Sunday, June 12, 2011

Circling the Northeast: Picking up the Strays

I was just about to put my lips to the Oakshire Line Dry Rye that Bar-Am had set in front of me when the blower sparked. Being that the who-is-it on Dolly-girl's fancy eye-phone (® along with the rest of the world, by Steve Jobs) phone said "None of your Bizness," I had a pretty good idea who to expect on the other end of the line. "You got Jack, shoot." "Jackie-boy, are you OK?" I shot Bar-Am a glance. This was highly unusual. "Yep, fit as a fiddle..." "No Stradivarius, I'm here to tell you..." "and just about to wet a whistle that's dry as dust. Been out for a long waddle." "Are you at Radio Room?" "Of course, and since when don't you know where I am?" I saw Bar-Am reach up and touch her ear--Blue Tooth. "Yes. Yes, he's sitting right here. Just hopped a brew down the bar to him. ROGER. Just one."

He was back. "OK, we thought we were having troubles with the Boleyn's Eye View Sky Cluster (® Boleyn Enterprises). In fact, after your last few waddles, we had to send BE752SCT home on leave--he was getting dizzy." "BE752SCT?" "BE, you know what that is. 752SCT is technician 752 on the Sky Cluster. Anyway, he was having vertigo. We figured you'd found some way to confuse the system. Maybe have a coyote carry around the sensor in your...Oops, almost blew it there..." "Nope, just been rounding up strays. And besides, the coyote is on 19th." "Rounding up strays?" "Yep. That's what Bar-Am calls it. When she asked me where I was walking, I showed her the map I keep. There are a few streets that I always seem to miss so I started walking routes to pick those up. She calls it "rounding up strays." "Cute." "I think so." "You would." "So does she." "Hmm, note to self. Talk to Bar-Am about 'cute' sayings."

"Jackie-boy," his tone deepened, "I'm a little worried about all the waddling you are doing. It's been well over a month since the last time you had a day off. In fact, you've only missed 6 days in the last 86 and that counts days you were out of town "on cases" and days it was hosing rain. Perhaps you need to slow down a bit." "Whoa, now wait just a minute there Mister Professor..." "Just 'Professor' is fine, Jackie-boy, we aren't in Germany..." "Now didn't you tell me that waddling was something I was going to have to do the rest of my life? Didn't you tell me to buy and read your book, Living With Lard: Two-Stepping for the Rest of Your Life." "Well, yes on both." "And didn't you make me order an advance copy of your new book, Life and Lard Two Steps at a Time? "I did." "Well, Professor, you've done this to me so just back off, get your boy 752 some Dramamine, (©2011 Prestige Brands, Inc. All rights reserved.) and let me get on with the waddling." I drank down the rest of my beer, wiped the suds off my mustache, and set the glass on the bar. "Until next time, Bar-Am, I hear that 3-block dogie, Humboldt Street, cryin' in the sage brush. Time to saddle up." I could see one set, and hear two, of eyes rolling. "Catch ya later on down the trail...(© The Coen Brothers, The Big Lebowski)". "Calm down, Jack. You don't have a mustache, by the way, and knock it off with stealing lines from The Big Lebowski; you'll make me nuts." "Calmer than you are, Bar-Am..."

Both books mentioned are (© Boleyn Enterprises. Line Dry Rye picture © Oakshire Brewing)

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