“Looks like you’ve had some kind of adventure, Uncle of mine.”
“I have. But it’s all pretend.”
“Right. Bringing it to me, I suppose. Why I’m here.”
“Welll…” Mr. Babyface settles back into the bargain bin couch, wishing he’d bought up a little more to avoid the oh-too-soon broken springs, ow. One in his ribs right now. “Let’s say,” he continued, light bulb over his head now, “you’re here, staying with me, because of a local rock concert, say a progressive group right down there at the base of the peninsula, at the, what’s its name?”
“Ah, heck. Progressive Rock Museum, but that’s not the name of the venue.”
“I’m okay with Progressive Rock Venue if you are.”
“Alright,” relented Babyface. “But you’re here because of that, say, supergroup Yes, which we both love, although we have a separate list of favorite albums. Yours is…”
“‘Close to the Edge’, ‘Relayer’, and ‘Going for the One’.”
“Yes, and mine would be ‘Fragile’, ‘Yes Album’ and ‘Topographic Oceans’.”
Peter winces. “‘Topographic Oceans’,” he says with some derision. “Bloated.”
“Okay, okay, let’s not get into that argument again. We agree to disagree. We’re talking about loving the same *group* anyway. It’s like we like the same forest but not the same trees or clump of trees — something.”
“Okay, my Uncle.”
“And we need to keep in touch more. You’re not even real here. You’re just in my head.”
“Sorry, Uncle. I’m busy. Winning tennis tournaments for one. You haven’t even congratulated me on my latest. Plus the comedy — another thing we differ on…”
“… but are also the same, yes yes. Firesign Theatre.”
“‘Bozos’!” shouted Peter Ladd.
“‘Dwarf’!” countered Mr. Babyface to his thought-to-be estranged nephew playfully. They would hug each other in the moment if they weren’t so maladjusted. It was just the families, their upbringing. Both kind of square pegs in round holes. Just so thankful, thought Babyface here, that Peter was born with a normal head, phew! Which brings us back to conception.
“Tell me about Shamot, Peter, how you got here. I’ve been thinking about the Big Schwa lately.”
“Big E!” shouted Peter, making his Uncle Babyface smile but not as much as before. This was more serial stuff, as the young’n’s might put it.
So they pried themselves away from watching the blog on TV and went upstairs to stare at it from different sides, different angles, to ponder what Mr. Babyface had surmised earlier. “Shamot on top of course,” he reminded Peter. “Closest hit in the Oracle is Shamokin PA, but with a pinch of collage magic we can create one of those 2-n-1’s… that you hate so much.”
“Stop it, Uncle. We’re not enemies.”
“I know, sorry.” But look… I’ll project it on the screen downstairs when we return.”
“What else while we’re here?”
He pivoted the Big E around until the proper side was facing his nephew, turning it into a Big Schwa. He was seeing from his Uncle’s perspective now.
“Orgas, Peter,” recited Mr. Babyface on another closest Oracle hit, this time for the sim of Orgamast, label right in front of Peter’s eyes. He reloads his pipe, Blue Pennant this time. “Orgasm, obviously (puff puff). And there’s also an Organ Cave population place in the same state of West Virginie. The Lordshore-Orgamast Floor is the lowest level of the Kidd Tower here (next to the Lebettu Castle). Lordshore also begins with LO.”
“What are you getting at, Uncle?”
“Let’s go back to the couch.”
“Shamon… from the inn… place of thorns. This is where it happened.”
“What happened?” Then Peter realized what his Uncle was talking about. “Ooooh.”
Mr. Babyface thought of a joke here but wisely decided not to mouth it.