Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle once again to introduce the twenty-second chapter of Alanna the Piranha. I am feeling much better this week after that awful dental ordeal. I had to go to the veterinarian’s office twice. The first time to get a thorough looking over to make sure they could give me anesthesia to brush my teeth and a rabies shot I was due for. The second time was for the actual procedure. My novelist even made the mistake of thinking my appointment was a week earlier than it was, so I had to endure the horrible stress of being taken there a time before that, only to be sent home. I am glad the whole affair is over.
You must go back in a week or so, so the doctor can make sure you are fully healed.
Cease your blathering, Tucker! Isn’t it bad enough you took my Valentine’s blog installment? Go away.
I love valentines. I had so much fun. I got to…
I got an extra Valentine balloon. Would you like it?
Sure. Thank you. Now, go away…please.
I love Valentine’s Day. I had so much fun. I got to…
Here is the twenty-second chapter of Alanna the Piranha. J’espère que vous l’aimez!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Twenty-Second
Today I park at the beach and look around. The grass glistens with dew, the water is a dull shade of blue and the sky is overcast. There isn’t anyone on the shore, so we disembark the car.
“Oh, joy, oh, joy!” Alanna sings clapping her hands against her sides as she bounces on her toes. “This is going to be so much fun!” She scoops up Fabulous and we stroll towards the park. Alanna has chosen a fluffy pair of orange indoor/outdoor slippers from Stacy’s closet and flip-flops across the asphalt. Her fuzzy camel colored coat ripples in the breeze.
As we reach the wide empty shore, I untuck the oversized beach towel from under my arm and open it like a parachute. Alanna and I sit down on the terry cloth. Fabulous hops out of Alanna’s arms and curls up next to us.
“Thank you,” Alanna says. “I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to finally be outside and breathe fresh air!”
“We’ll see how it goes,” I say. “Maybe we can do it more frequently.”
“I’d like that.” Just then a jogger comes frap-frapping along the asphalt trail between us and the water. He turns his unnaturally thin frame towards us and catches a glimpse of Alanna’s face. I see the look of confusion in his eyes. Alanna is completely oblivious to his stare. She’s too involved in watching the lake. The jogger continues down the path. Two women dressed in overpriced activewear and chatting excessively come walking from the opposite direction. I assume they are too involved in their conversation to notice us. I’m wrong. One grabs the other and points at Alanna.
“What is that?” she says.
“I don’t…oh, my! It’s botched plastic surgery!”
“Shh! Don’t say that. You’ll upset her.”
After they pass by, I turn to Alanna and ask. “How are you doing?”
“Marvelous!” she says. “Where are we going next?”
“Next? This is it for today.”
“I want to see a movie.”
“No. We only agreed on the park.”
“I want to see a movie too,” Fabulous says.
“I want to know what it’s like to watch television on the big screen,” Alanna says.
I consider their proposal. If we were to go at nighttime we would be in the dark and no one would be able to see us. We could find a place in the back against the wall away from the doors. “What kind of movie did you want to see?”
“A love story,” Alanna says dreamily. “I’d love to see a love story.”
“I want to see that new arthouse film,” Fabulous says. “You know, that one about the farmer who makes everyone think he’s a famous artist…”
Alanna stands up and stamps her foot, “No! I want to see a love story.”
“Alanna,” I say. “Sit down. You don’t want to draw attention.”
“But there’s no one around here except for that jogger and those two women!”
“Alanna, please sit down and we’ll discuss this rationally.”
“Fine,” she says and plops back down on the beach towel.
“Flint,” Fabulous says, “The one about the farmer who’s a sculptor is a love story. He saves all his money to buy his sister a new stable for her horse.”
“That’s not a romance,” Alanna insists. “I want a love story that’s a romance! I want something that warms my heart and breaks it at the same time like An Affair to Remember.”
“Honestly, Alanna,” I say. “There are almost no movies like An Affair to Remember playing at movie theatres and in fact almost none like it made in my lifetime.”
“Don’t people want love stories?”
“I think people just want superheroes and inane violence,” Fabulous says.
“Let me look at Fandango,” I say and scour my phone. “How about we split the difference and see a mystery.”
“A mystery? That sounds interesting. What do you think, Alanna?”
“Well,” she says disappointedly. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a mystery.”
“They are like a puzzle,” I tell her. “You try to figure out how they end.”
“That could be intriguing.”
“Alright then, I’ll buy a ticket for you and I. You can bring a large purse or something Fabulous can hide in. They won’t charge her for a ticket, but they might not let her in the theatre.”
“I see no reason why I wouldn’t be allowed into a theatre,” Fabulous huffs.
“It’s just that you’re a bunny.”
“Alanna’s a half piranha/half girl. I don’t see how that’s different.”
“Because I can disguise Alanna enough to make her look human. Just let me buy the tickets and we’ll figure it out.”
Alanna wears a cape with a hood to the movie theatre. It was an article of clothing left over from my RPG Cosplay phase. She looks good in it. Not exactly “blend in with the crowd” attire but smart just the same. Because I purchased the tickets ahead of time, we can walk in and just show them to the usher who doesn’t give us a second glance. “Theatre three to your right,” he says.
Fabulous is in Alanna’s large but not too large handbag. She stays hidden inside as we walk towards the theatre
“This is so exciting!” Alanna says.
“I think you’re really going to…”
I whip my head around to see Brooke following us.
“Keep walking,” I tell Alanna.
“Who is she?” Alanna asks.
“Stacy’s roommate…oh, great. She’s with Stacy.”
“Flint!” Brooke calls again stepping up just in time for Alanna to pull her hood down enough to hide her face.
“Hey, Brooke,” I say. “Stacy.”
“Flint,” Stacy says unenthusiastically.
“Who’s this?” Brooke asks nodding at Alanna.
“This is Alanna,” I tell her. “Alanna, this is Brooke.”
Alanna’s hood continues to cover her face as she extends her hand towards Brooke. “Pleased to meet you,” Alanna says.
“And this is Stacy.”
“Pleased to meet you, Stacy.”
“I have a pair of heels just like those,” Stacy tells her.
That’s because they are Stacy’s shoes.
“I didn’t know you were dating, Flint,” Brooke says.
It’s probably just my imagination but I detect a faint note of disappointment in her voice. “We’re good friends,” I say.
“That’s not true,” Alanna says. “We’re much more than that.”
I laugh uncomfortably. Brooke looks perplexed. Stacy glares.
“What movie are you going to see, cousin?” I ask my sister.
“That new romantic comedy with that guy you’ll never be.”
“How long has this been going on?” Brooke says.
“How long has what been going on?” I ask.
“She means our relationship, Flint,” Alanna says.
“My bro…cousin doesn’t have a relationship,” Stacy says skeptically.
“Stacy’s right,” I say. “We don’t have that kind of relationship.”
“We do so have a relationship,” Alanna insists.
“But not that kind of relationship.”
“Is this one of those…friends with benefits things?” Brooke asks.
Stacy laughs embarrassingly loud.
“Our relationship has all sorts of benefits,” Alanna says.
“I’m tutoring Alanna,” I say, hoping that will explain the situation.
“Oh,” Brooke says as if all the puzzle pieces suddenly came together.
“We’re going to miss our movie.”
“Who said that?” Brooke says.
“I think it was her tote bag,” Stacy says pointing to Alanna’s bag.
“It’s probably Alanna’s phone,” I say. She keeps it in her tote bag.” Fabulous is going to get it when we get back to the basement.
“I have a soundbite of a sobbing man that goes off when I get notifications,” Stacy says. “I downloaded it from completelyworthlessdude.com.”
I glare at Stacy. “Well, we’d better get going. We’re going to miss the movie. Hope you guys like your film.” I grab Alanna by her wrist and start hauling us towards Theatre 3.
“Flint,” Alanna says. “You’re walking too fast!”
“Not fast enough.”
“I can’t keep up with you! I’m going to break a heel!”
“You should have thought about that before you stole my sister’s four-inch pumps.”
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: TICK, TICK, BOOM! (2021)-Netflix
In continuing with Oscar nominated films available on streaming, this week’s pick is absolutely exhilarating. Based on the play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Jonathan Larson (Rent) the play won the Outer Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Off-Broadway Musical and an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actor for Raúl Esparza.
The story is a mini autobiography about Jonathan Larson (brilliantly played by Oscar Nominee Andrew Garfield) getting his first full length play Superbia performed at a workshop in New York City on the eve of his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, Jonathan’s world is imploding. He keeps hearing a ticking sound that follows him around. He is having trouble with his girlfriend, a dancer named Susan (Alexandra Shipp) who has been offered a job teaching dance at Jackob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. She wants Jonathan to leave the New York theatre scene and move there with her. Jonathan loves Susan but he does not want to leave New York, especially on the eve of his big break. His former roommate and longtime best friend Michael (Robin de Jesús) has quit acting and taken a job at an uptown advertising agency. He encourages Jonathan to stop following his dream of being a Broadway playwright and take a job as a member of a focus group at his place of business. Jonathan is also surrounded by theatre friends who are dying of AIDS, one being his coworker Freddy (Ben Levi Ross) who waits tables with Jonathan at the Moonlight Diner. Jonathan does get encouragement from his friend Karessa Johnson (Vanessa Hudgens) a performer in his play, and at times his agent Rosa (Judith Light), and Stephen Sondheim (Bradley Whitford) who sees promise in Jonathan’s work.
The film is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s (Hamilton) film directing debut and was produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. This is easily one of the best films of the year and Andrew Garfield is more than deserving of his nomination for Best Actor for his outstanding Oscar caliber performance.