When They’re Gone, They’re Gone

In reference to my story in which I talked about my father’s picture book about animal reproductive techniques, a book written by Mr. Robert A. Wallace, John Barnstead immediately fired back with the following response from Pernicious, his cat.

Pernicious the Musquodoboit Harbour Farm Cat notes that there *was* a time when he could also have felt an affinity with Mr. Wallace, but alas! that was *before* he went to a pinochle game with T. S. Eliot… “Mr. Eliot had conceived a fondness for J. R. R. Tolkien (under the influence of a *very* good review given the Lord of the Rings by W. H. Auden) and had become something of a collector of all the various clandestinely-manufactured children’s merchandise that Tolkien fought against so avidly during his lifetime. He had everything: little Hobbit Chinese checker sets, a Galadriel’s mirror made out of pink plastic with its own ‘My Little Pony’ ™ for Samwise… chewing gum… even playing cards… Purr-haps if the franchising that is so ubiquitous nowadays had been practiced more widely back then, my tragic loss could have been avoided… but when we settled down to play, I said ‘give me an orc kid deck, Tommy’ — and he *misconstrued* me…”

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