-Rick Weaver

        “Martha, now that you’ve taken the tour of the publishing house, you must decide what your favorite part was.”

        “Oh, I liked it all!”

        “No, Martha, that won’t do. You must decide.”

        “That’ll sure be hard.”

        “I know, Martha, but you must. We can retrace our steps through the tour if you think it’d would help you.”

        “Yea, that’d be great, Mother Mia. That’s a good idea.”

        “Okay, then, I’ll begin. First we met the Mannequin-“

        “No, no. You’re wrong. First we parked the car.”

        “Parked the car?”

        “Yeah. First we parked the car, then we got out of the car, then we went across the parking lot, then we went through the front du-“

        “Martha, you are correct. We did those things in that order. But we did those things BEFORE the tour begun. Let’s just stick with the tour of the publishing house, and skip the extraneous details.”

        “As you wish. You were saying…we met the Mannequin.”

        “And she showed us the Rolo Pages. They were all ripped out.”

        “What were ripped out?”

        “The pages of every book by the Desert Fathers that the publishing house could lay their hands on. They had them spread all out-“

        “Who had them spread all out?”

        “The editors of the Rolo Pages. And remember what they did next?”

        “I do. They chewed a lot of Rolos and legumes, and then took the mouth-mash out by the gobs and smushed it onto all those pages spread out. I thought to myself, ‘My, what lovely revisions!’ Then, right after that thought, I opened the pamphlet, and I read it to myself:


         on the renovated grounds

                      of the

                 Old Hat Hotel


          this and that happened

“is what it said, and more:


        once inside


        you will see:

                this and that





        . final bullet, the

                elaborate character studies

                        excerpts from characters’ biographies

                                into biographies of the characters


                                        leading into excerpts from the

biographies’ characters

by humble nurture

        “-and as I was reading it and watching men making messes onto the Desert Fathers’ pages, I thought to myself, ‘What makes the Mannequin tick?’”

        “‘Hat’ makes the Mannequin tick, Martha.”


        “Hat’s right, Martha. ‘Hat’ makes the Mannequin tick.”

        “I’m afraid I don’t follow.”

        “You’ve never heard the legend of ‘Hat’?”

        “No, I have not.”

        “‘Hat’ is now referred to as ‘Old Hat.’ As in, ‘Old Hat Hotel.’”

        “OK. Then I have heard the legend of ‘Hat.’”