Saturday, September 17, 2011


A friend for Apajala, perhaps:

Alexander Not-Culvert II was the middle child and only son of Dorothea Not and Alexander Culvert I. Although his parents had always addressed him as Alexander, he was known to his friends and classmates variously as Alex, Lex, Xander, Axle, or sometimes simply Al.

He was raised in the northern provinces of Hordovan One and Two, where for generations his family had been engaged in the profitable venture of legume farming. Prominent among their crops were the ankle nut, the redstone nut, the northern wood-leaf nut, the tea nut, the finger nut, and the two-horned pea.

It was anticipated that Alexander would carry on the Culvert tradition, even though he had no particular interest in—nor any recognizable aptitude for—any aspect of legume farming. After completing his mandatory education, he moved to the village of Milton by the Lake and enrolled in college, choosing to dedicate his academic career to the study of pseudo-science and revisionist history.

Plagued by scandal throughout his undergraduate years, Alexander was encouraged by college administrators and counselors to withdraw from the university and forge a path better suited to his needs.

As a young man with no certificate or diploma, Alexander went from one job to another, trying his hand at various trades and occupations. He eventually discovered his gift for the culinary arts, and diligently pursued a level-three degree in High-Temperature Cookery, the studies and lab work for which he completed in record time.

He quickly found work as an outdoor barbecuist, and sometime later discovered he had a natural talent for performing emergency appendectomies, tracheotomies, and other minor life-saving procedures, making him invaluable and highly sought after during times of neighborhood calamity. He found the work rewarding, and continued it as a hobby throughout his cooking career, but as a man who relished his privacy, he was markedly unenthusiastic about the attention it sometimes brought him.

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