|"...Seven horrible demons of cat-like appearance... devour her heart, her entrails, and her tongue."|
"I shoulda stood in bed"
- Boxing manager Joe Jacobs, aka Yussel the Muscle, 1934
One day, God, dressed as a poor man seeking alms, knocks on the door. Teresa, not the most pleasant of servants at any time under any circumstance, is having a bad hair day and refuses His entreaty. We've all had experiences like that. Yesterday, you gave the homeless guy who hangs out at the end of the freeway exit a buck. Today, I dunno, maybe the transient thought of an ex provoked acute headache, neuritis, and neuralgia, and you drove by him.
Maybe it was as simple as John Huston's American in Tampico rebuffing Bogart's mooch in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre with "From now on you have to make your way in life without my assistance" after being successfully hit-up by Bogie twice before and now panhandled a third time.
In any event (and it is quite an event), Teresa pays dearly for being too close with centavos for supplicants. She falls prey to "seven horrible demons of cat-like appearance who devour her heart, her entrails, and her tongue." Readers who follow the travails of those slogging through Hollywood will immediately recognize the typical result of a screenwriter's notes meeting with studio execs but, difficult as it may be to believe, this is worse. Digested by external demons? Raskolnikov had it easier. Ultimately, Teresa the disagreeable became demon-dung, a waste-disposal issue, a cruel wage for a hair up her heine at the wrong time.
Palau y Dulcet (2. ed.) 260112.
Engraving courtesy of James Eaton of Alastor Rare Books, with our thanks. Image of Bogart in the public domain.