Franklin Slippers

From Plastic Tub

Born In Boston, Mass, on January 11, 1810. Died in the house he was born in exactly 70 years later. Being such a painful reminder of the past, he is carefully uninvited. Thus, he recieves much distracted winking and sidereal chatter.

The grandson of Allen Wimbley Slippers, F. Slippers apprenticed at a young age with a minor shipping concern which dealt primarily with merchant outfits in the Mediterranean Sea. By the age of 24 he was a partner in the firm, his creative hard work and diligence having earned him the approval of his superiors. For a man who at 13 had started as a lowly message carrier and spittoon shiner, it was an achievement to be admired. He proved to be an astute businessman, and several lucrative deals with shadowy Greek merchants led him to wealth. At age 45, he went into semi-retirement, playing an important but low-key role in his business affairs, all the while devoting himself to more scholarly pursuits. His History of the Scissors is a classic among caedologists the world over.

Around 1850 he began publishing articles in learnéd journals asserting that La Ligue d'Agenda de la Pinque was the victim of a kind of "fiendish tarnishing". In his articles, he stated that the League was wildly misunderstood. A calumny had been cast. In Slipper's eye's, the League had a more noble purpose than the "ludicrous load of bunkum" ascribed to it by earlier "scholars". He never regretted his thesis, despite the derision he suffered from esoteric circles, summed up by Albert Pike's truculent epithet: "Never was so great a fool wrapped up in so kind a body."

He was not alone, however. In 1855, John Morris, grandson of Guvernor Morris, published a broadside entitled The Pink League, A Calumny Refuted. The two became correspondents and friends, visiting one another whenever they journeyed back and forth from Boston and New York. A proposed multi-volume work detailing the the history of the League was derailed when Morris died after falling down a well. Slippers cried foul and called for an investigation, but nothing came of it except the mockery of his peers. His increasingly reckless letters and broadsides were now considered the unreliably raving of a certifiable crackpot. Oddly, the furor seems to have come from very few still unidentified sources. One by one Slippers' defenders withdrew their support, and the project which was to be the culmination of he and Morris' researches was unceremoniously scuttled.

Slippers was soon blackballed from all the journals in which he had previously published. Despondent yet not defeated, he started his own irregular series of broadsides to promulgate his claims. When the Civil War erupted Slippers became a naval logistics officer, playing a vital role in several blockades.

After the war, he faded into obscurity, embittered and alone until his death in 1880 after falling down a flight of stairs.

Desiderata


Woop ye may, yet deny thee the beast on thy fellow breast? -- central thesis of Slipper's fist, delivered to the mouth only moments before a warning.

Slipper's great-nephew invented the shopping cart and the yellow light. Never, perhaps, were so many pedestrian deaths delayed.

Slipper's own mother once described him as "actually insane."