Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here once again on to present you Chapter Twenty-Four of my story Alanna the Piranha. I cannot believe I’ve been writing this and presenting it every Thursday for twenty-four weeks! I must find a way to wrap it up soon mustn’t I. My novelist is trying to do the same thing with her latest novel. She is on the final draft which is both a relief and a horror. She goes on and on about how the ending is always the most important part of a story. And not just the ending but the final act entire. Beginnings are relatively easy; the middle isn’t too bad. But if you do not leave the audience with a solid ten on the dismount, well now, you have a disastrous mess indeed.
March has arrived, and the best part is Saint Patrick’s Day will be here soon. I am fond of deceiving the Maltese into not wearing green. That way I can pinch him with my teeth. A glorious form of exercise indeed. And with that thought, here is Alanna the Piranha. Насолодитися!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Twenty-Fourth
“Alright, Alright,” a short squatty man wearing a yellow and brown checked suit says as he enters the small comedy club.
It’s the middle of the afternoon and Alanna, Fabulous and I are seated at a small round wooden table with a red tablecloth and a wide glass candle holder.
“How are you doing? How are you doing?” the man says rubbing his hands together. “Welcome to The Chuckle Duck. Everyone calls me The Zipper. What do they call you, kid?”
“Flint,” I tell him.
“Is that your stage name or what?”
“I’m not the act. I’m just the chauffeur.”
“What’s the act, kid?” he says picking up a random drink off another table and taking a sip of what I guess to be bourbon.
“We are the act,” Fabulous says.
The Zipper looks at the Newfoundland dwarf nestled in Alanna’s arm and back at me. “A ventriloquist, are you, kid?”
“I’m not a ventriloquist,” I tell him.
The Zipper laughs and runs his bejeweled hand through his slick hair. “You kid’s and your phones. Is that how you do it kid?” He looks at Alanna who is wearing my Cosplay cape. “Who’s this gal with the great gams?”
“Alanna,” Alanna says.
“Well, aren’t you mysterious, sweetheart! Alright, alright. Now that we’re acquainted let’s get this show on the road. Show me what you got, kid. Show me what you got.”
Alanna scooped up Fabulous, stood and moved towards the stage. She ascended the steps in a pair of bright blue high heels Stacy had me take a picture of to sell on Poshmark. The Zipper turned to me and said, “Sexy. I like that.”
“Uh, huh,” I say moving my head away from his liquor laced breath.
Alanna sets Fabulous on the wooden stool behind the microphone stand and faces forwards posing like a model on a catwalk. “Did you give Mr. Zipper the CD?” she asks me.
“Oh, right,” I say and hand The Zipper the jewel case.
“Frenchy!” The Zipper calls. “Hey, Frenchy! I need you to play this so the kid can show me her thing.”
A tall skinny guy with wild auburn curls lumbers in and retrieves the disk from The Zipper as if nothing could bore him more and heads to the booth at the back of the theatre. I can tell you right now I’m scared out of my mind. I’ve never seen Alanna and Fabulous’s routine and I don’t want to get arrested.
“I need the microphone lowered,” Fabulous says onstage.
“Is that part of the act?” The Zipper leans in and asks me.
“I just think Fabulous needs the microphone lowered,” I say.
“Fabulous? The rabbit’s got a name? I like it. I like it.” Then he turns towards the booth and yells, “Frenchy! Go up onstage and fix the microphone for the rabbit!”
Frenchy slogs out of the booth and troops onstage. He adjusts the microphone, so it is low enough for Fabulous. As he heads back to the booth, The Zipper yells to him again.
“Frenchy! Move the microphone so we can see the rabbit’s mug.
Frenchy plods back onstage and adjusts the microphone.
Frenchy jumps off the stage and heads to the booth.
“Okay, hot stuff,” The Zipper says. “Do your thing, do your thing.”
I hold my breath and close my eyes. The music fires up and the guitar strains to “Legs” by ZZ Top plays. I opened one eye. Onstage Alanna bobs her head to the beat. With her heels together she bends and straightens with every pulse. Fabulous bobs her head in unison. She scootches towards the microphone and sings her first lyric with a surprisingly raspy voice. Alanna pulls back the hood of her cape…
“Whoa!” The Zipper exclaims. “That’s a fine makeup job she’s got there!”
“I did that,” I say stunned I am speaking the words.
Fabulous continues to sing as Alanna twirls around the stage. She throws a roundhouse kick and lands in a dramatic lunge. She relevés and twirls the cape about dancing like a ballerina/pole dancer. She holds the cape high over her head and descends the steps like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. She glides up to our table, sides up to The Zipper and wraps the cape around his shoulders before strutting back onstage in those profane blue heels. I glance at The Zipper who is tapping his foot to the infectious beat as Alanna commences with her dance. For the grand finale she performs high Rockette kicks ending with a triple pirouette as the music fades out.
There is an uncomfortable silence before The Zipper springs to his feet and applauds.
“What a show, what a show!” he says. “Yeah, yeah. That’s the kind of schtick I’m looking for to get the audience warmed up for the main attraction. It’s quirky, it’s fresh and…it’s weird. Let’s have you come in Wednesday night and do your thing. We’ll call it a whatchamacallit, a trial run. We’ll see if the audience digs this avant-garde kind of humor.”
“Mr. Zipper, thank you!” Alanna says bouncing up and down on her toes. “Thank you!” She scoops Fabulous off the stool and dances offstage and up to our table.
“I got to tell you,” The Zipper says. “In the twenty years I’ve been doing comedy that is the most effective makeup job I have ever seen. Is that latex or silicon or how to you get that to work? I mean I get the whole ventriloquist thing with throwing the bunny’s voice and all, but that makeup is a mindblower.”
“It’s a trade secret,” I tell him realizing I’m starting to become part of the whole disaster.
“Enough with the small talk,” Fabulous says. “Let’s talk money. What are you paying us for the gig?”
“I got to tell you, kid,” The Zipper says to me, “That’s some fine ventriloquists work you’ve got going on there. The bunny’s mouth moves and everything.”
“How much are you paying us for the gig?” Fabulous repeats.
“Let me think about it, let me think about it…I’ll give you a hundred for the night.”
“For the whole act.”
“That stinks! We’re worth at least a hundred a piece!”
“Three hundred for the night on a new and untested act? Not a chance, not a chance.”
“How about two hundred,” I say. “A hundred for Alanna and a hundred for the bunny.”
The Zipper strokes his chin with his bejeweled hand. “Yeah, yeah, I could do two hundred. Frenchy!”
Frenchy slogs out of the booth.
“Go get me a contract for the office. We’re taking this hot mama for a test drive.”
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: WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM (2015)-Netflix
Next week I will continue with this year’s Oscar nominated films for streaming. But this week I thought I would take a moment and recommend this 2015 Oscar nominated feature film documentary. When I first saw it in 2016 before the Oscars were presented my thought was this should be the winner. It lost out to Amy an extraordinarily well edited film about the life of Amy Winehouse. But as good as that editing was, it was nowhere near as risky and as life threatening to make as this one. You must keep reminding yourself that the film you are seeing is real. You are watching people dying in front of you and the film crew is right amid these occurrences. It stars out in 2013 with jubilation. Thousands of Ukrainian college students celebrating in Maiden on the eve of Ukraine being accepted into the EU. But then the treaty is forsaken by the Ukraine president and the crookedness of the Ukraine government (puppets for Russia), and the Ukraine police are sent to break up the peaceful group. And they don’t do it peacefully. The police rush at the crowds and beat them with batons, smashing people’s heads and faces. After that, the adults take to the streets in protest of how their children were treated and the police come back with rubber bullets. Then they release prisoners to fight the citizens. And then real bullets. I don’t think the Academy was fully aware of how important this footage would come to be. A must-see film.