The Fable of the Final Hour

by Dan Propper


In the 1st minute of the final hour Walt Whitman was found
        in an ancient subwaytunnel beneath 52nd st. where he
        had lain in exstasy since the first bars of jazz filtered
        through. The trackwalkers who found him immediately
        took up their crowbars and smashed in his skull, re-
        ceiving two month's pay from the grateful City Council
        and promotions to the rank of Conductor;

In the 2nd minute of the final hour the archbishop of Holly-
        wood decreed Moses and Mohammed to be Christian
        and had Buddha stricken from the records due to Com-
        munist Tendencies;

In the 3rd minute of the final hour Washington Monument
        stalked across the land to New York City where it
        raped the Washington Square Arch in an attempt to end
        forever the reign of suffering and alchemy;

In the 4th minute of the final hour thousands of frenzied
        poets engaged in drunken roof-dancing atop Sutton
        Place;

In the 5th minute of the final hour Bud Powell became
        president of the newly-formed Jazz Musician's Union by
        successfully skipping 3 successive Lawrence Welk Stere-
        ophonic LP's into the gurgling waters of Chesapeake
        Bay, 17 skips to an LP;

In the 6th minute of the final hour two vandals stole a heli-
        copter and replaced the Statue of Liberty's torch with a
        defamatory sign. When questioned as to the truth of the
        allegation, the lady smiled wisely and nodded her head;

In the 7th minute of the final hour a monstrous orgy took
        place in the main office of the New York Times after
        which a colossal hardcover evening edition was brought
        out containing all the news that had never been fit to
        print;

In the 8th minute of the final hour the Police Gazette ex-
        humed the Unknown Soldier and found him to be none
        other than Adolf Hitler;

In the 9th minute of the final hour three psychiatrists en-
        gaged in simultaneous subliminal copulation with a color
        television set;

In the 10th minute of the final hour the Daughters Of The
        American Revolution applied lipstick to their ——
         —— and mascara to their ——.   Contemplating their
        handiwork, they decided to sign up for correspond-
        ance courses in ventriloquism;

In the 11th minute of the final hour a delegation of narcotics
        addicts volunteered for medical experiments in return
        for drugs and living cancers injected into their
        eyes;

In the 12th minute of the final hour the Congress of Amer-
        ican Advertisers proclaimed The Dignity of Man, issuing
        a 1000-sectioned scroll of the free verse on the subject;

In the 13th minute of the final hour the weary floor of Yucca
        Flats fell in, revealing a glorious an hitherto unknown
        subterranean civilization and the remains of its people,
        their withered bodies still bent in supplication;

In the 14th minute of the final hour millionaires were
        enticed, with their Cadillacs, into an innocent-seeming
        auto laundry where they were swiftly dismantled, cars
        and all, emerging 6 minutes later as 42 cases of dog
        food;

In the 15th minute of the final hour the secret of Salvador
        Dali's symbolism was subconsciously revealed to a fam-
        ily of deaf-mutes;

In the 16th minute of the final hour a band of inscrutable
        indians in full battle regalia filed silently back and forth
        past a telephonebooth in front of the ASPCA;

In the 17th minute of the final hour the tenor sax of the
        world was discovered and played upon by an obscure
        Republican congressman from Artesia, New Mexico;

In the 18th minute of the final hour 6 drunken juvenile de-
        linquents became stupefied on the subway and were
        carried to Canarsie, where they awoke to evening un-
        certainty. They commandeered a rowboat and headed
        for open water, and were last seen just outside Sheeps-
        head Bay, rowing erratically and mumbling energetic
        prayers to Jean Genet;

In the 19th minute of the final hour a troupe of black-
        listed negro actors put on whiteface and played "Tobacco
        Road" to an audience of hysterically-weeping American
        Legionnaires;

In the 20th minute of the final hour an enterprising railroad
        owner surreptitiously installed red lights and prostitutes
        aboard the Staten Island ferries, causing a mammoth
        trafficjam in Ne York harbor which marked the re-
        birth of the loco motive;

In the 21st minute of the final hour the washingmachines of
        Levittown became enchanted and transformed their en-
        tire contents into purple anklesocks;

In the 22nd minute of the final hour an intense young man
        with a beard startled the pious crowds at Lourdes by
        materializing 20 feet above the ground and announcing
        that he was Christ. when he descended to submit to the
        tests of the observer from the American Medical Associ-
        ation, a young priest fell upon him and garroted him
        with his rosary, restoring peace and order and earning
        for himself a special medal from the Pope;

In the 23rd minute of the final hour a mysterious illuminated
        flying object was chased to earth by a daring jet pilot
        and found to be the ghost of Cyrano De Bergerac;

In the 24th minute of the final hour a flock of diarrhetic
        pigeons strafed Miami Beach;

In the 25th minute of the final hour fire swept through a
        marijuana grove deep in the woods of Madison, Wiscon-
        sin, completely entrancing the entire Volunteer Fire De-
        partment, which thereupon drove straight through to
        Folkstown, Georgia in its fire-engine on impulse, spread-
        ing a largesse of giggles and exhilaration;

In the 26th minute of the final hour the indians appeared
        spontaneously in the ladies room of the NAACP, wear-
        ing tuxedos and carrying incomprehensible placards;

In the 27th minute of the final hour the Reader's Digest,
        Life magazine, and the Los Angeles telephone directory
        played capture the flag;

In the 28th minute of the final hour a popular medi-
        cine was revealed to contain heroin. 17,000 persons
        were squashed and 300 Rexalls reduced to rubble in the
        ensuing stampede;

In the 29th minute of the final hour a mailman's wife gave
        birth to a moviehouse;

In the 30th minute of the final hour a housing project was
        built in Goof City;

In the 31st minute of the final hour a magical incantation
        by the spirit of François Villon sealed every subway-
        entrance with concrete, causing the foundation of a new
        religion which worshipped the horse and sang as its
        hymn "Deep In The Womb Of Texas";

In the 32nd minute of the final hour 26 unreleased masters
        by Charlie Parker were unearthed in a Philadelphia cel-
        lar. They were, fortunately, trampled upon by the police
        before they could spread Disorder And Uncertainty;

In the 33rd minute of the final hour every man caressed his
        wife's —— with his ——, denying it five minutes later
        as hallucinations or sleepwalking;

In the 34th minute of the final hour the Law Of Inverse En-
        closure was rediscovered and a matchbox was declared
        the prison of the universe, with two fleas placed inside
        as wardens;

In the 36th minute of the final our the Puerto Rican Na-
        tionalists attacked CBS with ice picks while the $64,000
        question was being asked;

In the 37th minute of the final hour a Bop version of the
        Star-Spangled Banner was proclaimed official arrange-
        ment of the United States Marines;

In the 38th minute of the final hour an army of ravenous
        ants entered the U.S. Treasury and ate up all the money,
        refusing to be placated by green bus tranfers;

In the 39th minute of the final hour the president had a wet
        dream and the Navy was ordered into Algiers;

In the 40th minute of the final hour all of the toiletseats
        were found to have been reversed and the population
        blushed;

In the 41st minute of the final hour all future child-pederasts
        were ordered castrated as an emergency measure against
        the rising tide of intestinal pregnancy;

In the 42nd minute of the final hour the indians made their
        final appearance, stalking up to the candy counter of the
        New York Paramount wearing football uniforms. They
        gathered up armfuls of popcorn and grunted up to the
        balcony, never to be seen again;

In the 43rd minute of the final hour James Dean appeared in
        the dreams of 40,000,000 Americans, smiling softly and
        speaking gently of insurrection;

In the 44th minute of the final hour an "A" train full of
        exhibitionists pulled into Times Square;

In the 45th minute of the final hour there was an abundance
        of nakedness and hopeful uncertainty;

In the 46th minute of the final hour the first transparent
        clothing was worn out of doors;

In the 47th minute of the final hour prostitution became un-
        necessary;

In the 48th minute of the final hour all of the road signs
        were altered to read "GO!";

In the 49th minute of the final hour all women's magazines
        were turned into semen;

In the 50th minute of the final hour the Boy Scouts joined
        with the Girl Scouts in a new era of joy and experimen-
        tation;

In the 51st minute of the final hour Texas was declared In-
        capable and assigned a guardian;

In the 52nd minute of the final hour one of the Pacific
        H-Bombs let loose a shower of leaflets that said
        "BANG!";

In the 53rd minute of the final hour Jesus Christ appeared
        on the cover of Time magazine along with Donald Duck
        and J. Edgar Hoover;

In the 54 minute of the final hour Nelson Rockefeller
        established a hashish plantation in Nutley, New Jersey,
        an the A&P opened narcotics counters and began giv-
        ing out trading stamps with weird new prizes;

In the 55th minute of the final hour the Brooklyn Dodgers
        burned Disneyland in final protest and began the re-
        treat into relative insanity;

In the 56th minute of the final hour everyone with an IQ of
        less than 90 was castrated painlessly and the remaining
        populace began receiving Social Security;

In the 57th minute of the final hour the cash register was
        abolished;

In the 58th minute of the final hour all of the white-collar
        In the world called in sick;

In the 59th minute of the final hour all of the doors were
        ripped off of their frames and hauled off to a roaring
        bonfire, with only the hinges left hanging as mute re-
        minders of a sad and frightened history;

And In the 60th minute of the final hour America was dis-
        covered and the final renaissance of beauty and love
        began its eternity.


1958 - Dan Propper