You of course all remember the continuing adventures of our favorite bon vivant, right? What’s that? Some of you are new around these parts? Well, you’re going to want to catch up before you read this, otherwise you’re going to be coming in in the middle of our stories, and you won’t know who the characters are, or have the rich backstory we’ve worked so hard on around here. First, our bon vivant went to London, saved all the tea and his BFF-ship with Kate Winslet, and foiled that dastardly L. Ron Hubbard; then our bon vivant went BACK IN TIME to hang out with J.S. Bach and Kate Winslet, and save music as we know it, and ran afoul of his NEMESIS, Jeff Goldblum DUN DUN DUNNNN; and most recently, our bon vivant went to Japan, where he rescued all tea from becoming obsolete with the help of Rachel Weisz and his most amazing dogs, Ella and Louis.
Are you all caught up? Good. As you can see, Ken (the bon vivant in question) has many adventures. MANY adventures. These adventures, were they not documented by The Person Who Writes These, might fall by the wayside. Which would be a crying shame, really. These things are GOOD. They are WORLD-RENOWNED. However, The Person Who Writes These has been busy. She has been SO BUSY. So she doesn’t always get to document them in a timely fashion as nature intends.
But the other day, our bon vivant made an offhand comment on a blog that The Person Who Writes These likes very much – THIS VERY BLOG RIGHT HERE – and it made her head-wheels turn so she decided, yep. It’s time. Time for another tale of high bon-vivantery. Wait. That makes it sound like someone’s smoking weed in this story. NO ONE IS SMOKING WEED IN THIS STORY. Oh, wait, yeah, later someone might be smoking weed in this story. I take that back.
So…without further ado (with me, there’s always ado. You know that. I bring ado wherever I do. I am awash with ado) I bring you…
The latest tale of bon vivantery…complete with jaunty hats…
THE INVASION OF THE BON VIVANT SNATCHERS (aka DOPPELGANGER AHOY!)
One day, our bon vivant went on the internet. Listen, bon vivants go on the internet, much as anyone might. It is a good way to keep up with far-flung friends. Bon vivants have MANY far-flung friends. They make them as they bon vivant, you see.
“Huh,” said Ken. “This is strange.”
Where he had had many, many bon vivanty friends on Facebook only a week or so ago, he noticed the number had dropped. Substantially dropped. There were many notifications; he clicked on the little red number curiously.
“What the hell is wrong with you? UNFRIENDED,” said one.
“I can’t believe you would say that to me. We’ve known each other for YEARS,” said another.
“Last night was great! CALL ME!” said a third. (This one was worrisome, let’s be honest. FLATTERING, but worrisome. Because he didn’t THINK he’d had any sort of “last night” with this person.)
One of the messages was from his good friend Helen. Helen lived in Taos, New Mexico. The bon vivant likes Taos very much. He also likes Helen very much, and they had many cups of tea together back when he was a much younger bon vivant.
“This is a very destructive path you’re on, Ken. I don’t think we can be friends anymore if you’re going to act like this,” her message said.
He sent her a message. “Helen! What are you talking about? What happened?” Since Helen was online, she responded.
“You know what you did, Ken,” she said.
Oh, no! People don’t say “you know what you did” to Ken! That’s what KEN says to HIS NEMESIS JEFF GOLDBLUM! Well, THIS couldn’t be more worrisome if it tried!
“I’m sorry, Helen, but I don’t know. Did something happen?”
“I don’t think I can talk about this,” she said. “It’s too fresh in my mind. Too raw. Maybe someday we can rebuild our friendship, but you really need to work on you first.”
Then she logged off, and would not respond to Ken, no matter what he wrote.
He looked at his faithful dogs, Ella and Louis, with a worried look.
“This is not good news, Ella and Louis,” Ken said. “Something’s going on in Taos. I think I’ll have to go there to see what’s happening. What do you think? Want to go to the States with me? I think I will need your help. You’ve been such help in the past.”
Louis was very excited and ran in circles. Ella blinked once, sagely, to show her approval.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Can a person just BRING dogs from GERMANY into the UNITED STATES? Because SOME people (who are writing this) thought until VERY RECENTLY that was NOT ALLOWED and there was some sort of insane quarantine period and the dogs had to sit in doggy-jail for like ever until the quarantine period was up. But NO! It is a TRUE FACT that isn’t the case at all and if you tell a bon vivant you think that they will chuckle at you (but most politely, of course, I mean, the bon vivant is nothing if not the most kind person ever) and say, “Um. That’s an urban legend, you know that, right?”
So Ella and Louis are TOTALLY allowed to come along for the U.S. bon vivantery. Don’t even think they’re not. Which is good, because listen, this story was going to be a lot less interesting without happy red dogs. I mean…um…not that this is a STORY, this is TRUE TALES OF BON VIVANTERY AS TOLD TO THE PERSON WHO WRITES THESE BY THE BON VIVANT HIMSELF.
So off to the States the bon vivant went! With Ella and Louis! And with many worries, because WHAT WAS GOING ON? Oh, also, well of course he brought many hats. Why would you expect otherwise? I mean, he is the bon vivant, of course. You don’t just TRAVEL across the WORLD without HATS.
When Ken landed in Taos, he realized something was going on. Everyone was looking at him. But not in the way they usually looked at him. Listen, Ken is used to being recognized. He’s the bon vivant. He goes places and people say, “Oh, it’s you! Ken! The Bon Vivant! I recognize you! And your hat!” and although that’s always a little humbling, he’d gotten used to it by now. I mean, you have to. As a bon vivant. If you ever become a bon vivant, you’ll understand. But people weren’t looking at him in a bon vivanty way. They were looking at him in an ANGRY way. Ella looked at him, worried. Louis tried to eat an empty Mountain Dew bottle.
“I think I need some tea,” Ken mused. “This is all very worrisome.” He pulled his jaunty hat down a little further over one eye very rakishly and walked toward a tea shop he remembered from his youth. “I will try to find Helen after I have my tea. Maybe she can shed some light on this situation.”
“KEN!” he heard from behind him. He turned and a women grabbed him and kissed him. KISSED HIM ON THE MOUTH! Oh, well this was unexpected. He managed to extricate himself from her clutches. She smelled boozy. And was wearing way too much lipstick. Ella did not approve.
“I’m sorry, do I know you?” Ken said kindly.
“Oh, YOU,” she said, and slapped his chest as brazen hussies do. “You’re such a KIDDER. Like you could FORGET. WINK WINK.”
“I don’t…” Ken started, but then a very large and VERY shady man came up and put his arm around the lady with too much makeup, who pretended immediately she didn’t know who Ken was.
“You hittin’ on my lady, buddy?” the large man said. He was very scowly. Louis hid behind his sister.
“Oh. No. No, sir, I assure you I am not,” Ken said. “I was just going to get some tea. I have no designs on your lady. Please excuse me.”
“NO DESIGNS?” the lady said, who had no idea what that meant. “He TOTALLY has designs, babe. He designed ALL OVER ME last weekend!”
The large man lunged at Ken. Ken does not like to fight. Bon vivants aren’t FIGHTY. They are ADVENTUREY and they are FILLED WITH A LUST FOR LIFE and they like to THINK THEIR WAY OUT OF SITUATIONS. Luckily, at that very moment, Louis flopped down on the sidewalk to scratch a VERY stubborn itch and the man tripped over him, giving our bon vivant an out so he could make a timely escape. (Listen, I don’t want you to think that our bon vivant couldn’t have won that fight. I’m quite sure he could have. I have no doubt that our bon vivant, faced with any obstacle, would find a way to overcome it. He’s kind of magical like that.)
“What is going ON, Ella and Louis? I don’t know that woman! Why is everyone looking at me like I am their nemesis? This is very much like the time I was not welcome in London because of L. Ron Hubbard. What could be going on?” Ken said as he darted down a back alley. Ella looked pensive. “Good boy, Louis. You know just when to stop and scratch an itch.”
Just then! A door opened in the alley and a very beautiful woman came out! Ken stopped short.
“Well, Ken! Is that you? Ken, the World Traveling Bon Vivant? I’d recognize you and your hat and your dogs anywhere. What are you doing in Taos?” she said, and laughed.
It was Grammy award-winning jazz singer Diana Krall!
“Hello, Diana Krall!” said Ken. “I’m a big fan! What a pleasure to see you!”
“Where the hell is that hat-wearing son of a…” they heard from behind them. Diana looked at Ken curiously.
“Sounds like you need to make a quick exit,” she said. “Come on, my dressing room’s in here.”
The alley was the back entrance to the Taos Center for the Arts! Diana whisked Ken and Ella and Louis neat as you please in the back door and closed it quietly behind them. They heard the man run by, then nothing.
“Well, Diana, it seems I owe you,” Ken said. Louis licked her hand exuberantly. Louis does everything exuberantly, you see.
“I can’t imagine why anyone’s chasing you,” she said, “but come on, I was just making some tea. We can chat.”
Ken was very pleased with this turn of events, as you might imagine.
As Ken and Diana Krall enjoyed a very nice cup of oolong (Ken was pleased to see that Diana made her tea the CORRECT way, WITHOUT teabags) he explained the situation, from the beginning to the end. She handed him a Kleenex. “You’re absolutely covered in lipstick. It’s very unseemly for a bon vivant,” she said, and laughed winningly. Ella seemed to agree in a very wise dog-like way.
Diana was in town for a concert, which was happening in a couple of days. She was just checking out the dressing room in a very lucky turn of events, because otherwise, there might have been fisticuffs for our bon vivant.
“So what do you think is going on, Ken?” she said. “This is all very mysterious.”
“I’m not sure,” Ken replied. “I want to go talk to Helen, but on my way, I was accosted by that unsavory woman and her consort. She seems to think I had relations with her. I am quite sure I did not.”
Diana nodded. “I wouldn’t think so. That was a very ill-advised lipstick color. I would assume a bon vivant would choose his companions more wisely. So, let’s go see your friend Helen, and find out what she knows. Ooh, this is VERY EXCITING. I’ve always wanted to have a bon vivanty adventure. My husband Elvis Costello ran into Kate Winslet just the other day at a royal event, and she told him about some of the capers you two have pulled! This is a dream come true for me. I’m so glad I was in the right place at the right time!”
Ken smiled. He was very pleased to have such an intrepid companion for this adventure. Ella and Louis were already quite keen on her, and she had a very melodious speaking voice. Plus, such excellent taste in tea!
Diana had a limousine waiting outside for her, so she and Ken and the dogs darted into it and directed it over to Helen’s house. Ella and Louis were big fans of the limousine and sniffed every single surface twice. Ken was less impressed. I mean, you’re a bon vivant, you’ve seen one limo, you’ve seen ‘em all, I guess.
Helen answered her door, saw it was Ken, and tried to close the door in his face. “Please, Helen, I’ve come all this way, can’t we talk?” Ken said. Helen glowered at him from around the door, then nodded curtly and waved him in. He and Diana and the dogs went into her house. She was quite impressed to see Diana Krall, but even MORE impressed to see Ella and Louis.
“I wondered where these two were when I saw you last week!” she said, getting many pets and many licks from the happy red dogs.
“Wait, what? Saw me last week?” Ken said. “Helen, I haven’t seen you in years! I haven’t been back in New Mexico for over a decade!”
“Very funny, Ken,” she said. “Just last week, I was walking out of the library and you were hanging around outside with some very shady people. I saw you and went over to say hi, and you GROPED ME IN PUBLIC. It was very unlike you and not at all bon vivanty. When I asked you to stop you said I wasn’t cool, man and then you and your friends laughed.”
“Oh, Helen,” said Ken, giving Diana a very worried look, “I hope you know I would never do that. This person looked like me?”
Helen nodded. “Yes. He even had a very jaunty hat! And mutton-chops!”
Ken managed to convince Helen that it had not been him last week by showing her many photos of him doing bon vivanty things in Germany like having tea with Angela Merkel while discussing his thoughts on the debt crisis…
and playing much fancy music in the park with his partner-in-idling, Jarrod.
“I’m so glad it wasn’t you, Ken,” Helen said. “It made me very sad, to think you’d become some sort of weird street-groper.”
“I solemnly promise I will never become some sort of street-groper, Helen,” Ken said.
“Wait, what about Twitter?” Helen said. “You’ve been saying all these things on Twitter!”
“What? I have? No I haven’t. Well, yes, I HAVE, but…wait, what kinds of things?” Ken said.
Helen showed him her Twitter timeline. “See?”
There was his profile picture! And his Twitter account! But the things that were being said WERE NOT THINGS HE’D SAID! Like “Just saw a girl with a monster rack, yo” and “Where can I get some action up here in this joint?” and “Hang in there, kitten.” Ken would NEVER say “hang in there, kitten.” KEN HATES PLATITUDES.
“Wait!” Diana Krall said. “This is not your Twitter account! Your Twitter account is @lahikmajoe. This Twitter account is @lahikmijoe. IT IS A TRICK!”
Well, now this was just getting WEIRD.
Helen explained that a lot of people in Taos were very mad at Ken because he’d been groping people in public, cussing loudly on the streets, yelling out loud things like “baby got back!” at passers-by, and hanging with an unsavory crowd. “People don’t even like to go into the public library anymore,” she said. “You…well, the not-real you…and your friends…I guess HIS friends…are always out there.”
Diana and Ken exchanged a look. They knew that they’d have to go to the public library to track down this doppelgänger. This not-Ken. This bon-vivant wanna-be. WHO WAS DOING IT WRONG.
Diana and Ken and Ella and Louis said goodbye to Helen and went back to the limousine. “How can we go to the library where these seedy types hang out?” Ken said. “They’ll recognize me, especially if I look just like this dastardly foe!”
Diana laughed. “Oh, Ken. I have the forces of the entire staff of the Taos Center for the Arts on my side! There are MANY costumes there. We’ll just go in disguise, and no one will recognize us!”
“Will I have to shave my beard?” Ken asked skeptically.
“No. No, you will not,” Diana said.
“Well, then this is an excellent plan,” Ken replied.
Ken was impressed with this high level of bon vivantery.
“What about Ella and Louis? If this person is pretending to be me, he’ll have done his homework. He’ll know about my dogs,” Ken said. Ella and Louis looked worried. Well, Louis did. Ella looked like a LADY. She always looks like a lady.
“Don’t worry. I have a plan for Ella and Louis, too,” Diana said.
They got back to the Center for the Arts and Diana threw herself into the preparations for their adventure. She dressed herself and Ken up as the kind of shady people who might be hanging out outside of a library. Ken got those terrible low-riding pants that the kids are all wearing nowadays and one of those douchey Ed Hardy t-shirts. Diana wore a tube top and very tight pants. They both got makeup so they were in TOTAL DISGUISE. Much mockery was made of one another. If this was a movie, a music montage would happen here, I’ll have you know. Ken thought the disguises needed some shady hats, so he found some in his bag. Ken has hats that cover all eventualities, don’t even think he doesn’t.
Ella and Louis got dog-safe water-soluble fur-dye. Ella became a pointer with very dashing brown spots over her eyes…
and Louis became a Weimaraner. Louis liked his new getup very much and pranced around looking at himself in mirrors. Ella gave Ken a long-suffering look and sat calmly. She was aware, you see, that the disguise was NECESSARY, but didn’t think it was very DIGNIFIED.
“To the library we go!” Diana said. She looked like a totally different person. “No one will recognize us for who we are now!”
They went off to the library to confront the false-Ken. No one looked twice at our bon vivant! The disguise was just that good! (Well, the classier people in Taos looked at him with disgust. An Ed Hardy shirt will do that to you every time.)
When they arrived at the library, there were unsavory types sitting on the stairs and laughing troll-like laughs. Some of them were smoking MARIJUANA CIGARETTES! (The Person Who Writes These TOLD you someone would be smoking weed in this story.) They looked at Ken and Diana and the dogs, but not for long. They blended right in!
“There he is, Ken!” Diana hissed.
Ken looked to his left. And there he saw…
He looked just like him! The same hair! The same beard! The same type of clothing! The same rucksack! And…what’s this? A VERY JAUNTY HAT! “Wait,” thought Ken. “I recognize that hat.”
“WELL HELLO!” said the False Bon Vivant, who had seen the new arrivals. “Welcome to the Library of Decadence and Bon Vivantery! My name is Ken!”
Ken wanted to out him then and there but Diana stopped him. “Yo, Ken. I’m Gina and this is my main squeeze Hank.”
“I don’t think people say ‘main squeeze’ anymore,” Ken whispered. “Also, ‘Hank’? Really? Huh.”
“I PANICKED!” she said.
“Nice to meet you! Would you like some illegal drug substances or perhaps gambling? Also, probably later we will have hookers or maybe gin. As Ken, the very famous bon vivant, I support all of these things!” the False Bon Vivant said.
Well, that’s inappropriate. Ken couldn’t stand for this a moment longer. “TRUE BON VIVANTS DO NOT CARE FOR THOSE THINGS AT ALL!” he roared, and pulled off his shady hat to reveal his true countenance. “TRUE BON VIVANTS ARE ALL ABOUT BON VIVANTING FOR THE SAKE OF BON VIVANTERY AND ALSO DRINKING TEA AND GALLIVANTING! SOMETIMES ALSO IDLING! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, SIR, SULLYING MY GOOD BON VIVANTY NAME!”
The people on the steps got very quiet. The False Bon Vivant looked at Ken with anger in his eyes. “NO,” he said. “I’M Ken. You can’t be here. YOU CAN’T BE HERE. This guy’s pretending to be ME, everyone! GET HIM!”
There was much hubbub. The shady people lunged at Ken and Diana and the dogs. The False Bon Vivant disappeared into the crowd. “Don’t let him get away, Ken!” Diana said. Ken was trying to get away and could see the False Bon Vivant and ALMOST HAD HIM when he heard Diana cussing. “Let me go, you bastard!” she said. Well! If there’s one thing a bon vivant hates – a TRUE bon vivant – it’s when someone shady grabs their lady-friend. Ken immediately turned around and went back for Diana. He heard the False Bon Vivant scream, once, and Louis bark. He got Diana away from the ne’er-do-wells using various bon-vivanty techniques learned in many bon-vivanty locations that I can’t really go into here because they’re for bon vivant use only, and called to Ella and Louis, and off they ran in the general direction of the False Bon Vivant – but he was gone.
“What do we do now?” Diana said. She was none the worse for wear for her manhandling, but her tube top was all askew. Tube tops are very impractical when faced with a group of unsavory characters.
“Let’s go back to the Center for the Arts and regroup,” Ken said. “There’s tea there. I think we could both use some tea.”
Diana most wholeheartedly agreed.
They went back to the Center for the Arts and put on NORMAL clothes (and threw the Ed Hardy shirt and the tube top in the garbage, where they belonged) and washed the dye from the dogs together and had much fun with water and soapsuds and two wiggly red dogs who made many wet footprints all over the dressing room. To keep their spirits up, they sang a rousing duet of “Mustard and a Piece of Bread,” which of COURSE Diana Krall knew. Everyone knows this song. Don’t be absurd. It was very nice for Ken to sing with Diana Krall and Ella and Louis liked it very much as well. After much tea and much singing and many shenanigans they went to sleep, because tomorrow they had to figure out what to do about this False Bon Vivant. This kind of chicanery cannot stand.
The next morning, Ken was awoken by the sound of Louis gnawing on something and Ella sighing heavily. “Louis, what do you have there, old boy?” he said. Louis looked up at him and gave him a doggy grin. He had a piece of cloth hanging out of his mouth. “Bring that here, Louis. Good boy.” Louis brought it over. It was a piece of pants-fabric. Very bon-vivanty pants-fabric. But it wasn’t KEN’S pants-fabric.
“Louis, did you try to stop that false bon vivant? Did you tear off a piece of his pants?” Louis wagged his tail so hard he almost fell over.
“What’s going on, Ken?” Diana said. She had very sleepy eyes. Not a lot of sleep happened the night before for the two bon vivants. She handed him a cup of tea. “What do you have, Louis?”
“I think I have an idea,” Ken said. “That’s a piece of that False Bon Vivant’s pants. We can use the dogs to track him. Ready for our next adventure?”
Diana was ready. Diana was proving a very capable bon vivanting companion!
Louis and Ella passed the piece of Bon Vivant pants back and forth as they tramped through the streets of Taos. Louis got distracted by many good smells along the way. Ella did not. Ella is very single-minded when she is concentrating on a task.
“Where are you bringing us, Ella and Louis?” Ken said. They stopped in front of one of the old pueblos in Taos and looked at Ken expectantly. “In here? Is he in here?”
“Well, let’s go in and see!” Diana said, and they snuck into the old pueblo.
The dogs assiduously led the way while Ken and Diana followed. There was a light burning behind one of the walls. When Ken and Diana went around the corner, they were dumbstruck.
“These are all…photos of me!” Ken said. “And printouts of my blog posts! And pictures of my Tweets! And pictures of the dogs! And pictures of my friends! And many drawings of jaunty hats! What is going ON here?”
“How could one man DO all this?” Diana wondered, as she looked around with wide eyes. “This is INSANE!”
Louis sneezed and knocked over a stack of papers. Ken picked them up because bon vivants hate messes. “Wait. These are…these are printouts of my crazy-eyed blogging friend’s blog! There’s one phrase highlighted and circled and highlighted and circled over and over and over and OVER. It’s…”
“IT IS DING DONG JOE!” they heard from behind them, and when they turned, the False Bon Vivant was there! With a crazy look in his eyes! “SHE HAS MADE THE WHOLE WORLD LAUGH AT ME! But you. YOU! The whole world LOVES you, Ken, with your HATS and your BON VIVANTERY and your HAPPY RED DOGS! So I knew what I had to do. Ding Dong Joe had to become Lahikmajoe! It really wasn’t so hard. WE ARE BOTH JOES! AND NOW I AM THE BON VIVANT!”
“You’re not the bon vivant,” Diana said. “You can’t just DRESS like a bon vivant and BE a bon vivant. It’s more than clothes or facial hair, Ding Dong Joe.”
“DON’T YOU CALL ME THAT!” Ding Dong Joe screamed. “My name is KEN now!”
“Um…’Ken,’” OUR bon vivant said, “just be calm. I’m sure if you let people get to know the real you, they would love you, too. We can call Lucy’s Football and ask her to stop calling you a pervert on her website. She will, if you want. I’m sure she will. She only pretends to be crazy online. She’s really very nice.”
“NO! It’s too LATE!” Ding Dong Joe began to pace around the room frantically.
“Ken, I think he’s lost it. Also, Ding Dong Joe is real? Huh. That’s a twist I didn’t anticipate,” said Diana.
“He couldn’t have done this alone,” Ken said. “He had to have had help. But, who?”
Ding Dong Joe kept pulling his jaunty hat on and off his head as he paced. On and off; on and off. “I know that hat,” Ken said. “Why do I feel like I know that hat? It’s the most real part of his costume. For some reason, it reminds me of…penguins? Wait. WAIT.”
“Well, hello, old friend.” The oily, unctuous voice coming from the dark hallway chilled Ken to the bone. “So, you’ve stumbled upon my little protegé, have you? How astute of you. How utterly SCRUMPTIOUS.”
“Dammit. DAMMIT. Goldblum. WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE GOLDBLUM?!?!” Ken said. It was the hat Jeff Golblum had stolen from him in Japan, of course. What other hat could it have been?
Jeff Goldblum came out from behind the wall, as high-strung as ever. He put his arm around Ding Dong Joe’s shoulder. “Oh, Joe. What happened, my good friend?”
“HE FOUND ME, JEFF!” shrieked Ding Dong Joe. “You PROMISED I could be the Bon Vivant! YOU PROMISED!”
“I know. I know. We’ll figure this out, buddy. We will. I promise.”
“What was your plan, Goldblum? To have Ding Dong Joe pretend to be me? To what end?” Ken said. He waved Diana toward the exit. She shook her head resolutely. She is stubborn, that Diana Krall. But she doesn’t know how nefarious Jeff Goldblum is, now does she?
“Once everyone hated you, KEN, it would be only one quick step to make them love and respect me. Nature abhors a void! I would take your place as the most beloved international icon. You don’t deserve it, Ken. You’re just a MAN. I’m a CINEMATIC IDOL. I was in JURASSIC PARK and EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY. Your fame should be MINE. WHY CAN’T IT BE MINE?”
“What about me?” Ding Dong Joe asked, a shocked look in his eyes. “You said I could be the bon vivant!”
“Yes, what about poor Ding Dong Joe? Why don’t you tell him he was just a pawn in your ongoing war with me?” Ken said.
“That’s not true, is it, Jeff? You said we could be BFFs! You said we were a TEAM!” Ding Dong Joe whined.
Jeff laughed. It was a terrible, soulless thing to hear. “Oh, Joe. Sad, foolish Ding Dong Joe. I’m sorry. I have one BFF; that BFF’s name is…JEFF GOLDBLUM.”
And with that, Jeff Goldblum screamed an utterly maniacal scream and ran from the pueblo.
Ding Dong Joe collapsed in a puddle of weepery on the floor. Louis looked askance at Ken. Ken nodded. Louis went over and nuzzled Ding Dong Joe. Listen, this wasn’t all Ding Dong Joe’s fault. He’s just a pervy little dude who wants to be liked, is all. Isn’t that what we all want? Well, other than the pervy part. We don’t all want that. At least, I hope we don’t.
“What should we do with him, Ken?” Diana asked.
“Nothing,” Ken said. “He’s learned his lesson. He knows what he did was wrong. He was led astray by Jeff Goldblum. He isn’t the first to have been; he unfortunately won’t be the last. That Goldblum. He’s insidious. Let’s go, Diana Krall. You have a concert to get ready for!”
“It’s amazing, Ken, how far he went to try to be you. You’re in high demand,” Diana said, as they walked back to the Center for the Arts. “And how badly he failed, too. It’s sad, really.”
Ken chuckled. “Well, what people don’t understand is that being a bon vivant carries with it a heavy responsibility. You can’t just bon vivant all the time. You also have to live up to the bon vivants who have come before, and you are a model for those who cannot bon vivant themselves. It’s not all traveling and eating exotic cheeses.”
Diana nodded. “And that is why you are the one and only World-Traveling Bon Vivant, Ken. Because you understand that. I believe maybe a person isn’t just a bon vivant; they are CALLED to be a bon vivant.”
“Diana, you can bon vivant with me anytime. That was very wise,” Ken said.
Diana blushed. It’s not every day the bon vivant calls you wise.
Diana got Ken a front-row seat for her concert. It was an amazing show, and Ken was so glad he got to see her perform. She even got the Center to allow Ella and Louis to watch with him! If you are the headlining act, you can do such things, I would assume. Elvis Costello joined her on stage for the encore, and she hushed the cheering crowd.
“I had the honor of spending time with someone very special for the last couple of days. He’s gotten a bad rap here in your lovely town for the last few weeks, and it was unwarranted. He is still the bon vivant you all know and love. I’d like to invite him up on stage with us to sing one very special song. Ken, the World-Traveling Bon Vivant, would you join me and Elvis?”
Well, of course Ken would. How could he turn that down? And did he have his ukulele with him? Of course he did, don’t be foolish.
So that is how Ken, our most favorite world-traveling bon vivant, got to sing “Mustard and a Piece of Bread” with Diana Krall and Elvis Costello in Taos, New Mexico while everyone forgave him for the events of the past few weeks and Ella and Louis watched. Well, Ella watched. Louis was sound asleep, dreaming, no doubt, of something utterly joyful and guileless.
In the parking lot, in a very long stretch limo, gritting his teeth as he heard the cheers and the music drifting out of the side doors, Jeff Goldblum talked to the only person he trusted in all the world. Jeff Goldblum.
“He always wins, Jeff Goldblum.”
“I know. Jeff Goldblum. I know. It hardly seems fair.”
“It is MOST unfair. We never can seem to beat him. He has these amazing FRIENDS! And he’s so SMART! And those DOGS! THOSE HAPPY RED DOGS!!!”
“I know, Jeff Goldblum. Listen, don’t frown too much. Your face is your living, you know. You can’t afford frown lines.”
“I know. Thank you, Jeff Goldblum.”
“We just have to try harder, Jeff Goldblum. There has to be a chink in his armor. There has to be a hole. A way in. A way to win.”
“Heh. You said ‘hole,’ Jeff Goldblum.”
“This is hardly a time for sophomoric humor, Jeff Goldblum. Really. I expected more of you.”
“I’m sorry, Jeff Goldblum. It’s been a tough day.”
“I know. I’m sorry I jumped down your throat.”
“We just have to BELIEVE, Jeff Goldblum. One day. ONE DAY, we will beat him. We will. We will be victorious.”
And with a “Driver! Onward!” Jeff Goldblum drove off cackling into the New Mexico night.
(Only, of course, not really the end. These things never really end. Not as long as there’s breath in the bon vivant and there’s power in the laptop of The Person Who is Writing These. Stay tuned, my little blueberry muffins. Stay tuned.)
(Psst: thank you thank you, my real-life bon vivant, who totally lets me mine your life for bon vivantery and turn it into blog fodder and never ever gets huffy when I bug you for details or photos or random crap. How empty would all of our lives be without you? I don’t even want to think about that. THANK YOU.)