Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the Parti Poodle once again to introduce the eleventh installment in my story Alanna the Piranha. The holiday season is well underway, and the Maltese is busy at work trying to find me the perfect gift. I of course plan to bestow on him the gift that never stops giving: my unending cornucopia of wisdom. As for myself, I have my eye on a designer dog tag that I think will give my collar that extra bit of style I deserve. I have sent the Maltese many an email hinting at it…perhaps a little more than hinting. I really do think he should pay attention to…
I want a 93” plush bear from Costco.
I want a 93” plush bear from Costco.
Tucker, you insipid little mongrel. What could you possibly need a 93” plush bear for?
I want a toy I can snuggle with.
That thing is bigger than the home you live in!
You are not kind to me, and I need a 93” bear from Costco to act as my security blanket.
Unbelievable. Anyway, here is the eleventh chapter of Alanna the Piranha. Disfrutar!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the Parti Poodle
Chapter the Eleventh
Today I administered another dose of CRISPR Cas9 into both the bunny and the piranha. The bunny hated it, but the piranha didn’t struggle as much this time and stared straight into my eyes when I injected her.
This evening both my Aunt Linda and my sister Stacy are visiting for dinner. My mother is serving salmon with wild rice and baked asparagus. My Aunt Linda did not bring a dog this time, but she did mention I should think about getting a new one.
“Josie was good for you,” my aunt tells me. “She may have died unexpectedly but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a new pet.
“I suppose not,” I say.
“It helps you focus on being responsible, Flint and you need to be responsible.”
“Tell me about it,” Stacy said rolling her eyes.
“You know I adore you, Flint,” Aunt Linda continued. “And I want you to be successful in life. When your young it’s easy to believe you measure wealth in terms of what you own like what car you drive or what clothes you wear. That’s the big fat lie you see. Wealth isn’t what you own. It’s what you accumulate. Those who believe the lie are like an artist who only focuses on the painting’s subject and not the shadows around it.”
“I don’t quite follow you,” I say.
My aunt took a drink of her ice water. “When I was a young woman just out of college, I worked as a waitress for a nice restaurant. We had this dishwasher. His name was Rafferty. He always came in on time, worked hard and never said much to anybody. He washed the dishes, cleaned up when the night was over and headed home. He’d worked at the restaurant so long he could have any shift he wanted. He always chose to work the dinner shift and he always closed up no matter how late he stayed.
“After every shift the owner would give the staff two poker chips apiece. The chips could be used in the bar for free drinks. Rafferty never cashed in his chips. He always gave his away to the waitresses after gathering up his tips. Then he’d quietly go home.
“One evening I came into work and Rafferty wasn’t there. The owner told me Rafferty had decided to retire. Retire?! I exclaimed. The owner said it surprised him too. He told me Rafferty put in his notice two weeks ago, thanked him for letting him work there for twelve years and left. Rafferty had told him he was going into business for himself. I asked my boss what kind of business. He told me Rafferty just smiled and said something other than restaurants.
“Last year I was flipping through the newspaper, and I saw this obituary. It was Rafferty’s. I read it and I couldn’t believe what it said.”
“What did it say?” I asked her.
“Well, before Rafferty died, he’d done quite a few things. He’d married, had a son, started an accounting business with his wife and was worth over twelve million dollars.”
“Twelve million dollars?!”
“You see when Rafferty took a job at the restaurant he had just graduated from college and couldn’t get a job. No one would hire him. So, he started washing dishes. He took the night shift because it allowed him to get up in the mornings and study the stock market. He researched it all day long until it closed. Then he would take a nap then get up and go to work in the restaurant. He took the closing shift because it allowed him to get up in the mornings and study the stock market. He never owned a car while he worked there and always took the bus.
He lived in a studio apartment and paid a low rent. The restaurant always gave its workers a free meal at the end of their shift, so he didn’t have to pay for dinner. He saved and invested and saved and invested for over a decade until he had more than he needed to start his own accounting firm. His wife had been an accounting student who couldn’t get a job and had worked as a waitress trying to make ends meet. Together they joined forces.”
“What does any of this have to do with Flint?” Stacy asked. “Flint reminds me of Rafferty. Right now, Flint is sitting in this house sulking in his parent’s basement wasting all his potential. Then she turned to me and said, “Why not take advantage of the free rent, Flint? Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you can have a little more each day. In fact, I’m going to make it easy on you. I’m going to start you with five thousand dollars. Not one dime more, not one dime less. You take that money and find a way to make it grow.”
“Why are you giving Flint that kind of money?” Stacy complained. “What about me?”
“When you graduate from college will focus on you.”
“Linda,” my dad said. “Flint doesn’t need that money. He needs encouragement to get out there and make something of himself.”
“I absolutely agree with you. Flint needs encouragement. But he also needs a swift kick in the ass. You see I am not giving Flint my money. I am loaning it to him free of interest. He gets to keep it for one year. After that he gives the five thousand back to me and keeps everything he earns.”
“What if he loses money?”
“I won’t lose her money,” I say, not really believing the words myself.
“Why, Linda,” my mother says. “I think that’s a wonderful idea. Flint, is this something you’d like to try?”
I think about this for a moment. I could use the five thousand dollars if my experiments fail, and I need to get new supplies. “Sure,” I say. Why not?”
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: WE’RE THE MILLERS (2013)-HBO Max
I am a fan of comedy. Especially when it’s funny. I tend to prefer to write comedy. A lot of writers don’t. Maybe because some writers find it difficult or stupid or don’t think it’s intelligent enough or plain just don’t like it. But I would rather write comedic infused stories than just about anything else. And I think in addition to a lot of the holiday classics we tend to watch this time of year it’s a lot of fun to watch a good solid comedy. And one comedy I think deserves a lot more credit than it gets is We’re the Millers. This is a witty, sometimes dark, often hilarious movie with an all-around fantastic cast and outstanding writing from Bob Fisher and Steve Faber. David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is a college educated slacker who really should be doing more with his life than working as a long-time drug dealer. David has a turbulent rapport with his neighbor Rose (Jennifer Anniston), a sardonic stripper with a absent boyfriend. Also in their building is a likable but clueless teenager named Kenny (Will Poulter) who happens to witness a homeless girl named Casey (Emma Roberts) being harassed outside their building. Kenny goes to protect Casey forcing David to run in to assist. Casey manages to get away but the thugs chase David and Kenny and eventually rob David of his $100,000 stash.
To pay back his gleefully evil boss Brad (Ed Helms), David is strong armed into making a run to Mexico to pick up a “smidge” of marijuana. David knows he will get caught crossing the boarder alone. But if he takes Rose, Kenny, and Casey with him as his makeshift family, he’ll have a chance of picking up his drugs and hauling them back across the border safely. Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, and Molly Quin round out the cast of this very funny film.