s see who did what when and why… love hate, give take, future past, slow fast, here there, then now, what when, who how, win lose, live die, settle choose, where why, fortune fame, pardon blame, smoke choke, weep joke, his hers, yours mine, rain shine, sad fine… rolls are fresh and the coffee’s free, la dee da dee da dee dee.
Hello, said the devil. Hello, said Blurtso. I see you’ve come to buy a trombone. Have I? said Blurtso. You must have, said the devil. I don’t think I need a trombone, said Blurtso. You don’t? said the devil. I already have two, said Blurtso. Two trombones! said the devil, you must be very happy! Yes, said Blurtso, I am. Do you want to give me one of your trombones? Absolutely not, said Blurtso. You are happier with two trombones instead of one? said the devil. Yes, said Blurtso, I’m fond of my trombones. Well, said the devil, if you are happier with two instead of one, it stands to reason that you would be happier with three instead of two. Yes, said Blurtso, that stands to reason. And if three makes you happier than two, four would make you happier than three. Four trombones? said Blurtso. Absolutely, said the devil, and five and six. I’m not sure, said Blurtso, there must be a point of diminishing trombones. Diminishing trombones? said the devil. When more becomes less, said Blurtso. More becomes less? said the devil, that makes no sense. I suppose it doesn’t, said Blurtso, admiring a trombone out of the corner of his eye.
Wow, thought Blurtso, today’s game decides the championship. I’ve never been a champion. I set a record in the ski jump, but was disqualified for being a donkey. That was a relief, because the paparazzi went away. There aren’t any paparazzi here. Or any fans. I guess they’re all at home, listening on the radio. I wonder who’s doing the broadcast? I’ll bet it’s Jerry Remy. I wonder if Jerry Remy played stickball? He grew up in Somerset, so he probably played baseball, on real grass. That would be distracting, playing on grass. As distracting as playing in a pumpkin pie factory. You don’t see many sporting events in pie factories, for just that reason. I wonder if the winners get a trophy? I’d love to have a trophy, tall and shiny, with an action figure on top. Maybe a donkey taking a Ruthian sing, or a donkey making an over-the-shoulder catch, or a donkey gunning down a runner from third. A trophy would look great in the barn, with a little straw around the base. I wonder if being a champion would go to my head? I wonder if I’d begin to stay out late, and go to nightclubs, and get in trouble with the law? The paparazzi would revel in my fall, encouraging the cracks in my character. And I have many cracks. I’m not a role model. I have too many vices… pumpkin pie, hot cocoa, whipped cream. I wouldn’t want anyone to imitate me. I would be a terrible champion. But I sure would like a trophy, tall and shiny, in the middle of the barn.