Sunday, February 8, 2009

Antarctic Volcano Base Assault Part 3

Now, where was I in this tale? Let's see, there was some stuff about bacon, some other stuff about penguins and then some stuff about stuffing. I remember now. We were trapped in the Build-a-Bear, the doorway was filled up with utterly mad penguins filled with bear stuffing and we had just accepted a package from the FedEx guy who told us the back way to the throne room. I gotta say, I felt pretty bad for that FedEx guy. He must've drawn the short straw when they were handin out the routes. I imagined that he had to collect his packages every day and then drive all over Antarctica deliverin sciencey type equipment to all the researchers and whatnot along with droppin medicine of to the penguins and then havin to deliver to this mall. The weird thing is that he still did it wearin the purple shorts. You'd think FedEx would relax the dress code enough to let the poor guy put on some pants, or a snow suit or a giant fur cape or something. I thought it really spoke to his professionalism to not complain one bit about it or even show that he was bothered by it.

After signing for the package and leaving it on the counter of the store, Douggy, the squimonk and me slipped out the entry door into the back hallway. I don't know if y'all ever been in the back hallway of the mall, but they're scary places, full of dripping ceilings, spider webs, fire traps, pitfalls, razor sharp walls connected to touch sensors and landmines hooked up to trip wires. Well, I assume that to be the case. I've only ever been in the back of one mall, and I'll be the first to admit that it was run by an ice giantess and could only be accessed by diving through a volcano; well, that and the back door. But we spent a good long time in that back hallway, waiting for the squimonk to find and disable all the traps while Douggy and I guarded the back and tried to block out the screaming of the penguins. I started to feel a little bad for the little guys. I mean, they had risk life and limb to go to work at this mall every day so that they could have the health insurance to afford their medication for a problem which I bet is not really their fault. Then some guy comes in, busts up their store and fills them with animal stuffing. I was thinkin for a minute about goin back and helpin 'em out. But then I started to think about them tryin to get my, you know, "eggs" from me, and I decided that I'd better not so me and Douggy played some cribbage instead and we just shouted out our points really loud to drown out the struggling penguins.

Just as I was about to skunk Douggy with a sixteen point hand, Alistair came to us and said, "We're ready."

Sadly, we had to fold up the board and put our cards away, which was for the best really. Last time I skunked Douggy, he got in a tizzy for about two days because he said I cheated. I kept tryin to explain to him that I didn't know how that fifth jack got into the deck and that I'd really just had an itchy wrist, but he didn't buy it. But I later remembered the camping trip I took with Frank and her kid, who wanted to show me a magic trick about disappearing and reappearing jacks, which I thought was poorly performed, but was still kinda neat nonetheless. On that very same trip, I was walkin out to relieve myself in the middle of the night when I tripped on a root or a sleeping bear or somethin and fell right into a pile of poison ivy, but my wrist just sorta grazed it, so I didn't worry too much about it. I tried tellin Douggy that later, but he didn't want to hear about it. It's just as well, really, because I really was cheating. The whole episode taught me that I just need to do it better or I need to come up with justifications faster. Don't look at me like that, it's cribbage! Read the rules and I think you'll agree that the whole thing was invented by drunk cheaters. I was just playin in the spirit of the game.

We made our way slowly and carefully down the hall, just in case there were any traps that were too subtle for the squimonk to detect, but everything went according to plan. We passed a couple of stores and I was lured to one particular door by the smell of cookies. I was thinkin I might be able to sneak one, you know, just to settle my stomach after all that bacon. So I opened the door a crack and looked into the back of the shop to see if they had any cookies just lyin around. I didn't see any. Instead, I saw a penguin in the process of mixing up a batch of cookies. He had a bowl full of flour and some other stuff and he was cracking eggs into the bowl. My opening the door made some sort of bell or somethin go off and he looked over at me. We stood staring at each other for a couple of seconds before he threw himself in front of the bowl, holding his flippers out protectively and yelling, "It's not what it looks like! Don't judge me!" Then he fell to his little penguin knees weeping, "It's not my fault! They make me do it! I didn't want to but they made me!" He toppled over and pounded his hands on the ground shouting "Curse you, Mrs. Fields! Curse you and your house from here to eternity!"

I closed the door and slowly backed away. I turned down the hall and, for a moment, Douggy and I made eye contact. He looked from me to the door and back to me. I told him, "I don't.. I just...I don't know."

"Let's just move on," he said.

With that, we finally arrived at a large, ornate door marked Throne Room!!!! I felt the exclamation points were a bit unnecessary, but I didn't paint the door or have it designed or anything, so I didn't say anything. We pushed on the door and, as all throne room door must do, it creaked noisily open, settling with a loud thump. We descended a small set of stairs into a large, magnificent room. In the middle of the room, trapped in a cage, was Jared.

When he saw me, he called out, "Pat!"

"Jared!" I yelled, "We're here to rescue you!" and I started running towards him.

"Pat! No, it's a..." Just then, an even bigger cage fell down on top of us. "trap" Jared finished weakly.

"Oh, are you friggin kiddin me!?" shouted Alistair.

Then the laughter started. That deep, horrible laughter that I have come to associate with an ice giantess. "Pat O'Neil!" The sound of my name echoed through the chamber. "I have you now, Pat O'Neil! You have fallen for my clever trap. And now, because I am sure that I have you and that there is no possibility at all for your escape, I will gloat and reveal my entire trap to you. In this explanation, I am sure that you will not find a way out. In fact, I am so confident in my ability to utterly destroy you, that I will now surround you with mad penguins and remove any other restraints on you at all."

I'm really not sure why she phrased it like she did, but I just went along with it. I figured there'd be some way we would get out of this predicament. Or would there?!?!

Yes, there probably would. I mean, if you just think about it for a second, how could I be writing this if I were killed by a bunch of mad penguins? Or even by an ice giantess? Or how could I write this if I were still trapped there. Unless, of course, I had a laptop and she gave free internet to her prisoners, which would just be silly.


kaploy9 said...

I'm feeling kinda sorry for all these penguins at this point. Although, they can talk and all, which is pretty nice for a penguin, being that their may not be a whole lot of talking pengiuns in the world at the moment, and being one of the few's probably a nice honor. But maybe that honor's blotted out by all this "forced-to-work-for-medication" stuff anyways.
Am I starting starting to sound like you?

Leprechaun Sniffer, Esquire. said...

I feel bad for the penguin working under Ms. Fields. If they worked for Famous Amos, they would also get free reading and writing classes from his "YOU CAN READ" program that would apply towards getting a better secondary education. Cookies and knowledge all fit together like cheeseburgers with ba- the "b" word.

You are in a mall, so as far as I know, Amelia might give free wifi to bring in more customers like those kids on the iPhones who would actually buy grains of rice with their name written on it. If she gave free laptops to type out your misadventures while she elaborates on overcomplicated plans, I would give a gander all the same and maybe even procure an overpriced orange julius.

gandy said...

I think this is the only story that could being in an mall beneath an active volcano in Antarctica sound fun, or anything other than excruciating.