Saturday, August 4, 2007

Never trust a pickled genie & other bottled stories

Suddenly, without warning, I find myself transported to a desert island, my only companion an empty whiskey bottle. No, not empty. Inside are curled pages with a familiar script. Damn you, Bill, I think. Not again!

This time, it began at the post office. I had returned from my trip to Virginia, having seen the delightful premiere of Stardust, having reconnected with old friends Charles & Karen, & made new friends of their other old friends. (None of us being particularly old, I might add, except Charles' mother, who was one day shy of 80-something.) On my way back to my habitation, I thought I should perhaps check my box at the P.O., for I was expecting a package from the Amazons, a magical program to turn mere words into moving pictures. I was therefore not surprised to see a small key inside my box, along with several envelopes. I inserted the key into box #27 & found not one but TWO packages.

The first, smaller package, was indeed the magical program from the Amazons. The second--I should have been suspicious, for it was exactly the size to hold a whiskey bottle ensconced in bubble wrap, with several sheets of crumpled heavy paper to further keep it from breaking. But did I suspect? No. I was lulled by my pleasant drive through the mountains & I began at that moment to open the box.

When my fingers met the cold glass, I was transported in a whirling vortex to this accursed desert island, & thus you find me.

Herein lies the dilemma: I cannot extract the letter without breaking the bottle. What to do, for in the wholeness of that bottle lies my only hope of rescue. If I can write a letter detailing my situation, using a pen from my pocket protector & the pad of paper in my back pocket, kept there for itemizing expenditures & jotting down the odd idea, I can launch my S.O.S. However, I dare not place such a missive in the bottle without first removing Bill's words, which may instruct the reader to disregard whatever is written because this is all a joke, ha ha.

I pace the perimeter of the island, which does not take long, it being approximately the size of a California King mattress, thinking madly, which is the only way I can think. Seven trips around the island cool my thoughts. Aha, I think, the cocktail fork in my left pocket. (I always carry one, in case I come into the possession of a can of kipper snacks or some such delicacy)

I try to twist the delicate tines of the cocktail fork in the edge of the pages as if they were spaghetti, but the smooth metal has no purchase. Again & again I try, until, frustrated, I jam my right hand into my right pocket. My fingers come into contact with a small lump of--eeww, what is it? Almost afraid to look, I extract my hand & began doing the joy dance, for in my hand is my salvation, a lump of Handi-Tak, The Reusable Ahesive Replacing Tape, Pushpins, and Tacks. Great for Posters & Memos. Non-Toxic. Acid-Free. Lignin-Free. (As always on encountering the stuff, I wonder what lignins are, but push that thought to the back of my mind.) When last I wore these shorts, I was posting memos throughout my abode. (And never you mind what they said!)

I affix the little yellow lump to the tines of the cocktail fork & commence twisting. Yes! I am able to finesse the first page out of the neck of the bottle. I repeat for pages two & three.

The letter is not what I expected. Bill had indeed been planning to send me a bottle of whiskey, but when the postal clerk asked if there was anything hazardous, liquid, fragile or perishable within, he had to slink out of line, hide behind the bushes, drink the entire bottle of whiskey & write me a letter. Never have I seen such increasingly egregious handwriting. (But done with a fine Namiki retractable fountain pen, I will give him that.)

So, I send this out to you, whoever you are. Please, please post the contents at My password is &^(%#)(*

Bill, if you are the recipient, I beg of you, send help. Or another empty whiskey bottle, that I might post my reply to your letter, for I still have several blank pages left to respond more specifically to what I think you were saying, although some of the words were confusing. (But then they say only Nixon could go to China. What? Also that thing about the bees smoking?--& the caterpillar ranch?) On second thought, leave me a few swallows of whiskey, because I believe the bottle would still float adequately. Oh, & if you can manage, could you also send a raft full of kipper snacks.

Until then, I will remain fit. By using my stride as a measure, I shall determine how many laps around a California King is a mile; I pledge at least two miles a day. I shall keep the cocktail fork polished & ready for the kipper snacks, or, should it be necessary, use it defend myself from pirates or the odd shark.


Blog alternative:
75. Send someone a letter in unconventional form. (Be afraid, Bill, be very afraid. Bwaa haaa haaa haaa.)