Friday, November 10, 2017

Dispatch from London: What kinda circus is this?

Fiora D'Mestiere: Yawn. What's this? A note from Jack. "Headed out on a waddle to see the circus. I know you don't like that sorta thing, so I'll hoof it there myself. XO"

Fiora: Oh, Boy...

Jack (texting Fiora): What the heck is the Piccadilly Circus? There's no animals at all. No acrobats. No clowns. Look at this picture! It's just a big circle!

Fiora (through the wave): Well, there's ONE clown in that circus...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Dispatch from Cymru: Help for a 2-Stepper

Professor Javier Boleyn: Jackie-boy, I'm afraid you have passed 3 standard deviations from the mean of lapsed 2-Steppers.

Jack D'Mestiere: Impossible, Professor! 3 standard deviations is past 99.73%! No way!

Fiora D'Mestiere: I'm afraid I have to agree with the Professor, Jack. Even in the land of Bill Nighy, you have ignored "Lard is All Around You!"

Jack: Whoan!

Professor JB: I have enrolled you in a support group, Jack...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Dispatch from Youghal: Floating down memory lane

“Dolly-girl, I’d like to head over to You-gal for a quick gape at something.”

“It’s pronounced Y’all, Jack, like Dixie Devereaux says it. What’s up over there?”

“Well, in the summer of 1956, Moby Dick, starring Gregory Peck and Richard Basehart, was released. I went to see it with Bill and Pete, my friends. We spent the rest of the summer either pretending we were Cleveland Indians on our way to the World Series or the crew of the Pequod. We weren’t either, of course, but it was fun. So I want to go to Youghal because that’s where the scenes on shore were filmed.” 

“Well, what lad wouldn’t, Jack? That’s sweet!” 

“And it inspired my art work in the fall of ‘56...”

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dispatch from Killimer: Adaptive expression of genetic traits

"Jack, I'm old for me age, amn't I? I mean I got silver threads in me coppertop, and me clackers tain't what they used to was."

"Gee, Dolly-girl, I think yourself looks just fine! Just go back to thinking about that orange marmalade you don't like—you know, the one with the golf course we passed this morning."

"You got a couple gargles on Jack? No more Guinness for you. I'm not slagging over a few jars with yourself about that guy. If he had one more wit he'd be a half-wit. Save yer breath for cooling yer porridge!"

I was worried, so I gave Professor Javier Boleyn a call. "Yes, Jack, you did the right thing as I AM an expert on everything. I suggest you consult my book, "Two Steps to Understanding Genetic Expression: When your lass goes all Irishy on you."

"I skimmed it...".

"Well, read the whole thing. That latent DNA that Fiora carries is in full expression. You're in for a long row of potatoes to hoe..."


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dispatch from Crossmolina: Cuairt chuig an tír dúchais

Fiora: Here we are, Jack. Crossmolina, County Mayo, where my great-great grandfather was born!

Jack: Hey, there's a brewery in town! It's called Reel Deel!

Fiora: Crossmolina is on the Deel river, Jack. And Reel is spelled like a fishing...

Jack: I get it Dolly-girl. Look what the name of the beer is!

Fiora: Home Sweet Home, Jack!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dispatch from Bushmills, Northern Ireland: Where red sweaters come from

Jack: Look Dolly-girl, sheep with red wool. I guess that's where red sweaters come from. Sure would take a lot of them critters to make a sweater!

Fiora: Not even you, Jack, not even you...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dispatch from Knowth

Jack: these mounds are pretty cool, Dolly-girl. It must have taken quite the earth moving equipment to make them.

Fiora: Jack, these are from the Stone Age. They didnt have " equipment" in those days. Honestly, didn't you read any of the information in the Visitor Centre? These are perhaps the best examples of Megalithic art in the world!

Ailbha (the archeological interpreter): Think of it this way, sir, they're big, they're old, and there are dead people inside...

Fiora: The perfect Jack D'Mestiere take-away! Thanks Ailbha!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dispatch from Liverpool: Don’t play favorites

”So this is where it all happened—Liverpool, eh, Dolly-girl?”

“Jack, what happened in Liverpool is a chapter in the history of rock and roll—an important one, I’ll grant you—but a chapter. Why even John said, ‘If you had to give Rock ‘n Roll another name you might call it Chuck Berry’.”

“John, who?” Wave-shot.  A Waveshot is sort of Dolly-girl’s take on a mic drop...

“Who was your favorite, Dolly-girl?”

“My fav was John...”

“Why, Dolly-girl, you haven’t called me that in years...”
Rimshot. Mic drop. Out.

Dispatch from Notting Hill: Who doesn’t like a rubbish movie?

After a day of wandering Londontown—I think Professor Javier Boleyn calls it that—I said, "Dolly-girl, howsabout you and me go put the feedbag on, and maybe the drinkbag too." "Good idea, Jack. I've got my eye on an osteria up on Notting Hill!" "Isn't that where they made the movie? I want to go to the bookstore cause maybe Julia Roberts will be there!" "Jack, don't make me go RT on you—it was a movie!

We found the joint. It was Eye-talian alright. Tia Tilly’s apron if they didn’t have some good grub! As were were walking back to the subway (“Remember, it’s called The Tube, Jack...”. “Oh yeah, it’s tubular, like those pasta thingys. That got me a shot through the wave...) I spied it!

The house with the blue door, Dolly-girl!  I told you!” “They all have blue doors, Jack. Look around, look around...oops, slipping into another production.” “I know Dolly-girl, it’s that play you like about the sawbuck guy...” Waveshot. 

Ok, most of the doors were blue, but then I detected, ‘cause that’s what I do, this:

And this:

“Ok, Jack, so a MOVIE was made here. That doesn’t make it a true story. 

"Look here, here’s a place called the Blue Door and it’s green!”

“Looks blue to me, Jack...” 

“Well, it’s not.”

So we kept walking to get back to the TWOOBE—I notised that the coulourful Brits spell things wrong so I’d fit right in—and we came upon a shoppe that Dolly-girl needed to stop at.

“I guess Londontown’s gone all Green Cross too.”
“It’s a pharmacy and an apothecary , Jack. Jeesh.”

I followed her in. As usual, she’d struck up a conversation and was learning from the druggist that he met his wife in that shop. And proposed to her there. “Like the movie, only real,” he said. “Just a boy, standing in front of a girl...”

“Shut it, Jack. We got a train to catch!” But I say a secret smile under the wave. “Ok, we want the train towards Bromley-by-Bow. Sure hope the professor wasn’t watchin’ my dinner tonight...”

“Jackie-boy, about that Tagliolini con Gamberetti, Zucchine, Prosciutto Crudo e Pachino...


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dispatch from Buckingham Palace: Forget tea, pass the Hendrick’s

Jack: These pictures were taken just before we went in to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace. They wouldn't let me use the Kodak inside the gate or in Her Majesty's presence, so you will just have to take my word for the fact that she's a pretty spry bird and someone in there knows how to make a gin & tonic...

Fiora D'Mestiere: FAKE NEWS! SAD!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dispatch from American 136: Damn this is a long flight...

"Dolly-girl, lookee there! It's been 9 hours since we left Los Ang-a-lese and we're only over Pennsylvania! There’s Plymouth there on the sky map—that's where you used to set the brake on your bike 'cause you didn't drive! I don't know if I can make it all the way to England!"

"First, you don't have a choice, Jack. They won't stop the plane and let you off. Second, that's Plymouth, England, not Pennsylvania! See, London is right there! My Plymouth is named after this one."

"I think that's London, Ontario, Dolly-girl. It's in the right spot..."

"Jack, this London—the English one— is northeast of Plymouth. London, Ontario is northwest of Plymouth, PA! You are a ..."

"Whoan. Don't go all Rex Tillerson on me, Dolly-girl!"

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Dispatch from LAX: Headed to Jolly Old England

A while ago Dolly-girl said to me, "Jack, let's head over to the Ould Sod for a break from Yam-Man and his daily day care antics." "I'm on board Dolly-girl..." "No you aren't, Jack. You aren't on board 'til you walk up the gang plank..." "Ah, it's called a jet bridge I think..." "You know what I mean!" "Yeah, I do."

Let's go!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Dispatch from the Hawai'i Hut: One Year of Retirement

Dolly-girl: Jack, isn't today the one-year anniversary of when you quit punchin' a time clock and when full time private-eying?

Jack: Indeed it is Dolly-girl. And in honor of the day I decided to be hip and get ink!

Dolly-girl: You didn't!

Jack: I did! And I'm having a SPAM® and eggs for breakfast. And a beer!

Dolly-girl: Whoan. Will he ever act his age?

Jack: Pass the bottle opener, please!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dispatch from Hawai'i Hut: Jack, you're no astronomer

Dolly-girl: [yawn] Jack, what in the name of Tia Teresa's telescope are you doing out there? Aren't you tired after seeing 9 biomes today and seeing temperatures from 65 to 95? And driving to South Point, Volcanos Park, and in the rain?

Jack: I'm just looking at all the stars Dolly-girl...

Dolly-girl: I don't think you have an astronomer's camera, Jack. Or even an astronomer's creativity.

Jack: Well, you may be right Fiora. I look at the stars and see things like, well a thousand points of light...

Dolly-girl: Oh Emm Gee, Jack! That's a Bush 1 saying! Can't you at least quote Jeb! On the eve of whatever tomorrow will bring?

Jack: you mean when a racist takes the stage as perhaps the next president of the You Ess of Ai Yi Yi? I think I'll just keep taking pictures of the sky. Look, there's 769 points of light...

Dolly-girl: You do that, Jack

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dispatch from Keoki's Roadside Cafe: I'm with you Professor

Jack: I'm proud of myself Dolly-girl!
Dolly-girl: Why's that, Jack?
Dania: yeah, tell us Jack, is it because you didn't finish ALL the beer we had last night?
Jack: No, first, Dania, you and Čučo were helping with the beer and second, I heard Professor Javier Boleyn in my ear saying, "Jack, don't eat Donkey Balls!" And I didn't!
Dolly-girl: Well, there's something to be proud of Jack! Let's see if you hear the Professor when the chips and salsa come out!
Jack: Say again, Dolly-girl...
Dania: Exactly! Stay away from my cheese puffs!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dispatch from 19.3131 N 155.8866 W

Jack: By God, Dolly-girl, you are right--this is paradise!

Dolly-girl: Uncle Bill's briefcase, Jack. You and Čučo are already at it. Dania and I will be the class of this outfit!

Jack: Errrrp...

Dispatch from Alaska 843: Are we there yet?

Dispatch from Alaska 843: Now we're gettin' somewhere

Dolly-girl: What's your gadget say, Jack?
Jack: Well, Dolly-girl, if the satellites are working and Phonetta is receiving, we've only got 1700 miles to go!
Dolly-girl: Aunt Donna's doormat, Jack--WE'RE CRAWLING!
Jack: Well, it would have to be the Australian Crawl cause we're over the water...
Dolly-girl: Can it, Jack!
Jack: If you insist!

Dispatch from Alaska 843 : Take your seats...

"As a matter of fact, Jack, they don't need your help flying the plane." "But I'm sure the guy in the blue shirt is coming to..." "Jack D'Mestiere?" "Yes". "Instructions from Professor Javier Boleyn. Your special meal of a grape and 3 macadamia nuts is on board. Read this book, please." "Huluing to Hawai'i: 2 steps to a Tropical vacation without LARD! How did he find me?" "Alaska Airlines is a codeshare partner with Boleyn Enterprise's Torture Air..." "Whoan"

Dispatch from SEATAC: So far so good

"Aloha, Čučo and Dania, lets warm some stools before this Clipper"

Dispatch from PDX: SEA-TAC calling

About a few months ago, the blower jangled. I thought maybe it was a job calling--trouble that needed to be put on the run. "Yallow, D'Mestiere Investigations where your trouble is no trouble at all..." "Jacko, Čučo and me are thinking of hopping on the Clipper and heading to the largest of the chain of volcanic islands called Hawai'i. You and Dolly-girl interested in joining in? "Let me check, Dolly-girl..." "Yes, Jack?" "She says yes. I'll book us seats on the same Clipper flight..." "Good. Meet you in the libation section of the D Concourse in the Seattle-Tacoma International Aerodrome. 9/23. Don't be late..." Click.

"What did you want, Jack? I was upstairs." "Oh, nothin'. Just talkin' to Dania Inebriata-Beach. She said to say Aloha, and she didn't mean that one in Oregon..."

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dispatch from Bávaro, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic: Accomplishing a goal

Jack: Well, Dolly-girl, I accomplished a goal today. Get to do a cross-off on the old Too Do list!

Fiora: That's To Do, Jack, not Too Do. Read that book I gave you, will you?

Jack: Hmmm, I thought it was Too Do 'cause it's a list of what I want to do too...

Fiora: Whatever. What goal did you achieve, Jack?

Jack: I went to a swim-up bar!

Fiora: That's what I like about you, Jack, always setting your goals near the heavens...

Jack: Well, it was a stretch goal--I had to stretch to reach the drink on the bar!

Fiora [thru the wave]: Ai-yi-yi, Jack!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dispatch from the Majestic Colonial: The Bus to Colonial Times?

Jack: Dolly-girl, will you look at that! We're not gumshoeing around Stumptown now! I gotta get my fancy pants on!

Fiora: Jack, it's supposed to represent the decor of Colonial times when the Spanish ruled the Main and the Dominican Republic was a regular stop on the trade routes!

Jack: I bet they didn't have their towels folded like that with flower petals and everything!

Fiora: I bet they didn't, Jack and don't let that heart shaped towel next to a jacuzzi give you any ideas!

Jack: What ideas would those be, Fiora? Hey, I don't deserve a full broadside through the wave!

Fiora: it's going to be a long five days...

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dispatch from Port-au-Prince: A night on the town

Fiora: Jack, vous et moi marcher dans la rue du Quartier Latin pour le diner

Jack: [May have to negotiate here...] I was thinkin' we should walk down the street and check out that Latin Quarter restaurant people been tellin' us about...

Fiora: First of all, quit dropping your gees. You sound like a Wasilla wannabe and second, have you gone deaf? I just said we should walk down the street and go to the Quartier Latin for diner.

Jack: Dang, I knew you were parlezing something mais il a été un long temps depuis que je suis français...

Jack: Je pense que chaque personne blanche en Haïti est ici ce soir!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dispatch from Port-au-Prince: What a colorful place!

Fiora: "Jack, look at the colors on all the buses! And the buildings! What a difference we are seeing between two cultures that share the same island!"

Jack: "That doesn't look too safe to me...even though we are stuck in traffic and everything is standing still."

Samuel: This is Haiti--there's still room on that bus! Next to the guy sleeping on the top! Don't worry, I will get you there safely!"

And he did, moving through the flow of trucks, buses, cars, motorbikes, and pedestrians like a world class kayaker in a difficult reach. There's too much to write about the first two days in Haiti for a phone keypad. More later...

Jack: "This same SUV could never fit through this space in Stumptown!"

Fiora: "That's why Samuel is driving and you aren't, Jack...among other reasons."

Jack: "What's that Dolly-girl? I can't hear you for all the horns!"

Fiora: "Nothing, Jack."

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dispatch from Santo Domingo: Destination Haiti

Fiora: Bien, Jack, nous sommes prêts à aller! Bagagerie emballé, billets en main, destination de Port-au-Prince! Excusez-moi de ne pas parler Creole.

Jack: I love it when you use one of your foreign tongues, Dolly-girl. It makes me feel like I'm in a different country!

Fiora: We ARE in a different country, Jack! Where have YOU been the last week?

Jack: Is that why people been giving me strange looks?

Fiora: No, that's pretty normal, but be glad they can't understand you--if they could there'd be a lot of ai-yi-yi going on... Now, quit your jabbering, I'm trying to learn some helpful Creole phrases. Se sa a jarèt nan an Ayiti?

Jack: Ah, you're asking where to get a cold beer...

Fiora: Ai-yi-yi...

Friday, June 3, 2016

Dispatch from El Beaterio

"A beaterio, Jack, is a place where pious women lived." "Well, what are we doing here?" "We? I don't know, Jack. You aren't a woman. I, however, am dutiful, and after being married to you for this long, at least a bit saintly!"

"Well, it sure is a nice place to, what do the Spanish say, tomar un café en el jardín..."

"Knock it off with the Google Spanish, Jack. Nothing good will come of it."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Dispatch from Santo Domingo: Step Back 486 years

Me and Dolly-girl are doing a little sleuthing around Hispaniola while we're waiting for a nephew and his gal to say those ever mores on the beach. First stop was to check out one of them everything-you-see-is-yours places. Today I miscalculated just how long it might take us to get to the autobus station so I turned a 3 hour trip into 5 hours, including 2 hours in the bus station. "Good to get here early, heyna or no?" That got me a shot through the wave and a pretty snide, "Ididint."

But we're here. When I asked Fiora if she minded an older hotel, I didn't quite mention that construction started while the Columbus boys were still in town...

Monday, May 30, 2016

Dispatch from PDX: Hitting the Road

Me and Dolly-girl are headed east and south to catch a family hitching and figured we'd take a gander at a few out-of-the-way places. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Waddling Towards Fitness: A Sign, an Omen, a Talisman

Yes, I know, it's been a while since Jack put down his Gumshoeing magnifying glass and brought you up to date on what's been happening. Could it be that's because, on the War On Lard! nothing has been going on, or so says the two smartest things in my life, Dolly-girl and the scale. "If you want to lose lard, Jack, you know how to do it--it just takes those two steps that Prof..." "I know, Dolly-girl, I know, it's just that both of those steps are pretty hard these days. But I'll get back to it, I really will!" "Well, you'd better Jack. Remember when you had 6 months to shed some  of those triglycerides you've picked up before your next sit-down with Dr. Rachel S. Graves, MD? Well, now you have 12 days!" "Whoan..." "And we're headed for that beach wedding..." "Whoan..."

With Dolly-girl's spanking fresh in my ears, I headed out to do a little 2-Steppin'. I walked on over to where we've been putting' in our farm crops. Dolly-girl is thinking' that we need to be looking towards what she calls self-sufficiency just in case The Big One hits cause, you know, she says that would Trump everything. I don't know why she capitalizes that, but she's the one with the parchment that says English on it. 

Anyway, I hoofed it to the farm and checked on our acreage and things were lookin' pretty good. In fact, everything is movin' right along like maybe it's warmer than usual or something... What was that Dolly-girl was telling me about the 6th straight record-setting month when it comes to the old mercury?

Walking a mile to the farm and back isn't exactly what Professor Javier Boleyn has in mind when it comes to the 2-Step Duh! Diet (Boleyn Enterprises) so I kept walking and headed for the rose garden in the park. Sure enough, the roses were blooming. I took time to smell some of them while givin' me a good talkin' to. "Jack, what the heck is it with droppin' all your gs?" I asked myself. Aunt Genevieve's girdle, you shouldn't be doin' that--you sound like what's her name--what's that blogger Dolly-girl reads call her--Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods...OK, spanking number two and this time I'm beatin' --I mean beatinG myself. Whoan, twice beaten...

Roses smelt, I walked on, just lettinG my feet tread where they wanted and imagininG a trail of LARD! behind me like a slime trail from a slug. Well, if my feet know one direction, it's the directions to Radio Room, and sure enough, by the time I looked up, they were proppinG themselves on the rail under the bar.  "How'z about an IPA, Jack?" "Never failed me yet, Bar-Am, hop one down here for me." "What's with the long face, Jack?" "You tellingG horse and bar jokes, Bar-AM?" "No, you just look like your best friend is pushin' (she can drop her's) daisies..." "It's the War on Lard!, Bar-Am. It's not goinG so well." "I know, Jack, the Professor mentioned that just about noon time. He was wondering if you were in enjoying another one of those giant sandwiches you like..." "Professor Boleyn called here? He didn't know where I was?" A smile crept across my face--I was safe from the trifecta of oral spankings!

A voice boomed over the sound system--"Ha! You think you aren't going to get it again? Yes, it is I, Professor Javier Boleyn. I admit to having some difficulty locating you--Find My LardAss, the new app I have invented (™Javier!) is not yet working to my satisfaction, but soon...

"Wait, wouldn't I have to install something on my phone for it to work? I didn't, wouldn't, never..." "Remember the new phone you got a couple weeks ago? Remember how the reincarnated Steve Jobs geek said 'Just let me get the newest software on there for you...'"  "Whoan..."

"Yes, Jack, it's time for the third and final slapping of the day. Of course, I don't count your self-inflicted insults, so it's really only two. Of course it's only two. 2. "

"Enough, Professor. I can predict what you will say. It's what I've heard before, and yet I seem powerless to implement it. I've reread Sliding to Slovenliness: When 2-Steppers Reject Professor Javier Boleyn and 2-Steps to the Deep End: Losing the War on LARD! to no avail. I've looked at myself in every reflection and your words echo in my ears--"Who is that LARD!Ass?" Sadly, that LARD!Ass is me. It is I. Jack D'Mestiere..."

"Quit your sniveling, Jack. It's not becoming of one of my followers."

"You mean, you mean?" "Yes, Jack, you are still a Professor Javier Boleyn 2-Stepper. But, you are on probation. You must look around you, Jack. You will see a sign. When you see it, you will know it. When you know it, you can lose it. Wait, see it, know it, lose it is three steps--back to the drawing board..."  "Thank you Professor, I won't let you down!. Can I ask a question?" "Of course, lad." "What's with the ™Javier!?" "I bought it from Jeb!--cheap..."

A sign. An omen. A Talisman. What could it be. I tipped Bar-Am a little extra, left half a beer and its calories sitting on the bar, and walked out into the daylight. Down the street, not knowing what I was looking for or listening for, but knowing I would see it, and then know it. A strange sound was in the air. A sound I'd heard before. It was that song...LARD is All Around Me...and suddenly, when what to my wondering eyes should appear...