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Jon de Vos: A hidden away hamlet

Jon de Vos / The Friday Report
Fraser, CO Colorado

Let us once again rejoin Prince Clutter, ruler of the kingdom, Clothesonnafloor which, you’ll remember, lies just outside a tiny hamlet, hidden away in a high mountain valley.

The Prince was widely known, not only for his good nature, but also for his slovenly ways. His unswept castle was surrounded by high walls of polos and turtle-necks, chinked against the weather with socks and T-shirts. There the Prince lived in significant comfort with his two dogs, Stinky and Reeking.

One day, much like another day, Prince Clutter was seated comfortably on his royal throne, Pileolaundry, intent on the screen in front of him where two vampires were arguing over the slender throat of a young slattern they had chosen as take-out from a tavern. The Prince’s existence was pleasantly complete. Meals appeared with charming regularity, distraction was as close as the nearest mouse, and life? Life was but a thin vapor that was conducted somewhere else, somewhere outside. The Prince lacked little, wanted nothing.



But one dark day, the unthinkable happened. The horror began when the wicked Princess of Houseinorder led a totally unprovoked attack upon Clothesonnafloor. Her plan, however, for a silent invasion was thwarted when she stepped upon Stinky’s tail as the slumbering mutt lay sprawled in the shade of the Tilting Tower of Towels. The beast erupted like an ER ambulance with a flat-lining occupant. Whirling, the Prince beheld a shockingly fearsome sight! The Princess was standing in the doorway armed in full battle regalia and bearing her Hoover gunship.

She stood there, a menace dripping with antiseptic venom. The hounds dove to safety behind me as I faced the threat, nearly overcome by dismay. A thundering voice proclaimed, “Good Lord! This place would embarrass a pig! How do you live like this?”



“Comfortably,” I replied, “but we’ve been over this a dozen times.”

“I’m going to clean up your room,” she countered, “Stay out of my way.”

“Why?” I asked, “Why would you clean a perfectly good room?”

“Oh, I dunno,” she said, “Could be in anticipation of a public health order from the Centers for Disease Control. Possibly fear of a typhoid or dysentery outbreak? Maybe it’s due to an unwillingness to be the epicenter of the 2012 Bubonic Plague Outbreak? While you decide amongst those choices, how about lifting your feet so I can vacuum under them?”

“Noooo!” I cried, “I’m always missing things after you clean my room. You’re confiscating another drawer out of my dresser, aren’t you?”

“My dresser? That would be our dresser and that drawer has been empty for years because you never put anything away. I’m reorganizing our clothes.”

“You are! You’re taking another drawer. I knew it! This is despicable! Your cursed cleanliness has nearly eradicated my castle … er, I mean, our house. Our home is slipping into a quagmire of neatness, sinking into a morass of orderliness and organization and, worst of all, it stinks like Sunshine Fresh.” I rolled my eyes and pressed the back of my wrist to my forehead.

The Princess scowled, “Stop with the theatrics and throw all your dirty clothes in the hamper.” She paused, “You remember where the hamper is, don’t you?” She stared, hands on hips for a moment before continuing, “I’m not pushing you outside your comfort zone, am I?”

“I don’t suppose you could wait until my movie is over, could you? I said, returning to the bickering vampires, momentarily paused on the screen. Reeking, quivering under my desk, let out an unearthly howl, staring at a point behind me. I turned to see a fiery demon with a flaming serpentine afro.

“Flee!” I shouted to the hounds, “All is lost! If any survive, we’ll meet back up at Messygarage!”


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