Good morning! It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce the final chapter of Alanna the Piranha. As I mentioned last week, I have started the groundwork for a brand-new tale which I will be premiering in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, during my preparation my novelist shall briefly take over the blog and discuss a few movies and television shows she has wanted to highlight.
I must say there was much debate over what my tale should be about. I experimented with different ideas and after trying a couple out I have decided on one. It will be quite a bit different from Alanna as my novelist and I agree that I should keep my stories fresh and always be striving to come up with something new.
Also, I should again mention my novelist has finished writing her newest book and I will keep you posted on its release date. She has also started the next novel as a writer should never finish one story and not write another. We are hopeful this one will not take her as long to pen.
That said I will be back next week to introduce my novelist’s musings and will take over the blog once again by June as I should always be the one in control. Happy Cinco De Mayo and a happy belated May the 4th be with you. Disfrutar! & For Star Wars fans: The story, you shall enjoy!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Thirty-Second
I am not happy with my aunt’s idea. She has proposed that Alanna and Fabulous move in with her. She says I need to focus on myself. She does agree they should continue their act at The Chuckle Duck, and I should continue to be their manager. But I would be best with a dog for a pet and to focus my time primarily on getting into grad school.
I know I should apologize to Brooke for stealing her DNA. Stacy told her all about it because Stacy can’t keep her great big mouth shut. And so today I am on route to Brooke’s dorm to do just that. I will probably be arrested. Chicks get kind of testy about these things. I reluctantly enter the dorm and board the elevator. I look down and see my hands are shaking. The elevator doors open, and I step out into the hall which looks a lot longer than it ever has before. One foot in front of the other I tell myself. One foot in front of the other. I head down the corridor hoping I will reach Brooke and Stacy’s room without passing out.
When I arrive at their door, I extend my hand to knock. Then I drop it by my side and stare at the carpet. Then I raise it again and manage to rap on the steel this time. I hear footsteps approach. I feel someone looking at me through the peephole.
“Flint?” Brooke says on the other side.
“Yeah, it’s me,” I say.
She unlocks the door and I push my glasses up on my nose. She is wearing a very conservative dark purple turtleneck top and a pair of grey mom jeans. I know she has been expecting me. “You have a lot of explaining to do,” she says. “I was going to call the police.”
“Thank you for not doing that.” I have never spoken truer words.
“What’s going to happen to Alanna and the rabbit?”
“They are going to live with my Aunt Linda. She’s a hobby dog breeder.”
“What about the act?”
“They’re going to continue to perform at The Chuckle Duck.”
“How could you do this, Flint? Just take my hair, my hair, and inject it into a rabbit and a fish?”
I clench and unclench my hands which are deep in the pockets of my knockoff Member’s Only jacket. “I was lonely.”
“Are you insane?”
“I mean I’ve heard of men doing some pretty crazy things to get women but this…I mean this takes the cake!”
“I’m very sorry, Brooke. I’m very, very sorry. I shouldn’t have stolen your hair from your brush. But you must admit your DNA helped create some remarkable creatures.”
“The only remarkable creatures I ever want to create from my DNA are my own children, Flint!”
“I know. I know that now. I was a horrible, creepy person and I will never do something like that ever again.”
“I mean what you did was remarkable but horrible, you know what I mean?”
“Yes. I know exactly what you mean.”
“Are you going to get some help?”
“You mean an assistant or…”
“No, I mean psychiatric help! You’re deranged!”
“I’m just an Incel. I like science and I’m an Incel.”
“Small wonder! You’re…I don’t even know what you are!”
“Well, I just said what I was.”
“I’m an Incel.”
“That’s not an excuse!”
“I didn’t mean it as an excuse. More of an explanation.”
She looks at me like she’s studying a bug she caught in a jar.
“You need a haircut.”
“And some clothes that fit you. You look like you’re swimming in those things.”
“And some clothes from this century. My dad wears that jacket.”
“Members Only jackets are kind of making a comeback.”
“That one’s a knockoff.”
“And some exercise. I mean you look like a nerdy emo Oliver Twist or something.
Just then the elevator doors open, and I glance that direction. Then I do a double take. A caped figure in a mini skirt and high heels holding a tiny bunny starts coming our way.
“What are you doing here?” I call out.
“You’re Aunt Linda drove us,” Fabulous says. “We have something we want to tell Brooke.”
Brooke turns and looks down the hall to see Alanna carrying Fabulous. “What are they doing here?” she asks me.
Alanna moves up beside me and Fabulous and turns to Brooke. “Hello, Brooke,” she says. “I know you are very upset with our Flint here. But Alanna and I wanted to tell you something.”
“Yes,” Alanna says. “We want to say thank you for your DNA. I know you didn’t know Flint had stolen it from your hairbrush. But because of your DNA we get to be more than just a bunny or a piranha.”
“And our performance on Parent’s Day weekend got such buzz all our Chuckle Duck shows are all sold out,” Fabulous adds.
“Wow,” Brooke says. “I don’t even know what to say to that.”
“Here,” Alanna says turning and leaning her free hand forwards. “We got you front row tickets to the show on Saturday.”
“It was Flint’s idea.”
Brooke looks at me and then back at Alanna. “This whole thing is pretty weird for me.”
“I know,” Alanna says. “And maybe what Flint did was wrong. But not everything turned out badly.”
“And Flint gave the money his aunt loaned him back to her,” Fabulous says. “Because Alanna and Flint and I are going to work as a team to make him enough money from our act to get him into grad school.”
“Alright,” Brooke says to me. “I’ll go to the show with you if you let me pick out your clothes. But you can never, ever and I mean ever do an experiment like this with my DNA again.”
I can’t believe how happy this makes me. “You’ve got a deal,” I say. “You’ve got a deal.”
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: MASS (2001)-Hulu
This week’s movie is one of the very best films of 2021. It is also the most harrowing. Set in one modest room in the basement of an Episcopal church an event is about to occur. We watch a young man and woman set up a round collapsible table and four chairs. The woman has brought refreshments and sets them on a small table against the wall. A third person, a professional woman enters and says there is no need for the refreshments. But a box of tissue is set on the table and the placement of it becomes a dilemma. Slowly one couple comes into the room and then another. The young man and woman and the professional woman leave. The two couples sit around the table and begin to talk. And slowly the nightmare unfolds. One of the couple’s sons was a suicidal mass murderer. The other couple’s son was one of the 10 victims he killed. Both couples are there to dissect what happened.
The Oscars really missed on this one. This is Franz Kranz directorial and writing debut and it is a stunning one. The script should have been nominated, all four riveting performances by Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Ann Dowd, and Reed Birney should have been recognized and the script should be structured into a stage play and produced on Broadway as it would lend itself well to live theatre.
One thing I am delighted the film discusses, albeit brief, are FMRIs (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging). This is where MRI machines use a specific software which allows psychiatrists, psychologists etc., to see the brain react to images and words, primarily focusing on the prefrontal lobe and paralimbic system to determine psychopathy which can sometimes be a psychological disorder of a mass shooter such as Eric Harris.
However, the movie, or at least one of the characters in the movie does argue that the shooter was not a psychopath. And that may very well be true. In fact, it is more likely for a mass shooter to have a different mental illness such as schizophrenia. A SPECT scan or a PET scan can help determine schizophrenia by finding what look like holes in the human brain where blood flow is compromised. And recent studies indicate that serious mental illness was found in almost all mass shooters and that often it has been left untreated. Then pairing that with the easy access of weapons makes for a Molotov cocktail. Other elements can come into play as well like perhaps the shooter had a genetic issue (NRXN3 for example.) And as crazy as this may sound the family may have owned an outdoor cat which can carry a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which is suspected to be linked to psychosis in men.
The challenge therefore becomes prevention. How do we keep a meeting like the one in the movie from ever having to occur? How do we thwart our addiction to unnecessary guns? How can we use and improve our knowledge of science to identify who might be at risk for having a serious mental illness, and which of those with serious mental illness have a predilection for violence?