Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The next few days passed in relative quiet. Relative, that is, compared to a mortuary holding a funeral for a deaf mime attended only by church mice who are, themselves, mimes. I ain't never been nowhere quite so dull as this spaceship. I swear, I musta played eight hundred million hands of cribbage. It was just gettin to the point where I was thinkin about not attendin the next makin stuff up contest and just sittin myself down in the hammock instead. I guess it was really the first time I've had to slow down since this whole thing with Clan Platypus had got started and it gave me a little time to think.

On the one hand, I got to thinkin about how I was just a regular guy from Iowa, and I don't know why I was in this mess in the first place. I mean, if my Mable Lou had never got herself hit by that flamin couch all them months ago, I coulda prolly just got myself a job workin with Douggy or even gotten that job my cousin has where he writes Slayer all over them bar walls. I coulda done that. Sure, I've never actually heard of the band, but I don't think that matters a whole lot. I can write all right, especially on walls. In fact, I nearly got myself a PhD in Literature once. No kidding. I wrote my dissertation on the use of Vodka to represent sadness and a loss of self in Russian literature and how that led directly to the sense of overwhelming sadness present in post-modern literature. I was runnin around with this theater troop at the time and they was doin all this performance art stuff like smearin themselves with eggs and ham while yellin "McMuffin!" I thought it was neat, and there was a girl in the troupe I was interested in, so, to impress them, I wrote my entire dissertation on the wall of a bathroom, hopin that'd give it the extra oomph it needed. Sadly, the day before I defended it, the whole bathroom went up in flames when some farm kids from around town decided it'd be fun to drink Everclear and then light their farts on fire. My advisor didn't believe that'd happened and thought I was treatin him like he was stupid so he got me thrown out of the university for ever and had my entire record expunged, so now it looks like I just got myself a sixth grade education. Wait a second, I think I just confused myself with this guy I saw on the teevee news once. I actually only have a sixth grade education and I spent the years I woulda been in college stuffin paper into the toes of shoes and drinkin beers with Douggy when I got off work. This one time, we was drinkin Everclear and, well, I'd tell ya the rest if the court order allowed it. Suffice it to say, we had ourselves a hot time. But if anyone ever calls you about me puttin that on my resume, you just go ahead and tell them the first story. I'll cover for you, too, if you need me to.

Point bein, I wasn't really qualified to get pulled into this whole big ball o' mess. I'm sure there's people more suited to travellin through space to help some hyper-intelligent genetic mutants fight ninjas tryin to sell meth, also interstellarly. I mean, there's gotta be at least ONE space travellin, meth hatin, good ninja out there somewhere, right? But then, that got me thinkin about how all them people down on that planet was havin their lives turned inside out by these ninjas and their crazy robots and their drugs and all. And I thought that, if I was the only one who could do this, I might as well do it as best I could. I just wish that I could get a vacation every now and again.

It was that second line of thought I was on when we landed on the moon and I was shuffled through immigration, shown an orientation video, given a name tag (which I thought was silly until I saw it was full of numbers, which I was told were the space coordinates of the Earth I came from), given a shower, checked for ticks and finally escorted into a doctor's office. In the miracle of all miracles, the doctor was there just nearly as soon as I sat down. I know, it shocked me, too. I was under the impression that there was nowhere in the universe you could go see a doctor without waitin at least an hour in the office only to be told something like, "I don't know what's wrong. Go home and come back if it gets worse. Oh, and that'll be $250." Well, that doctor didn't do none of those things. He checked me over, talked to me like I was a person, moved quickly and efficiently and then didn't charge me nothin. Turns out the Squimonk buy their insurance on worlds that are about 30 years behind ours where, when someone buys insurance, the insurance actually pays for doctors and stuff, without the insurance holder havin to pay anything. I know, I was shocked, too.

At the end of the checkup, the doctor told me that my cholesterol was at the right level and asked me if I'd like to drink the spider poison. In the three or four times in my life up to this point that I have been offered spider poison to drink, I have generally turned it down. That one time I didn't, I regretted it in the morning, boy howdy. But, after hearin everything that Captain Pat and the other Pat had told me about interstellar travel and whatnot, I figured, what the heck, I wouldn't mind teleportin. So, I took the shot.

Then I was in a hotel lobby.

I didn't have too much time to be confused before a bellboy came over me and said, "Mr. Pat O'Neil?"

"Er, yeah," I responded.

"Your room is ready, sir," he explained and then gestured for me to follow. "No luggage, as usual, sir?"

"Er, yeah," I said. He talked a little more, mostly just bein officious, but I wasn't payin much attention. I was too busy starin at how nice this hotel was. There was marble everywhere, for one. And the guests looked a little different than what I'm used to seein in a hotel. I didn't know if it was just me or if there was something else. I mean, I'm used to stayin down there at the Motel 6 when I travel, and they rarely have cavernous lobbies with four star restaurants and gold piping everywhere. They also don't usually have bellhops. I kept it to myself for a bit, just tryin to take in the scene.

Lookin through one of the restaurants, I saw there was a white sand beach with clear blue water and palm trees outside. I thought so. "I'm in Maui, ain't I?" I asked.

"Indeed you are, sir," the bellhop responded. "And I'll never get tired of you asking me that."

I chuckled, rememberin what the other Pat's had told me about most Pats goin to Maui when they first got hit with the spider poison. I figured, I might as well enjoy myself for a while. After all, I was just sayin I deserved a vacation. And, if I remembered right, I should just pop back into the doctor's office at the same time as I left.

The bellboy and I stepped into the elevator, which gave me a better chance to get a glimpse of him in the mirror. He was kinda pale and had long hair stickin out from under his cap, which would be unprofessional where I come from, but I guess it's allowed on other planets. Even without the hair, he was a kinda strange lookin fella. He had a pretty long nose that rounded at the end and nostrils I could almost see into from the back of his head. He also had some kind of funny growth or somethin on his forehead. He didn't seem to be tryin to cover it up, so I don't guess he was too embarrassed by it.

That's all I got to see before the elevator dinged and he announced, "Penthouse, sir."

The doors opened onto a room that looked like I always imagined an Arabian palace would. There was pillows and drapes everywhere. They also had a bunch of them weird lamps you hear about genies comin out of that don't look like real lamps but look a lot more like gravy boats with string stickin out of 'em. "Well, thank ya kindly," I told the bellboy. I turned to see him holdin his hand out, waitin for a tip.

"Oh, yeah," I stammered. "I ain't got no money on me right now, but could I bill a tip to the room?"

"That would be acceptable, sir," he said, less snotty than it sounded just now in your head when you read it. He was actually a pretty nice guy, just tryin to make his way, you know.

He reached into his jacket and pulled out a small clipboard. "If you'll just fill this out," he said, handing me the clipboard, "it will all be taken care of. We already have your card on file."

I took the board from him, "Oh, yeah, sure." I filled it out, givin him a pretty generous tip, signed it, then handed it back to him.

As he took the clipboard, our hands touched briefly. His hand was harder than I really expect for a person, even one that works in the fields all the time. Then I looked at him a little closer. "Wait a minute..." I said.

"Yes, sir?"

"You're one of them...them, oh, what's the word?"

"A bellhop, sir?"

"Nah, that ain't it...ah, I got it! You're one of them unicorns, ain't ya?"

He looked blankly for a second. "Yes, sir. As I explained last time, I and everyone else in this hotel is a unicorn. I don't understand why you make the same joke every time you check in, but, honestly, it's beginning to grate."

"Now, don't get me wrong," I back peddled. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you. It's just I ain't never seen a real know, one of y'all, before."

"One of y'all?!?!" he bellowed. "And just what do you mean by that!?!?! You know what you are? You're speciest! You filthy speciest!"

I was real embarrassed now. "Nah, it ain't nothin like that. I..look, I'm sorry."

He broke into a girn and then started laughin. "Hahahahahaha! I'm sorry, I couldn't resist! The other bellhops told me about you and your copies jumpin in here every once in awhile seemin all confused. I didn't believe it but they told me, they told me, you..." he broke down into hysterical laughter.

"Told you what?" I was curious.

He doubled over for a bit. When he was ready, he stood up and wiped his eyes. "Ok, ok...whew! I'm sorry about that, sir. But they told me you'd say 'You're one of them unicorns, ain't ya?' right after you tipped me. They also told me they always pull the old speciest joke on ya because you got a good sense of humor and can take it."

"You know," I told him, "that is pretty funny. You got me good, friend. What's your name?"

"Bobby," he said, shakin my hand. "And if you need anything, anything at all, Mr. O'Neil, just ask for me."

"Sure will, Bobby."

He stepped back into the elevator. "Enjoy your stay, sir."

"I will," I told him. Then I settled down to enjoy a week in unicorn Maui.


kaploy9 said...

Huh, sounds pretty nice. But I wouldn't give it a final judgement until you find out about their continential breakfast.

Argonnite said...

Everclear farts are the most dangerous there are.