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Musings of a Decorative Ham Man

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Chris Vitiello
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HAMMY LAND: A DIGRESSION

Five years ago, at the advice of a now odious colleague, I opened “Hammy Land”, an amusement/theme park.  A decorative ham mascot “Hammy” was created and his smiling visage became a common sight on t-shirts, ballcaps and elastic limb bands in and around Lankville.  In its first two years of existence, “Hammy Land” netted nearly a billion (Lankville) dollars.

Hammy Land: Closed for "the Season".

Hammy Land: Closed for “the Season”.

The incident which I am about to describe took place a little before Easter of the third year.  Millions had gathered that holiday and we had created a special “crucifixion Hammy” cap that was flying off the shelves.  Our cramped, airless, basement restaurant was packed day and night and the “throwing fields” (pastures where decorative hams could be hurled for sport) were constantly engaged.  Late arrivals began complaining.  “We cannot get a room at Vitiello Restrained Hotels, we cannot get a table at the restaurant, we cannot get on any of the rides,” they would say in their collective nasal groan.  We had completely run out of crucifixion Hammy’s.

To our amazement, more vacationers continued to funnel in, even as the weekend approached its most welcome end.  The complaints became louder, somehow more desperate and my arm and shoulder became weary from the endless required whippings.  I remember the moment when I looked out over the filthy restaurant- the uncleared tables, the demanding throng still waiting in the lobby, the lost and crushed crucifixion Hammy hats on the fetid carpet.  “NO!” I suddenly announced.  Everything quieted.  “GET OUT VERMIN!” I shouted again.  Within minutes, I had a plan of action.  “Hammy Land” would be no more.  I removed immediately to my suite at the top of the hotel and gave instructions to a trusted coterie of administrators.  They were to close the gates and shut down all operations.  Lastly, they would let themselves out, leaving the keys.

The next morning, I walked the desolate and abandoned grounds.  Idiotic detritus was everywhere.  I tore down several homemade banners of Hammy on the cross.  I came upon the main entrance and let myself out.  I never looked back.

Two weeks later “Hammy Land” (at my command) was permanently shuttered.  I had contemplated annihilation but thought better of it.  Let it stand as a warning.  A warning that I will not be tested.

Weeds have grown over the gates.  It is still possible however to walk along the perimeter and occasionally find a clear view of the greying, fading restaurant or the paint-peeled roller coaster, its cars still in the middle of their last ride.  It is possible.  It is also possible that you will suddenly find yourself face to face with the owner of this ghost and that you will be whipped mercilessly for trespass.

It is best to remember Hammy Land in your mind.

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