Surreal Education

by Edward Lacie

* * *

"And in the end the age was handed
The sort of shit that it demanded."

-- Ernest Hemingway, "The Age Demanded"
* * *

"It would start
with a drink and get worse
from there," reported
Henry Franks, 38, of Hills-
boro, Michigan, after being
charged with disorderly
early Sunday morning.

Dreamland Cafe is a franchise
and I work at the one
in Rural Bluffs, Iowa. I cook
and manage the night shift
but every once in a
I also
wait on tables.

Reports of
satanism increase
toward October and
are especially high
around Halloween.

A half a sandwich
and either soup or salad
is available as a combination.

The sheriff was
not a friend but
can be remembered
like a vivid dream.

Franks was hospitalized with
a broken nose and fingers and
is expected to be
within 24 hours, a hospital
spokesperson said on condition
of anonymity.

At the Dreamland, we know
more than that pie is almost all
profit, soft
drinks too. And pie is cut
in seven pieces but looks like six.
A bowl of soup holds as much as
a cup of soup.

Investigation into the
Son of Sam
case has led to occult
activities and drug traffic between
here and New York City
being investigated. A local murder
may have been a rehearsal.

The waitresses dressed like clowns
and I was a toothless vampire,
pale, so pale I needed makeup.
We had no customers until nearly midnight.
We got so busy we had to stay open
an hour longer than usual, the only time
that happened.

Franks, an employee of
Dreamland in Hillsboro, MI,
abuses dogs, the sheriff told me,
as if to say he was a Satanist.
I musta
been stabbed in the heart with
a stake. Another rehearsal?

Rural Bluffs, Iowa, is south
of Hawkeye and around the bend
from Music Man's River City. We
have parades with seventy-six trom-

I passed a note under the toast he ordered
to the sheriff at the stroke of midnight
on Halloween lucky to be wearing white makeup
to hide the pale ghost I was thinking I was
in the crosshairs of a Satanist cult.

Weather report is for snow
all over Iowa except in Rural Bluffs,
I swear.

"How many drinks I had
is hard to tell," Franks offered
in defense at the trial held
November 29, in the
county courthouse.
"Under the influence."

Whoever orders the soup
and salad is saying they want me to live,
soup and sandwich means die.
Those who pay cash are Christians. Plastic
indicates Satan. Poached eggs mean danger.

Henry Franks
ordered pie.

Backstage, he joked, "Besides that,
Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"
Satan himself paraded a ghost of a former
customer, drug hollow, past.
"You're next," his eyes twinkled
as the sheriff and five deputies
walked in at a quarter to midnight.

* * *

Notes: This poem includes "samples" from gossip heard around the employee table here at Dreamland. -ewl


Link to "A Real Education" original version by Greg Baysans

Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.