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Motley Horror Ticker Show
Halloween, 1997

This Feature

Scary Story: Sometimes I scare Myself
Scary Story:Ida the Stockbroker
Scary Story:The Maven
Scary Story:Readers Tell All
Trick:Greate Bay Casino Corp.
Trick:Quigley Corp.
Trick:Profit Financial Corp.
Trick: Koo Koo Roo
Treat: National Realty
Treat: Creative Technology
Treat:Hershey Foods
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The Maven
A Motley Ghoul Production
By TMF Jeff (TMF Jeff)
with help from Edgar Allen Poe

ONCE upon a midnight inquiry, while I pondered sprite and cheery,
Over stock pages quite contrary and volume of Foolish lore,
While I nodded nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone abruptly rapping, rapping at my office door.
"Tis some Wise man," I muttered, "tapping at my office door --
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the late October
And each separate passing ticker wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow -- smartly I had saved not borrowed
For I had read the book of Foolish lore -- lore of the Foolish Four --
Of the great and radiant maiden whom the Fools called Foolish Four --
Named here for evermore.

And the quick and certain passing of each ticker symbol
Thrilled me -- filled me with fantastic riches never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"Tis some Wise man entreating entrance at my office door --
Some late Wise man entreating entrance at my office door --
This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I am Foolish, and so abruptly you came rapping,
And so corruptly you came tapping, tapping at my office door,
That scarcely could I ignore you" -- here I opened wide the door; --
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming nightmares no Fool ever cared to dream before;
And the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were the whispered words, "Foolish Four!"
This I whispered, and my echo murmured back the words, "Foolish Four!"
All of this, and needing little more.

Back into the office turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what this threat is, and this annoyance explore --
Let my heart be still a moment and this annoyance explore; --
"Tis the Wise and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Maven of the Wall Street days of yore;
Not the least courtesy made he; not a minute stopped or paid me;
But, with look of thief or nuisance, perched beside my office door --
Perched upon a bust of Buffett just beside my office door --
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Soon this pin-striped Maven did dampen my Foolish fancy,
By the grave and sterrn decorum of the business that he swore.
"Though they suit be clean and pressed, thou," I said,
"art sure no grand Market Maven -- but a grim and ancient Maven,
wandering from the Market floor --
Tell me why thy Wise body is here on this Fool's successful shore!"
Quoth the Maven, "Nevermore."

The Maven, sitting lonely on the famous bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour
Nothing further did he utter
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have been Wise before --
But on the morrow they all join me, as the Foolish good has shown me
More than once before."
Then the Maven said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by the reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what you utter is only slop and nothing more,
You come from some unhappy master whose unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his stocks a many burden bore --
Till the dirges of his failed market timing many sad investors bore
Of never, nevermore."

But the Maven still dampening all my Foolish fancy,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of him, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous Wise man of yore --
What this grim, unprofitable, gaunt and ominous Wise man of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

Then methought the air grew denser, blackened by an unseen cancer
Wrought by Wise men whose footfalls echoed on the tufted floor.
Wise men!" I cried, "thy Boss hath sent thee -- by these devils he hath sent thee.
Respite -- respite and repent, and pay heed the Foolish Four!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind repentence and pay heed the Foolish Four!"
Quoth the Maven, "Nevermore."

"False prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! -- false prophet still, if man or Dancing Bear,
Whether Wall Street sent thee, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Pin-striped and mis-spoken, on this Foolish land enchanted --
On this home of Jester planted -- tell me truly, I implore --
Is there -- is there hope that you'll be Foolish -- tell me, tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Maven, "Nevermore."

"False prophet!" said I, "thing of evil -- false prophet still, if man or Garzerelli!
By that Market which moves beneath us -- by that Bull we both adore
Ask this Fool with sorrow ladened if, within the distant quarter,
Ye shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the Fools name Foolish Four --
Clasp a strong and radiant maiden whom the Fools name Foolish Four."
Quoth the Maven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, man or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting.
"Get thee back into the tempest and to your Wise and darkened shore!
Leave no business card as token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my Foolishness unbroken! -- quit the bust beside my door!
Take thy hand from out my pocket, and take they form from out my door!"
Quoth the Maven, "Nevermore."

And the Maven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the golden bust of Buffett just inside my office door;
But his eyes have all the seeming of a Fool's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And his profile from out that shadow, that lies floating on the floor
Shows that he be lifted -- and be Wise nevermore!

For that shadow that lies floating, floating on the office floor
Shows plainly his acceptance of the Fool's Foolish Four!
For in the shadow there stands clearly, that of Fool cap outlined dearly;
Fool cap which he now so proudly wore.
And with his words so oft repeated, he meant not to be mistreated,
For indeed what he'd meant was he'd be Wise Nevermore!

But, instead, Foolish -- forevermore.

Happy Halloween!

Next: Scary Story: Readers Tell All


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