Good evening. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce the thirty-first chapter of Alanna the Piranha. The Maltese and I had a wonderful Easter. We went for a long drive in which I sat in the front, and he sat in the back. I used to sit in the back, but I made it clear I needed to sit upfront with my novelist to supervise all traveling. We of course were forced to have a bath before Easter and that is never a good thing. I came out looking the more magnificent of us. I must say I do think poodles should receive Easter baskets. I know we are not allowed to eat chocolate bunnies and all but there are plenty of interesting and engaging treats one might put inside a basket that would be to my liking. I have seen plenty of little bunnies hopping around the area where we live. I am not certain which of them is the official Easter bunny but I if I cannot find out I will see if I can find one of the famous bunny’s assistants and send word out right away that I too deserve a basket of goodies. That said, here is Chapter Thirty-One of Alanna the Piranha. Насолодитися!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Thirty-First
Once word got around Alanna and Fabulous would be performing for Parent’s Weekend at the university, I knew we were about to crash into a wall. The headliner was a comedian named Rexes Raucous who was scheduled to debut in his own Netflix streamer, a highly anticipated and critically acclaimed comedy. He was known for being exceptionally raunchy which ironically made him a perfect choice for Parent’s Weekend at the university.
“So, exactly how are you associated with this act, Flint?” my dad asks as we sit out in the audience in the Student Union building waiting for the event to begin. My mom is situated on my dad’s right and Brooke is sitting on my mom’s right. For one reason or another Brooke is Chad-free this afternoon. Also, Brooke’s parents can’t attend the event. That’s why she’s sitting with us. She’s going to get a real kick out of watching the spawn of her DNA prance about the stage. Yeah, right.
Alanna and Fabulous are slotted to go second. On some level I am hoping my family will understand the whole thing and appreciate both my scientific prowess and Alanna and Fabulous’s artistic expression.
“I’m just the manager and chauffer for one of the acts,” I tell my dad.
“That’s…well…I thought maybe you might…I’m proud of you son. How much are they paying you?”
“Two hundred dollars for the day.”
“Well, that’s not bad. Something’s better than nothing.”
It’s always wonderful when your accomplishments disappoint your parents. But honestly, it’s better than telling them oh, and by the way I created the act out of a bunny and a piranha from the pet store, some genetic stuff I bought on the dark web, and your daughter’s roommate’s hair.
“Stacy’s dance team is going to open the show,” my mother says.
“I thought she wasn’t performing.”
“The basketball team wanted the publicity and asked the squad to perform one of their routines at the last minute,” Brooke says.
“But it’s a comedy show,” I say.
“They’ll be adding school spirit to the event.”
“But…it’s a comedy show.”
“The comedy acts are from The Chuckle Duck,” my dad informs my mom, “We haven’t been there in years.”
“Yes,” my mom says. “And I’d like to keep it that way. That place is a dump.”
“I always liked it.”
“Maybe you and Flint could go there together sometime.”
“Say, that would be fun. What do you think, Flint?”
“Uh, well,” I stammer. “I don’t think so.”
“I’m just not that into comedy.”
“But you’re chauffeuring and managing one of the acts.”
“I’m doing it for the money.”
“Maybe Stacy and I could drop by and see your act perform,” Brooke says. “It’s exciting, Flint. You must be so proud.”
Suddenly, upbeat music starts playing onstage and The Zipper strolls out with the university president, Madame Winnie Crowbar. Between his bright yellow suit and Madame Crowbar’s dull grey overly long skirt they make the strangest pairing I’ve ever seen. The president reminds me of that diabolical sheep from Zootopia as her sensible heels click-clack up to the microphone center stage.
“Good afternoon,” she says. “My name is Doctor Winnie Crowbar, and I am the president of the university. Joining me this afternoon is the owner of one of our most popular and successful local comedy clubs, The Chuckle Duck. Allow me to introduce you to The Zipper.
The audience applauds and The Zipper steps up to the microphone like a plump penguin and adjusts the stand down to his height.
“How you doing, how you doing?” he says. “Looks like we have a great crowd here this afternoon, a great crowd. Now, before we bring out the acts, I want to introduce your very own university dance squad!”
The back doors on either side of the room burst open and Stacy’s dance team members dressed in their uniforms come pouring out. Stacy leads the group up the aisle to my right. The university fight song blares from the sound system. The dance team members clap to the beat. The audience finds this infectious, and they start clapping along with them. The dance team rushes the stage turning it into a swamp of the university’s colors.
“Go, Stacy!” my mom, dad, and Brooke all yell in unison.
I can feel my heart pounding knowing Alanna and Fabulous are up next. I don’t know if I’m more worried about them forgetting the new dance steps or having the entire audience find out they are a genetic experiment.
Stacy and her dance team form a chorus line and perform a perfectly synchronized Rockette-style kicking sequence. This garners huge applause. They finish with equally synchronized double pirouettes and land in perfectly sequenced lunges. The crowd goes wild, and I double over certain I’m about to pass out.
“Flint?” my father asks. “Are you alright, son?”
“Yeah,” I say. “I’m just a little nervous about my act performing. They are slotted to go first.”
“You seem as nervous as if you were going to be the one performing.”
I return to an upright position. “No, I’m good.”
The applause fades and The Zipper returns to his microphone. “That was great! Wasn’t that great!? Alright, alright. You are in for a real treat this afternoon. This first act is the newest member of our Chuckle Duck family. Put your hands together for the hilarious musical talents of The Chuckle Duck’s sensational Alanna the Piranha!”
The audience claps as Alanna struts out onstage wearing her cape and a glossy red pair of Stacy’s heels carrying Fabulous in her downstage hand. I hear all the women in the audience let out a unified “Awe!” at the sight of her. Alanna sets Fabulous on the stool, adjusts the microphone, and puts a miniature pair of sunglasses on her. Then she saunters to stage left where she poses magnificently.
“Flint,” my father says. “You’re turning blue!”
“Oh,” I say realizing I’ve been holding my breath for an unreasonably long time. “I didn’t realize I forgot to breathe.”
“I’m worried about you son.”
“So am I.”
The opening guitar strains to “Shot Down in Flames” by AC/DC begin to play. Fabulous bounces her head to the rock beat. This garners a laugh from the audience. Alanna twirls around in her cape and starts grooving to her funky dance. I must say I am proud of my choreography on this one. She looks fantastic doing the moves. Not to mention the song fits Fabulous’s gravelly voice to a T.
Alanna moves up to the edge of the stage and starts clapping which causes the audience to start clapping along. Then she glides back and executes a perfect triple pirouette. The audience cheers. I could not be more pleased. Some of the audience turns their cell phones on and begins waving them in the air while the rest continue to clap to the beat. Alanna boogies over to Fabulous, and the Newfoundland Dwarf jumps into her hand, then onto her shoulder, and finally onto her head not missing a single lyric. Alanna struts down the middle aisle carrying Fabulous who continues to sing.
Alanna makes a turn at the doors and comes prancing up the left side aisle until they arrive at the stage. Alanna struts up the steps and faces the back of the stage. Fabulous hops off her hand and onto the stool. As she finishes the song Alanna does a split leap, another perfect triple pirouette, and poses dramatically.
The crowd goes ballistic leaping to their feet, cheering, clapping, demanding an encore.
“Alanna was amazing, Flint!” Brooke gushes. “No wonder you’re her manager!”
“Thank you,” I say, my face turning bright red.
“Wow!” The Zipper says marching out onstage. “That was out of this world! Out of this world! Alanna, come over here, come over here!”
Alanna walks over to Fabulous who hops off the stool into her downstage hand and they head over to The Zipper.
“I gotta tell ya, I gotta tell ya,” The Zipper says. “You have got the house rocking tonight, yes sir! Yes, sir! So, what I want to have you do now is take off that mask and show everyone who you really are!”
Alanna leans back in shock. “This…this is who I really am,” she says.
“Everyone wants to see the real star of the act. The real star.”
The Zipper reaches over and starts pulling on Alanna’s face.
“Flint!” Alanna yells in desperation. “Flint!”
TO BE CONTINUED….
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: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (2014)-Showtime
This week’s stream of the week is a tense, humorless, well-told tale about the courage it takes to be honest. Oscar Isaac and Oscar winner Jessica Chastain are outstanding as a couple who run an oil heating business who are on the brink of either losing everything or gaining it all. It is the winter of 1981, considered to be the most violent year in New York City to date. Aptly named futuristic focused Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is about to make the deal of his life for which he needs one and a half million dollars. The money will enable him to purchase a piece of land presently owned by Hasidic Jews that will allow him to get his product directly from the boats coming in from everywhere in the world. Abel has always been an upfront honest businessman. But his fellow oil company owners have not. Abel finds his oil trucks being hijacked, his salespeople being assaulted and his time running out. When his new house is almost broken into one night and his young daughter finds a loaded gun in the bushes, his more aggressive wife Anna Morales (Jessica Chastain) works to try and convince him that honesty is not always the best policy. Albert Brooks helps round out the cast as Abel’s righthand man.