This Just In

by pjmcbride

Rom’s three-year-old granddaughter Fiona informed us that her friend Bingo Pingo had recently died. We did not know much about him, except that he was large and lived in the forest. The cause of death remains uncertain at this time, but is probably due to a witch or a big bad wolf. (Evidence is sketchy, but these are the usual suspects in such cases.) However, Bingo Pingo’s friends Honn-ghost and Fronn-ghost managed, by the aid of powerful magic, to bring him back from the dead. Unfortunately, a spell with such power can turn on its user, and in the course of the proceedings, Honn-ghost and Fronn-ghost themselves died–and, as it turns out, Bingo Pingo himself is still in peril. Fiona and her brother Archer plan to neutralize this threat, using powerful magic which they intend to purchase at a gas station. (As Rom pointed out, magic is something most people could really use while on the road.) Archer is characteristically close-mouthed about the details of their plan, although he did confirm his own involvement. I wondered how Fiona and Archer could avoid the fate met by Honn-Ghost and Fronn-Ghost, but I couldn’t think of a tactful way of asking. I will keep you informed of any further developments.


You knew there had to be one eventually, didn’t you?

You know you’re in trouble when you not only see, but smell, that the women’s room is occupied. There was a stench extending into the hallway, and multiple flushes were called for. “Oh no! A multi-flusher!” I thought. “Not only will I pass out when I finally get in there and take a breath, but the next person will think I did it!” That was too much to bear, so I quickly slipped into the men’s room.


–The walls are tan and the floor is brown, unlike the women’s room, where the scheme is, I believe, white and gray. (I can’t call it to mind for sure, even though I’ve been in there countless times.)

–The urinal is low enough for even little tykes like the aforementioned Archer, who is also three.

–Most interesting of all, the only functioning condom machine is in the WOMEN’S RESTROOM. How about that, ladies? “MALE SEXUALITY–WE DON’T CARE. WE DON’T HAVE TO.”

At any rate, I transacted my business, then thought, “With my luck, I’ll step out the door, and bump into Nick, who will then charge me with exposing myself in the men’s room, or something.”

Almost. He was around the corner, getting himself a fountain drink, so he’d have something to spill in the car later. He saw me and approached with great caution, ridging his back up, so I’d think he was even bigger. (He’s already bigger than I am, as he reminds me frequently. Yeah, and I don’t have wings and a tail either, so whatever.)

“Are you in mourning?” (I was all in black.)

“Yes, for the breakup of R.E.M.” (I was showing off my recently-acquired 1987 tour shirt, not that I saw them on the 1987, or indeed any, tour.)

He then quoted lyrics of “Losing My Religion” to me, which I believe he got by stalking the “About” part of my Facebook page. Unfortunately, he did not sing those lyrics, which I’m sure would have been worth hearing, for one reason or another.

Long story (as usual) short, I picked up the requisite apple ale for my current vacation, with the assistance of these two intrepid officers. This was a lot easier than carrying 2 6-packs myself, especially since I also had a fountain drink, and don’t have 3 hands. So Nick carried my fountain drink in his teeth (see–he can be gentle enough not to puncture styrofoam–a trick I haven’t completely mastered yet!). Yes, I was carded (I look pretty young, but I’m just backdated), and the clerk thoughtfully put the 6-packs in bags, so people wouldn’t think I was buying booze for the cops. I got into the squad car, thinking, “Tanya, please don’t give them a run…” (Although, in all fairness {well, some fairness}, I feel compelled to add that the last time a ride home almost turned into a ride-along, Nick did not make me beg to be let out of the car, as I’d feared he would.)

Nick pretended he was going to take a drink of my soda (think you’d enjoy caffeine-free diet cola with sugar-free mango spritzer, DO YA, PUNK?) (well, maybe he would–he drinks pink lemonade in public) and said, “Then you’d never throw away this straw,” which is mighty big talk coming from a beast who starts to salivate whenever he sees me. When we got to my house, he cheered me on through the police loudspeaker as I maneuvered my various beverages into the house, offering helpful suggestions as to how this might best be accomplished. And I am the thoughtful type, so I forgot to offer him and Sam banana nut bread with chocolate chips, which I had at my disposal.

I have more to say, including the Scratchy Glitter Guide to Fireworks, but I think I’ve gone on long enough. Apple ale awaits.