Part Nine: My Dinner with Lisa

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Feb 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/3/99
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(Chad's part...)
Part the Eighth: A Right Old Man, Henry

"What?"

"Seven. I prefer it to hello. It breaks the ice" the shirty woman with
the
matches said. Cord got the impression she cut her own hair.

"Oh, Seven" he said.

"Match?"

"No thank you"

"I was like you once" she began. Cord looked at her intently gazing
deeply
into her head.

"Career. Husband. Career. I had it all" Shirty explained, lobbing a
match
into the front seat where no one was driving the non-moving van.

"Um... husband? What? I'm not..." Cord interjected.

"But then... then..." Shirty Spice started to sob.

"What happened?"

"I acquired a taste for human brains. A rare condition, but not as
rare as
you think. It doesn't get much press."

At this point, Cord is more than worried. The King, he'd be okay. He
ain't
got no brains to be eaten.

"Um... that's understandable" Cord managed to mutter as he steathily
looked
around the van for exits.

"Things fell apart after that. The postman. My boss. My husband. I was
just
getting into different recipes: Curries, Tempura. I had just discovered
a
great recipe for Brain Au Jous"

Right after "Au Jous" and just before Cord was about to try to wiggle
through those tiny slit windows that vans always seem to have on the
sides,
the van bursts into flames. Cord grabbed Shirty, putting his hand over
her
mouth so she wouldn't get a chance to have some brain lunch when he's
not
looking, quickly opened the rear door of the van, and stepped out into
the
cold night's air.

Outside, the van, he noticed that it was one hepped up vehicle. Large
chrome hubs shined to perfection reflected the flames that engulfed the
van.
The rubber from the racing slicks was releasing a pretty bad smell and
the
airbrushed sides, which used to show a wide varied number of shirts
(some
with horsies, a nice dark blue with white edges, an orange NYC thruway
shirt,
a beautiful looking canteloupe shirt, a hideous pink ruffled tuxedo
shirt,
blue with white polkadots), is starting to drip. If a photographer had
been
there and gotten a good picture, the scene would have definitely gotten
a
pulitzer prize.

Just then, the Little Lord Corduroy noticed where all the flames were
coming from. The King was off to one side of the van with a large
backpack
on. He had a mask on and a light red body suit. A hose connected the
backpack
to a small gun he carried in his right hand. The small gun, an
industrial
strength flamethrower, was tossing carnage directly at the van.

"Pink ruffled shirt... too ugly... must... erg... too ugly... ugly
shirt..." the King was screaming so he could be heard over the flames.
Do you
know how hard it is to mutter incoherently while screaming at the top of
your
lungs? Try it sometime. Very hard.

Next to the King there was a small man trying to argue with him about
the
whole flamethrowing the van idea. The small man had some good arguments.
"Fire
is dangerous". "The shirt isn't *THAT* ugly". "Flames and gasoline don't
mix".

Cord took his hand off Shirty's mouth, patted her on the head and sat
her
down on the ground far enough away from the flames. She watched as a
small
man argued with a crazy loon with a flamethrower who was torching her
van.
"Sorry to run off like this. I'll be back in a second. I need to...
um...
well, it's pretty obvious what I need to do here".

He ran over to the King ready to save the day yet again when the small
man
headed him. "Hey. What's up with this?" the small man said.

"What? Oh, that's my friend. He's the King of Spain and..."

"Eh?" the man interrupted.

"I'm telling you he's the King of Spain. He's kinda..."

"What's he doing here flamethrowing this van that you were in?"

"I control that man not, um.. what's your name?"

"Henry"

"Nice to meet you Henry. Pardon me. I need to stop someone from doing
something completely stupid again." Cord said cordially.

"Well, I've tried reason. It didn't work. What are you going to do?"

Cord smiled. "Watch"

Cord and Henry walked up to the King. The van was pretty charred now.
Too
late for the picture.

"I one the van" Cord started, expecting a reply.

"I two the van" the King replied.

"I three the van" Cord kept playing along.

"I four the van" Henry stepped in, thinking they were both completely
crazy.

"I five the van" Cord kept going.

"I six the van" the King piped in.

"I seven the van" Cord said, looking over to Shirty Spice sitting
there
weeping over her all-but-lost van.

"I eight the van" the King said.

"Hey," Cord said as contemptously as possible, "you did not eat the
van.
It's right there. You're just cooking it to eat it later"

The King and Cord had a good laugh at this while Henry just shook his
head.

The King, still showering the van with liquid fire, got an idea.

"I one the flamethrower!" he declared.

Henry sullenly said as an aside: "Oh, so that's how you got it. Heh"

"I two the flamethrower" Cord played along.

"I three the stupid flamethrower. What the heck are we doing playing
kids
games, here?" Henry said.

"I four the flamethrower" the King threw in.

"and five the flamethrower too" he said.

"I six the flamethrower" Cord said loudly.

"I seven the flamethrower" The King said.

"I ate the stupid flamethrower. Haha. Give me the damn thing" Henry
screamed
at the King and grabbed for the flamethrower.

The King, not really thinking at all and more playing the game, stuck
the
flamethrowing into Henry's mouth. "Ha! You ate the flamethrower". He let
go
of the the nozzle as it got into Henry's mouth, but not before Henry's
insides were filled with flames. Henry's internally flaming body
juxtaposed
with the externally flaming van would have also made a good picture, but
alas, still no photographers.

"That'll teach him to eat flamethroweres, eh Cord?" the King said.

"Yeah. I'm glad we really didn't know him at all or else I'd be
feeling
really really bad right now"

Cord walked back over to Shirty as the King took off his flamethrowing
gear
and placed it beside Henry's charred remains.

"Um... sorry about your van, Shirty"

"My van? Screw my van. Where do you get off patting me on the head and
having me sit down? What this story needs is a strong female character
kicking some butt and you patting me on the head just isn't gonna cut
it,
mister."

"Right. Um... sorry. I guess we are a threesome now" Cord says. He
then
looks directly out of the book at the reader "Not *that* kind of
threesome,
people."

"Well, then it's dinner time" Shirty exclaimed and grabbed the King by
the
collar and dragged him off, "They got great scalded Brain and Tuna at
Moxie's
and brain isn't your style, go for the pork tenderloin. And anyways, I
gotta
finish my story..."

End Part the Ate, er I mean Eight.


Part Nine: My Dinner with Lisa


"Hi!" said the bubbly young woman. "Welcome to Moxie's. I'm Jinkies,
I'll be your server!" She started to rattle off the specials, but
Shirty stopped her cold.

"My usual. My friend in the hat will have the prime rib with baked
potato; the lad will have spaghetti and meatballs with a house salad.
Thousand Island. And I need an ashtray."

Jinkies crept away meekly, her bubble deflated by Shirty's commanding
air.

"All righty, boys, we need a plan."

"Well," Cord started out "We're, em, the King and I, we're out to find
some adventure!" He stared at her with eyes full of hope. She blew smoke
into his face and seemed more like Lauren Bacall in a Qiana shirt
every minute. Shirty Spice was his hero...

"And have you found any?"

"Et-Ceteraaaa Et-Ceteraaaaa Et-Ce-ter-aaaa." the King opined.

"Jesus! How do you turn him off?" Shirty glared at the King and then
reached across the table and grasped his nose between her tthumb and
forefinger.

The King opened his eyes wide as she said "Ah ah...got your nose. Be
quiet for five minutes and I'll give it back."

Shirty rolled her eyes and shook her head, then turned again to Cord. He
seemed so young , but he had managed to save her from that mall and
eliminate her bandmates, she figured, so he might be some use to her.

"Have you found any adventure, Cord?"

He thought about it for a minute, remembering the pirate ship, the guy
with the guitar, and poor roasted Henry. As he looked over at Shirty,
who seemed preoccupied staring in the direction of the man at the bar.
She might have a plan! "I'm not sure I know what adventure is any more,"
he whined.

"Oh, stop it. Wipe your nose and give me a minute."

Just about then, their food arrived. The King pouted infront of his meal
for a moment.

"Miss Shirty, I can't taste my meat if you've got my nose!" She had,
indeed, forgotten. What a managable bunch she'd stumbled onto!

She called over to Jinkies and asked her to keep Cord and the King
company while she took care of some important business. (Chad's
part...)
Part the Eighth: A Right Old Man, Henry

"What?"

"Seven. I prefer it to hello. It breaks the ice" the shirty woman with
the
matches said. Cord got the impression she cut her own hair.

"Oh, Seven" he said.

"Match?"

"No thank you"

"I was like you once" she began. Cord looked at her intently gazing
deeply
into her head.

"Career. Husband. Career. I had it all" Shirty explained, lobbing a
match
into the front seat where no one was driving the non-moving van.

"Um... husband? What? I'm not..." Cord interjected.

"But then... then..." Shirty Spice started to sob.

"What happened?"

"I acquired a taste for human brains. A rare condition, but not as
rare as
you think. It doesn't get much press."

At this point, Cord is more than worried. The King, he'd be okay. He
ain't
got no brains to be eaten.

"Um... that's understandable" Cord managed to mutter as he steathily
looked
around the van for exits.

"Things fell apart after that. The postman. My boss. My husband. I was
just
getting into different recipes: Curries, Tempura. I had just discovered
a
great recipe for Brain Au Jous"

Right after "Au Jous" and just before Cord was about to try to wiggle
through those tiny slit windows that vans always seem to have on the
sides,
the van bursts into flames. Cord grabbed Shirty, putting his hand over
her
mouth so she wouldn't get a chance to have some brain lunch when he's
not
looking, quickly opened the rear door of the van, and stepped out into
the
cold night's air.

Outside, the van, he noticed that it was one hepped up vehicle. Large
chrome hubs shined to perfection reflected the flames that engulfed the
van.
The rubber from the racing slicks was releasing a pretty bad smell and
the
airbrushed sides, which used to show a wide varied number of shirts
(some
with horsies, a nice dark blue with white edges, an orange NYC thruway
shirt,
a beautiful looking canteloupe shirt, a hideous pink ruffled tuxedo
shirt,
blue with white polkadots), is starting to drip. If a photographer had
been
there and gotten a good picture, the scene would have definitely gotten
a
pulitzer prize.

Just then, the Little Lord Corduroy noticed where all the flames were
coming from. The King was off to one side of the van with a large
backpack
on. He had a mask on and a light red body suit. A hose connected the
backpack
to a small gun he carried in his right hand. The small gun, an
industrial
strength flamethrower, was tossing carnage directly at the van.

"Pink ruffled shirt... too ugly... must... erg... too ugly... ugly
shirt..." the King was screaming so he could be heard over the flames.
Do you
know how hard it is to mutter incoherently while screaming at the top of
your
lungs? Try it sometime. Very hard.

Next to the King there was a small man trying to argue with him about
the
whole flamethrowing the van idea. The small man had some good arguments.
"Fire
is dangerous". "The shirt isn't *THAT* ugly". "Flames and gasoline don't
mix".

Cord took his hand off Shirty's mouth, patted her on the head and sat
her
down on the ground far enough away from the flames. She watched as a
small
man argued with a crazy loon with a flamethrower who was torching her
van.
"Sorry to run off like this. I'll be back in a second. I need to...
um...
well, it's pretty obvious what I need to do here".

He ran over to the King ready to save the day yet again when the small
man
headed him. "Hey. What's up with this?" the small man said.

"What? Oh, that's my friend. He's the King of Spain and..."

"Eh?" the man interrupted.

"I'm telling you he's the King of Spain. He's kinda..."

"What's he doing here flamethrowing this van that you were in?"

"I control that man not, um.. what's your name?"

"Henry"

"Nice to meet you Henry. Pardon me. I need to stop someone from doing
something completely stupid again." Cord said cordially.

"Well, I've tried reason. It didn't work. What are you going to do?"

Cord smiled. "Watch"

Cord and Henry walked up to the King. The van was pretty charred now.
Too late for the picture.

"I one the van" Cord started, expecting a reply.

"I two the van" the King replied.

"I three the van" Cord kept playing along.

"I four the van" Henry stepped in, thinking they were both completely
crazy.

"I five the van" Cord kept going.

"I six the van" the King piped in.

"I seven the van" Cord said, looking over to Shirty Spice sitting
there weeping over her all-but-lost van.

"I eight the van" the King said.

"Hey," Cord said as contemptously as possible, "you did not eat the
van.
It's right there. You're just cooking it to eat it later"

The King and Cord had a good laugh at this while Henry just shook his
head.

The King, still showering the van with liquid fire, got an idea.

"I one the flamethrower!" he declared.

Henry sullenly said as an aside: "Oh, so that's how you got it. Heh"

"I two the flamethrower" Cord played along.

"I three the stupid flamethrower. What the heck are we doing playing
kids games, here?" Henry said.

"I four the flamethrower" the King threw in.

"and five the flamethrower too" he said.

"I six the flamethrower" Cord said loudly.

"I seven the flamethrower" The King said.

"I ate the stupid flamethrower. Haha. Give me the damn thing" Henry
screamed at the King and grabbed for the flamethrower.

The King, not really thinking at all and more playing the game, stuck the
flamethrowing into Henry's mouth. "Ha! You ate the flamethrower". He let go
of the the nozzle as it got into Henry's mouth, but not before Henry's
insides were filled with flames. Henry's internally flaming body juxtaposed
with the externally flaming van would have also made a good picture, but
alas, still no photographers.

"That'll teach him to eat flamethroweres, eh Cord?" the King said.

"Yeah. I'm glad we really didn't know him at all or else I'd be
feeling really really bad right now"

Cord walked back over to Shirty as the King took off his flamethrowing
gear and placed it beside Henry's charred remains.

"Um... sorry about your van, Shirty"

"My van? Screw my van. Where do you get off patting me on the head and
having me sit down? What this story needs is a strong female character
kicking some butt and you patting me on the head just isn't gonna cut
it, mister."

"Right. Um... sorry. I guess we are a threesome now" Cord says. He
then looks directly out of the book at the reader "Not *that* kind of
threesome, people."

"Well, then it's dinner time" Shirty exclaimed and grabbed the King by
the collar and dragged him off, "They got great scalded Brain and Tuna at
Moxie's and brain isn't your style, go for the pork tenderloin. And anyways, I
gotta finish my story..."

End Part the Ate, er I mean Eight.


Part Nine: My Dinner with Lisa


"Hi!" said the bubbly young woman. "Welcome to Moxie's. I'm Jinkies,
I'll be your server!" She started to rattle off the specials, but
Shirty stopped her cold.

"My usual. My friend in the hat will have the prime rib with baked
potato; the lad will have spaghetti and meatballs with a house salad.
Thousand Island. And I need an ashtray."

Jinkies crept away meekly, her bubble deflated by Shirty's commanding
air.

"All righty, boys, we need a plan."

"Well," Cord started out "We're, em, the King and I, we're out to find
some adventure!" He stared at her with eyes full of hope. She blew smoke
into his face and seemed more like Lauren Bacall in a Qiana shirt
every minute. Shirty Spice was his hero...

"And have you found any?"

"Et-Ceteraaaa Et-Ceteraaaaa Et-Ce-ter-aaaa." the King opined.

"Jesus! How do you turn him off?" Shirty glared at the King and then
reached across the table and grasped his nose between her tthumb and
forefinger.

The King opened his eyes wide as she said "Ah ah...got your nose. Be
quiet for five minutes and I'll give it back."

Shirty rolled her eyes and shook her head, then turned again to Cord. He
seemed so young , but he had managed to save her from that mall and
eliminate her bandmates, she figured, so he might be some use to her.

"Have you found any adventure, Cord?"

He thought about it for a minute, remembering the pirate ship, the guy
with the guitar, and poor roasted Henry. As he looked over at Shirty,
who seemed preoccupied staring in the direction of the man at the bar.
She might have a plan! "I'm not sure I know what adventure is any more,"
he whined.

"Oh, stop it. Wipe your nose and give me a minute."

Just about then, their food arrived. The King pouted infront of his meal
for a moment.

"Miss Shirty, I can't taste my meat if you've got my nose!" She had,
indeed, forgotten. What a managable bunch she'd stumbled onto!

"Say, where is it that you're the big news, King?" she queried.

"He was the king of Spain, but it's been a long time," Cord answered on the
King's behalf, as the King was too well trained to talk with his mouth full.

"Well, the last time I checked, royalty was for life." She called over to
Jinkies and asked her to keep Cord and the King company while she took care of
some important business.

Shirty walked toward the bar, sizing up the man in the navy trousers and
overly pressed blue short sleeved shirt. There was a hat sitting next to him
as he sipped what appeared to be club soda. The hat had wings on the front.

"Hi" she purred as she slid onto the barstool next to the middle-aged man. "I
bet you're an airline pilot." As she smiled, the pilot took notice; he smiled,
and wondered how she knew his occupation.

She tapped the side of her head and smiled wider, batting her eyelashes at
him. "Lucky guess." Shirty hated playing the dumb girl, but it was the means
to an end.

"How'd you like to take me and my friends for a ride in your big plane?" The
pilot looked over to the table where she had gestured: a boy, a
bald man with an odd expression on his face, and a blond girl who looked a lot
like the waitress. She was cute. They were all cute, a cute bunch...

What could it hurt? Where are you going...

Shirty herded her charges into the Pilot's minivan as quickly as possible, she
kept their destination a surprise.

A million questions filled Cord's head. Where were they going? Who was this
pilot guy? Why do fools fall in love?

Jinkies headed instinctively for the galley as soon as they boarded the 747,
which was strangely devoid of passengers, except for a group of strapping
young men, one of whom identified his group as the US Olympic Water Polo
team.

"Shirty, for the last time, where are we going?"

She turned a brilliant smile on Cord, and in a tone that made one think of a
flamenco dancer with a rose clenched in her teeth, she responded "Espana!"

At which point, the King fainted dead away.

At Jinkies ear-shattering shriek, several of the water polo players bounded
through the cabin with the plane's first aid kit. "I know CPR! I know CPR!"
But Shirty instructed the Helpful Water Polo Guys--whose names were Jordan
and Steve, though nobody was completely sure who was whom-- to hold the king
steady. She sent Jinkies back to the galley to get some cold water, which she
promptly emptied over the King's bald head.

He coughed and sputtered for a second as he stared up at Shirty Spice in
amazement. Such audacity. Jinkies managed to find a towel, and Shirty began to
be happy that she'd thought to bring the girl along.

The King sat down next to Shirty and tried to explain his shock at going back
to his homeland.

"I left, oh, I don't know why I left. I just couldn't take her nagging any
more. She wanted to run the country, so I left and let her run the country.
She got what she wanted, and I pulled all my hair out."

She? Shirty wanted to know. The king was still talking.

"Lisa. His wife. The queen." Cord filled her in "We don't talk about her
much. I found out about her on a Style with Elsa Klench segment on CNN."

Shirty glanced around the cabin and found Jordan-and-Steve introducing Jinkies
to the rest of the team, she seemed to be the team's new sweetheart.

She found the liquor cart and wheeled it to the seat where Cord and the king
still sat, both quietly.

"Whiskey Sour, anybody?" She started. "Bloody Mary? Rum and Coke."

The king smiled "I like Pina Colada, and getting caught in the rain!"

She tossed him a light beer and a plastic cup, and asked Cord if he was old
enough to drink.

"Yeah, I'm 31 years old. Everybody seems to think I'm just a kid..."

Before long, Jinkies, Jordan-and-Steve and the rest of the water polo team
had moved over to sit near them. They microwaved bags of popcorn and broke
open the sodas as they watched Contact, starring Jodie Foster, as they
continued across the Atlantic to Spain.

*****

The king thought things looked a little different as they disembarked. For
one thing, the signs were all in English., and everything seemed very clean
indeed.

They were surprised as they approached an information booth and found that
the attendant wore a red blazer with a gold pin shaped suspiciously like the
head of Mickey Mouse.

"Hi! Welcome to SpanaDisney! How can I help you?"

The king hailed them a taxi, his instincts to lead returning more and more
every second he stood on native soil. This was his homeland, and something
was wrong, but he didn't know what. The first place they were going was the
Palace. Lisa had some answering to do....

The cabdriver spoke English, and also referred to the place as SpanaDisney.
The King began to fear that he'd made a terrible mistake all those years ago.

He noticed that the cab was followed by a pack of youngsters with brooms. They
seemed to be sweeping the street as the taxi drove over the pavement.

There ought to be people in the sidewalk cafes drinking wine and smoking
cigarettes, eating olives and spitting out the pits; there ought to be radiant
girls and boys on the beaches clad in frighteningly small swimsuits.

What he did see were families in minivans with coolers full of American soda.
He saw T-shirt stands, and vendors with pre-formed ice cream treats; he saw
vending machines with disposable cameras.

He alighted from the cab as Shirty payed the driver and Cord struggled to take
it all in. The sky was so blue, it seemed to have been airbrushed that way.
Spain looked like a movie!

They stood outside the opulent gates of the palace the king used to call home
for a few minutes. His keys no longer worked, and the guards didn't recognize
him.

He walked to where he knew Lisa would be, in her dressing room...

"Lisa! It's your husband. The King. What the hell have you done to my
country?"

A substantial blond woman walked out onto the balcony. Even if they hadn't
known she was a queen, her elaborate clothes said it for her.

"Welcome to SpanaDisney! I leased the country to the Walt Disney Company a few
years ago!" Lisa exalted. "Business couldn't be better, and look how clean
everything is!"

She continued, hollering for anybody to hear that her husband the king looked
pale and tired...not to mention bald, and where did he get that terrible hat?

"Ah, you shall all come in and get yourself cleaned up. I won't have you
standing on my street looking like rag pickers...there are no rags to pick in
SpanaDisney!"

Dejected, they trudged into the palace...

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