Monthly Archives: June 2022


“Two toy avatars, one advanced — novel 8 — beyond his origins to become truly human and all the advantages and disadvantages involved. The other remained a base, a root. No evolution, for good or bad. This is of course our Grassy.”

“Who I’ve banned from The Table.” She looks around, sees Newt beside her, observes Baker Bloch across from her. “I love Grassy like a green son…”

“I know, I remember — novel 8 as well.”

“But the blue moved on, *up* to me. My height and beyond. Grassy is so small, especially if you take away his outer, delicious, candy coated shell.”

“Like a turtle,” Baker Bloch added.

“He has Hawaiian shorts. Embarrassing, actually.”

“He’s so sweet (though).” Baker makes a pouty face. “Reconsider?”

Wheeler reaches back into her own refrigerator to match Baker Bloch’s for more ice for her drink — a Russian Roulette I believe, courtesy of the ever inventive Marty, way back in ’65 for this one I recollect, along with an embryonic version of “Back in the USSR,” which had just been playing actually. Maybe prompted Wheeler to make the drink in the first place — most likely did as I think of it. I’m catching up (with red).

Plop plop. “No.”

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on a line 03

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on a line 02

“Are you about finished, Wheeler? We really need to get back to the castle.”

“Just a minute…”


“You know what the Silver Surfer represents? Don’t you?”

“Blue Mountain. No Ashville,” she replies. “I could see it in his eye.”

“We’ll have to take it into the woods, give it a home there. Tomorrow perhaps. One Strange Rock.”

“*If*… it is even the rock you’re thinking of.”

“It is. I think.”

“And Linesboro (!). Like I’m on. Wonderful. Half legal half illegal; black and white. Much more to ponder there.”

“The monkey is naked but is it okay or is it not okay?”

“Time will tell.”

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on a line

Silver Surfer, Bikini Woman, and a monkey, watch out!

They’re okay.

I don’t think one or two of ’em got the introductory notecard.


“Is that a toy, Baker B.? I said: no toys.” This is what we get, she thinks. Disobedience of the rules.

Wheeler then realized this could come in handy, as in hands to the sands. She’s going in. She’s going to check out the whole Silver Surfer dealie up front and close, crawl between his legs, etc. She’s going to get down and dirty with the enemy, just like Leany Golden Guy before her way back in 2014 in the basement of my house, other stoopid toys looking on.

(to be continued?)

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“You should really look at the scenery while you’re here, Baker Bloch.”

“Busy eating grapes right now, thanks.” He spits another skin into the sand while digesting the innards of one, another being positioned to pop in. After a good number of tries (MUNCH) he’s actually starting to like the fruit, but the outside can still go to hell as far as he’s concerned. Phoey on it. SPIT Phoey!

“I’ll surf in a minute and that’ll catch your attention.” She would wink at him if he weren’t facing the other direction.

Understanding Wheeler and her ways, he briefly pauses in his activity to point to a sign on the beach’s edge.

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” she said, using the eyes in the back of her head to observe. “But wouldn’t it be fun if you actually *cared*.”

“TILE balloons over there,” he deflected. SPIT

“Whatever.” She was really beginning to see why Hucka Doobie was so frustrated with him (MUNCH), even causing her to turn back into a bee-person lately, it seemed. Probably a bathroom break coming up… now.

SPIT “Gotta wee,” he said while rising. She must be reading the script again.

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“Now I think it’s logical that I keep the seat here next to the refrigerator, because of my little bambinos I have to fuss with all the time — pouring milk over them to turn them into lattes, icing the lattes, so on.”

“Here we go,” muttered Wheeler Wilson across from him, who had already requested to be addressed by a new name: Flip Bean. She flipped her hair lightly when saying this. Baker nodded. It was done. On to round two.

“Welll?” Baker wanted a likewise response from across the table. Wheeler has her name, he will have his fridge.

“Fiiine. And another request while we’re on the subject. Axis here is not Axis any more. He’s Newt. He won’t even answer to Axis any longer.” She turns toward him. “Will you Newt?”

Newt thinks about not replying for a joke but then decides against it. Wheeler, I mean, *Flip* is pretty serious when she sits down to the table here. Down to business as they say. “No,” he says.

“Good. So it’s settled. New names for us, and a refrigerator for coffee boy over there. Anything else? I have some hiking in the Himalayas to get back to.”

“Well… I…”

“Grassy,” Wheeler Flip guessed about Baker’s next topic. “Took his seat away. Not needed right now.”

Baker Bloch could see his seat next to Flip’s clear as day. “Toys must be represented,” he kept firm. “Besides…”

“… there’s a chair already there?” Flip guessed correctly again. “In my reality there isn’t. We agree to disagree about that.”

“Okay,” Baker began again. “How about this. I keep calling you Wheeler in these here meetings, and the toy will be banned from same — toys in general.”

“Explain,” she asked. This was the final decision, she realized. Then it was off to meet Stan in Timbuktu to conquer K-2 again. Good ol’ Stan. And Axis doesn’t mind since he’s Newt now. He’s completely under her control.

“I… just can’t get use to calling you anything but Wheeler. And our one or two other readers would appreciate the continuity as well I’m assuming.”

Flip answers by rattling the ice around in her water, melting fast. “*I* want a refrigerator too, then. I have needs as well: wine, liquor, tea. A fridge back there behind me and I’ll be Wheeler, he’ll be Newt (still), and Grass(y) will be out on his ass. Deal?” She leaned over the table, extending her arm for a shake. Baker thinks about quickly reaching into his fridge and handing her a leftover chocolate chip one but wisely decides against it. He knows, like Newt, that Wheeler is totally serial in these kind of meetings, as the young’n’s might say. She wants the business done so she can leave and get back to what she was doing. Hiking in the Himalayas, surfing in Wakiki, bungee jumping in the New River Gorge — could be anything for the thrill seeker. Just last week it was rhino riding in the Serengeti. Next week, maybe a space walk even — who knows?

She comes as Eyela to the next Table meeting. Space walk it is.

15 minutes in and she looks down at her watch. “Are we *done*? I have a ship to catch.”

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Holding his two hot drinks comfortably in either hand, cozies in place, he pauses before leaving to admire the view toward the ocean, the sea that surrounds his home continent of Nautilus like a circumference to a circle (or square). About at the same place Newt, earlier on it seems, saw those salt and pepper shakers tittering on the floor. Exactly the same spot. Not tittering: *crying*. He readjusts the cozie on either cup and proceeds to take his “little bambinos” — as he likes to call them — back to The Table room for the meeting with Wheeler. Guess I should have asked if she wanted anything, he thinks while walking toward the castle gate. Perhaps one of those unsweetened teas she likes so much.

But too late: inside the castle now, its walls sealing off exterior from interior. He didn’t even look over at the whale tail brushing the side Starbuccaneer Barista mentioned. Another tight but meaningful that Baker missed in the rush toward safety.

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He didn’t know if they were open for business but he thought he’d try anyway. “I’ll have a 4 shot latte, I *mean* — 4 shots in a cup.”

“No milk?” she tried to clarify. “No flavoring, chocolate perhaps?”

“Just shots, please.”

“So,” she said, “you just want 4 espresso shots in a cup.”

“And two of them — forgot to add that.”

“*Two* cups with 4 shots each in them.”


Starbuccaneer Barista thinks: Baker Bloch has changed. She decides to say this aloud.

“Well, just saves time and money,” he comments about the switch in drinks. Probably brain damage down the road, he adds to himself, dutifully completing the unfolded triad.

“Coming right up!” she says brightly, moving down the counter to the espresso machine tucked between a seafood ad and the store safe, tight but meaningful. Aren’t you going to ask about the new establishment? she laments while filling the 2 baskets with 2 shots each, then two more of the same to follow, she reminds herself. Darn Baker Bloch. Always involved in himself; thinking about the blog and such. But then this, putting a smile back on her face:

“Place has changed.” He looks around. “Not really a Starbuccaneers. Glad you got coffee still.” I guess you’re the glue, he thinks, imagining her with her company pirate hat back on to match her apron. Guess it was removed to save on prims. Perhaps Spongeberg the Editor has already come for a visit, ha ha.

Changed just like you, she thinks, finishing the first of the two. Tandem. She says aloud: “Wheeler thought the white whale motif would look better against the side of the white castle. *Barely* fit, you know. Take a look at the tail when you leave.”

Baker glances at the rug behind him. “And the elephant. Why an elephant? Why not–”

“Enough whales in here already,” said Starbuccaneer Barista, scanning the pictures on the walls. Second of the two done, with two more to go still, she reminded herself again. “Have you ever been to Wales?”


“Have you ever been in a whale?” Still no sense.


“Have you —“. Wait, I guess that last sentence does make sense. Coffee is served.

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She’d lost her hat. She’d lost her ability to speak. The White Whale looks down on her, concerned that things had taken a turn for the dark again. Blue must be involved. Blue’s always involved when there’s trouble, she thinks. She opens her mouth. Nothing. Starbuccaneer Barista also opens her mouth and also produces nada.

“Newton and Jasper!” she wanted to cuss so badly.

Observing Newt then heard a tiny tittering beside him on the floor. About as small as ants they were, he thinks. Salt and Pepper.

He becomes them.

(to be continued)

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