Wednesday, April 19

The cutes are having a Holiday Weekend Afternoon Party.

Mr. Happy Puppet Head and I stand in the midst of about fifty cutes or so, milling about chatting to each other. I drink Lemonade from a tiny clear plastic cup.

“I don’t know anyone here,” says Mr. Happy Puppet Head.

“Me neither.”

“Where’d you get the Lemonade?”

“Over there.” I nod my head towards a purple mop bucket filled with sparkling yellow. I take a sip from my tiny clear plastic cup. “They used real Lemons. Not a mix.”

“I like the mix.”

“I like Real Lemonade. It makes me think they care.” I take another sip and finish off my cup. I disappear and reappear next to the bucket. I can do that now.* I fill my cup, drink it down in one swig, fill my cup, swig it. I ready myself to begin the process again when a giant Dinosaur ambles up. He is big and round with a line of black spikes running down his spine. “Hey, you know that guy?” I ask Mr. Happy Puppet Head.

“Yeah, that’s… I met him once.”

“Vic Sebastian?” **

“Did you just make that name up?”


The Dinosaur plunks himself in the middle of the party, sprawling onto his stomach. “What’s up, guys?” He reaches his long neck out and snaps up a couple Cute’s into his toothy, serrated mouth.

“What’s going on?” I ask. I empty my cup, fill it again, disappear and reappear to stand next to Mr. Happy Puppet Head. “I’m the Midnight Mailman.”

“Cool.” The Dinosaur chomps up some more Cutes and chews loudly. Bits of Bloody Fur and Skull drip from his face. “Looks like a cool party.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever get that raise.” Says a small Cute standing nearby. “I just don’t think I’ll ever get that raise.”

“I don’t know.” Says the other cute. “I bet you could get that raise. You could get that raise tomorrow.”

“I know, I know. I just have such a hard time with Confrontation.”

The Dinosaur turns to his right and bites the head off one, chews thoughtfully before quickly snapping up the rest of the body. “Man, I am hungry!” The other Cute blinks its long lashes at him. “This stuff is so good.”

“We ate before we got here.” I tell him.

“Yeah, never eat before a party. Is that Lemonade any good?” He rolls Cute around in his mouth, savoring it.

‘It’s Real Lemons. Not the mix.” I tell him.

“I like the mix just fine.” His eyes grow large as he surveys the rest of the Cutes, about twenty in all. “Oh man…” He takes a deep breath and plunges into a feeding frenzy. He chomps Cute after Cute, snarling and globbering this way and that. Mr. Happy Puppet Head and I watch in awe. I’m usually a little sensitive about a lot of Blood Spray at a Fun Party, but the gluttony is too impressive to look away.

After only a few minutes, there is only one Cute left. The Dinosaur sprawls out even bigger and rounder than before, his whole head covered in Cute gore. “Aaahhhhhh…”

“So what are we doing?” Mr. Happy Puppet Head asks me.

“We’re at a party.” I say.

“You want the last Cute?” My friend licks his furry black mustache away from his furry red lips.

“No thanks.” I blip over to the punch bucket and fill up my cup. There is still plenty of Lemonade, and Lemonade is plenty for me. “I’m gonna go.”

“Really?” Mr. .Happy Puppet Head asks as he takes a bite out of the Cute. “We just got here.” The lone Cute runs around in a tiny circle, whimpering and bleeding on the bloody grass.

“Hey, I got to get out of here.” The Dinosaur moans. He tries to stand up, but just rocks back and forth, grunting a little. “I think I need a roll home.”

Mr. Happy Puppet Head and I agree to help. I lean up against his big stomach and push with every ounce of my strength. He doesn’t budge. He’s really heavy. Mr. Happy Puppet Head watches intently and says, “Maybe you should push more on that side.”

“Why don’t you help me push?”

“I don’t have hands.”

“I’ve seen you push stuff before.” ***

The Dinosaur has fallen asleep and is snoring wetly.

“I supervise the push. I’m good at it. I’m a leader.”

Whatever.” I just keep pushing. I can’t move him even a little. After a while I get frustrated and Blip home. I get a glass of juice out of the fridge**** and go work in the backyard digging my deep, deep hole off to the side.

I’m building an underground Club House. *****


* It takes years of wishing for it in Food Court Wishing Fountains.
** It’s a good name.
*** He once pushed all of my belongings into a pile in the front yard and torched it for my birthday.
**** Not as good as the Lemonade.
*****Yes, you are invited. Sometimes the best clubhouses are the ones you build after going to a party where meaningful things happen with meaningful people. It isn’t all about drinking the free Lemonade and eating all the hosts of an Afternoon Party, It’s about digging deep holes in the backyard and thinking about clever things to say when your friends come over to crouch in the dirt with you.

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