Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce the twentieth chapter of my story. I have been incarcerated a lot this week. My novelist is not pleased with the way I fight with the Maltese and so I have been assigned time outs. She puts me in the bedroom to think about my actions. I must say after careful consideration I think my actions are justified. The Maltese upsets me. His presence alone agitates me. I see no reason not to let him know about my distress. One cannot be forced to have harmonious chemistry with another. One is either capable of making friends with someone or not. I am not capable of being civil to that furry little wingnut. Perhaps my recent outbursts stem from the absurd amount of book banning crusades that have been going on. I did not even realize young people read these days. I thought they all played on their phones and took risqué pictures of themselves and accidentally sent them to the wrong recipients. Anyway, here is chapter twenty of Alanna the Piranha. Jouir!
ALANNA THE PIRANHA
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Twentieth
Alanna went to work making a profit off my Aunt Linda’s $5000. She did as I asked and only put $3000 in the stock market. She’s right about me playing it safe. I should have let her invest $4000 instead. But I’m concerned about a bear market. Alana said that’s the best time to get deals on stocks. So, I let her take the role of my financial adviser.
There were a few snags, however. She disobeyed me concerning Stacy’s belongings. It all started yesterday afternoon when Stacy dropped by unexpectedly.
“I’m thinking about selling some of my stuff on Poshmark,” Stacy said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I want money. I hate always having to check my bank account to make sure I have enough money.”
“Enough money for what?”
“Don’t be stupid, Flint. You know what I’m talking about. You went to college.”
“You mean like room and board? Books?”
“No, stupid. Dates. I need money to look good for my dates. Mom never gives me enough money for makeup. You know that.”
“No, I did not know that.”
“Well, you should.”
“I don’t wear makeup.”
“You must have liked it when a girl put on make up to go out on a date with you in college.”
“You know I never once went out on a date in college.”
“Yes, but I like how it stings when I remind you.”
“Thanks,” I say with a scowl.
“Anyway, I’ve got a few shoes I’d like to sell. You know, the ones I’ve never worn.”
“Can’t you take your new shoes back to the store and get your money back?”
“Some of them, yes. But a couple of others, no.”
“How many shoes do you have you’ve never worn?”
“A few…it doesn’t matter. I just need you to help me gather them up and take pictures of them so I can put them up for sale on Poshmark. I’ve even staged a place in my room to make the pictures pop.”
I sigh. “Alright, I’ll help you.”
“I also need you to take pictures of some jewelry I’ve never worn. And a scarf. And a couple of tops and a pair of jeans.”
“Where are you getting the cash to buy all these extra clothes?”
“Cash? Oh, you mean credit cards.”
“You know, you really should get a job to help pay for this shopping habit of yours.”
“A job?! I don’t have time for a job! I’m studying to get into the business school, I’m on the dance team for college basketball and unlike you I go on dates and attend parties. If anyone needs a job, Flint, it’s you. You need to make money so you can go to graduate school and become a chemistry professor.”
“I studied biophysics not chemistry.”
“Whatever. One science is just the same as another. Now, help me take pictures of my super dope stuff. It’s super important I look good for my next date.”
I took the pictures of my sister’s stuff and shared them with her in the cloud. And I wouldn’t have thought anymore about it except for one thing: everything we took pictures of was put into an old steamer trunk my dad inherited. I had to get it down from the attic and drag it into my sister’s room. Except I couldn’t drag it exactly. I had to wheel it in on a dolly because I didn’t want to mark up the floor. Had everything gone back into the closet where Stacy had gotten it from things would have been different. But that’s not what happened. What happened was a couple of the pictures were blurry. And I knew Stacy would through a fit if the pictures were blurry. So, I resigned myself to retake them.
When I went upstairs to Stacy’s room to retrieve the items, I opened the trunk and noticed a couple shoeboxes were missing. I turned and marched back downstairs to have a word with Alanna. When I got to my room, I caught the piranha girl red handed leaning over a shoebox with a pair of pumps in it.
She jumped when she heard me call her name.
“We just had this conversation yesterday. You cannot take Stacy’s things.”
“But they are pretty and very shiny. They have red soles on them.”
“Where are the others?”
“Here,” she moved, and I saw the missing boxes sitting on my bed.
I stepped closer and took a careful look at the shoes. I don’t remember taking a picture of this pair. They seem like they are too expensive to be in my sister’s closet, even for a fashionista like her. “I don’t think these are a good idea. I mean even if they were yours could you even balance in those things?”
“What is a sister anyway?”
“A sister is someone related to you by way of your parents.”
“I don’t understand,”
“Well, I don’t understand it either, but that’s the way it is. These belong to my sister. Not to mention they are completely impractical for walking around in a basement.”
Alanna wriggles her fingers as if she were trying to move fins. “So, you are telling me I cannot keep these.”
“No. You can only have the tennis shoes I gave you.”
She plops down on my bed and pouts. “Okay. I will not try on the pretty shiny shoes. Would you please help me put the tennis shoes back on? It’s hard for me to reach my feet to tie them.”
“Of course. Allow me.” I walked over to where she left them before getting in her sleeping bag last night and bring them back to the bed. She raised her foot, and I took a moment to admire her lovely ankle. I tugged at the laces and carefully slipped the shoe on over her toes and up over her heel. “Watch.” I grabbed both laces and secured them Then I tied them in a bow.
“Stand up and tell me what you think.”
“They feel good.”
“Great. Now let me put the left shoe on and you can walk around.”
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-OPERATION VARSITY BLUES: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL (2021)-NETFLIX
This excellent docudrama by Chris Smith with scenes using dialogue lifted from actual FBI phone tapes is a look at how even those in the highest places can be manipulated. William Rick Singer (played by Mathew Modine) appeared to be a con artist to few (often educators) but a helpful and knowledgeable man about the college admission process to many. Almost anyone who watched the original Gossip Girl and listened to Chuck Bass’s dialogue knows there is a back door into higher education usually bought by erecting libraries or setting up large scholarships in the family name. But Singer developed and touted what he called the side door or in other words the bargain basement variant of buying your child’s entrance into exclusive universities. Singer, who had all the typical signs of a psychopath (transient lifestyle, raging temper, lack of sleep, previous sleezy cons, heavy prominent eyebrows, dull eyes, CEO) was a former college athlete and high school and college basketball coach who because of his temper (see psychopath list) was fired. Singer merely used what he learned about sports to spin it into a business designed to help wealthy parents get their kids into highly competitive schools they may or may not have been worthy of admittance to. Singer had the parents donate a fraction of the back door sum to the university’s athletic department and then take pictures of their kids doing some type of sport such as water polo or rowing. Singer would then superimpose the kid’s face onto the body of an athlete and send it to the admissions board. The student who was usually not in any way shape or form athletic would be put on the university team’s recruit lists but never show up to practice. Singer (who always wore a track suit) would also coach kids for the SAT and have them fly to a different state to take the exam. The kid and Singer’s test minion were usually the only ones in the room. After the kid finished the test, the minion would adjust their scores, so they were high enough to satisfy the university but low enough not to draw attention. The film, much like Waiting for Superman points out huge and glaring flaws plaguing America’s education system.