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Chapter Fifty: Doris Myelin.

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When Doris Myelin, who was otherwise known as Binky, was born to Donker Block and Fruit Bat Tarcathian in the wee hours of the night one frigid July morning, as the anchovy trees were blooming their pungent fruit and the great composer Mundeka was pressing the first note to his last symphonic composition, the Death of Delilah suite. Fruit Bat had had a long and arduous labor, and she was not feeling in a particularly good mood. Donker, who had never liked Fruit Bat all that much, was really wishing that he could go catch the final minutes of the Nearest Seaprot West vs. Lovely Valley Southeast football game on the radio, but he knew that if he left the room before the child was done being born, if he left Fruit Bat alone before her labor had been fully completed and the screaming, soggy, red-faced little baby was in her arms, then he would never, ever hear the end of it, and that was really not the sort of thing that he wanted or needed right now, to have more nagging from the lousy old bat Fruit Bat. So he stayed therer, glancing out the window repeatedly as if the act of looking outside might magically transport him to the outside, and then he would be able to run away to the castle or one of his friends' houses and then he could watch the end of the football game, and see if the Protoceratopses beat the Tobacco Mosaic Viruses, which he really hoped that they would - they were supposed to, right? - but then again, the critics were saying that the game was going to be a close one, a real good one, and here he was missing it just because his first and only child was about to be brought into the world...

"Donker!" shrieked Fruit Bat. "Quit looking out of the window! I'm in a lot of pain here! Pay attention!"

The king looked mournfully back at her, thinking about how he had not touched a single drop of alcohol since that fateful day when he, under the influence of its horrible after-effects, had so stupidly agreed to marry such an awful, awful woman, and dreaming about sitting next to a radio with all of his pals listening to the football game - which was probably over by now anyhow, and here he had gone and missed the whole thing, no thanks to stupid old Fruit Bat his wife - and then suddenly there was a screaming, crying, red-faced little baby in her arms and she was saying, "Come and look at your son, Donker!"

He did. The child was fat and hideous.

"What are your going to name him, Your Majesty?" asked the midwife.

"Ummm. Binky," said the king.

"No way!" cried Fruit Bat. "We can't name him Binky! Binky is a stupid name! We will name him Doris after my uncle."

"What?" said the king. "Are you nuts? You don't even have an uncle!"

"So what?" snapped Fruit Bat. "I just spent eighteen hours giving birth to this damn kid, and I get to choose what its freaking name is going to be, got it, Donker?!"

"Yeah, yeah," he muttered. "Whatever. Doris. Doris Binky Block."

"No," replied Fruit Bat, "Doris Myelin. After my other uncle."

"Whatever. Doris Myelin Block."

Fruit Bat rolled her eyes.

And so it was that Doris Myelin, also to be known as Binky, first received his name in the midst of his parents' usual marital strife, and it can likely be inferred that this clime of negativity and unhappiness had a certain and definite effect upon the boy. It is also true that as he grew, it became clear that he had the astounding intelligence quotient of a retarded sherpa, which is to say a low one.

Young Binky's favorite activity was a game that he called 'The Chicken Game'. He would sit in the middle of the floor of his nursery with a host of wooden toy dogs and wooden toy horses and wooden toy people and a little wooden toy carriage, and then he would pick up as many of the toys in his two pudgy little six-fingered hands and throw all of the toys into the air, shrieking in glee as the toys clattered to the floor about him - sometimes on him - and often breaking in the process - and then he would scream something unintelligible and do it all over again. He went through a lot of toys this way.

"Why is it called the Chicken Game, Binky?" the nurse would ask. And then young Binky would giggle and shout, "Chicken Game! Chicken Game!" and roll around on the floor cackling maniacally before throwing something - a toy, a priceless porcelain teacup, a valuable piece of furniture, the nurse - across the room. As you can see, he was a highly articulate boy. The saddest part of all of this was that the Chicken Game was the boy's favorite game from about age two until he hit, oh, death. At a very old age. At a point long after this story will have concluded. So you can imagine how helpful it was when Binky was a young man, and the royal bureau chiefs would be trying to talk to him about affairs of state, and he would be, instead of listening to them, sitting on the floor of his old nursery with mounds of toys and things in his hands and throwing them at the ceiling screaming, "Chicken Game! Chicken Game!" like, well, a two-year-old boy. This would be one of the main reasons why Binky, also known as Doris Myelin, was considered to be such an incredibly bad king.

There were other reasons. His compulsion about bologna and mustard sandwiches was one of them. His need to have the royal hedge mazes constantly re-mulched was another. His obsessive worship of a mangy old turkey named (by him) Jim James Jack Billy Betty Boop the Twenty-Third, Esquire, or else, affectionately, known as Snookums, was a third.

Actually, there's an interesting story there, behind the whole turkey thing. But unfortunately I haven't the time to tell it to you here, because, you see, we are fast approaching to conclusion - the long awaited, much anticipated finale of this remarkable tale, which I know that you have been dearly hoping for during the most of your reading thereof. Yeah, don't pretend that you haven't been begging for it to end - oh, please, PLEASE let it end! - but now that it's finally here I bet you're actually sad about it, aren't you? Ha, I knew it. Well, here you go, friend, the time has come, the walrus said, to speak of many things: of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax; of cabbages and kings; and why the sea is boiling hot; and whether pigs have wings.
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