Short Fiction

Pie-Eyed Peety and the Prohibitionist: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical By Leila Allison

The Principle Players

Pie-Eyed Peety the PDQ Pilsner Pigeon is alive in the sense that he walks the Earth, is self-aware (well, sort of) and is routinely observed “doing stuff to other stuff.” Peety neither breathes nor eats, yet he does speak (again–well, sort of), drinks, urinates, vomits and frequently passes out, so it is assumed that he sleeps, perchance dreams. Through a bizarre, interdimensional transformation unlikely to take place in the Universe again anytime soon, Pie-Eyed Peety the PDQ Pilsner Pigeon, once merely an insensate cartoon character used to move cheap beer in a duplicate Earth, back in the late 1940’s, has been installed on our Earth as an active “citizen.” More simply put, like everyone and -thing else, Peety is.

Unlike Bugs Bunny or a Simpson inserted into a live action film, Peety remains two-dimensional. In form he is as artiscally fine and realistic as one of those “turkeys” little kids draw in school by tracing the outline of their hands on construction paper then cutting it out to be placed on the refrigerator. Peety is about the size of a Big Mac and he wears a fedora and is always seen carrying and drinking from a bottomless can of PDQ Pilsner. He travels around in a yet to be explained by science halo of popping bubbles, as to convey his constant state of intoxication.

Moreover, Peety is indestructible. You cannot do anything untoward to Peety. Even though he appears to be made of paper, it is transformed, interdimensional paper. The only thing you would get from nuking Peety is a radioactive hole in the ground and plenty of explaining to do.

Fortunately, Peety is harmless. He somehow harkens back to an era that never really existed. In short, he’s an amusing, even sweet drunk who never turns mean or destructive, which gives him his own charm–in a fictional gentle tippler sort of way–again an item that never really existed.

Until now.

The Prohibitionist is from a well meaning class of human ghosts, commonly referred to as “Abstinent Spirits” (or Abby, pl. Abbies). As always, whenever the words “well meaning” are attached to someone it is as close to a compliment that the individual in question deserves. Well meaning has a way of skipping straight to “busybody” and “asshole” without ever touching on anything nice during transit. Although the things that the Abbies stand against are harmful, they don’t seem to stand for anything save for their own worldview.

There are all types of Abbies. They range from the mischievous Candlehuff who prevents people from lighting cigarettes by huffing a lit match to personages much more excruciating to endure, such as the Prohibitionist. This individual is a Temperance Spirit who sees no fun in anything and holds a dull, prolonged existence in higher esteem than a happier (albeit shorter) life dedicated to laughter, music, liquor, “comfort” foods and frequent acts of copulation with someone(s) who feels the same way about you.

Few living humans can communicate with Spirits of any sort. The ones that do are almost always approached by the Spirit first. But animals and well, whatever Pie-Eyed Peety may be, see ghosts frequently and never question their sanity (not that Peety has a lot of that condition to begin with) when they do. Yet the pushy ghosts, like the Abbies, rarely get through to people no matter how hard they try. This means they waste a great deal of energy on “saving” creatures from themselves. Unfortunately for the would be saviors, animals are honest souls who cannot be pressed into reformation. Only humans and their ghosts have regrets. So it was only a matter of time before our persistently plastered pal Pie-Eyed Peety the PDQ Pigeon received unwanted attention and behaved accordingly.

The Feeble Fable

You can get used to anything, if given enough exposure; this includes Pie-Eyed Peety the PDQ Pilsner Pigeon. In this realm where the definition of reality is much more elastic, and where there are more taverns and pubs than there are espresso shoppes and fitness centers, Peety is a regular in every dive, and popular with the management and landlords in every establishment, even though he has never spent a dime anywhere. Peety’s inexhaustible can of PDQ (a brand which has never existed in our world) and physical indestructibility make him immune to money. We all should be so blessed.

Regardless, Peety is good for business. Even here in this land of the strange, a two-dimensional cartoon pigeon is hard to ignore. Especially when he is a Good Timing Pigeon, and an all around fine fowl. Wherever Peety goes, people follow. People with money.

Although Peety is always blasted, he follows a cycle in which he trends from sloshed to marginally coherent. And as it goes with interesting males who are no threat sexually, Peety is surrounded by adoring, attractive females of various species, yet is also well liked by the guys. Yes, Peety is enhanced by his own Cult of Personality, that peculiar phenomenon which elevates the object to a high level of fame not aimed at, yet achieved because it wasn’t sought.

Peety loves being on this Earth and has devoted himself to the study of the “Snob v. Slob” comedies of the late 1970’s and entirety of the 80’s. He is the authority on the Great Era which began with Animal House and ended with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Peety often quotes and scrupulously credits passages from films Caddyshack, Stripes, Porkies, Easy Money and so forth, like Cumberbatch reciting Shakespeare.

Behold a typical Peety quotation (usually preceded by a gassy “squ-wack”):

“Squ-wack–’You hear about the man with the five penises? His pants fit like a glove’– Newbomb Turk, The Hollywood Knights.”

It was while he was entertaining the patrons at the In and Out Tavern (not to be confused with the Up and Down Inn or the Inside Out Public House establishments, which also were in Peety’s rounds) that a Prohibitionist Spirit approached Peety and admonished him for his slovenly lifestyle.

“Look at you,” the snobby ghost said, “you set a bad example for the children…”

“Squ-wack, ‘How’s your wife and my kids?’ Thornton Melon, Back to School.

The Spirit grimaced. Peety was the only patron in the In and Out who could see the ghost, who was the spitting image of Dean Vernon Wormer from Animal House, steely eyed, cruel and humorless.

“Squ-wack, anybody tell you thatcha’ look like Dean Wormer?”

The Prohibitionist had no idea what Peety was talking about, not did things get any clearer when Peety said:

“Squ-wack, ‘You can take your thumb out of my ass any time now, Carmine.’ Mrs Dean Wormer, Animal House.”

A sad expression came over Prohibitionist’s face.

Since it was the first humane thing that Peety had seen the ghost do, he decided to toss the Spirit a bone.

“Squ-wack, tell you what, old ghostie pal, why don’t you place me on triple secret probation and then come back in a thousand years or so, maybe we’ll talk it over.” (no fewer than six belches punctuated the previous sentence).

The Spirit brightened. “Will it work?”

“Squ-wack, sure, as long as it makes you go away. ‘It’s gotta work better than the truth,’ Otter, Animal House.”

The Abolitionist claimed his small victory and poofed out of the tavern.

The Amoral: Fat, Drunk and Stupid Is One Way to Go Through Life.

Allison, Leila – Page 2

9 thoughts on “Pie-Eyed Peety and the Prohibitionist: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical By Leila Allison”

  1. Hi Leila,
    My usual repeating of my initial comments.
    I’ll need to try and think of something new but to be truthful my initial comments are probably the clearest.
    However I do promise that Christmas week, they will all be off the cuff!! (I might just apologise now!)
    Anyhow as for my excuse of transparency here you are…

    I love all two dimensions of Peety.
    I am jealous of his never-ending tankard. Don’t know what the beer would be like but I’d give it a go. (Mmmmm – A never-ending tankard of Fustenberg would be something!)

    And the references to ‘Animal House’ made me want to watch it again.
    There are so many quotes from that film. My own personal favourite – They took the bar…The whole fucking bar!!
    And apart from the wee alteration of the end line, I can actually hear John Vernon’s voice!
    (I also loved the scene in ‘Dirty Harry’ when Vernon played the mayor and Callaghan explained his thinking and subsequent shooting of the potential rapist.)
    He was so dead pan as he stated ‘I think he’s got a point’.
    The only thing that is missing that I would have loved to have read would have been the ‘Porkie’s’ line – ‘My God! The boy’s deformed’

    Brilliant as usual and I am so pleased that you follow Olivia’s story from yesterday!
    Hugh

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  2. Thank you, as always. Although Peety (sometimes “Peetie”) has a liver that would shatter a lioness’s teeth, and blood as acidic as Alien, he’s able to smile with a beak. Originally his name was “Bukowski The Bummer Beer Barbet”–pocked marked and poetic, but an even dumber idea ruled the day.
    LA

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  3. Imaginative humor with a sharp edge. Love the image of Peety and his halo of popping bubbles. RIP Rodney Dangerfield. Maybe Foster Brooks will make an appearance in the sequel. I’m already looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t know any of the extras in Animal House, but I recognized some from seeing them on campus at the U of Oregon in Eugene. Animal House was going to filmed on another college campus until the admistration found what the movie was about. Stupid me I wasted time studying math while there, but at least I was drunk and high some of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did three years at “Faber”. Coming from an urban campus, Portland State, being on a campus seemed silly and strange. I was used to being in the city not the college as soon as I left a building. Days of Freedom in a previous era. For a complicated reason I did my last post-graduate year in Manhattan (Kansas that is). Of course there is a story “I Won’t Take Manhattan”. Tea at the Chinese restaurant was Liptons.

      Liked by 1 person

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