Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce my story. A few bits of business I should get out of the way. Next week will be the final chapter of Alanna the Piranha. I have already begun brainstorming a new story and will be premiering it in a couple weeks. My novelist has completed a new novel and has started another one. I will keep you posted as to when the new novel will be available. It is quite an unusual tale and required a fair amount of research to complete. I am most excited about it because of its strange nature and vivid characters. In the meantime, my novelist and I will discuss some television shows we are very excited about and some films as well. So, without further ado…
I am excited too! I am excited too!
I am excited to find out what happens at the end of Alanna the Piranha.
You can read?
Just because I am a Maltese doesn’t mean I can’t read. I read every day in fact.
I have never seen you read.
That is because I do it when you are not around.
What do you read?
I just started reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle. I love it.
I love that book too. I cannot believe I love a book you are reading. And that you read. Anyway, here is Chapter Thirty-Two of Alanna the Piranha. Nasoloditisya!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Thirty-First Part II
The entire audience is looking around to see who this Flint guy is.
“Aren’t you going to help her?” My mom asks me. “You’re her manager!”
“Son?” my dad says in agreement.
Brook looks at me like I should listen to my parents. I really don’t want to get up in front of all these people, but I don’t want to disappoint my parents and I certainly don’t want to disappoint Brooke.
“Help me, Flint!” Alanna yells onstage.
“Augh,” I say as I get up and reluctantly work my way out to the aisle. As I head up to the stage, I can hear the audience murmuring. My face flushes with embarrassment as I feel a couple hundred sets of eyes on me, but I continue jogging forwards catching audience members pointing and gawking in my peripheral vision. I reach the stage and climb the stairs.
“Kid, kid!” The Zipper says to me as I step onto the stage. “Tell Gams to take her mask off!”
“Get him off me!” Alanna pleads.
“You need to let go of her,” I tell The Zipper.
“The audience wants to see her face!”
“They want you to stop pulling on it. Mystery in a performer is a magical thing.”
“Yes!” Alanna agrees. “I am mysterious!”
The Zipper grabs the microphone. “You all want to see what’s under this mask, don’t you? Don’t you?”
The audience sends up a resounding cheer.
“Flint,” Alanna pleads. “Please.”
I walk over and snatch the microphone away from The Zipper.
“What are you doing, kid?” he says. “What are you doing?”
I take a deep breath and realize my hands are shaking. “Hi,” I say to the audience, hearing a tremor in my voice. “I’m Alanna and Fabulous’ s manager and part of their act is Alanna keeps her identity a secret. If you want to know more about them, you can visit The Chuckle Duck where they’ll be performing Wednesday thru Saturday!”
Just then President Winnie Crowbar click-clacks back out onstage and marches right up to Alanna. Winnie reaches out her hand and touches Alanna’s face. Stunned, Alanna stumbles back. Madame Crowbar moves forwards and touches her face again. Then she marches up to the microphone and says to the audience. “As you may know,” my doctorate is in Zoology. And I can tell you right now this Alanna is either a real fish or this is the finest makeup or mask I have ever seen!”
“What?!” The Zipper exclaims.
I run up to the microphone. “My degree is in biochemistry, and I constructed Alanna’s…mask.”
“Out of what?” Madame Crowbar demands.
“I used a new technology.”
“It’s no technology I’ve ever heard of.”
“That’s why it’s new.”
“I’m not lying.”
“He’s not lying,” Alanna says. “He constructed my face.”
President Winnie Crowbar is not convinced. “I believe this face of hers is that of a real fish.”
The audience laughs. They think Crowbar is in on the joke.
“Why are you laughing,” she says. “This is not a joke!”
The audience suddenly turns serious. I take the microphone away from Doctor Crowbar.
“It’s a new technology,” I insist.
“The kind that allows me to make a piranha face. Or a bunny sing and talk.”
Fabulous gives me a horrified look. The audience laughs louder.
The Zipper laughs with them and struts up to the mike. “Another round of applause for Alanna and Fabulous!”
Right after Alanna and Fabulous’ s performance I do not go back to sit with Brooke and my parents. I hurry offstage with my fish girl and bunny, scurry out to the parking lot, and drive us home. I take them down to the basement, turn on a movie and let them know I need to go out. Then I drive around for a couple of hours trying to think of what to do.
After a while I give up and go home. I head into the house and wander into the living room to find Stacy, Mom, Dad, and my Aunt Linda all sitting there looking morose.
“Son,” my dad says. “Have a seat.”
I see they have left the chair facing the end of the coffee table vacant. I walk over and sit down. They all look at each other with painful expressions.
“Flint,” my father finally says. “I need you to know your family loves you no matter what. You are our son, a brother to your sister and a nephew to your aunt. But we don’t want you to keep something secret that’s torturing you all bottled up inside. We want you to know you can be transparent with us.”
Great, I think. They’ve figured it out.
“Dear,” my mother says with a crack in her voice, “We love you. You know that.”
I glance at Stacy who glares back with profound repulsion.
“What your parents are trying to say,” Aunt Linda says, “is you’re going through a challenging time, and we want you to know we’re here for you.”
“I’m really not,” I say.
“You’re really not what?”
“I’m really not going through a challenging time…”
“Heck,” my dad says. “When I was first dating your mother, I used to wear her underwear.”
“It was a phase I went through. I wanted to be close to her all the time and it help me through a very stressful season in my life.”
“That’s disturbing!” Stacy exclaims. “I never wanted to know that!”
“I’m trying to help your brother,” my dad tells her. “Besides, we’re family. This conversation does not go beyond these walls.”
“It shouldn’t have gone past your head! I’m your daughter for crying out loud! I don’t want to hear about that!”
“I have a confession to make too,” my mom says. “And this was before I met your father. I used to walk up to strange men in the supermarket and…”
“I don’t want to know, mom!”
“I thought we all agreed to be adults about this and support your brother.”
“I was a stripper,” my Aunt Linda says. “I used to go into these glass booths at lunch hour and dance. It was good money.”
“Are you kidding me?!” Stacy exclaims.
“That has nothing to do with Flint’s problem, Linda,” my dad says.
“And wearing my sister’s underwear does?”
“I don’t want to know!” Stacy yells. Then she turns to me and says, “And you have been steeling my shoes! I recognized them on that freak show you put up on stage!”
“I’m sorry,” I say mortified. “I just didn’t think you’d understand.”
“Well, isn’t that the understatement of the year!”
“We understand, son,” my dad says. We all have things we don’t want those closest to us to know.”
“So, you’re trying to tell me you know about Alanna and Fabulous.”
“If that’s what you want to call…whatever they are.”
I turn to my aunt. “Alanna’s really helped me invest your money well, Aunt Linda.”
Aunt Linda makes a face. “How?”
“She invested in stocks at first and then she and Fabulous came up with the act.”
“The bunny helped the fish girl come up with the act?”
“Yes. Fabulous is the real brains. Alanna is more emotional.”
“Have you lost your mind?!” Stacy says. “We all know you did some sort of weird experiment to make those…freaks!”
“Flint,” my dad says quietly. “We understand you’ve had trouble finding a girlfriend. But did it have to come to this?”
“Alanna’s not my girlfriend.”
“What is she to you son?”
“She’s, well, she’s a piranha girl. She needs to meet a nice piranha boy.”
“How…how do I even put this? How did you…make this piranha girl and singing bunny?”
“What is that?”
“I bought a piranha and a bunny at the pet store and genetically altered them with shots of it.”
“You idiot!” Stacy screams. “Are you crazy?! You should be in prison!”
“Everybody, calm down,” my Aunt Linda says. “I think I have an idea.”
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: OLD HENRY (2021)-SHOWTIME
Westerns are a great film genre to make during Covid because they can be shot outdoors with a lot of social distancing and are relatively inexpensive to make. There’s usually no CGI and the strength lies in the story. And it’s been wonderful to see them make a showing in recent years with great work like Power of the Dog.
This week’s movie is a good old-fashioned western with a twist. A farmer named Henry (wonderfully played by Tim Blake Nelson) and his teenage son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis) live on a farm hidden in the Oklahoma prairie. Henry’s wife died of tuberculosis years ago and her brother, Wyatt’s Uncle Al (Trace Adkins) lives on a nearby farm and helps the father and son with the work. Wyatt is restless and longs to see the world. He laments over why Henry settled there. But his father tells him “You’ll discover there’s worse arrangements”.
One day the two find a lost horse with blood all over the saddle. Henry goes looking for the rider and finds an unconscious man named Curry (Scott Haze) whose been shot and a satchel full of money. After much deliberation Henry brings Curry to his house to heal. But Curry has men who are looking for him. And they come in the form of a would-be sheriff named Ketchem (Stephen Dorff) and his sinister sidekick Stilwell (Max Arciniega).