The poor guy was still licking his wounds (literally) from the debacle in which stage fright quickly truncated his attempt to warn Medford High's students about the dangers and benefits of abduction.
So while he stews in the soup of his past and maps out a path through the future's dark forest, we will take a moment to reveal some heretofore hidden truths about our hero.
Howard was 6-foot-7 and weighed 281 pounds with only 3.5% of his bulk comprised of body fat. This explains why he found prison life reasonably bearable. Not once did he suffer an unwanted romantic advance, not even from his cellmate Rufus, he of the Emily Dickinson fixation.
Admittedly, some of the guys in the yard would tease him about being a "big ol' virgin," but only from a great distance and in hushed tones, their petty slings and arrows dissipating in clouds of Marlboro smoke.
This behavior reminded Howard of his days in elementary school and disabused him of the conventional wisdom about prison demographics, i.e., that the vast majority of incarcerated criminals are Nietzschean brainiacs who believe morality is for inferior humans (like you, Dear Reader) who couldn't reach Kohlberg's lowest stage of moral reasoning with a trampoline, and who consider themselves what the jovial Germanic thinker called the Superman (ubertaxi, in German).
We have also neglected to reveal that Howard had a brief stint in seminary, a move that, as usual, came with good intentions: He hoped that hanging out with holy guys and sitting at the feet of learned men, fat with arcane scriptural insights unavailable, if not withheld, from lay persons and mere pew fillers, would make abduction easier to resist.
|"Dad, here's all that's left of Joseph. Sorry!"|
The plan worked, but only briefly. Early in his sophomore year, he took a seminar entitled "Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors: Allegorical and Symbolic Sibling Rivalries and Why Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Actually Sucked Regardless of its Success."
Well, if you know the Joseph story, you know it was like sloshing gasoline on the smoldering embers of Howard's abductorial desires. For all the future progress he would make in seminary (Medford Institute of Theology, or M.I.T. as it's better known), he might as well have been in the pit with poor Joseph. He couldn't even finish his promising senior essay, "The Book of Proverbs: Five Rods to Spare When Spoiling Your Child."
Back to Howard's fireplace, though, and the warm prune juice quietly, gently and subtly stimulating the quotidian urges as is its wont, where Tally's mind has drifted from the upcoming abductor conference and into the world of celebrity history.
"Howard, did you know Carry Fissure was Debby Rennels dawter?"
Oh, and we should also tell you Tally occasionally suffered from a speech impairment -- called phoneticalism -- causing her to speak phonetically with utter disregard for correct spelling.
She was an auditory grammar nazi's worst nightmare!
Will Howard and Tally ever finish their abductor-conference T-chart? Will Howard eventually attend the conference and meet his hero, the legendary abductor Jedidiah Einsatzgruppe? Would "Will Howard" have been a better name than "Howard Desseray"?