Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here on my usual Thursday to introduce Chapter Fifteen of my story Corn Maze. It is almost movie season again and the Maltese and I were delighted to see the trailer for what we think could be a forerunner for best film of the year, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. I for one am a Weird Al fan and sat down and rewatched “Eat It” by Weird Al once again and marveled at his ingenuity. The Maltese is of course averse to such intellectual stimulation. As for me, I am embracing my curly poodle locks, have purchased a silk Hawaiian t-shirt from Tommy Bahama and have been listening to polka music. And with that thought here is Chapter 15 of Corn Maze.
Gigi the Parti Poodle
Farley burst through the wooden doors of Nile’s Steak House and stumbled out into the parking lot with Mallory walking steadily beside him.
“You need to let me drive,” Mallory said.
“Don’t be stupid,” Farley slurred. “I can drive.”
“You’ve had eight shots of whiskey.”
“And they were all good.”
Mallory held out her hand. “Give me your keys or I will not get in the truck.”
“I like it when you’re…uh…bossy.”
“I’m not bossy.”
“Harley is whipped. He’s…he’s just whipped. Like a big old…creampuff!”
Mallory stopped at the truck, stuck her hand inside his jacket pocket, and pulled out his keys.
“Whoa!” Farley exclaimed trying to adjust his vision so he could examine the keys. “You’re like a magician or something!”
“Let’s go, Farley.”
“Why aren’t you drunk?”
“Because I sipped my whiskey. It’s a sipping whiskey so I sipped it.”
“How many shots did you have?”
“You should know. You paid the bill.”
“Bill, shmill. How many shots?”
“I sipped two shots total, and you drank the others you ordered for me.”
“How many shots did I…did I order?” he asked weaving around.
“You ordered two to start with; two for me and two for you. Then you ordered three more rounds and drank all six shots by yourself.”
“Wow! I’m a…a whatchamacallit…a lightweight.”
Mallory marched around the truck and opened the passenger side door. “Get in.”
“No. No, no, no. This is my truck, sister, and I’m a driving it!”
“Get in, Farley.”
Farley staggered around to the passenger side threw his arms up and collapsed face first on the front seat. “Wow, that was hard,” he said punctuating his statement with a voluminous belch.
“Farley, I can’t drive with your door open and your feet dragging along the asphalt.”
“I’m stuck,” he said in a muffled tone.
“No, you’re not.”
“Did we have dessert?”
“We had the pumpkin cheesecake.”
“Was it any good?”
“It was excellent.”
“I want a slice.”
“We already had dessert, Farley.”
“I want more cheesecake, woman!”
“Fine! Just…you know what? If you…if you get me another piece of cheesecake, I’ll climb all the way back into the truck.”
Mallory put her hands on her hips and tapped the toe of her strappy heel. “You’ll be a good boy, get in the passenger’s seat and wait for me to get back?”
“Yes. I’ll be a good…a very good boy.”
“Because if you don’t, I’m going to keep the cheesecake for myself.”
“Yes. Give me your wallet so I can buy the cheesecake.”
“Women! All they want is to reach into your pocket and not in a good way.”
Farley reached behind his back and tried to retrieve his billfold. He finally located it, but his fumbling fingers struggled to pull it out. Mallory rolled her eyes and jammed her hand into his back pocket and snatched the wallet.
“Do that again,” Farley said.
“Stay right here.”
“You could pay for the cheesecake with your own money you know, and I could pay you back.”
“Not a chance,” Mallory said and turned and strutted towards the entrance as Farley sprawled on the passenger side seat like he’d just been rolled. Mallory looked at her watch. Yes, this should work.
Mallory opened the heavy wooden door with the askew N’s carved on the rectangular wooden door handle and emerged from Nile’s Steak House. Her evening bag dangled from her left wrist and in her right hand she carried a cardboard to-go box. She click-clacked her heels up to the stall where Farley’s truck was parked…to find it was empty.
Stunned she set the cardboard to-go box on a nearby car and checked her handbag for the keys. They were still there. She held up the keys to examine them and they were indeed the correct ones. She whipped around to survey the parking lot to see if she had somehow wandered into the wrong stall. She hadn’t. She walked up and down the rows of cars trying to locate Farley’s truck, pushing the key’s button hoping for a honk. But her efforts were to no avail. Farley and his pickup were gone.
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: GET SMART WITH MONEY (2002)-Netflix
Now that most schools have gotten back in session, it is interesting to consider there are two subjects the education system is reluctant to teach, at least in the public schools. Oddly, both disciplines are lifelong skills that will protect you. Firstly, is self-defense. Secondly, is financial literacy. This documentary is about the latter. Now, if you are someone who has dabbled in the stock market for a while and are excellent at saving and growing money, you’re probably not going to learn much about finance or investing. But if you are in your teens and twenties and don’t know where to start with your money, or if you are older than that and are simply financially illiterate, then this one is for you. Either way this documentary is an engaging ride.
As of May 2022, according to US News and World Report, 64% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. And this can be at any income level. If you were to read Stop Acting Rich…And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire by Thomas J. Stanley, you would find that an average schoolteacher is more likely to have accumulated millionaire wealth than an average lawyer. Sounds counterintuitive perhaps, and yet it’s true. Sometimes, with certain individuals, the more money that comes in the more money that goes out. Even highly educated, successful individuals have a difficult time with this and feel it necessary to buy the latest car, the newest technology, the best house in the best neighborhood, the trendiest fashions (see Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline). Ego gets in the way. Ego is your financial enemy.
The documentary shows four different financial planners each working with one individual or couple to help them get their assets in order. Each one has a different set of obstacles. Sometimes it’s overspending, sometimes its not taking advantage of your talents, sometimes it’s organizing your budget, and sometimes it’s fear of money. Its fascinating watching the four subjects grow and change their lives over the course of a year and the documentary stays engaging and interesting throughout.