Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the Parti poodle here to present the eighteenth chapter of my story Alanna the Piranha. Last week my novelist and I visited grandma and grandpa. It was a wonderful outing. All participants were fully vaccinated and boosted, and we all stayed in one location. We thoroughly enjoyed rewatching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and the film my novelist deems her favorite feel-good movie, Falling Down. We were finally able to celebrate Christmas as we were too snowed in to make the journey in December.
I had a lot of fun. A lot of fun.
Ugh! The Maltese.
I liked the pretty paper and the pretty bags and the pretty boxes and…
Yes, yes. No one cares about what you like.
And the dinner. I loved, loved, loved the dinner. It was nummy, nummy, nummy!
Yes, I liked it too now…
And the sparkly tree. I liked the sparkly tree.
What did you like?
Next month is Valentines! I like the fancy cards and the heart shaped boxes and…
Here is chapter eighteen of Alanna the Piranha. Genießen!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Eighteenth
I spent most of the night perusing my mother’s 20,000 Names for Baby book trying to come up with a moniker for the piranha. Everything from Allissa to Zoe. The piranha slumbered in her sleeping bag. I watched the neon from the fish tank reflect on her, hoping for inspiration. But alas, I could not decide on a name.
At some point I nodded off and when I woke up, she was still sleeping. So, I went upstairs to procure some breakfast and make myself an espresso. When I returned, the piranha was sitting on my bed reading a fashion magazine Stacy must have left down here somewhere.
“Well,” she demanded. “What’s my name?”
“I don’t know yet,” I tell her.
“You’ve got to know soon. I can’t go on not having a word to call myself.”
“I know, I know. It’s hard but we’ll figure it out soon.”
“Not “we”. You. You promised me a name.”
“Here,” I say handing her my breakfast. Eat something and I’ll keep looking through the book.”
Alanna looks at the plate and pouts. “You didn’t bring me strawberries.”
“You need strawberries?”
“Of course, I need strawberries. And a croissant. I’ve been craving croissants.”
“I don’t have any strawberries or croissants. I’ll pick some up for you later today.”
“You mean the croissants will be day old?”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“I want fresh croissants!”
“I’m not going out at seven in the morning to pick you up fresh croissants. I’ll get you some today and you can have them tomorrow.”
“I’m not cruel. I’m pragmatic. The croissants I buy today will be just as good tomorrow.”
“No, they won’t.”
“Would you please let me find a name for you already!”
“Fine,” she huffs.
I return to flipping through the name book and let her sulk. Man, she’s a lot of work! Maybe I should call her something that means pain in the neck.
The doorbell rings upstairs. I hear my mom’s footsteps move across the ceiling. Then she calls downstairs to alert me I have a package.
“Alanna,” I say. “I need you to stay quiet while I go upstairs and take care of something.”
“Can’t I come with you?”
“No, I need you to stay here.”
“Why can’t I come with you?”
“Because you are…precious.”
“You think I’m precious?”
“Maybe that should be my name. Precious.”
“Precious the piranha. That sounds odd. Let me see if I can find a name that means precious instead.”
“Okay,” she says with a lilt in her voice.
I have figured out what to name the piranha. It was easy naming Josie. It was hard naming the piranha.
“Well?” she says sitting patiently on my bed as I pace in front of her. The bunny is curled up in her lap. It’s amazing how quickly the Newfoundland Dwarf has become her pet instead of mine. I find it sad a bunny would choose a piranha girl over a human guy.
“I’ve given this a lot of thought,” I tell her. “A lot of thought and I think I’ve chosen a name that fits you well.”
“What is it?”
The piranha shoots me a shocked look. “Jezebel?!”
“Yes. I’ve always liked the way Jezebel sounds.”
“That’s a cruel name!”
“How do you mean?”
“I mean the name is savage! Jezebel was one of the vilest women who ever lived! Why would you call me that?!”
“Piranhas are naturally vicious creatures. And it’s a sexy name.”
“It’s not sexy at all! Where’s that book of names you’ve been rifling through? If you can’t pick a name for me, I’ll pick one myself!”
“Fine!” I say shoving the book at her. “And don’t ruin it. It belongs to my mother.”
The piranha snatches the book from me, sets it on my desk and begins flipping through it with her fin hand. “Julie.”
“Julie means “youthful” which I am.”
“It doesn’t suit you.”
“Fine. What about Pearl? That’s aquatic.”
“It’s better but it’s still not you.”
The piranha flips the pages back. “Coral.”
“Here, give me the book. I’ll look again. I take the book from her and start at the beginning scanning down the page trying to find something appropriate. She walks behind me and peers over my shoulder.
“What about that one?” she asks pointing.
“It means noble and harmony.”
“Alanna,” she says repeating it. “That rhymes with piranha.”
Suddenly, the Newfoundland Dwarf looks up and twitches her nose at me.
“Alanna, Piranha,” I say. “Hmm…that has a nice ring to it.”
“That’s it!” the piranha says. “My name is Alanna. Alanna the Piranha.”
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: BEING THE RICARDOS (2021)-Amazon Prime
This week’s movie is a smart little biopic that examines the relationship between superstar television performers Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz. The film jumps around in time a bit but is never confusing. Mainly it focuses on taping a 1953 episode where Fred and Ethel Mertz refuse to talk to each other and Lucy plans a dinner to help them reconcile. During the show’s preparation, a couple of paramount incidents occur. Firstly, the Arnaz’s tell the executives Lucy is pregnant and they want to weave it into the storyline over the course of the season. They argue this would be better than hiding her behind scenery and props which was common resolution at that time. Secondly, a story has surfaced that Lucille Ball is a communist. All the while, Lucille struggles with trying to find out if Desi is cheating on her.
Nichole Kidman is superb in the lead roll and earned a well-deserved Golden Globe for her performance. Javier Bardem is also outstanding as both star and would-be philandering husband. And Aaron Sorkin’s writing is sharp and well- crafted as he deftly moves between past, present and future.