Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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It is a creature of irregular habits. It will slumber for weeks or months – sometimes many months – between appearances. Then suddenly, there it will be in our midst, causing clamor and destruction, until it abruptly vanishes, perhaps slinking back to its dark lair. This, I can promise you, is the only known photograph of the creature:

Though its lips are parted and its teeth are bared, it has never been heard to vocally communicate, so it has never declared a name for itself. A long time ago, CC dubbed it “The Poople People Eater,” and the name has stuck. You read that right – “poople.”

There is an ancient tradition of “tough guys” adorning their bodies with tattoos, and the PPE is no exception – notice the “China” tattoo running up his right wrist onto his palm. Given the PPE’s disinclination toward conversation, we are left to impotently speculate as to the meaning of that word. A glance at the color wheel makes it plain that the PPE’s skin color could not be farther from the skin color traditionally associated with China, so it seems unlikely that this is a reference to its ancestry. Is it perhaps the name of an old girlfriend? PPE’s lack of any other apparent sentimentality seems to make that theory a long shot at best, so we are left feeling mocked. That tattoo, combined with the unblinking red-eyed stare and, oh yes, the purple skin, make for a truly frightening visage indeed. In fact, the only reason his sudden appearance has not caused us to run out screaming into the black night is the fact that he stands all of about one inch in height, even counting the outstretched arms.

OK, it’s like this – the PPE is the single greatest cat toy I have ever seen. It is made of rubber and fits nicely over one’s fingertip. Perhaps it was once part of a set of ten; I really don’t know. Cats come and cats go, but whenever they discover the PPE, the chase is on. I spoke earlier of “clamor and destruction.” It is, of course, the cats who are responsible for this, batting the PPE this way and that; gnawing on this apparently indestructible object; dashing with reckless abandon in their pursuit of the creature.

If you have cats, you know what comes next. The cat inevitably bats the PPE into a place where it cannot be reached. It may be under a rug or a sofa or into a closet, but once this occurs, the cacophony suddenly vanishes, and the cat is forced to return to more mundane sources of amusement. And there reposes the PPE until it is accidentally uncovered while we humans are moving furniture or some such activity, and the cycle of mayhem begins anew.

But occasionally, the PPE simply appears. We have not been cleaning the apartment, or moving things; but there it will suddenly be in the middle of the dining room floor, seeming to mock us yet again with its gleeful, demonic grin. It is at those moments that I hearken back to the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien, to those passages in which Gandalf talks about the One Ring of Power; how It wants to be found, to be reunited with the Evil One. On those days, when the power of the PPE is at its greatest, you will not find me idly slipping it onto my finger, lest the unsleeping Red Eye be given a window into my soul.

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