seriously, this is so not funny!

the telephone is ringing...

i've got her on the line...

"hello..."  she answers with a voice that sounds like honey and flowers.

"hello, Mother Nature it's Eolist. remember me?"

"well, hello Eolist dear. yes, i do remember you. what can i do for you today sweetheart?" she gushes. her words filling the room with sunshine;

"um... it's the end of April..."

"oh yes. i know.... 

a hint of sarcasm hangs in the air between us...

...and don't you just love what i've done with your place?!?"

"oh yeah, snowman and all.... 

....but seriously, this is so not funny!"

Balloon? What Balloon?

I sat up in bed blinking the morning light from my eyes sure I had closed the shades last night in preparation of a long morning lie in.

Good morning Miss.” the waiter said as he straightened the linen napkin draped over his arm. “Sleep well did you?

yes... well... no actually... what time is is!?!” i answer through a yawn.

7am.” he replies pulling a thin narrow board from his sleeve which he fast fashions into a tray. “breakfast?” without any reply, he places the tray on my lap drapes it with a fancy white lace napkin and a china plate on which he drops a freshly toasted cinnamon crusted bagel. “coffee?


He pours steaming coffee into a china mug from a french press that seconds ago were no where to be seen. I start to wish he would visit every morning...


no. thank you. too early for cream.” I smile my best morning smile through another huge yawn.

right then. enjoy.

He straightens the linen napkin draped over his arm and stands back waiting for me to eat, tapping his foot nervously.

I sip my coffee trying to ignore the tapping but can't; “i take it you've brought something other than breakfast with you?

Well yes. But my instructions are to wait until you have finished your bagel.

finish my bagel? i wonder... “why? what's in it?

He fidgets with the napkin; “nothing.... that I know of... um...

I place the tray on the nightstand. “we both know i'm not going to eat something suspicious no matter how pretty it looks so you may as well just hand over what you came to give me.”

His bottom lip catches between his teeth and he nervously straightens the napkin draped over his arm for the umpteenth time; “it's not that simple Miss. There are two parts. One from each of your comrades” (comrades: com·rades [kom-rads, -rids]  -nutjobs- otherwise known as: Part Time Evil Genius Dr. Max Tunguska. and/or Master Spy Roth, Indigo Roth. Often partners in crime. Always best mates.)

nothing is ever simple where those two are concerned, that we know, but could you be so bold as to start with part one maybe?

Of course.” he fidgets in his left front jacket pocket ,moves to the right front pocket and finally to the left pocket of his trousers from which he retrieves an envelope; “Right. Here we are. This arrived for you next month.”

I took it before thinking. Early morning does that to me and I think 'my comrades' realize it. I do however give it a quick shake and an intent listen before I open it. Interesting. It appears to be a simple invitation:


In celebration of spring I invite you to bring your mapping skills to
a Rambling Uphill  Flag Planting Party
last Tuesday 4pm sharp. Pink Parka required.

The waiter shifts his weight from one foot to the other; “If Miss requires I can press her pink Parka and ready her mapping case for last Tuesday when the time comes.”

that would be lovely. Thank you, but I know a stall when I hear one, so how about you just hand over part two.”

He straightens the napkin, traces imaginary circles in the floor with his right foot and shifts his lip in so many differing directions I start to get dizzy before he quietly admits;

Dr. Tunguska sent me to steal... um... harvest... er... take... ah... to help you forget the 'Balloon Incident'"

Visions of the Euthanasia Curry house and a burning balloon dance across my forebrain causing me to giggle out loud; “why would I want to forget that? My eyebrows grew back just fine, okay very fine, but grow back they did and, obviously, I enjoy that memory. Especially the way Indigo slipped off of the steering whe...” his nose is suddenly so close to mine that I can smell next weeks garlic on his breath.... “why are you looking at me like this?

He shakes his head as if I am the silliest Miss this side of the pond; “penciled in peach fuzz does not a proper eyebrow make.” he says, his free hand dipping underneath the napkin draped over his arm. His lush full eyebrows follow some hidden path as he fishes for something deep within in a cavern I can't see. “ah, here it is!” he exclaims, bringing forth and poking a tiny brown bottle with a suspiciously familiar label under my nose.

I took the bottle just to be sure, but just as I thought, it was none other than  Dr. Max Tunguska's hair tonic. The one he concocted before he was physically removed from chemistry class all those years ago. The one he tried on It right before the Addams family arrived to pick him up for Christmas break. “uh uh. No way. Not a chance. I know what this is and I prefer to live life without eyebrows thank you very much.”

Oh come now Miss. Petite.” he chides. “It's completely safe. In fact i have used it myself.

I roll my eyes toward the top of his ever so shiny head.

Okay, well, obviously not on my own head but I assur...

I have to stop him there because I know something he assumes I don't. “.. and how many times a day is it that Rabbit still needs to shave?

He studies his feet, in particular the bottom of his left shoe from which he retrieves something flat, grey and fuzzy, while mumbling on about it not being his fault that the pet store had to close for lack of cute fuzzy baby bunnies at Easter or that they had fired Rabbit and his Mrs....

then again there had been a bright side to Rabbits constant shaving routine... “Of course” I giggle; “Mrs. Rabbit did finally get a much needed rest didn't she?

He studies the grey matter pulled from his shoe intently. “That she did Miss. That she did.” he licks the corner of it with the tip of his tongue, puzzles a bit and then shoves it into his pocket.. “Took up running she did. Last I heard they were making loads of money fixing dog races....” he smiles widely at the thought, takes the bottle from me and tucks it back from where ever it came.

I study my fingers for any sign of hair; “So what is it they want me to do this time?” and wonder what would require me to forget the balloon incident? Two running men arguing about wasting precious future fuel resources flash across my forebrain. “It wouldn't have anything to do with balloons and blazing fires would it?

Oh no, Miss, it couldn't be more opposite, though I think you may still be left holding the match... now if we could just get on with this I could still make it to last years magicians meeting.”

I took one last peek at the slideshow running through my forebrain grinning at Indigo being chided by Max for the misuse of possible future fuel resources and the burning cork that had simultaneously created the waiters shiny bald head. “okay, I guess i'm ready to let it go.”

Wonderful!” he reaches over his head and pulls a small glass rod from the back of his suit jacket which he polishes with his napkin. I notice the rod has a long narrow point at one end and a short fat point at the other. sandwiched between those points is a round faceted prism which was creating wonderful rainbows filled with captured happenings when the light of morning hit it just right - one of which is the waiter helping Rabbit apply hair tonic.

The waiter finishes the polish, shakes and straightens the napkin back over his arm and inspects the rod. Then, while balancing it on the tip of his smallest finger, he moves as far away from me as he can get and still be in my room. As he pins himself to the wall I stifle a yawn and wonder if any good can come of this.

He drops the long narrow point of the rod into his palm, extends his arm and brings it up to shoulder level aiming the short fat point toward the tip of my nose.

And then, as if he is a ringmaster, he makes an announcement; “And now, Miss, I shall attempt to trap your memory of the balloon incident within this crystal!” then, quickly and quietly, he adds; “don't worry it doesn't hurt that much but can, and often does, leave permanent scarring...

My eyes widen in surprise at that last bit, the boys know I'm not my sharpest in the morning and therefore knew I wouldn't even think to question the effects!; “Wait! What!?!

but it was too late, I was hit by a flash of light so bright I had to blink back tears. It must have been ten minutes before I could see anything at all. In fact, I was still trying to blink tiny bright spots from my field of vision when I saw the waiter upright himself and take the, now crumpled, napkin from his arm to rub the soot from his bald head...

And i sat there blinking back tiny bits of light while he continued to rub his head til it gleamed. And then i remembered the burning cork that took his hair. And the balloon explosion. And the fire and... 

"Well, Miss, enjoy your breakfast. Unless there is anything else I can do for you this morning, I shall see you last Tuesday to press your parka."

Um... I don't think the crystal worked... I still remember the balloon.

Balloon? What balloon?

*related - and wonderfully crafted - humorous adventures:
BalloonRambling Uphill ; The Shed Event Horizon ; Clock Watching  - among many other wonderful stories - by: Dr. Max Tunguska
Making A Break For Venezuela ; Super Rare Holographic Clergy ; Just Like the Real Thing ;  The Panic is Infectious - also among many other wonderful stories - by: Indigo Roth
Balloon too and/or while i waited by: herself the elf