Category Archives: euphemism

Science: making you feel bad about your swimsuit areas. Sorry, swimsuit areas.

Apparently we’re all supposed to sleep around randomly and not ever get married ever, or maybe not.

IT IS SCIENCE! (Or maybe not.)

So I read this article a couple months ago and I saved it because it was interesting (but also totally kind of vague) and also SCIENCE and it talked about “horny papillae” and come ON, we all love to discuss things like horny papillae, don’t we? It’s like it was MADE for discussion over here.

Also, if there’s science, I think, “oh, Andreas will be so proud of me, because SCIENCE.” I do so like to make my Science Fellow proud of me.

So according to this article, back in the ancient days of yore, our ancestors (wait, we all agree we came from monkeys, right? Can we agree on that? Because if we can’t…well, I worry about your sanity. I found this for Andreas the other day and I think it would benefit ALL OF US EVERY LAST ONE OF US.)

ANYWAY, our ANCESTOR MONKEYS all had “horny papillae” on their penises. Yep. We’re totally talking about penises today. Only for a little while, though. I haven’t talked about penises OR sex lately and Ding Dong Joe’s getting all nervous I’ve forgotten about them.

Now, a lot of mammals still have these bumps. Guess what they’re for. NO GUESS.

You totally guessed for her pleasure, didn’t you? Like those terrible condoms that are lies lies lies? WRONG SALLY.

They are to make sex last LESS LONG. Yep. You read that right. Because in the animal kingdom, having Sting-style tantric sex ALL NIGHT LONG (all night) is not a good idea. You have to be doing other things. Like eating seeds and such. Or maybe other mammals or insects. Or fighting. There’s a lot of fighting in the animal kingdom, you know. Don’t you watch Animal Planet? Or Cops?

Even wee bebeh kittens fight!!!

Even wee bebeh kittens fight!!!

But HUMANS evolved PAST our horny papillae so we could trip the light fandango or get our oil changed or play hide the sausage for HOURS. Or whatever euphemisms you might like, you can pick. It’s really your call. Or if you want, you can ask Ken, he’s in charge of euphemisms. He’ll find one for you if you want. I’m sure he’d be happy to. Guy loves a challenge.

I know, I know, this has very little to do with marriage or not-marriage or all the sex, doesn’t it? I’m GETTING there. The scenic route is the way I go, chickadees, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Except for when I don’t, I like to shake off the people tailing me sometimes.

Anyway, science-types say that the reason we don’t have these bumps and lumps is to make sex last LONGER and be more PLEASING for BOTH PARTIES (whoo, THANKS, science, except for that one time…no, let’s not talk about that right now, except for to say NO THANK YOU FOR THAT TIME SCIENCE SIGH) and therefore this led to monogamy.

Except then the article got all vague and was like “although maybe not.”

Listen, article. You need to take a STAND. You need to be BRAVE. You can’t be all wishy-washy, it’s EMBARRASSING.

I learned things from this article, like only 1 in 6 societies enforce monogamy as a rule. Really? This seems low. I guess I believe it. What choice do I have? I don’t know all the rules of the world. Also I learned that back in the DAY, you weren’t allowed to have a formal concubine, but you were allowed to have all the sex with your slaves as you wanted. Well! That seems fun for the slaves. In a not-at-all fun way.

I feel the slaves maybe had enough to do without having to worry about your needs as well, guys.

I feel the slaves maybe had enough to do without having to worry about your needs as well, guys.

Then they talked to some sciency types who said “There are a few species that are monogamous…the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. The Malagasy giant jumping rat. You’ve got to look in the nooks and crannies to find them, though.”

Hee, “nooks and crannies.” Also, I’d have to wonder if it’s in the name. Like, who’d want to sleep with a fat-tailed dwarf lemur, or a Malagasy giant jumping rat? No one. Also, don’t call animals fat. Call ’em big-boned. It hurts their feelings to call them fat. They can’t help their genetics or if they like to eat all the snack cakes while watching Cheaters.

Stop negatively attacking my self-esteem, says the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. This one's name is Petunia.

Stop negatively attacking my self-esteem, says the fat-tailed dwarf lemur. This one’s name is Petunia.

Then the article started talking about testes size. YEP! We’re talking about PENISES and also TESTICLES today. Apparently animals that  cheat a lot have HUGE BALLS. Heh. So as better to spread all the seed. Then the article says – I’m not even kidding, sorry, fellas – “And what about a man’s testes? They’re not so big and not so little. They’re just eh.” Aw! Guys! Apparently human testes are just EH! I feel bad for your testes. THEY ARE LOVELY, GUYS. Don’t let the article make you feel bad about your swimsuit areas. BAD ARTICLE BAD.

Mostly, what the article said was “we don’t know if humans used to be monogamous or polygamous. Because we have no way of knowing such things. We think humans are monogamISH. WE SAID ISH. And we are SCIENTISTS. So stuff that in your pipes and smoke it.”

This worries me. Why can’t the scientists figure this shit out? (P.S., Andreas says that scientists don’t like to say “YES!” or “NO!” because if they’re wrong they look like assholes. Well, he didn’t say THAT. He’s much less vulgar and more well-spoken than I am. THANK YOU ANDREAS!)

Here’s my thought. (What, you thought I’d let it go without giving you my very sciency thoughts? Andreas, you need to read this article and give your thoughts, by the way. I bet you do better than the scientists. You can even say penis and testes as much as you want, and it’s not even filthy. I KNOW! Isn’t this the best? Sure it is.)

I know some people are all “I could never love just one person!” and that’s awesome. I don’t judge. (Well, unless you don’t tell the person you’re currently WITH you feel this way. I don’t think cheating is cool. I have weird values about cheating. Don’t ask. It’s one of my weirdly puritanical things. Or maybe it’s one of my weirdly Wiccan things – you’re not supposed to harm anyone in the Wiccan faith. And cheating always harms someone. Or multiple someones. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I also think it’s sneaky. I hate sneakiness and I hate lying.)

Also if you're not careful you'll end up on this show and it's SCANDALOUS, you guys.

Also if you’re not careful you’ll end up on this show and it’s SCANDALOUS, you guys.

But I’m very one-persony. If I’m in love with someone…that’s my person. I’m a baby duck who imprinted when I’m in love with someone, I’ll totally admit it. Mostly this might be because it doesn’t happen very often? And so when it does, that person is SPECIAL. Also, I fight it. I realize I’m falling for someone and I’m like “NOPE STOP THAT THIS WON’T END WELL!” but if it’s meant to be, my stupid heart wins out and then I’m in for trouble. Hoo, boy, am I. So if I went through ALL THAT why would I want to be with someone ELSE? That was a lot of work. A LOT of work.

Here's me. Imprinting on a corgi, apparently.

Here’s me. Imprinting on a corgi, apparently.

So…I guess mostly I don’t understand polygamy? Because I don’t WANT to be with more than one person. I want ONE person. And hopefully that imaginary nebulous person would feel the same? I mean, that would be the goal, anyway? Also, I’m a (what? shock! awe!) very jealous person. I always thought that would be the worst part of being in a polygamous relationship. Wouldn’t you be so jealous of the other wives (or if you’re male, husbands?) Wouldn’t you think, “s/he looked at my sister wife/brother husband a little longer than s/he looked at me at dinner…does s/he like them better? WHY WHY WHY?” and then the whole thing would self-destruct?

Maybe most people aren’t as jealous as I am? What say you, readers, don’t you think you’d get so jealous if your husband was having sex with say 5 other women or something, or vice-versa sex-wise, men? Or am I out of my mind and old-fashioned and it would be awesome?

So…are we SUPPOSED to be monogamous? I don’t know. Probably not. I think we’re SUPPOSED to probably spread the seed all over and make a billion babies, right? That’s the way mammals work, isn’t it? Procreate? All you can? Like bunnies?

(This is mostly for Andreas because I know he loves this song as much as I do.)

(This is mostly for Andreas because I know he loves this song as much as I do.)

I guess what you decide to do really boils down to how your heart works. And some of us have weird loyal clockwork hearts that latch onto one person and that’s it, we’re done; and some of us are more open to lots of love, I suppose. Either way’s cool with me, just, like I said, don’t hurt anyone.

So…in summation:

  • horny papillae
  • penis
  • testes

You’re welcome, Ding Dong Joe. Don’t say I never gave you anything.


If this isn’t the very definition of the Cone of Uncertainty, I don’t know what is.

It’s Monday. You know what you all need on Monday? You’re all cranky-faced and going back to work and stomp stomp STOMP.

Well! I’ve got you covered, my most favorite internettians. You know what your Monday needs? Sex.

Yep. All the sex. All the sexiest sex that ever sexed. I’m quite good at this. This is going to be totally titillating. We don’t have NEAR enough sex here on the blog. Ding Dong Joe gets all out-of-sorts, which I assume makes him a very bad roommate for poor Ken. (Oh, you didn’t know Ding Dong Joe lives with Ken? Yep. He sleeps on Ken’s couch, and I think probably also eats all of Ken’s cheese and never buys more, and invites over his friends and they have loud parties so Ken can’t sleep. I would assume he’s a very bad houseguest. I mean, it’s Ding Dong Joe, you just KNOW he’s not polite. But Ken’s VERY polite so he doesn’t feel like he can just ask him to LEAVE. That would be so RUDE and un-Ken-like, right?)

This all came about because I was trying to find this thing I saw one time but I thought I must have been imagining it. It was the oddest vibrator ever. (Well, I suppose it still is.) It looked like one of those touch-lights that you see on the infomercials and was the least sexiest thing ever. I FINALLY found it on this random “worst sex toys ever” site. And it didn’t really look like a touch-light. It looks like a silicone funnel. Or one of the coffee filters for my mom’s little one-pot coffee-maker. And I can’t even imagine it’s a good idea. Here. Look. Oh, wait. Probably this post isn’t safe for work. I’m going to show you A SEX TOY. And later I’m going to use the word PENIS. (Ding Dong Joe is SO EXCITED right now. Sigh.)

It kind of looks like this…

…and kind of like these.

Ready? Ready for the most perplexing vibrator ever?

Um. I don’t…this looks like my silicone muffin pan.

And here’s a picture of a very unenthustiastic British man with the cone. I like the look on his face. It’s all, “meh, it’s a cone, you can rub up on it if you want, I don’t care.” Also, he has a very loud sports jacket. And his hair looks like a crooked wig.

Where is this “As Seen on TV?” I bet England. England used to have the most naughty TV. It was the best.

If you go to the website, you can see various positions you can contort yourself in to USE this terrible excuse for a vibrator. They are called things like “the cone dog” and “the bed wiggle” and they made me sad in my soul. If you’re thinking about not falling off the bed, you’re probably not relaxed enough to enjoy yourself. Just a thought.

Anyway, in my internet search for this weird thing which I thought maybe I’d made up in my head, I found some really stellar Cosmo sex tips that just happened to be on one of the same pages of search results. Some SUPER-SEXY SEARCH RESULTS.

Listen, I don’t remember Cosmo giving these kind of sex tips when I was an impressionable teen who cared about such things. YES, at one point I was an impressionable teen who cared about such things. I stopped, however. When I realized that they were utter crap and would probably scare more men than they would titillate. I think I probably started reading these at age 16 and realized at age 17 they were bad news. I was a quick learner. Still am, jellybeans.

Anyway, now Cosmo is less about hair-tossing and giggling alluringly and more about…well, being scary. And using strange techniques that I think would send someone screaming from your bedroom, and possibly send them to the ER.

First: 30 Things to Do With a Naked Man.

Huh. Thirty! That’s…um. That’s a lot of things.

I’m not going to talk about all of them, but here are some really good ones that I think you’ll probably want to be using soon.

  • Give him an animalistic challenge by having standing sex. Let him hold you up against the wall with your legs wrapped around his lower back. He’ll be in the aggressor role since he’s holding you up with his arms and lower bod. (This is just going to make him tired, and he’s going to drop you. Also, ouch, wall-back. Life isn’t a movie, Cosmo. The sooner you realize that, the better.)
  • Steam things up at home by moving outside the bedroom and doing it on top of a sturdy table, kitchen counter, bathroom sink, or hood of a car that’s parked in your garage. (I seriously just had a mental image of the bathroom sink just shearing off the wall and water spouting everywhere and you having to explain this to the plumber. Also, car hoods get denty. You think this is a good idea? Really? I can think of like fifty places to screw that are sexier than this and I don’t even write for Cosmo.)

    Sex on a car hood reminds me of that scene in “Natural Born Killers.” Shut up, I love this movie.

  • Indulge him with low-maintenance sex (where all he has to do is unzip his fly, if that) by sliding onto his lap in reverse cowgirl position with your hands balanced on his thighs for support. Much like doggie-style, he’ll be able to revel in watching your tush and touching your breasts — but without expending any lower-body energy. (“Tush”? What the hell? Also, why do you have the LAZIEST SIGNIFICANT OTHER EVER??? He can’t even be bothered to move his lower half? Has he suffered a spinal-cord injury? Listen. If I’m giving, you’d better be giving back. Much like life, sex is a tw0-way street. Only with more bodily fluids.)
  • Even a plain scarf can make him see stars if you use the right technique. Take a long silk wrap, place it around his main man and the boys, and tie it in a large square knot, leaving about a foot of fabric on either end to hold on to. As you’re riding him, pull on the free ends so that the knot rubs against your clitoris. (So. We have to say “main man” but we can say “clitoris.” Huh. That’s funny. Anyway, I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell’s going on here for the past twenty minutes and I don’t know what the hell. You’re – tying a scarf around his dick, then you’re having sex while there’s a scarf there? I don’t…first, does he want you to do this? Second, this seems logistically faulty. Third, I have to think if you were all hot-and-heavy and you were all “just a minute let me get Nana’s silk scarf so I can TIE A KNOT IN IT AROUND YOUR DONG” he’d be all “um, no, let’s not do that.” Fourth, WHO IS DOING THIS DON’T DO THIS.)

    Well, I guess you could use this scarf. It’s already labeled for use and everything.

  • Be direct by saying something like “I want to have sex with you.” The straightforward approach is not merely about saving time…(I think you should also say it in a robot-voice. Say this in a robot-voice. Preferably to a stranger. No, seriously. Do it and report back. Let me know how it goes.)

    I. Am. Built. To. Pleasure. You.

  • Once you’ve launched his rocket in five minutes flat, he’ll be willing to do just about anything for you. (And you will be unsatisfied, frustrated, and bitchy, and possibly want to throw kittens off of porches. Also, “launched his rocket?” Really? There are a lot of euphemisms all up in here. That’ll make Ken happy, I guess.)

In summation: I can also think of 30 Things to Do With a Naked Man; however, they are not this weird, and we are both guaranteed satisfaction. And no one’s using a scarf. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE SCARF I DON’T EVEN.

OK, this is already way too long, and I have a LOT more to discuss. So TOMORROW, you get MORE SEX. Tomorrow, we’re discussing romance, seduction, and lubricant. Which I know you’ll want to stay tuned for, because how have you gone this long without knowing what Cosmo thinks about all these things? The answer is, YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN BEREFT UTTERLY BEREFT.

You’re welcome, Ding Dong Joe. Happy Monday. Stop eating all of Ken’s cheese, you’re the worst houseguest ever.


Kind-of-Sort-of-Ask-Lucy a.k.a. I CAN ANSWER THAT! (Volume 8)

Well! Here we are at Amy-answers-all-your-burning-questions day! Well, if by “burning” you mean “probably not all that burning, maybe just a little itchy, like maybe a slight persistent itch, perhaps brought upon by hay fever or some such nonsense.” NEVERTHELESS! We beat on! Boats against the current! (How many people sneak their favorite Gatsby reference into a completely joking post answering strange questions from their search results? NOT VERY MANY is my guess! Huzzah!)

SIGH. Love. Love, love, love.

So, in case you don’t remember, here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on here. Just because YOU don’t need a rundown – yes I said YOU – doesn’t mean OTHERS don’t need one. Sheesh. Think of others once and a while, bub! Because the search terms posts tend to be insanely long, I break them up into two posts: an open letter to people who find my blog accidentally (that’s yesterday’s post, in case you have goldfish-memory) and a post with just the QUESTIONS that drive people to my blog. And I answer those questions to the best of my ability, and I give advice, some of which is more serious than the rest. And we all have a gay old time, just like on The Flintstones except our cars are not powered by our feetsies.

FOOT POWER!

So, yet again! 

Welcome to…  

Kind-of-sort-of Ask Lucy.  

Subtitled: I CAN ANSWER THAT!  

These are all ACTUAL SEARCH TERMS that brought people to my blog. So these people totally need my help, obviously, because they came to Google SEARCHING FOR HELP. And they obviously didn’t find it, because they ended up here. And since this is where I live, I feel an obligation to do my best to help them. I am nothing if not helpful. Also spastic, but mostly helpful.

do people who work in hospitals wear turtlenecks  Well, I guess it would depend on their dress code. Some hospitals make their employees wear scrubs; some are more laid-back. I know when I worked at a vet clinic, back in the day, I had to wear scrubs, and on cold days, I’d wear either thermals or a turtleneck under the scrubs (because the scrubs were a., extremely thin, and b., short-sleeved.) So I would either look at what the other employees are wearing, or ask whoever hires you what the rules are. Pretty easy, right? No one expects you to know these things on your first day. Don’t fret, sunshine. You’re welcome, have fun at the house of death! (Oh, wait, not everyone calls the hospital that? Just me? Sorry, I have a weird hospital-phobia.)        

Are any of these people wearing turtlenecks? I’m too exhausted to really investigate. There are a LOT of people here.

does joseph gordon levitt suffer with hay fever I don’t know, and I wouldn’t even know how to go about finding that out, to be honest. It’s not something you need to know, really. People want to know a lot of weird things about celebrities. Their shoe size, their allergens, if their skin would fit them as a suit if they kept them in a well in their basement. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is lovely and funny and handsome and creative, and one of my favorite people to watch onscreen, and please stop being his number-one fan, Annie Wilkes. You’re welcome, weirdo.

Who cares if he’s got allergies. LOOK HOW HANDSOME HE IS!

does zak bagans have asthma AGAIN. NOT IMPORTANT. I’m pretty sure he’s allergic to all things tasteful, does that help? To spell it out: he is a douchebag. You’re welcome, get a new celebrity crush.

what is a euphemism for happy accidents I think a happy accident is when you get pregnant by accident but you’re jazzed about it, right? Technically, and not to be an asshole, but “happy accident” IS a euphemism. Accidental pregnancy is the term, happy accident is the euphemism for that term. Additional euphemisms are “up the stump” and “on the nest” and “knocked up” and “OH SHIT THE CONDOM BROKE MOLLY!” You’re welcome, talk to Ken for additional help with euphemisms, it’s what we keep him around for. Well, that and the talk of cheese. You can’t really jettison someone who adores cheese that much, it would be unseemly.

I found this for you! I don’t understand the last paragraph. “Homefun?” Are you effing kidding me right now?

how do you interact when you have nothing in your hand I don’t…this makes me both entertained and perplexed. How do you interact with whom? What do you mean by this? Is this a theater thing, like, improv or something, like you’re pretending to attack something with an imaginary knife or something along those lines? Are you talking about talking with your hands, which I do a lot? Is this a euphemism for something? I really want to help you with this one, I really do, but I don’t know what you MEAN. You’re welcome, and much too vague.

how to be skinny like barbie? yahoo Are you looking for the yahoo search engine, or are you cheering, “yahoo!” Or maybe you’re calling someone a yahoo? Either way, you don’t want to be skinny like Barbie. You’d tip over because you’d be too top-heavy for your little skinny legs. Just be healthy for your body-type, you. Don’t hate on yourself too much. It makes me sad. You’re welcome, you’re beautiful.

The Huffington Post ran this recently – if Barbie were real. Nice, right? VERY sexy.

is “ice cream. it melted.” a poem? Um. Well, I suppose anything could be a poem, if presented properly. I read a book of poetry recently that was formatted like blog posts. Some might argue it wasn’t poetry. But it was presented as such, so who’s to say, really? I’d like to tell you that “ice cream.it melted” isn’t a poem, but I’m sure some people argued that e.e.cummings’ work wasn’t poetry when it came out, so I don’t want to be that asshole. No no not me. SPEAKING OF WHICH. I have discovered what might be my new favorite cummings’ poem. I might love it more than I love “ i carry your heart.”  I’m so putting it in here. THIS is a poem. You’re welcome, read more poetry. (I can’t find it anywhere with the original formatting, which I’m sure is much better than this. I need to track it down at the library.)

You are tired
e.e. cummings

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we’ll leave it far and far away
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And I knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart
Open to me!
For I will show you places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I’ll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I’ll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

Isn’t that wonderful? I totally swooned the first time I read this. Then I re-read it. Then I had some tears, and then I read it out LOUD, and then I luxuriated in the third stanza, which is complete and utter perfection. “You have played,/(I think)/And broke the toys you were fondest of,/And are a little tired now;/Tired of things that break, and/Just tired./So am I.” Oh. Oh, my. That “so am I” kills me. I adore this. I like that I can discover cummings poetry even as an adult that makes me all knee-weak and fluttery.

does jerking off cause baldness I don’t know. Are you rubbing your head while you do it? In that case, it might. Otherwise, nope. It also doesn’t cause you to wet the bed or grow hair on your palms. I know! Shocky-shock-shockerton. That’s something that people tell teens because they’re scared of sexuality. Masturbation is fine and healthy and normal, and everyone does it. Or, well, I guess some people don’t, for one reason or another, but I’m of the firm (heh) opinion everyone should. Just kind of be discreet about it. You don’t need to be doing it all out in public. That’s how you get arrested. You’re welcome, you’re just fine and so is your hirsuteness.

what is a nerdy euphemism for dammit Shit, I don’t know. Crikey? For the love of Pete? Frak? Goshdarnit? Poop? You’re welcome, I think. Goshdarnit.

why do people wear clear tongue rings A few reasons, but mostly because they want to keep the piercing open and yet not let people know they’ve got a tongue ring. So they get a clear tongue ring. This is worn sometimes to job interviews and sometimes onstage as an actor or actress. There are also clear nose rings for the same purposes. I’ve had my piercings long enough that I can go a while with mine out and the holes won’t start to close up. I don’t take the tongue ring out for much – I just am smart enough to not open my mouth very wide when I’m somewhere CLASSAY. I don’t wear my nose ring to fancy places. I never got to wear it to my last job. They told me when they hired me I wasn’t allowed to wear it. It wasn’t “that type of office.” Oh, a good one? Shock. Awe. You’re welcome, wasn’t that enlightening?

See, you can still see it, it’s just not as noticeable. No, this isn’t me.

was meg ryan in howerd the duck No. It was Lea Thompson, from Back to the Future. I didn’t even have to look that up. You’re welcome, I’m a child of the 80s.

I can’t imagine she’s overly proud of this. There was one scene where she had to GET IN BED WITH THE DUCK. Ugh.

were really my heart lays Do you mean “where?” Where your heart lays? I think it’s “lies,” though. Anyway, I don’t know where your heart lies. Technically, in your chest, but I’m assuming you mean metaphorically, and you wouldn’t be asking this if you weren’t all angsty-angst in love, and that makes me sad for you. I know that feeling, cherry pie. It’s tough, right? You’re right between all the happy and all the sad? Yep. It’s kind of a mix of the best and the worst. I wish I had a fix for you, but I do not. I’d like to give you some cake and a hug, though. You’re welcome, best of all possible luck to you.

what does is that a blank in your pocket mean Well, when I used it a while back I was referring to that scandal where the kid got caught cheating at the Scrabble championship and he’d pocketed a few of the blanks they use when playing Scrabble. But when someone says, “is that a ____ in your pocket or are you just happy to see me,” it’s a joke. About erections. Do I need to explain it? FINE. See, if someone has something in their pocket that’s all poking out, you can say jokingly, “Is that a (shit, I don’t know, let’s say hammer) in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?” because it COULD be a hammer, or it could be that seeing you gave them a hardon. HA HA HA. Get it? You’re welcome, did you grow up in a bubble?

See? This’s been around for a while. I didn’t make this shit up.

what does it mean when you dream you hear nursery rhymes  I don’t know. What does it mean? I don’t 100% understand your question. Sorry. You’re hearing nursery rhymes in your sleep? Weird things happen in our sleep, I can’t explain it. I woke up with “Not While I’m Around” from Into the Woods in my head this morning, who can tell why. Just one of those things. You’re welcome, maybe listen to some music you like before bed or something?

what doesth phrase manofmen mean I don’t know that I’ve heard that phrase. “man of men?” How would you even use that, “you’re a man of men?” I’ve heard “he’s a man among men,” is that the same thing? So, I guess my answer in short is, I don’t know. Sorry, sunshine. I don’t know that it’s a thing. You’re welcome, I guess find another saying?

what hapened to dunkin donuts coffee? Did something happen to it? I haven’t been able to afford it in MONTHS. Does it taste different, or is it no longer available in your area and you’re all sadface? Someone else is going to have to answer this for me, I’m too poor for fancy coffee drinks, you guys. You’re welcome, you rich person, you.

WANT WANT WANT. Someday you will be mine again, coffee. Someday you will be mine.

what is the expression “pull the cart before the mule”? I think it’s PUT the cart before the mule (well, actually horse), and it means to switch shit up. To do things in an unexpected order. To put the cart first, for example – the cart usually comes last. To shut the barn door after the horse is already out. That kind of thing. It’s one of those country sayings that my gramma loves, just go with it. You’re welcome, do you really have a mule? Can I come visit it?

why does the isle of man coat of arms have a raven on it Ooh, Andreas taught us this one once, I think! It is a raven that is featured in Norse mythology: one of Odin’s ravens, either Huginn or Muninn. Isn’t it nice that we have a science fellow that ALSO knows about NORSE MYTHOLOGY? Andreas really is the best. Someday I’m going to meet him and hug him the most. It’s going to be most excellent. You’re welcome, I’m so pleased I could answer that one intelligently!     

Raven! And a falcon, too, don’t forget the falcon!

why is the frog attracted to the pig because she is a whore The phrasing of this question totally gives me the giggles. “Because she is a whore!” Judgey much? I don’t know that Kermit’s attracted to Miss Piggy because she’s a WHORE, per se. I think he likes bossy women, or something. Who knows? That always confused me a little, too. But I don’t know that whorishness played into it. You’re welcome, this is a very funny question.

Oh, total streetwalker. Yep.

why is there so much secrecy surrounding gang stalking? Hee! Well, it wouldn’t really be “stalking” if EVERYONE knew about it, now would it? It would be more like…following. All out in the open. I think stalking, in itself, has to be kept on the down-low. Or else it’s no longer a thing. What do you want, questioner? Like, a book called “I Was a Gang Stalker?” I don’t know what to tell you, here. You’re welcome, this question makes me equal parts giggly and perplexed.           

woman called me a bitch in the street is there anything i can do? There are lots of things you can do. You can yell back at her. You can walk away. You can put your coffee cup on your head and do a silly dance. You can buss a cap in her ass. (Is that the proper use of that phrase? I don’t know that I’ve ever written that out before.) You can pretend not to speak English and just keep saying, “por que? por que?” You can tell her to go take a flying leap in sign language. Your possibilities, my friend, are endless. Are you wondering if you can sue? Is that what you’re asking? Well, I’m sure there’s an ambulance-chasing lawyer in your town somewhere, call ’em up and see what they think. Mostly, I’d play it by ear. Most of the time, it’s best to ignore it, but if you just can’t control yourself, think of some sort of comeback and have at it – as long as you don’t think she’ll shank you. If you think she looks stabby, RUN AWAY. You’re welcome, I’m sorry you got street-shouted.

Well, there we go! All the questions, my sweet potatoes! All for you! Are you the most enlightened and amused and do you know ALL THE THINGS you didn’t know before? Yes! Yay! Keep on askin’ ’em, I’ll keep on answerin’ em!

Until next month – may your questions be answered and your searches bring you somewhere helpful, like here, or maybe to a therapist, who not only can answer your questions but can ALSO prescribe you MOOD-ALTERING DRUGS. YAY FOR BETTER LIVING THROUGH PHARMACEUTICALS!


Kind-of-Sort-of-Ask-Lucy a.k.a. I CAN ANSWER THAT! (Volume 7)

Yep, you all saw this one coming! It’s Amy-answers-your-questions-day! Yippee! That’s always a very auspicious day in blogland. I know you’re all waiting on this, because you’re all, “I’ve got QUESTIONS, who will ANSWER them,” and the answer to THAT question is ME, my friends and minions! IT IS ME!

So, in case you don’t remember, here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on here. What, some people might want a rundown, I don’t know. Some people might be new readers. I might have some new friends. I’m friendly enough on a good day. Don’t ask about a bad day, because I don’t want to talk about that right now. I SAID NO. Ahem. Because the search terms posts tend to be insanely long, I break them up into two posts: an open letter to people who find my blog accidentally (that’s yesterday’s post, in case you have goldfish-memory) and a post with just the QUESTIONS that drive people to my blog. And I give advice, and I answer your questions, and we have the best of times. Just the best. And you leave ENLIGHTENED. New agey or some such shit. Awesome, right? Right.

ENLIGHTENMENT, BABY!

So, yet again! 

Welcome to…  

Kind-of-sort-of Ask Lucy.  

Subtitled: I CAN ANSWER THAT!  

These are all ACTUAL SEARCH TERMS that brought people to my blog. So these people totally need my help, obviously, because they came to Google SEARCHING FOR HELP. And they obviously didn’t find it, because they ended up here. Here at the old Lucy’s Football. Where I do many things, but answering questions is not one of them. EXCEPT TODAY! And…well, once a month when I do this. It’s my community service for the month. I deserve an award.

does tattooing with maalox really remove ink   Huh. I don’t…is this a thing? This is how people are removing tattoos? Really? I gotta Google this shit, I have never heard of such a thing in my LIFE. Nope. Google’s never heard of it, either. So, I’m going to say nope. Don’t let anyone inject you with Maalox in order to remove your ill-begotten jailhouse tattoo. Also, you can’t even GET Maalox anymore, it’s totally been yanked from the shelves all nefarious-like, there’s no real answer as to why, either. So even if you were weird enough to do it, you can’t. So, you’re welcome, don’t mainline antacids for any reason.

Listen, I can understand why you’d want to Maalox this shit out. YOWZA.

can feline toxoplasmosis be caught from sniffing each others bums Hee! Nice. This one’s kind of related to one of my favorite posts ever. OK, so it’s spread by the ingestion of infected cat poo. So, I suppose there is a slight chance if your cat sniffed another cat’s bum (points for the use of the word “bum” which makes me giggle) and there was some poo on that bum and then your cat licked his nose, he or she might become infected. I think the odds are pretty slim, though. You’re welcome! This was a very sciency question and I like such things.

i am looking for a large ventriloquist badger puppet to buy where can I get one Are you sure you want such a thing? Really sure? Ventriloquist dummies are scary, even if they’re adorable badgers. Also, “large” scares me because that could eat your head. Anyway, I found you this. It’s not so creepy and it’s pretty big. How’s this? There’s no price but it looks like you could contact them if you were interested. You’re welcome, please don’t scare kids with this thing.

Do I win internetting?

i hate to call people and they never answer the phone how to fix? Um. Well, I fixed it by never calling people ever, because I hate the phone. Also, I’m the asshole who never answers the phone when people call. Sorry about that. I prefer texting or email. I don’t like talking to people, it makes me nervousfaced. I don’t know that there’s a fix, to be honest, my little apple cobbler. It’s a fact of life. You gotta suck it up. Sometimes people have a life and other things going on and you’re not their first priority in that period of time. Maybe a fix would be to set a time with them that you’ll be calling, then they’re more likely to pick up the phone then? I guess? You’re welcome, you’re worrying about silly things.

i want my amygdala to be removed can a doctor do that No. No, you don’t. If your amygdala is lost or damaged, you have all kinds of issues. You have no impulse control, you gamble, you don’t understand loss-aversion, you have problems processing emotions, you lose your fear, which SOUNDS good, but you lose your fear of rational things like damage and car accidents and such. You’ll be emotionally stunted and handicapped without your amygdala. Also, that’d be brain surgery, and no doctor’s going to all willy-nilly remove part of your brain. I think you might need some therapy, cupcake. You’re welcome, go see a therapist.

Do you really want someone all cutting you up to get this out? Do you really? Yikes!

if my sugar glider sleeps in my shirt does that mean he likes me I’m sure he’s fond enough of you, but mostly it’s probably because sugar gliders are social, and they like to be close to people and other sugar gliders and such. Or they DIE. A horrible, sad, lonely, prolonged death. So, sure, tell yourself it’s because it loves you the most most most, but mostly it’s so it doesn’t die. You’re welcome, get it another sugar glider so it’s not lonely.

Aw, scheepy little guy! Squish!

is it my right to be diferent Well, I don’t know about “right.” We’re all different, it’s just the way life is. Even identical twins are different. But “right?” Nah. We don’t have a lot of rights in this world. We’ve got some afforded by the government, sure. But there’s always a catch and shit. So, sure, be different, babydoll, do your own thing. Different is awesome. If we were all the same, how boring would the world be? But “right?” Nah. You’re welcome, let your freak flag fly.

laura’s football? amy’s football? who’s football? This isn’t so much a question, but it made me giggle. I don’t know who Laura is. Also, it’s whose, not “who’s.” Anyway, grammar aside, It’s Lucy’s Football, you can read why on my FAQ page, but I am Amy. Easy peasy, Question McGee. I still don’t know who Laura is. You’re welcome anyway.

my head go bingbing when i trying to go to sleep. is it normal?  ZOMG “bingbing.” That might be my favorite thing all month. My head ALSO goes bingbing when I’m trying to sleep. And my heart sometimes goes dingdong. That’s a panic attack, though. Is it normal? Well, I don’t know about normal. It’s a pain in the ass, is what it is. I think it’s normal for some of us. Some of us have so many thoughts we can’t shut them off when we attempt to recharge for the evening. I wish I could tell you how to make that better, that bingbinging. Some people have luck with meditation; some with medication; some with alcohol; some with exercise; some with sex. Me, I’ve had terrible sleep for twenty-five years and have only recently, in the past month, started getting the best sleep of my life. Since I was fired. So I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not encouraging you to get fired. It’s hard to feed yourself if you have no money coming in. But as for sleeping – I’ve gone from getting 5 hours a night to 8-9 hours a night and it’s kind of the only good thing (other than not having to go to a job that was killing my soul, which is also good. I mean, other than I might starve to death or become homeless. But hey! My soul is alive and well!) to come out of this whole FUBAR situation. You’re welcome, I wish I could actually help. It’s a suckfest all around, isn’t it?

my nephews saw me having sex what do I tell them Oh. I – um. Both nephews? That’s – huh. Well, I don’t have kids. What’s the rule on this? Are you supposed to head it off at the pass and talk to them first, or are you supposed to wait til they come to you all “WHY WAS UNCLE JIMMY ATTACKING YOU NAKED AUNT LAVERNE?” I’m not sure what’s the best plan of attack, psychologically. Have you talked to their parents? They might have a preference what gets said and what doesn’t. Or those kids might know exactly what’s up. Kids are savvy nowadays, yo. I think some kids know more than I do about sex, honestly. Does that make me sad? Yes. Yes, it does. You’re welcome, maybe you could lock the door the next time the nephews are over?

where do I find a non creepy vent doll  Apparently, “vent doll” means “ventriloquist’s dummy.” And the answer is, YOU CAN’T. Stop looking. It’s futile. You’re welcome, buy something nice like a Beanie Baby or some such shit.

Nothing creepy about a butcher ventriloquist dummy at all. NOT AT ALL.

what is the best way to address letter to rich men Um…Dear Sir? The Most Honorable Judge McGillicutty? Sexy Britches? This is a weird question. You’re being weird. You’re welcome, don’t write to strangers.

what do you call it when a wild boar impales you Death. Or possibly a euphemism. Ken’s going to have to make the ruling on this one. It’s kind of his job. You’re welcome, you might want to see a doctor or something.

WILDSCHWEINE! A tusky wildschweine!

what does it mean when u jakoff and cant fell nothing  Whoa. OK, first? You don’t need to use textspeak in real life. You know that, right? Let’s pretend you were polite enough to use proper spelling and grammar. Do you mean mentally or physically? Are you on antidepressants? They have anorgasmic properties. Have you recently experienced either a head or genital trauma? Have you visited a doctor? Or are you being gross and just want someone to talk dirty to you? Is this Ding Dong Joe? GROSS. Anyway, if this is real, it’ll get better, and if it doesn’t, go see a doctor. If this is false, DING DONG JOE! You need to stop it, you’re making me feel icked out. You’re welcome. Maybe. Unless you’re being pervy.

what happens if i accidentally injected hog cholera to my hands OK, I just have to ask. HOW CAN YOU ACCIDENTALLY DO SUCH A THING. You “accidentally” trip and drop a shopping bag. You “accidentally” forget your friend’s birthday. You “accidentally” forget to buy the eggs you need to make the cake. You don’t “accidentally” INJECT YOURSELF WITH HOG CHOLERA. Also, hog cholera is a thing? Wow, that’s specific! I didn’t know there were different TYPES of cholera. Anyway, let’s assume you work at a lab where you work with hog cholera, and you left a syringe of it all poking up in your pen-cup, and you reached for your mechanical pencil, and you jabbed yourself with hog cholera. What’s going to happen to you? Well, according to this site (The Pig Site! Hee!) it doesn’t affect humans at all. You’re safe, sunshine. Stop jabbin’ yourself with needles. You’re welcome.

Whoa, hog cholera!

what rich person will help me start a business What SPECIFIC rich person? Shit, I don’t know. Probably none. There’s no free lunch in this life, babe. Start a friggin’ Kickstarter or something. You can’t rely on rich people to fund your projects. That’s their money. It’s a nice pipe dream but it’s not likely at all. Don’t bet on it. You’re welcome, think of another way.

what to write to your dad on his birthday on facebook Oh, for the love of Pete. Ever since I wrote a nice post to my dad on his birthday, I get seriously 25 or so searches a month about “what to say to my dad on his birthday.” So I’m pretty sure there are a number of people just copy-pasting my post and sending it to their dad on his birthday and he’s all “HONEY YOU ARE SO WISE” but you are a dirty word-stealer. I hope you’re appropriately ashamed. Only you know what’s best to say to your own dad, pop-tart. It’s YOUR dad. Also, it’s effing Facebook, you know? Say, “happy birthday, old man!” and let that be that. Who cares, no one reads that shit anyway. You’re welcome, think for yourself for once.

what’s the meaning of “he ain’t never caught a rabbit”?  Sometimes you people befuddle me. What is confusing about this? It’s from a damn Elvis song. His songs weren’t especially deep. He ain’t never caught a rabbit. He – the hound dog – has never caught a rabbit. End of story. He is not a very good hunting dog. He ain’t no friend of Elvis’s.  mean, I suppose it could be a euphemism, but probably it isn’t. It’s just a hound dog. He said he was high class? That was just a lie. You’re welcome, don’t read so much into things.

when someone asks if you’re a god, what do you reply? Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES! Come on now. That’s an easy one. Please tell me you’ve seen Ghostbusters. You have, right? If you haven’t, what is WRONG with you? You watch that. You watch that right now. You’re welcome, please catch up on your canonical sci-fi/horror/comedy movies.

where to purchase a feshlight near aurora, il If you’re doing a search for it and you’re spelling it “feshlight” you’re probably not going to find it. If you’re looking for a “fleshlight,” why not buy it online? Cheaper, I’m pretty sure they package it discreetly…oh, wait, probably you can’t wait for it to be shipped, right? Ew ew ew. Nevermind. You’re welcome, Ding Dong Joe. Wait, Ding Dong Joe, you live in Aurora? Say hi to Wayne and Garth for me!

Schwing!

where would your legs go on a pegasus This is an EXCELLENT question! I would think you’d ride close up by its neck, so its wings wouldn’t be in the way and smack you and give you rugburn. Wingburn. Featherburn. The pegasus would tell you what to do. With its MIND. Pegasuses are probably good at directing their riders where best to sit. Cross that bridge – er, um, I guess, ride that pegasus – when you get to it. You’re welcome, have fun in the sky.

According to this statue at the Louvre, you ride a pegasus SIDESADDLE. I’d think you’d fall off if you did that. Don’t do that.

why do ultrasound people have pokerface They have to, probably, because if they notice you have a HUGE HONKING TUMOR they don’t want to scare you. It’s best that they don’t have scaredface. Wouldn’t you freak the hell out if you got an ultrasound and the technician was all “ZOMG!” and had HUGE SCARED EYES? I wouldn’t like that much. It’s for the best. I promise. You’re welcome, take deep breaths, sicky.

why it took you so long to write your book Aw, aren’t you adorable? Because I never thought I’d get a book published, so I just kept on a’writin’ poetry with no eye on getting it collected and published anywhere. Then the opportunity to publish came up, so I grabbed it with both hands. So, there’s poetry in there from as far back as twenty years ago. You’re welcome! A question about me, how cute is that?

Whoo! Big-time question-answering, yeah? Impressive! Lots of questions this month! We totally ran the gamut of questioning. I handled it like a boss, though. I’m pretty sure people got what they were looking for and MORE.

Until next month – may your questions be answered and your searches bring you somewhere helpful, like here, or maybe to Dear Abby. What, I know she’s dead, but someone’s pretending to be her now, it’s not like they’re going to leave you hanging over there. Sheesh.


Further Adventures of the Fanciest World-Traveling Bon Vivant (of course he still has his hat)

I know. It’s been a very long time since we checked in with our favorite world-traveling bon vivant, he of the jaunty headgear. I assure you it is not because he hasn’t been having adventures. No, no. Of course he has still been having adventures! More adventures than you can shake a stick at. I mean, if you’re shaking a stick at adventures. Why would you be doing that? That seems like a strange thing to be doing. Adventures are kind of ephemeral and I would think would be difficult to be stick-shakey at, but what do I know? I can’t be overseeing all the things you’ve waving wood at. Heh. Wood.

WOOD. Totally a euphemism.

No, it is not for a lack of adventures that we haven’t heard from our favorite bon vivant lately. See, The Person Who Writes These adventures needs a whole chunk of time to write and research…um…I mean TRANSCRIBE them from the ACTUAL TRUE STORIES AS THEY HAPPEN, and The Person Who Writes These has not had that chunk of necessary time in quite some time to do so. She’s quite busy, overall. Not with bon-vivantery or anything. She doesn’t bon vivant. But she does other things. Time-sucking things. Also sometimes she needs to sleep and her brain’s not working at maximum capacity currently . So please forgive her. She does her best.

But The Person Who Writes These started feeling VERY GUILTY recently because there are SO MANY bon vivanty stories to be shared, and they’re not going to write themselves, you know? And people need to know these things. They make the world a better place, these stories of bon vivantery. I’m quite sure of that, as is The Person Who Writes These.

So…without further ado…I bring you…The Further Adventures of the Fanciest World-Traveling Bon Vivant (yes, of course he still has his hat.) And, yes. I realize how long this is. I’d apologize, but bon vivantery cannot be tamed. It utterly cannot. So grab a cool beverage. And maybe also some cookies. It’s worth it. I promise.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

If you all remember (I know, I KNOW, it’s been like MONTHS, go back and read the last posts, this’ll wait for you to get up to speed), when we last spent time with Ken, our favorite bon vivant, he traveled through time with his BFF, Kate Winslet, to help Bach save the Brandenburg concertos from the evil clutches of his nemesis, Jeff Goldblum. It was an epic tale, full of all kinds of skullduggery and chicanery. You know. As you’d expect from Ken. You’d expect nothing less. And you shouldn’t. Never settle! That’s rule number one when dealing with a bon vivant.

Many adventures happened in the meantime, of course. Listen, Ken’s always having adventures. It’s not like he just STOPS because The Person Who is Writing This is BUSY. No, no. Many adventures were had. It was actually a struggle: what adventures would you like most to hear about? The treasure map and the hidden kingdom? The time Lindsay Lohan almost started World War III? The fourteen lost keys and the doorway to doom? All exciting stories, to be sure, filled with all MANNER of excitement and bouncy red dogs and of course, tea-drinking. So much tea-drinking, you can’t even imagine. Like, think of the tea-drinking you can imagine? Then MULTIPLY IT TIMES A BILLION. Then add on MORE. That much tea-drinking, you guys.

SO much more than you can even imagine. SO much more.

But then I thought, yes, yes, those are all GOOD stories, but not as good as the story I’m going to tell you now. This one is the BEST of all those stories. It’s got foreign CLIMES and FANCY MOVIE STARS and a YOUNG SIDEKICK and of course HAPPY RED DOGS. And a skateboard! I mean, come on. How could I not choose this one?

One day, not long after the Brandenburg Imbroglio, Ken was bon vivanting in Japan. He always liked when he got to go to Japan. Most bon vivants do. It’s a country ripe for bon vivantery, with many delicious foods (Ken would like you all to know that the Japanese word for squid is “taco” so if you are bon vivanting in Japan and you order “taco” you’re not getting a crunchy Mexican treat, you’re getting squid. See? These are the things a person knows, when he is a bon vivant. And now YOU know them TOO) and adventures to be had. Also? Bidets. It is a country of bidets. And listen, there is very little a bon vivant like Ken likes more than a good bidet. Even one with the instructions written in Japanese, so you never know if you’re flushing or bidet-ing. Ken decided to go to Tokyo. They had many beautiful attractions there, and he loved to see the gardens. (You’re probably wondering, were Ella, Louis, and Mrs. Ken with him on this trip? Well! I am happy to tell you. Ella and Louis were most definitely with him on this trip. Mrs. Ken was not, as she had been called away on a very important journey of her own; this time, she was working with tribal elders to establish a fair and balanced system of government in a small village in Zimbabwe. As one does, when one is ALSO a very fancy bon vivanteur. Ken had wanted to go with her, but she said once she was done, she would meet him – and the dogs – in Japan, and they would do some joint bon vivantery there. Bon vivantery is fun, but bon vivantery with the one you love is even BETTER.)

The happiest of happy red dogs!

While walking through the Koishikawa Korakuen gardens and admiring the waterfall and the lines of Japanese children walking by, all wearing bright yellow helmets for safety (and, he was quite sure, WHIMSY) purposes, Ken heard crying.

Well! This doesn’t sit well with bon vivants. Bon vivants are very helpful. All the time. They don’t like people to be sad or in pain or distressed. So of course Ken had to go investigate this weeping situation. It’s all you can expect from a bon vivant. And his hat. And his happy red dogs.

Ken rounded the corner of the waterfall. Louis bounded ahead, as Louis is wont to do. Ella stayed back. She likes to assess a situation more before jumping in with all paws. Ella still remembers the time Louis was kidnapped by the Arabian sheik and had to be rescued with a hovercraft because he ran ahead without looking what was going on first because he was just SO DAMN EXCITED and she wants no part of that, no no, not Ella.

Shady. SHADY.

Louis was licking the face of a very pretty dark-haired woman who was sitting by the rocks on the far side of the waterfall. Ella looked at Ken with a long-suffering look. Ken knew that look well. It was her “don’t blame ME for my brother’s foolishness” look.

“I’m sorry,” Ken said, “Louis has a mind of his own, sometimes. Are you alright? I don’t mean to pry, but I couldn’t help but hear you crying. Is there anything I can do to help?”

The woman looked up. Well! Imagine that! It was Academy-Award winning actress Rachel Weisz!

“Oh!” Rachel said. “Ken? Ken, the World-Traveling Bon Vivant? Is that you?”

Ken was a bit amazed, but not THAT amazed. People recognized him all the time. Just not always Academy-Award winning actresses who once had a guest-spot on The Simpsons.

“Yes,” he said, slightly abashed. “It is me, Rachel Weisz. How nice that you recognized me! I’m sorry, I don’t know that we’ve met before, although I’m a big fan of your work.”

“My good friend Kate Winslet talks about you all the time,” Rachel said. Ken nodded sagely. He WAS BFFs with Kate Winslet, of course he was. “She’s always talking about your joint adventures! I’ve always wanted to meet you! I recognized you immediately by your jaunty hat. And also your dapper beard. How embarrassing to meet under these circumstances. I can assure you I am not often crying next to picturesque Japanese waterfalls.”

Ken sat next to Rachel. Ella settled next to him, daintily. Louis bounded around the three of them, as happy as a red dog can be. New friends! thought Louis. There is nothing better than new friends! Or, that’s what it seemed he thought. He’s a dog, and there’s only so much about this story The Person Who is Writing This can know. You know?

“Any friend of my BFF Kate Winslet is a friend of mine,” Ken said. “What’s wrong, Rachel?”

“Oh, Ken,” Rachel sighed. “I’m not sure even you can help, but I’m willing to give anything a shot. My husband has disappeared!”

Ken knew Rachel was married to Daniel Craig, who was the current James Bond.

Rachel told Ken the story. A week ago, Daniel had called Rachel on his way home from work. He’d never arrived. Rachel had left more and more panicked messages on his cell phone, because she knew he had a commercial shoot early the next morning so should be home by then, and just as she was about to call the police, she got a call.

“He or she was using that voice software? Where the voice is disguised? So I didn’t recognize the voice, of course. But the caller said if I ever wanted to see my husband alive again, I needed to bring £500,000 here to this waterfall, and await further instructions.” Rachel showed him a satchel filled with hundred-pound notes. “But the caller was supposed to contact me hours ago. I don’t know what happened. Daniel could be anywhere. He could be…dead! He’s not really James Bond, you know. He’s just a man. The man that I love. Ken, is there anything you can do to help?”

Ken thought. And thought. And thought some more. His head felt fuzzy. Ella nosed his hand and when he looked at her, pointed with her head back toward where they’d come. He knew exactly what she meant.

“Rachel, let’s go get something that will help us think,” Ken said as he stood, and held out his hand, like the very chivalrous gentleman that he was, to help her to her feet.

“Oh, Ken, I don’t do drugs,” she said, very seriously.

Ken laughed. “No, no! Not drugs. Something much better for thinking than drugs, and much less likely to make you chew a friend’s face off, like those evil bath salts do. Tea!”

Rachel, Ken, Ella and Louis (Louis had found a very choice stick near the waterfall, which he kept smacking Ella in the face with as he pranced along with it; Ella took it with good grace, as she does, but not without some very deep doggy sighs) walked to a very beautiful teahouse he had noted on his way into the garden. He’d heard good things about this teahouse from his tea-contacts throughout the world and was very much looking forward to trying some of their special green tea.

“Hello!” the waitress said as they sat. “What type of bubble tea can I interest you in today?”

Ken smiled. “Oh, no thank you. I’d actually heard such good things about your Gyokuro that I was hoping to try that. Rachel, how about you, any preferences?”

The waitress gave him a strange look. “Oh, sir, my most abject apologies, but all we have here is bubble tea. We stopped serving anything else very recently.”

“What?” Ken said. “But you are one of the most well-renowned teahouses in Tokyo! How could this happen?”

“No one wants anything but bubble tea anymore,” the waitress said with a shrug. “We had to change with the times.”

“Well, there much be somewhere else we can go,” Ken said. “Can you recommend anywhere?”

The waitress gave him the look again. “No, sir, I’m sorry, but there are no more places in Tokyo that serve anything but bubble tea. That’s all you can get here now. We were the last holdout, actually. When we realized we weren’t making any money on our tea, we stopped selling it.”

Ken was flabbergasted. There was nowhere in Tokyo to get a good, traditionally-brewed pot of tea? All he could get was a plastic cup of the overly-sweetened bubble tea, which bore about as much likeness to a cup of tea as…well…a flip-flip bears to a fine Ferragamo loafer? (Bon vivants know things about fine Ferragamo loafers. No, seriously. Trust me. They do. Of course they do.)

Why had no one told him about this? Before he could say many things that he might regret to the very nice, very confused-at-his-anger waitress, Rachel led him out of the establishment with a very kind smile so no one was angry. Well, except Ken. Ken was quite angry. And Ken very SELDOM gets angry. However! THIS WAS AN AFFRONT TO TEA. This was NOT to be taken lightly. No no. Not this.

Luckily, he still had some tea in his flask, so he and Rachel and the happy red dogs had an impromptu tea party (no, not that kind, the real kind, WITH TEA, not the political kind, come on now) on a park bench. Once the tea settled his stomach and he had some time to think, he turned to Rachel.

“After some thought, I think our best course of action would be to…” he said, and a boy on a skateboard smashed into their bench.

“Oh! I am so sorry!” the boy said. “I was reading the paper and I wasn’t paying attention! This is all my fault! Please forgive me!” No one was hurt, and Ken and Rachel of course forgave him. Ella was a little miffed. Louis licked the boy’s knees, just because he could.

“What was in the paper that was so interesting, young man?” Rachel said. The boy smiled at her. Listen, Rachel was very captivating.

“Penguin 337 was kidnapped from the Tokyo Sea Life Park!” the boy said. “Do you remember Penguin 337? He escaped from the Tokyo Sea Life Park, and then they found out he or she was living happily in the Tokyo Bay, then the zookeepers caught him or her again not long after? Well, just last night, a man dressed all in black was seen kidnapping him from the park, then stuffing him in a backpack on the banks of the bay, hopping on a motorcycle, and running away! No one has seen him since! We all love Penguin 337 so much here, and this is such sad news!” The boy looked very bereft.

Freeeee!

Ken looked at the paper. There were a lot of photos of Penguin 337, and one grainy photo of a tall, somewhat stooped man with a backpack on the banks of the Tokyo Bay. Not much to go on.

“Hey, aren’t you Ken? The World-Traveling Bon Vivant?” the boy said. “We read about you in History class! You saved all the tea in London! Look at your hat! It IS you, isn’t it?”

It was a very fine hat. They always are.

Ken blushed. “Yes, that’s me.”

“If anyone can save Penguin 337, it’s you! Can you help, sir? You can, can’t you?”

Ken thought. This was a lot to process. Missing husbands! Missing penguins! Plus – he had to do it all with only the tea he could brew himself in his hotel room, because THERE WAS NO REAL TEA TO BE HAD IN ALL OF TOKYO!

“It’ll be ok, Ken,” Rachel said. “The tea thing, I mean.”

“I said that out loud, didn’t I?” Ken said. “I’m sorry. It’s got me very upset.”

Ken thought of Mrs. Ken, who did so love penguins. Also, a certain unruly-haired blogger in New York, who would be bereft, UTTERLY BEREFT, if anything happened to Penguin 337, who she loved so much because he was reported to have escaped due to “a sense of adventure,” according to the zookeepers, and that unruly-haired blogger did so love creatures with a sense of adventure because she felt akin to them.

“Yes,” Ken said, “of course I will help. Both you, Rachel, and you, young man. We will solve both of these heinous crimes.”

The young boy cheered and Rachel choked back a sob. Ken worried that he had maybe bitten off more than he could chew, but he was a bon vivant. He’d been in difficult situations before. He’s always come out on top. Yes, that’s a euphemism. A bon-vivanty euphemism.

Rachel’s cell phone rang. “Hello?” she answered. Her face went white. “Yes,” she whispered. “Yes. I’m so sorry. Yes. Of course. Whatever you say. Please. Please don’t hurt him. Please.”

“Was that them? What did they say?” Ken asked. Rachel’s hands were shaking.

“The caller said they showed up at the garden, but they saw me there with you and had told me not to bring anyone. They’re so angry at me!  Oh, no, Ken, what if they hurt Daniel?”

“What did they say to do next, Rachel?” Ken said. Louis put his muzzle on her knee and Ella leaned against her other leg. Happy red dogs are very comforting, you see.

“To meet them tonight behind the Cocoon Tower; to come alone, and bring the money. They said if I do that, they’ll return Daniel to me. Do you think they’re telling the truth, Ken?” Rachel looked very worried.

Ken thought hard. It was easier, since he’d recently had some tea. SOME REAL TEA THAT IS. “No way to tell. Well, since we have until tonight, I’m going to go over and check out the Tokyo Bay, to see if there are any clues. Do you want to come?”

“Oh, yes. It will help keep my mind off things,” Rachel said.

“Me, too!” the boy said. Ken was surprised. He’d forgotten the young boy with the skateboard was still there!

“Oh, it might be dangerous,” Ken said. “I’m worried you might be putting yourself in harm’s way.”

The boy puffed out his chest. Ken smiled inwardly. He was a very small boy, and it was a very brave little gesture. “I am tough,” the boy said. “I can be a lot of help! I can show you around the city!”

Ken nodded. “Ok, but if it gets dangerous, you have to promise to go home,” he said. The boy nodded. “What’s your name?”

“Taiki,” the boy said. They all shook hands and there were happy introductions all around, and both dogs approved heartily of the new addition to their team and gave him many licks and sniffs.

The group walked to the bay. There were no police tape or barricades set up as there wasn’t really a crime scene. Ken walked around looking at the bay, and the ground. The dogs sniffed everything and were very excited about being near the water. Louis found a duck and barked merrily for a long time. Ella kept her mind on the task at hand.

Rachel and Taiki didn’t find anything and eventually stood together, watching Louis and smiling. You really can’t watch Louis without smiling, even when you’re worried. It’s nigh-on impossible.

Ken noticed something pale in the weeds, by some footprints in the mud on the bank. He walked over and crouched to see what it was. A business card. Strange, to be over here in the weeds. There was a short, oily feather stuck to it. A penguin feather! A clue!

“What’s that, Ken?” Rachel asked. She and Taiki came over.

“It’s a business card for Gyoko BT LLC. I think it’s a clue. Do you know what this company is, Taiki?”

Taiki laughed and sang a little song. “Gyoko! Gyoko! Bubble tea for you and me! Gyoko! Gyoko! Bubbles in your tea will give you glee!”

“What’s that?” Ken asked. He immediately had started frowning when he heard the dreaded “bubble tea” words leave his new friend’s lips.

“Gyoko is the main company that makes all the bubble tea in Tokyo. They have commercials with all kinds of celebrities in them, and they always sing that song. Also, they have a little dancing penguin mascot. Everyone here loves Gyoko!” Taiki said.

Ken suddenly had a moment. You probably have never had one of these moments. That’s because you’re not a bon vivant. They’re kind of hard to explain. They’re like a moment of clarity, when all the puzzle pieces move into place and it all comes clear. Sometimes people in the movies have them (usually with a music montage in the background) but they’re just playacting. These moments of clarity really are the property of a select few people; and Ken, being a bon vivant, was one of those people.

The missing penguin. The kidnapping of Daniel Craig. The lack of real tea in Tokyo. The £500,000. The business card.

“Rachel,” Ken said slowly. “You said that Daniel had a commercial shoot the day after he was kidnapped. What was the commercial for?”

Rachel thought for a moment. “Oh, it was a foreign commercial. I remember! It was actually for – isn’t this funny that I would have forgotten? – tea! It was a Japanese commercial for tea! Real tea, not bubble tea. I remember, because they sent us a bunch of their loose-leaf tea to try. Some very excellent green tea.”

The sun was starting to set over the bay, which was a very pretty sight on the water. Louis was snapping at early-evening bugs that were flying around the water. Ella was assiduously cleaning the mud from between her toes. She’s a neat one, that dog.

“We need to get to the Cocoon Tower,” Ken said. “It’s starting to get late.”

“You seem to have a hunch, Ken,” Rachel said. “Do you know who’s done this? Do you know what’s happened?”

“I have an idea,” Ken said. “But there’s a piece missing. The key player. I’m not sure who’s the mastermind. But, with a little luck, I think we might be able to flush him out at the Tower.”

The band of crimesolvers made their way to the Cocoon Tower. Once they were there, they split up. Rachel sat on a bench at the back of the building, as she’d been ordered. Ken hid behind some trees with the dogs, who he cajoled to be quiet with some treats. Taiki was around the corner, ready for action.

A man walked up to Rachel after about an hour. He was tall and thin, wearing a voluminous jacket. Ken knew better than to trust a man in a voluminous jacket. He’d learned that lesson with L. Ron Hubbard. Ken had set up a monitoring system using their cell phones so he could hear Rachel and the man talking.

“Is my husband safe?” Rachel said. “Please, can I see him?”

“Where’s the money?” the man said. “I need that money!”

Rachel handed him the satchel. He looked inside and nodded.

“I’m going to need your husband for a few more days. Then he’ll be given back to you, good as new. Or as always. Or whatever. He’s James Bond! Ha ha! He’ll be fine!”

Ken furrowed his brow. He knew that voice. Louis was busy with his treat, but Ella was sniffing the air, and her upper lip was beginning to snarl a little. She recognized it, too! Why did he know that voice? It was quiet, but…it sounded like…

The man started to walk away. “Wait!” Rachel said, her voice starting to sound panicky. “Please! I gave you the money! Where’s my husband? How do I know he’s ok?”

“He’ll be FINE, sheesh,” the man said. He shook her off and started to walk away quickly. Suddenly, Taiki darted from around the corner on his skateboard. He tried to cut the man off. Ken and the dogs ran out from the trees, but the man, realizing he was outnumbered, broke away and ran.

Rachel, Ken, Taiki, Louis and Ella chased the man in the dark. He was wearing all black so it was hard to keep an eye on him. “He just went in the Cocoon Tower!” Taiki said, and they saw a door just about to close. Louis ran and blocked the door with his body, and stood there until they could catch up to him.

“Good boy, Louis!” Ken said. Ella gave her brother a grudging lick. Louis barked joyously and wagged his tail so hard he almost fell over.

The Cocoon Tower was tall and maze-like. They ran around, looking for signs where the tall man might have gone. Ken knew that voice. That voice gave him a chill. It upset Ella. Who…whose voice was that?

Suddenly, from the end of a hallway, they heard a type of barking yelp. Louis answered it with some barking of his own. Louis always barked like that when he heard animals at the zoo. Animals at the zoo!

“It’s the penguin!” Taiki said. “Penguin 337!”

They all ran to the end of the hall. There was a big set of double doors marked “STUDIO.”

“What kind of building is this, Taiki?” Rachel whispered.

“It’s an educational building,” Taiki responded. “This must be some sort of recording studio?”

The doors were closed, but not latched all the way. Ken opened one of the doors as quietly as he could and shushed everyone as they walked in.

“Now, say the lines,” they heard,”and say them RIGHT this time. The sooner you get this done, the better. You can go home as soon as you’re done. What don’t you understand about this? You’re supposed to be SMART, Mr. BOND.”

It was the man who’d taken the money from Rachel!

They peeked around the corner of some sound baffling. Daniel Craig was sitting there in a bright circle of stage lighting, surrounded by cameras. He was wearing one of his James Bond suits. His arms were free, but his legs were tied. By his side was Penguin 337. They were sitting at a cafe-style table. Both of them had a large bubble tea in front of them. Daniel glared at someone that none of them could see.

Daniel began saying some lines in a very clipped, bitter tone.

“When I want a refreshing drink, I reach for a Gyoko Bubble Tea. Traditional tea is for losers! James Bond drinks nothing but Gyoko Bubble Tea. It makes me strong and brave. Just ask my best friend…”

And then Ken realized why he recognized the voice, as someone he knew all-too-well walked onto the stage. Someone EVIL. Someone FILLED WITH CHICANERY.

“…JEFF GOLDBLUM.”

Jeff Goldblum sat at the third chair at the table. They could see he had something in one of the pockets. It seemed to be a gun, and he was pointing it at Daniel Craig. He was carrying a bubble tea. “Yes! Thank you, Bond! I am your best friend, and you’re right! There’s nothing better than a Gyoko Bubble Tea!”

Then he looked at Daniel. Daniel glared back at him. He pointed the suitcoat-covered-gun at Daniel. Daniel grudgingly reached out and took one of Penguin 337’s stubby wings in his hand. Jeff Goldblum took another. Together, they sang the Gyoko theme song; Jeff Goldblum with much verve and panache; Daniel Craig with a tight jaw and very angry eyes.

“Gyoko! Gyoko! Bubble tea for you and me! Gyoko! Gyoko! Bubbles in your tea will give you glee!”

Penguin 337 squawked and shook his little body. Jeff yelled “CUT!” and laughed maniacally. “Not that there’s anyone TO cut, as I’m doing this on my own, but YOU know that, right, Craig ol’ buddy ol’ pal!” Jeff Goldblum got up and turned off the cameras, talking to himself and laughing. “It was expensive to get this studio time and these lights – £500,000, hey, thanks for paying for that for me, old buddy old pal old BFF – but Gyoko said if I could get this all pulled together, they’d buy it, so it’ll all be worth it! Just wait until they SEE this! Now, I’m going to watch these back, see how they look, and if they’re no good, we’ll do it again, and again, and AGAIN, until it’s JUST RIGHT! And once everyone sees this, my career will TAKE OFF! I mean, you’re a HOT TICKET, Craig! And if everyone thinks I’m your BFF, well, they’ll want me in EVERYTHING! And EVERYONE loves ol’ Penguin 337 – I mean, everyone loves Gyoko’s cartoon penguin mascot, but think how much they’ll like THE REAL THING! This is GREAT!” Jeff began to skip around the table like a child excitedly.

Rachel was shaking. Taiki looked up at Ken, confused. Ken watched Jeff Goldblum, furious. Damn Jeff Goldblum, that evil nemesis. Damn him!

“You’re crazy, Goldblum,” Daniel said. “Just let me go. This commercial won’t help your career. It’s just a Japanese commercial. No one sees these but Japanese people. That’s why so many celebrities do them.”

Jeff Goldblum laughed, a hollow, soulless sound. “Well, it won’t be MY fault if someone leaks it on YouTube, will it? And by SOMEONE, I mean ME! HA HA HA!” Jeff began to watch the playback on the first camera. While he was distracted, Ken saw his opening. He gestured to Ella. Ella quietly padded over to Daniel and began daintily gnawing at the ropes around his ankles. Daniel wasn’t even fazed. He’d learned how to act cool under pressure in all of his movies.

“Louis would be faster,” Ken whispered to Rachel, “but he’s a little louder. Also, if he saw the penguin, he’d start barking. He has very little control over himself when zoo animals are concerned. He really just wanted to be their friend, but they don’t know that.”

All of a sudden, Penguin 337 saw Ella and squawked. Jeff looked up and saw Ella. “What’s THIS?” he said, and ran out from behind the camera, pulling his gun out of his pocket. Ken couldn’t allow his dog to be in danger. He ran out from his hiding place.

“STOP RIGHT THERE, GOLDBLUM!” he boomed. Jeff Goldblum stopped, frozen. He saw Ken and began to laugh.

“Well! Ken! I was HOPING I’d see you, but didn’t know it would be so SOON! How ARE you, my old friend?” He pointed his gun at Ken. Daniel, Penguin 337, and Ella froze at the table in the lights. Rachel, Taiki and Louis stayed hidden in the dark corner. Ken wasn’t pleased with this development. He didn’t care much for gunplay.

“What kind of dastardly plan have you hatched this time, you schemer?” Ken said, hoping to draw Jeff Goldblum’s attention away from the others in the room. That’s what bon vivants do. They are very self-sacrificing.

“Oh ho ho! Well! First, I will make a very high-profile commercial with James Bond and a penguin! What does everyone love? James Bond and penguins! Everyone will love me for being in this commercial! I will get many job offers! People will stop mocking me on the interwebs!”

“I don’t know that people mock you that much on the internet,” Ken said. “Well, other than me.”  Jeff Goldblum shushed him.

“THEN, once they love me, they’ll start to hate YOU, you see! It’s the perfect plan!” Jeff Goldblum began to wheel around in circles and cackle.

“Why would they hate me?” Ken asked.

“Well! We all know what keeps you calm, Ken. It’s tea. And what’s getting harder and harder to find, due to my plan? TEA! See, I’ve been talking up bubble tea for the past YEAR. Every time people would drink tea, there I’d be, pushing bubble tea on them. Buying them free bubble tea. Making it IRRESISTIBLE to them. Until NO one wanted regular tea. NO ONE. And now, due to my stopping of Daniel Craig’s commercial, which was sure to help tea get popular here in Japan again, and my very fancy commercial for bubble tea with James Bond and a penguin? REAL TEA IS OVER AND DONE, KEN! DONEZO! And everyone knows that Japan is where trends get started! Tea’s impossible to find here – it’s only a matter of time before it’s impossible to find ANYWHERE! And once you can’t find tea anywhere, you’ll get CRANKY! And people will look at you suspiciously, because you won’t be drinking their beloved whimsical bubble tea, but some sort of mysterious beverage out of a FLASK! And they will start to look at you with DISDAIN and MISTRUST! And they will need a HERO, Ken! A HERO! And who will be there, ready to step in as needed? ME ME ME! JEFF GOLDBLUM!!!”

Jeff Goldblum’s spinning in circles had led him closer and closer to the cafe table where Daniel Craig was. In one quick move, Daniel Craig stood, shaking off the shredded ropes, and lifted the cafe table. Bubble tea cups flew left and right. He swept Jeff Goldblum off his feet with the heavy table, which was possible because Daniel Craig is really quite a buff gentleman, and Louis bounded in and *whoof!* jumped on Jeff Goldblum’s stomach. When Jeff Goldblum was out of breath, Ella daintily took the gun from his hand and carried it to Ken and deposited it gently in his hand. Louis sat on Jeff Goldblum’s stomach, panting merrily. Jeff Goldblum coughed in a weak sigh.

Ken knelt by Jeff Goldblum. “Jeff Goldblum! When will you learn! Evil never conquers! Also, NOTHING will stop tea. NOTHING!”

Rachel ran out from where she’d been hiding and threw her arms around her husband, who was so happy to see her there that he almost had a couple of very manly tears, but not quite. Because Daniel Craig doesn’t CRY, come on. Taiki petted Ella and watched Penguin 337 in joy. Jeff Goldblum attempted to get up, but Louis growled at him. He flopped back down, sighing.

“Damn you, Ken. Damn you,” Jeff Goldblum hissed.

“Thank you, sir,” Daniel Craig said, coming forward to shake Ken’s hand. Ken stood. “You’re truly a wonder. You kept Rachel safe and saved me and Penguin 337. I’ll never forget this.”

“And the world,” Rachel whispered. “The world would be drinking nothing but bubble tea if it weren’t for Ken. He saved the WORLD.”

Ken laughed. “You’re both too kind,” he said.

Suddenly, there was a loud clatter! Dogs barking! Penguins squawking! Wheels rolling!

Louis had gotten distracted by Penguin 337, as is Louis’s downfall. When his attention was turned toward the jolly little penguin who loved adventure, Jeff Goldblum had heaved himself up. Louis, flung from Jeff Goldblum’s chest, had been launched at Penguin 337! Penguin 337 had waddled off in fright! Louis had been very excited! Ella had been EXTREMELY DISGUSTED but would have said “Yeah, could have seen THIS coming!” if she’d been asked!

Jeff Goldblum, seeing Taiki’s unattended skateboard, had boarded it (ha! no pun intended, good one, Person Who is Writing This!) and quickly wheeled himself toward the door. As he wheeled past Ken, he WHISKED his jaunty hat from his head and PLOPPED it onto his own head, cackling. Ken (now, sadly hatless), Taiki, Daniel, Louis, Ella, and Penguin 337, all in a disarray, started toward him, but he was moving quickly!

“I’ll get you, Ken,” Jeff Goldblum said. “It’s only a matter of time. If someone was writing epic stories about MY bon vivantery, I’D be beloved. I KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW. It’s not FAIR. It’s not RIGHT. I’m JUST as bon vivanty as you are. I WEAR HATS JUST AS WELL. LOOK! Look how good I look in your hat! I WILL GET YOU, KEN. If I have to go to the ends of the earth to do it.” He shook his fist and skated from the room. Ken and Daniel ran after him, but it was too late. He knew the building well and had a skateboard, and (strangely) was quite good at it. Probably picked it up on a movie set here or there. People like Goldblum often pick up skills they can use for nefarious purposes.

Ken looked seriously at Daniel, Taiki and Rachel. “You all ok?” They nodded.

“Well, he might have gotten away, but we’re all safe. That’s what matters.”

Taiki walked up to Ken. “What will we do with Penguin 337?” he asked. “I know we should give him back to the zoo, but he’s so happy on his own. I don’t want to.”

Ken nodded seriously. “I think Penguin 337 has made his choice. He wants to be free. The zoo shouldn’t have captured him. And he doesn’t seem any worse for wear. I think we’ll put him back in the bay. My unruly-haired blogger friend in New York would never forgive me otherwise.”

So the intrepid gang brought Penguin 337, safely ensconced in the now-empty money satchel, back to the bay, where he waddled to the water. Before he left, he solemnly touched his beak to Louis’s nose, then Ella’s. That’s how animals make BFFs. Louis didn’t even bark at the penguin. Penguin 337 was really magical like that. He swam away into the moonlight and Ella and Louis watched him go, a bit sadly, until Louis started licking an itchy spot and fell over into the mud and Ella walked away disgustedly.

Taiki shook all of their hands very seriously, which made them all smile. “Thank you all. You are true heroes. You have saved a Japanese icon. I will never forget you.” He threw his arms around Ken, then grinned, shoved something in Ken’s hand, and ran away towards home. Ken couldn’t help but smile. Taiki was pretty infectiously joyous. And what had he given him? It was a traditional Japanese hat! So Ken was hatless no longer! It was a little bigger than he was used to, but one of the hallmarks of a bon vivant is adapting to new circumstances with STYLE and VERVE. Also panache.

Daniel shook Ken’s hand and Rachel gave him a hug. “Thank you,” Rachel said. “If I ever am crying next to a Japanese waterfall, I hope you always happen by with your two amazing dogs.”

“You’re quite a fellow, Ken,” Daniel said. “If I ever need saving, I’ll know who to call.”

“Quite a statement, coming from you, Mr. Craig. Thank you so much,” Ken said. “And it was my pleasure, Rachel. You are welcome to come and bon vivant with me anytime.”

Rachel smiled and blew Ken a kiss. She had very much enjoyed bon vivanting with Ken and was pleased to be invited to do so again.

Ken’s phone rang. It was Mrs. Ken! “I have to get this,” he said. “Keep in touch, Rachel and Daniel. Be safe.”

They waved and walked off, their arms around each other.

“Hello,” Ken said to Mrs. Ken. “Are you on your way to Japan? Oh, good. Yes, everything’s great here. Just fine. No news. Same old, same old. You know. Just…when you come, can you bring something with you? Tea. Bring lots and lots of tea. If we’re going to be here any length of time, we’re going to need it. At least until things get back to normal around here. Don’t worry. I’ll explain when you get here.”

Louis barked merrily as Penguin 337 splashed in the bay. Ella put her paws on her muzzle. Oh, her silly, silly brother.

THE END. (For NOW.)

(As always, thank you, Ken, for letting me make you a SUPERHERO OF TEA and BON-VIVANTERY! And for being the best sport and giving me Japan stories. You’re the best.)


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