Monday, August 07, 2006

The Wendy Story, Part 5

We leave Wendy and Ramon for just a tic, as we explore the history of the present owner of the Maxty Building...

Feldspar Mjolner owned the Maxty Building since the late '30's when Old Man Maxty died. Despite several attempts to rename it over the decades, ( Liberty Building, FM Towers, Hammer INC., etc. ) the only name anyone would use was "The Maxty Building." Feldspar liked to say that the Mjolners' made their fortune in the fur trade; there was some truth to this. Third level 17th century bureaucrats, the Mjolner family wound up on the wrong side of the Bourbons just in time to help Canada rid itself of its excess beaver population. Quite a lot of money was made, enough to keep the family in booze and political chicanery for almost 200 years, but by the early 20th century Mjolner arrogance and family size had pretty much sluiced off the revenue stream.
The Mjolner family fortunes were saved, oddly enough, by a 15-year old Feldspar and Prohibition. Feldspar stumbled onto a flavorful, strong, bathtub gin mixture that quickly became THE bootleg hooch for sophisticated alkies for blocks around. As the fame of "Mjolner's Hammer" spread, a disturbing side effect was noticed; some people would go blind, others would die. The first to go blind was Feldspar's abusive father; three days after this sad event, he stepped in front of traffic and was killed. It was noted that a black shoeshine boy was the first person to him after he was hit and he passed away before help could arrive. It was then made known that a reward was there for the taking if the young buck would come forward and tell the family of any Last Words of Import. Robert Cletus Johnston, later referred to as "Uncle Robby", wide-eyed, anxious, and frightened that this might be some kind of cruel trick, told the Mjolners, in trembling voice, that the old blind man just said "On purpose." As the white people paused to take this in, Robert snatched the $100 bill from Feldspar's hand and fled, never to be heard from again, despite his having won a Silver Star at Tarawa. The rest of the family consoled themselves by assuming that Grandpa, out of sheer grief, took his own life, but if there was another interpretation of "On purpose", only Feldspar knew it , and he kept his own counsel.
Normally, blindness and death would not constitute a good product recommendation, but Feldspar and his family were able to turn the truth into what would later be called Urban Legend. Instinctively, Feldspar's exploiting of these events made the noxious brew even more popular. Using an artist whose half-Munch, half-Frazetta style would be revived in the mid-2010's, the "Are You Man Enough to Pick Up Thor's Hammer?" ads sucked in the stupidly macho and Feldspar's way of combining colorings and bizarre flavorings from Chinatown, drew in the ladies, especially after he cut it with water. When Prohibition ended, the Mjolner's decided to clean the stuff up and go legit. Not content with just alcohol, they expanded into flavored tobaccos, multi-colored rolling papers for those still making cigarettes at home, and Hummel-like ceramic incense burners with their catch-phrase, "It smells good!" molded along the base. By 1938, the sales of all these products allowed the Mjolners' to save enough cash to purchase the Maxty Building.

1 comment:


I wouldn't drink anything that had been in my bath. I'm getting into this thing. Like it.