Oct 24 2005


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Greg was unloading the second of four large grocery bags full of paperbacks when Brigid came in. “He’s gone on a binge again,” she said, announcing her presence.

“Well, maybe,” said Greg, looking up from one that had momentarily caught his eye. “There’s a new used bookstore over on Robinson and I just thought I’d stop in.”

“Wow, a whole new store and this is all you got? Low on cash, were you?”

“Well, I walked. You can only carry so much.” He put the book down and resumed his unloading.

“I suppose that’s as good a method of restraint as any,” she said. “But don’t you think you might make do with the Wall O’ Books as it is now?”

“I’ve read all those,” said Greg. “Or at least, most of them. And you know what they say, a book lover never goes to bed alone.”

“Well if that’s what it is, I’ll just get Sharon to send Ozymandias back over.”

“Can I help it if I’m irresistible to cats?” Greg said. “I suspect that my used bookstore habit is cheaper, in the long run, than astronomical pet fees.”

“Well, you could invite Yvonne over for a night of literary bliss.”

“My used bookstore habit is definitely cheaper than a hospital stay, thank you very much.”

-The Gneech

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Oct 21 2005


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“Hey!” Greg exclaimed, popping into view around the back of the couch and causing Brigid to jump about ten feet to the left. “Do you know what today is?” He was practically vibrating with happiness.

Brigid looked at him through narrowed eyes. “Friday?” she hazarded.

“Well, yes,” said Greg. “But it’s so much more! Today is Trafalgar Day!”


“Trafalgar Day! Don’t you know? Today, in 1805, Admiral Horatio Nelson gave his life in a brilliant tactical victory at sea against the Spanish and French. His twenty-seven plucky ships routed a fleet of thirty-three, sinking nineteen, securing England’s supremacy at sea! But then, the good admiral was cut down on his flagship, H.M.S. Victory, by a French sniper’s bullet — the cads!”

“How do you know this stuff?”

“Ruuuuuule Britannia!” sang Greg. “Britaaannia rules the waves!”

“Hey!” said Brigid, suddenly perking up. “I have an idea! Let’s play a game!”

“A game?”

“Yes! Let’s play a quick game of Hide and Go Away! I’ll hide first!”

Greg rolled his eyes. “Bah! I have not yet begun to fight.”

-The Gneech

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Oct 14 2005


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Greg blinked. “What do you mean, you’re staying for a couple of days?”

“Well of course I am!” said Uncle Bob. “If you think I’m paying $50 a night for some motel, you’re crazy!”

“You know I have a roommate, right?” said Greg. “It’s not like I can just announce to her, ‘Oh by the way, my uncle is sleeping on the couch…'”

“Sleeping on the couch? What kind of hospitality is that?”

Greg narrowed his eyes. “Really, Uncle Bob. You can’t just show up on my doorstep without so much as a phone call and–”

“I knew I could count on you,” said Bob, dropping what appeared to be a duffel bag filled with dirty laundry. “And anyway, you can be assured, that I’d do the same for you, anytime. Any time!” He headed for the door, presumably to get another bag.

“I don’t want you to do the same for me!” Greg objected, following him out the door. “Besides the fact that your place is a ramshackle that makes me feel like I need a shower after I’ve stepped foot in it, I have a little thing called ‘manners’ that makes the idea of thrusting my presence on other people an abhorrent notion.”

“Nonsense, boy, I wouldn’t mind a bit! We’re family! You can depend on me.”

“That is so not the point.”

“Well then, what is?”

Greg stopped, put his hand over his eyes, and sighed. Then he said, “Have I mentioned that I have a roommate?”

“I’m sure that I’ll like her just fine,” said Bob, already going down the stairs.

Greg shook his head in sheer wonder. “Is there anything you can’t twist into being all about you?”

Bob looked back at him, confused. “You mean there are things that aren’t?”

-The Gneech

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Oct 10 2005


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“Think about it,” said Greg. “Wilma. Velma. Practically the same name. Dinkley. Flintstone. Again, practically the same. They were both created by Hanna-Barbera. They both have auburn hair. They’re both much smarter than any of the men around them.”

“That’s not so weird,” said Brigid. “I do that every day.”

Greg swept on. “They’re both masters at uncovering wacky deceptions. I think there’s only one logical conclusion to be drawn, here — Velma is Wilma Flintstone’s karmic reincarnation!

“You’ve got something there,” said Brigid. “I’ll wait outside until you clean it up.”

“It explains everything! But whereas Wilma’s Fred is her soulmate, Velma’s Freddie is hopelessly tied up with Daphne. It’s like those gothic vampire romances, where lovers from the past are separated by the intrusion of a third party — the only way it could be more bittersweet is if Velma was a vampire!”

“‘Velma’ and ‘vampire’ both start with ‘v’ y’know,” Brigid suggested. “Maybe they’re hinting at something.”

Greg’s eyes widened to saucers. “Great scott!” he cried. “Brigid, you’re a genius!”

“And you are a mental case,” Brigid replied. “Now will you please get out of my bedroom? I’m trying to sleep, here.”

-The Gneech

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Oct 05 2005


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“Holy–!” said Greg, staring at the screen of his laptop.

“Eh?” said Brigid, looking over from the muted television. “What was that?”

“I got an e-mail from Wenton Delaney,” said Greg, with quiet awe.

“Wenton Delaney? Isn’t he the guy who writes all those mystery books you like so much?”

“That’s him!” said Greg, looking like he might fall over. “He says Davis sent him a copy of Retrograde Maneuvers to get a back-cover blurb for the second printing, that he loved it, and that he wants to have lunch next time I’m in Boulder or he’s here in town.”

“Heh!” said Brigid. “Cool.”

“Cool?” said Greg. “This isn’t ‘cool,’ this is … well … the man’s a genius! This is like having Rex Stout phone up and say, ‘Nice job!'”

“Well, considering that Rex Stout has been dead for thirty years, that would be a little more amazing.”

“Well yeah,” said Greg. “But still! Wenton Delaney … holy wow.” He blinked a few times, then suddenly shouted like George C. Scott, “You magnificent bastard! You read my book!!!”

-Crampwell Barhostage

(PS: Still using fake names today.)

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Oct 01 2005


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“I had a nocturnal visitor in the wee hours,” said Greg, looking up from his Saturday morning paper as Brigid meandered in, amazed as always at what a difference being able to sleep until 10:00 made in her disposition.

“I’m familiar with male biology,” she responded, pulling a cereal bowl out of the cabinet. “I don’t want to hear about it.”

“Um, no,” said Greg. “That’s not what I mean. I mean in the pre-dawn glimmer, there was someone in my bed, other than me, who hadn’t received prior authorization to be there.”

“Yvonne’s getting aggressive!” Brigid shook a mostly-empty box of cereal to gauge its content. Unsatisfied, she put it back on top of the refrigerator and pulled down another mostly-empty box and shook it, instead.

“A cardiac arrest is the last thing I want right now, thank you very much. No, this nocturnal visitor was small, white, and fluffy, with a distinctly feline aspect. In short, it was a cat.”

“Oh! That’s Ozymandias.”

“He doesn’t look like a trunkless pair of legs,” Greg commented.

“That’s because he’s not a trunkless pair of legs, he’s a cat.” She was on the fourth mostly-empty box at this point, and rapidly running out of others to shake.

Greg nodded. “My theory, exactly. But he is well-named, I’ll grant you that much. When I interrogated him re: his presence on my chest at oh-dark-thirty, he simply mewed as if to say, ‘Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'”

“Well, that’s a cat for you. Don’t worry about him, I’m watching him for Sharon for a few days.” She regarded the box-laden top of the refrigerator with a frown.

“The idea meets with my approval,” said Greg. “But before we break out the Dom Perignon to celebrate, I feel I should remind you that there’s a distinctly anti-pet bias in our lease. If I remember correctly, we’re not allowed to have any sort of critter in the place for more than 24 hours without having an extra $75 per month addendum on the rent.”

“Well, I won’t tell the rental office he’s here if you won’t,” said Brigid.

“I don’t intend to,” said Greg. “I just wanted to make sure that you were fully aware of the fact and were flouting what is technically a legally-binding contract of your own free will.”

“Don’t be melodramatic,” Brigid said, sitting at the table. “It’ll be fine.”

“Er,” said Greg, noticing her breakfast. “What is that?”

“Cocoa Frosted Corn Puff Bran Flakes,” Brigid replied, pouring milk into her bowl. “Breakfast of champions.”

-The Gneech

EDIT: Altered a bit in response to comments.

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