“He wouldn’t be here were he not an…aspiring artist of some sort,” his partner supportively suggests from the smokey shadows of the balcony.
“Go on then! Out with it,” the first commands impatiently.
Deep breath. I stride confidently from behind the heavy velvet curtain and take my position at center stage. Looking about, I take in the immense dark room with innumerable obscured observers. The stage is black, ringed by lights. Only the deep blush of the curtains betray the scene to have color. I actively suppress my racing heart.
“Your exposition is exhausting, fool! Get on with it!” jeers the first. The murmur of the crowd draws down to silence.
Taking a moment to center myself, cracking my knuckles and splaying my hands out widely at my sides.
— I start with a bow —-
“Fool?” I ask, gesturing broadly to the unseen audience, ending at the balcony with a wink. “By which homonym do you entreat? The rube, the nitwit, the jerk, the stooge, the clown or dimwit or dope?”
A palpable pique of interest could clearly be perceived.
“Or did you mean to accuse? To surmise that I am here to juke, jive, spoof, hoodwink, bamboozle or dupe?”
“I’m not here to quibble, nor to bore you with drivel, or babble or gibberish or jabber. I would settle for PoppyCock, perhaps even Balderdash, but the naming system (they were taken) has left me stranded.”
“Required to choose something unique, and not so oblique, I’ve determined to put on a show.
Not betraying a promise of sense, I pay recompense and introduce myself humbly as, Mumbo Jumbo.”
— I finish with a bow —