Word has it that the first billygit was the result of a passionate affair between a runaway Disney Princess and a Flying Monkey on leave from the Wizard of Oz. The Princess was tired of being a thirty-two-year old woman forced to play a “tween” and the Flying Monkey was bored due to the liquidation of his Witch. It was a “what happens in the Emerald City stays in the Emerald City” sort of fling. Or so I heard. I really can’t say much more due to copyright issues, but I won’t refute it, either. Whatever their origin, the now plentiful billygits (who did not stay in Oz, and insist on a lowercase b to start their name) are. Yet unlike most things that are, billygits multiply when some PDQ Pilsner is poured over their heads; this action instantly produces a twin billygit.
Your basic billygit is a winged, androgynous, ankle-high, bright orange individual who wears a blue polo shirt, khaki slacks and hemp slippers that invariably fall off during flight–and in no way should be confused with a Pixie or a Fairie. Although they are identical physically, each billygit has a sense of individuality, and they all believe they are the original billygit that all other billygits are based on. Like most illogical beliefs supported by historical records, it is the driving force behind the billygit culture.
You can tell when a flock of billygits has passed because the landscape below will be littered with their little hemp slippers. Sooner or later, a slipperless billygit will retrieve a pair from the ground because, being identical, they all wear the same size. The billygits are similar to a Greek chorus in my little fantasy realm. They wander from story to story and pass unasked for observations.
After proofing the previous two paragraphs, my Imaginary Friend, and second in command of our realm, Renfield, opined that what I wrote causes more confusion than clarity. To be transparent, she actually said:
“What the fuck is this? Didn’t you used to have the ‘billygates’? Little winged people that your paranoid behind was convinced were the Microsoft Secret Police, and they were watching you?”
“Copyright issues ended that, Rennie. Lawyer stuff.”
“Sure, whatever you say–but don’t try to con me into helping with the backstory–you gotta dig that hole in the desert yourself.”
Anyway, as the ruling Penname and CEO of this realm in make believe, I govern two-hundred-twenty-eight Fictional Characters (FC’s). As my creator gave me Free Will, I’ve done the same for them. And due to a contract I signed, without first reading, with the Union of Imaginary Friends and Fictional Characters, before I can create a new FC, I have to offer the role to an already extant FC. This leads to stuff like Daisy the Pygmy Goatess (an original, elemental FC, developed before the contract) playing various human and animal and “whathaveyou” roles in my stories. Daisy has great range and can play anything from an ameba to the Diana Ross of Supreme Beings. If my little opuses were visual, there would be trouble. Fortunately, readers see what their own minds clap together from the provided information. It would be awfully tough to convince someone who watches a Siamese Cat, Pygmy Goat and Cartoon Pigeon walk into a bar and get them to believe that they are actually seeing a Witch, a Black Lab who identifies as a Wolf and a sulfurous Demonic Minion enter a bar. It strains credulity and raises penetrating questions that I’d rather not answer. So, blessed be the words.
Still, according to the Union, I need to make sure that all my established FC’s are cast in a role at least once per year. Thus the real reason behind the billygits. I guess I would rather have you believe they are the spawn of aging Disney princesses and Baum’s Flying Monkeys, but for those annoying seekers of truth, there you have it.
Unfortunately, some of my FC’s are one note performers who refuse to play anyone or -thing other than a generic pain in the ass, in keeping with their own personalities. Since billygits are essentially one note, generic pains in the ass, it is a match made in make believe. And since it was quickly approaching the close of our year, I still had four FC’s who’d been lounging around the dock pilings, taverns, gambling and opium dens that contain the hallmark activities of unchecked Free Will. I had the three biggest “stars” in my realm, Renfield, Daisy, and Pie-Eyed Peety the PDQ Pilsner Pigeon, round up the idlers and bring them to my office.
As it goes with all things that are Union business, I am required to pass the narrative of the meeting to an FC who is both a Shop Steward and capable of using a Chromebook. Though a hooved creature, it has been long known that Fictional Pygmy Goats are known as–as I’ve stated in previous works–”Preter-Nature’s Stenographer.” And although she does it daintily, Daisy has yet to meet an adverbly adverb that she doesn’t approvingly approve of, and is a master of coining new adverbs that are dismayingly dismaying, bizarrely bizarre and redundantly redundant. Daisy is the reason why I invented the Adverb Mass Indicator (A.M.I.); which used to be located on the wall behind her little desk in my office. The A.M.I. used to beep when Daisy got all prosily and purpley. The handy device cut down on the adverbs, but to make up for it, Daisy discovered the simile like a middle-school boy convinced that generously applied amounts of Axe will make him a big hit with the ladies*. She lays them on pretty heavy–and always in couplets; and she knows that I have yet to invent the S.M.I.–but plans for it are on my desk, waiting for there to be enough gin in me to go at them like a reality show Frankestein cobbling together yet another pop culture freak.
Anyway, here’s Miss Daisy Cloverleaf (aka, “The GOAT”):
(*Renfield has peeked over my shoulder and informed me that this is at least the fifth time I’ve compared a heavy application of a noxiously noxious sort of thing to a kid smothered in Axe. True, I’ve used it before. But speaking for all who have had to take the bus to work or school or anywhere, I promise to stop making the comparison as soon as spray “colognes” are kept in locked cabinets and require the same level of scrutiny for purchase as liquor, cigarettes and guns.)
Again, Miss Daisy.
There were eight of us in the office. Packed like sardines, already on each other’s nerves like a group of eight nervly nerves getting on-ers. Aside from Miss Leila, Miss Renfield, Pie-Eyed Peety, and I, Daisy, by day a humbly humble stenographer, but on evenings and weekends The GOAT–who with her trustily trusty sidekick PDQ Peety, rescue public domain FC’s from fates like Groundhog Day, with our wits, more like Batgoat than Supergoat—Drat! There goes the cursedly cursed A.M.I.
“Um, Daisy,” Leila said, from behind her desk. “I can see everything you write on this screen…please stay on topic–remember the budget.”
Drat. That confoundedly confounding three-thousand word limit. Drat drat and triple drat. Three thousand drats…drats like a pox; drats like locusts…
Anyway, also on hoof were sleekly sleek Gordon Cormorant; Lordly Lord Fishstyx the Motivational Coela-CAN; an incomprehensibly lazily lazy Trade Rat named Andy (who had missed two productions due to a month long peyote bender), and an obnoxiously obnoxious Literary Turkey named Krook.
I said a pox upon you A.M.I.!!!
“Good news, gang,” Leila said, chewing gum and smoking a cigarette at the same time. “I’ve got roles for the four of you to play. In fact, Miss Daisy over there is sealing the deal as we speak. I’m certain that forcing me to send a search party out to find you guys is just a little misunderstanding.”
Lord Fishstyx took exception to the idea. “I don’t think it is right that you push us into roles that we have yet to examine.”
The others “here here’d.” It was obvious that Fishstyx had an agenda.
“What would it take to make you guys participate with enthusiasm,” Leila said, rooting around her desk drawer for the Scotch that I happen to know Miss Renfield had confiscated earlier.
“Our names above the byline,” Lord Fishstyx said, “or we might not remember our cues.”
“Charming. You don’t even know what the roles are,” Leila said. She had located a pint of Four Freedoms vodka and took a drink, which caused her face to pickly pickle like a baby sucking a lime, like, um, like whatever Jesus, Mary and Joseph said was blowing in the wind…
“Tell you what, there’s always Plan B,” Leila said. Then she typed the following in her Chromebook, which was synchronized with mine. I NEED TEAM GOAT TO EXECUTE PLAN B!
My reply: ONLY IF I CAN DISENGAGINLY DISENGAGE THE A.M.I, LIKE PULLING THE PLUG ON A RICH UNCLE BEFORE HE CAN CHANGE THE WILL. LIKE…UM…
Leila: ALL RIGHT. FINE. WHATEVER.
Me: I RELEASINGLY RELEASE THE NARRATIVE TO YOU.
I took over because Daisy is a Goatess of action. Although she is what is called a “TeaCup” Pygmy Goat–about the size of a beefy housecat, Daisy is able to tap an enormous quantity of rage energy. The A.M.I. was encased in a small red plastic square, attached to the wall just behind Daisy’s desk in the corner, and, as always it had beeped adverb over mass warnings during Daisy’s contribution to this effort.
Upon gaining permission, Daisy closed her Chromebook, placed her front hooves on her desk and reared up, well, her rear hooves and obliterated the A.M.I. with one solid double-hoof kick. Just as she did that Peety squawked “Hasta La Vista, Baby” and credited the Arnold, for although Peety mainly speaks through the slobcom medium he’s also a fan of the Arnold. The A.M.I. made a final bleat as the bits of plastic rained down on the room. After Daisy muttered something that sounded like “Enjoy the weather in “A.M.I. Hell,” she voice activated a Bluetooth speaker which played Team GOAT’s “theme”–which sounds like a cross between the Superman and Star Wars themes.
GOAT, of course, stands for the Greatest Of All Time. Daisy made mention of her superhero alter ego and Peety as her sidekick, earlier. Although everybody knows who the GOAT and PDQ Peety really are, we are supposed to close our eyes upon hearing the theme and cannot open them until we hear a loud hoof stomp on the floor.
Upon opening my eyes there was The GOAT, wearing a flowing yellow cape and wrap around sunglasses. Daisy–I mean The GOAT–always appears in a different outfit; sometimes she wears “onesie” tights, like those supported by the 70’s glam bands until they got too fat for them, sometimes it’s just a cape. This was one of the cape sometimes.
“Hooray! Team GOAT has come to save the day!” Renfield called from the back of the room, her voice heavy with Scotch.
Pie-Eyed Peety the PDQ Pilsner Pigeon’s “transformation” to PDQ Peety takes less work. Since Peety is a two-dimensional Cartoon Pigeon, he rearranges some of the lines in his “drawing” into a Lone Ranger/Kato type of mask.
The GOAT and PDQ Peety turned to face the four idler FC’s seated in front of my desk.
“Greetings, billygits,” said The GOAT.
“What the hell is a billygit?” Lord Fishstyx, still the mouthpiece for the outfit, asked.
“It’s the role I have for your lazy asses,” I said. “I need eight billygits for an upcoming story and you guys have been elected.”
“Eight?” Lord Fishstyx, the only one of the four who could count beyond three, said. “It looks like you are shy four billygits!”
“Not anymore, sedentary landfish–” said the GOAT.
And with that PDQ Peety shook up the bottomless can of PDQ Pisner he carries no matter who he is, and sprayed the four FC’s. All four instantly found themselves seated beside a orange, winged billygit wearing a blue polo shirt, khaki pants and hemp slippers. The left slipper on the one seated beside Krook had already fallen off.
Peety then went from each of the original four and passed out “pledge pins.”
“‘Your Delta Tau Chi name is Weasel…Your Delta Tau Chi name is Mothball…Pinto…Dorfman,” Peety said, pausing in front of Lord Fishstyx, “I’ve given this a great deal of thought. From now on your Delta Tau Chi name is Flounder.’–Bluto, Animal House.”
I raised my hand to silence the four freshly renamed FC’s, who had begun to complain loudly. “I’ve got a deal for you guys. You either play a billygit and mentor your clone–or maybe I could get by with the four new orange guys only and let you all head on back to your massage parlors and public houses. To select the latter I will need each of you to make your mark on a release that prohibits you from bitching to the Union about me.”
“That’s blackmail!” said Fishstyx.
“”Mention extortion again and I’ll have your legs broken’–Mayor Carmine,” Said PDQ Peety.
Krook the Literary Turkey and Gordon Cormorant both quickly made their marks and left without looking back. Andy the Trade Rat had passed out earlier, so Renfield had his wife Flo come get him–and since he was indeed incomprehensibly Lazy Trade Rat we allowed Flo to make his mark for him. That left Fishstyx, who was still in a snit.
“You know, I could make it five billygits,” I said. He finally saw that his position was hopeless, made his mark and went away.
I didn’t see Team GOAT leave, for they are invisible, like the wind–or so they claim. I did see Renfield sneak out, but she would have told me that I gotta dig another hole in the desert by myself if I asked her to stay.
The four freshly born billygits, new FC’s created by devious means, guys we now call Weasel, Mothball, Pinto and Flounder, all gazed at me with hopeful, optimistic eyes.
“Boys,” I said. “I’m endowing you with Free Will.”
That, of course, took the hope and optimism out of their eyes.