Our hero, Elmer Destroyer (who is only our hero because no one better came along,) has been verbally accosted by a sublime creature in glorious overalls. The reason he is accosted might have something to do with a number of facts.
1) Elmer is in the School of Amazing Stuff, though nobody ever said it was okay from him to be there.
2) Elmer is trying to steal food from the School of Amazing Stuff cafeteria where he had previously made off with a fanny pack full of tasty (if fecal-looking) smoked sausages.
3) Elmer, in trying to get sausage has somehow accessed red sauce.
4) Elmer is making a mess.
These reasons are only speculations. If you want to know the truth, you’ll have to read the rest of chapter 14 instead of this stupid italicized intro.
So why am I still writing this intro?
Why are you still reading this intro?
“I said turn off that dial, milk-face!” He sighed in highly exalted exasperation, put down his mop of glory, stepped around me and turned the dial.
“Sorry?” I said.
“You children!” he ranted in a voice that made my ears soar, my eyes sting, my nose tickle, and my mouth crave salt, “you come in here and mess around with things you don’t understand!”
“But I thought I understood.”
“But I thought I understood,” he repeated in glorious mimicry.
“I thought this spout gave out sausages.”
“Sausages!” he roared so loud that the scent of mint filled the room, “didn’t you read the weekly menu? It’s right there at the entrance.”
“I couldn’t read it,” I said.
“Of course you couldn’t, you little zygote. I’m surprised you know how to sit up and burp.”
“I am eight thousand years old,” I said.
“Eight thousand!” he deadpanned immaculately. “We’ve not a brat enrolled that’s under thirty thousand. I’m twenty-three million, myself, and still I’m a fine figure of…”
He smiled beatifically, revealing a false tooth of majesty on his upper plate. “I can’t tell you,” he whispered so mysteriously that my nose hairs knotted themselves.
“Here” he said waving the mop over me. “I’m cutting you off from remote access to the time dial you found. That’s just too dangerous. No more sneaking around anymore or I’ll show you what else this mop can do. Leave this school now and don’t you dare come back until you’re ready to enroll!”
“But I may need to…”
“Do not contradict me, Lower Life-form! I ban you from this school for the next twenty-seven thousand years!”
“What do I do with this?” I asked holding out the shirt full of paste.
“Take it with you, you ignorant slug. Don’t waste it! That’s first quality paste – no hot house tomatoes mind you.”
“I’m sure,” I said defensively, though I had no idea what a hot house was. “I’ll just be leaving now.” I started backing away, leaving little blobs of tomato paste leaking through the shirt and onto the floor.
The man grabbed his mop of glory and blasted the paste off the floor, then he reached for Mage-e-not’s shirt. “Give me that thing,” he muttered more articulately than any mutter could conceivably be. He took the shirt in one hand, and miraculously, the paste did not slip from, or seep through the cloth. He reached behind him and pulled from his back pocket a silver object. He snapped the object in his hand, and behold, it formed into a shining bag in which the man stuffed the shirt and paste. He handed me the magical bag.
“Now git!” he growled impressively.
As I ran, I heard him shout behind me, “You aren’t the one that left that pile of dirt in my entryway, are you?”
I ran faster.
Mage-e-not was not nearly as pleased with his tomato paste as he could have been and wasn’t at all concerned that I risked the wrath of the celestial school custodian. Maybe I can’t blame him entirely. The tomato paste did nothing to improve the state or the appearance of his shirt.
Ono was much more enthusiastic when she came back from her shower. She said that the paste would be great on algae bars, and asked if she could have the magical bag when the paste was gone.
Of course, I nodded dumbly and rushed off to find a stream to make her algae bars.
In a more sober moment of reflection I realized that infatuation is a lot like slavery. I wondered why we like it so much.
But I did like it, so that was all there was to it. If she commanded me, I would face a dozen celestial custodians armed with twice as many mops of glory.
No, I don’t recall ever claiming to be smart.
It was only later that I remembered the cigars I had left behind on my first trip. They weren’t lying there next to the spout where I had left them. Had there been a bulge in the bib pocket of the custodian’s glorious overalls?
He was welcome to them. I just wish I had asked him for matches.
Today's video is embedded on a web page. Just like the school of amazing stuff, it shows you how to do something cool. Origami Darth Vader