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Posted: 07 Sep 2005, 17:06
As CelticDao was preparing to apply some Texas BarBeQue Rub to his nice juicy tenderloin, he had brought to the island for dinner, he noticed a piece of paper in the bag. "What in blue blazes is this?", he wondered. He unfolded the paper, expecting a greeting from his friends in Houston, that make the delicious spice blend, and was surprised to see the paper was blank. Well, ALmost blank. What an odd coincidence, that it was new moon, and by the light of the early September stars, he saw faint, glowing letters. "Holy CATS! Who woulda guessed that they knew about New Moon Owl Runes in Texas?"
The message was startling. It was audacious. It was perhaps even atrocious. "How the Sam Hill did that Cotton-Picking Texan figure he could Hornswoggle me into THIS boondoggle???"
Roughly translated, the message read "Texas Pooka needs FluteSlinger to Discombobulate Horrible Pumpkin Shenanigans". Well, CD had no idea what that really MEANT, but it was obvious that good old Billy Joe Bob was up to his usual mischief! He made an offering to the Deities of the Island, and summoned the Battlecat, his trusty steed, to head south.
Posted: 09 Sep 2005, 15:43
" ...and that's the secret of Beeromancy...hic!" burped Beith as she teetered wobbily in the centre of the Foggy Duck. The lecture had been a success but the practical demonstration was taking its toll.
"Is that really all it takes?" asked Lorraine "I was sure there was more to it than downing pints of beer in one gulp"
"ish really not that diff<hic!>cult" slurred Beith "You sheee, after the fi-fi-fifth or ssshixthhhhh pint, it all becomes osbivus..ovvbios...ovibous....err...clear".
"So what do you shee...I mean - see?" asked Lorraine, intrigued.
Beith put her beer goggles back on and peered intently into the glass and then around the room. Silence fell as those gathered expectantly awaited her divination.
"I shee..." began Beith
The others leaned in closer, holding their breath
"I see...." continued Beith
"yes! yes! what do you see" they chanted excitedly
"I see the floortiles coming to meet me" said Beith and with that promptly collapsed on the flagstones of the Foggy Duck. A small irritable gastropod crawled angrily out of the way.
“Well that’s typical”, cawed Crow from above. “The Irish are no bloody use at all when it comes to getting things done. No all they want is a beer and place to lay their head. Not cut out for hard work at all.” He preened and dropped a small moldering feather on top of the recumbent form of Beith. He considered dropping something else too but he knew black suede boots stain easily and the Irish also had firey tempers.
“Beeromancy indeed” grumped Brocfael in the corner. “Not bloody Celtic at all” he grumbled “and that was even a German beer she used!”
“Vorsprung durch Technik” mumbled Beith from the floor.
Meanwhile Selene was sitting with her mentor and puzzling over the disappearing pumpkin. The shadow of antlers fell across her laptop screen.
“It’s no use” tried Selene. “I’ve googled just about every reference to pumpkin pendants to see if anyone’s posted anything about one – but nothing concrete turns up”
“Or rather its turning up all over the place” intoned the dark voice of the Lord of the Woods. “The forest says it appeared on the neck of a small chipmunk in Ozarks about half an hour ago.”
“I’ll try another way”.
Kernos turned away from the screen, lit some incense and took hold of his own pumpkin pendent of power and concentrated. Images began to swirl in the smoke.
“What is it you see Ovate?”
“I’m not sure” replied Selene. “Scrying’s in Gwers 76 and I haven’t read it yet”
“Look deeper” ordered the antlered one
Selene peered as the shapes swam and faded.
“And?” enquired the Horned One a tad impatiently. The pendant was burning his hand.
“Weeell..” began Selene “It looks like…er…no..it can’t be”
“WHAT IS IT OVATE?” roared Kernos
Selene peered deeper. The images in the incense mist shimmered and solidified.
“It looks like a naked man with wild curly grey hair, 2 women, a kat and guy with a lute in a bathtub”
Kernos opened one eye. “LYRE!” he shouted.
”I am not!” replied Selene indignantly.
“No – lyre – a harp type thingy” corrected Kernos “that’s what he’s holding”
“There’s bubbles coming out of it” said Selene as she squinted at the image, “and…Oh My!...”
“What is it? What is it?” yelped Kernos, the pumpkin pendant sizzling in his palm
Selene shielded her eyes from the image.
“That’s Philipp Philopp in his office at OBOD Towers. I think we just spied on the instrument of Administrative power.”
“Don’t be silly” replied Kernos “That’s just his loofah”.
[80th floor, OBOD Towers, steam filled bathroom in the back of a plush office]
Susan was polishing the silver Awen sigil on the shower-room door. Damh the bard had retired to re-string his lyre which had become rather soggy and tuneless. It was meant for the ‘goltraí’ the ‘geantraí’ and the ‘suaintrí’*, not the ‘Jacuzzi’ (*3 types of ancient bardic music, which everyone would know if Beith had been there to lecture them on it).
“Now look Philipp, whatever about the Naturist thing, the animals in the bath tub have got to stop” chided Steph, fishing out a few fur-balls discreetly coughed up by Kat Lady.
“Be quiet woman I’m concentrating” retorted Philipp as he loofahed his back. “I need to work on the recall plan and locate the missing pendant. We can’t have Adminstrative Power on the loose. The Gods know what that’ll do to the website.”
“Your voice went orange when you said that” chimed Susan from the doorway.
“Be quiet woman!” snapped Philipp Philopp – still a little sensitive from the ‘Orange Tan Clan’ jokes about his naturist organisation.
Steph sighed. “I did 16 Druid Animal Oracle divinations and so far I can’t find it. I traced it to around the neck of a Crow-- but I thought we had a raven card in the deck?” she mused.
“… and then to a small chipmunk – we don’t even have that in the oracle.” Steph made a mental note to add it to the next edition.
“Then it appeared briefly in box of cornflakes in Colorado, and its image manifested on a piece of toast in California and they’re hailing it a miracle… and finally it seems to have materialized near something that looks like a foggy duck”
“What did you say?” exclaimed Philipp suddenly. “What was the last thing again?”
“I said the last Animal Oracle reading seemed to indicate a foggy duck – if there is such a species?” said Steph worriedly. They hadn’t included that one in the deck either.
Philipp smiled a shark’s smile and stood up suddenly.
Susan shielded her eyes and looked away. The Emperor’s new clothes were impressive.
“I know where we must go to find it” he pronounced. “Get me my robe!”
Damh handed him a fluffy monogrammed towling one.
“Not that one!” hissed Philipp Philopp “The other one. The druidy one -with the gold oak leaves and pointy hood! I am after all, the Chosen Chief! Let us proceed to the Foggy Duck Bar & Tavern…for there we will find the pendant of Power!” he cackled and swept out of the room.
Susan slowly and quietly dialed the number.
“Mrs Esther Fodd? Yes yes it’s Susan. Is he there? No? What? Stamps? Tell him not to bother. Could you just tell him to meet us at the Foggy Duck Pub? – and tell him it’s important.”
Susan clicked back the receiver and hung up. She wondered if they’d chosen the best man for the job. “Magus BillyJoeBob, Archdruid, Tutor and Cowboy”. It sounded ridiculous, even on a business card. Still he was pretty good at churning out the letters, but she’d have to talk to him about referring to the students as “Pardner”. She followed the wet footsteps of the Chosen Chief to the elevator, turned back to the dressing room and clumped out again in a strong pair of boots. The Foggy Duck was a dirty shack of a bar if she remembered correctly and the floor was always covered in strange undesirable things….
Beith woke up from her stupor, removed a squished salted slug from her forehead, sat up and announced “I’ve just had a prophetic dream! Beeromancy works!”
“tell us!” exclaimed Seeker and Lorraine.
“They’re Coming” said Beith in an ominous tone.
“Who’s coming?” asked Wolfspirit
“Philipp Philopp and the Orange Tan Clan” stammered Beith with a tremor in her voice. Her last run-in with them wasn’t pleasant and required far too much suncream.
“What do they want? Why here?” asked Lily, skeptically
“Because of that!” exclaimed Beith.
They followed her pointing finger to around the neck of Gladys the Ogress, barmaid…where a shimmering orange pumpkin pendant glistened and shone in the dark light of the Foggy Duck Pub.
Posted: 09 Sep 2005, 16:45
All hail to the Original Queen of Pub Crawling, Beith, who once again blesses us with her brilliance. And now we return to our regularly scheduled program.
Posted: 09 Sep 2005, 17:00
Beith tapped her head. She was hearing voices in the air above again. Something about sheduled programs and queenly pub crawling and feck it, she'd left her tiara at home. "Oh well" she sighed. There was nothing for it but to have another beer.
Posted: 09 Sep 2005, 17:58
CelticDao rode the BattleCat with the consent of said feline, and generally, she took him where he wanted to go.
This time, however, he heard in the back of his mind...
"hang on boss, we're gonna take a JUMP"
...and at that moment, everything went haywire, and his stomach lurched, as the trusty mount skidded to a halt...
"Ye Foggy Du..."
"Now wait a minute BC, what in blue blazes are we doing HERE?"
Posted: 09 Sep 2005, 18:32
Just 15 minutes before CelticDao jumped off the BattleCat at The Foggy Duck, Billy Joe Bob had arrived home from the post office.
"Pfaww, my tongue’s drier than a bull’s teats at milkin’ time!” he exclaimed, just having licked the last of the 112 stamps he’d bought at the post office. “I feel like I could spit barbed wire. Now all I gotta do is stuff all them letters in them enverlopes.”
“Billy Joe Bob, I told you that Susan had called, and that she said not to worry about the letters, but to get to The Foggy Duck with all haste!” said the Texan’s grandmother, Esther Fodd.
“Just let me ask ye again,” said Billy Joe Bob, “Did them varmints from the phone company ever show up?”
“Like I figgered,” said the cowboy. “That shore don’t sound like the Susan Jones I know. She’s got more prickles about letter-writin’ than a cactus has got thorns. I know how she is, grandma. You don’t do yer tooterin’ job right, and that lady gets a look on her face that’d scare a freight train onto a gravel road. I tell ye, them phones is still busted, and whatever you heard weren’t what ye think ye heard.”
Just then there was a knock on the door.
“By god, I told ye,” said Billy Joe Bob. “That must be them dadgum phone-repairin’ idgits. I reckon I’ll gib ‘em a piece of my mind now, just you wait and see if I don’t.”
Billy Joe Bob stalked over to the door and flung it open. To his surprise, there stood an Elvish-looking youth, a dryad with the number 2 emblazoned on her jumper, and a Kat that was still dripping wet.
“Well gosh dern, no wonder them phones ain’t no account with the likes of this crew goin’ around fixin’ things. Oh c’mon, the phones are in here,” he said.
“Billy Joe Bob!” cried Esther Fodd. “Do you need to have your eyes checked? That’s Kat Lady and Dryadia2, and the Elvish one is Dair Ciúin!”
Billy Joe Bob squinted again at the three bedraggled creatures on his front step, who had traveled far and fast by the use of portobello mushrooms. “Well I reckon yer right about the first two, Granny, but that ain’t Elvis. I seen his grave back in Tennessee.”
“Not Elvis, I said he was Elvish, and his name’s Dair Ciúin.”
“Aw dang it, I never could understand them words with squiggles on ‘em, but okay, whatever you say, Granny. I say any word with a squiggle is a word better left unsaid. What we need around here is less squiggles and I reckon things would be one helluva lot easier.”
One of the trio of travelers finally found space to get a word in edgewise.
While Kat Lady and Dair Ciúin had wandered over by the table, Dryadia2 confronted the Texan. “Listen to me carefully, Billy Joe Bob. Although I am not a Native Texan, I have lived in this state long enough that I think I can make you understand: Kat Lady there has done sat in the OBOD hot tub, and she done got some orders from the head honcho hisself, and what he said was that he reckoned there was a passel of trouble over one o’ them fancy pumpkin thangs, and that you was to saddle up yer pigeon, Merle, and bust yer tail on acrost the pond and shuck on into the Foggy Duck, on account of yer needed over there. Got it?”
“Well hell’s bells, why dint somebody say that a long time ago? We’re standin’ here flappin’ our jaws when Merle oughta be flappin his wings. C’mon, ya’ll, Merle’s got room for all of ye. Let’s bust our humps on outa here.”
As everyone walked out of the shack and toward Merle’s corral, Kat Lady whispered to Dair Ciúin, “Did you see that on the table? It was a letter and it was addressed to me, and it was signed: Sincerely, Fred. Fred is the name of my tutor in Nigeria. What’s up with that?"
Dair Ciúin shrugged, then had to adjust his squiggles, which had slipped. “I don’t know, but I guess soon we’ll find out what happens next …
Posted: 09 Sep 2005, 18:42
...speaking of beer, Seeker just couldn't believe what was happening!
Not only did he sit through another looooonnnnnnngggg lecture from Beith about Beeromancy (though, he had to admit, it was fascinating....he had no idea Beith could do those kind of tricks with a pint of beer...interesting girl!) ...but during the lecture/demonstration, everyone was looking at his pint on the bar and he didn't get a drop!
He slowly backed away from the bar as everyone stared at Gladys with that damn medallion around her neck - this was going exactly as he and Billy Joe Bob had planned. No one had any idea! Didn't really mean to blame Crow for all this but he happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. Of course, he usually is! Poor Gladys...she has no idea she is being used. Have to give Billy Joe Bob credit for this one...who would have guessed that he AND Kat Lady would join forces.
Only problem is...no one would of thought that Phlipp Phlopp and the Orange Tan Clan would actually leave OBOD Towers personally! Adminstrative Power, my sweet behind...damn...good thing Beith was able to see this coming. (How DID she do that trick with the pint?) That damn cowboy and Kat better have something up their sleeves...promises were made to me that better be kept! Wait...someone's talking!
"What are you talking about? Are you sure they're headed this way?" cried Lorraine.
"Oh..who cares...look at Gladys!" shouted Lily. Gladys's face looked like it was about to break...the impossible was happening...she was starting to smile! Wolf Spirit promptly squatted on the floor and had an accident; Beith actually vomited (which never happens) Crow fell from the rafters and landed in the...er...mess on the floor...the shock was too much.
"The horror...the horror..."growled Seeker.
"I wonder if Phlipp Phlopp will spot me in here...do you think I can get his autograph?" mused Brocfael "Maybe I can make some type of Brythonic jewelry with his signature... "shoot, better yet, maybe I can get invited to the next hot tub party of his...er, how do I look...is my hair messed up? Anybody have a comb?"
Posted: 12 Sep 2005, 02:58
Greetings! I would like to take this time to set the record straight on a few items from the previous posts. First, while the emperor's new clothes may be impressive, I do not wear a fluffy monogrammed robe to cover them. Nor do I wear pink bunny slippers...anymore. Those are just illustrations of fiction, fabrications that move the story along. Secondly, I am NOT
still sensitive about the ‘Orange Tan Clan’ jokes about my naturist organisation. I mean, those jokes were made a very long time ago, right? I am above holding a grudge. I have moved beyond that. Senstive? I laugh at the thought. Mwhhhhahhhhahhhhhaaaa. And I don't cackle...or hiss. You can ask anyone. Well, okay. Maybe I hiss a little when I am talking to snakes and cackle when I talk to chickens. But other than that, no cackling or hissing. I will admit, however, that I do "sweep" out of a room. Why? Because I can!
So with the record straight, I would now like to say proceed, and let the pub crawl continue.
Posted: 12 Sep 2005, 04:52
"Dang voices, again." Said Billy Joe Bob, as a mysterious commercial message entered his head.
After half an hour flying across the countryside, the three passengers: Kat Lady, Dryadia2 and Dair Ciúin shrieked as Merle the giant pigeon quickly descended from the sky and crashed straight through the thatched roof of Ye Foggy Duck. Fortunately, something had broken their fall... Crow.
Beith glared angrily at the intruders, "Since I was rudely interrupted, I will have to restart the Beeromancy story from the beginning!" Needless to say, this announcement was immediately followed by a loud, simultaneous sigh by the patrons.
Posted: 12 Sep 2005, 06:45
Thanks to Merle, the journey 'across the pond' was incident-free, 'cept fer Billy Joe Bob prankishly dipping Kat Lady's tail in the water, tryin' ta catch them thar crawdads with it.
With everyone safe on dry land, and Merle's reins tied securely to Ye Foggy Duck's hitchin' post; Kat Lady primped the fur on her tail back to it's former fluffyness, Dair Ciúin shook the Texas dust from his cloak, Dryadia2 picked off the ticks and chiggers that 'came along for the ride', Billy Joe Bob adjusted his neckerchief, and with his spurs a jingleing, sauntered over to the bar and announced: "Drinks are on me!", in a parched raspy voice.
Everyone else in the Pub was horrified at seeing this scraggly, dusty 'ol cowboy talk like he 'owned the place'. Lorraine (being quite a dignified B&B proprietess) politely asked him: "And just who do you think you are?" Beith jumped up and said: "who cares, as long as he's buying!" Wolf Spirit, who had up to this point, been quietly scrutinizing the 'ol sod-buster from across the room, suddenly recognized him. "Why it's Magus Billy Joe Bob, Archdruid, Tutor and Cowboy!" exclaimed Wolf Spirit. "And it's about time you showed up!" Seeker remarked sarcastically, as he pitched another crushed peanut shell onto the floor, and slammed his empty beer mug on the table.
At that moment, CelticDao came flying thru the door, headfirst, skidded across the floor on the slime left by the salted slugs and smacked right into Lily, who was already startled by the previous unorthodox grand entrance. Crow, still being in a daze from breaking the fall of Merle's 'not-so-graceful landing', staggered to his feet, and awkwardly wobbled over to Lily to help her up.
It was during all the commotion, that Gladys the Ogress barmaid was pouring the round of beers for the patrons, when the orange pumpkin medallion of Administrative Power that hung around her neck, began to glow. "Oh No!" everyone in the Pub shrieked! "She cannot be allowed to wield Administrative Power!" "Somebody do something!"...
Posted: 12 Sep 2005, 15:55
It was just then that Philipp and Susan arrived at the Foggy Duck. Bursting into the room, Philipp saw the glowing pendant of Administrative Power around Gladys' neck and shouted, "Surrender that pumpkin! Only those initiated into the Ancient Society of Administrators and Other Official Sounding Titles can wield Administrative Power!!"
The room fell silent at the sound of his authoritative voice, except for the occasional hiccup from Beith.
Posted: 12 Sep 2005, 18:36
Crow was dazed, which was understandable considering that he’d just been struck by 1,100 pounds of careening pigeon, along with the usual detritus from a collapsing roof.
It wasn’t the first time he’d been smacked around in one of these misadventures, but he noted that this time it was just like in the cartoon shows, where stars, moons and little birds circle in front of an injured character’s eyes. Then, as his brain cleared marginally, he realized that the roof was gone and he was seeing the actual stars and moon up in the night sky, and the little bird was none other than Wren MacDonald.
He tried to move then, but after taking just two steps, he sat back down on the pile of rubble that had been the roof. He felt tired, so tired, and although he didn’t hurt anywhere, he noticed that the fog in his brain, which had momentarily cleared, was coming back again.
The events playing out in front of him had a dreamlike quality. He felt that he must be invisible, but after quickly checking the privacy options on his message board profile, he saw that it wasn't so.
He tried to speak but couldn’t, and instead sat there on a splintered board and watched as Damh, Phlipp, Susan and Stephanie came running into the pub. Damh shouted at the OBOD leader to calm down.
“Eureka! I understand now!” the master bard said while strumming his lyre. “When Susan cast the spell to retrieve the pumpkin medallion, she must have gotten it wrong and instead of using a Homing Spell, she used a Homely Spell, and that is how the medallion wound up around Gladys’ neck!”
“Yes, that explains everything!” shouted Beith. “When I first saw the medallion it was around Crow’s neck because at the time he was the ugliest thing in the room. But then, just as I was calling attention to it, it disappeared again, and we didn’t see until some time later that Gladys was wearing it! That’s because Gladys hadn’t been in the room at first, but as soon as she walked in, she being just slightly uglier than Crow, the medallion teleported itself over to her!”
“But wait!” chirped Wren MacDonald, who had perched on the tip of Wolf Spirit’s snout. “That explains why Gladys has the medallion now, but I still don’t understand why any type of spell was cast to summon the medallion away from its rightful owner, Selene!”
“Whoops, now the cat’s out of the bag isn’t it?” whispered Phlipp to Damh. “We weren’t supposed to say anything about that, were we? Pssst, Susan, what should we do now?”
Susan Jones, who had been crouched down and whispering to Wolf Spirit about why she had called Billy Joe Bob a tutor, now straightened up and called for order.
“I think it’s time that we cast the light of day on these proceedings,” she said, but then looking up, she added, “or perhaps the moon of night at least.
“You see, well, the truth is that Billy Joe Bob has been doing some important work for the Order, and, well, the sensitive nature of it caused us to think that if the membership found out that we’d given such an important job to a galoot like him, then many people would be upset. And because the pumpkin medallion has Administrative Powers, it had been speaking to Selene in her meditations, and she was close to learning the truth, so we decided to retrieve the medallion with a Homing Spell. But as Damh said, something went amiss and I must have cast the Homely Spell my mistake.”
“What’s Billy Joe Bob's important job?” asked Wren MacDonald.
Crow, who was still half-dazed and watching the proceedings from the debris pile, was alone in seeing that Susan had put both hands behind her back and crossed her fingers.
She took a deep breath and said, “Billy Joe Bob is the official OBOD tooter; and by tooter, I mean that he is tootering, and by that I mean the word that is spelt T-O-O-T-E-R-I-N-G, which is not the same thing as tutoring, which is spelt T-U-T-O-R-I-N-G! So you see, Wolf Spirit, dear, that is what you were confused about, and is exactly the type of misunderstanding we were trying to prevent, heh heh!”
“Oh that’s good, Susan, VERY good!” whispered Phlipp to the tutor coordinator.
“Uh, what exactly is tootering?” asked CelticDao.
“Well you see,” said Phlipp, picking up where Susan left off, “You must respect the natural unfolding of the course! Tootering is a concept that is not dealt with until Gwers 8,642, and since none of you, not even Dryadia, has reached that far, we really can’t discuss it.”
“Then Billy Joe Bob is really Druid Grade?” asked Lorraine.
“Oh yes, certainly!” said Stephanie, picking up the theme. “In fact he’s well into the 9,000s," she said, blushing. "In fact only Phlipp, Susan, Damh, Billy Joe Bob and I have gotten past Gwers 8,642!”
“Ah good, I see you all understand, and we really have to be getting back to OBOD Tower now,” said Phlipp. “So nice to see you all, and what good sports you all are to not discuss this any further, and before we go, Gladys, I’ll just take that medallion … whoops, so sorry dear, you know I didn’t mean to touch you there, that’s a good girl, and, well, Susan, Steph, Damh, shall we?”
Crow watched as Susan Jones grabbed Billy Joe Bob by the elbow, and along with Phlipp, Damh and Stephanie, they stepped purposefully over the debris, walked out to the hitching post, climbed aboard Merle and took off in the direction of OBOD Tower.
The old reporter’s brain was finally starting to clear a little, and he heard Kat Lady whisper to Dair Ciúin, “But what about that letter I saw?”
But Beith’s voice drowned out the elvish youth’s reply when she said to Lorraine: “They’re really not as clever as all that. Gwers 8,642 indeed! Why the Irish invented tootering! It was not long after my ancestors discovered the potato and beeromancy that the ancient art of tootering …”
Crow felt like taking a nap. And he did just that.
Posted: 12 Sep 2005, 21:15
After listening to Beith's explanation of the Ancient Art of Tootering, Wren felt a little confused. Perhaps it was because half of Beith's words had been slurred, but she had the nagging suspicion that what Beith was talking about was not what Susan had been talking about.
Apparently she was not the only one who was a little unsatisfied with the explanation, because as Crow woke up from his nap, he immediately went over to Kat Lady to find out what she had learned. "What's this about a letter?" he asked her.
"I saw a letter to me from my tutor at Billy Joe Bob's house, but my tutor's name is Fred and he lives in Nigeria." Kat Lady answered, whipping out a feather duster from her 007 collar and using it to brush off some of the dust and debris that was still clinging to Crow's feathers.
"You don't say?" Crow replied, folding his arms and arching an eyebrow. "T-O-O-T-E-R-I-N-G, indeed! Come on, everyone, I think we all deserve an explanation!"
Posted: 13 Sep 2005, 21:11
Over the opposite end of the bar, Lorraine was completely oblivious to Crow and Kat’s conversation. In fact, she was completely oblivious to most things, as she’d just been having a go at Beeromancy. She looked up from her pint and saw that the residents of OBOD Towers had gone. “Damn!”
“Damh? He left,” said Wren.
You don’t pronounce it like that,” said Beith, who was beginning to sober up, just a little. “Did I ever tell you that the name Damh, which sounds a little bit like Dave, but a bit more slurred, like when you’ve been practising Beeromancy, originated in Ireland?”
“No, I didn’t mean him!” said Lorraine quickly, hoping to avert another long story, interesting though some of them were. “I meant, damn, I didn’t get the chance to have a word with Susan Jones. I’ve been meaning to talk to her, and I was just plucking up the courage, in case she gave me one of her ‘looks’. You see, I want to change my tutor. I’ve got Monty from Australia, and he seems really nice, but I have terrible trouble working out what he’s saying to me. He seems to write in some strange local dialect.”
She produced a letter from her pocket (how many pockets does this woman have, anyway? She isn’t even wearing her apron this time).
“Let’s have a look,” said Dair Ciuin. “I’m from the Southern Hemisphere, and I’ve known a few Australians.” He studied the typewritten letter, frowning. “That’s strange.”
“Strine, did you say?” said Seeker. “The tutor must be a proper Ocker bloke.”
What was up with everyone’s hearing today? Crow wondered. Had their ears developed cut-out valves to protect them from Beith’s explanations about the Irish origins of absolutely everything? Or was Seeker trying to divert attention, and if so, why?
Dair Ciuin continued. “No, I meant, it’s strange, my tutor is in England but this letter has the same writing style as she has. I always thought she was Cockney, like you. She doesn’t do squiggles, either.”
Lorraine protested. “It’s nuffink like Cockney!” Even though she wasn’t born within the sound of Bow Bells, she was a Londoner nonetheless, and that certainly wasn’t any version of cockney she’d ever seen. It wasn’t even Mockney.
Dryadia2 extended a branch and took the letter from the young New Zealander’s fingers. Unlike the others, she had no difficulty whatsoever in understanding the dialect. Oh, it was all too familiar to her...
“Yer tooter is your tutor,” she said. “I get it.”
“So do we,” said Crow and the Kat. “That's what we've been trying to tell everyone. We’ve got to find Billy Joe Bob, and quickly!”
Posted: 13 Sep 2005, 23:47
A brief commercial break interrupts this message:
Had another idea so couldn’t resist making another post. This is great so far - some of it has been making me cackle like a madwoman.
Back to the story...
If Kat Lady had ventured a little further past the hot tub on her earlier visit to OBOD Towers, and further on, past the impressive potted tropical trees, she would have discovered an elevator, a smaller counterpart to the one she arrived in. This elevator led up to the roof terrace. There, in the beautifully landscaped roof gardens, complete with sunloungers to work on that important all-over tan - there stands a round table. Why, might you imagine, would Druids need a round table? Does Phlipp preside over his office staff as a warrior-king, sending them on quests, perhaps making the occasional knighthood? At times, perhaps, but usually, it serves as a dining table, laid with a snow-white tablecloth which flutters gently in the breeze, laid with the most impressive collection of silverware.
The table had room for all the staff plus a few guests, and today’s guest, Billy Joe Bob, was a little too informal for his surroundings. He swung his feet up on the table, only to swing them swiftly back down again when he saw the look on Susan Jones’s face. The last time he’d seen a look like that, it was from Esther - and he knew it was best not to rile a woman who insisted on table manners. He adjusted his position, only to hear a curt ‘Elbows!’ He adjusted his position once more. Now he was really uncomfortable...
Phlipp snapped his fingers and a waiter came scurrying over. Phlipp quickly perused the menu, ordering for all of them - after all, he had impeccable taste, and everything on the menu would have not been out of place in any world-class restaurant. It was fair to say that it bore no resemblance at all to the food served at Assemblies - sorry, Gatherings - or any of the OBOD camps.
“I’m concerned about what happened back at the Duck,” said Stephanie.
“Really, woman, you worry a little too much. We handled the situation with our usual aplomb, and we have the pendant back, don’t we?” Philpp dangled the pendant from his fingertips as if it were a pendulum.
“I agree with Steph,” said Susan. “A few of the druids looked quite doubtful, and they might start comparing notes...”
“Particularly notes from their tooters,” cut in Damh.
“I suppose you’d best lie low for a while,” Phlipp said to Billy Joe Bob. “In the meantime, perhaps we should contact the Administrators, and find out how much they know.” Phlipp pressed a button in the side of the table and a waiter wheeled over a trolley with one huge serving platter... on which was a laptop. “Your computer, Sir,” said the waiter in a hushed tone before smoothly wheeling the trolley away.
Phlipp clicked on the Druidry.org homepage, reflexively. His mouth fell open, but the only sound which came out was a strangled gasp of horror.
“What’s wrong, Phlipp?” The office staff gathered round to see the mess of what was once Phlipp’s pride and joy.
“Have we been hacked, do you think?”
Phlipp shook his head, and finally found his voice. “I fear that Gladys found her way to the site, during her short period of Administrative Power
Posted: 14 Sep 2005, 00:52
Another brief commercial break...
Does Phlipp preside over his office staff as a warrior-king, sending them on quests, perhaps making the occasional knighthood?
Yes. Absolutely. Most definitely. Most recently, I sent Kernos on a quest to find his sanity. I believe he is still searching...
Posted: 14 Sep 2005, 02:53
And yet another infomercial break...
Perhaps there are skeptics among you who don't appreciate the potential danger of letting Administrative Power get into the wrong hands...Take yesterday, for example...Gladys the Ogress barmaid was in possession of the orange pumpkin medallion, hanging around her neck, it began to glow...then OBOD Homepage and Forum went down for hours! And all because Administrative Power was wielded by an untrained Ogress! Thanks to Philipp's brilliant manuver and recovery of the medallion, further shenanigans from Gladys were squelched. Peace and Order were once again restored, as well as the OBOD website. Now perhaps you will all understand the tremendous responsibility empowered by those who wear the medallion of Administrative Power!
(Disclaimer: Kernos and Selene had nothing to do with the OBOD Homepage and Forum being down...it was in reality an actual power disruption. Please see this announcement: http://www.druidry.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=12189
) OK you guys are cleared of any and all Administrative Power
This concludes the infomercial portion of our program. Now back to our story...
Posted: 14 Sep 2005, 08:29
Kat Lady was torn.
Her fur was still slightly damp from the hot tub she’d shared just a short time ago with Phlipp Phlopp, Susan Jones, Damh and Stephanie, and she felt that she was no longer flying under the radar, but was a member of the “in crowd.” She felt that she owed the Office Staff her allegiance.
But on the other hand, after a mushroom-induced trip across the ocean to Billy Joe Bob’s Texas ranch, she couldn’t forget what she’d seen there: A letter written to her and signed by her tutor, yet evidently just written by the gangling cowboy.
And then, after a return flight by pigeon to The Foggy Duck, there was the matter of Susan’s and Phlipp’s awkward explanation about “tootering,” and despite Beith’s arguments about the legitimacy of the “tootering arts” -- as developed by the Irish, of course -- Kat Lady realized that she couldn’t deny that she was starting to smell a cover-up. She knew that she, and everyone else involved, deserved a better explanation.
With a heavy heart, she led the group out of The Foggy Duck, through the deserted streets of the Foggy Downs District, into the downtown area, and right up to the front door of OBOD Tower. Looking up into the night sky, everyone could see the garish red neon letters that spelled O B O D pulsing at the top of the 80-story structure.
For the second time in the past 24 hours, Kat Lady pushed through the revolving door, this time followed by Seeker, Wren MacDonald, Wolf Spirit, Dair Ciúin, Crow, Beith, Lily, Lorraine, Dryadia2, CelticDao and Gladys.
Of course there was no question of sneaking into an elevator this time, not in the middle of the night, and certainly not with such a large group. So Kat Lady led the way to the security desk, where a robed druidess was sitting, a large-bore wand conspicuous in a holster at her waist.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
“We’re here to see Phlipp Phlopp,” said Kat Lady.
“One moment, please,” answered the druidess, picking up the telephone and punching the speed dial.
After a moment, the group heard one side of a conversation:
“Yes, Damh? This is Lady Nimue at the front desk.
“Can you put on Phlipp, please?
“Oh, yes of course, blessings to you, too …
“What? Yes, I know it’s late.
“No, of course I wouldn’t call if it wasn’t important.
“Look, just put him on will you? Wake him up if you have to.
"No, I don't know what they want, but it certainly appears that they're on a common quest.
Lady Nimue then glanced nervously at the group surrounding her desk, covered the mouthpiece, and whispered just loud enough for Kat Lady’s keen ears to hear:
“Damh, Damh, dang Damh, listen to me! We have a situation down here! That’s right, a situation! There are 12 of them, and one of them is an ogress!”
“I AM CALM! YES, REALLY I'M CALM, I SWEAR IT! CAN'T YOU TELL I'M CALM?
"No, please, stop with the harp. I'm okay now, really. I'm very, very calm.
"Okay, okay, he's awake? Okay, I’ll send them up.”
Lady Nimue carefully hung up the phone, looked up, and, smiling beautifully, said, “You can go up now; 80th floor; proceed sunwise to the elevator, please.”
Kat Lady led the procession to the elevator, the rhythmic clicking of Seeker’s staff, Heyoka, and the slapping of Gladys’ bare feet on the marble floor were the only sounds to mark their passage.
Observing from her security desk, Lady Nimue watched as the entire group squeezed onto the elevator.
“Interesting conveyance, the elevator,” she heard Beith say. “Did you know that …”
With the closing of the elevator door the lobby was again silent, and Lady Nimue wondered what would happen next …
Posted: 14 Sep 2005, 08:41
Dryadia2 suddenly looked around the crowded elevator.
"Hey, have any of you guys seen Dair Ciúin... he was here a minute ago, and now he's disappeared!"
The group shrugged their shoulders - most seemed too preoccupied to even worry.
Dryadia2 suddenly realised, "Lady Nimue told us to walk sunwise! Dair Ciúin is from the Southern hemisphere and must have gone the wrong way!"
Now the group looked a little more worried. The OBOD tower was a large, mysterious building. Who knows where that peculiar elf may end up?
“This is all we need!” Crow sighed.
Meanwhile, Dair Ciúin had just finished walking along a dimly-lit corridor, and arrived at a large closed door. A sign on the nearby wall read: gwersi Development Department - Restricted Personnel Only. Filled with curiosity, Dair Ciúin reached for the handle and opened the door.
Posted: 14 Sep 2005, 10:34
Switching from beermancy to her preferred method of divination (bushmillsmancy, which required the donning of her sequinned red slippers with their six-inch stiletto heels and crossed ankle straps) Beith mused: "I wonder if this is all connected with the disappearance of OakWyse?"
Off in a dark corner a holly bush tried to look busy, and a soft orange glow
appeared in its branches.
She had recently discovered an ancient Welsh scroll which, roughly translated into the Gaelic, said
A tutor who tooted a flute,
tried to tutor two tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor,
"Is is tougher to toot,
or to tutor two tooters to toot?"
"But OakWyse was a piper, not a tutor," she mused. (Bushmillsmancy requires profuse musing.)
"Hey, Beith," Gladys shouted, the pumpkin glowing even more brightly with Administrative Power
, "Where 'yer goin' without payin' fer th'Bushmills?"
"Following a muse to a logical conclusion," Beith murmured under her breath. "Don't wait up for me, anyone . . . "