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the Goliard

July, 2003


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The Swede Uncovered

In the latest of a particularly frustrating run of events involving Goliard contributors and characters, the Swede has now up and gone missing. As a result, she has subsequently been dismissed from the Goliard staff and is thereby free to return to from whence she came. Despite being a seemingly harmless addition initially, her disappearance has left the newsroom in disarray and, as it turns out, with hormones roiling around like a tsunami sloshing in the Gulf of Bothnia. The odd thing about her from the outset was that nobody was ever quite clear what she hoped to accomplish while she was here. Why would she have bothered gracing us with her presence for such a short time only to run off in the end with bonds unformed and friends unmade? What was it about her that was so universally appealing and why was she so hard to get to know? Where did she have to disappear to which was so much more interesting than where she'd been? We finally dispatched the Snapper to conduct extensive interviews on the matter, grilling any staff members that were suspected of interactions with her hoping to get to the bottom of what exactly she was about. The Snapper, in his usual style, got more. A whole lot more. What follows are his notes and writings from his investigation, unedited and presented here like so much of the Goliard, as a work in progress. He is considering putting some effort into a longer work on the matter as soon as he can sort it all out.

Snapper - Did you know the Swede?

Proofreader - Did I know the Swede? I wish I could say I actually knew someone like that. That was one beautiful lady let me tell you. Elegant I guess is what you'd call her. Always smelled good too. She'd always smile at me when she walked by my desk, you know sort of sideways and sly like but you couldn't really say I got to know her at all. I was planning to strike up a conversation with her one of these days but I'd get so nervous when I thought about it that I.... Now what does this fashion hussy want?

Snapper - How about you? Did you know the Swede?

Fashion Editor - What are you boys talking about over here? The Swede you say? Know her? Not as well as I would have liked honey. I always planned to get to know her but, to be quite honest with you, it didn't seem like she cared much for us regular folk. Always sort of swished in and did her own thing and never paid the rest of us any never mind. Or maybe she was just, you know, trying to seem exotic by being quirky and aloof. She just seemed sort of stuck on herself if you…

Proofreader - Hey, she was a nice girl, nice to me at least. She wasn't nearly as self important as some of the people around....

Fashion Editor - Oh come on now. I think you just might have been imagining things there big fella. She was just being snooty and feeling sort of sorry for ya is my guess. I suppose the act may have been effective on some level but she just seemed sort of prissy in a pedestrian sort of way if you ask me. When you watched her from a distance at least, you know? Always eating weird things and being all finicky and fussy like some starlet. As I said, I didn't get to know her in the least but I guess I have to admit she was actually pretty pleasant the few times I got to talk with her. I remember being excited when we were first introduced because I pictured us developing a close relationship given the fact that we probably socialize with some of the same crowds but our relationship just never really got off the ground. I never saw her out on the scene anywhere that's for sure which is sort of weird considering she's supposed to be a princess and all that. And she definitely didn't seem like she felt like gabbing when she was here in the offices, you know too busy for chit chat with us girls, always talking on the phone and sort of wrinkling her nose at her immediate surroundings. I guess I won't miss her all that much except to make fun of some of her outfits. I mean that girl might as well have been wearing a burlap sack on most days and then all of a sudden she'd come in all gussied up and breasty. Her bubka's must have expanded a full cup size while she was here. Am I the only one that noticed? I wonder what gives with all the must increase the bust stuff. I wish I could have asked her for some secrets. Anyhoo, I'll tell you what though, you might hustle your bustle over and talk to that errand boy sitting over there. My instincts tell me that he might have gotten on with the princess pretty damn well. Look at him over there blushing. Yeah, ask him about her and I'll bet you'll learn a thing or two. And share the dirt when you get it honey. Don't be shy.

Snapper - Did you know the Swede?

Errand Boy - No! I did not (turning beet red and tucking his mullet under his hat)! I have not been with her. Why? Did that little prick Johnson tell you I was? That fucker. I told him to keep his yapper closed. OK, well I didn't do nothing wrong. It was her idea anyway. It was no big deal really. And now they say she's gone anyway so the Hell with her. All it was was that she used to come, like, pick me up from high school after I got out of auto shop fifth period. At first she was supposed to be giving me a ride to work but then she suggested that she take me over to this place where she was house sitting. It was just supposed to be to go swimming at first, you know to cool off after school. It sounded good to me, a cool dip in the pool before coming down here to beat the boards running around town for you dick heads. Anyway she'd take me to this house with a pool and then all of a sudden she would be trying to give me massages and have me do stuff to her, you know just playing around. Experimenting was what she called it. Well once all this experimenting stuff was done for the day she'd always hustle me back to the car and dump me off here at work. Even though we were coming to the same place though she wouldn't walk in the door with me but instead make an excuse to go driving off to somewhere. Then she'd show up later at which point she would ignore me completely. It got sort of irritating because we would never go out anywhere else together, like she was ashamed to be seen with me or something but hey I guess I shouldn't really complain. A lot of guys my age would kill to have some princess or whatever she is come and pick their scrawny asses up after school. I'm sorry to hear that she's gone actually. I wasn't going to put an end to it that's for sure. It was sort of cool being with her because she likes to think she's all large and in charge all the time and so much more smart and sophisticated or whatever but she's really not all that different from the high school girls I see every day. I didn't have the heart to tell her this but you know I would have let her keep prissing and prancing around and supposedly teaching me things as long as she wanted. What else have I got to do? I'll let you in on another little secret too while I'm at it, that accent she had was totally fake. When she was in the throes of passion or whatever they call it, she sounded just like the girls from around here. All that bork bork crap went right out the window. I'll tell you something else too, you might ask the photographer that was assigned to her what info he might have squeezed out of her. He actually seemed much more interested in her, you know, mentally, than I ever was. He's a smart dude. That's probably why she didn't go for him. Likes em dumb like me I guess.

Snapper - Did you know the Swede?

Photographer - What? Has everybody heard about this now? Did I take an ad out in the goddamn weekly or something. It's no big deal anyways. I just misread some signs that's all. I thought I was getting the green light. I mean everybody was telling me that she wanted some action and all I did was sort of follow up. Is that so wrong? I mean I've dated a lot of women around here as I'm sure you're aware and I can usually tell when the base coaches are waving me in but I must have got my signals you know like crossed up or something. It's funny because most girls like her usually dig guys like me right off the bat, you know, from the get go. I mean it's not like I have trouble finding Bettys to chill with at all and she's not exactly rock goddess fine or anything but I figured what the Hell she's right there in front of me so I might as well go for it. Apparently though, now that I've been doing a little research, I'm starting to suspect that she's one of those society women that only runs around with these weak, nerdy men with no confidence so she can boss them around. Who would have thunk it from looking at her but that's what one of the editors told me and I even thought I saw her lurking around in this alley with some kid once but I figured I must be mistaken. Not so sure now. Anyway, I guess it's understandable that she wouldn't want to hang out with a legitimate player like me. No biggie for this biggie though. I ain't losin any sleep over it that's for sure. If she wants to go off ridin tricycles with the little kids while Kawasaki is here letting the good times roll then that's her loss. I tell you though, you might talk to that fiction guy about her. I saw her leave something on his chair the other day so something must be going down.

Snapper - How well did you know the Swede?

Fiction editor - Well that depends on how you want to define the words "know" and "well" I suppose. I mean, I've never actually had a conversation with her if that's what you're after. I don't even know her real name or anything like that but I guess I can tell you, given the fact that she's, you know, like gone, that I did manage to spend some quality time in her presence recently. It will seem kind of bizarre I'm sure since she never even gave me the time of day here in the offices. But I guess if you think about it, that's sort of why I don't mind spinning you this tale. I don't owe her anything that's for sure. I'll always remember her though. She was one unique chick, I'll say that for her.

Snapper - We've gathered that much. So let's hear it.

Fiction editor - Well, the story goes like this. I was walking home from the corner market one night. I had stepped out to stretch my legs and get some beer and ended up buying one of those two liter Sapporos, you know the ones that come in those mini kegs? I've found that it's about the right amount of beer to cap off a night of writing and I was on my way back to my studio to swallow down some of the brew and finish up the night by editing some of those infernal movie reviews you guys are always dumping on me. You know, the ones written on napkins, coasters and Big Chief tablets. Those get irritating by the way. Anyway, I was walking along when I noticed the Swede go jogging past me on the dark side of the street. I don't think she saw me but, as it happened, she slowed down to a walk right after she passed by and, just as I was thinking about calling out to her to say hello, she suddenly turned and disappeared through the door of this little bungalow. Well, I'm not sure what came over me but sort of spur of the moment like I thought to myself, especially when I saw her little running outfit, that I might like to get to know her a little better. So, I went across the street and knocked on the door you know to maybe see if she'd like to enjoy a glass of beer and chat about the day with me after her run. Well she didn't answer the door and I put my ear up to it and thought I could hear water running inside so I knocked again a little harder and the strength of my rapping must have forced the door to suddenly drift open with the help of the fluffing breeze. It was dark inside and nobody came into view as the door swung wide and I could tell now that the water sound was more than likely coming from a shower. I sort of just stood there for a minute thinking maybe something would happen and I didn't want to just leave the door open like that right on the street with her in the bathroom and all so I didn't know quite what to do. Then, for reasons that continue to escape me as I've hashed over the whole incident in the days since, I went in. That's right, I entered the dwelling, uninvited and closed the door gently so it wouldn't blow shut suddenly and scare everybody. Then I took a seat on the couch. I began feeling completely uncomfortable immediately of course, being fully aware that it wouldn't look good to anybody if she came out and found me sitting there in the dark without being invited and I had just decided to slip back out the way I came in when the water suddenly shut off. I froze, kind of in a half crouch with my little keg under my arm and listened as a shower door opened and closed. Steam began wafting out into the hall and I could hear faint sounds of evening ablution. I remained squatting perfectly still in the dark, focused intently on the bathroom door until I saw that it was slowly opening. I winced at the thought of discovery and put my hands over my eyes and shut them tightly half expecting screams and castigation to ensue but instead there was only silence. It seemed like she was standing there by the bathroom door for a moment but when I finally had the nerve to peek through my fingers, I could barely make out her naked figure passing down the darkened hall through the dissipating mist. Holding my breath, I collapsed back into the couch, safe for the time being and hoping that she would perhaps just go to bed and allow me to make my get away once she fell asleep. I was attempting to remain perfectly still but realized that, from my spot on the edge of the couch, if I leaned over a little, I could just see down the hall and into the bedroom. My heart fell initially when I realized that she had turned on a reading light. As I continued to peak around the corner however, I also couldn't help but notice that she was naked, lying on top of the comforter and that she had begun to read something that looked by the cover to be a women's health magazine. I thought seriously at that point about just making a break for it, you know just dashing out the door figuring that she probably wouldn't jump up and chase me down the street in the buff. I also realized however that an episode like that would probably scare her and why not just stick it out and see if I couldn't get out of the situation in a surreptitious way with both of us unscathed. I knew she couldn't see me in the dark living room and if I could just remain still until she fell asleep, I could then creep quietly out with nobody the wiser. I'd even lock her door for her so some psycho wouldn't just walk in off the street and maybe, you know, like bother her or something. But I didn't do that and instead adjusted myself on the sofa so I could watch her and maybe still make a dash if she came out for a glass of water or something. After awhile, I couldn't help but notice that whatever she was reading seemed to be making her sort of wiggle and writhe around a bit as if she had ants in her bed and was experiencing formication. I..... You look puzzled. Form-ication I said. Look it up. It's a good word. Anyway, pretty soon she began running her free hand slowly over her body as she read, taking it off only to turn the pages. This went on for some time and was not without it's effect on me I can tell you. Then, all of a sudden, she rolled on her side and the lights went out. I thought at first that maybe she had heard me rustling around trying to get comfortable and I froze as I heard the magazine drop to the floor. Squinting into the dark, half expecting her to come walking my way, I could eventually barely make out her form now in the gloam of the streetlights filtering through the blinds and as my eyes slowly adjusted I could see that she was on her back again and continuing to caress her body now more vigorously. Soon guttural, all but inaudible, sort of cooing noises began floating down the hall. Now, at this point, I should have just left, obviously I'm aware of that, but to be honest with you I didn't think I'd be able to walk upright in the state of arousal I'd reached since I'd been watching her. So instead, and I don't really know what possessed me here, believe me, I sort of eased down on my hands and knees and slowly crawled towards her bedroom door. Before I realized what I was doing, I found myself sort of floating towards her along the floor as if in a dream until I was kneeling at the foot of her bed. Watching her, it seemed like she was looking right at me but I couldn't tell if she actually had seen me or not since I couldn't see her eyes but, for some reason, I ever so gently reached out, took hold of one of her feet and slowly guided the big toe into my mouth. I felt her freeze momentarily of course but as I clung to her ankle, sucking the digit in my entranced state, I could feel her slowly relax. Soon, she began to undulate her hips again very subtly but with a renewed bridled energy. It seemed to me that her feet tasted faintly of peppermint and strawberries as I slowly moved from her big toe on to each littler toe and then off to the other foot to repeat the process. And although her movements had slowed almost to a stop at this point, they had also begun to intensify somehow. She took her hands away from herself and put them out at her sides, palms down on the bed and began tightening and releasing her stomach muscles to an unheard rhythm. I slowly relinquished her toes and began to nibble my way up her legs concentrating first on the instep of her foot, then her ankle bones, then along the inside of her calf to the backs of her open knees. As I got closer to………

Snapper - Ok, Ok, hold it a second. I'm not sure this is the kind of thing our readers expect to hear in such detail. Maybe let's just cut to the quick.

Fiction Editor - Um, well that's where I was heading actually. Both literally and narratively.

Snapper - Well ok then. We get the point. So budda bing budda bang and happily ever after. Hey but I thought you said you never talked to her.

Fiction Editor - That's absolutely correct. I never did. And it wasn't exactly budda bang as you so eloquently put it. After some definite budda binging but before any actual bang, a strange thing happened. She sort of shuddered and sighed deeply all of a sudden, slowly wrapped her arms around herself, and turned on her side where she seemed to fall into a deep and fast sleep. It was as if she might have been experiencing the encounter as if it was all a dream. Like she didn't even actually realize I was there.

Snapper - Funny, that crossed my mind as well. Are you sure you were there?

Fiction Editor - Well, I wasn't sure at first actually. After I slipped out the bungalow door and locked it behind me, I started walking away in sort of a daze and even though I could have sworn the scent of strawberries and peppermint lingered under my nose, as I made my way back to my place down the street, the whole episode began to seem less and less real. By the time I got home I wouldn't have sworn to you that I hadn't imagined the whole thing.

Snapper - So how do you know that you didn't. I mean it all sounds like a fantasy of some kind. Unless of course she saw you from the beginning and left the door open for you and all. Unless she lured you in. It seems more likely you imagined the whole thing though. Maybe you were peaking through her windows or something.

Fiction Editor - Well, when I got back to my studio, I realized that I'd left the beer somewhere. I went back out along the route retracing my steps but didn't see it. I even walked over past her door to see if I'd set it down out front or something but it was nowhere to be found.

Snapper - So you didn't find it? Well that hardly proves anything. Maybe a hobo passed by and got lucky.

Fiction Editor - Perhaps, and I can certainly appreciate the improbability of it all and understand why you might take that opinion. However, when I got to work the next morning and walked up to my desk, I noticed there was a mini keg of Sapporo wedged down in my office chair. And it had a white rose lying across the top of it.

Snapper - Really. That's fascinating.

Fiction Editor - Indeed. So now you've asked me and I've told you. That's what I know about the Swede.

Snapper - So, there you have it gentle reader. The Snapper has no further comment on the matter as of yet except to say that the whole thing reminds me of a song. I'll leave you with a couple bars which will have to suffice until I can dig up some more information.

So Sayonara from the Snapper. 
And a special good night to the Swede, wherever you are. 

She moved out on her parents with a party in her head 
and an idea for a fireworks display 
and she dreamed that she'd be ready 
with a stainless steel machete 
and a half a pint of Ballentine's each day 

then she holed up in room 
down a small town street 
crying nothing there but Hollywood tears 
and she put a spell on some poor little Crutchfield boy 
and stayed like that for two or three years

Then she thought she might like to try
out a musician friend 
who played dirty water 
on a swordfishtrombone 
until he went to sleep at the bottom of Tenkiller lake 
and she said "gee, but it's great to be home.

Someone finally bought her a canary bird 
who hung his head on her every word 
and Chesterfielded moonbeams in a song 
until she got 20 years for lovin' him 
from some Oklahoma governor 
said everything this poor girl does is wrong

Well she packed up all her expectations 
and lit out for Colorado 
with a flyswatter banjo on her knee 
with a lucky tiger in her angel hair 
and benzedrine for getting there 
they found her in a weeping willow tree

Now some say she's doing the obituary mambo 
and some say that she's hanging on the wall 
Perhaps this yarn is the only thing 
that holds this gal together 
Some say that she was never here at all 
Some say they saw her on some old west road 
driving alone in some car going by 
And if you think that you can tell a bigger tale 
I swear to God you'd have to tell a lie...."


Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved.