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Is it OK if I used it to nudge several people towards Death Valley with it?

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Posted on Jul 2, 2010 8:02:05 AM PDT
Since there was an issued freeze on litterbox usage,I think the Buffalino headed
somewhere new to take care of business. You might try checking the showers.
I know that will be a hardship...cover your eyes and watch your step!

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 10:02:59 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 2, 2010 4:36:41 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 10:42:36 AM PDT
< Idiot Lover, that's a tad caustic. I know sarcasm can sometimes creep over the line, but just because JackOfMostTrades went ad hominem didn't mean you needed to return tit for tat. Objectively, you make some good points in passing, but they get lost a bit in the sarcasm. I think you meant "concentration camp prisoners" rather than "POWs," a term usually reserved for soldiers in war (rather than part of the civilian population being spirited away for genocidal purposes). Although they are obviously prisoners, in a war against themselves, POW has a settled narrower meaning. Don't hate me for correcting you. Please? Oh, and don't love me for it either! Yikes! >

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 10:54:42 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 2, 2010 4:36:52 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 11:30:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2010 11:41:30 AM PDT
mango™ says:
I don't know, not feelin' the love ..... this feels like a toxic waste dump!

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 11:48:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2010 4:01:52 PM PDT
A_math watched as Biff, Bruce, Brandon and Cruze turned off their showers and started to towel off. What a relief -- he'd be alone shortly.
But then the men went right back into the shower stalls and started showering again.
"Didn't you just shower?" a_math asked Biff.
"That was the pre-shower."
The manager of the facility entered the shower room, inspecting each of the men in the stalls. He seemed upset with the man a_math knew as Brandon.
"Brandon, what's this?" the man pointed at the central drain. "You didn't pre-shower properly again?"
The other men all groaned. A_math didn't now why, but found out very quickly.
"Okay, you guys know the rules," the man declared. "EVERYBODY pre-showers again, thanks to Brandon."
The man left to the sounds of universal grumbling.
"Why is the boss so interested in everybody being squeaky clean?" a_math asked Biff.
"Oh, he's got no interest in us being clean," Biff explained. "He's just a lunatic."
"Then why do you work for him?"
"He's our dad."
The man came back in with new instructions. "Forget pre-showering. Everybody start pre-pre-showers, NOW." The man then walked up to a_math.
"Don't rightly remember having a fifth son," he looked closely at a_math's face.
"Don't rightly remember having a second dad," a_math replied, "but if you're open to it, so am I."
"You must be a son of mine, then," the man turned to walk away. "You've inherited my foul attitude."
"You the man!" a_math called back to him, then turned to Biff. "So, we're brothers, it appears."
"When were you born?" Biff asked, and a_math told him.
"Wow, we're twins then!" Biff explained. "We were born the same day! But you don't look like me," he scanned a_math's frame carefully. "We must be infernal twins."
"Fraternal twins."
"Right, eternal twins." Then the fire alarm went off, but the men kept showering.
"Brother Biff," a_math asked over the din of the alarm, "Don't you think we should get outta here? That's the fire alarm."
"No safer place than in the shower, Brother ... uh, I didn't catch your name..."
"No, you didn't." a_math kept showering, sniffing for smoke, annoyed at the din of the alarm. "Dad" came running into the shower room with a fire extinguisher, spraying the foam all over the five men, a_math included. Then the water suddenly stopped, and all five were sopping with fire-retarding foam. Then they heard the announcement over the speaker system:
"Ladies and ladies, for your viewing pleasure, please give a big fat hello to, the world-famous Chippendale dancers!"
Dad pushed all five men out the door onto the stage, dressed in nothing but thick fire-retardant foam. "Get out there and knock 'em dead!" he said over the fire alarm and the screams and swoons of the women in the audience.
The men formed a Riverdance line and started kicking foam out into the audience, a_math dancing for all he was worth, praying he'd stay covered up with enough foam in strategic places to prevent this post from creeping away from a PG-rating. In between dance moves and can-can kicks, he yelled to Biff over the music, the screaming, the fire alarm.
"Don't you guys usually wear clothes for this? This foam won't last long at this rate!"
"What clothes? This is the routine we do every night. Dad calls it the 5-Alarm Fire Dance. Gets us extra tips. Don't get too close to Cruze when he dances, though -- his pedicure's too long and he'll cut you up."

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 3:35:16 PM PDT
After a very short time I was exhausted, but it became clear that we had hardly started. I managed to deduce that from the following conversation.

"Hey, guys, I'm completely exhausted."
"We've hardly started pal."

After a while, I began to notice that the other four would often step back and leave me centre stage, and whenever they did, the loud (female) cheering became particularly loud. Could it be that I was a natural at this? Had I discovered my true vocation?

I saw a dog barking in a corner of the room. Even a dog was enjoying my routine! But then I noticed that the dog was Irony. Oh dear. Were the cheers ironic?

The more I thought about it, the more plausible that hypothesis became, so I attempted not to think about it. But I couldn't get rid of the unpleasant tension in my stomach as, rather half-heartedly, I moved about (trying as far as I could to imitate the others, but what felt like my best efforts were met with the loudest cheers, which I now realized were mingled with laughter), hoping to last until the first interval.

When it finally came, Biff said, "You did good, bro."
"Thanks," I replied, at which point the laughter he had been suppressing burst out.
"You mean I didn't do good, bro?"
"Let's just say that you gotta lot to learn."

A thought occurrred to me. "Can I ask you something?" I asked, thereby answering my question in the affirmative, except that I was talking about a different question.
"What about my audition? You said I was going to have an audition."
"The shower was your audition."
"The shower?"
"But ..."
"Hence the foam," he replied hastily.

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 5:06:57 PM PDT
Idiot Lover says:
Boo hoo hoo, love is never reciprocated on Amazon, boo hoo hoo. Let the story tellers ply their trade in peace (they are, after all, pretty decent at it -- at least, I like what I've been reading so far). I have the satisfaction of knowing that Jack's curmudgeonly posts also picked up some No votes. Is it less toxic here now that I removed my posts above? Grrr.... If you say something negative about actions that are toxic to the unborn, though, be prepared to be skewered! And, no, I wasn't polite -- should WWII's victims have been polite to their captors and executors? I'll go back to Lurkville, but I'll reserve the right/privilege to comment if more moral boundaries get blurred. Let such drivel go unchallenged? Not on my watch! That's where the good ol' time lovin' comes in!


Posted on Jul 2, 2010 5:14:10 PM PDT
Idiot Lover says:
< See, there's proof positive -- metaphysical certainty, in fact -- that a_mathematician is NOT peripheral as he feared, but in point of fact, he is "centre stage," as his eyewitness report ...uh, reports. Way to go, a_math! Quite a shift -- from English gigues and gavottes to ... uh... English Riverdance stuff, I guess. Done in the... foam. Yeah, that's it -- you were foamtastic! (Since you adore puns and double entendres, I couldn't resist.) I think that's a wildly succesful new bumper sticker waiting to happen: HENCE THE FOAM. >

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 5:17:47 PM PDT
Okkayyy... What Idiot Lover said. I guess. Who taught her to use those quote marks? WriterGal? Margo?

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 5:41:54 PM PDT
Could we please just all get along? It would be nice if we could all enjoy this thread. I also have strong christian moral standards as you can see from my earlier post to jackofmosttrades. But attacking others to make a point is a fruitless endeavor. Did Jesus verbally attack others to teach God's word? We can attract more flies with honey than vinegar. I am not your enemy, and I would like you to be a welcome addition to this thread. You are an enthusiastic contributor, but maybe sometimes a tad too enthusiastic?:) We all have to try and take things with a grain of salt. I myself have been too quick to become defensive in the past<sorry a_math!>. We all have to try and not step on each others toes, so to speak.
Please consider these words.
Thanks! :-)

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 7:05:19 PM PDT
mango™ says:
I loved the plug for Scotchguard (available, the image of frothy men doing Riverdance <was also picturing the can-can>,(DVD soon to be released and soon to be available @

I'm missing Mr. Sir, rhino heads, portable graves, random cranial adjustments, and I am quite concerned who's minding the HBM if, as alluded , the the BOOK CLUB members are in the Chippendale's audience.....

I'm also again wondering how Mr.S. knew about the high-kicking, foamy dancers.....He really seems to know a bit too much , even with his bow-tie connections.

And I Still don't know why a_math is so fixated on Mr. Sir......

So many questions, so little chocolate.....

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 8:06:42 PM PDT
I agree with you Margo! I think it's time to get back In the HBM and set off to new adventures and resolve or continue to unravel some of the other ones!
Here Margo. Here's a 5 pound bag of chocolate to hold you over. And a fire extinguisher in case those guys need recoating.
I'm going to sit in the HBM and watch episodes of Chip and Dale on the portable dvd player. I'm in shock after discovering my husband Bruce is moonlighting as a dancer!

Posted on Jul 2, 2010 9:14:12 PM PDT
K. McGrath says:
That would be shocking, and expensive. As I recall, Mr S notes were being tossed onstage with great abandon. Where is our driver for the HBM? This thing isn't on auto-pilot... or is it? <I should insert "Bueller" here, or use "Stella" as an alternate, possibly "Adrian"... but as Marlon Brando trumps Sylvester Stallone, so does Ben Stein trump them both... IMHO.>

Bueller, Bueller...?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2010 9:14:44 PM PDT
pdunn says:
I love you guys! I've joined the Yahoo group to get the past posts and I'm trying to catch up. I absolutely love what you're doing! Yeah, I'm lurking for now, but I hope to be able to jump in someday!


Posted on Jul 2, 2010 11:58:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2010 2:38:15 PM PDT
General McChrystal and I sat down in the captain's quarters for dinner, which Booty had served with style. Several pirates were watching us from the doorway.
"What's with them?" McChrystal asked after taking a few bites of food.
"They're keeping an eye on you," I said.
"Security detail on your ship?"
"Not really," I explained. "The fastest way to get you aboard was to tell them you're the new food taster." I looked over to the doorway and saw the pirates nodding and closing the door. "Guess dinner's okay. Thanks for checking, General." I started my food at that point. Booty was standing by, up against the wall, listening in case we needed anything.
"So, tell me," McChrystal began, "I did a web search on you. You're related to Lou Finkel."
"He's my brother-in-law," I admited.
"Discredited brother-in-law," he added.
"That's one way to tell the story," I explained.
"Is there another?"
"There's always the truth," I said. "It doesn't exonerate Lou, but it explains things. Somewhat."
"If I'm partnering with you," McChrystal warned, "I've got to know everything."
I sighed. "Fine. Lou was looking for patent help with a new drug he had invented, which was probably the most successful drug of all time. That's what brought him to my door. In the process of working on the project, he met my sister Melissa and they fell in love. I became his brother-in-law about eight months later."
"What drug did he invent?" McChrystal wanted to know.
"Right. It flew right through double-blind tests in all its clinical trials for virtually any ailment out there."
"More astonishing when you realize it has no active ingredients. Just inert ingredients. Hence the placebo part of the name."
"Wait a minute," McChrystal objected, "How could placebocillin outperform placebos in double-blind tests?"
"Aye, that's the rub," I nodded. "Lou exposed dishonesty in the clinical trials -- in a sneaky way. His company, Big Pharma, greased the skids in a sting operation. Lou was the perfect person for the job. He looks like a scam artist, like Mr. Bribe himself. He didn't ever actually pass money, just kept saying that 'Big Pharma' would be 'much obliged' if the tests went Placebocillin's way. The clinical trials thought Lou's little four-man firm was the entire industry because of the name he chose."
"He started marketing Placebocillin. There were a few hiccups in quality control."
I frowned. "One glitch was that the IV bags pre-filled with Placebocillin were filled with the powdered form of it, not the liquid form."
"That would obviously ruin the results," he said, "nothing would get into the patient."
"Ironically, it didn't ruin the results, despite no dosage to the patient. Remember, it's placebocillin. The placebo effect does the healing. The glitch didn't hurt us at all."
"Yet his company went belly-up, didn't it?"
"Yep. They couldn't touch him no matter what. The FDA tried to recall the product for making illegal claims, but the Placebocillin label clearly affirmed it had no active ingredients. It only had inert ingredients, and eleven secret herbs and spices. The world was Lou's oyster."
"Why'd it all collapse?"
"As they say," I quoted from King Kong, "'twas beauty that killed the beast. Melissa, several weeks after their marriage, became furious with Lou -- nobody knows why -- and gave the secret ingredients of Placebocillin away on a Youtube video."
"Well, the government can just tell everybody it's a hoax, it's nothing but a placebo. Clinically worthless."
"The government COULDN'T say that -- THEY did the trials that said it was 90% more effective than a placebo. So a batch of Placebocillin could be mixed up anywhere, for anybody, plus the demand was sky-high because the government wouldn't admit tampering with the trials, and so Lou became a pariah for trying to build a business based on psychosomatic physiological effects."
"He was far more upset at what Melissa did than anything," I explained. "He expected to be disappointed by the FDA and other drug companies, but not by Melissa. But Melissa put the gun in the hands of Lou's opponents, and he lost everything. He also lost his self-respect, and so, as you say, he's discredited. But I think he got a raw deal, from my sister and from the Feds. To add insult to injury, despite having his company name for four years, he was sued over it because 'Big Pharma' now meant the cartel of drug companies, and he had to pay them for the use of a name that they never copyrighted or trademarked. He was royally messed over, General."
"Okay, I think I can work with you, then. Looks like Lou isn't a scumbag after all."
"Oh, he IS a scumbag, General." I looked him in the eye. "But he didn't start out as one. The system, and his marriage, ruined Lou. Something ruined Melissa first, but nobody knows what. She won't talk about it. And that ruined Lou, business-wise and then personally."
The general nodded, then reached over for some croissants. I shot my hand out to stop him.
"No, don't eat those," I said sharply. "Booty, get over here. Weren't these the bad croissants from Monday?"
Booty hurried over and examined them. "Yeah, I think they are. They still have ThroatBlade's bite marks in the top one."
"Take them away," I shooed Booty off.
"ThroatBlade?" the general asked.
"He was food taster a couple of guys ahead of you."
"He retire?"
I looked the general straight in the eye.
"You don't retire from being food taster."

Posted on Jul 3, 2010 2:55:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2010 2:58:20 AM PDT
I think I'd like to draw a discreet veil over the rest of the show, or perhaps I could just squirt it with another few layers of foam. Let us fast forward to the final curtain call, after which the Chippendales and a_math returned to the showers to clean up. The second shower was almost as interminable as the first (but at least it was more terminable than the nightmare that was the show I had just taken part in). We began with a pre-pre-pre-shower, moved on to the pre-pre- and pre-, and then sat about shivering (or rather I was shivering -- my "brothers" seemed used to everything) because the hot water had run out.

"It'll take a while," said Biff, "but we'll get to finish within the next hour."
"Look, I really need to go," I replied, "There are some people waiting for me."
"OK, it's your choice. But to me, the idea of stopping after the pre-shower is kinda disgusting."
"Where are my clothes?"
"I'll go ask pop."

"Pop" arrived a few minutes later. "We had to incinerate your clothes," he said. "Health and safety regulations. And the same with your personal effects. Except for this."

He handed me a piece of paper -- some kind of delivery notice.

"That's not mine," I replied.
"Yes it is. We found it amongst your belongings. I can't let you leave without it."
"Can't you just throw it away?"
"No I can't."

Right now, there were more pressing concerns, so I took the delivery notice, and asked, "Can I have some clothes? I'll pay for them if you like -- assuming that you didn't incinerate my wallet."
"I did. So if you want clothes, I'm gonna have to give 'em to ya. And if I'm gonna have to give 'em to ya, then I'm givin' ya clothes that I don't need no more. Boys, are we done with the nun show?"
"YES!" said four voices in unison.

And so it was that, for the second time in my life, I found myself in a nun's habit, though this one was easier to put on and take off. Once I'd got it on, and found a little pocket where I could temporarily put the delivery notice which, apart from the habit itself (and a pair of sandals), constituted my entire worldly goods -- that was quite a thought, so perhaps I wouldn't throw it away immediately -- I rushed outside to find the HBM. As you've probably worked out by now, it was nowhere to be seen.

Posted on Jul 3, 2010 7:09:32 AM PDT
There was a_math but not quite as alone as he thought, for there was one other rider from the HBM that had gotten left behind.
"Prrupt", looking down a_math discovered a large buff and white cat sitting by his feet. (For a few posts he's your responsibility, don't lose the cat)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2010 8:41:44 AM PDT
mango™ says:
Dressing like a nun seems to be a habit for a _math. he even drew a veil over the Chippendale's Grand Finale. Are those rampaging nuns from the convent still in charge of the L.O.C? probable rummaging around burning any salacious BOOKS they can find.

Posted on Jul 3, 2010 1:31:00 PM PDT
A_math stood outside Chippendales staring at the empty spot where the HBM had been parked. There were no signs it had even been there except for a couple of chicken feathers on the ground. He felt something brush his leg and looked down to see the cat they kept calling Buffalino on the HBM. This cat seemed to be a prized possession of one of those Club women. Hmm, he pondered. Could this little furry inconvenience work in his favor? Perhaps it could; it was then that he decided to keep the cat with him. A-math knocked on the back door of Chippendales; Biff answered the door. A-math asked Biff if he could borrow one of his leashes from his stage props. After securing the Buffalino with it, he sat down on an outdoor bench to contemplate how he would get out of this place. Just then the Bluehaired Biker Mamas pulled up in front of him.
A-math, sizing up this band of women, figured they should have called themselves the Bluehaired Biker Grandmas. They wore some interesting outfits consisting of spandex, studded and fringed colorful jackets, scarves and boots. Each was sitting upon a 1940s BMW motorcycle with a sidecar. Only one of the sidecars was empty of a passenger.
After some quick thinking, a_math concocted a story about being stranded after some evil,deprived women had refused to take "her" to "her" convent. The Bluehaired Biker Mamas offered him and his cat a ride wherever he needed to go.
A_math 'blessed' the biker mamas and climbed aboard the side car with Buffalino in his lap. Maude, the Bluehaired woman with the matching eyeshadow and hot pink lips-and enough wrinkles to give a Sharpei a run for its money- placed an extra helmet over his head(as much as it would fit over the nun's habit).
A-math rode off in a cloud of dust, cat in lap and Bluehaired Biker Mamas heading for his mysterious destination....


Posted on Jul 3, 2010 2:36:15 PM PDT
< a_math & Jennifer -- Great story hooks, both of you. Nicely done, with fascinating humorous touches consistent with the story arc. I like where this appears to be going! >

Posted on Jul 3, 2010 2:37:16 PM PDT
< Also loved Mahala's stern hand-off: "Don't lose the cat." >

Posted on Jul 3, 2010 2:44:50 PM PDT
<Bluehaired Biker Mamas- not your average biker gang. More like biker biddies! :) Thanks for the compliment. One never knows if people are going to like the plots we create...I was having fun with poor Pumpernickel a.k.a. Cannonball and his little t-shirt Become me-it'll be a blast! Not sure anyone else cares about Draebbeard and PTF. Oh well!>

Posted on Jul 3, 2010 2:51:56 PM PDT
< J.A.W., I do indeed plan to start a story arc with PTF and Draebbeard, once I decide which of the three LoC buildings/ships they're esconced in. I'm assuming Draebbeard isn't a captain, but is a more lowly deckhand, since all three vessels already have captains (Adams Building: Sister Myrrh/Hagatha/Sea Hag, Jefferson Building: Mister Sir/Deathbeard, Madison Building: Melissa Finkel/Finkelbeard). >

Posted on Jul 3, 2010 2:59:02 PM PDT
< Potential plot lines I see that could be developed (by me or someone else): Lou Finkel is on a motorcycle, as are the Bluehairs, implying a possible "close encounter" at a biker bar between a_math, the Bluehairs, and Lou as they head eastward -- especially if Lou is driving a BMW bike (e.g., he parks at the bar, the only motorcycle outside -- comes out an hour later, can't find his bike in a sea of BMW motorcycles, gets in argument with the Bluehairs over the bike. Says, "okay, ladies, just hop on the bikes that are yours, drive away, and the bike that's left is mine." After all the bikes leave, there are no bikes left). Another plot twist: a_math is in a nun's outfit, BUT he's also former captain of the Adams building when he was known as Stinkbeard, which is now run by nuns -- nuns that he was escaping from when he became the novitiate known as Sister Cipher. So an historic return to the Adams, replete with repercussions, could be in a_math's future, since he'd be piped aboard as a crew member being in a nun's outfit. That's not to mention the HBM's trajectory, the mission to Picatinny Arsenal by the Jefferson pirates under Deathbeard and General McChrystal, or what's going on with Melissa at the Madison with her four flaming forklifts. See how easy it is to cover the plot lines? And, NO, I'm not pursuing any plotlines around Biff, et al. Sorry, ladies. >
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