So playing the trombone wasn't getting me in enough trouble?
|I need someplace to write down the often confusing thoughts that enter my mind, while my stories give voice to the characters that wander through periodically, this is the place for my voice. Join me if you wish, comment if you wish, all are welcomed and appreciated.|
|Posting from my phone, so please excuse both the brevity and typos.
We were forced to take my MIL to the hospital, she was getting weak, unable to eat, and dehydrated.
Unfortunately, a scan of her abdomen revealed masses on her liver. The doctors suspect that the masses are metastatic cancers that have spread from somewhere else.
Lenore and her siblings, after speaking with Momma's doctors have decided to forego any further intrusive testing. Aside from the fact that the tests themselves might prove fatal, it's almost a foregone conclusion that she wouldn't tolerate the treatment required. Nor would it really provide a livable extension of her life.
Mary was a strong lady, she lived a wonderful 97 years, and saw the birth of grand children and great grand children.
Please keep Mary and Lenore in your prayers.
|Bad. No worse than Bad. This Was BAD!!
There I was only halfway through my Easter gig when the alarms started going off. Flashing lights, screamin' klaxons, and bunnies running everywhere!
How in the name of my fluffy little butt could this happen?
"What do you mean we're out of candy" My nose was twitching wildly.
"It's a supply chain issue sir—"
"Supply chain, I'm the flippin' Easter Bunny!" My ears felt burning hot. "I am the supply chain—"
"It's Texas, Sir." The hare in front of me with a pink clipboard stammered. "They umm, closed the borders and ummm, lots of trunks are just sitting there—"
"What the carrot cake? We gotta do something about this—
"I contacted him, Sir."
"Him?" My nose twitched even harder. "Just who is Him?"
"Your cousin Pubby, Sir"
"Pubby!" Almost snorted a jelly bean through my nose. "Why in all that's chocolate-covered would you call that loopy little lepus?"
"He knows people, Sir"
"Oh my bushy tail, you aren't telling me we're getting that alcohol swilling monkey involved—"
"I'm afraid we had to, Chief." Tapping a carrot-shaped pen against his two cute little buck teeth. "We needed his contacts."
"That's it, this is the worst Easter ever," I moaned, "kids are going to stop believing in me for sure—
"No Sir!" Smiling for the first time as he touched the Bluetooth dongle in his ear. "It appears the crisis is averted, we've managed to secure the help of the greatest, most successful on-time shipping expert in the world."
"Oh, bunny pellets." My head in my hands. "Who did that crazy monkey hook us up with? As if I really want to know. And, what the name of chocolate bunny ears is this gonna cost me?"
"We got a great rate Boss, actually a trade-off—"
"Yeah we get emergency, expediated delivery service, and all we have to do is provide one million chocolate reindeer for delivery next December."
I felt my ears droop. "I am never gonna live this down ..."
Author's Note ▼
|In October of 1962, the first big news story I can remember happened, The Cuban Missile Crisis and the subsequent blockade of Cuban ports by the United States Navy. The Soviet Union, then led by Nikita Khrushchev, began assembling Nuclear ballistic missiles on Cuba. To counter the threat, The United States blockaded Cuban ports to prevent the arrival of additional troops and missile parts. For thirteen days, the United State and the Soviet Union were on the brink of war.
The situation ended peacefully when an agreement was worked out in back-channel negotiations between Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and Soviet advisor, Anatoly Dobrynin. The missiles were removed from Cuba after a public pledge by the US not to invade Cuba, and the secret agreement to remove US missiles from Turkey.
At least that was the official story, it wasn't until I stumbled across an old notebook full of monkey scribbles that I learned the real story!
It all started back in September of '62, Andre was just a teenage monkey, hanging out in a banana grove. He didn't have a care in the world, there were plenty of bananas to be had, he had a brand new kazoo and all was right in the world. Then it happened, Andre's dad decided it was time Andre got his first job. Andre didn't like it one bit, it interfered with his kazoo lessons, but Dad was adamant. So off to work he went. His first week went well, better than he expected work to be. His boss was great, the bar was a neat place to work, and he discovered vodka. The band even let him sit in on kazoo once in a while. It was all a young monkey could ask for in a first job.
Then in late September Andre noticed a change in the bar, swaggering men, wearing checkered shirts took over, almost forcing the usual crowd out some nights. The men often cleaned out the stock of wadka, much to Andre's chagrin, he was really starting to develop a taste for vodka. He resented the men in checkered shirts. He also suspected there were up to something naughty since they kept going back to their boats and hiding during the day.
Always a suspicious monkey, Andre decided to let a cousin who lived in the Smithsonian’s National Zoo know, Andre's cousin agreed that these guys were hinky and he kicked it up the line to PINCUS (Primate in Charge US), who in turn notified his counterpart in the hooman government.
Here's where the facts get fagazzi, it seems that the negotiations between the two governments weren't going well. Even attempts at end-runs by hooman President's brother were stalling. PINCUS realized drastic and unprecedented steps had to be taken to stop the hoomans from upsetting the banana barge.
He arranged contact between Andre and a doggie named Pushinka . Pushinka had a very fine pedigree, she was the daughter of a Russian Cosmonaut named Strelka and was very respected in the Soviet Union. She had even gotten away with eating one of Nikita's shoes while he addressed the United Nations.
Andre and Pushinka stayed up for thirteen straight nights, drinking Wadka and Baykal and eating banana pirozhkis. They actually had an agreement hammered out on Day Two, but were having so much fun drinking and eating, they forgot to tell anyone for eleven days.
When news of the agreement reached Moscow and Washington, hooman leaders knew they needed to take credit, keep the negotiations secret. So they concocted a cover story that stands up until now.
But now You know the truth!!
We all know what happened to Andre, and his rise to ownership of the Banana Bar. But in case you are wondering about Pushinka, she was secretly sent to the White House, to serve as unofficial Ambassador, she settled in nicely and was rumored to have had an affair with a Welsh Terrier named Charlie, who was rumored to be an unofficial Ambassador from the UK.
|Lilli ☕️ 🧿 runs a nifty forum "Question of the Day!" , and today question sort of jived with a blog post I have been thinking of doing.
The Question Today: "What are some things that you wished people knew about you?"
My question is where to start?
Let's go all the way back to "I'm Only the Trombone Player", which happened in 4th grade when I was nine years old. We were lucky enough to have a great music program, with wonderful teachers. We were allowed to choose our weapons of choice. Did I choose something cool like drums or sax or trumpet? Nope, I chose trombone, an instrument whose popularity, even then, was fading. I never practiced as much as I should have, sports like Little League and Soccer got in the way, but I stuck with it, my parents bought me a horn and I kind of felt obligated not to quit.
Along comes Junior High/Middle School and I'm still playing the trombone. But, now scholastic sports enters the picture. I was always a little guy, speedy for my size. Think of me as a little roadster (the car thing), quick and maneuverable, way too small for American Football, but well suited for Soccer (the rest of the World's Football).
Long story short, I had a great time playing Soccer, I loved my coach, and when he said a great way to stay in shape for soccer would be to join his wrestling squad I signed up. Turns out I was perfect for that also. Most teams didn't have a wrestler as small as me. So my matches were an automatic win for the team. The drawback was that to practice, I always had to wrestle above my weight. Disaster struck at a practice. While wrestling someone heavier than me and in a position where he was in control and on top of me, I tried to muscle my way out of the ride. The result was the tearing of most of the ligaments in my right foot. No More Little Roadster and no phys ed for the rest of the year.
So there I was in study hall instead of the gym when Mr. Carraras, my band teacher came along;
"What are you doing in study hall?" He asked.
"I can't go to gym for the rest of the year because I hurt—
"Well, this is a waste of time. Come with me." He walked up to the front table, where the study hall proctor sat.
Pointing at me. "He'll be in the band room from now on."
The study hall teacher passed him a clipboard, Mr. C signed off on something, and I was trapped in the band room for life. My foot never healed well enough to play sports again, still have occasional pain and a bit of a limp at times. But, I found a new home.
And that's how I became "Only the Trombone Player"
Playing the trombone provided many great experiences. I played, starting way back in fourth grade at five worlds fairs, marched at Disney World, and played at a pro football (American), and started playing professionally, all before I graduated from public school. In my Junior year of High School, I was told to grow a mustache to look older so that I would be able to play in bars I wasn't old enough to drink in.
During that High School period, I was also officially labeled as a Student Dissident. There was a problem with budget cuts and teacher reassignments. The music students didn't like the cuts, organized and led protests. Somebody who shall remain nameless led a sit-in at the District Administration Building, which forced a meeting with the school board. We won—and the Grumpy Leprechaun was born. And, it's still in my permanent record.
I have been lucky to have played in almost every musical genre and setting. I have played wedding bands (first professional gigs), Big Bands/Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestras, Opera Orchestras (boring for a trombonist), toured with a Country Western Band, Semi-Pro Off-Broadway Productions. I played on two different cruise ships (really boring). I was fired by Bobby Rydell (the whole horn section, we looked too young), but Karma bit Mr. Rydell when he was forced to hire the same horn section a year later to cover for his horns at a country fair.
I have been privileged to have taught some wonderful students, many of whom have gone on to become fine musicians and teachers themselves. Some entered Military service units, such as the Air Force's Airmen of Note, among others. Others are teaching in various parts of the United States and one even taught as far away as Singapore.
I mentioned the Grumpy Leprechaun up there. He the guy that shows up when I have to be an administrator. He has to say no a lot more often than he'd like to;
"I'd like to buy a new keyboard for the Jazz Ensemble."
"Do you have any money left in your budget code?" Grumpy asked.
"No, but I was hoping—"
"Then you already know the answer. Right?"
Teacher walks away dejectedly.
Then Pubby shows up;
"Ya know boss they really could use a new key—
"He spent all of his money already, go away Silly Rabbit."
"Yeah, but the old one starting to sound like—
"Watch it Rabbit, you know how I feel about bad language in the Music Wing."
Not to be deterred Pubby continues. "Well, couldn't the keyboard be used somewhere else too, maybe share the cost?"
And along comes Anon-Y-Monkey;
"So, if my calculations are right, and we take a little bit from the band, a bit from the choir, and a touch from Graduation, we're only about $250 short, we can swing—
"Wait, what are you saying?" I ask getting alarmed.
It's only $250 bananas." Wiggling his eyebrows. "We can swing that can't we?"
Lil' Lime Squeeze and A Guavé Tortuga, the two musicians of the group, nod at me from the corner of the room;
"Ya Mon." A cloud of fragrant herbal smoke surrounds Lil' Lime Squeeze's head. "We can't have the kiddies playin' on inferior instruments now."
I give up and give in, they beat me again.
Oh! By The Way; They prefer to be called facets of my personality, not figments of my imagination.
|So as part of my super-secret, undercover, very temporary, "I even have to wear a suit" assignment, I am doing a series of interviews.
The candidates are all current college students, who are interviewing either to do long-term observations of teachers currently teaching or prospective Student Teachers, who will actually join current teachers and teach classes next semester.
In short, they are all candidates for entry into the teaching profession.
Now, I realize this isn't a real job interview, and I realize that we are talking about students here.
But, there are some tips you need to follow;
The first tip applies universally to almost every job interview.
Dress for the Job You Want.
Shredded jeans and a tee-shirt are never appropriate for a job interview for any professional position.
An outfit you'd wear for a night out clubbing is also not appropriate. If it makes the custodian faint, it isn't appropriate.
If you need to, Shave! Comb your hair! Make an effort to look like you weren't on an all-night bender last night.
Yes, all three showed up this morning.
Next, bring a resume or curriculum vitae, even if it only covers your High School/College career.
Why? Because I'm more interested in hearing HOW you answer questions than the actual answer. It will be easier on you if I'm asking questions you (hopefully) already know the answers to.
If you tell me your favorite hobby is reading, expect me to ask which book you read last for pleasure.
Cooking, what's your favorite recipe?
I want to hear you formulate a cogent, clear answer.
Please don't make me resort to:
If you were a car, what kind of car would you be?
Bring A Pen!!
You are entering the big leagues now, you shouldn't need to borrow a pen to write things down or fill things out. And you will have to do both.
Prepare questions you will ask me in advance.
The questions don't have to be profound or even profession-related. Just show me you thought about the interview BEFORE you got here.
Where do I park?
Is there a place on-site to eat/buy lunch?
I have classes in the evening, will I ever have to miss them to perform duties here?
Unless you bring some for all of us, please don't bring food or drink into the interviewer's office. A water bottle is fine, a dry nervous mouth is a problem for everyone.
Practice your handshake or nowadays, your fist bump. Only offer it if the interviewer offers it first.
Remember, I'm just as nervous and eager to make a good impression as you are. I just have more practice at not showing it than you do.
|If you subscribe to the rodent theory of weather prediction, today's Groundhog prognostications were at best a mixed bag.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. So, according to this resident of Pennsylvania, we're in for 6 more weeks of winter. Of course, Phil has an accuracy rate of 40%. Which might be as good as any other meteorologist.
Now here on Long Island, we have not one, but two, weather-predicting rodents. Holtsville Hal, from the easterly end of our fair island is calling for an early Spring (Go, Hal). Alas, Malverne Mel, who resides in our west end predicted six additional weeks of Winter.
So it looks like the long Winter vote has it. In past years we might have gotten a fourth vote from the rodent also known as Mel. He lived in Milltown, New Jersey. Unfortunately, Milltown Mel has suffered the heartbreak of too many failed predictions, he decided to cross over the rainbow bridge just before being made to prognosticate another year.
I wonder what other communities have their own groundhogs, peering around corners, looking for their shadows? Does yours? The trinket below gives a little history behind Ground Hogs Day.
The 1993 Bill Murry feature, Groundhog Day, had Murry's character trapped in a time loop, which made it more SciFi, than RomCom, at least in my eyes. The TV show Stargate SG-1 did a similar show "Window of Opportunity" in 2000. It's the sixth episode from season 4, if you'd like to check it out, it is available on Amazon Prime and Hulu. (I think).
Previous to the film, the repetition Murry's character experiences wasn't associated with Groundhog Day, which came later. after the movie. The film itself gives no explanation for the repetition, even though there was one in the script's first draft. Stephanie's Curse , which she casts on Phil, the curse scene was deleted in the second draft.
Be sure to check out "Note: Hopefully, You Took Part In The [Link To ..."—Send A Merit Badge, Get 15K Gift Points!
So this morning, on my way over to the mainland, I decided to stop in at "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar" , for a quick breakfast snort – sandwich, yeah that's it, a quick egg, ham, and, cheese on a toasted roll, with butter, salt, and pepper.
Anywho! This notice was posted on the door;
Tell us all about "? Day" in a blog entry.
The best ideas for 'MUSE DAY' will be selected–
Then we'll celebrate that day on a future date in the Banana Bar.
It was scrawled in crayon and fastened to the door with a steak knife. Which means it's an official message from Andre. You can tell he worked hard on it because he used three different crayons!
Now I'm kinda busy with a semi-temporary, super top-secret project. I even have to wear a suit! But, this intrigued me.
What Day would the four misfits muses who constitute my writing persona consider worthy of Celebration?
It's not like any of them need an excuse to celebrate. The four of them will drop anything to have a party, including my charge card onto the bar. But, I digress.
A Guavé Tortuga, ol' slow and steady, unless of course, he's in Lil' Lime Squeeze mode, was the first to chime in.
He proposed the following possible days;
Lay Back and Relax Day!
There's Always Tomorrow Day!
Lil' Lime Squeeze chimed in with;
It's Five O'clock Somewhere Day!
On my way to the water taxi I ran into Pub Bunny next, he suggested these days of celebration;
Waiter! There's a Hare In My Soup/Cocktail Day!
Bleery Eyed, Floppy Eared and Bushy Tailed Day! – Which sounds more like a personal statement to me.
Anon-Y-Monkey jumped in, literally, he jumped out of a nearby tree with these beauties;
Go Away and Leave Me Alone Day! (I actually typed alone three different ways, until I finally spelled it correctly—I hate that speed-reading program from Elementary School.)
Give Something Away Day! — Not necessarily something of value, which is often his specialty.
Lastly, I shared the fast trip across the rippling pond with Grumpy the Leprechaun. He thought about his answer for a long time, I thought he was going to come up with something very profound. Turns out I was wrong again! He first said, "we should celebrate all things Irish." I pointed out Saint Paddy's Day already did that. Grumpy replied. "Fair enough, let me ruminate a bit more lad." Finally, he came up with;
Don't Put Ice In M'Grog Day!
Keep The Booze Away From That Monkey Day!
Why is There A Hare In Me Brew Day?
And, most likely his best suggestion;
Celebrate Yer Barkeep/Bar Manager Day!
What Day Would Your Muse Chose To Celebrate/Create?
Answer in the comments — Win A Prize!
"Where in the world did you find a green tuxedo?!?" I was aghast at Grumpy's attire, it wasn't just green ... it was really, No Really green. Shimmery satin lapels, with a matching stripe down the seam of his short little pants only added to its greenness.
"I found this beauty in the haberdashery yesterday, while you and that spendthrift bunny were out picking up another mouth to feed." Grumpy did a little spin to show me that his tux had tails. "A real cutie that one, though, so we'll let it stay."
Just as I was about to ask him where the others were, A Guavé Tortuga and Anon-y-Monkey walked in. Anony looked splendid his his well-fitted traditional tux, he even chose to wear patent leather shoes, polished to a mirrory gloss. A Guavé on the other hand was in his Lil' Lime Squeeze getup.
"Really A Guavé, that's what you're wearing to the Blame it on Your Muse Awards?" I was a little disappointed, A Guavé usually had more class.
"Oy Guv. m'buddy Andre asked me ta do a set with the band tonight. Strumming an air guitar. "So, I'm dressed to fit the bill."
"Wonderful." I muttered, "so where's Pubby, why are we always waiting on that bunny?"
Anon-y-Monkey answered. "He said he'd meet us at Andre's." Tilting his head to one side and shrugging. "Something about buying roses, and chocolates." Grinning. "And, this being the time for his famous moves."
I got some spray bottles out of the frig.
I herded them into the dugout for the short trip across the lagoon, thankfully it was a short trip because Grumpy immediately started claiming he was seasick. Seem's like he could get seasick looking at a glass of water.
We walked towards Andre's chatting about what to name the new muse, which was still very much up in the air. Lo and behold, there was Pubby nervously pacing up and down in front of the door. He was mumbling to himself, rehearsing several different pickup lines. "So what's a Beautiful Muse like you doing with an author like this?" He tried another out. "I bet we could write some great stories together!"
I was tempted to spray him, but he already looked pitiful enough.
We left him and went inside, Lilli ☕️ 🧿 had done a great job. The place almost didn't look like Andre's. the tables were all lined up into one long table. Muses and authors were mingling in a little alcove that was set up as a cocktail area. There was a banana daiquiri fountain, and all sorts of little finger foods to choose from. More people were arriving, though Andre wasn't there yet. The piggies in blankets were particularly yummy. The little Jack Russel terrier I shared mine with agreed with me. Brother Nature was checking his watch, a bit nervous, expecting Andre to make an auspicious entrance any minute.
Lilli announced that dinner would be served shortly and asked us to take our seats. There was a bit of tension amongst some of the Muses, apparently, Sha-Sha was stirring up some trouble within their midst. I didn't think that would end well, at least not for the authors, but my little fellas were pretty much immune to her shenanigans, well, except for Pubby. I could still see him pacing outside, Grumpy had brought a glass of liquid courage, which he sipped through a straw. Every sip made his ears twitch.
I felt guilty about the spray bottle ... a little guilty ... well, not really guilty.
We found seats and dinner started, there were several courses, each one more delicious than the first. Much of the meal was Island-based cuisine. Rich tropical fruits, fish. Though Lilli had thoughtfully had a steak prepared for me, she remembered my seafood allergies. Grumpy was overjoyed at the sight of his corned beef and cabbage feast, which included multiple versions of potatoes.
The deserts were a sight to behold, a table on wheels pulled by a team of yapping chihuahuas carrying every imaginable pastry, pudding, cookie, and cake. I did mention to Lillie that I was surprised there were no Banana Cream Pies. She looked at me like I was insane. "Banana Cream Pies?" Her voice raising above the band that was tuning up on stage. "With this crowd?" She smiled knowingly. "I'd look for Banana Creams in March though."
Things seemed to be going swimmingly, though Sha-Sha seemed to be egging some of the other Muses on to some type of mischief. We were still waiting for Andre. Where could he be?
The sound of an approaching propeller attracted us all to the glassless windows, sure enough, a blimp was approaching.
The sky was filled with billows of dark smoke and white steam. The blimp slowed and hovered over us. A rope tossed over the side landed at my feet. The skipper yelled down at me. "Tie us off lad."
I tied the best knot I could around a stout palm tree. As soon as the line was secure, Andre slid down it, followed by the blimps skipper, blimprider, he took one look at the knot I tied and said, "Your quite the lubber I see."
Now that Andre was here the festivities kicked into high gear. Vodka Virtuals replace the daiquiri fountain, Sha-Sha continued her campaign, and several trips were made to the basement.
The rest of the evening's events are best gleamed from various law enforcement reports, news clippings, and the log of the blimp.
Only my right opened when Pubby hopped into my room yelling. "Field Trip, get up, get we're all going on a field trip!"
"Pubby, what the hell, what time is—
"It's time to get up, hurry Richard, and we don't wanna miss the bus. Andre is driving."
Which proved that, yes indeed, things could be worse than having a sugar-addled bunny jumping around your bedroom. I pulled on a pair of shorts and a tee and found my flip-flops. Luckily, Anon-Y-Monkey had made coffee the night before on a timer. He and Grumpy were still sleeping off last night's bender on the couches.
"Are you going to wake them up also, Pubby?"
"Nope, no time, we're late, we're late ... for a critically important date!" He cracked himself up, not realizing that he hadn't gotten the quote correct.
"So, who is going on this field trip?"
Pubby thought about it for a while before he answered. "Ummm, all the bloggers are coming and all their muses—"
"All their muses, so why aren't we waking up those two sleeping beauties, and where's the turtle?
A Guavé Tortuga has a rehearsal, he can't come, and we don't need those other two. Just me and you today ol' buddy, ol' pal."
"Yes?" He was trying to sound innocent.
"Is Sha-sha coming on the trip?"
"Maaaybeee." Being coy, the insides of each floppy ear turned a bit pink.
I went to the frig and got two of the spray bottle I keep loaded. Just the thing, a quick spritz of ice water usually calms him down. Thinking about his latest infatuation, I grab the third icy cold spritzer.
We headed off to the other side of the isle, and sure enough, there was Andre. He was kicking the tires on an old yellow school bus. The smell of diesel was heavy in the air. A few of the other bloggers and their muses were already there, everybody looked nervous. Not sure if it was about the trip or the fact that Andre was driving.
I let Pubby pick out our seats, naturally, he took two seats right across from Marcus and Sha-sha. I whispered, "behave" and waved the spray bottle at him. He stuck his tongue out at me a struck up a conversation with Marcus. Smooth that bunny is.
With a grind of gears, I don't think Andre can reach the clutch peddle, and with a black belch of smoke the bus roared off on our adventurous field trip. Well, I thought. "It can't be worse than that basement can it?"
The teacher in me did a quick headcount, just a habit. Besides Marcus and Sha-sha there was Apondia and her muse, My Sox Rox and Daisey. Sitting at the back of the bus, as far away from Andre as she could get, sat Queen NormaJean loves gardens with her muse. Dave and Clio, the newest arrivals were sitting up front, helping Andre watch the road. Brother Nature sat behind Andre with a map out, every once in a while Andre flipped Brother Nature the bird. LeJenD's a GRANDMA!! and Ravyn were sitting in the middle, giggling about something.
Pubby leaned closer and whispered, "I think they're giggling at you."
"Yeah." I snorted. "Because it's every day you see a talking bunny with floppy ears."
Pubby shrugged. "Well, you're talking to a bunny with floppy ears."
I gave him a squirt of ice water.
We were doing about 600 MPH when Andre stood on the brakes, whipped the wheel to the left, and spun into the parking lot of a large white building. The building had a large sign, and once the dust cleared we were able to read it;
"The Haemingway Center For Muse Rehabilitation"
Everyone was talking at once; Mostly a lot of, "Why are we here", and "This better not be what I think it is", from the Muses.
Pubby looked at me accusingly, "Are you dumping me?"
I sprayed him again.
Andre popped the top on a beer, put his little furry feet up on the steering wheel, and growled something at Brother Nature. "Andre says, everyone out of the pool, errr, bus. Our tour's about to start."
We trooped towards the entrance, as well as a ragtag ensemble of Muses and authors could troop. We were met by a man dressed like a riverboat captain, he greeted us in a rich southern drawl. Now, Folks, it's mighty fine to see ya'll, there're a lot of fine folks just bustin' ta meet ya'll. Step this way, step this way."
Pubby nearly tripped over his ears trying to catch up to Sha-sha.
I sprayed him again.
We went to a room filled with muses, all of them authorless. Sadly some of their authors had passed on. Even sadder, some of their authors had just given up, abandoning their muse, not writing any longer. All of the authors were sad about that and talking it over we each decided to adopt an orphan muse. "Hey, it sounded like a good idea at the time."
There were still muses left so we decided to adopt and gift muses to our favorite authors at Writing.com.
I found a raven, it talked but had a very limited vocabulary. I decided he make a great muse for blimprider, maybe the skipper could teach it to say something besides "nevermore".
A muse named Thalia approached me and asked for help, I quickly had adoptions papers drawn up for Sum1 🛥 and Lornda. Who better to take care of comedies muse?
I found a little muse to adopt, it doesn't even have a name yet. When I get back to "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar" , we'll all have to do something about that! Keep a lookout!
I looked at the load of cartons that had just been dropped off on the dock. This was going to take a while, especially since it seemed like all of my helpers had performed a Houdini trick and disappeared. Not a bunny, turtle, monkey, or imp in sight. "Welp." Talking to myself. "I guess I better just get started without them, no telling if they'll show up anytime soon."
I began loading the cartons, all marked "Fragile", which the Leprechaun still insists is an Italian shipping concern. Silly Imp! I could tell the boxes all held bottles of liquid, each time I lifted one a little chime of clinking glass and a sloshing sound were quite distinct. They all fit into the back of Andre's '55 Chevy pickup, a candy apple red beauty. I was surprised when he tossed me the keys. Whatever this stuff was it must be pretty important.
I drove carefully over to the bar, the old pickup handled well despite being on the sand. But then, Andre had only the best tires on the truck. I backed up carefully to the service entrance and went to check with Andre. "Hey, Boss." tossing his keys back. "Where does this stuff go?"
Andre didn't look up, he was engrossed in playing both sides of a game of Mario Kart. He did point at a door that I hadn't even noticed before, ta' tell ya the truth, I don't think that door was ever there before. Shrugging my shoulders I decided to get a cart and bring all the boxes in before I even opened that door.
Finally, I had to open the door, couldn't put it off any longer. I was hoping one of the fellas might show up, at least to offer a bit of encouragement. But' that plainly wasn't on their agenda for today. I opened the door and saw the longest staircase I'd ever seen, it went on for miles—okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it was at least as long as the Queen's Staircase in Burmuda. "Geeze," I murmured. "I gotta carry all of this shi— stuff down these stairs by myself?"
I huffed and puffed, carrying one box at a time, counting the stairs as I went, sixty-six steps down and sixty-seven steps back up. "Wait! Talking out loud to no one. That can't be right!?! How is that possible?" Whatever I thought, two more to go, and I'm done anyway. Second to the last trip, the same sixty-six steps down, but, I must be getting tired, because now at the bottom I swear I can hear voices. All I can see is inky blackness, the only light shining on the shelves that I'm putting the payload on. I shake the voices out of my head and make the sixty-eight step climb back up for the last box. "What the hell? Sixty-Eight?
Sixty-three, sixty-four, Sixty-fi—ooooffff. "Ahh-ohhh." As my foot skids off of something on the stairs, I go backside over teakettle, landing in a heap at the bottom.
"Oh Laddie" In his rich Irish broagh. "Are they alright?"
"Figures you show up now." Annoyed and rubbing my posterior. "After all the work is done—whatta you mean they? Only one of us fell down the stairs."
"The bottles Idjit, I'm askin' about the bottles."
"Well, thanks for your concern. Where have you guys been, it seems like you all deserted me on this one."
He wasn't paying the least attention to me, he was busy checking out the case of bottles. "Ahhh, so that's good at least not a broken one amongst'em."
"What is that stuff?" Seeing the shimmering liquid for the first time. "And, where are we?"
Grumpy looked up and points down on the ground, there's a rough bit of parchment and an old quill. "It's best ya heed the advice on that missive laddie."
I pick up the moldering note, the ink is badly faded, I can just make out the words; 'Go Back, Hurry!'
I don't waste another minute, scrambling up all Sixty-Nine steps.