Arthur went off into the bushes to sulk. There were flashing lights and loud groans in the distance, so he didn’t go too far. He wouldn’t admit it, but the further he went from the graveyard the more scared he became. He lay himself down beneath a bush and hid his head in his hands.

Nothing happened.

He stayed beneath the bush, but brought his head up just a little.

Nothing continued to happen.

He got bored, so he decided to turn around and watch the shopping carts argue while he sulked.

The Rabbi and the Padre cart were haranguing each other. Arthur didn’t quite know what “haranguing” meant. The two carts were grabbing each other by the bars and trying to push the other over. He thought that it looked a lot like what haranguing ought to mean.

Soon, he forgot that he was sulking.

Off sulking in another bush, he saw a half-sized, red, plastic shopping cart such as children other than Arthur might have as a toy. Buying toys for Arthur was way down on the list of the Senator’s priorities. It was right below “announce mistress to press” and right above “look for conscience”. The Senator’s conscience had been lost (or perhaps kidnapped) since 1938. He didn’t bother to look for it because he’d never used it much to begin with.

Arthur had never seen a baby shopping cart before, so he crawled around the edge of the clearing until he reached the red cart.

“What’s your name?”

“Fisher,” said the plastic cart. “What’s yours?”

Arthur thought for a moment and looked around and saw that nobody else was listening, but he said “Arthur” just the same. Then he asked, “Why are you hiding out here in the bushes?”

“K-Marx said I was a capitalist. I said he had more capitals than I did and he told me to shut up and go home.”

“Where is your home?”

“I don’t have a home. I ran away because my little girl kept kicking me into a wall.”

“I ran away too, but I didn’t mean to. It just sort of happened.”

“I meant to. It must be a hard thing to run away without meaning to. How did you do that?”

So Arthur told the little plastic cart how he had run away, or more precisely, how his father, who wasn’t really his father, had run away from him.

“It’s probably a good thing that you ran away,” said Fisher, when Arthur had finished.

So they sat there together until Arthur fell asleep again. This time he didn’t wake up until morning when he had to go to the bathroom.


… difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.—Edward R. Murrow (Murrow: His Life and Times)