Portrait of Ambroise Thomas, by Hippolyte Flandrin; Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, by Maurice Quentin de la Tour
“That’s it. He has officially lost his circumcision!” a tall, lanky camper whispered to his wife as they watched Ambroise enter the campsite. “Ever since the soccer game he coached before the elections, nobody has been sure.”
“Can I help you sir?” he managed to ask Ambroise.
“Yes, indeed. I’ve come to see Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Do you know his whereabouts? It’s a sensitive matter”
“And where are you coming from, might I ask?”
“I come directly from the naturalist colony of Gainsville. I’m on a tour for my new book, Living Al Gore for 365 Days , I was hoping he could give me a bit of old-fashioned…literary criticism.”
The kind stranger went to fetch Rousseau who was humming and whittling a dying Jesus out of a block of wood, “Mr. Rousseau, there’s a gentleman here to see you.”
Rousseau’s ears immediately perked up. “Oh, from where does he come?” he managed to force himself to say while his mind wandered back to the moonlit evening they had shared. They had both been forced to go to the ‘Swamp’ of UF for social reasons, and ended up in a bar, talking about the merits of More’s Utopia. He had the kind of nose that will pierce your skin, flanked by his black eyes. He sighed. Suddenly he realized that he had to buy some time to change clothes and his wig.
“From the noble city of Orlando.”
“Tell him I shall be there soon.”
“He says he’s cold, sir, that he needs a blanket, or some underwear soon, sir, or his testicles will freeze off.”
“Well, that he musn’t worry about,” he answered with a chuckle.
They shared a cool embrace upon seeing each other and Rousseau patted him on the back. “Ambroise, how goes the city of Orlando these days?”
“Oh, it’s dreadful, my dear old friend. Just last week we had a single mother let loose a little too much on the Disney boardwalk, which is technically in the city of Celebration–why in God’s name would anybody want to live there escapes me. Have people forgotten Calvin already? Anyway, this mother, she had taken her child to take pictures with the infamous Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, the chipmunk children. Do you realize how insane the guy who lives with the 3 chipmunks is? He calls them his children, teaches them to hoola hoop and plays the piano. and I thought it right to intervene, since it only teaches kids to be psychopaths. Unfortunately, she didn’t swallow this very easily and started calling me and my book all sorts of names and went to all the major papers. The Huffington Post even put it on their front page!”
“Mercy, have mercy on me! That places puts Gomorrah to shame! I think that that blasphemous Eisenhower, or whatever his name is, must poison the waters. My worst suspicions are confirmed. He is a warlock, maybe even thousands of years old”
“That is why I’m here. I thought it would be good to take an extended rest in nature, find myself again, and do a little personality searching. I’ll probably even write the sequel to my book, maybe Living Karl Rove for 365 Days. I’ve always admired his fortitude.”
“You should put on clothes.”
“No! They remind me too much of where I come from.”
Just then they heard sirens.