Chapter 9 “And Willie Montenez’s Big Toe?”
If you have being paying attention you will recall that when Willie Montenez’s capsule entered the earth’s atmosphere his toe was severed in an evilly programmed re-entry of the exile rocket of the Montenez family. That toe sank to the turbid waters of the Aegean Ocean while its former owner rocked in the waves. Now most severed body parts decompose but for this particular toe circumstances were different. It survived and even more than that it flourished and eventually developed into a humanoid figure. Who was the guardian of the big toe? Who gave it the attention big toes demand? Who laid the tracks of morality upon which it was to roll for the span of its life? No need to fret as almost immediately after the toe sunk to the bottom of the ocean it was rescued a troupe of performing squid and octopi known as the Deep Sea Travelling Circus well known in the four corners of all oceans for its spectacular shows and clean family entertainment so innocent that not even your minnows would be affected by it. The owners of the circus were impressed with their new find. Never had they seen or even heard of such a strange creature. The toe responded to their attention by wiggling vigorously and emitting huge air bubbles. Instinctively the circus owners realized this toe would be a huge draw. After it had adapted to its new environment it was placed in a mutant sideshow.
The toe was a smashing success delighting of millions of paying customers. And even more was greeted with awe when the toe could transform itself into a humanoid figure. Humanity, and its evil fish hunters, had not been yet created so the transforming toe was a thrilling novelty. The circus owners taught the toe to transform into a squid and it became a massive inter-ocean success. The toe gained a popularity probably never rivalled by any other toe in history.
But one might say, “Is this the sort of environment in which one should raise a toe?” The circus boasted an astounding number of oceanic freaks, or mutants as the circus owners preferred to call them. The circus owners, capitalist as they may have been, were kind and just to their mutants paying them very handsome salaries. The species of the aquatic world were not similar to the hairy and crass predators developing in the world above the oceans. They viewed mutants in a positive light. They accepted that all species viewed those that were not similar to them as mutants. There was no firm ruling strata in the ocean to determine what was “normal” or “abnormal”. Here, no matter what one looked like, one could feel free and uninhibited. Mutants were viewed as unique and wonderful. All water creatures had a deep appreciation of what diversity nature could produce. Mutants were viewed as unique and wonderful and not something that should be stuffed in the closet and forgotten. The audiences of sideshows in American carnivals distinguished themselves by exhibiting the utmost cruelties towards the “freaks” but in the aquatic world they showered gifts and currency on the mutants. Now the toe became known as Captain Squid. It was in this positive environment that Captain Squid spent his most formative years.