Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pre-Politics:CRIME STOPPERS EPISODE #8,939,247 or Life on the Other Side of the Drawbridge

TIMELY REPOST, and remembering how to conduct real political business among real common folk, who rarely hang the day in a coffee shop... and, as I take a breath to fight hypoxia, it is always good to remember Tante Louise.


As it was a hazy, lazy day and we were in a hazy, lazy frame of mind, La Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore organized a hay ride. Sometimes we have to blow this Joint, Manor that it is, and get out amongst the Common Folk.

So Fred gave up dredging the algae bloom that has beset The Moat. The bazillions of pigmented cells have decided to be red, of course, in honor of our politics. We can't, despite the well-worn furrow in our collective brow (Get it? What a rapier wit.), figure how we overnourished this vast body of water. It's not like we have fertilizer run off from "the fields" -- not us! No, we three believe in extending the fallowed nature of The Back Forty to the Entire Property. Honest to God! Hommage to Captain Haddock's Ancestral Holdings Upon Which We Squat! We've not been tossing the phosphorus around all willy-nilly. The Schmitzia hiscockiana, "small, red, and rare," must have an unusual generative source.

As I said, we pulled Fred from the waterworks, and I put aside the last-minute grading from Fall Semester 1992 (Discuss: Lucky and Pozzo, Gay or Gay?). The Feline Four got all doodied-up, which involved straw hats, berets, and breath mints. After much to-do, I was convinced to brush and puff Marmy's tail, curl Uncle Kitty Big Balls' whiskers on the left side of his face (inexplicably, they droop a good 2 inches below the whiskers on the right), trim Sammy's nails -- he suffers from terrible split ends -- and repeatedly reassure Dobby that he would not miss dinner or any substantive snacking.

You've seen nothing until you see The Castafiore decked out in her HayRide Outfit. Think, if you are able, of a sexed-up Little Orphan Annie, although I believe she might have been going for more of a decadent Shirley Temple. Think spandex, think Pepto-Bismol pink. Think ringlets, think peroxide blonde.

Resist the urge to gouge your eyes... it will pass.

We finally made it out to the beautiful, winding country roads in the environs.

We finished the afternoon in town because we needed to pick up a few items at the supermarché, those things that we get in bulk. Having a wagon handy is a rarity. Finally, we are stocked up on my 6.80388 kg containers of lowfat plain yogurt. I like to have at least four of those babies available for midnight-to-4 am snacks, as well as for yogurt emergencies.
Bianca got her bulk mineral make-up supplies:

Matte Mineral Foundation
Mineral Resurfacing Veil (Fred and I chipped in for a few extra vats)
Mineral Eye Shadows (mattes, satins, and pure pigments)
Mineral Blush and Bronzers
Glo Mineral Luminosity Face Powder (Fred and I snuck almost all of it *off* the wagon)
Natural Lip Gloss
Wholesale Kabuki Brushes (to promote that "natural" look she's famed for)

The 12 kegs of Matte Mineral Foundation, alone, tipped the wagon, so we made sure their weight was evenly distributed in a kind of Stone Henge arrangement.

We stopped for ice cream and "parked" in the shade of an elm on a nearby neighborhood road. We were, without doubt, an odd sight, a bit of chaotic rustica mucking up ordered suburbia.

Entertainment happened along within minutes. We would have killed for a video camera. A quick sketch artist, even.

A bedraggled man in his 50s, a fierce look of determination on his face, struggled by us, trying to push a HUGE widescreen television, attached to some kind of -- equally HUGE -- console, down the road. Once upon a time, it must have had tiny, tiny wheels on it.

He stopped in front of a large house, just down from the corner. It dawned on him -- you could see the lightbulb light up over his hatted head -- that he just could not push this thing all the way to wherever he was going. So he left it and went running down the street. He ducked in between two cottages and shortly thereafter he came back with a shopping cart.

Yes, he had the bright idea that he was going to put this HUGE TV/console inside this TINY shopping cart.

We were having hysterics but we also were dividing into camps -- Pro-Dood-Stealing-The-Big-Screen-TV-With-BigAss-Console versus the ever-predictable Anti-Theft Sermonizers. Sympathies shifted back and forth, with each HayRider adopting, however briefly, a fierce law-and-order stance at least once.

The Four Felines are notorious for preferring risky fun to straightlaced behavior. Go figure.

Anyway, it was like watching a cartoon character have a really bad idea -- the coyote ordering Acme products in the vain attempt to blow the roadrunner to smithereens. One cartoon balloon after another popped up over this Dear Dood's head.

By the way, it was over 95 degrees out there on the mean streets of suburban Tête de Hergé. This was one *dedicated* audio-visualphile, working without a net, working without a clue.

Finally, we regained our habitual sobriety and Fred whipped out his cellphone to call the Tête de Hergé version of 911. In Europe, the emergency phone number is often 112. Here, in our very unique area of Tête de Hergé, it often suffices to call up Tante Louise -- who is a story in and of herself.

We could see neighbors begin to peek out their windows , and a couple of people came out for an unobstructed view of the action, iced sweet-tea in hand, watching the man's progress.
This was what passed for free entertainment on that slow, hot day.

While Fred is chatting up Tante Louise, who on her end is directing all the CentDouze law enforcement, I gave a shriek. Our guy, former treasurer of his high school AV Club, manages to tip the mammoth TV over, after failing to get it safely lodged in the cart [surprise!].

He stands under his thought balloon, scratching his itchy head, while the cart slowly gathers steam and proceeds to roll down the hill. I could not calm myself and gave up trying -- hooting and hollering like the Hayride Hayseed that I am.

Apparently, by then, *everyone* in the neighborhood was watching and had called Tante Louise, who promptly put *everyone* on hold and poured herself a finger or two, so as to better survive the Crime Wave.

Back at the epicenter of the action, Our Guy sprints (about 400 meters, a straight shot out of the starting blocks) and recovers the recalcitrant cart. He drags it up the incline, back to its proper position next to the humongous television. {Il prend donc une petite pause} -- and we on the wagon break out the aftermeal mints and diaper wipes. Always bring a bin of diaper wipes on your hayrides. In these days of green, you might consider Seventh Generation's "only non-chlorine bleached cloth baby wipes."

After the short break in the action, during which Bedraggled Dood perched birdlike on the curb, a timely, helpful soul came slowly driving by (just the first of the rubberneckers) and decided to stop and assist AV-Man in the orderly theft of this TV and console. Together, they managed to *balance* the thing across the cart. The Good Samaritan got back in his truck -- in a confused sort of rush -- and drove away, shaking his head, making odd gestures in the air, talking to himself, apparently realizing -- too late -- that Our Guy was not all there and that he, a Good Samaritan, was now complicit as one-half of a crime wave.

He must have noticed the ronronnement of multiple conversations with Tante Louise, the cell phones everywhere, and concluded that exiting the scene before the cops' arrival was the better part of valor.

As previously noted, the street had a pretty serious incline going on.

We watched SumDood as he first began a fast-paced walk, then broke into an uneven trot, and finally was flat out running like a man chasing Usain Bolt. He managed to keep at least a pinky on the shopping cart, which, honoring the laws of momentum, gathered up its mass and velocity and sped downhill.

We were really sad when he finally flew out of sight.
The cops came pretty quickly and the last we heard, they were trying to match up the HUGE now-wrecked TV set with its heartbroken owners.

We turned the wagon around and began the trek back to Marlinspike Hall, not at all anxious to face the worries that doubtless were waiting for us: the red swarm of algae and the many holes left to chink in the medieval wing (and in some outbuildings -- the more ancient of the gazebos, for example).

Audio-Visual Man, wherever you are tonight, God bless.

© 2015 L. Ryan

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