Dateline: somewhere in Alturas, CA
January 16, 2016, some time around 2:30 PM
Don’s drunken rampage continued this week, as he discovered Bethesda’s beta update didn’t fix his Fallout quest line bug. In response, he began muttering obscenities in ancient Akkaddian and had to be forcibly removed from behind the bar, where he was attempting to lay directly beneath the tap.
Witnesses report that he did eventually attempt to crawl out of the bar, but was dragged back by his boss, who plied him with strong drink until he agreed to host the Football playoff party. We do not prognosticate his return until sometime after Feb 7, when he will emerge, only to find that he must now audit over the carnage he wraught, wherein he will presumably begin drinking again. LIke Groundhog, Day, Don now emerges from the bar once a year, and if he sees work to be done, returns to drinking for another 7 weeks.
In the meantime,
Orange Cat Blues # 2: Tabby vs. The Volcano Monster
I guess Tabby had known there was trouble brewing – he kinda has a sixth sense for trouble, but usually only ’cause he’s startin’ it – anyway, when Silver started brewing up the volcano, he’d gone into the back room and started sunning himself on the window. That had been about 4 hours ago, and he’d sucked up all the solar radiation until his fur had started cracklin’ in a chain reaction and he became …
“Mother of Pearl!” I shout. “It’s the Great Atomic Tabby!”
He had smoke comin’ out of his ears, and he must have been running all his dials in the red, ‘cause he came streaking down that hallway and set the carpet on fire. He hit a good groove and leapt straight into the volcano monster. They go tail to tail and the monster’s down, takin’ the table with it, and two little Japanese girls pop out of nowhere and start singing the Litany of Broken Tooth:
Mighty is Broken Tooth
His step trembles earthquakes
Crash! And the microwave is down, but Tabby’s got his right claw in the monster and he’s dangling from its head like a fish on a hook.
Mighty is Broken Tooth
His shadow swallows mountains
The monster gets him right between the ears with a sucker punch, but he shakes it off and starts gnawin’ on its nose.
By this point, Silver’s poked her head out of the closet where she’s been hiding. She’s jumping up and down and clapping her hands; this is the most excitement she’s seen since we got Animal Planet on cable. I’m standing with the Nome over by the living room table, just hopin’ I’ll have a house left when this is over.
They go at it for about ten minutes, and it looks like Tabby almost has him down, when the monster cuts loose with some more of that lightning breath, and Tabby’s whiskers start to curl and smoke. He kind of hunkers down to regroup.
“Don’t give up now!” I shout. “Get back in the there and give him that Orange Mojo!”
Tabby gives me a look like if I want to criticize, I can damn well fight my own volcano monsters. Quick, I shout, “He’s going for the treats!”
That puts the fight back into him …
I don’t ask what particular ancient scroll she’s talking about; she’s the Queen of Egypt, and it’s her job to know these things. I just run and get my crayons.
I come back and pick out the yellow and red crayons ones.
“Um … …which way’s east?”
Silver gets out the compass from her Junior Camper kit and points to the far wall. I run over and draw a big red circle, then I draw a yellow one on the other wall.
“Okay, see, that’s the sun.”
Nome gives me her Look, the one that says she can’t believe what a Hittite she’s hooked up with, and I say, “This is no time for art lessons! Did it work?”
“Hmph,” she says, ‘cause Tabby saw the sun setting and it made him tired. He got bored and wandered off and fell asleep on top of the TV, and now the volcano monster’s rummaging through the pantry, looking for hot sauce.
“So … did the ancient prophecy say which particular monster this was supposed to work on?”
Nome stretches out real slow and yawns for effect, then saunters over to the monster. On the way, she rubs me with her shoulder, like to say, “if you want something done right…”
She stares at the volcano monster.
“Hark, monster, for I am the Queen of Egypt,” she says. “By my right as Lady of the Two Lands, I command thee, depart from this place. By Isis and by Ra, I abjure thee, return here no more. Go now into the West, lest the plagues of my wrath descend upon thee.” As she’s talking, the walls start to dissolve into the starry black of the desert night, and a chill wind blows in from the Necropolis. But the monster doesn’t notice, ‘cause he’s busy eating a stick of butter.
“So be it,” she intones. “Loosen the plagues.”
There’s a buzzing noise, and then the room is filled with a million locusts. They all descend upon the monster, and this time he notices. He’s roaring and flailing and you can’t even see him, just the cloud of locusts surrounding him. Then, just like they came, they’re all gone, and there’s no monster, just a skeleton … but it’s still stompin’ around the kitchen.
“Whee, mister!” I have no idea why she calls me mister. “Volcano!”
“Of course!” I shout, leaping to my feet and sending Silver sprawling. “The monster is really the spirit of the volcano! As long as the lava still burns, it can’t be destroyed!”
“That’s great,” says Nome. “But can you get him out of the house?”
“We have to suck up all the atomic energy…” I say. I grab Tabby by the scruff of his neck and shove him down on top of the volcano like I was plugging up a sink with an old T-shirt. He gives a little smile as he feels the heat on his belly, then he rumbles and settles down for a nap. By the time he’s done wrigglin’, he’s plugged up the hole like a furry orange cork, and like he always does, once he falls asleep he starts drooling, and the slobber puts out the lava.
The monster takes a couple of steps towards the volcano, but without the mana, he falls apart into a bunch of bones. Silver comes up and grabs one.
“Whee! More volcano, mister!”
“Missy, you are in more trouble than they have words for…”
“More volcano!” she says, and runs out the front door.
Later, I found a ticket stub in her name, for Tokyo. I called and warn them, but nobody believed me. I just hope they have plans for this sort of thing; Fuji’s a big volcano.
Naomi decided she liked the tropical atmosphere, and demanded we keep the volcano. Now she’s talking about moving to the tropics.
So that’s it … Egypt is going to annex the state of Hawaii, Naome’s running a tiki bar in my living room, and I still didn’t get anything to eat.