Mr. Inkblot – To Alyssa from Uncle Wyatt

There once was a man who lived at the edge of our town whose name was Bob Inkblot. Now, old Mr. Inkblot was a rather curious fellow who mostly kept to himself, but what little anybody knew about him was interesting. He was very short and very round, but at least he was tall for his height and pretty skinny for a fat man.

He didn't come into town very often for a number of reasons. First of all, he was quite set in his ways. He didn't like modern contraptions, so he never bought himself a car. And as it was a long way to waddle from his house to Main Street, he preferred to stay at home. He didn't care for modern thinking, either. He felt that you were born with all you needed to know, so trying to be smart wasn't very smart.

"Little green men and pink elephants,

That I'll take any day;

But when they claim the world is round,

Enough is enough, I say!"

Then he'd just scratch his head,

And slowly, slowly walk away.

People also often asked him about his name. "How odd it is, how odd it is," they would always, always remark. He didn't like that much, but still he would always, always answer them, politely and honestly:

"I know, I know, it was my parents' choice

To give me this crazy name.

Why they ever called me Bob

Drives me quite insane.

But at least I'm happy and satisfied

To get some of what I got.

A common, good old family name

Normal… like Inkblot."

So, he preferred to stay at home.

But I can see why he liked it there. He had built his own house out of paper clips and rubber bands, and it was a fine, magnificent structure indeed. Yes, it could be a little cold in the winter, and a bit breezy in the spring and fall. But the rest of the year when the sun shined it was wonderfully hot, almost as nice as living in a broiling toaster.

When he sat down to dinner, Mr. Inkblot was quite partial to bacon grease and chicken fat—because that's what made things taste good, he always said. He especially liked to squeeze some great big, gooey globs of sloppy, slippery drippings into his chocolate milk to give it a little extra zing. Now, of course, it did make the milk a bit chewy. But, as he said, that's what made it taste good.

The last time I ever saw old Inkblot was in the summer of '53. He was running down Main Street holding a folded newspaper over his head like a hat… or maybe like an umbrella… I'm not quite sure. Anyway, he was screaming that a summer shower was blowing in and he had to escape it.

Well, sure enough, about a minute later the sky darkened and a big, old-fashioned, mid-July morning thunderstorm rolled through town on that hot, August afternoon. The clouds lit up with thunder and the air crackled to the sound of lightening, but the breeze still smelled sweet as the month of June.

Nobody ever laid eyes on Bob Inkblot after that. Some say he was so scared that he just kept on running and running until all his fat melted and there was nothing left of him. Others say the little green men he so often spoke about were actually chasing him on their pink elephants. They say they caught him and whisked him away to a world that wasn't round—or flat, for that matter. They say they took him to a world shaped like a big donut. And that's not too bad, really. He would have liked it a lot if the donut had been covered in bacon grease and chicken fat.

But I think I know the truth

Of what happened that fateful day.

You see, he was an Inkblot

And the rain washed him away.