The First Time, We Never Met

“Put up or shut up!” yelled the spicy little number at the end of the table.

It was down to her and me, in the Poker Championships of the Lower Kenai Peninsula and Cannabis Growers Convention of

I actually just wandered on by, hoping to see a strain of Cannabis popular when I was dumb and innocent growing up in the shadow of the nearby mountain peak, Mt Doubting Thomas, or something like that? She was standing there, looking hot and bothered by having been asked the same question over and over again, “but how high will I get? I mean if you compare strain 1 and strain 5, how high will I

Honestly. What some guys won’t do to meet new Girls, but I wasn’t in the market for someone new, because I had my true calling to keep me occupied with, “Ice-cube maker salesman of the year!” Just think about all those girls who couldn’t keep an ice-cube in their house, due to faulty workmanship and ice-makers which couldn’t make the grade!

I was visiting the Lower Kenai Peninsula due to a pesky ice-maker at a local motel, which just wouldn’t work no matter what I did to fix the problem. Let me tell you how something like ice-cubes can take the most mild-mannered woman and turn her into a crazed-killer with nothing more than dealing with a drink without ice in the searing heat of the Alaskan Summer!

Well there I was, ogling the Cannabis, when this young woman came over to me and said, “Hey Big Boy, want a little action in the back room?” with her eyes batting, and her lips inviting, how could I resist? They might just have an ice-maker that needs servicing, you just never know about women like that, do you?

There we were sitting across from each other, with her dealing the cards, barking out the commands, while my ice-cubes were melting in my throat!

“I raise you” she hissed as she peered at her cards once again, then said “I raise you 2 Caribou!”

High Stakes, if you ask me, which she didn’t, but then I got a hankering to scratch my left leg, which always itches in situations like these. I bent down and tried to see anything that I could use against her, but only just caught sight of her slip, embroidered with small white rabbits and 30-30 Winchesters, when a small animal bit me where I lived!

“Ouch!” I yelled as I sat up again, when she said,”Now you’ve met my Pet Pica….Now Play!”

Mother told me never to play cards with an Alaskan, and her words rang true tonight!

I said, “OK. I’ll see you your 2 Caribou, but I knew I was doomed, before

She just sat back and petted her Pica, or whatever they call that kind of thing around here?

The final blow was about to be dealt. I felt it. I did, but she was beginning to grow on me all the same. I reached into my jacket pocket “easy there Mister, nice and easy” and pulled out a Mt Wrangell Smoke. “Would you like a smoke, Ma’am?” I asked politely, just as mom told me to do with strange women,

“No thanks, I don’t smoke, but the name is Lola. Lola Lucky”.

I both feared and anticipated, with sweating hands, her next move.

“Call” she yelled and displayed her hand…..

I knew it! I knew, I should have listened to mom, but did I, did I?

As she raked in the chips, she said, “Never play cards with an Alaskan, because they always have a Moose hidden up their sleeve! Didn’t your mother ever warn you about that?”

Right there and then, I fell in love with her, and she seemed to take a liking, or a fleecing to me as well. When we waved goodbye at the back parking lot, with my Caribou Cart, sans Caribou, standing only in my underwear with a silly smile on my face, knowing how I’d never get to service that ice-maker at the nearby Motel without having the proper equipment!

But all that didn’t matter, did it? We promised to meet again in one week, after she had held an important meeting with a friend at that very same Motel, and

And that was the first time, that I never met the Lola that I know today…..


I Swear to Gosh, I Wasn’t a Wuss!

I grew up in a strict home, where swearing was not allowed in any way, shape or form. Dad used to run outside, dig a hole and yell into it. That was not always easy in the winter, so he just found other things to say, while he really wanted to use, “Dang, Dagnabbit and Shucks!”. Mom would be looking at me right now, if she heard me swearing like that, but when I finally came of age at 21, I decided to throw caution to the winds and give it a try!

I found a place where I could move my arms around, just like Dad used to do, then I held my breath and let it loose, “Dang Weather we are having today!”

Mom just come running outside, grabbing me by the ear and saying “Now we’ll just wash that foulness out of your mouth, young man!”

I told Mom that I could vote for President of the US of A for the last 3 years, and I had served in the Armed Forces along with my other buddies, so why couldn’t I swear like the rest of them? Mom just shook her head and said that she didn’t want to have to explain to their mommies and daddy’s how we could have raised such a foul-mouthed youngin like me, and

“Did you grow up watching the Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction or something?” something that Lola would ask, while I was spinning a new yarn, or such. She never had to watch what she said when she was growing up, so she couldn’t imagine how I could grow up like I did, not even being able to yell when I stubbed my toe, or had a Caribou run over my foot, when we were out playing football in the backyard.

Now that I am all grown up and all, I use my language as I choose, though I never ever could use the colorful adjectives that Lola knew. Every Wednesday Evening she would go over to the Longshoreman’s Union of 1956 and teach her Brothers Longshoreman’s Speak”.

I showed up one evening with her lunchbox, but they wouldn’t let me into their hallowed halls! The rather large bodied, type of “Brother” who met me at the front door, said “They didn’t allow any Wusses inside where only Real Men and their Foul Mouths would be welcome!” I continued to object, but he only replied using the foulest, dirtiest, most obscene language, I’d ever heard in my entire life.

I just stood there, wearing a rather goofy smile on my face, floating on Cloud 9, while the fellow in front of me just scratched his head and…..

“You see” I said even though I didn’t think, he was listening “That sounded just like my first Date with Lola. We were making out in her father’s pickup truck but the gun-rack kept poking me in the back, making her laugh and all. Then when I reached over to touch her exactly, precisely there! I guess, I hit the horn instead. There we were, parked in front of her house, with a truck horn that sounded like a stampede of Moose, when she started to swear like I’d never heard in my entire life. I was lucky my mom wasn’t around, or she might have bought the farm, right then and there!”

I fell over at the sound of her yelling obscenities, and you know what? The fellow was sitting alongside me, waiting for the punchline, so he could tell the others who were most likely taking a Tundra Tea Break at that minute! “When I fell on Lola, I hit the exact, precise spot where she was pointing, you know with those pointy flashlights they use in the theaters and all, or landing lights on the runway at, what? Oh yeah! Well, let’s just say that she stopped swearing by then, yelling instead, how she always thought about American Airlines Advertisement when that happened, “We’re American Airlines, Doing what we do best…..”

The fellow was laughing really hard, and couldn’t wait to tell the whole crowd of 61 Longshoremen about how Lola liked doing it, and told me that I was the funniest Wuss that he never had met!

-and that is how I learned such colorful language, which I had promised to tell the Council of Elders during my weekly speech at the Homer Community Baptist Church and Caribou Wash and Go…..

If you liked that one, how about:  “Have you ever heard the one about the Moose and Two Caribou….”



Letting It All Hang-Out, Dude!

The time had come for our yearly camping trip to the beach. I had consulted USDA’s exciting report, “Soil Survey of Lower Kenai, Peninsula Area, Alaska” in order to  get the Low-down on the Ho-down about the nearby beaches, and beat all the other “would-be” campers to the punch!

Packing the Caribou Cart was always a challenge, due to its limited size, and the thought of having everything, what we might need, while wallowing about in the gravels on the shores of the Cook Inlet! The man at the NOAA Office was helpful in providing “The Coastal Temperature Guide of the Alaska Coast”. Lola just looked at me as if she thought that I was trying to impress her again spouting useless facts and figures, while wondering how it would be “doing it” on those coarse gravels in plain sight of Mt Redoubt and his buddies. “Do they really need to watch us?” she’d ask, while I was trying to keep my interest in the stiff breeze of 40 degrees, or so.

In July at Nikiski, we could experience a blazing 54 degrees F. with the surfers hitting the waves, and their girlfriends looking bored, munching on a cucumber sandwich and dreaming of someone, anyone rubbing suntan lotion on  their backs and, and

“Look you! This is not Southern California, OK! We are not going to be running about on the Sandy Beaches while the surfers try to impress someone elses girls, while your Grandmother is making gritty cucumber sandwiches and telling you to “drop your pants behind this towel. Nobody is looking!”

Well obviously they weren’t looking then, and definitely not looking now. I’d be yelling for my sisters to join me in the surf, while they only wanted to get that “elusive” tan! Then my life jumped into Fast-Forward Mode, with the video tape getting jammed and snapping, while I still didn’t get to see the end of “Miss Bodacious Taa-Taas and dance of the 1000 veils! I had to open the cassette and try to get the tape back where it belonged, or suffer the fate of the nasty-looking clerk at the Video Store, and her bulging…..

“Eyes?” . “Isn’t that what you were going to say? Her bulging eyes?”

I hate it when Lola gets me off the subject at hand, but we were going and that was that!

I loved the way the Caribou frolicked in the waves, and how the sand make sexy patterns on Lola’s legs, covered in goosebumps while she stood on the shore, looking at me looking at my surfboard, hoping it was battery-powered and heated before chancing it out in the Brrrr temperatures, before having to lie naked next to Lola, wondering if there really was another place called heaven!?

I set up the tent, while Lola dried off the Caribou telling them not to play in the water when Mommy and Daddy were not present.

Then the moment just overcame me and I put my arms around Lola and gave her the biggest kiss this side of the Diamond Ridge overlooking Beautiful Downtown Homer. She looked at me as if I was hiding a secret from her and needed to cover it up by kissing her in that way, but then I kissed her again, making those thoughts dissipate over the Cook Inlet, while the Caribou blushed and the Volcanoes Smoked!

Yes siree Bob. Another start of our yearly “Letting It All Hang-Out, Dude!” camping trip at the beach on Kenai Peninsula!

Can’t wait to put on my gravel-shoes and go walking in the moonlight with Miss Lola…

They are Sharper Than They Look!

They kept on saying, the ambulance would come, but it was stuck in traffic in downtown Homer. Something about a Cannabis Parade that went up in smoke, or was it the Fire Department that couldn’t find the keys to Old Firetruck Number One?

I drifted in and out of consciousness, while holding Lola’s hand, looking into her calm eyes, while she yelled into the telephone at the Paramedics!

“I said, Male. Age, younger than you’d think, but older than he’d feel at times after we’ve been, you know, doing it….Yes. I thought that practice made perfect, but sometimes, you know how the old Willy’s will get stuck in 3rd gear, and just won’t make it into 4th, without a smoke and a prayer, while…no, No I am not looking for fresh meat, and when did you say you were getting here?”

It almost sounded in my delirium that Lola was making a date for this Friday, which is when we usually play, “dress up as your favorite erotic character!”. I would have chosen Homer Spit who is the local hero in these parts, but Lola would just say it was blasphemy to do to Homer, what I wanted to do, without his permission and all. So I just took the Caribou Cart and drove up to his front door in Homer Heights and knocked on the door with impunity!

His wife, a saucy little thing that used the Southern Alaskan Dialect, was all googly-eyed, when I knocked the second time, missing the door, she just had opened and hitting right dab smack in her

When she said, “Howdy Stranger! Are we going to be formally introduced, or have you already made yourself home by taking off your shoes and putting your feet up on my Coffee Table?”

I didn’t know that those kinds of things had names like Coffee Tables, but I thought, “What the hay” and moseyed into her den, or whatever they call those types of areas today? “Homer Home?” I asked, but I really didn’t need to meet him, when talking up a storm of nonsense to his lovely wife, Cary Beau seemed to tickle my fancy just fine!

We were just sitting there while my life was passing before my eyes, when she said, “Are you a real Alaskan Man, or do you have foreign tendencies in your blood?” and with that said, she showed me her Tara Tattoo, which told me, showed me how she had started out as a local girl, and had ridden her way to the top of the heap, getting herself all hitched up to the man of the hour, Homer Spit!

Lola fanned my forehead again, and said that no matter what, she’d remember this day by shooting off a weapon in my honor, but I just said, “But don’t you do that everyday, anyway?” which made her eyes get all red, and all, showing me that way down deep, underneath Irma and Jolene, she really did have feelings for me! Deep, deep feelings!

“Deeper”, she yelled as I tried my best, but I didn’t care for another woman to talk about my personal problems, especially when we were doing it!

“My God, if you can’t go any deeper, then Mama is not going to get her fondest wishes fulfilled! Deeper”, I said….

I’d been digging out for that swimming pool, all the live long day, but was I getting any deeper? No siree Bob! but the sight of Homer’s wife, Cary Beau, whose long legs were trailing over the edge, while I sweated was enough to put this boy’s name on the map of Texas, whatever that meant?

“I’m telling you Cary, I just can’t go any deeper, but if you helped me a bit, we might just get there together!”

“But I thought we’d be swimming up a storm by now, sipping Margaritas, while Homer was at his office banging his secretary, who we all know will leave him in the end, and we could be playing word games, while the sun went down over Mt Redoubt!!

The thought of playing word games with her, made me dig with a fury unseen in these parts of, well wherever we were at that moment in my delirium?

“There, there” Lola’s words brought me back to this side of the fence again. Snatched from the jaws of death. Left to my own fate, while the rest of the word went about its ways. One less martyr to deal with. One lest life to sully the waters of the local pool of women, one less

“Uh, are you done reflecting over your life and your cut finger, where the lid from the can of Pet Moose Food grazed your existence, then can we get on with our lives once again?!”

“If so” blowing on the cut and putting a band-aid on it, “Then it’s time to feed Howie, before I have one more Baby to deal with, by not getting enough attention, like one of the other two people in this room”.

-and that somebody, is not me!…..

Clickity Clack, Clackity Click

“It seems like an eternity, since we last were on this journey?” Lola just looked out of the train window as the Alaskan Wilderness rolled on by. It was true, what she said. In my mind this journey had taken 1000 times longer than it said in the brochure, the one that blew along the road, while I had stopped to water the Caribou on my way into town.

“Travel on the Anchorage Express and take as long as you like, on the journey of your dreams!”

I wonder who used to write those kind of things? Some poor sap, chained to his computer, thinking of thoughts that others would read, while the rest of us were out there, living life, wondering how many more miles the old Caribou had on them, before it was time to considering trading them in for a newer model?

“Clickity Clack, Clackity Click”, the train said, as if it needed to interrupt my thoughts?

“What are you thinking about?” she’d just ask me, while the forest trees reflected in her eyes, and the smell of their freshness was a meal we still were to eat, when the time for lunch came once again. “And would you like the course of the day?” the waiter asked, as he presented a plate with freshly cut Alaskan Spruce branches. Their scent filling the room as if we had just walked along a pathway, pulling at the needles and watching the day roll by in each other’s eyes.

I loved to watch her as her dreams became my reality. We’d just sit there, waiting for the train to take on coal and water, something that would irritate others, but for us, it was just another way to extend our time together. Our time being the most important of anything this life had to offer us. Those collection of moments being something I’d never tired of, never wanting to end.

The journey seemed to slow as I looked at her from afar. I was just the fly on the wall. Looking at her, while she considered something else. Another time in her life when things weren’t as they existed today.

“Do we have anymore tissues?” I asked, knowing how sentimental plots like these were for me.

“Get a grip” said Lola terse, as if we were in a hostage drama and not watching “Their Journey” at Movie Night on the Anchorage Express.

Lola just paced up and down, forth and back. “I told you, it was a mistake coming here tonight, didn’t I?”

When we first met one another. Perhaps on a road from where she had been, to where she wanted to go, perhaps

“Rather metaphysical, isn’t it?” Lola didn’t harbor the same thoughts as my ships did. There we were, at the back or the front, wondering which way was port and which way was starboard? “Actually starboard was originally called Steering Side that being the right side of the ship”.

Words not being credited to anyone in particular always gave me the Willies. It was as if someone were controlling my thoughts and actions. As if my life was not really my own!

“If I hadn’t consulted the train schedule, I might never have guess where this line of thinking was taking you and I?” a statement that came from Lola’s mouth, but one of depth and understanding as if she had been reading my e-mail, and not just the ones that reminded me of something, I’d never purchased, but owed a lot of money on, all the same!

“If you wanted sex, why didn’t you just come to me instead?”

Another statement not credited to anyone, anywhere.

The train just rolled along, as if everything we just had said and thought had no merit, no bearing on the events in our lives, and nothing for us to worry about in the greater scope of things.

“If we hadn’t taken this journey together, where would we have ended up?” asked Lola, while we considered turning in for the night. My thoughts were with hers, while the scenery blurred outside the windows, the rain falling down the glass, like the tears, she used to cry, before we found each other.

“It was in another life, when we met each other, wasn’t it?” she looked at me, as if our lives together depended on what my answer would be. How could I take this moment of time, and translate it into the greater picture, the one including the both of us, nicely framed and set upon the mantel while the fire burned below.

We just sat there, in each other’s arms, while the movie credits rolled on, around the turn where the Engineer sounded the whistle to warn of our approach.

“Somehow Lola, I still think we would have ended up together. I’ve felt that in so many ways, our thoughts have always been together, and that is exactly how I feel today”.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after his statement, with even Lola blowing her nose and wiping away a random tear, while the credits continued to roll. “Do you think, they still are together today?” she asked me as if our whole existence together depended on my answer.

“Yes. Yes I do” I answered making her eyes sparkle like Alaskan Club Soda, just without ice….

Motorcycle Mantra

Lola was pensive. Not moody per say, but thoughtful, more than I knew what to do.

Lately, she seemed steeped in the moment, lost in her thoughts while I performed the usual tasks, and tried in my own feeble way to write what had wronged her.

“You’ve misspelled there in that last paragraph, Mister”.

She was much more formal with me than usual. We might have each in turn been living our own existences these many years with just a casual hello, or

“Aren’t you listening to me? You wrote “write” instead of “right”.

I decided to take a walk and get some fresh air, while Lola entertained her own thoughts.

I wonder why Jack T. has become so important to me? she wondered to herself, while I was reconsidering my attempt to consciously twist my words to fit the sentence with the “spelling” error in it. I know he isn’t real, but Jack does something to me that no other man has done before.

Lola just looked at herself in the mirror, trying to fit her look into the image, the mirror wanted the world to see. “I’m not that old” she told herself, while trying to brush the grey off, but it wouldn’t quite cooperate. Not quite just. Her life had its ups and downs, but then everybody’s did. She considered herself lucky to have someone who loved and understood her, though he could be a bit one-sided at times. Sometimes, late at night, she just wanted him to hold her. Not saying a word, nor expecting anything else, but a simple acknowledgement of allowing her to be just that. The woman in the mirror, the wolf-hater, the gun-toter, the warm and passionate person, who could make Jack T’s head spin, if she only, if she just.

She really wanted to ask me the impossible, to write her into a story-line together with Jack T. and let the passions burn where they may! It was more ludicrous than anything, she had ever asked him before, something that bordered on the fantasy, the unreal that she wanted to live out, just with someone else than the one she was with.

She would have tried her hand at writing her own version of that story. I mean, how hard could it be, anyway? There was though another option, which would be the most difficult thing, she’d ever ask her nameless friend, “The Master Storyteller!”

“Uh” she said to him after she had thought through her idea, but the doubt was almost overwhelming and suffocating.

He/I just looked at her and knew, instinctively what she was going to say. He considered the consequences. Say no, or delete Jack T. and she would always wonder what it would have been like, or say yes, and risk losing her to him forever.

She came over to me and fell into my arms. “You know I love you, don’t you?” Yes. Yes I did, and the only thing that I really wanted in this life was to make Lola happy. No matter what.

She wrote down a list of things that she would need, while away to her Destiny, while I just sat there, not really knowing what to say.

She just waited and watched as I pulled out the keyboard and started to write. “I won’t forget you, I promise! – and the next second, she was gone. He just looked to the North where he imagined the Alaska Prairie to exist and sighed.”Well, Lola. Have a nice time in Destiny, but don’t go forgetting us here on the Old Kenai Peninsula, and with that I walked in the house and closed the door behind me…

The Tick That Talked

The ending to this story was put at the beginning, because not all the pages remained in the book, when the ending needed to be known.

Lola just looked at me, long and hard, waiting for me to sprout feathers and do the Dance of the Blue Rooster, but when that didn’t happen, she asked me where I’d been?

“Well” which seemed to be the best way to start out, before the yelling and shouting was to commence, thus ending the story, even before it started. “I was standing on the corner of Wrong Street and Way-WayWrong, when a man came up to me and asked if I had seen his dog? Well” I said

Lola broke in at this juncture, smashing the window, but being very careful not to end up at the hospital, after thinking that, well, that is another story isn’t it?

Lola broke and and asked, “What is located on the corner of those two streets?” well knowing as much as I did where this story was going, but not getting close at all. The book that I found, while the man was trying to describe his pooch, was tossed to one side, looking a bit dirty and missing pages, not the pooch, but the book, where the ending and the other good parts should have been.

Lola was starting to steam a bit, while I checked my Volcano App to see if there was any renewed volcanic activity in the area? “Look at all of those active volcanoes in Alaska” I told Lola, but with her being a bit on the temperamental side, I’d rather prefer a dormant volcano to an active one any day of the week.

“It was a Speakeasy” I said, “Where I met a young woman who had taken the time to explain how I had gone wrong in Homer ending up Way-Way-Wrong. She pointed me in the direction, which turned out to be the wrong direction Page 42 – by the way, leading me through the brush and the nearby forest where I”

Lola just looked at me and said” Strip Down Naked Mister and Let Me Feel Your Body!”

I’d be lying if I hadn’t heard that one before, but right there on Page 56, where I would have least expected to be lucky, right there in the middle of my story, when Lola said, “Uh Oh. This is bad, way way bad!”

I knew it! I knew I never should have entered Homer on the dark side of town. All of those black holes, lacking a Danger sign, with Speakeasy Women of the day, and suddenly, suffering the loss of my manhood, while the only woman, that ever really loved me said, “Stay right there and don’t move, while I get my Blow Torch!”

Oh, how I longed to return to Page 2, when I was much younger and a lot more innocent. She was my first love, but wouldn’t go all the way into town with me on our first date. I said I was carrying protection and proudly displayed my can of WD-40, bulging out of my pants, in case the rusty chain on my bike slipped, throwing us into each other’s arms!

The middle part of our tale, was torn out without our knowledge, but I suspect her father disapproved of our love and wanted to remove me from her memory once and for all. I did manage to show up on Page 15, 22 and 45, but our story was so incomplete that she couldn’t ever remember me telling her how—-and when we—–and then we—-and in broad daylight to the surprise of the Town Council and her Father the Vicar!

Lola came out with a pair of pliers and said, “Well Bunky, before we burn off its head, we’ll try to snap it off instead!”

There I was, on the northside of Homer, my first visit to the Eunuch Bar and Grill, addressing my Best Bud – “Stop right there” he told me in a voice a bit higher than I was used to hearing, “Don’t call me your Bud. We are not Buds here, we are…”

I just crossed my legs at the thought of, of well, another way of living and loving.

Lola just looked again and threw down the pliers in disgust. “No good, Bunky. We’d better use the Flame-Thrower instead!”

My yell, which was well-documented on pages 75-90 was a rather raucous yell, which scared the Caribou over the nearby 3 Boroughs. Lola looked more satisfied and incensed then never before when she announced, “Got you, you damned Tick. Now you won’t be talking around here no more!”

We just lolled around during the remainder of the day, sipping Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Beer and Lyme Organic Whiskey. I was feeling pretty ready to rock and roll, but since Pages 105-120 were missing, causing me to return to the beginning of my story, which was the ending after all.

Lola just looked at me, long and hard, waiting for me to sprout feathers and do the Dance of the Blue Rooster, but when that didn’t happen, she asked me where I’d been?

“Well”, I said. “Just sit down and listen, but don’t let on if you’ve heard this before……”

Brown, Sensitive, 6 feet Tall, Lost

Sound of a ring tone………………………………..

Numbers being pressed 555-1212

“Hello. Directory Assistance.  How can I help you today?”

“Uh. Well. It’s Howie. He’s gone and,

“Can you describe him for me?”

“Yeah sure. (sobbing heard in background) Brown. Sensitive. 6 Feet Tall, and

“Wait a minute. Is this your Moose?”

“Yes it is, but

“Wrong number, Buddy. You want to call the Loose Moose Hotline at 55moose, or the 1-800 number, 1-800-55moose. Hope you find him. Bye”

“OK Lola, we are getting closer all the time.”

Sound of a ring tone…………………….

Numbers being pressed: 555-moose…………………..

“Hello. Loose Moose Hotline. How can I help you today?”

“Well. It’s Howie. He’s gone. Done a walkabout. It’s just (more sobbing heard in background)

“Easy does it man. Give me a quick description. Tall – Right? Brown with antlers? Twig Eater? Sounds about right. Now tell me how it happened, (sounds of sipping Tundra Tea heard in background)

“Lola and I. Lola is my Gal you see, well she and I were out in the backyard, when

-breaking in. “Was it playing Nerf-Football? A Classic Loose Moose Tail, if I never heard one!”

“Yeah. Right. Well, it flew over the fence to the neighbor’s yard, when Howie, jumping up and down with the light of anticipation in his eyes, said

“Wait a minute. Are you sure this is a loose moose? We get all sorts of people calling in telling us their moose is loose, when in reality it is their Caribou that has done a runner!”

“No. No he is a moose. Tall, Brown, Eats Twigs””

“All right. Sounds like a moose, but then those Caribou people just don’t have the funding for a Hotline like this, so every lost Caribou is 6 feet tall and brown, you get the picture?”

muffled talking in background

“Uh, like I said, it was just an ordinary day, but when he jumped over that fence, in his light and elephant way then,

“Is Howie an Elephant? You are trunking up the wrong tree here Buddy. The Elephant Hotline is

“No. No that was just a joke to ease the tension. Howie is born and bred, Bona Fide, genuine, Alces Alces Gigas that

“Wait a minute (heard writing down in background), has he 3 names, or is it just

“That is his Latin Name for Alaskan Moose”

“Is this a 3-loose moose call, or….

-sound of receiver being wrenched out of hands of

“Look here you! We are missing one Moose. One Piece.Brown.Tall.Sad Eyes. Answers to name, Howie. Alaskan Type. Find him and you will live to see another day with all of your appendages intact. Got that?!”

“Look here Ma’am. We don’t take kindly to threats of that nature. Let’s all just calm down and perhaps sip a Latte in peace and quiet, and let our inner feelings flow…

-some minutes go by with very little noticed activity.

-sound of yelling in background, shots fired….

“Are you still there, Bunky? Good! Your Lola is coming to pick you up in the Caribou Cart and we are going to find Howie if it is the last thing that we do! And don’t ever call this Yahoo again, Got it?”

-sounds of receding steps, slamming of doors and

It was a day like any other, when we all decided to play Nerf Football in the backyard. Howie’s eyes lit up with anticipation, as I blew up the Football to the correct size, when Lola, or “Mom” as you call her, came out in the cutest dress with small moose and caribou running about, stomping on those small, irritating white rabbits, and

Howie started by saying “Over here! To me, To me!” when the  Football went over the neighbor’s fence and……

Ma Dear Fia

Father always wanted to protect me when I was younger. He said his business connections made it impossible for me to use my real name, which is why he always called me his Ma Dear Fia.

I grew up in the southern part of the country, where everyone respected my father for what he was. Some of them called him “God” which shows just how much they

“Come on Lola when are we going to pull the heist? This honest-living is getting to me!”

Rio Bunkani was nervous, and for good reason. His moll, Lola, had been planning a heist for months now, and he was itching for his piece of the action.

“Come on Lola, when are we going to hit the joint? You said, we’d be rolling in Elephant Toothpicks, and Imitation Moose Meat by now, instead of just waiting for the next Volcano to blow its top!”

“Rio. Rio.Rio. Have I ever let you down before?” with Rio shaking his head, “Yes, you have Lola”.

“So Shaddup you Dolt! I’m calling the shots here, Got it?”

“Yeah, yeah. Lola. I get it. Easy does it now” said while backing into a corner and taking a non-lightable Mt St Augustine. “Geez Louise Lola, why did you ever decide to come to Alaska, anyway? We had it good, me and you. Sitting around, barking orders at the local peasant dogs, living the high life at your Old Man’s Old Villa, with the dried-out swimming pool and our good old friend, Scampi Ravioli! We’d just take a cruise down to the Mediterranean and kick sand in the faces of those muscle boys, but we was fast wasn’t we, when we’d run away and

“I told you. We had to take it on the lam, when you insulted your “Literary Ma…..Fia Group” with your inane comments, calling yourself “One of them” when they put out a “hit contract” on you, forcing us to

“I know. I know, but I didn’t think, they’d take me seriously. Especially her, the Babe with the tattoos. I knew she had the hots for me, but….now it isn’t nice to point that weapon at your one and only, is it now?”

“How many of those Babes have tattoos anyway?” said Lola as she

“Wait a minute” Rio said. “Something here smells like someone stepped into Moose Poop! Your father called you, Ma…fia, and they called him God….and Father! We lived in the Old Country, where that other group, The Literari Ma….fia was, and

“And my Father said you was as stupid as a Summer Day in Fairbanks is long!”

Shouts then shots heard…..Police show up and surround the place when

“and I bet your mother wore Moose Boots, didn’t she?” which only made Lola madder than a wet Caribou, then

Police on loudspeakers saying:

“Come down from that tower Ma’am, let’s talk about this before

Screaming, “I‘m on Top of the World!” while the explosions….

“Come On Lola! Where are you? The big finish is going on, and Lola is doing her classic Jimmy Cagney from White Heat!

“Jeez Louise, I wish we had that kind of excitement around here!


Doncha think I could be her intelligent side-kick while you could play, well., Lola herself? With her being all sophisticated and all, but who do we get to play that group, The Literari-something or other? Funny name huh?

If I had half a mind, I betcha I could……. wasn’t my tongue down your ear

-“when we were at the Alaska SeaLife Center, -Just one of those great memories, I was reliving telling Lola about, and you were feeling a bit, well, you know? Then you put your tongue down my ear, just about when the Puffin, flew into the

“but it wasn’t my tongue, down your ear. Whose was it, and when were you at that Center? We’ve only talked about going there, but….. When did you meet this strange woman?” Lola staring me straight in the eyes, through my head, across the Cook Inlet, chancing just about to relight Mt Redoubt, Volcano, when

“Well, she wasn’t that strange, but

……turning away and sobbing into her…..

“Mother should have warned me about men like you! The imagination of a sailor, with a Fantasy Woman in every port! And you there, trying to sail your ship towards her docks, but…’s never easy maneuvering those narrow passages, is it?”

Wow. Another opportunity to say the wrong thing, at the right time. First the woman’s tongue, and the SeaLife Center being at the wrong place, then when did I meet that woman, and what did we really mean to each other. I tried to back away, using the excuse of

“And don’t you try to weasel out of this one! I want names and dates, and why did her tongue reside in you ear? Was it out on a lark, or were there other places it visited while you two lie in each other’s arms, drinking latte, and sampling of her assorted chocolates with cream-filling, and MY GOD, She had CREAM-FILLED CHOCOLATES! And you only said that those kind of things would make me FAT!

Sitting on the back of her Motorcycle, when her tire went flat in the rain, then there you were, all windswept and laid back, with your tire-iron visible in your hand, while she said, “My God. How I need a man like you, right now!” and then after the deed was done, you rode in back of her, with her long hair trailing behind her, telling you stories of how she’d waited for someone like you to come along. Walking alongside her at the SeaLife Center, when the starfish bit your finger, and she said, “SHALL I SUCK IT FOR YOU?” “NO” you replied, but you can put your tongue down my ear, while we eat your cucumber sandwiches, and watch the Sea Lions make love on their slippery stones! MY GOD! And in front of the school children, and then the Puffin hit the

“Uh Lola. Where have you been? It sounds as if you were that fly on the wall, observing everything that went on, but….when were you at the SeaLife Center?”

“I. Uh. Well. Don’t change the subject, OK!” Lola wasn’t about to budge on this one, but

“but how do you know that it wasn’t us visiting that Center? I remember her as being you, but you wanted to be someone else who only wanted to be mad at me for not buying you cream-filled chocolates, but see here…….

“What I have for just an occasion as this one. A box of cream-filled chocolates. Just for you!”

Lola just looked all silly, and just threw her arms around me and gave me that googly-eyed look.

And that was the end of that story, how I saved the day once again, just by telling Lola the truth, or one of its brothers. or one of its brother’s cousins…..

-and it was lucky (I thought to myself) how I had saved that box of chocolates, I purchased from the Gift Shop at Seward SeaLife Center, but just forgot to give them to the woman, I’d met along the highway, while her motorcycle got that flat in the rain. She told me that