Until now, Blodgett’s mucky proclivities have been passed over in silence by those who have written about him, myself included. They were so very mucky, as proclivities go, that to contemplate them in any detail would be to shatter the brain. Lord above, they were mucky! We must, I think, agree with Mr Tuppin, who said “of all the mucky proclivities it has been my displeasure to examine on a professional basis, those of Blodgett were without doubt the muckiest”. Of course, there is muck and muck, and some muck is filthier, much, much filthier, than other muck.
In times past, there was no way of measuring the muckiness of a person’s proclivities, and it is likely that there were proto-Blodgetts the muckiness of whose proclivities surpassed perhaps even his. We will never know. But thanks to Mr Tuppin, we are now in a position to be quite precise about the extent of the filthiness, for that costive Papist has unveiled his Patent Muck-Measuring Proclivity Gauge. It is a simple enough machine, though not to look at. Constructed of dubbin and wires and bakelite and marzipan and rotating boosters and pig iron and cloth of gold and sticks and prongs and tin and titanium and horse-wedges and cornflakes and the pips of clementines and magnetic resonating galvanised sheet metal pipes and hods and unguent and terrific flapping drapes and bleached bones from a badger and cut zinc and cement and furry funnels and cadmium and lace and snippety cloggings and dust and mud and plasmatic plasma plasm and toothpaste tubes and reconstituted guttering and elk antlers and shoddy and beef dripping and grease and the tongues of wrens coated in conductive fluid and misshapen nozzles and tar and more tar and febrifuge and other tar and seawater and duckpond water and boiling lint and the twigs of a sycamore and mustard and pegs and wool and cardboard and string and tar, tar again, and bales of rotting straw and chickenwire and nails and bunting and calcified chemical compounds and Red Hudibras and oil and cheviots and glitter and vast stained glass screens and pins and tatterdemalion webbing from Vietnam and goat horns and satin and base brickish blocky clumps of tough rubber thwarts and air bubbles and tar trapped in air bubbles and hazard lights and the blood of the lamb and jet knicknacks and petroleum jelly and baize and gauze and St John’s wort and basalt and lime and jars crammed, crammed with flakes of iron, and lead and catgut from tennis racquets and pus from buboes and scrapings from shelving units and isinglass and hair from the hanged and talc and lobster pots and dunny paint and fluorescent lanterns and paste and cracked planks and vellum and grit and Strontium 90 and cartridges and toad sweat and phosphorus and adamantine and a weird sort of non-adhesive glue and great clanking chains and gorgeous perfumes and rags and plugs and sturdy tent canvas and palings and warped fork tines and batik shawls and clingfilm and batteries and giraffe hide and litmus paper and big bolts of lead and wreckage from the Lusitania and calibrated siphons and sponge saturated with egg white and bristly pointy bittybobs and breadcrumbs and cushions and slush and wax and throbbing electric motors and vaseline, Mr Tuppin’s engine has completely transformed the business of denouncing people for their mucky proclivities, Blodgett included.
Indeed, no sooner had Mr Tuppin pushed the starter knob on his terrific machine to give it a test run than Blodgett hove into view to see what all the palaver was about, and became the very first wretch to have the full extent of his mucky proclivities properly and scientifically measured. Obviously, being Blodgett, he protested, and even had the gall to question the accuracy of Mr Tuppin’s exquisite device. But the Blodgett brow was damp with beads of sweat, and he shifted uneasily in his loafers, loafers which, I might add, were themselves covered in filth, as if he had been wallowing in the sewers, which, in all likelihood, he had been, so mucky a pup is he. Afterwards, when the Patent Muck-Measuring Proclivity Gauge spat out its results in a handy poster-sized format so they could be photocopied many times over and posted upon noticeboards throughout the faubourg, and in other faubourgs where Blodgett might go scuttling about in pursuit of his proclivities, Mr Tuppin received many pats on the back, and three cheers were shouted for him, and hats were thrown in the air to celebrate the successful launch of so useful an engine.
Blodgett himself crept away, as well he might, and he headed into the deep dense dark woods, where he found a hole, and covered himself in soil, and waited for nightfall, when owls would awaken, and hoot.