THE TOYFAIR by Neal Faasen


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William Noone is this kid-but-not-really, if you know what I mean, a sort of inarticulate Holden Caulfield, Anyway, he's got this way of speaking for all thirteen-year-olds, and he's been expelled from school three times, and he once saw his teacher Miss Mumpers buying popcorn at the Regent Theater ""but never threw it up to her"", and he had this dog Corky once who went blind and had to be shot by a farmer and he (William Noone) didn't cry like they thought he would but got mad instead. He's also got these two girl friends, Worm and Ace, with whom he's established a marvelous rapport on account of they're just like him only Worm is ugly and a German once knocked out her front tooth- that German being Worm's father. All three of them run away to Chicago where William Noone's father -- Ty Cobb, Humphrey Bogart, and Errol Flynn, all rolled into one -- is hiding out because he used to be alienated and inebriated all the time. After much trial and some tribulation, the errant trio -- Worm, Ace, and Willy -- get to see Pop and put to him questions like: ""What is the answer?"" And Pop, stewed to the gills and lying in the dark, says, ""Don't give up your sneakiness or your cunning. Those are the only weapons you have and they knew that, and they're going to disarm you if they can... etcetera ""...The Toyfair would have made a great, if somewhat self-conscious, UPI cartoon. But even in its present from, it's bound to make a couple of sophomores real misty.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1963
Publisher: Simon & Schuster