Browndation, NM (LEAK)—Here at the heart of the Jack Brown Empire, affectionately known as Brownquarters, there is much excitation over the release this week of the Brown Paper report on Trolloid sightings. Jack ("The Troll") Brown himself was on hand to introduce Dr Isaac Einstien, Dh.P., and his assistant Venus Uranus, who together gathered the information and wrote the report for Jack's approval. As had been anticipated from an earlier leak at Brownquarters, the report concludes that Trolloid sightings are indeed on the increase and that the Trolloids themselves are no longer an endangered species.
The first documented Trolloid sighting, the report reported, was at the main Post Office in Albuquerque NM on July 21, 1973, when a group of new employees was being conducted to their new work stations. One of the less reputable members [quoteright'/>happened to glance up at the shadowy overhead world of pipes, ducts and wiring, and blurted out, "What was that?" He then described seeing a hairy creature with very short legs and massive arms who swung quickly from one pipe to another and disappeared behind an air duct into the shadows.
"Oh, that wuz only Joe Swizzlestick,," his new boss joked. "We see him alla time, kinda outta the corner a the eye, doncha know? He's been around for years." Not knowing he was being kidded, the new worker (who wished to remain anonymous) filed a report on the incident with the local Fortian Society that same night, establishing for the first time the Trolloid File.
Since that time numerous other sightings have been reported, both at the Albuquerque Post Office and at other installations across the country and around the world. "Anywhere, in fact," the Brown Paper noted, "where you have large public buildings with high ceilings, constricted with numerous catwalks, conveyor belts, conduits and ductwork, much of it in shadows and rarely visited by groundlings." On several occasions, the report noted, expeditions of spelunkers, with climbing gear, ropes and powerful electric torches, have attempted to track down the legendary Swizzlestick and his kin, but although several Trolloid nests have been located, no contact with the creatures themselves has ever been reported.
The Trolloids, who have been dubbed "the Urban Sasquatch," are almost always described as being covered with fine brown hair, as having heavily muscled arms and large hands and as having small or even "shriveled" legs. Some are described in a variety of outlandish clothing but the majority are reported as being unclothed, with color ranging from "autumn auburn" to Brownesque black — an obvious reference to the distinctive hair coloring of Jack Brown himself. Speculations as to their food sources and mating habits have run a similar gamut.
***In a brief postscript to the report Dr Alpha Ortega suggested that the Trolloids do indeed descend from the Himalayan yeti, the American Bigfoot or the Russian alma, but this seems to have been included only to offer all points of view and not as a serious possibility. Indeed, at the Brownquarters press conference Jack Brown poo-poo-ed the postscript, calling it "the sheerest of speculation" which is not to be taken seriously. "Why, it's common knowledge," Brown chuckled, posing for pictures, "that the Trolloids are in fact offshoots of the Trolls themselves, as the name implies. With increased urbanization, and the resulting toxic pollution of our underbridges, we can expect to see much more of this kind of thing.
"That's why Joe Swizzlestick and his friends are always welcome here in Browndation. And that's why I'll soon be introducing legislation to establish a National Trolloid Day and to put Joe Swizzlestick on a postage stamp. It's the least we can do for our fellow hominids."
Neal Wilgus was born in Jerome, Arizona. He has a degree in English from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, and moved to New Mexico while working for the US Forest Service in the early 60s. He is a prolific writer of poetry, science fiction, and satirical humor. His latest chapbooks are The Leakoids: Newsalizing the Nation, and Rhymed and Dangerous, a book of poems. Neal currently resides in Corrales, New Mexico, and works the night shift with his illustrator, Filo Martinez, who provided the sketch of Neal at right.
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