Taki: what does it feel like, when you're driving around a village in your Formula 1 car like that?
Melbourne: like a dream. someday i will know for sure.
Taki: what's the next extreme i mean extreme-wealth sport on the docket? is it at the pier?
Melbourne: not yet. let's try Horse Croquet.
Taki: i'm torn.
Melbourne: the Polo shirts? they won't rip they're made of strong material. and they're not made out of horsehide anymore.
Taki: yeah it's just all that sport-of-kings stuff is so elite and hated nowadays. racing horses for fun, getting on their backs to roll around a ball on a lawn, it's so unnecessary and cruel. how does the horse feel? nobody's ever asked him or her, you need a good reporter like me to crack the cold case and finally ask the tough questions. and don't feed me the stale line that these horses are better off than at the zoo wildlife preserve cos their coats are shiny and they get the shiniest carrots to gnaw on and are just salty cos they didn't get enough sugarcubes for breakfast as a child horse.
Melbourne: mah dahlin, we shall see. that is the beauty of it all. that's why i'm with you. YOU drive my narrative, not any car.
Taki: as always, to prepare and digest and compare and contrast and deflutter, i have to call my sister. right back.
at his phone choked with vines:
Taki: *her hand over the receiver* sis, what's the haps? how are you settling in to the house?
Madame Pons: how's the boyfriend? does he give you the fanny flutters? i think the house has me beat in terms of settling. dahlin, you know i love you...
Taki: uh oh, here it comes...
Madame Pons: but would you kindly reconsider? like maybe how about joining me where i live? come over and stay as long as you want. i really don't want to lose that apartment, it was broom-distance from the Archerion Academy where i wanted to start training and raining frogs. turn the Wiccan Wheel at my late-stage in life before late-stage cancer eats me up before a lesbian lover i haven't met yet has the chance to. i had a few false starts but i think i'm gonna do something late in life. nobody knows how much time we have left as the wheel turns. my finger still has enough flesh melted on it to get pricked by a wheel which spools magic yellow yarn from butter. it's just i don't know what kind of job i can get here at Obec with short notice and i'm short and my particular limited set of skills.
Taki: you don't need a job, you have me. well you'll eventually need a job but don't worry about that right now. the Academy will always be there, academy austerity is always an option. you'll figure something out. to pay for our house. the main point is you're here with me, that's all that matters in life, family. nobody gets a job at Obec, it's Obec Woods, where people intentionally get lost and hide out and stay hidden. from themselves and the Government. how's the house? has my boy come back?
Madame Pons: imma gonna be a good sister and lie to you straight to your face. he's back! he isn't back but i know deep in my middle-aged heart that Takahashi will return to you. he'll come back with a cherub on his face. if there's one thing you don't do, don't worry about Hashi, his aunt will sleep with one eye open not cos she has insomnia but cos she's the anguish aunt with the anxiety and agitation and anonymous amicability and just wanting to sew the family back together like a spinster. I'M ON THE LOOKOUT! you concentrate on your important work. i guarantee a happy ending, it's in my magic.
Taki: you have a knack for goodness. as my son would say, Not Giving Up Is Your Magic.
Madame Pons: thanks, babe, gotta go, Federer's on the other line. i'm at your boyfriend's house. i am i am! i am housesitting but it gets lonely there all alone. and the more i stay there the more i feel like a freeloader. need you not worry, i always return to the house. in the morning.
Madame Pons: Roger, you've got some splaining to do. you're a heartbreaker, and not in the sex way this time.
Roger Federer: *sweating profusely* i'm not gonna give myself an out and blame the heat.......although i could rightly justifiably do this, i mean this is my free pass, right?..........i'm not one for excuses but this is a pretty good one. unprecedented weather. we Europeans aren't used to this humidity at night. we stay indoors in Danish bakeries. if we have to go out, our nights are fanned by Dutch windmills. the tournament obviously didn't prepare for this, it's the tournament's fault.
Nadal: i've never seen you so discombobulated out there before, court buddy.
Federer: uh, thanks, friend. i've never heard you speak so clearly before.
Nadal: i won't talk no more....................just look who is seated next to me..................it's Ben Stiller................that's it i stop talking now......................just think about it..............Ben Stiller and i
President Bump pats Federer hard on the back.
Bump: it's okay, big fella, happens to the best of us. that day when you finally realize you're old. you feel old. your body just can't do anymore what your mind has prepared a lifetime to do. of course i haven't experienced this, i will experience this when i die at which time i won't experience it cos i won't feel anything anymore cos i'll be dead.
Federer: sir, shouldn't you be in hiding after the Mueller indictment?
Bump: cover me, i'm on the run. i'm using my sotto voce voice. you haven't seen me, i'm deep background. what was that whole thing about anyway? right? i mean every anchor on tv is dressed in black tie and suit and not celebrating. black pantsuits for all the women i mean come on! at least give me ONE little black dress! what happened to this country?
Nadal: i think the black was for McCain's funeral.
MEANWHILE...at a local nearby MSNBC affiliate studio...Mueller sits down and back up on his favorite comfiest sofa chair and turns on the lantern lamp by his nightstand which glows with a low comforting green-yellow aura on the coiled filament. he practices opening the creaking door to the carpeted green room and closing it again with him inside. snow is outside, a trick of the lights. the walls look like a log cabin. Bob wears a Christmas sweater and a cup of coca in one hand, a low mic'ed-up gingerbread man in the other as he prepares to recite a long unsung unsparing carol. he practices his line.
Mueller: ladies and gentlemen, i want to tell you the country and you the world a story...
Mueller: that's good that's good. not for a couple of months tho, they're gonna call me, you're gonna call me Mum Mueller, you're not gonna hear my voice for a while...
Laertus: *tipsy again* look up to the lodestar, sir, it will always point you the way true north.
Dirg: dammit i wanted to tell His Majesty The President that!
Laertus: look up! you see that airrace plane whizzing by! it's Melbourne gotta be! i salute men like Melbourne in planes. and that brave space pilot in Honneamise. the film right after the Challenger disaster which got us over space flight. to space flight again. to our better angels and the face of God. tempted us with travel again, egged on our exploration, our instinct to be with the stars.
Dirg: and unfortunately reignited that obscene amount of money flowing into NASA again. wait, LoadStar?
Laertus: that's the Omni-like scifi magazine. huge in the '80s. i believe they only printed one copy.
Bump: R.I.P. Bill Pullman, he was a mensch.
Dirg: the Ben 10 alien? the one when the show was still good, crossover comic?
Laertus: i wouldn't know. despite my green hair, i stopped watching that show when it started selling toys at McDonald's.
Dirg: i HAD to watch the current teen-titans version and review it for my weblog for money. it made me hate tv. Tres Leches, i feel sorry for your generation, the only Ben 10 you know is the baby iteration. you don't know what high-quality tv is, only high-quality tv sets. show me your papers. your Kavanaugh Papers.
Tres Leches politely nods once closing his eyes.
Tres Leches: *red on brown cheeks* i love it my favorite show Ben 10. Gwen my favorite character, she's so cute and chibi!
Bump: have a cold one on me, Fed. i mean beer. the Miller Man beat you fair and square, and like he said, he'll take it. like i take it everyday. he's a foreigner who plays football the right way, he plays fantasy football. Miller, Australian for beer. and Miller is beer for Mueller. how much does beer cost? i've never bought a beer before, the ladies just come to me. i'm not a beer salesman. i don't carry a mug of beer filled with beer in my shut suitcase around with me at all times.
Laertus: i prefer wine. i don't get why beer is so popular, it's so disgustingly bitter!
Dirg: no you don't understand how. it's made by men with beards. and no one cares what you think.
Bump: before i give you this beer, i'm adding fifty cents for the froth. you're not part of the silent army, are you?
Federer: i don't want to talk about it.
Madame Pons: Alize Cornet, you are hot! at the moment, you're in the news.
Laertus: don't do it. don't say it to her. don't say you want to blow her horn. excuse my friend in advance.
Dirg: i was just gonna compliment Alize with an alize! greeting in French and say if she doesn't want to wear a shirt i won't wear a shirt in solidarity and we can all remain shirtless as we talk.
Laertus: i'll only believe it if i see you out there at the next nude protest.
Dirg: glad to see the black Jap get through, she's going all the way! she's gonna have a female Tiger Woods moment like at the Masters.
Laertus: must you be so crude? it doesn't become you. you speak in porn. i for one was happy to see the Jap get revenge...
Bump: for the war? we won that fair and square, right?
Laertus: no, dammit! now you've got me doing it! i was glad Nishikori got revenge. sir, would you kindly leave? your presence is violating the personal space in my head. you're infecting me with your impish inveigle.
Bump is gone.
at the Polo Lounge, the crones are trying to get into a salad to stay healthy.
Doryce: i'm not! where's the beef?
Gladyce: it's a salad, this isn't Taco Bell. it's like the Waldorf or something.
Doryce: at least put some ham in there. peel an egg in there. make it McCarthy and scandalous. make the egg an egg timer with a microscopically-tiny camera so Communist it still uses film which spies your uvula set to blow.
the boys are spying from a nearby white-carpeted table.
Laertus: out of concern. eavesdropping like any good food friend would.
Dirg: or concerned citizen. right, comrade?
Laertus: i feel a kinship to them. responsible for them and their wellbeing. they're like the grandmothers i never had.
Dirg: i never knew my father, he would have loved the construction, that the construction's done. would have loved to see that extra lane of highway.
Laertus: not technically done. mine, too. i mean my dad's dead as a doornail, too.
the golden girls are dining this late afternoon on a dish of Stella d'Oro breadsticks and Medaglia d'Oro instant espresso.
Doryce: more like dining on a diet. are you done with that insane garlic-bread addiction you had?
Gladyce: that was you, dear.
Doryce: i'm practicing for my cruise next week.
Gladyce: oh lordess please don't let there be tapes. i don't want to fathom the details of what that entails!
Doryce: this polo place inspires me. i see the wall calendars on the wall. i want to be naked and buff and buffy, too, like those male models in those spreading calendars. i want to view these calendars at the barbershop, put my feet up on the hanging vine by the barber combs in dark blue liquid that's not water, and fold out the triptych paper with the centerfold on it.
Gladyce: there were silky and svelte and skinny female naked models, too.
Doryce: were there? i didn't see them, the men are such trees and must have covered them. i want to be part of something bigger than myself, i want to participate in a nude protest.
Gladyce: you want to be naked. nude implies a purpose.
Doryce: yeah i really want to be naked bareback on top of a horse. i hear that's a singular sensation.
Dirg: you wanted to talk to me?
Laertus: yes, about Flashdance.
Dirg: right, of course.
Laertus: Sunny Johnson, what an ironically tragic name. i mean just as her star was about to rise it's all over for her. where's the fairness? where's the sugar at the end of the struggle? all she wanted to do was act. and not skate. you know my theory is she had a bad fall no one saw and hit her head hard on the ice doing the ice-skating scene with the dried-ice fog. she sustained a concusion but it was the '80s---things like this weren't discussed out in the open back then, hell people didn't know what concussions even were back then---plus she thought if she talked she'd lose this precious once-in-a-lifetime job if they found out and thought she couldn't continue. she did whatever she was told to do and never complained. i mean young people like her just don't spontaneously combust.
Dirg: i love most of all in '80s movies you see the guys with the hairy naked chests in bed, hairy like a howler autistic monkey. that's the trope in all '80s movies to indicate alpha-male sex: dude with hairy chest in bed. i even have to admire Alec Beta Baldwin back then there in that bed with his hairy chest in Working Girl.
Laertus: verdict on the Adventure Time finale? did you eat dinner before or after the 6PM hour?
Dirg: why must all modern good cartoons now have to end with a lesbian kiss? that's like a requirement if you want to work in the industry.
Laertus: Steven Universe will end with lesbian sex.
Dirg: AFTER ALL THAT, ALL the adventuring Finn did on behalf of protecting the Kingdom, for TEN freakin' years, he gets a paltry kiss on the cheek from Princess Bubblegum like she was always a sister-figure to him!!?
Laertus: it's tough when the girl is taller. i would have been okay with making Bubblegum bi. where's Huntress Wizard in all this? the writers didn't do their HW homework, Huntress and Finn are perfect for each other!! take it from me: meditation is masturbation, sex is spirituality.
at the track, the Horse Croquet is about to begin, everyone's on the grass. the horses run around in a circle while the jockeys including Melbourne in his tight jockey outfit which makes his penis look like an organ-pedal stand on their saddles and hit the red fire-hardened-glass croquet ball with their wood mallets as the ball goes flying from horse to horse in a very dangerous fashion. the gold dust being scuffed up into the air is not the problem. Taki from the stands has seen enough.
Taki: STOP! THIS IS CRAZYTOWN! not the band banned from Nickelodeon! this isn't a race this isn't cars! the horses don't like this! i've talked to them. go on, talk to them.
Melbourne lowers his head incredulously to be six inches from the horse's big face and big gums and big teeth.
horse: mate, you'll always be six inches compared to me.
Melbourne: you really don't like this?
horse: we hate it, mate.
the horse gets on all twos and shakes Melbourne's hand with his hoof and all the horses follow suit and remove their saddles and the jockeys remove their suits and the horses and humans leave the track walking away together for a beer. everyone loves beer.
Gladyce: *peering out the window* dear Dor you have to admit, whenever you're around, wherever you go, all the horses seem to be able to get up and talk.
Melbourne kisses Taki in the stands from his vantage point on the track.
Melbourne: you have to admit, you have to give me credit, i know how to spot an impressive woman. i can identify a quality woman like you. if nothing else i can do.
Taki: please don't use the word pick.
Melbourne: i mean you're the real sports psychologist! you were the sports psychologist for the horse! you're way better than my last sports psycholoigist!
Taki: i get beings to open up. you know when it's hot like this no amount of stylish sunhat with a sunflower on its side will make the heat any cooler. it's all for show.
Melbourne: nice hat.
Bump has made it to the National Enquirer headquarters. he picks the lock on the gold safe with a strand of his gold hair.
Pecker: what are you doing, Mickey?
Bump: i'm taking out all the Kavanaugh Papers and putting in my prized Colin Kaepernick shoes with his signature on them. Pecker, what a glorious name. how does that work with the ladies? do you get made fun of or do you not have to pay for beer? i mean your name got Rachel Maddow to smile, she doesn't smile at anything cos it's dawning on her that she's a potbellied lesbian who'll never have kids.
Pecker: how'd you get Kaep to autograph them?
Bump: those blacks have the best hair, i'm jealous and envious, i can't get my hair like that. that's where they keep all their black magic. like that woman at the Aretha funeral with a fro bigger than the flat Earth. so i put on my fro wig and waited in line at Borders. i figured we'd bond over our collusions. i told Kaep the signature on my shoes was that of Michael Jordan, who wasn't afraid to say the word "Republican". but that if Colin erased Jordan's autograph and penciled in his, the shoes would be worth more than Jordan's, cos of course Colin was the bigger star, Colin was a star the likes of which the world has never seen and will never see again. he bought it. in more ways than one.
Pecker: well put on those shoes, race away, and get the hell outta here! i've been granted immunity by the Special Counsel against you!
Bump: what?!! shit!!! dammit BOB!
Bump: *on the phone on the run* hello Phil? Phil from Nike? this is an anonymous caller you don't know my voice. first of all, how does running help one's golf game? ridiculous. second, can you make all of your Kaep shoes with the rubber that burns easily? i want to have the only pair in existence when all is said and done, thank you.
in Heaven, John McCain takes the stage in time for his vaudeville show. he comes out in clown clothes with a huge ring and huge open space like a basketball basket for a belt, white clown makeup, red nose, and red lips. the makeup only serves to amplify his glints. he combs his hair neatly with a Navy comb and deliberately fumbles with his suitcase, which falls apart into four squares spilling out all his dirty clothes and messy long red dotted scarves and loopy belts and droopy flowers and keys and untucked shoes and three socks and brown shirts. the audience laughs, he smiles. he takes out a ridiculous oversize phone and puts the receiver to his mouth where he talks loudly.
McCain: Hilary? i can barely hear you from up here! *audience laughs* they call me MC McCain up here now. i know..............i know, honey.................it sucks to lose. to know that the rest of your life is kind of in vain cos your dream is dead. but you have it easier than me. pantsuits are easy to fold back up. *audience laughs*
Aretha Franklin joins John on stage.
Aretha: they found Dorothy's ruby slippers! they accused ME of stealing them for my funeral! shit am i still a black woman in Heaven!? *audience laughs*
McCain: i stick with blue. suede. it was quite the disconcerting experience watching my own funeral from above. scary really, all that sepulchral pomp and ceremony and concert. none of it means anything of course, but how are they below to know?
Aretha: *her arms around his shoulders* i'm not your war buddy.
McCain: *holding the X of her arms* sure you are, in the only war that matters.
Aretha: your offspring will carry the torch of your temper. that's quite the impressive quality woman you have there in your Meghan, quite the lass. she gave rich talk. a gay icon like me i hear, easier for her of course with the blonde hair and big boobs. we need more pro-sex Republicans down below.
McCain: *smirking* strictly dickly.
the two laugh together.