Friday, April 10, 2020

Hear us, people of Portugal!

Hey hey my little homies! It’s H day and here’s my helpful, heady, higher-order, humanitarian hiking pal… The Healer. And she has heralded this little number for us to deal with, which sure sounds like an adverb but I’m fairly sure it is not:


Indeed it is a noun; an abnormality in mammals characterized by the presence of bonus fingers or toes above the usual count. Also known as polydactyly.

There is only one such human ever to come onto my radar and that’s the girl from John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids. This is easily my favourite Wyndham piece (which I haven’t read since high school) because it’s the most compelling type of plot I can imagine; one where the most vulnerable of heroes (children) are in essence pursued by an overwhelming force of evil and must struggle for their lives and well-being. It’s a story of great injustice and it tugged at my young heart of course.

Now the eleven-toed heroin eventually finds salvation. Sorry for the spoiler but that needed to be said in order to explore the lesser known sequel to the book: The Chrysalids 2: Jake the Cat, which is very factually based on a true story about a Canadian cat named Jake who is the most famous polydactyl cat in the world with a record-breaking 28 toes. Please note I’ve done the research and can verify Jake the Cat is real and indeed holds the world record for toes (distributed through all four paws by the way). Go ahead and look it up. He’s adorable by the way.

In Chrysalids Two this cat, whose extra-toed paws are so wide he can walk on the surface of water, leaves his home in Burnt Cove Newfoundland and strolls out across the Atlantic ocean. But as a sudden storm obscures his sight of the land he rushes in the wrong direction and is lost at sea.

He wanders for forty days and forty nights and meets some interesting creatures such as a whale named Jonah and a woman named Amelia who is just floating around in her damaged airplane, drinking absinthe and painting pictures of the clouds. He also meets a colony of teenage mutant zombie turtles who live on a floating island of plastic garbage and these scenes are particularly disturbing.

Eventually he arrives on the coast of Portugal in the town of Praia da Vagueira which is Portuguese for Fish on a fork. A local telephone repair woman spies Jake’s arrival and welcomes him and takes him to Father Pedro, telling the amazing story of the cat who walks on water. So Father Pedro asks Jake to walk across the village fountain and observing this miracle pronounces to the gathering crowd that this is Jesus returned in cat form. Quickly the entire village flocks to feline Jesus and worships him and congratulates themselves on being the chosen village in all the world and Jake has a great time. He’s eating the best tuna, drinking the best port and smoking the best cigarillos all day every day and submitting to selfies with all the villagers.

But when Archbishop Alfonso learns of this madness he declares the Vagueirians sinners for this false worship and declares Jake a terrible demon cat sent by Satan to deliver a lethal coronavirus to the doomed people of Portugal. A terrible civil war is fought for an afternoon which is swiftly ended when the Portuguese army riddles Praia da Vagueira with rockets. Jake and Father Pedro die in each others’ arms.

But the story does not end here. Redemption follows. The Canadian people having learned of this hideous tragedy demand action from their federal government. They demand retaliation.

Their leader, Justin Trudeau makes a speech which is heard by every man, woman, child, and cat in the country. The dogs were like, whatever…

Trudeau begged his people to remember that they “…are Canadians and as a proud Canadian it is your job to chill; to reap the lush rewards of lethal global first-world corruption so generously provided by the world’s great roster of slave countries and the lush material rewards of the terminally insane rape of the biosphere and to overlook the beguiling landscape of financial smoke and mirrors which transfers ninety per cent of our fabulous ill-gotten riches into the hands of my corporate sugar daddies and do not worry about the gathering storm or the fate of poor Jake. Jake will have eight more lives.”

But the people of Canada were angry because they didn’t understand a word he had said. He had said nothing about hockey or the weather or how polite we all are.

So the next day Trudeau was given a new speech to present in order to win back his favour. And he said, “Hear us, people of Portugal! We are Canadian and we will not have you molest our national cat hero, Jake the Many-Toed and expect us to take it sitting down! It is a dark dark day in the world, when a sweet and innocent feline freak can not take a moistly walk across the water to visit a NATO ally-”

But here he was interrupted as the nation fell apart in riotous laughter.

“Dude, did he just say moistly?”

“I think so! LMAO!”

“Who says moistly!”

“I don’t know Dude, but next hockey season better not be delayed or I’ll personally kill the fucker.”

“No doubt,”

And in the glee of this great comedy Jake was forgotten but his spirit lives on. And Trudeau, refusing to be rattled over the term moistly, hired the finest musicians in the land and he recorded the Moistly Song and he sang it with pride.

The end.

Now if this tale sounds far-fetched I assure you it is all true. And here’s the proof:


Dyanne @ I Want Backsies said...

In all fairness, no one wants others to speak moistly :D
We always say my son was born with 11 fingers. He had a skin tag on his left pinkie finger about the size of a le seur pea. The doctor tied it off before we left the hospital and it fell off at some point. My dad called me when he was born, and I said well, we have the biggest baby in the nursery and the one with the most fingers!

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Well at least extra digits are a great defense against crazy nurses switching babies' bracelets! That's what we call a non-transferable trademark.

Elizabeth Twist said...

Holy shit.

This is the best thing. Just, the best thing ever. RIP, Jake the Many-Toed, with your nounish medical condition that seems adverbian! All hail FWG! Non-moistly, we salute you!

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Wow! I can feel the love!