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Old 07-29-2008, 04:11 PM   #16
slayda
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That's why I leave a lot of dry food out for them ... so I at least have some leeway for periods spent passed out on the floor.

I just finished ... and it really is all in the numbers. My back is now more or less permanentsly shaped as the number 2 and in pain of a level 9 out of 10 with 10 being "please pass the morphine." I have Excedrine headache number 5 (that started just about the time that Duncan ran out the front door and into the yard). I'm baking brownies with walnuts for tonight's party in an 8 x 8 pan, but the walnut chunks are HUGE because I can't remember where the lid to my 1 and only nut chopper is. And, I need to unbury my miter saw so I can finish up the work framing out the chalkboard in the kitchen, but it is buried under 21 tons of crap in the garage.

(Pant, pant, groan, whine .... PANT!!)
Sounds like you need to call "Two Men and a Truck".
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:17 PM   #17
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Sounds like you need to call "Two Men and a Truck".
Nah .... "Two Pandas and a Truck." Actually, it's a fairly normal day for me, except for the fact that it's so freaking HOT!!
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:21 PM   #18
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C'mon Steve, I'm waiting for Part III.
(I couldn't stay away from MR even for a single afternoon)
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:43 PM   #19
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I assume that Steve is on the jazz again testing out plot devices for his next book.
Naahh... just needed to air out my brainpan a bit. More to come...
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:58 PM   #20
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Finding "the green dome" was easy... you could see it from a mile away. I approached, pointedly ignoring the pandas that walked about all around the town, and who pointedly ignored me right back. (I could not help but notice two pandas, walking together, with the numbers "86" and "99" on their faces.) The ornate door opened, like my new home's door, before I had the chance to knock.

Inside the door... what else? Another panda. This one was smaller than the average panda... a youngling, maybe. He looked up at me, then turned, and trotted down a hall. At the end of the hall, a door opened automatically, and the panda trotted inside. Taking the hint, I followed the mini-panda into the room.

Unlike everything I'd seen in this goofy village, which looked like a Victorian's wet dream, the room I stepped into now was right out of the next century: It was overall round, with a high rounded ceiling. The walls had projected images of what looked like parts of the village. A strange multi-colored light show seemed to revolve around the room, mildly distracting, but soothing at the same time. And in the center of the room, was a large, black ball.

No, wait, it began revolving... it was a chair. And as it turned to face me, I confronted the first human being I'd seen since I walked out of my job that day. It was a man... a big bear of a man. He was dressed in a white suit, wearing black gloves and black shoes. I don't know what nationality he was, because his face was painted white... I mean Rinso white... and around his left eye was a number, painted in black: A number two.

This strange man smiled--I think--and said in a booming voice, "Welcome, welcome! So nice to meet you at last, old chap! How was your trip over?"

I started to answer him directly, but thought of a better response: "My trip to where?"

"Eh?"

"Where am I?"

"Where? Well, isn't it obvious?" The strange man stood up, and ambled over to me. Now I could see he was smiling.

"You're in the Zoo, my boy..."
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:18 PM   #21
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I didn't see that one coming! [waiting anxiously, flipping back and forth between work and refreshing MR]
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:54 PM   #22
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I didn't see that one coming! [waiting anxiously, flipping back and forth between work and refreshing MR]
I'll bet you they're going to acutealate him!!
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:57 PM   #23
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I'll bet you they're going to acutealate him!!
Wrong branch of the multiverse. Theyre going to speak at him in stilted dialogue with no apparent topic for hours on end until his brains try to climb out his ears to get away from the absurdity of it all.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:11 PM   #24
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Wrong branch of the multiverse. Theyre going to speak at him in stilted dialogue with no apparent topic for hours on end until his brains try to climb out his ears to get away from the absurdity of it all.
Huh .... sounds a bit like Vogon poetry.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:27 PM   #25
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I think that it is Wales. It's Portmeirion, currently hosting a Panda convention because their accommodation is needed for the Olympics. And it's not bamboo. Those are leeks, Steve. Show some respect for our national vegetable otherwise we'll spit on your Bara Brith.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:46 PM   #26
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Yeah, it's funny, I'd always thought that village was somewhere in the Mediterranean, but Wales it is....

C'mon, get to the part about listening to all the records in the store before not buying any. I love that part.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:07 PM   #27
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:34 PM   #28
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"A zoo?"

"Not 'A' zoo," the panda-man replied. "Thee Zoo."

"Well... what am I doing in any zoo?"

"Why, the same thing everyone else is doing in the zoo, dear boy!" And he laughed, like I'd said something funny. So far, I failed to get the point. Besides...

"But there's no one here! Nothing here but pandas!"

Panda-man cocked his head, as if he failed to get my point. "Yes?"

Did he not understand me? "Pandas!"

"Yes! Aren't they wonderful? So soft, and cuddly, and docile, and quiet, eh?"

"Yeah yeah, soft and cuddly," I agreed, just to avoid an argument, but he wasn't finished.

"Yes, wonderful creatures, pandas. So long as they have everything they need, they make no trouble, they demand little more than food and a place to sleep. Every zoo should be filled to the brim with them!"

"That's great," I nodded. "But I am not a panda! I am a human being!"

"Yes, well, that's something to discuss," Panda-man replied. "Isn't it?"

"What's to discuss? I am not a panda... discussion over!"

"Ah. Well then," he nodded sagely, "let's table that particular point for now."

"Good. So: Tell me how to get out of here."

"Out of here?"

"Yes!" He was beginning to really cheese me off. "Out of here! I want to go home!"

"Home?"

"Home! You know... I feel so broke up, yada, yada..."

"But my dear chap! You are home!"

"...What?"

"This, my boy, is your home!" Panda-man waved an arm expansively, taking in the screens surrounding the round chair on every surface. "Why would you want to leave it?"

"Oh, I don't know... because I'm not a panda?"

"Ah... that again..."

"All right, knock that off! I am not a panda. You can't make me stay here."

At that, Panda-man cocked an eyebrow, which gleamed through his white makeup. "Oh?"

"This place might hold a panda," I said smugly, "but it won't hold me."

"Hold you? My boy," Panda-man chuckled. "We won't hold you."

Now it was my turn to cock an eyebrow. "No?"

"No, of course not!" he laughed. Then, as abruptly, he stopped, and leaned forward conspiratorially. "But you won't leave."

"We'll see about that," I said.

"Yes, won't we?" Panda-man smiled... and at that moment, the door through which I had entered opened on its own. I was startled by the obvious theatrics... but nonetheless, I headed for the door without another moment's hesitation.

As I walked out, I heard the Panda-man call after me: "Be seeing you..."
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:43 AM   #29
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I headed away from the Green Dome as fast as I could speed-walk, but not entirely sure where to go from there. But an approaching panda-taxi gave me an idea. Pretending to bend down and examine a small placard by a stand of plants (actually not pretending... I noted that what I, in my ignorance, thought was bamboo, was actually leeks. I need to read up on my horticulture, I guess), I waited until the taxi came close.

Then I reached out, took the panda by the arm, and swung him out of the driver's seat.

The panda rolled onto the ground, righted himself, and sat there staring at me in that cute straight-legged teddy-bear pose, while I climbed into the driver's seat, and tromped on the accelerator. Not that it had much acceleration... a running man could have caught up with me, really. But as there were no men around, and the pandas didn't seem to care, I drove away unchallenged.

Before long, I found a long shoreline, and angled for that. I hoped I'd be able to follow it to the nearest town, or at least identify my location. The taxi turned out to be surprisingly agile on sand, and soon I was headed... west, I think.

I drove for about ten minutes, until I could no longer see the village/zoo behind me. But upon turning my head back to the beach ahead, I suddenly realized there was something ahead of me. As I approached, the image seemed to resolve itself into a huge boulder, perhaps twice the size of the taxi, and (at this point, I thought, of course) painted like a panda.

The boulder was big enough that I'd have to swerve a bit into the surf to avoid it, so I started to veer to the left. I slowed to avoid a wash of the incoming tide, then accelerated lightly, and cast an eye to the boulder to make sure I would clear it.

And that's when the boulder moved. A massive black and white arm swung out, catching the top frame of the taxi, and knocking it onto its two left wheels. I howled, in surprise and fright, as I struggled to keep the taxi from flipping over, and in frank shock at the realization that I'd just been hit by a panda bigger than a grizzly bear!

The taxi came back down on its four wheels, but I'd lost all forward momentum. And in the meantime, the giant panda had moved to block my taxi. Gods, he was big. And when he opened his mouth... well, if you've ever seen regular panda teeth, you think to yourself, "I hope he doesn't try to bite me with those." Now, picture those teeth in a mouth ten times that size. Eeesh.

I put the taxi in reverse, hoping to get some distance, and maybe to maneuver around him... but the giant panda shifted to block me, and closed the distance. We did this dance a few times, until I realized I wasn't going to just slide past him. So I backed up faster, leaving him in place as I opened the space between us. Then I stopped.

I stopped because I'd decided I wasn't going to just give up that easily. I wanted out. My obstacle was a panda. Okay, the ultimate sumo wrestler of pandas, but still a panda. I could do this.

Sizing up my opponent, I gunned the engine, sliding towards the surf to suggest an end-run through the water. I waited until giant panda moved into the surf to cut me off... then threw the wheel to the right, hoping he wouldn't be able to get out of the water fast enough to stop me. For a moment, the panda splashed about, and I was sure I had him!

Then, with a mighty leap, the giant panda cleared the surf, roared, and swung one massive arm at the taxi. He hit the side of the cab, and the taxi and I went flying. At some point, I realized I was no longer in the taxi at all, but barely had time to register that, before I landed on something hard. My entire body screamed at me, but I didn't want to stop... I tried to stand up, to figure out what had happened. I turned around...

And there was the giant panda, towering over me, making your average grizzly look like Winnie the Pooh in comparison. The same paw that had mangled my taxi swung around at me. It connected... the world somersaulted around me, and slowly wrapped a think, dark blanket around my consciousness...
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:53 AM   #30
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Tolja there was going to be incomprehesible dialogue!
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