Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter thirteen of Corn Maze. I have been most distressed this week as both my dog food and Aquadent are out of stock. My novelist has had to hunt down alternatives to take their place and they are just not the same. The whole affair has caused me to turn into something that is not my usual self. Without my proper dog food and breath freshener I am lost. You get used to a regular meal. You come to depend on premium fare. You expect it at the same time every day. Then suddenly it’s no longer available. I’m in near tears. I think I might just go mad. I cannot live on this subpar sustenance. When will my haute cuisine return? What shall I do? How shall I live?
You could eat my dog food.
Zip it, Tucker! You’d devour Alpo if it was fed to you!
Alpo is tasty.
Get out of here! Leave me to wallow in my misery, you heinous vermin. And with that, here is chapter thirteen of Corn Maze. Bon Appetit!
Gigi the parti poodle
Valerie sat at Farley’s kitchen table staring at her textbooks. This was the worst time of the day. The late afternoon to early evening. The time of day when a horrible sense of dread set in, a strained hopeless mood that she couldn’t quite describe. And Farley capitalized on it. He’d insisted she come over. She’d consented.
“I need you to help me pick out what to wear,” Farley said marching into the kitchen.
“I never agreed to this bet,” Valerie said. “I’m not going to pick out anything for you.”
“But you didn’t stop it either, now did you?”
“As a matter of fact, I did.”
“I told Harley you were out to ruin his life and make a cuckold out of him.”
“Hard to make him into a cuckold seeing as he isn’t married. Come on.” Farley nodded his head towards the stairs. Valerie watched him for a moment and then reluctantly followed him up the steps to his bedroom. He walked over to his walk-in closet. He pulled out a black dress shirt and a midnight blue dress shirt and held them up for her to see. “Black or blue? Or are you feeling a little bit of both?”
“Doesn’t matter. Darkness becomes you.”
Farley took a step towards her. “See how well we play off each other? Two peas in the same pod. “You think Harley and Mallory are like us? Not a chance.”
“Go with the black shirt.”
He grinned and leaned in to kiss her, but she turned away from him. He scoffed. “Yeah, be like that. It’s not going to change anything.” He plopped down on his bed and pulled on his Tony Lama cowboy boots. “I’m going out on a proper date, and you can sit here and think about where I am and what I’m doing. Enjoy your studies. I know I’m going to enjoy mine.”
Farley skipped up the porch steps to Harley’s door. He wore the black dress shirt open at the neck and a matching pair of black jeans. He held a bouquet of flowers he’d bought at the supermarket and reeked of his best cologne.
Harley opened the door and glared at Farley.
“Hello Harley,” Farley said smugly adjusting his Stetson hat. “I’m here for my big date.”
“Get off my porch,” Harley said and pushed Farley backwards.
Farley stumbled and almost fell. He laughed and said, “Someone’s a sore loser.”
“Get out of here. The deal’s off.”
“Oh, no. This deal is sealed. Now, go tell your fiancé her date is here.”
“Here I am!”
Mallory danced up to the screen door. She wore a light orange dress with a low neckline and a high slit. Farley raised an eyebrow. “My, my,” he said. “Aren’t you a sight to behold?”
Mallory beamed. “Why thank you,” she said.
“Doesn’t seem like your fiancé has a problem with the situation,” Farley told Harley.
Harley advanced on Farley causing Farley to tumble backwards onto his ass. Before Farley could get up Harley lurched at him. Farley hopped to his feet and the two men circled each other.
“Stop it!” Mallory yelled stomping her strappy high heeled sandal.
“Can’t get out of it,” Farley told Harley. “Mallory agreed to the outcome of the bet.”
“Valerie didn’t!” Harley growled.
“Doesn’t matter. She’s not the one going on the date.”
“Let it go, Harley!” Mallory said.
“You’re just going to let this creep take advantage of you?!” Harley said turning towards her.
“He’s not going to do anything I don’t want him to do.”
“You don’t know this guy! You don’t know what he’s capable of!”
Mallory looked at Farley and back at Harley. “I guess I’m going to find out,” she said and descended the porch steps.
Harley marched up to her blocking Farley. “Don’t go out with him.”
Mallory turned and looked at him. “You agreed to this bet too. And you lost.”
“We both agreed. Now, go back inside and stop beating up my date.”
“You heard the lady,” Farley said standing up and dusting himself off. “We’re leaving.”
Harley, his stomach tying into anxious knots, watched them walk away from him and hop into Farley’s black truck. Farley backed up the pickup and Harley lurched towards it then broke into a sprint as it sped off stirring up dust. He stood helplessly watching it barrel down the driveway until it was no longer visible.
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: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (2021)-Hulu
One of the most enjoyable shows to watch these days is this wonderfully droll sharply written gem from Steve Martin and John Hoffman. All three of its leads are outstanding in their parts especially Martin Short who gets most of the funny lines. The show takes place in an upscale apartment building in New York City called The Arconia where Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin) a very private former television star lives and has no desire to commiserate with his fellow tenants. Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) is a successful effervescent Broadway director who is always up for a bit of fun and is dealing with his own demons namely his dwindling bank account and lack of work. Mabel Mora (Selina Gomez) is a broke twenty-something woman who is renovating and living in her aunt’s apartment. As the story begins Mabel’s childhood friend Tim Kono (Julian Cihi) also a tenant of the Arconia is murdered.
The murder binds these three strangers together who are all secretly fascinated by true crime. They team up to figure out who killed Tim and during their journey decide to start a podcast together. Joining them is quirky bassoonist Jan (Amy Ryan who is excellent in the role) who also lives in the building and shares their interest in the crime.
I will say the first season is superior to the second both because the plot is stronger and because the supporting characters are more vivid. Especially intriguing are Teddy Dimas (Nathan Lane) and his son Theo Dimas (James Caverly). Theo is around the same age as Mabel and has shared similar history with her in the building. Why they don’t have more scenes together is beyond me as the best two episodes of season two are episode six Performance View and episode seven Flipping the Pieces. The best episode from season one is episode seven The Boy From 6B which features Theo. Also, Detective Kreps (Michael Rappaport) is not used nearly enough in season two where some other characters are on the screen too long.
All in all, this is a very entertaining show, easy to binge, and well worthy of its seventeen Emmy nominations. And we get to see Steve Martin do some wonderful physical comedy which alone is well worth the watch.