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The Ups and Downs of Skeeter Kitefly
Skeeter Kitefly's Sugardaddy Confessor
"That there is Miss Skeeter … Best of the lot, too,
if anybody should want to ask me."
—John D. MacDonald, YOU LIVE ONCE
In a special category by themselves are the COMPACT. One such character—known successively as Scintilla (Toots) Sweet, Scarlatina Scargill, Griselda Whistlebait, and eventually as Sally Whistletoe—appeared in 1974 in my first extended all-out attempt at writing a novel (known successively as You're Up Against the Wizard, The Extravagant Notion, Hoosegow High School, and eventually as a trilogy of Bander's Natch Books).
Even in her earliest embodiment, Sally Whistletoe was described as a "short, brash brunette. Highly colored face. Compact and powerful." Not to be entirely complimentary, one synopsis added that she was
Amends for this would be made before long. While studying the history of Hollywood, I became a great admirer of Clara Bow but was downcast to learn that hers was yet another case of onscreen ebullience masking a cruel childhood, studio exploitation, misery and madness, et cetera and so forth. Having already identified Sally Whistletoe with the effervescent picture-show Bow, I resolved that nothing was going to vanquish my It Girl; that sheer irrepressible BOUNCE, for once, would ride high and sweep all before it.
Not too coincidentally, Sally soon developed an abundance of bosom. She also transformed the end of The Bander's Natch Books from a danse macabre of triumphant vampires to a demonstration of good old full-breasted amor vincit omnia.
Many years later it was a profound satisfaction to engineer a vis-à-vis encounter between two compact cutiepies in "Projectile":
Another compact character, this one named Beckie, appeared in The Elohssa Decaftihs Shining Show, a musical combo-parody I wrote in 1980. Beckie was the disgruntled but oh-so-cute girlfriend of Jim/Mij, the retrograde Elohssa Decaftihs of the title who started off wimpish—
—and turned out, after a sojourn at an abandoned motel, to be a bikin', surfin', mass-murderin' acidhead. Along the way, I transformed Rocky Horror's "Science Fiction Double Feature" into "The Mixed-Up Merry Prankster":
And "The Time Warp" into "The Bass-Ackwards":
Shorn of most of this song and dance, "ELOHSSA
DECAFTIHS" would ultimately evolve into Chapter 15 of The Ups and
Downs of Skeeter Kitefly.
Proceed to Episode 2 of Compactification
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