Monday, March 8, 2010

Postcard to Monster J.

Platypuss here. With Johnny Jack Poetry Guitar Guy on the road with his poetry and his guitar, the community of Big Bed Land feels keenly aware of his absence. So, after a bit of discussion the Animals decided to write some postcards to the Absent Bard, as he has been dubbed. Goat wanted to be the one to write so that none of the important things happening in BBL would be left out...

Greetings, fellow explorer. Goat here. I am impressed by what I’ve read of your adventures so far – a bold undertaking, to do battle in the wilderness of the Great Western Highways, with the loneliness and frozen fog, the specters of feedlots and abandoned bars of Nebraska, the wailing wind-sound of souls who have been lost in that land. It’s more dangerous even than the Targ Forest, and I’m very happy for you - happy that you have found a setting worthy of your quest. I have a feeling that when you get home you might be awarded the Golden Eye-Patch, one of the highest honors that can be awarded at the annual Pirate Picnic – let this spur you on.

Not much news here – the day before you left, you saw that one of my tobogganing expeditions had caused a rock slide on Highway 95. Well, this kept happening. Which is only logical, as I explained to Piggles, since this new form of tobogganing is called Rock Slide and the thrill of it is when the whole hillside starts to move. But even after I explained this several times, Piggles still thought it was time for me to do something else.

Well, what Piggles says, goes, as you know. So Lefty and I have developed a new plan. We got the idea from Victor Hugo who is a friend of Polar Knight’s. Victor Hugo is a writer too. He writes in French which seems like going to a great deal of needless trouble if you ask me. But he took on History itself in the Sewers of Paris, and what an epic! In honor of that glorious battle in Lay Mizzy-marbles (that’s French, by the way) we are going to explore the Council sewer in a small submarine. Remember when I went with Monster E. to a City Council meeting and they showed how a little camera moving through the sewer could help figure out what parts of the pipe to fix? Like the wooden pipes that were still there from when Monsters built the very first sewer in town? That’s what gave us the idea. You can actually learn a lot from town meetings sometimes.

As you may remember from Monster E’s thrilling description of this meeting, the Council sewer is gravity powered. So we won’t need to build a power source for the submarine. Unless we try to go uphill. Then we’ll be up Poop Creek without a paddle! There is always the chance that we will run out of air, of course, especially if we tell too many jokes like this and laugh too much. That wastes oxygen you know. In a submarine this is never wise. Today we finished painting the name on the submarine in really big fluorescent letters: “The Argonaut.” In this photo I am consulting with experts in propulsion that makes use of gravity and currents.

We depart at midnight. We are ready. I have made the necessary charts and familiarized myself with the navigational equipment. Lefty has loaded the supplies and will take care of their equitable and timely distribution. Polar Knight will take of the poetry. Duffy will monitor the camera from BBL so all the Animals can follow our course!

It is a curious coincidence that in my research I discovered that the overall map of the Council sewer resembles in every detail one of the ancient rivers that Monster E. is studying for her book. If time permits, we will attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Sleep well, fellow traveler. May Piggles guide you – but only after you’ve had your fill of adventure!


  1. WAAAAAAIT a sec. No toboggan-ing in the Sierra Nevadas! We don't need no stinkin' avalanches!

  2. Monster J here Goat: I'm in Effingham, IL in a Best Western; have internet, bathub & TV--may be able to find food! Cell phone is dead but charging. Don't hang your feet over the boat.

    How often do you hold these annual Pirate Picnics?

  3. We read with interest(and haste) Goat, your updates for Monster J and will comment in detail after our fish and chips supper. We do hope Monster J can find food! That would be a harrowing tale to tell.

    The H-Gang (Kat is cooking our fish and chips.)

  4. Johnny Jack is going to need that golden eye patch on his return. He'll most likely be cross eyed from all those hours on the road!

  5. Dear Jeffscape,
    you can try mentioning this to Goat, but your best bet would be to whisper a word to Piggles because she's the only one Goat listens to on a consistent basis. And just remember - in spite of her great wisdom and power, there's no need to be afraid of Piggles, so just speak up.

    Monster J.
    Good advice about the feet. Hope you can find food. Pirates have a remarkable ability to eat many things, which is fortunate. We honor your dead comrade, Cell Phone, and wish you luck with his revival. Such things can happen during true adventures, no matter what some might say.

    About the annual Pirate Picnic, I asked Pinky to review the social calendar of years past, and she tells me that sometimes there are several annual picnics a week, but other times there are long stretches without any. "Pirates are'm Petuous," as the proverb goes.

    She sends you a kiss, by the way. You are also welcome to the one she tried to give me.

    Hail Poetikat, as Fair as she is Brave,
    it has been long since I spoke with you, dear Lady. The sword of Goat is always at your service. I understand that you and Monster E. are dipping into the Battle of Troy. Never fear, I will speak with Monster E. so that she has the courage to continue the battle. Farewell until we meet again.

  6. Dear Willow,
    Goat here. I see that you are familiar with the magical healing powers of the Golden Eye-Patch, which is why it is sought by all pirates of true heart, when they remember it. I suspect that you have had many adventures of your own and perhaps encountered a pirate here and there. They do fly with the magpies on occasion, after all- stealing cat food from the porch and oats out from under the very noses of the llamas!

  7. Dear Goat,

    Sandra here. I have been on a journey of my own, and it is with joy that I now read of your adventures, as your joie de vivre (that's French, too!) shines through every word.

    I cannot, however, in conscience, end my missive without warning you of the grave danger involved in your present undertaking. I have heard tales -- hair-raising tales -- of the perils that await those who venture into the bowels of the earth, as it were. Creatures unimagined by dwellers on the surface await the unwary in the stygian innards of the earth.

    Thus, my thoughts will be with you tonight. Duffy, Steinbeck, and Wilson also send their regards and assure you that they are ready to rush to your rescue, should they hear any cries of distress emanating from the plumbing. In particular, Duffy asked me to reiterate Monster J's warning about hanging your feet over the boat and add that it is, in fact, customary to ride on the inside of a submarine, rather than on top of it, a custom especially to be followed when one is voyaging in a sewer, I believe.

    Be brave, but be careful, Voyagers!

  8. Today we finished painting the name on the submarine in really big fluorescent letters: “The Argonaut.”
    I'd like to know if there's a Golden Fleece (or equivalent) somewhere in the Council sewer.

    So we won’t need to build a power source for the submarine.
    Even if it weren't gravity-powered it would be poetry-powered (with Polar Knight as power supply)

    the Council sewer resembles in every detail one of the ancient rivers that Monster E. is studying for her book. If time permits, we will attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery.
    Hopefully not the River Lethe - how would you remember enough to tell us about it afterwards?

    I hope time permits and we see more of this adventure.

  9. Sandra,
    Goat here. Nice French. "Stygian" must be French too I think, but Bink disagrees and is looking it up for us. Lefty hopes it tells us more about the bowels of the earth and I think he is going to capsize the submarine if he keeps laughing like this!

    Good advice about the submarine. I wasn't completely sure about whether to ride inside or outside - but I think you must be right. I will look at the plans again.

    I can see that your own journeys have made you wise. The best pirates are the ones who learn from each other,and I speak for the entire crew when I say we are touched by your generosity and your concern for our welfare. Only the best travelers can do this, and we will count on your aid in trouble.

    In case you are unable to hear our cries from within the Land of Plumbing, I will try to communicate by means of a secret code. You will know it when you hear it. I long to do battle with the Creatures you mention and when the time comes, we will fly your flag - INSIDE the submarine.

  10. HKatz,
    Polar Knight here. Now that you mention it, I have a feeling that the connection between the Golden Fleece and the Golden Eye Patch, that mystery that has proved so troubling to generations of scholars, might actually be found in the Council Underworld.

    I will confess that I blush at praise from a writer such as yourself...and you are so right about the River Lethe! You inspired me to tell the Animals about this strange river, even though they insisted that it was just another rift in the space-time continuum like all the other ones in Star Trek. Sometimes I sigh - the Young Ones just don't seem to respond to these great ancient stories. I will tell you what I discover.

  11. Monster Kat here,

    I must jump in to say that although I've never read, "Lay Mizzymarbles", I have seen it performed on stage twice with music! The Big Bed Land group might well enjoy it too, especially the song, "Monster of the House"!


  12. Pssst! Piggles! (There's a treat over at Keepsakes for all of you. Come and see.)

    P-kat and the H-gang.