Don’t mean to be rude folks but its been a long time getting this issue to press and I’m butt sore from sitting here for 6 hours and bone tired. its nearly 1 Am on Wednesday morning as I finish this and it still feels like its 90 outside so you can imagine how my day in the field felt. Not exactly the way my vacation of protest over someone’s lackadaisical attitude towards this great publication should be going but hey wadda ya going to do?
Well I’m going to get some shut eye and hopefully some decent sleep since my day started at 05:30 yesterday now. Mean time you enjoy what turned out to be a very full issue and please accept my apology if the Agent 44DD Adventure isn’t quite up to editing snuff. I’ve been pressing since 11 Pm to finish it for you when I really just wanted to lay down, close my eyes and dream or bankrupting Donald Trump and Bill Gates.
Oh and Impish? That a rear view shot of me leaving that little island paradise not one of me arriving so keep looking sucker!
Nighty night all!
Nope too easy, I’m going to have to let this one pass.
WELCOME to 2015
• Our Phones – Wireless
• Cooking – Fireless
• Cars – Keyless
• Food – Fatless
• Tires –Tubeless
• Dress – Sleeveless
• Youth – Jobless
• Leaders – Shameless
• Relationships – Meaningless
• Attitudes – Careless
• Babies – Fatherless
• Feelings – Heartless
• Education – Valueless
• Children – Mannerless
• Country – Godless
We are SPEECHLESS, Government is CLUELESS,
And our Politicians are WORTHLESS !
I’m scared Shitless and
This is “Priceless”.
You Might Be A High Tech Redneck If…
– Your e-mail address ends in “@over.yonder.com.”
– You connect to the World Wide Web via a “Down Home Page.”
– Your laptop has a sticker that says, “Protected by Smith and Wesson.”
– You wire your network with jumper cables.
– Your wife said either she or the computer had to go, and you still don’t miss her.
– You’ve ever used a CD-ROM as a coaster to set your drink on.
– You ever refer to your computer as “Ole Bessy.”
– Three Words: Daisy Duke Screensaver
– Your spell checker knows words like, “Y’all”, “Yonder”, and “Reckon.”
– Your yard is full of dead CPUs, printers, modems and monitors.
– Your belt buckle is made from a dead 3.5″ disk drive.
– You ever felt you had to move your computer desk so it didn’t block the velvet picture of Elvis.
– Yer mouse keeps knocking over yer spitcan.
– Your wife catches you again with your “Farm Animals of the Orient” CD-ROM.
– When you order your new pick-up truck with a gun rack and USB ports.
– Your PC Games collection consists of nothing but Bass Fishing tournament games.
– You only buy from Gateway, ’cause the cow boxes are a hoot.
Well judging by the pictures, I might be tempted into complaining her boobs are fake and the fridge has too much lousy beer in it.
Green Goddess Dressing
Used to be a big thing back in the 60’s but fell out of favor for some reason. Makes good veggie tray dipping sauce and dressing for potato & pasta salads besides regular salads.
Makes a great dressing for a big batch of thinly sliced cucumbers & a small/med red onion sliced and broken up into rings. Also great drizzled into summer veggie filled pita pocket sandwiches.
You can change the flavor profile radically by swapping Mayo for Greek Yogurt, using Miracle whip, or adding a teaspoonful of a packet of ranch dressing mix. Also I like some fresh dill in mine or use mint in place of the tarragon.
Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
3 anchovy filets, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, dried, and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1 -1/2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the anchovies, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, parsley, tarragon, basil, shallots, lemon juice, and the 1/4-teaspoon of salt in a blender. Puree to make a smooth dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or store, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days.
Don’t have any shallots laying around? Use a tiny amount of garlic power and the minced white part of a few scallions.
Another old time favorite and staple of pot lucks and food items dropped of to a family during a family tragedy. Good served hot or room temp next to a nice crisp salad.
Use a rotisserie chicken and toss a couple bullion cubes in the past water to speed up getting out to the kitchen and the heat. If you are boiling the chicken I recommend going with boneless skinless chicken thighs and defatting them with kitchen snips. Dark meat has more flavor and removing the fat before cooking keeps your pasta from being greasy. Some frozen peas & Carrots tossed in with the pasta in the last 5 minutes and/or a jar of sliced button mushrooms both work well here.
Total Time: 1 hr 40 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 1 hr 20 min
Yield: 8 servings
1 whole raw chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Two 10 3/4-ounce cans cream of mushroom soup
1 medium onion, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken pieces to the boiling water and boil for a few minutes, and then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer, 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove the chicken and 2 cups of the chicken cooking broth from the pot. When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and pick out the meat (a mix of dark and white) to make 2 generous cups. Discard the bones and skin.
Cook the spaghetti in the chicken cooking broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When the spaghetti is cooked, combine with the chicken, 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the green peppers, red peppers, seasoned salt, cayenne, soup and onions, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup of the reserved chicken cooking broth, adding an additional cup if needed.
Place the mixture in a 9- by 13-inch sprayed/greased/oiled/buttered casserole pan and top with the remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake immediately until bubbly, about 45 minutes. (If the cheese on top starts to get too dark, cover with foil.)
If making where youngsters (or oldsters) might object to the slight kick of the cayenne skip it and reach for poultry seasoning instead. For me how much I use depends on how fresh it it but I wouldn’t go more than the 1/4 teaspoon the first time out.
I like using linguini or fettuccini in place of thin spaghetti as I think it holds up better and give a more toothsome feel.
Also you can experiment with different cheeses or cheese combinations in place of the straight sharp cheddar. I make a TexMex version using Rotel and Monterey Jack cheese
Finally if serving hot out of the oven, toss a little buttered breadcrumbs in with that cheese topping before baking to get that nice crunchy crust like on mac & cheese
Watch the dots at the crossing points change from white to black as your eyes more across the pattern.
Yeah I know we’ve run that last one before. What can I say, aside from Ginny being proud of her backside view and the fact there was a rare Blue Moon in Texas over weekend. Oh I almost forgot, melons are in season too!
Well yeah, given we were going into the triple digits last weekend there were probably a few of Molly’s current favorite beer to be had but that’s not the sort of Blue Moon I’m talking about.
As you can see Impish spent last Friday night searching for me under the Blue Moon. He should have been looking for the little green moon, in the airplane window flying overhead instead.
(CNN) If anything unusual happens to you Friday, you’ll be right to say it was “once in a blue moon.”
The July 31 appearance of the month’s second full moon will be the first such occurrence in the Americas since August 2012. Every month has a full moon, but because the lunar cycle and the calendar year aren’t perfectly synched, about every three years we wind up with two in the same calendar month.
But Earth’s satellite will most likely not appear blue at all.
Typically, when a moon does take on a bluish hue, it is because of smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere, such as during a cataclysmic volcanic eruption.
Today’s modern day usage of the phrase blue moon can be attributed to a Sky and Telescope writer who in the 1940s tried to clear up a confusing definition published by the Maine Farmers’ Almanac. The U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington states that when a season has four full moons, the third one is called a blue moon.
This lunar event will not be seen again until January 2018.
the marcels .. blue moon.
asked Impish’s Doctor!
Lethal stares at Mr. Gray a moment before smiling and saying, “Been working on your forced audience entry technique I see. Not bad, a definite improvement, but I still think you can do better.”
“Yeah well I had a hard time concentrating on the new one I was going to try. There wound up being a major distraction in your outer office made it hard to focus on doing something new and untried so I fell back on this more familiar one.”
“Noname showed up?”
“Nah that wouldn’t have phased me. I think you caught Friday by surprise showing up here today. Looks to me like she was off some place sunning her considerable charms and just threw a blouse and short hip riding skirt over her none to expansive swim attire and probably didn’t actually grab her own blouse. As a result when she stood up as I was giving her the hard time to reach for her Valkrye Axe she blew 3 buttons off the front of the blouse.”
“Ah! Yes. Um-hm I can certainly see how that would be a major distraction issue when attempting and unfamiliar intimidation technique. You did well then, shes done that deliberately as a distraction on several occasions and reduced denizens to drooling dolts reaching for their trousers, I suppose I should apologize as I fear the entire scene was my fault in a way. I knew there was no way Impish would be in the office today, especially with your house warming going on and sometimes telecommuting just isn’t an acceptable method for dealing with things so I decided to sneak in thru a private secret entrance to my office and get a little work done in peace. Beside when I saw Friday earlier I decided that getting by her and her …formidable distractions would make a great no notice field exercise for you”
“That was one hell of a no notice field test I’ll tell you that! Focusing on the fear of the havoc Mrs. Gray would inflict inside my trousers barely prevented me from joining the ranks of the drooling dolts! How the hell do you manage to withstand it?”
“First time it happened, I just dropped my trousers and Y fronts, said if you’re going to show me yours its only fair I show you mine. Then we spend a day and a half locked in my office after that in nonstop intense private negations exploring various the positions and permutations of our Employer/Employee office dynamic, came to an mutually satiated arrangement and everything has been fine ever since.”
“You mean you and…multiple times and positions?…for a day and a half?…nonstop?…I’ll…”
<BUZZ! BUZZ-BUZZ-BUZZ! BUZZZZZ!>
“Yup right on time. Hold the rest of that comment of Bro admiration for me while you come to terms with that bit of information just a moment please. Take a seat. <slides humidor across the desk> Have a cigar, this will only take a minute.”
<CLICK!> “Yes Friday? Exactly what part of ‘do not disturb me’ did your apparently still on sunning your buns mind fail to comprehend? “Sir sorry to interrupt but Noname is out here requesting your lunch order. He’s most insistent and I didn’t think you’d be happy with a repeat of earlier.”
“Ah yes quite right. Good point. Let me see…I think I’ll have a Veggie Bacon BLT w/ Vegimite on a Gluten Free Pita, Tofu Fries with Hummus and a Wheat Grass & Goji Berry Smoothie with Flax Seed.”
“Sir Noname says he just threw up in his mouth a little .”
“Tell him I said chance favors the prepared stomach..as does Andrew Zimmer. We can’t all be food snobs like Tony Bourdain.”
“He’s smiling sir and said he’ll be in his office should you need him for anything further he flat out refuses to even utter that food order.”
“Very good. Thank you Friday and thank Noname for me… if you can drag his attention away from your distractions being on display.”
“Eep! Ah err.. yes sir! Thank You sir.”
“Thank You Friday”
Lethal turns his attention back to Mr. Gray.
“Now where were we Gray?”
Mr. Gray sits upright in a leather club chair legs crossed intently looking at Mr. Green with his right hand inside his dove gray suit jacket and a large fat cigar held casually in his left.
“Excellent cigar Green, thank you very much. I’m really looking forward to being able to legally obtain Cubans once more and hopefully at a far more reasonable price. Was that, I fervently hope, a duress code test and not you’re actual lunch order? There isn’t about to be some serious unpleasantness just because I didn’t have an appointment and barged my way in here is there?”
” Yes it was ruse to see if I was under duress. My voluptuous and devoted assistant takes umbrage at people, even Impish barging into my office when I say I don’t want to be disturbed. Plays hell with her quarterly performance bonus and you know how girls love their mad money for shopping sprees. Apparently she tripped the silent alarm in response to you’re costing her at least one pair of Manolo Blahniks. She was hoping no doubt to see NoName and the Spectral Warfare Team drag you out of here wrapped in my rug heels first.
You won’t ever find these cigars on the open market. I own both the tobacco farm as well as the rolling facility those are made in. The entire growing and manufacturing process is a closely held secret but I will tell you this much- the wrappers are the finest available Connecticut shade grown leaves and are hand rolled between the lustful thighs of some extremely horny young Cuban virgins with extraordinary muscle tone and control. And do take you hand off your weapon, I assure you mine is bigger than yours and aimed at a portion of you and your aforementioned wife hold very dear.”
“Hard shot to make with my legs crossed isn’t it?”
Green examines his cigar selection contemplatively before replying offhandedly, “Not really….considering you’re sitting on mine, a pair of 12 gauge shells loaded with flechettes and the remote trigger is part of this cigar lighter.”
Mr. Gray smiles as his hand slowly comes out of his jacket empty, “Well played sir! Please believe I am 100% dead serious when I ask ‘Who do I have to kill to get a box of these from you Green?’. “
“It might interest you to know you’re the second ummm…’individual’ to ask me that exact question today.”
<Chuckling> “Then maybe I should kill my competition for the box of cigars!
Green grins widely with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. “Now that would be a serious bout of entertainment that might be arranged. Would you have any objection to my selling tickets to the event? I would screen the tape at a later date of course and blur out your features if you succeed.”
Gray makes an ‘as you wish hand gesture. “Listen I was serious,when I said we need to talk earlier. Something is seriously wrong. The Impish persona seems to be staging a mind coup. What should more or less be a case of three dissociative identities only vaguely aware of each other now seem to be cross talking with greater frequency and clarity. I’m concerned Impish is possibly attempting a merging of the personas and that’s not good. As it stands now the voyeuristic little shit thinks my life is an interactive reality show.”
“Yes I have been seeing some stranger than normal behavior from Impish (which I realize really isn’t saying all that much) plus the reports from my inside man I put on him have begun to be increasingly disturbing. I was afraid it might be indications of something like this. That’s why I asked you here on such short notice even knowing about your house warming party or as I would have labeled it ‘the decent of the horde of familial relations none of whom helped you move but will gladly eat you out of house and home like a migrating flock of locus’. “
“Ahem…since this meeting is likely being taped I’ll exercise discretion in the name of marital valor and refrain from commenting on your comment. Moving right along to safer subjects now, how is Terrance holding up under the strain of his long term assignment? I’m surprised Impish hasn’t ferreted him out as your spy yet!”
Mr. Green opens a folder and slides several sheets of a nearly transparent paper across his desk in Mr. Gray’s direction before he responds.
“As you can see from this transcript of monitoring devices, Terrance did all but formally confess to his activities to a priest in front of him and it went went right over Impish’s head sailing through his horns like uprights on a goal post. The poor fellow is so worked up and conflicted he honestly fears we’ll fire and black ball him /or just outright make him disappear permanently down on Level 6. As a result I’m going to pull Terrance back and let him rest a while since I had anticipated this far in advance and arranged to insert another operative into Impish’s circle of intimates. This time I arranged it for Impish himself to invite our man in simply by arranging a series of events for which Impish feels responsible and a sort of kindred spirit with our man…or should I say cat.”
Mr. Grey grunts looks up from the papers as he puts cigar to it and it disappears in a flash. “I thought Impish was scared shitless, and I mean that literally upon several occasions, by the Ninja kitties. Why would he ever take one into his confidence? He has to know that their first loyalty is to their clan Mistress and her’s is to you ergo they’ll choose you every time over him. Even his IQ isn’t that low!”
“Quite right. That’s why I arranged for Brutus to take that little trip with him for the field exercise and for him to take that pratfall as well. Admittedly Brutus missed the air bag we had placed for him totally and did wind up injured but no where near as bad as was made out too Impish. Ever since they’ve become quite friendly and close. I think Impish forgets Brutus is around a lot of the time or thinks he’s sleeping when he’s actually doing the meditative cat thing.”
<Laughing> “Oh man that great! That’s funny shit right there I don’t care who you are!” < Mr. Gray’s voice turns serious> “However that doesn’t do anything for my/our problem. What are we doing to do about…”
<Mr. Green stands up after filling his pocket humidor and taking several pocket flasks from his desk> “I know what you are about to ask me. Let’s not discuss it here. I’ve arranged for us to have a lunch meeting someplace secure with an individual that is going to help us… contain Impish for a while as well as see that he gets that missing second earring he should have gotten already. I’m hoping that is what’s causing the problem or that once the system is fully online it will be able to counter act the issue for us. I also don’t think from Brutus’s comment that the original earing got fully installed as intended.”
<Mr. Green removes a Blackberry from and inside jacket pocket> “Green to C2B2: How are you and our guest getting along?”
“He’s flatting my springs, stinking up my garage with his obnoxious cigars and every Ninja cat in the clan has come to see him so my interior is covered in cat hair! This really is intolerable!”
“This coming from the car that when I found you was sporting was sporting 100 year old ice cream drips over 1/2 her back seat and a crust of chicken droppings mix with hay dust a good quarter of an inch think over most of her coach work.”
“That’s certainly all true which is why I’m trying to avoid returning to that state. Was there a reason for you call or just to see how my torment was progressing?”
“I’m on my way down with our last traveling companion you might want to crank yourself up roll over in front of your full length mirror and then try activating those black boxes I attached while you were away with me and make sure the whole systems works. If not you got the worlds most expensive clear coating in history.”
“I thought you said they system was locked and I couldn’t access it with out the proper codekey?”
“I’m sending it now then stepping into my private elevator.”
After sending a text message, Green carrying a metal brief case in hand and Gray enter the elevator concealed in the office where Gray never would have believed it was possible. A brief stop ensues when from a dimly lit hallway with faint distant sounds of kitchen bustle where Mr. Gray is directed to take a large soft sided cooler hurriedly aboard the elevator.
When Mssrs. Gray & Green arrive at their destination. Mr Gray who was prepared (or so he thought) to be awe struck by the sight of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang being a reality experiences severe underwhelmment. The Victorian/Steampunk decorated garage bay appears empty. “Geeze Green you’ve either lost your car or your marbles to say nothing of your ability to play a funny prank, this place is emptier than Impish’s mind!”
Suddenly a deep voice booms out, “Well I guess that answer the question of if Mz. Chitty here has been trying to pull one over my horns. I guess there really is such a thing as a Refractive Reflective Replicating Visual Cloaking Device.”
A faint shimmer can be seen and suddenly C2B2 is sitting before Mr. Gray but that’s not what his eyes fix on. In the back of the car, if C2B2 can be termed just a car, literally side to side sits a giant red humanoid in a warn brown leather duster, smoking a horrendous smelling cigar stub as a horned tail casually flics back and forth behind him spearing the smoke rings the figure puffs out. Two ground down horns appear to protrude from his forehead. While his pate is completely smooth his sideburns beard and hair which he wears slicked down and combed back into a short pony tail is inky black.
“Hey Green about time! Whose the pasty looking guy? He don’t look so good all the sudden. Can’t be my cigar cause he’s smoking one too, which unless one of you have an extra of I might be confiscating.” SNIFF! “Is that” SNIFF SNIFF “your allegedly magical pastrami I smell? Better hand it over now and save yourself the embarrassment of me taking it from you.”
“Duh duh duh dat’s…”
“Mr Gray meet Mr. Red. A tad obvious name I’ll freely admit but given his uh… skin coloration and his size there really wasn’t much of a discussion of other naming options. Mr. Red, lunch will be served when we have arrived at our destination. Mean while….” <Green roots around for a moment in the soft-sided cooler before extracting a 3 foot long summer sausage> “… think of this as an appropriately sized for you Slim Jim to hold you over for the trip.”
“I insisted on Mr. Red because I already have 3 names I had to remember and answer to, Red being one of those. Well, mostly just to two of them. Anybody that calls me the third, well they got really short life expectancies. So your Gray huh? You’re moving pretty fast there Greenie ain’t cha? Things worse than you let on or their been new developments? I thought we was doing lunch. Mmm! Jalapeno flavor! Good choice Greenie.”
As Mr. Red speaks Green stows the cooler and brief case in a wicker trunk attached to C2B2’s rear bumper slapping repeatedly at the tail which seems intent on investigating the contents of the cooler and double checking the closing straps twice. Once stowed he motions Gray to climb aboard while he climbs into the drivers seat of C2B2 who promptly admonishes him:
“Don’t even think about it shorty, not without a booster seat! I’ll do the transporting myself.”
Mr.Green takes his Blackberry from his vest, points it at a wall and punches in a code. A section of wall slides back reveling a ramp with daylight at its far end.
“Of course my dear, a final trip before I give you to Mr. Red as his personal transportation until such time as you remember whom your betters are and who exactly you owe all this new found independence and state of the art gadgetry too. Now if you really wouldn’t mind moving us along, the three of us really so have an awful lot to discuss and please don’t forget to reengage the visual cloak, you cheeky overly decorated CAB!”
“Ladies and gentleman please buckle your seat belts should you need a booster seat to be properly engaged with the seat restraints…go fly Hobbit Air. We’ve received out clearance for immediate departure and…”
OW! DAMN IT GREENIE! SERIOUSLY? You rat trapped the buckles on the picnic basket? <Grunt> Hey! My tails stuck what gives?”
“Now Mr. Gray and I are assured some lunch. If you’re done with the Yard ‘o Beef stick already then here suck on this cigar for a while.”
The car immediately lurches forward and into the air!
“No smoking sign is lit! Please do not smoke while we’re aloft!”
A short while later they appear to arrive at their destination.
“Gentleman we’ll be landing momentarily please return your seats and trap tables to their upright positions and thank you for inconveniencing me by insisting on flying Bang Bang Airwhines. Wait! ‘Airwhines’? How did that wind up in my dictionary?!”
Mr. Green turned to the other two winking broadly. Once C2B2 has stopped and shut down Red hops over her side and stretches as Blue stands up and looks around.
“This place looks familiar but wrong somehow isn’t this where…”
“Used to be. With Impish acting so strange and knowing where it was we decided to close this one up for now and move to the M.R.N.M. location facility.”
“Aren’t you taking a chance telling me that? He might learn it from me if things get any worse. “
“Not really…Mr. Red if you please?”
Gray feels a large hand clamp on his head. “Hold still pasty, believe me anything you try to do will wind up hurting you more than it does me” A pair of large stone fingers surprisingly delicately examine Gray’s ear with the grey flat stud in it. “Yup its just like you figured Greenie, the incomplete installation carried through to all his forms. Want that I should…”
“Please do Red, and gently mind you. We don’t need anything damaged.”
“So glad you’re worried about my comfort and pain level green since I’m a prisoner to what ever HOLY SHIT! HE SAID GENTLY! What part of no damage you have a problem understanding?!” Red releases Gray and takes a step back.
“He was referring to not damaging the earing, not you.. Sorry but it wasn’t fully seated so it wasn’t making full contact, you got fat ear lobes and the hole was pretty much healed so I had to sort of semi re-pierce your ear for you. Plus there are a whole bunch of electrode thingies-somthings that needed to pierce your skin. I’ll admit earlobes are pretty tender even mine, but man up already Pasty face you’re embarrassing yourself!
Gray grumbles a bit about liberties being taken on and with his person then suddenly stops cocking his head as if listening to something far distant from him. “Hey I can still sense/hear him but its like there’s a wall between us now…a really thick well built wall. Oooo! I don’t think he’s happy he’s lost his favorite reality show mid party either!”
“Gentleman enough Impish for the moment I want to enjoy my lunch and he’s really not fit meal conversation.”
The soft sided cooler is opened and Green starts distributing items. 6 wrapped sandwiches, a family sized bag of Doritos and a 6 pack of beer are passed to Red.
“Mmm! Spicey Nacho! Good choice Green. Hey wait a second! What no pickle?”
“As soon as we get ours you get the rest of the bagful. I ordered 2 spears per half of your sandwiches and 1 each for ours.”
“OK just as long as nobody forgot the pickles. It isn’t a good deli lunch without the pickles.”
Green hands Gray a sandwich a much smaller bag of chips and a large bottle of IBC Root Beer. He holds a Ziploc of pickles open for Gray to extract 4 then tosses the rest of the bag to Red who regards the Jason’s sandwich wrappers with amusement.
“Geeze! You even camouflage your lunch Green? That’s hard core!”
“What’s he talking about, ‘camouflaging your lunch’? What’s wrong with Jason’s Deli?” Gray rapid fired out the questions.
“Nuffin wrong wid it.” Red manages to get out around the 1/2 of one of his sandwiches his jaw is working on. “’Cept dez sandwiffs ain’t frum dere.”
Mr. Green nods and points at Red saying “He’s right, on both counts. The sandwiches were camouflaged and they aren’t from Jason’s Deli. A certain non meal topic individual has an understandable obsession with my private Deli meats, especially my Pastrami. Had there been any investigation the double wrapping with the mislabeled outside wrapper and the sealed plastic inside plus the fact that this is an actual Jason’s Deli delivery transport cooler bag gave me a reasonable chance of misleading said unmentioned entity and our being able to enjoy this lunch.”
“But how did you know that?” Gray asks regarding his sandwich with some suspicion while addressing the question to Red, “What was it that tipped you off?”
Red pauses long enough to wash the 1/2 of a sandwich down with one of the beers before appearing to do a little math on his fingers and grunt. “12 pack would have been better Greenie you know 6 sandwich’s makes 12 halves with one beer per half.”
“Liz made me promise you’d get home sober. Sorry but I have absolutely no interest in finding out what being cremated alive is like.”
Red grunts and shakes his head ruefully. “Heh! The old flaming ball and chain, good thing I love her cause she serious knows how to ride my tail. To answer your question Gray, simple, because I own a few Jason’s and this pastrami and corn beef is WAY better than what we sell and just might really be magical. Plus mine have El Loco Diablo mustard on them, nice attention to detail by the way Green, and no restaurants will ever offer it, its just too insanely hot”
“You?! You own Jason’s Deli franchises? Really? I mean seriously? That really doesn’t seem uh I mean that…uh…I’ll just eat my foot now since its already in my mouth.”
“Yeah I know don’t worry I get that a lot. Real shocker when the big hulking horned red demonic guy turns out to be a tax paying incorporated entity.
See shortly after I convinced Liz we could do the happily ever after and white picket fence thing she got contacted by this financial planner guy who handles only famous mythical magical and paranormal clients. He told her we needed to plan for the future since I was in a somewhat dangerous business. He said he could help us become more financially secure by allowing him to invest and manage our money for us. She was about to flame him right through the phone I think because he wouldn’t take her no thank yous seriously when he said something that caught her attention. He said he tailored each investment plan to the specific needs of each client and in our case his strategy would also have the added benefit of reducing my food expense. She arranged a meeting right away then told me I was meeting with him. Little dude was fearless. Climbed right up on his desk, shoved a pistol gripped sawed off autoloading shotgun I never even saw up my nose and tells me that he’d clean my sinuses out for me if I flicked any more cigar ash on his oriental rug instead of using the ash tray. THEN he tells me to start carrying breath mints cause my mouth wash ain’t making it!” <Green blushes and Gray belly laughs while sparing Green a sideways glance. >
So I figure any guy this sure of himself and that Liz thought was worth listening to should at least be heard out. Damned if his plan didn’t fit my needs exactly too! Now I’ve got, I don’t know exactly how many franchises, nation wide in about 25 different chains. Pizza, Chicken, Burgers, Hot Dogs, BBQ Joints, Sandwiches, Mexican, Chinese, Donuts, Ice Cream, Coffee. From what Liz says we’re going to get some of them sit down fast food places soon too like, that Friday’s place and Chilis.
Dude bought us mostly established franchises with proven track records from people looking to retire or with health problems, anyone motivated to sell and at a reasonable price for a fast close. Unless that is he found a market where some segment was under represented in a major way. We make embarrassing amounts of money and I can eat at any of them for free because we own it. They keep Liz busy with the day to day and I make appearances if the profits dip, unless its because I ate there. Also he got us one hell of a tax shelter set up, also customized to me. We own about a dozen large regional no kill pet shelters, all nonprofits which employ close to a 1000 people and take not only strays but feral and special needs animals. I like to spend some down time while Liz visits our franchises by going to the shelters and socializing the feral cats. Pretty hard for them to hurt this.” (he gestures to his stone arm).
Red suddenly realizes how long and how much he’s been talking about his least favorite subject, himself. “So anyway Greenie what’s in the other case? Dessert? Did I actually talk you out of a box of those Cubans of yours?” Red’s tail sudden produces one and plugs it in the corner of his mouth Gray’s jaw drops and a healthy bite of sandwich falls out This rouses him and he starts cleaning himself off while shooting dagger like glances at Green who pretends not to notice.
Green finishes chewing wipes his mouth and with his foot pushes the case a token distance towards Red. “No that’s the thing. You know the one you asked for that we discussed? I had some down time recently since I’ve been pulling an Impish and phoning in issues to avoid his whining for me to do his work because he’s delusional over Gray’s life, so I was able to finish it rather quickly. Take it easy though you’ve only got about 10 of each type of load we discussed. They’re not exactly off the shelf items you know.”
“HE was the ‘other individual’ that wanted a box of cigars? Green you bastard! The deals off! Gray fumed.
“Relax! I was just setting up the long con joke I knew you’d never have said any of that if you knew who your competition was. Besides you know what the Rules of Acquisition say ‘Treat your friends like family…exploit them. There is no profit in dead friends my friend. But that look on your face when the light went on over you head? Priceless. Now finish cleaning yourself up you’ve got Sauerkraut in you pants cuff and Swiss on you tie still.
Go ahead Red open it everything is in there even a holster for it. I hope you don’t mind under arm reversed draw. Given the weapon and you’re normal gear carry it seemed the most logical.”
Red opens the case eagerly but with great reverence at the same time. “This is my first custom built for me weapon and to get one hand made by Armageddon Armaments Head Armorer himself? Thanks Greenie this really means a lot!”
Gray stands up to get a better look at the weapon as Red carefully removes it from inside the red flocked interior of the case.
HOLY CRAP! WHAT the hell is that thing! Look at the barrels on it! What the hell caliber is it? Gray is both awed and slightly horrified by the weapon. Awed at its construction and simple but extremely functional design, but horrified at the thought of the amount of damage it appears capable of inflicting at the same time.
“That gentlemen is what I decided to call the Dahlgren 25mm Double Barrel Hand Cannon in honor of Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren another weapons design visionary. To answer Mr.Gray’s question the caliber conversion equates to .98 caliber. It fires repurposed and in certain cases re-projectiled unused 25 mm grenade rounds, uhh…misplaced shall we say from the Us Military’s XM25 Punisher field trials, so save your brass Red it’s hard to come by.”
“Long relief scope? A scope Greenie you know I prefer to work up close! What am I going to do with a scope? If I play Peeping Tom again Liz has threatened to burn out my retinas and I believe her!”
I’d believe her too, that little firebrand of your can have quite the temper when provoked and gets insanely hot under the collar! However why don’t you try looking though the scope before complaining about it. Here, try it with these new shooting glasses I had made for you. The glasses scope and gun are meant to be used as a set.” Green removes them from the case, handing them to Red.
Red puts them on, insures the weapon is empty and then start looking through the scope at various objects. “Whoa! Now I understand! How many spectrums composite am I seeing? Hey! It’s identifying your species! He swings weapon towards Mr. Gray Awe its broke already! It can’t make up its mind what he…OH! I get it! Ok that makes sense. Hey Bang! Smile for the hand cannon scope! Huh can’t make up it’s mind about her either…Keeps flipping back and forth between Sentient Technology and non Corporeally possessed machine.”
“That’s because I’m a complicated entity!”
“Nah that’s just woman speak for you can’t even make your mind up about your own self!”
This garners a round of chuckles from all male present and a rude horn sound from C2B2 which has the effect of eliciting another round of chuckles from the males.
Red turns his attention back to the Dahlgren 25mm’s inspection. “Yeah this should do the job alright if he decides not to come quietly if or when the time comes and goes all Big Blue on me. How do I tell the rounds apart?”
“The primers orange are explosive, red are lethal with the silver tips being a mixiture of Cold Iron and Blessed silver pellets. Red primer with the flames on the tip are Dragon’s Breath with delayed detonation, they’ll travel about 50 feet before throwing a 25 foot tongue of white phosphorus, tungsten and metallic Sodium. Green are nonlethal. Green with 4 pronged tip is a tazer cartridge yellow tipped are expanding glue foam- there’s a spray can of solvent in the case with those and a little goes a long way. Orange caps are a Mace & Ghost Pepper combo- don’t be down wind of this as its formulated to be extremely persistent as well as hard to remove. The speckled caps contain multiple tracking agents suspended in a aqueous gel. Blue primers are tranquilizing, the white tips being aerosol dispersing . The flat nose tips are injection darts but unlike most which are piston driven and require a needle these contain a small CO2 charge to deliver the tranquilizer not unlike those public health immunization guns. Simple contact between business end and skin will set it off so technically you can just jab it against a target if necessary. White primers are flare- check the tip for the flares color. The white tips are illumination flares and will last roughly 1 minute and illuminate roughly 300 foot diameter area initially. No color on the primer and it’s a real XM25 grenade fused to air detonate 75 feet from its firing point and has a blast radius of 25 feet.
Black Primer and black case are kinetic energy penetrator rounds. These are extremely dangerous, I wouldn’t ever recommend firing these one handed even for you as the retain the full powder charge from the original rounds. They fire a single 50 caliber dart of spent uranium and penetrate up to 2 inches of armor or hide. Their residual radiation block most regeneration abilities and allows for tracking. It will make a hole roughly the size of a man’s thumb going in and dinner plate sized exiting the armor. Anything inside the armored vehicle will require a bag of speedi-dry and a wet/dry vac for collection afterwards.”
The weapon will hold 6 rounds maximum, 4 in the cylinder and 2 in the pipes. You can use the slide on the forestock to deselect the lower barrel. this allows you to load a single radically different round from the others you are using as a back up without worry. Reselecting double barrel mode will automatically then select the lower barrel as the next to fire.”
“How do I set the dosage on the tranqs? I’m not going to have time to do no fancy weight estimating and dose calculating. I’m use to them being preloaded for specific targets by someone else. I suspect Mr. Gray would be a tad inconvenienced to say nothing of extremely miffed if I accidentally OD’d Impish or Big Blue.”
Gray who had been cleaning up the area from lunch while enjoying a smoke break was now giving their conversation his full attention.
“Impish has a high drug tolerance. His party animal attitude has had him taking various recreation pharmacopeia periodically for over a century now as near as I can figure. I saw him ingest enough Peyote to kill 4 buffalo and he just got happy complainant and hallucinated. The tranq round you have have a band just above the brass cartridge which meters the amount of CO2 used to expel the drug. I’ve been assured there should be enough drug in the injector at maximum setting to drop a pissed off full grown Dragon in 20 seconds. The people who assure me of this are in a position to know as they have risked their lives using it on Dragons in that state. Use the Max setting for Big Blue the middle setting for Impish and the lowest setting for any humanoid up to 500#. They should be out cold for roughly 3 to 4 hours and then complaint and co-operative for roughly another half hour once regaining consciousness.”
Clean up having been done and everything returned to C2B2. the three make ready to mount up and return to DL/LL HQ. Green climbs aboard stops before sitting gets down and finds the paper bag with the Jason’s wrappers in the whicker trunk. He takes it over and carefully pins it under several rocks moving them just so so a blind man would have a hard time not spotting them if searching the area but hidden just enough not to be an obvious plant.
“That’s ecologically unsound you know.” admonished Chitty. “I was shocked to see how much more pollution there was between when I went to sleep and when you woke me up. It’s sad really to see that for all your technological advances how far you’ve regressed in caring about and for your only home.”
“Yes ma’am you are 100 percent correct by and on all accounts and I am in complete agreement with you on the subject. However what you witnessed wasn’t a deliberate callous act of littering, rather it was a careful and subtle posting of a message designed to instill worry and fear thereby causing confusion and useful panic I hope. Think of it as…think of it as both an invitation to and warning of the need for a self intervention by the message’s recipient. Finally unless I’m way off base I don’t think that that bag will be here by this time next week. I think it will have found its way back to HQ with another.
If you say so. Can we get going? It going to be dark soon and I can’t fly in the dark without headlights and that sort of kills the whole benefit of the Refractive Reflective Replicating Visual Cloaking Device.
“Before we go anywhere I want a straight answer to a couple of questions.” said Gray somewhat contemplatively, “I think I have a right too them since what has just transpired seems likely to effect me on a far more personal level than any of you.” As he says this Gray turns so he can keep both Mr. Red and Mr. Green in his line of sight which places him in as best a position as he can obtain to exit the vehicle and flee if he has too.
“All I wanted out of this was my personal head space back. OK so maybe all of this was my fault for calling attention to myself by being unable to resist playing Wilson to Impish’s Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor I don’t know. When I did it I thought I was going to be helping I didn’t ever think things would end up like this for a second. But I have to be honest Green you have a bit of a reputation regarding how you deal with problems that are inconvenient, frustrating or a threat to good order and sanity and right now I’m fighting the urge to draw down on the both of you. I mean suddenly here is freaking Hell Boy whom I didn’t have any idea even worked for us, you’ve given him a gun which seems custom made for hunting Dragons and you are talking DAMNED CASUALLY about shooting Impish like it was a forgone conclusion! I want to know exactly what the plan is and I want to know NOW. I was under the impression that the improvement in things fully seating this earring, which I was never informed of either by the bye, was a promising sign and that things would only get better as all the earrings got fully seated in all the ears of what ever the hell the 3 of us are all together. So tell me exactly what your plans are from this moment on with regard to this problem.”
“Look Gray…it’s not like that…”
“BE QUIET! You little green con man. I want to here it straight from the mouth of your bounty hunting demonic golem here. Well Red what are you planning to do to Impish?”
Red slowly reaches into a chest pocket on his duster and produced a small plastic vial with a tiny object inside offering it to Mr. Blue then dropping it on the front seat Blue formerly occupied. Blue carefully picks it up and sees it contains another earring.
Red says very calm and self assuredly “You’re right I am a heavy hitter. They bring me in for all the really big dirty and nasty jobs. For a while and not just with D.R.A.G.O.N. those have involved me being both physically and technologically out gunned. The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense just doesn’t have the funds it used to because the government thinks terrorists are scarier plus easier and cheaper to defeat. after I retired just like you guys I saw that things were starting to get really bad in my adopted homeland and that all sorts of nastiness was crawling out of the garbage pits we buried it in. So I started free lancing hoping to make enough money to get me some better stuff. Then I met Mr. Green and he told me about D.R.A.G.O.N. I bartered my services for better weapons and access to some high tech. That’s what the weapon is for, not specifically for Impish or anything else, but to keep me from getting my ass kicked as much an as often cause I’m tired of getting up feeling sore in the morning.
As for my intentions regarding you, Impish and Big Blue”, he points at the vial still in Gray’s hand, “my job is to see that earing installed in his other ear fully and correctly as well as doing to his first one the same thing I did you yours. Now we can accomplish that one of three ways, the easy way, with great reluctance or the bang a gong lets get it on way, the choice is entirely up to Impish. Personally I’d be just as happy to do this the easy way and be home for dinner on time. Liz makes Habanero Poppers that will set your hair on fire they are so good. However I took this assignment because this needs to be stopped from getting any worse and especially before one or all of you go fully nutz honking bozo. Ever seen an insane Dragon? Only think you can do with one is put it down. Anyone left standing on your side once that’s accomplished you call that a win. Get the idea?
Now for the kicker, When Dragons get really old there is a chance they’ll go insane. The chance is higher the more of the Dragon’s lineage that has gone in that direction. Let’s just say that when it comes to Impish and a predilection for heading in that direction well if you want to make a bundle for your kids retirement get a bet down now on his dying of old age with his sanity intact.
Yes we talked about the likelihood I’d have to use the Dahlgren 25 on Impish if he goes Big Blue. Damned right we did! A rampaging scared adult dragon whose already shown a proven track record for illogical and unconventional thinking has the potential to do as much if not more damage than an insane one. Will I hesitate to shoot him if it comes to it? HELLS NO! But ,I’ve promised only shoot to incapacitate and/or tranq his big blue scaly ass. That’s all, unless of course the fat lady doesn’t sing and things go really really sideways. OK?
“But…but…what happens if you DO have to shoot him? What then?” asked Gray handing back the vial and sitting down heavily.
“Than all I can tell you is he’s going to be really sore in the morning when he wakes up, just like me.”
Green hands Gray one of the flasks he had pocketed before leaving his office. “Here suck on this a bit and things are bound to look a little brighter. All we want id to fix thing and regain status quo. You in your life and doing your missions and Impish in hios office pushing out quality material annoying the crap out of me and distracting D.R.A.G.O.N.’s enemies with his illogical and unconventional way of accomplishing his missions. That’s it. Besides if anybody if going to put Impish out of my misery I’m sure as hell not farming the job out! Now, any further objections to our going home? No? Good!
C2B2 you drive, I’ll be drinking. Engage the Refractive Reflective Replicating Visual Cloaking Device and you headlamps. In fact put them on high even then select mode 4 for the 3RVCD and lets scare the shit out of some snot nosed twenty-something behind a radar console at NORAD! Giddyup!
Half an hour later, amidst there being more military aircraft in the air in US airspace since the September 11th 2011 attacks. A craft that looked for all the world like the Jupiter 2 from the 60’s Lost in Space television show landed just out side DL/LL HQ and rolled it self inside where once out of sight it transformed in appearance after some slight shimmering back into an empty C2B2.
That was a great bit of fun! I’m going to have to try that aga… OH THAT STINKER! He changed the code again! Hey he erased my memory files for the time we were on that mountain starting from shortly after landing until he told me to drive because he was drinking too the little sneak! Oh well…I’m covered in dirty jet exhaust and bugs I wonder if its too late for an nice wash wax and detailing?