From the List of Lesser Known Occupations

John Kidd

The Inkblot Man is employed by Rorschach Industries.

He is not trained in psychology nor has he any rudimentary

of computerisation or graphics

Neither is the artistic bent expected in him.

Yet he will be able to

God knows how 

take a simple bottle of ink and a nibbed pen

and automatically respond 

to any set of everyday stimuli

drawn from images on a page or a screen or from the actual life

or from the actual anti-life.

His modus operandi is thus.

When he’s shown, say, a cobalt blue butterfly, 

or cobalt arsenate, say,

or a cobalt isotope set to go off to combat a cancer,

or whatever, 

once shown it, he will with a natural ease plunge in the nib

and with a good overload of ink, 

flick (by using a practiced movement of the wrist)

spattering onto a vacuous page of semi-sorbent paper 

a good and an honest inkblot like no other.

(Once, hearing of his remarkable prowess, the police, homocide

brought him to the scene of a particularly horrific murder

and had him recreate a spattered blood-stain to match the crime.

He needed blood, insisted on blood. He refused to work with red ink.

The police respected him for that, though God

knows where they procured the actual blood for him to fashion 

the fulsome blot on the champagne-coloured satin sheets.)


It came about that one day he cracked under pressure.

Perhaps this was due to marital problems or carpal tunnel syndrome.

He was locked away and then tested, as they, the doctors, tried to

whether he he still had a personality at all.

They took him to a place and quietly showed him a nectarine,

and a nubile girl, naked, and a neo-poet, and a nodule

(perhaps that was a noodle).

They seemed to be working from the base that N equals the Indefinite.

‘What do you see?’ they asked him.

Each time his answer was the same, ‘An inkblot.’

‘I see an inkblot,’ was what the man said again and

It was looking good for him.

The Head Psychiatrist then came snorkeling into the muddy waters of
the mind

with the ultimate diagnostic tool. 

And he led the man out of that place and through a door and down a
long, long passage.

At the end of the passage there was a most vivid bright light.

Then the light became, God only knows how they did it, 

the risen Christ.

Clearly standing there in all His rapture, wasn’t he?

‘So, now,’ called the Chief Shrink, up the corridor,
‘this time! What do you see?’

The man softly said, ‘An inkblot!’

He was saved.

He went home to his adulterous wife and she was saved.

And soon he was back with Rorschach, helping to save everyone.

E-mail John Kidd

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