He's supposed to be Amish. Some say his father was Dutch. Nobody ever believed he was real. Nobody ever knew him or saw anybody that worked directly for him. But to hear Clokey tell it, anybody could work for Gumby. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

One story the guys told me, the story I believe, was from his days in Pennsylvania. There was a troupe of mimes that wanted their own barn. They realized that to be in power, you didn't need makeup, or leggings, or even turtlenecks. You just needed the will to do what the other guys wouldn't. After a while, they come into power and they come after Gumby. He was small time then, just selling quilts they say.

They came to his barn in the afternoon, looking for his business. They find his wife and kids in the barn and decide to wait for Gumby.

He comes home to find his wife and his children screaming from being subjected to hours of miming. The mimes knew Gumby was tough, not to be trifled with, so they let him know they meant business. They tell him they want his territory, all his business. Gumby looks over the faces of his family, then he showed these mimes of will what will really was. He tells them he would rather see his family dead than live another day after this.

He lets the last mime go, and waits until his wife and kids are in the ground, then goes after the rest of the troupe. He kills their cats, he kills their grease paint distributors. He kills their parents and their parents' bridge partners, their postmen, their favorite liquor store clerk, a couple of tourists from Quebec. He shrinks their leggings in the dryer and redecorates their homes in Country Kitsch. He kills the people that taught them how to mime, and like that (snaps fingers) he's gone. Underground. Nobody's ever seen him since. He becomes a myth, a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night--rat on your pop and Gumby will get ya. And no one ever really believes.

Do you believe in him, Verbose? Pokey always said, "I don't believe in Goo, but I'm afraid of her." Well, I believe in Goo, and the only thing that scares me is Gumby.


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