Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter twelve of my story Power Grid Failure. This week as you know the Oscar nominations were announced and I was once again snubbed. I don’t understand it. How could I have not received a nod? Just because I’m not in any films whatsoever I still believe I should be recognized for my outstanding work. I am a remarkable poodle and I write my own stories, a genuine rarity amongst canines and therefore I should be in contention for one of those glorious golden statues. Few people know this but there is a technical category awarded to outstanding dogs who have contributed to the film industry. I was even picking out a new collar to wear to the ballroom gathering when I found out I was passed over. I have contributed greatly to films this year writing letters to numerous studios and Indie production companies telling them how to better their scripts. I have been most helpful in turning around their little lost films and turning them into spectacular finished products. But do they mention me in the credits? Never! It is most distressing to my delicate nerves. I might have some serious ankle nipping to do. And with that thought here is chapter twelve of Power Grid Failure. Nyde!
Power Grid Failure
Gigi the parti poodle
“We have nothing to talk about, Dragontail,” Reynolds says as they stand near the elevators.
“I beg to differ,” Dragontail says narrowing his eyes. “You got your freedom an entire year earlier than I did, you smooth talking conniving barracuda. I wasted all that time in prison, squandering my youth when I could have been furthering my career.”
“Your career didn’t further because your projects flopped. I told you to stick to what you’re great at: small indie stories. But oh, no. You had to go out and make this grandiose film about a Komodo Dragon who travels back in time and finds his long-lost relatives amongst the dinosaurs. I tried to tell you dinosaurs cost money. They’re big. They’re bulky. And they devour budgets.”
“Let me tell you something, Reynolds. You never understood my passion for Komodo Dragons, and you never understood my all-consuming creative vision.”
“Your creative vision was the reason we got caught, prosecuted, and incarcerated.”
“What about all those overpriced parties you threw? Like renting out an entire hotel so you could celebrate New Year’s Eve in style. At least I was focused on my dream. You were focused on your ego.”
“Wow. Just…okay, you know what? I’ve had enough of your whining and complaining. I went to prison right alongside of you and it sucked. Yeah, it was a white-collar prison and we had state of the art pool tables, golf on Saturdays and a prison-wide Pictionary tournament. But it sucked. And neither of us wants to go back. However, this evening you’ve already committed breaking and entering, attempted robbery and several cases of assault. You’ll be in the clink by sunrise.”
“Maybe. But you’ll be right back in there with me and that might just be worth it.”
“All because I got out one year faster than you.”
“And you’ve got a plan to pin whatever it is you plan to do tonight on me.”
“You think that Dragontail guy is working with Reynolds?” Sloan asks Crystal as they stand by the desks in the office space.
“I’m certain of it,” Crystal says.
“What makes you so certain?”
“Because Reynolds let him in the building.”
“Did you see him let him in?”
“So, now you’re interested in what I have to say.”
“Did you see Reynolds let Dragontail in?”
“I see a lot of things. I keep my mouth shut and my eyes open.”
“Is that a cut on me? Because let me tell you something, Weird Chick, the world was built for the talkers and I for one have no problem talking.”
“Just let her tell us what she knows,” Adams says.
“Yeah,” Crystal says. “I saw Reynolds let Dragontail in.”
“About an hour before the lights went out. I headed to the cafeteria because the vending machine didn’t have those truffle bars, and I like those truffle bars. So, I took the stairs because I’m trying to get more steps in.”
“I was going to say, you’ve been looking fit lately.”
“Thank you. As I was on my way back up, I saw Reynolds come through the main doors which I thought was odd because he usually doesn’t get here that early.”
“You pay attention to how early the janitor gets here?” Sloan asks.
“I’m an observant person. Anyway, he entered the main doors with his keycard and this guy walked up behind him and Reynolds let him in. The guy looked exactly like Dragontail.”
“I knew there was something screwy about that janitor.”
“So, he is working with Dragontail,” Adam’s says.
“There’s got to be a way out of here,” Crystal says. “They wouldn’t have designed a way to put this building into lockdown without a manual override.”
“You’re right. But we’d have to contact security and that could be problematic.”
“What do you mean problematic?”
“Security techs are, well, psychopathic.”
“So, you’ve met these guys,” Sloan says.
“If you’ve met one security guy, you’ve met them all. They have these vacuous eyes, bushy eyebrows, and animated hands. They’re outgoing and love to be the center of attention and at social gatherings they always drink gin and tonic.”
“Sounds like you and these guys have history.”
“I’ve had my share of run-ins.”
“Anyway, I could try and contact security. Maybe if we explain the situation, they’ll unlock the building, and we can go home. But I just want to set expectations ahead of time.”
“Whatever. I know these types of guys. You just need to know how to finagle them.”
“I’ll see if I can find their contact information.”
“Thank you, Adams,” Crystal says.
Crystal and Sloan follow Adams over to his computer. They look over his shoulder as he rifles through a list of work contacts.
“Here it is,” Adams says. “Unicorn.”
“Unicorn?” Crystal says.
“Unicorn is the head of Building Security.”
“Of course, his name is Unicorn,” Sloan says sarcastically.
“I’ve met this guy before. Total militant wingnut. I heard once that during an office party he hacked into the mail server and forwarded emails to the significant others of everyone who was having an office affair. No one could prove he did it, but everyone knew. Even the guys who worked with him knew. A couple of them said they’d read something cryptic on his social media pages. But as scummy as it was it wasn’t nearly as scummy as what he did to Mr. Peek’s administrative assistant. The one who worked here before Tiffany.”
“What did he do to her?” “He schmoozed her. Flirted with her. Got her to trust him. Like a coyote stalking a sheep. Then he asked her out and she said yes because it was Valentine’s Day. She agreed to meet him at this restaurant, but he never showed. Turned out he was sitting in the parking lot the entire time.
When she finally left the restaurant, he followed her car. When she turned onto the highway, he tried to run her off it. I don’t know how she found out it was him but by the end of the week she’d turned in her resignation.”
“And this is the guy who’s our best shot at getting out of here?” Crystal asks warily.
“Call him,” Sloan says.
“He doesn’t take calls,” Adams says.
“What do you mean he doesn’t take calls?”
“He prefers email.”
“Then email him.”
“He wants his emails animated. He says they’re more professional that way.”
“We’re short on time. Dragontail’s coming back around the corner any minute.”
“I designed something animated in Canva this morning before I went to work,” Crystal says. “I was going to use it for a project but…”
“Get it,” Sloan says.
“Fine,” Crystal snaps. “I’ll go email it to Adams from my notebook.” Crystal heads over to her desk to retrieve her notebook from her computer bag.
“That chick is strange,” Sloan says to Adams.
“What do you mean?” Adams says.
“You don’t think she’s strange?”
“No, she’s strange.”
“Why do you think she’s strange?”
“I asked you first.”
“She’s quiet. Never talks to anyone. And sometimes I think she’s watching me.”
“I heard she was in a pinewood derby tournament and kicked ass.”
“What’s strange about that?”
“She was the only adult.”
“Okay, I sent it,” Crystal says returning.
“Great,” Adams says. “Thanks.”
“I don’t know why this Unicorn needs an animated email.”
“It’s a power thing. It cuts down the amount of people who email him because sending him an animated email is time consuming. This woman he used to date sent him a sonogram picture of her baby that he’d sired, and he totally deleted it. He responded to her email saying if she wanted to send him a sonogram of a baby, the baby had to be dancing. Otherwise, it was a complete misuse of the mail server.”
“Sounds like a reasonable guy to me,” Sloan says. “I love those dancing baby memes.”
“Okay, well, I’ll just type up the email and…”
“Alright, kids,” Dragontail announces coming back around the corner from the elevators. “Let’s get this party moving along. I want you guys in there with Peak.”
Adams, Crystal, and Sloan look at each other and start moving towards Tiffany’s desk.
“You’ve got to send that email,” Sloan whispers to Adams.
“I’ll try doing it on my phone.”
Dragontail whips around and looks at Windy who is sitting at one of the desks. “Hey, Windy,” he says. “Come with us.”
Windy slowly rises, smooths her skirt, and timidly follows the group. She is sad because her kids are presently doing a school musical performance and she is missing it. She is frightened at being stuck in the building and being held hostage. She just wants to pick up something at the drive-thru, take it home and eat a late dinner with her family.
“Hurry up, Windy,” Dragontail says. “You remember that children’s story with the duck who’s always the last in line to board the boat. He’s the one who gets the stick.”
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: SHE SAID (2022)-PEACOCK
Nearly every year it seems there are a couple of excellent Oscar worthy films that get passed over for awards. This year one of those films is She Said. Based on the New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning article by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey and Rebecca Corbett, and the book by Kantor and Twohey this is the case of how the Harvey Weinstein story got broken.
Megan Twohey (Carry Mulligan in an excellent performance) has just given birth to her first child. Before returning to work she gets a call from fellow New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) who is working on a story about sexual harassment in the workplace. The focus is on Hollywood, primarily rumored predator Harvey Weinstein. Kantor’s problem is few to none of the women, who are bound by NDA’s, fear, and threats, will talk. And those who do talk are embittered by the dead ends they’ve arrived at when trying to tell their stories in the past.
The Weinstein assignment intrigues Twohey who had been working on a story about women sexually assaulted by Donald Trump before she went on maternity leave. Twohey is disenchanted Trump went on to become president despite his assaults. When she returns to work, she is given the option to either continue with her Trump story or team up with Kantor on the Weinstein story. She chooses the latter and she and Kantor begin an arduous but riveting journey involving researching legal paperwork, sidestepping threats, and looking for leads very much in the vein of All the President’s Men.