Published October 29, 2010 More Info »
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Published October 29, 2010

On July 14th of 1948, Madeline Dunderline boarded a forty-six foot long fishing vessel by the name of "Sick Bay" that was temporarily moored in a town just outside of Gloucester, Massachusetts. She packed a single medium-sized leather suitcase containing three green blouses, two long brown wool skirts, one tattered letter in a bottle, and one single bullet from a civil war era pistol.

She was simple, which explains the basic wardrobe. And she was refined. The style of her skirt started with a waistline well above her navel, and continued down to the slim laces on her shiny brown shoes like a crack on an iceberg, naturally sharp and intentional. Madeline was tall and slender with just enough bends and surprises in her figure to make a man look twice and uncontrollably whistle with the second glance. At least that's how Madeline usually looks...

Madeline was traveling to Shantytown, New Zealand carrying not only her leather suitcase but a thirteen pound roast in her belly that had been slow-cooking for nine months. That thirteen pound roast was named Keith P. Dunderline, middle-named appropriately after his father Plunder.

Plunder Dunderline was a drunk and a rapist. Well, a recovering rapist. Well, a recovering produce rapist. Plunder had a vile sexual fascination for raw organic vegetables that psychologists have yet to classify or explain. Mental professionals still call it Plundernitus, regardless of the fact that not a single other occurrence of Plundernitus has ever been reported. Without overindulging, Plunder claimed to be overwhelmed with the excitement involved when scurrying off into the woods and having his way with a squash or melon of some kind. Regardless of the situation wreaking of pure insanity, no legal implications ever took place as a result of Plunder's actions. He was also short, chubby, and bald.

Madeline met Plunder when he was overseas in Boston, Massachusetts studying to be a vacuum repairman. While living in New Zealand, Plunder heard about the great fortune to be made as a vacuum repairman from his uncle Mr. Uncle (his uncle's last name was Uncle, and he always made his nieces and nephews refer to him as Mr.). Plunder since dreamed about moving to America to become rich beyond his wildest dreams. Disgustingly enough, they met at a small produce market in Boston when a squash that Madeline was clumsily carrying in her arms during a routine grocery visit, dropped to the pavement and just at the tip of Plunder's toes, who was also gazing at a wide selection of produce that afternoon.

Breathless and startled by the scene, he stared down at the cracked squash in blank dismay. Although she was beautiful and captivating with every move that she made and word that she spoke, Madeline was oddly intrigued by this little fat man. It never even crossed her mind that while on her knees picking up the cracked squash, she was still looking down at him. This was a very short, chubby, and bald man.

It doesn't make a lick of sense, but Madeline offered to buy Plunder a drink as an apologetic gesture for very obviously startling him at the produce market. Plunder would have taken a healthy squash over the heavenly-scented and supple Madeline that afternoon, but he never passed up the opportunity for someone else to pay for his favorite drink, a milk n'whiskey. After six milk n'whiskeys, and two glasses of port, they found themselves laying horizontal on a stack of empty potato sacks behind the tavern. Madeline could not have been anymore still and calm. Plunder, however, was off-balanced and aggressively disoriented as though he was being attacked by the motionless Madeline. Oddly enough, it was just the way she had dreamed she would fall in love.

Madeline woke up on her back later on that night with an empty beer bottle balancing on her forehead, only the bottle wasn't empty. There was a letter inside.

"Dear woman,

    Remember how I told you about me coming to America to study vacuum repairsmanship? Well I did, last night when we were on the potato sacks, I told you about that. Anyway, it was not a good idea. Not the part about me telling you about how I came to America to study vacuum repairmanship, but the part about me actually coming to America to study vacuum repairmanship. I have come to find that there is no such school. So, I have decided to go back home to New Zealand.
   You seem nice, and I would consider doing this again, but I don't remember where New Zealand is, and I need to figure that out or I am screwed.
    I left you a gun that I found a while ago because that alleyway is not safe and there is a good chance that you will run into some trouble after the tavern closes. There is one bullet in the chamber, so be selective.

Your life's first blunder, truly yours,

Madeline was heartbroken. She went back to work, she went back to living, but living wasn't right without Plunder. She even legally changed her last name to Dunderline and referred to Plunder as her "husband lost at sea". Her undying love for him and that whimsical night never died. It only grew stronger.

Almost nine months later, Madeline realized how valuable the pistol was that Plunder had left her that night and sold it for for two-thousand dollars. The money was enough for her to pay for a ticket on a deep sea fishing boat that was headed straight for New Zealand. Although she knew that her baby was moments away from being born, she wanted to find Plunder, have their baby in New Zealand, and start a new life together. The life that she had always dreamed of.

Roughly twelve hours later the ship hit rough seas. Inside of the cockpit, Madeline went into a viscous labor that was complicated by baby Keith's feet-first alignment and his unusually long fingernails. Moments after an enormous swell hit the side of the boat, he was ejected from the womb and through a cockpit window, severing his umbilical cord. He landed in an empty wooden barrel that the fisherman used for discarded fish guts, and even their own feces if the septic tank ran too full in between port stops, which then rolled... with baby Keith inside... slowly off of the edge of the boat, and into the sea.

Keith never saw his mother again. But a mysterious floating bottle snagged to a piece of netting that wrapped the outside of Keith's wooden barrel...

Until next time: His father was a man of little-to-no shame, but now you know what the "P" stands for in the middle of his name.