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About John — By T. Menon and V. Kohli

September 13, 2011

John used a lot of hyphens in his writing. He thought this would make him appear rather dashing.


For all of John’s bravado, he was terrified of Mary’s moods and periods. Both usually cut him off mid-sentence.


Their relationship was punctuated by her maniacal outbursts. Once, during one of her episodes, she punched John – who was busy writing at the time – so hard in the abdomen that he was left with what could be described as a semi-colon. After which John was, quite understandably, at a loss of words, that too for a long, long time… And as far as their future together was concerned, clearly, the writing was on the wall.


As a result, John suffered from low self-esteem. He wasted much time justifying his paragraphs. Understandably so, given his frequent run-ins with Mary’s run-ons. ‘Get to the point’, Mary would bellow. Sadly, it didn’t take much for him to lapse into commas. But his faith was strong, for he did believe; Jesus Ctrl+S’s.


John’s prayers did not go in vain. Jesus had been following the situation right from the start. “Mary”, thought Jesus, “you might have my mum’s name, but don’t think I’ll be lenient with you because of that. John’s a perfectly nice guy—he’s devout too—so you have no excuse, really. I have to say that as a writer, he has faced a rather long sentence. OK sure, you’re in a mess, but you could always have popped a few pills for that, and what’s more, you could have called yourself Mary Poppins in the bargain. Anyway, it’s high time that I write a fresh chapter in John’s floundering book.” Working in mysterious ways, as The Lord often did, Jesus appeared to John in a dream and told him the plan that would put an end to his misery..

John made his way to a nightclub where all roguish ‘ands’, ‘ors’, ‘buts’, ‘ifs’ and the like hung out; the place was called The Con Junction. He was looking for one particular ‘and’, whose name was But. Now But was a sorcerer with great powers. He was also a thug; but Jesus had given John a particular mantra (in his dream), which would make But a really nice and helpful chap, without taking away his magical powers.


Mary woke up, groggy, clutching at the retracting frayed ends of a dream retracting in a hurry, as the frayed ends of a dream retracting in a hurry have a way of often doing. ‘Damn retracting frayed ends of dreams retracting in a hurry’, she muttered to herself, rubbing her temples.

It swum with too many bad metaphors, rotten conjunctions and (or was it but?) some vague memory of a religious experience and John dreaming. ‘This;is,,’!, she mumbled, faltering out of bed. ‘S,”om! is&n’@t ri’;gh:t’ I! o{ug}ht t,o ge-t a c:olon;os:’copy’. John looked at her blink slowly, and smirked. He crossed himself, and looked at But. Said But, serenely–“Operation Immaculate Inception has begun.”


Mary couldn’t understand how all this had come about. Everything had been fine until the previous day. She had gotten up early. Brushed her teeth. Squeezed Jimmy’s rump, before giving it a gentle peck—Jimmy, in case you didn’t know, was her imaginary ex-wife. Then she had taken a bath at the Natural History Museum, all the while lecturing Richard about the causes of the high divorce rates these days. Richard looked on, utterly impressed and smitten by her, while she soaked in a a bathtub full to the brim with soapy froth. Mary was well aware that Richard had a soft spot for her. And how she enjoyed the unwavering attention. She enjoyed his company too; Richard had an aura to him that made him quite a charming fossilised T-Rex skeleton. Cutting a long flashback short, the point was that things had been just fine the previous day. Presently, though, something was very, very wrong. The wooziness refused to go away; but it wasn’t just that, was it? No Sirrreee, it damn sure wasn’t. Mary sensed a war about to start inside her brain. And then, all of a sudden her senses felt like they had been savagely attacked. Bloodcurdling shrieks. Grotesque gargoyle-like figures being pushed out of her body, cussing non-stop in Latin. The smell of country liquor mixed with Odomos hanging heavy in the air. An acidic taste in her mouth, which was starting to foam a little. A seizure was coming. A seizure that would herald the victory of good over evil. A seizure that would end Evil’s seizure of Mary.

The beginning.

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