Someone once told Milo Rubberneck that if he kept making faces, his face would freeze like that…and it did. Milo went through life with his features twisted in a bizarre expression: eyes squinting, nose scrunched like a pig’s snout, lips peeled back from his teeth, tongue sticking out. It was the very same expression he’d used to tease his little brother, only now it wasn’t so funny. Not to Milo, anyway.
Some folks thought his face looked scary, others thought he looked hilarious, others pathetic. No one, but no one, thought for a second he looked cool. Needless to say, Milo couldn’t hold a job or get a girlfriend or even go to the grocery store in peace. He could barely stand to look at himself in a mirror, for that matter.
And things went from bad to worse. Once, when he cussed somebody out, his voice froze that way, so the only thing he could say from then on was the same stream of cuss words. This, on top of his crazy expression, helped keep everyone steering well clear of him.
Then, when he let out a huge blow of gas one day, his digestive system froze like that. From that day forward, Milo constantly emitted a cloud of noxious fumes. When anyone came within ten feet of him, they didn’t stay there for long. Whenever he got into a swimming pool, the water bubbled so much around him, it looked and sounded like it had come to a boil…though it smelled oh so much worse than plain old boiling water.
Milo really bottomed out when he made obscene gestures with his fingers, and they stuck that way. Never again would he be able to bend his middle fingers. Never again would he be able to walk or drive past anyone without totally torqueing them off and taking some kind of pounding, be it verbal or physical. Combined with the crazy expression, the constant cussing, and the neverending stream of gas, he was begging for continual beatings, and he got them. And no matter how hard he tried to cover his face and hands and stopper every cuss and gas releasing orifice, he could never keep himself under cover for long.
So this was how Milo lived out his brief and violent life, though in truth he had the soul of a poet. His brilliant mind, locked away in that out of control shell of a body, spun the most elegant and tragic soliloquies you can imagine. He always imagined that perhaps, if he managed to write or speak them aloud, his voice would freeze that way. His cusses and obscene gestures would refreeze into eloquent beauty, his awkwardness would freeze into grace.
But it never happened. The poems never made it past the obscenity. The passionate intensity never made it past the farts. Though one day, the bar finally dropped so low in the world around him that his foul-mouthed grotesquerie became like unto the finest verse. Which is how Milo Rubberheart came to outshine every great literary giant since humanity first laid words together in lines. That is why, today, we pay such tribute to this remarkable man of letters.