The Mothers, The Fathers
(and all of their nurture)
Did your mother weep when first setting eyes on your moist, fresh body? Did your father not smile when he rocked your helpless frame in his overwhelming arms? If not, such a thing is surely the opus of tragedy; but these matters are questions of our own world. For Petey, the appropriate queries would concern the activities of Wallace following the final key strike of his character proposal. Did he light a cigarette in rest? Did he sleep, or perhaps enjoy an evening in town as his younger self at the time so often enjoyed? The truth is, Wallace didn’t remember. It was simply another stretch of his life that reclined blurred in his memory.
And what of Emil Douglas? Bizarre as it may seem, it was fact that he would remain Petey’s first and most imposing father. So how then did he spend his time immediately after he first unsheathed his pen and hacked at Wallace’s tale, slaying the innocent Sally O’Malley in his disregard? Douglas, free of the history of drugs and decadence Wallace had enjoyed, had much clearer recollections of this moment; but then this was another indication of an underlying masochism in his personality.
Your parents will have spoken to you of their moments and memories (again, it is an unfair wrong-footing of fate if your case is different). You will have shared these in confidence and understanding. Even in conflict, or misdirection, the osmosis of your parents’ state of being and emotion into your own is the key point entirely absent from Petey’s example. For him, who had just began his apprehensive creep through the ethereal door to Immortals, parenthood had never quite been the consideration and influence it is to many of us. The four strange figureheads of his world sat behind the shrill, creaking door rifling documents pertaining to this. They prepared their confidence, welled up their deepest charisma and prepared to let Petey in on the secret existence of Wallace, Douglas and all the numerous others who had at some point marked their signature on the heart of a pig.
Douglas and Wallace (even if he could remember) had no way of imparting these feelings and recollections to their animated sons and daughters. Indeed, they never considered it necessary or even nourishing to Petey’s being. Truth was, they had never considered it at all. Having no knowledge or even intuition as to the strange and very real existence of the ACME zeitgeist, they left it neglected as so many mothers and fathers to the drawn have. After all, to recognise its glowing existence, and others like it, is the ultimate understanding; an almost divine insight so rare and personal it cannot be shared regardless.
Snort. A catch-phrase noise rumbling from the doorframe as Petey finally travelled through and clip-clop clicked his way towards the four. Perspective in ACME worked under a complete lack of rules and, while the office in which Petey had just been called was actually rather small, the silhouetted four seemed so distant as to be a rippling mirage. These silhouettes struck Petey as, even though he knew from some memetic instinct that it was these four who hid behind the door, it was still striking how recognisable they were in complete blackout.
The Wabbit’s ears swished through the cold air above, The Ghost’s cape waved through some easel ether. The Smiling Mouse’s simple three circle head bobbed as he giggled at the proceedings while The Yellow Stupidity’s zigzag horseshoe hairdo stabbed at the dome it clung to. He didn’t need to see the orange carrot, dark mask, white grin or browning stubble to know whom he faced, their frames were as ubiquitous as a Cola logo.
Like a child trailing his feet slowly and begrudgingly towards the scold, Petey made his way closer to the far-off outlines ahead. Those few seconds dragged like hours as the Immortals watched on, unmoving and somewhat damning. They didn’t seem to approve, or think too highly, of Petey’s character as they let him shuffle forth, adding new dimensions to his perceived pathetic stride. Finally arriving in front of the godly congregation, their palettes, depth and shading faded into view and he saw their vibrant pencilling in awe. Petey dreamt here his first unwritten thought. The Immortals had broken free of their own scripts long ago (even the relatively young Yellow Stupidity), and were amused when the first threads of independent mind and thought slipped into Petey’s being. He considered that, upon seeing the true glory of the Immortals, if he had been given such care and professionalism in his design then perhaps the death he seemed to have derailed would not have been so inevitable.
In that moment was Petey’s first mild understanding of his place in ACME’s world, and the sparkle of inkling that other dimensions contorted in desperate reality – shimmering with unique lights and smog symbiotic with his own. None of the Immortals spoke. Despite being independent of their long dead or retired parents, they still simply lacked the ability to write their own sentences.
They knew their presence was enough to usher in Petey’s new era of comprehension. It was their lone task to help Petey realise that his fate may not lie in the forgotten waters of cancellation, but neither had the minds and hearts of our own popular culture accepted him enough to raise him to a level of Immortality. The painted jury was out on Petey’s future, and the four Immortals stood and watched in the chamber, allowing greater perception to peel into his slowly forming thoughts.
Suddenly, the image of a gruff and unkempt man exploded into the poor pig’s new mind. This was Wallace. This was his Mother. The reality of this man was so new, so alien, that Petey almost destroyed himself in its consideration. He had thought the detail and craft of the four ahead of him was the true benchmark for nuance and features, but each prickled chin hair of this man’s visage poked out with new heights of definition. The shadows, almost incomprehensible laden around his cracking face, were no genius of shading. It was with this that Petey realised he had been typed, pencilled and inked into existence while Wallace – of a completely distant existence – had something far more complicated and elusive in his design; something that had not merely been formed from the dawdling minds of unoccupied delusionals and their stationary. Or indeed, had it?
Petey squealed as he tried desperately to join the dots of his confusing, convulsing comprehension. With each fidget, the amusement of the four ahead rose – each remembering their own rolling, inept journey to understanding their new place in the universe. The image of Wallace still hanging in his thoughts, he saw him sit and place bored pen to paper. With scribbled ferocity and burgeoning inspiration Wallace began to scrawl. Petey saw when Wallace lifted his hand, in bold italic cursive, the first written instance of “Petey Porksworth” – the original tendrils of his personality draining across the page. It was a conception rushed and unplanned, yet its cause and effect waves rolled through time and dimension to the moment where Petey first realised he was mere imagination.