When one lacks ready knowledge, there remains the exploration of negative space.
Inspired by an actual conversation held in (of course) San Francisco.
Mary Beth Brooker : the unauthorized anti-biography
There once was a girl who was born in the outer reaches of Tasmania, leaving the island to manage a wildlife refuge on the western coast of Australia at the age of fifteen. She became internationally famous for her work domesticating the duck-billed platypus as a childhood pet alternative to the traditional hamster or gerbil; as an adult she formed a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the barrier reef and had a new type of submarine named in her honor. This girl, however, was not Mary Beth Brooker.
On a stormy morning on the coast of the Isle of Jersey, a small infant was found washed upon the shore. She was in a small boat, barely ocean worthy, made of a battered Louis Vuitton traveling case, wrapped in a cashmere blanket, with a bottle of goat’s milk placed next to her. No one on the island was certain if she was the child of gypsies, fairies, or pirates, and no one knew if she would bring a blessing or a curse. The local priest recited a blessing over her; the postmaster’s wife brought the infant into their cottage to be raised with her other five children. At the age of ten, she left home as a stow-away on a fishing boat, seeking her forefathers, or, in light of that, adventures of an unknown type. That infant, however, was not Mary Beth Brooker.
Although many historians argue that the role of Benedict Arnold has been incorrectly interpreted by American patriots, their research has continued to be called “unnecessary, revisionist, socialist propaganda” by the Union of High School History Teachers, a group who favor the deification of George Washington and whose financial backers are known to include the Masons as well as the Mount Rushmore Society, the League of Women for a Sober Society, and the Antiquarian Genealogical Club of the Sons and Daughters of the Glorious Republic. Those who struggle against the efforts of the Union of High School History Teachers include the descendants of Benedict Arnold, a group whose eloquence, knowledge of central intelligence gathering, inside access to Hollywood, inherited wealth from years of gun-running to unstable countries, and insatiable curiosity has led them into many unnecessary tangles with the mainstream media and congressional representatives. Mary Beth Brooker is neither a descendant of Benedict Arnold nor a member of the Union of High School History Teachers, the Masons, the Mount Rushmore Society, the League of Women for a Sober Society, or the Antiquarian Genealogical Club of the Sons and Daughters of the Glorious Republic.
There are many other backgrounds which do not describe Mary Beth Brooker, including felon (civil or criminal); con artist; shaman; charlatan; lumberjack; sea captain; astronaut; flea-circus impresario; hobo; drug-runner; descendant of Marie Antoinette; Arctic explorer; car mechanic; dog sled racer; tug-boat operator, and NASCAR driver. She does, however, tell stories, of which the following is one.
The Village Baker's Wife
which has managed to completely and totally intimidate me
also, the Wikipedia entry on the circus, which has lovely illustrations
winter all too soon