Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Stan Diffle’s New Home

Stan Diffle climbed down from his perch atop the Johnson home at the insistence of Officer Paul Maddock, enforcer of certain laws and an imaginary friend to his wife Laura Maddock on the weekends. Mr. Diffle had been up there for nine days when Mrs. Johnson, author of three children and one book on the unsustainable habits of toddlers, first noticed him. She’d been out in her front yard, throwing telephone books at birds, when the bright yellow of Diffle’s umbrella caught her eye. Mistaking him for a bird, she aimed a telephone book at him, but came several feet short of hitting him.

Stan Diffle had, of course, noticed Mrs. Johnson earlier. Two weeks earlier, actually, and she was the reason he’d chosen that particular roof to perch upon. He’d spotted her at the local library, where she’d been checking out a copy (the library’s only copy) of her own book. He had just stepped out of the bathroom, and actually that had been his sole reason for stopping in. Stan was on a walking tour of the nation, looking for a new home after his previous residence had been torn down to make way for a giant pet store, and discovered libraries a nice source of restrooms. One look at Mrs. Johnson told him he’d found what he’d been looking for. For in that moment when he emerged from the bathroom, Mrs. Johnson was bent over, putting the book into her cloth bag, giving him a phenomenal view of her hat, which attracted him greatly.

Mrs. Johnson, when she finally realized Stan Diffle was not a bird, did not find anything attractive about him. As a bird, she found him a nuisance. As a man, she thought him ridiculous bordering on absurd, and Mrs. Johnson was no longer a woman who cared for the absurd. She’d given that up only the week before during an argument with a solicitor on the phone. She soon saw that no phone book was going to remove Stan Diffle from the roof, and not wanting to raise her voice, as she’d give up shouting at the same time she gave up absurdity, she called the authorities, whom she knew to be quite fond of shouting.

Within days of getting the call, Officer Paul Maddock arrived at the scene, bull horn in hand. Stan Diffle was at first reluctant to comply with Officer Maddock's request to come down from the roof, having become very comfortable there, and having grown more attracted to Mrs. Johnson’s hat. Stan was not a tall man, and was certain he’d be unable to see the full glory of her hat from a position on the ground, unless of course she bent down again to put something in her bag.

But the moment Stan reached the ground, the birds took advantage of the distraction to attack Mrs. Johnson, hurling back those dozens of phone books. Officer Maddock couldn’t swear whether it was the shock of the attack or the weight of the books that killed her, but he was fairly certain that she was dead. And Stan Diffle was able to get a much better look at the hat, for when she was knocked down, it landed at his feet.

On second thought, he decided, it wasn’t such a nice hat after all.

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