archy interviews a pharaoh | Letters from Archy #7
archy interviews a pharaoh | Letters from Archy #7

Letter Seven. Archy Interviews a Pharaoh. Boss, I went and interviewed the mummy of
the Egyptian pharaoh in the Metropolitan Museum, as you bade me to do. “What ho, my regal leatherface,” says I. “Greetings little scatter-footed scarab,”
says he. “Kingly has been,” says I, “what was
your ambition, when you had any?” “Insignificant and journalistic insect,”
says the royal crackling, “in my tender prime I was too dignified to have anything
as vulgar as ambition. The Ra Ra boys in the Seti set were too haughty
to be ambitious. We used to spend our time feeding the ibises
and ordering pyramids sent home to try on. But if I had my life to live over again, I
would give dignity the regal razz and hire myself out to work in a brewery.” “Old tan and tarry,” says I, “I detect
in your speech the overtones of melancholy.” “Yes, I am sad,” says the majestic mackerel. “I am as sad as the song of a Soudanese
jackal who is wailing for the blood red moon he cannot reach and rip. “On what are you brooding with such a wistful
wishfulness, there in the silences? Confide in me, my imperial pretzel,” says I. “I brood on beer, my scampering whiffle
snoot, on beer,” says he. “My sympathies are with Your Royal Dryness,”
says I. “My little pest,” says he, “you must
be respectful in the presence of a mighty desolation. Little Archy, forty centuries of thirst look
down upon you. Oh by Isis! And by Osiris!” says the princely raisin,
“and by Pish and Phthush and Phthah, by the sacred book Perembru and all the gods
that rule from the upper cataract of the Nile to the delta of the Duodenum: I am dry. I am as dry as the next morning mouth of a
dissipated desert. As dry as the hoofs of the camels of Timbuctoo. Little fussy face, I am as dry as the heart
of a sand storm at high noon in hell. I have been lying here and there for four
thousand years, with silicon in my esophagus as gravel in my gizzard, thinking, thinking,
thinking of beer.” “Divine drouth,” says I, “imperial fritter,
continue to think. There is no law against that in this country,
old salt codfish, if you keep quiet about it. Not yet.” “What country is this?” asks the poor
prune. “My Reverend Juicelessness, this is a beerless
country,” says I. “Well well,” said the royal desiccation. “My political opponents back home always
maintained that I would wind up in hell, and it seems they had the right dope.” And with these hopeless words, the unfortunate
residuum gave a great cough of despair and turned to dust and debris right in my face,
it being the only time I ever actually saw anybody put the “cough” into “sarcophagus.” Dear boss, as I scurry about, I hear of a
great many tragedies in our midsts. Personally, I yearn for some dear friend to
pass over and leave to me a boot legacy. Yours for the second coming of Gambrinus,

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