Hold Your Hornfels!

Gosh Lola. Watching you scratch yourself in your sleep, makes me think that soon you’ll wake up and try to see if your fabulously fabulous form casts a shadow in the light of the….What? Wrong Groundhog Story?…

Hold your Hornfels! -“That’s what my father always used to say to me, if I was too impatient with things. I remember one birthday when-“

“You know something”, said Lola with that look on her face that told me that I knew what she was going to say, and didn’t need to say it, but I also knew, she was going to tell me anyway…

“I’ve had to invest some of our hard-earned money on a book, “Everything you never wanted to know about Granodiorite, but were afraid to ask!” which amazingly enough, doesn’t cover all of your odd-Hornfels, Unconformities, Metamorphosed Dacites and the odd whatever, but-“

“Gosh Lola. Just hearing you utter all of that Geology in one breath, gives me Moose Bumps! And some of them in places, I normally wouldn’t think of getting them. Just look here, said while unbuckling his belt and-“

“Stop right there Mr Rhyolite! I might have a cast-iron stomach when eating your Chili Moose Flakes, but that doesn’t mean I need to suffer from seeing your out of the way Moose Bumps, now does it?”

“You should have asked me before spending your nickles and dimes on that book. I have a whole library of Geological Books, that Howie hasn’t eaten, and….Lola? Howie is our son, the Moose, or have you forgotten that?”

“I know darned well who Howie is, but what I don’t know is why anyone who I’ve known for all these years, would suddenly start telling me about his Geological Time-line in Healy, while….OK. Healy Alaska. Are you satisfied Mr Hornfel?”

“Well done!” he said to Lola, and wanted to tell her how her eyes sparkled just like Plagioclase Feldspar in Granodiorite, but didn’t think now was the right time to pay her that compliment!

“You’ve come full-circle, bringing us back to my birthday of long-ago. We, that is my other friends who would only profess to be from Healy, but there might have been some out-of-towners, you know like Cana……looking at Lola looking at him about to say….but we accepted each other all the same. The first game was pin the Feldspar on the Granite, and I was spun around 2 times, because we all knew that all Feldspar have 2-directions of perfect cleavage, which made my buddies snicker and start to say things like, who wouldn’t want that kind of woman, and-“

“Is there really a point to this blog, or are we going to argue about what I am being forced to hear about, during the length and breadth of this amalgam of words?”

“Well”, said while writing down “Amalgam” for later reference, “I was just about to pin the Plagioclase on the Granite, when my father just lost his cool and started screaming and shouting at me and my friends. When I took off the blindfold, he was standing in front of me saying, “You know darn well that an abundance of Plagioclase means that your precious Granite is really Granodiorite?”

“I never had seen him so mad before, which made me run into the house where my mother was just putting the finishing touches on my birthday cake, “Minus 13  million years old today” which as anyone who is no one knows that old joke about the 2 Geologists and the Mineralogist who come into that bar and the first one says, ….”

With Lola’s face turning colors, reminiscent of the reddish colors of Orthoclase Feldspar, I suddenly remembered what my mother said at that moment, when I ran in all out of breath, wondering what my father was going to do next: “Son, which is what she still wanted to call me, when my father was not in the room, “Don’t be so hard on your father. You see, he and I met at the Granite Harvest Moon Ball, and the other boys present taunted him about the Plagioclase-colored rose he had given me, saying that it  looked more like orthoclase, and you know how….

,Lola just started whistling a little tune as she thumbed through her book on Granodiorite. “You know what? I’ve finally figured out why this blog is going nowhere…..You’ve been using the wrong tags all along! You should have started out with Feldspar in Love, or How I took her Granodiorites for Granite, or have you kissed your Unconformity Today, and we would have been getting likes, Diamond over Talc, are you getting my Continental Drift now boy?”

I could only see Hornfels sparkling in her eyes, knowing indeed that we were made for each other! I wondered what my parents, especially my father would have said about her at that moment, but I figured that their loss was my gain.

And I just lie there speechless, watching as she metamorphosed my heart into something entirely new, something that had changed my composition forever……it must be love……

“-or, a darned good Subduction Zone!”, which is what my father would have said, but my mother might just have hit him on the head with a good piece of Slate saying, “If you-

-still whistling her little tune, as the blog dove under the North American Plate with the grace and ease of the Pacific Plate, with Lola just sighing as she watched the words fall off the paper and be consumed in the fires of…

-but we’ll have to save that story for another time won’t we now?


The Answer being both Yes, and No

On the Eve of Groundhog Day, B. considered an incident last year, while the memory of Fresh Strawberries was still a viable scent in his mind….

The beauty of being a Mediator, is that there is no real worry about who is right or wrong, but being able to get the parties involved to agree.

On my first day on the job, I was presented with a couple whose difficulties were insurmountable, or at least that is what they thought. We found a comfortable place to talk, but as I was offering them a beverage before we began, the first difficulties presented themselves.

I offered cookies, coffee or tea, but he just said, “Don’t worry about me, I’ve got some Moose Cakes in my left pocket.” The woman with him, started making faces, and was getting frustrated over what I considered nothing, -but I guess I was just a bit too naive in the beginning?

“Of course they are not as fresh as they used to be, but what with that piece of Andesite, or was it Dacite nearby, rubbing them the wrong way, then things got a bit on the crumby side…Get it? The Crumby side?”

She just looked at him, then me saying, “You see what I have to deal with on a daily basis? If only I had a cold-compress right now then I could stuff it down his throat and silence him once and for all!”

“Gosh Lola. You sound just like my mother, when she was reacting to what my father used to say. If you two got together, you know just a pair of girls in the kitchen, then I’m sure you could whip up some Moose Cakes, while I kept my rocks to myself! What say, Lola-kins?”

“We are not going to talk about Healy today, are we?” she said in a rather definite way, “but why did she mention Healy if we weren’t going to revel in my past memories of that memorable town, just like we used to do?” He wondered, while the Mediator was wondering himself.

While he waited for her to respond, he reached down into his pocket and began to play with his rocks, until she said, “Can’t you play with those things in your own private space? Do you see me sitting here getting my jollies while this fellow, motioning over to the Mediator, is sitting there wondering why we came in the first place?” He was actually trying to understand why anyone who had come from Healy, would have ended up with a Babe like the one that was sitting rather close to him now? Her hair smelled like Cannabis, and he imagined that-

“Uh.” Her partner said. “Why did your lips say, Healy, a few moments ago? If you were wondering about that, then it was indeed Healy Alaska, which can be north of Anchorage, or might just be outside this very office building, depending on the wind direction, or if the Greywacke are flying south for the winter!”

He tried to take a few deep breaths before continuing, but remaining neutral in this conversation was becoming harder to do, as they continued to banter about the most trivial things between them!

“Ahem” he said while he waited to regain their attention, before continuing with the matter at hand. “Now why have you enlisted the aid of a Mediator? The Kenai Peninsula Borough is more than happy to assist in situations like yours, but if we get to the matter at hand, we’ll just see, how I can help you to agree with one another, helping you to -“

“But we always agree, Lola. Even when we don’t, then we really do!” She just looked at him with a mixture of confusion and anger, while he moved over to the nearby chalkboard, courtesy of the “Erasable Solution Company of beautiful downtown Soldotna Alaska.” He took a piece of chalk, then said, “Hmm. I wonder if this is made from Calcium Carbonate, or Calcium Sulfate?” but then began to write, while his companion Lola said, “Well. We are waiting, you know? Is is Calcium Carbonate, or Calcium Sulfate?”

The Mediator was about to say something, when she said a bit more:

“What does it say in the Kenai Book of Wisdom?” a statement that not just anyone could have asked, especially how she swirled her hair about, as if it was doing the dance of the Harvest Moose on our porch, in the summertime! Just uttering those words, made his eyes shine like the winter sunlight on the roof of the Conoco-Phillips Building in Downtown Anchorage. He came over to her and gave her a kiss and a small hug, while she waited with bated breath about how to distinguish the difference between the two? The two types of chalk, that is…

“You know” said the man whose socks were mismatched on purpose, “If you came over and sat next to me, we could both look up the answer while this fellow, motioning over to the Mediator, now being very confused, gets himself a cup of coffee, or tea and a plate of fresh Moose Cakes!”

While they were thumbing though the book together, the Mediator said, “Just why did you request a Mediator in the first place?”

“Well” said the man who was examining the chalk by tasting it to see if it tasted of Soldotna Strawberries in the Summer, or was it more like the scent of Cannabis flowers ripening in the meadows of Southern Alaska? “Well”, he said again. Lola wanted to know why my socks didn’t match, and I said, “Well, that is neither here nor there”, which made her exclaim,”If we are going to continue with this relationship I swear, we are going to need a Mediator soon, before I knock your block off!”

The Mediator just turned to the both of them and said,”And what have you learned by coming today?” hoping that he would still have a trace of sanity when he left the building today, even though it didn’t shine like the top of the Conoco-Phillips Building in beautiful downtown Anchorage?

“Well”, she said as she swirled her hair around, “I’ve learned that the Answer being both yes and no adds to the credibility of the title of this blog, giving me a warm feeling down deep inside my breast!”

While he said, “Yes, and it is that warm feeling, exactly where you have indicated to me, has made this experience all the best for me as well!”

And as they walked from that building, hand in hand, well, almost that is, the Mediator of the Kenai Peninsula Borough said to himself, “and I still didn’t learn if that chalk tasted of Soldotna Strawberries in the Summer?……”

The Fabric of Her Woes, Woven into His Dreams

Tossing and turning in bed, B. seemed to be having a bad night’s sleep? Lola just sat and watched him, taking notes as to what he said, paying careful attention, if “her name” was mentioned, or was he kissing some other Dream Woman, while she lie next to him in “their” bed….

-waking up- “Gosh Lola. What a night this has been! Why I bet I’ve dreamed up a storm, but instead of clearing up, it’s just gotten more stormy, with…”

-“and what might you have been dreaming?” asked his lifelong companion, and the woman whose Slugger Penguin lie just under her side of the bed, in case of dream infidelity on the part of her lover!

“First I was walking along the gravelly shores along the Cook Inlet. You might have heard me tell about that place before Lola, but before we get into that, a door suddenly appeared.”

Lola took off her own cold compress and placed it on his forehead. She knew the next part of the story was coming up, so while he caught his breath, she fetched some Moose Chips and a Carbonated Tundra Tea and-

“Then, when I went through the door”, said raising his voice a bit to drown out the sounds of the crunch of the Moose Chips, “there stood Barney the Vision Moose! “Hey Man” he said in his Moosy Way. “What’s troubling you on a fine night like this one? He was trying out a new muscle-building program on his exercise machine.”

“Puny muscles? Then try our new twig-burning system with its money-back guaranty. After 60 days, if your Fetlocks aren’t wowing the women of the Vision Forest, then we will happily refund your Moose Moolah in full!”

-“but what did you and “Old Barn” talk about?” asked Lola who was hoping against hope that they had discussed his real name, once and for all!

“Well”. I said, “Barney. Lola wants to know my real name, but is having trouble with the truth of the matter.”

Barney just turned and sprayed a bit of Moose-nel number 5 under his left fetlock before saying, “Well. I’d advise you to tell her Man. Fess up and get it over with once and for all! Tell you what. What about you tell me first, then I can break the news to her?”

B. reached up to Barney’s ear and was about to say…..when the sounds of a cheering crowd reverberated outside the door. He went over, and when he opened the door, then…

“What?” demanded Lola.

“Gosh Lola. I swear they were chanting my name, but when I opened the door the crowd went silent,…then they broke out in a loud cheer, and you know why?”

Lola just looked at the bag of Moose Chips and wondered why they went so fast? First they were in 16oz bags, then 10oz, and pretty soon. I only hope that kind of inflation doesn’t hit 72% Chocolate as well?

B. just stood there with the punch-line of his story, while Lola was pondering opening another bag of chips to counter the lost ounces of the first? She worried that one bag not being enough, might just become too much with 2 bags, then how could she just keep a ½-bag around without eating those salty devils, then regretting it afterwards?

“Well” said B. by raising his voice yet another time, “When I looked around me, I discovered that I had just won First Prize for the Alaska Penguin Herding Championships for 2025. I just stood there, stroking my greying temples while the local children tossed bouquets of Penguin Feathers at my feet!”

Lola got up and looked in the mirror. The years had been good to her, but was there just a grey hair or two, too many as of late? She gave her hair a good swirl, which used to be a crowd-pleaser when her and B. were courting. Just one swirl and he would….

-“Sorry about that Babe, but I didn’t get a chance to tell Old Barn what my real name was, because of …”

“Am I getting too old?” she asked her life-long companion as he looked at her, looking at herself in the mirror.

-looking at her and seeing her as he always has done so. “Lola. You look the same to me as when we first met. Sometimes, I just get caught up in all of the whimsy to tell you how fabulous you look and how much you mean to me!”

Lola wondered if his words meant that they could open up a new bag of Moose Chips and share them together, but before making that decision, she reached over and kissed him!

-“and you know what? It doesn’t really matter to me what you call me, as long as you’ll still be around for the years to come, sharing another bag or three of Moose Chips with me….”


Bob the Penguin just spat on the ground and wondered when all this sappy business was over and done with? His little fin reached up from below, and edged the bag of Moose Chips closer and closer to the point of no return…

They just stood there, arms around each other while Bob leaned back against the counter, wondering why the Moose Chips always disappeared so fast, when he was just getting started eating them?

“Should I take another bag?” he asked himself, but would that be too much, or could he just eat ½-way through before…..

-Then where would I hide the bag from Lola? Life was never easy in Alaska, for a Sentient Penguin, you know?….

A Moose and a Canadian Crossed the Road, when

“I’ve got a funny feeling about this title”, said Lola as we considered getting dressed after having doing it, until the Moose came home!

“We were not just “doing it” as was written”, said by the love of my life, as she considered lingering just a bit in the scantily-clad moonlight, allowing me a sight that no one else on this planet had experienced, telling me that I and only I, and perhaps the Vision Moose, Barney and Tristan, and well perhaps the Vision Penguins had seen, but-

“Look you. We are just getting out of bed after having slept. No rumpy pumpy, no moonlight ride, and if I thought those Vision Animals had been peaking, then I would-”

-“uh, do you really mean Peaking, Lola, because if they are doing that, then I want some of the action as well!”

Lola just sighed and sat on the bed, trying to figure out if the title referred to another timeless joke, just using other characters, just with one of them being a Canadian? Did she really want to pursue this course of action, or was it only going to reawaken the whimsy once again?

“I don’t know about you Lola, but when I wake up at 5:30 in the morning, my mind is awash with the tide from the night yet so shortly passed! The ebb and flow of ideas has encompassed my thoughts such, that I…”

“Hey you. Have you been reading Elephant Toothpicks again? I wouldn’t mind a little bit of intelligent conversation, here and there, but I need to know that your words really are yurs?” Ending the paragraph in an obvious misspelling, hoping to catch his attention, so they could look into each other’s eyes and choose to “do it” again, in the fading moonlight!

“Are we on some sort of Fantasy Planet with some shortish fellow yelling, “The Spacecraft, The spacecraft while pointing up into the Redness of the Redpath Skies?” so adeptly penned by the woman who has been my apprentice these many years, while falling slowly but surely in love with her mentor, the man who would be Moose!

Lola just sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, trying to figure out if this blog really was going somewhere, or if she should just pop out into the bathroom and freshen up a bit, perhaps spraying a bit of Moose-nel Number 5 on those special places on her fabulously-formed body, tempting him to find their hiding places for as long and as hard it might seem to be, allowing her to say, –

“If I poked my finger into that eye, the one that is ogling me in the fading strains of the Moonlight Serenade, would it wake you up, allowing you to take me in your arms once again and tell me the point of the title of this blog, and telling me the punchline this side of 500 words?”

There he was, standing at the window, as the fading strands of moonlight, echoed in her hair, while the Moose Brothers and their Vision Band, took the last song request of the night. The Band leader, reached over to him and whispered, “If you let us play Moose River, she’ll want you to “take her” again in the Moonlight!” His buddy, Tristan just nodded and waited for his turn to ogle her, before assuming an air of respectability and-

Lola just sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, wondering if this was just a bad dream turned reality, that would affect the rest of the day, or even the rest of her life. She decided to turn to the Hunk of a Man next to her and say, “Oh Dearest. When you flex that extremely puny muscle in your right forearm, I just feel like swooning at word 635, or so!”

Lola knew that her words wouldn’t be enough to take them to the climax of this story at, or around 800 words, but hoped that his actions spoke louder than his words, allowing her to say, “Oh Yes, My Gallant Moose Tamer, from the right side of the Ural Mountains. I want you to touch me there once again, while the fading strains of this year’s wheat crop are swaying in the breeze, allowing us to-”

“What do I mean by fading strains of this year’s wheat crop?” she asked him, but really didn’t care to hear the answer.

When they reached the other side of the road, the Canadian Woman turned to her faithful Moose Compendium and said, “Now we’ve reached the Promised Land, and if what you’ve told me is true, then the love of my life, A Real Alaskan Man will happen on by and take me once again in the Beginning Strains of the Morning Light, just as I thought he would!”

-And her faithful Moose Compendium, on or about word 811 said, “and regardless what anyone else thought, I was not looking at your fabulously fabulous body in the fading Mooselight…..”

Hanging Out with the Vision Moose

“Somewhere in the warmer climes of the southern Mediterranean, our two heroes, Barney and Tristan are doing what they do best this time of year: cultivating the sun and babes of the Vision Moose Lifestyle, while their clients are still freezing somewhere else in the wilds of Alaska….”

“Hey Barn, what say we go trolling for Moose Babes today?” asked Tristan, as he sipped on his Vision Drink, while they longed around nearby the pool in Vision Heaven.

“But we do that every day, and night as well”, said Barney the Vision Moose, who rubbed his backside thinking of how it used to be, when he was much younger and up to that sort of lifestyle. “What about that young Cow you’ve been seeing lately? Are you just going to dump her for somebody new?”

Tristan just laughed, causing his Moose Martini to come out of his nostrils. “You mean, Moosette from Quebec? No, I won’t be breaking her heart just yet, but….

“A Canadian Moose! Don’t let that news get back to the clients in Alaska. You know how some of them are sensitive about things like that….!”

“You really miss that crazy couple, don’t you?” asked Tristan, as he hooved through the January Copy of Moose Monthly. “I was talking to Moosette the other day, but when she mentioned a town out west, I almost choked on my reply when she said, “You know. In Alaska!” which caused them both to let out a loud guffaw, while they locked horns in the gaiety of the moment. Tristan then added, “I almost wanted to tell her that “She didn’t need to say Alaska” but I’m afraid she wouldn’t understand anyway?”

Barney just let his thoughts fly and wondered when Lola would be waking up from her Winter Hibernation, making her mate screw up for his crazy stories about Healy….that is Healy Alaska -said while chuckling to himself …and all the wackiness that the two of them experience together. Barney really couldn’t wait to get a new assignment in the Last Frontier, while Tristan only continued to talk about this Babe and that Babe and when were they going fishing, and…

“Hey Man”, said Tristan. “I know you, you know? When your eyes start glazing over like freshly-made Maple Bars from the Moose is Loose Bakery in Soldotna, I know that you can’t wait to get back to work again!”

Barney thought about the Moose is Loose Bakery, but wondered if Maple Bars were good for his health and well-being? If he were a bit younger, or at least a Real Live Moose, then he might not hesitate to give it the old “Healy Try” and organize a stampede of his Vision Buddies, ending up somewhere at or near the front entrance to the bakery, while….

“Sorry about interrupting your thoughts Man, but Moosette is calling on the old Cell! I’ll catch you later on, OK?”

Tristan just sauntered away, while telling Moosette some song and dance about why they needed to go to his place tonight, so if she would just let her horns down a bit and Chill, then the two of them could……….

-but just then the Vision Phone rang! Barney almost fell out of his deck chair and into the Imaginary Vision Pool, but not everyone got wet in that water, now did they?

“Uh huh” he said, as the sun started to give him a Moose Burn on his left fetlock. “I see” he continued, thinking about leaving “Paradise” for the cold of Alaska, and seeing his favorite clients once again. “Well, you know how we are on vacation and all, but I’ll make an exception this time!” which is what he told his employers just to remind them of how indispensable, he was, even though he was rubbing his fetlocks together in anticipation of starting work once again.

He thought it necessary to tell Tristan in person, before he hitched a ride on Cloud Nine, heading towards the Northern Climes this evening.

“Hey Tristan, Man. Open up, it’s me, Barn!”

Muffled sounds and squeals were heard behind the door, with Tristan just poking one of his antlers out into the hall. “Hey Barn. Don’t you know when the “Do not disturb” sign is on the door, it means….more giggles heard, as a young cow poked her antlers out as well. “Enchantée” said Moosette, as she giggled and held a glass of Sparkling Wine in the one fetlock. “Did you know that they call this kind of wine mousserende in Danish? Sounds just like Moose Wine, don’tcha think” said, while Tristan pushed her back into the room, as he closed the door on his old friend.

“Hey Tris. I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been called back to work” said Barney, trying to sound disappointed at that fact, but Tristan saw right through him, and the next three walls as well! “Go get ‘Em Barn! I know that is where your heart is! While mine is…..giggles with something in French being whispered into his ear. “Gotta Go, Bud. Arrivederci”, said Tristan, thinking that was French, while Moosette pulled him back inside and…..

Whew! Thought Barney as he waited for his ride to come. All that Babe-Business for an old Guy like me! – All I want out of life is to…Hold that thought, because here comes my cloud…

Barney the Vision Moose was last seen jetting his way northwards again, while Tristan and Moosette lie in each other’s fetlocks. Moosette turned to Tristan saying, “Tell me about the star named Moosette again, won’t you?”

“Well” said Tristan slowly. “In the Moosey Way Galaxy there are many countless stars, but one that shines the brightest, said as he moved his moose snout a bit closer to hers, is called……

Can I have your Autograph, Miss La Rue?

Lola Honey. I wouldn’t want you to wake up not knowing the truth about your lover boy, but there were things that happened in my past, I wasn’t proud of, and the following story is one of them………

Lola was used to her fans throwing themselves at her, although it wasn’t always the best timing that they chose to do so. She finally got a Fire Hose installed in her Dressing Room in order to “cool down” those males, who couldn’t keep their pants on, or their Antlers within, well…

“That was really something wasn’t it?” said Tristan the Vision Moose to his Good Old Pal, Barney. “Remember how we left the studio that day, all dripping wet and shaking ourselves dry on that Security Guard? What a story that made at the Vision Christmas Party, wiping the smile off that Smart Mouthed Moose, Randy, and his endless exploits of this Cow and that Cow and how he, well…”

Lola just looked at me and said,”Honestly, If I don’t get a vision soon, I’m going to complain to the Main Office about the behavior of Tristan and Barney! Remember when they just talked about ogling me, but now what with….”

I just stood in line waiting for an autograph from Lola La Rue, while Lola rambled on and on about my buddies from the Vision Forest. Sometimes she’d look at me and say, “They are as Obtuse as you are at times” which I didn’t take as being negative, when she considered us “Rounded on the Free End” and all, but Barney just said, “I’d take care of your Lady Friend first, before you start getting ideas about Lola La Rue. She’s nothing but trouble, and that’s a fact!”

Lola La Rue didn’t take any Moose Poop from anyone, and that is what made her reputation for being the woman she was today! I’m sure my mother in Healy, that is Healy Alaska, would have warned me about someone like her, but you know how it is with mothers? They start talking about wanting Grandchildren to spoil, and how they should get back at their parents, like how I treated them in my teenage years!

Lola just looked out of the dirty window as I wove my tale of woe, back before she met me on the crossroads leading from Healy to Clear. “Wanna take me for a ride, Mister?” she asked me, or pretty much told me, so I took that ride with her, as far as the road would take us, finally ending up in Downtown Fairbanks, with an empty tank of gas and a hot dog from a seedy-looking Hot Dog Joint, named Bunkers. It was most likely located on the wrong side of town! That’s what my book, The Kenai Book of Wisdom told me, as Lola La Rue pulled out a cigarette, and asked me if I wanted to light her fire?

Good thing, I had taken a candy bar and a carton of Chocolate-flavored Moose Milk with me, because the autograph line just wound tightly around the town clock building in Fairbanks, while I hoped that her spring could take the constant bouncing as we tried, the both of us that is, to see the top of Mt Denali from her rooftop bed, or was that what she really wanted out of me that fateful day in May?

My carton lie on its side, with the last of my Moose Milk oozing out of it when she said, “Why in the world are you standing in line to get “That” woman’s autograph, while “Your” Lola is standing right her, providing for your needs, wants and wishes?”

I guess, it was just the bad boy in me that wanted Lola, as much as I wanted Lola, but in the end, through all my trials and tribulations, the selling of that less-than-springy bed to get the money for a bus ticket home again to Healy, while Lola was thumbing her way to stardom in somebody else’s vehicle towards her fame on the Silver Screen!

Mother just looked at me with disdain, as I showed up on her doorstep once again. A Fairbanks’ hickey on my neck and a story to tell about the Fairbanks’ skyline, just wasn’t enough to satisfy her thoughts about grandchildren, or at least a reason to leave my father to live in some cushy apartment, anywhere else than here!

“That’s the reason Lola, I never told her about you, fearing that it would just open up old boxes of popcorn from one of her movies in the local movie theater in Healy! There I’d sit with my hand down someone’s box of popcorn, trying to remember what it was like being with Lola La Rue, despite those Gossip Magazine accusations of her actually being from Canada! Mother would just put a cold-compress on her head, saying “At least you could have gotten her Autograph for me”…..

“-And that is my story of Lola La Rue. It was a bit painful, dredging up old memories like that, but if we weren’t hurt in our past, how in the world would we know pleasure in the future?”

That was her final line in the last movie I saw her in entitled, “I Never Give Autographs to Those I Don’t Know……

Dear Lola. Your Sexy Red Dress that…

Dear Lola. As I take my keyboard in hand today, I am reminded of the last time we spoke together. Our words were not harsh, but loving and I’m sure when you wake up on the second of February, the memory of that moment will be……wait a minute. Didn’t you call me a Boob?….strike this part. I’ll begin again.

Dear Lola. In a few weeks you and I will be reunited once again. Oh I know how you might say, we’ve never been apart, but with these many cold and lonely months gone by, I can tell you with….What do you mean, I’m just feeling guilty for being with other women? I haven’t, really! How could any woman measure up to you as…..All Right! I know that Miss Cary Beau had turned my head now and again, but that was just a passing thing and I’m sure we’ll be laughing about it in the years to come….All right then, not you and definitely not me!…..I’ll begin again…

Dear Lola. In your absence, I’ve learned a lot about mending Penguin Fences, practicing how to balance a Chablis Glass on my right elbow, and what it means to discover a new Soil Survey under my very nose. I’ve also used my time to …..No, I haven’t just been drinking with the Boys! We’ve spent some quality time together discussing the implications of life without being threatened with a 30-30 Winchester! No, it wasn’t referring to you alone, but you must admit, it is not the best way of making/keeping friends?…Then we would put our cards on the table about our relationships at home. I said that….Yes, Armand does tend to be a bit aloof about you, but you really can’t blame the guy. All he wanted that one time was to offer you a glass of Chablis, and you accused him of…….Strike this paragraph as well. …

Dear Lola. Your sexy red dress that always gets my palms to sweat, and my eyes to roll around in my head, has always been my favorite article of clothing, that is when you wear it! I still remember the time that we went dining and dancing at the Penguin Brothers Bar and Grill in downtown Soldotna. I was at the bar getting us drinks while you were motioning me over to you, with that “Come here Big Boy” look that always makes me weak in the knees. Well, if the floor hadn’t been slippery from the icicles melting from the ceiling, then you wouldn’t have slipped and slid into the arms of the Band Leader, Monty Real from Quebec. He thought you were making a pass at him, which made him grab you on your….Well, I felt that he had gone too far, which made me, well slide into you two as well! When the police arrived, the place was really hopping, but I didn’t think that the look on your face told the real story of your feelings?

With that memory still lingering in my thoughts, as well as the threats from the Soldotna Police Force still making me avoid Soldotna at all costs, I’ll plead with you not to put on that most special dress on February Second!

With those thoughts now placed upon this scented piece of paper, placed most elegantly in the empty Coke Bottle beside your bed, I’ll just be on my way to…..No. I’m not going out with the Boys again tonight! I might just have important business to attend to….No. I did not meet her at the Bent Antler Bare while I was drinking with the others…..I might just have to check the Penguin Fences to make sure that…..No. She did not offer me the opportunity of checking out her Penguins! Honestly Lola, You need to trust me just a bit more than…..No. I didn’t know that Miss Cary Beau had her own Penguin Fences? Even if she did, I wouldn’t be going over to her in the dead of night, while you were away in your dreams!….Gosh Lola. Sometimes I wonder if you’ve ever really trusted me? If….

What do you mean, you are not even awake yet, and this conversation is only going on in my guilty conscious?

Yours Truly


PS. I don’t have a guilty conscious. Well, not much anyway…..

PPS. Should the title have read, “Your Red Sexy Dress” instead?

“She Moved Me in Mysterious Ways” – An Alternative Lola Story

People in Homer Alaska seemed to know who Lola Kenai was, and that was apparent by the looks on their faces. You might think they were of wonderment, or astonishment, but they might as well have been of fear, for all I knew?

I thought of suggesting that we stopped off at the next filling station, what with stretching our legs and shooting the breeze with the locals, but wouldn’t you know it, the next station was the very same one owned by Ms Kenai, and populated by herself and a random associate, whose gas-starved car was rusting peacefully nearby…

I was about to thank her for the tour of Homer and its Spit, but I didn’t want to show any undue emotion in front of her, lest it backfired on me and my own fragile person! She did manage to remove her parka, and blow on her American Flag Tattoo, in order to shine it up a bit, just waiting for me to bestow words of admiration and envy on her prized possession. Which I didn’t, unfortunately for me.

“Are you one of those Flag-Haters?” she asked, as if she suspected I’d come from a long line of that ilk, proudly displaying our distaste and distrust of the Government and its wily ways!

Oh, I wouldn’t profess to be a Flag-Hater, but the thought of someone scratching an image into my flesh, while I was considering the future implications of my Love of Country vs. Love of My Continued Good Health, was more on my mind than being considered a Turncoat, or a Rabble-Rouser especially in a State where people would introduce you to their Gun first, with their Spouse coming in a close second, or perhaps even third, if they were really lucky!

“So tell me”, she said, changing the subject in mid-stream as it were, “why did your missus leave you? Was the mailman tired of having his way with her, forcing her to seek greener pastures, or was she just tired of you being on top?”

Why did I get the feeling that this conversation just took a turn for the worse? It’s like hoping that those earth tremors nearby a Stratovolcano won’t be leading to a volcanic eruption, but it’s most likely I’d be proved wrong about that small detail as well?

I’d rather suggest that we go on a Tattoo Safari using her body as the Alaskan Savanna. I wouldn’t mind if the hours turned into days as we searched every nook and cranny for traces of black ink, deducing where it might have ended up if she had sneezed while the Tattooist was applying the final touches on his/her latest masterpiece, disavowing any misdeed by her inability to hold her nose while the process was still ongoing!

I was considering suggesting just such a course of action, when she suddenly noticed the goosebumps forming in and around Old Glory, prompting her to cover up the masterpiece that I would be referring to as her pleasing form, thus denying me that Safari, as least for the time being!

“Enough of this wallowing about”, she announced suddenly. “We’ve got work to do, and will have Hell to Pay if we don’t get a move on, and get something done today!”

“I’ve come to the conclusion, that I actually do require a Partner in Crime as it were”, she said most directly to me, “so if you don’t have any other engagements in your calendar”, which might have sounded sarcastic if I had listened a bit more closely to her words, “then perhaps we can be a team for a while?”

Just the concept of being a “team” with the wiles of one Lola Kenai, would make anyone think twice about their existence on this planet, but as I was in need of something, as yet undefined in that time-killing process that I would call my present life, prompting me to commence to shake her hand in agreement of our “partnership”. We didn’t actually define who was going to be “on top” in this partnership, but then not everything in life is defined from the Get-Go, is it?

 I then noticed a trophy of sorts on the top shelf over the cracked mirror in the office of her filling station. “First Prize at the 2015 State Fair. Palmer Alaska”

“Uh” I said, not knowing what else to follow that with, but then said, “Congrats! Nice trophy!”

“Yes”, she drawled in her Southern Alaskan Dialect. “First prize for shooting just about anything that moved that day, with this baby” – pointing to her pride and joy, a 30-30 Winchester, which might have painted a picture like this one….in my mind.

Winchester Rifle

“Well”. Which is the only word, possessing 4 letters, followed by a period that I could muster, while she found her “baby” and held it as if they were old friends, sitting by the hearth, swapping tales of former conquests, while “shooting” the breeze about loud noises and friendships!

She moved me in mysterious ways, that’s for sure, but I didn’t doubt for one moment, that she didn’t take lip from anyone, be they partner, or not.  I made a mental note of watching my step and minding my p’s and q’s as well, as I journeyed into the future with Ms Lola Kenai, and her filling station, occupying more and more space in my present consciousness, pushing out any unpleasantness from the past, where the silent hulk of my car was only a fading reminder of a past that I’d left far, far behind…..

“Push it in when I tell you to” she said… – an Alternative Lola Story

God’s gift to Alaska was not the town of Homer, or was I just being too negative on that cold December day when the two of us rolled into downtown Homer with sights set on cruising Homer Spit!

The trees ahead and the mountains visible across Kachemak Bay with their glaciers shimmering in the scant daylight told me why living in Homer was at least worth it, if you only were some kind of Landscape Junkie! I could just stand there all day, if only I could keep warm, and stare out at the beauty in front of me, keeping the wiles of downtown Homer at bay, at least for a while anyway.

Lola had pulled off to the side of the road to look under the hood of the Willies, while I took a short walk in the forest to take care of my own business, as it were. “Watch out for the Bears” she yelled to me, as if to say that she liked me well enough to watch out for me, or was it just her favorite spot to feed the local bears with her infrequent guests, and other passersby?

My view of places distant disappeared a bit as we drove through the hustle and bustle of downtown Homer. I wondered if they had stoplights in that town, while Lola just giggled saying, “They might even have indoor plumbing and running water as well” which might be a local joke, or was it just us that were laughing? We continued our drive along Homer Spit, a piece of land extending out into Kachemak Bay, which is thought to being left there by a glacier long, long ago. It had houses and business, a harbor and the odd this and that, which told me that it was better to be a tourist than a resident, unless you liked that kind of thing, which I didn’t and lucky for me, neither did she as well!

We made a 180, and started back when she pointed out a bar called the Broken-Winged Pelican. “I worked there once as a bouncer, or was that in another life?” If she worked there, then perhaps I was there as well, being all lost in the deja vu of the moment? “We might have been lovers in that other life”, a statement that I let slip out of my mouth and wander into her ears as she gripped the steering wheel a bit tighter, with nary a word uttered, which was as good a thing, as I could hope for?

She pulled off to the side of the road, and turned off the motor, while I wondered if our shared existences was at our road’s end? She opted though, not to answer me, not at that time anyway, and started to turn the key to get us out of town once again. “Damn Hamsters!” she yelled, and stormed out of the Willies, throwing up the hood while she tinkered with the motor.  “Come here, you” she said, as I got out to admire her fine form, bent over that ticking engine, while she said, “Take this screwdriver and put it here” said while motioning towards a thing-a-ma-bob with wires attached and performing no doubt an important function down there?

“Push it in when I tell you to, then take it out when its job is done!” said by the woman whose very existence was starting to overlap my own, especially when she would talk dirty to me like that! Her facial expression told me, however, that I needed to keep my mind on the job at hand and leave other things to well, other more suitable times….

The Willies roared back to life and we jumped inside while we still possessed an opportunity to shuffle off the mortal coils of city-living in this niche of Alaska, and move back to our own, more nondescript section, where the cars passing by might remark, “Was that a filling station, or just another bump in the road?”

She just looked at me before propelling us onward, saying, “Just where do you come from, if I might be so bold in asking?” while I could only muster the smallest of answers saying, “Up around Healy-Way” I said with the smallest bit of pride in my voice, while she only said, “I thought as much.”

I’d read my fair share of books in my life, but I never read one like Lola. She could say a short-something like that, making me wonder why our lives had crossed at that intersection called, “Conoco Junction” or whatever she wanted to call her Filling Station, perched on the edge of my uncertainty, while the rest of life flowed past me like an Alaskan River after the Spring Breakup. We might just end up doing the Fairbanks Fandango together, or would I just end up being another statistic in the newspaper under the column, “This Week’s Accidental Gunshot Death(s).

If the latter does happen, I guess, I’ll finally have made a name for myself, just not being able to cut out the article and send it to my proud mother in Healy, but hopefully, I went out with a smile on my face…….

Taking the Bus to…

All I wanted to do was to “take” the bus to Healy to visit my folks. That’s all. No other intentions than that, but not everything is as easy as it looks in Alaska!

As I stood there at the bus stop in beautiful downtown “somewhere along the Sterling Highway”, I remembered how I’d done, or tried to do this once before. An unruly bus driver got into a fight with me on the bus and we had to arm-wrestle as he drove. I was confident, however, this time, if I just kept my head down and watched my p’s and q’s, I’d make it to Healy by sundown!

I stood in line behind a fellow they called blind and deaf Dave. He was pleasant enough, until I tried to make light conversation with him. “What?” he yelled back, “Is that you Emma?” he’d say, then back away a bit and swing his cane threateningly over his head. I tell you what, not everyone in Alaska was on the normal-side, but people like him made me feel as if I was a bit farther in towards “normal” than Old Dave and Emma ever now or had been before!

The Kenai Bus Company had been trying to improve their image with posters featuring “Friendly Harv.” Harv was always seen smiling and shaking hands, so in that way, I hoped that “Harv” would be my bus driver today to Healy. That is to Healy Alaska.

When the bus stopped, Blind and Crazy Dave and Emma got on first, but when I stepped up and reached out my hand to shake the drivers’, his first words were “Oh, it’s you again” then pulling his friendly handshake back and pointing behind his seat. “I’ve got Old Slugger with me, so don’t try any of your Canadian Tricks like last time!” Old Slugger was a ferocious Bat Penguin with….well, that’s beside the point anyway. All I wanted to do was to……should I say “take” the bus to my folk’s place.

“Well Hi” said while peering at his nameplate…Shotgun Sal….”Uh. Sal. I’d like to….uh…..travel with you to Healy today. What about that?”

Sal just looked at me before saying, “Wasn’t it you who wanted to “Take” my bus from me the last time we crossed swords?” looking furtively about and readying his Penguin for any signs of trouble.

I just said, “That was an expression. An idiom perhaps, but we don’t need to get so technical about that, now do we?”

Sal’s face got all screwed-up first, then he reached under the dashboard and pulled out a diploma from Homer Junior College: “Graduate of Metaphors 101.” “Don’t talk down to me as if I were one of your Canadian Cronies! I know my metaphors and I’ve got the papers to prove it! What about you, you Commie-Loving, foreign type of Outlander? Can you match metaphors with the likes of me?”

I really hated it when others flaunted their diplomas at me, and especially those with Metaphors, but I didn’t want any trouble today, or I’d have to explain where that black eye came from when my mom greeted me at the front door!

“Been fighting again, Dear?” she’d ask me as she went to the freezer and got a piece of frozen quartz to put on my eye. Dad would only say, “Harrumph” then continue with “Was it Lola who gave you a shiner for cheating on her with that spicy number down the way, or was you just being a Wuss about you and your “Metaphor Envy” again?”

All I wanted was to “take” the bus to my parent’s place and experience Healy Alaska with its minus 40 degree winter weather, before Lola came out of hibernation again. Just a short, or a very long bus trip with the driver hell-bent to kill the both of us and Crazy Dave and Emma, who by now were making out in the back of the bus with Blind Dave saying,” Oh Emma. You’s never looked prettier than you do right now!” but Emma was tired of his playing the field with…

“Are we going to waste all day long with your subplots?” said Shotgun Sal, “Or are we going to hit the road for places unknown?”

I put my money in his “friendly” hand and shuffled my way back in the bus. Crazy Dave pulled out his cane again and yelled, “Get your own girl, ya hear?” while I decided to sit quietly and look out at the landscape of the Kenai Peninsula. Suddenly the bus hit a “bump”, but I thought Sal still had control when he showed up next to my seat, with a look that said, “Fried Onions for last night’s dinner, don’t make Sal a Happy Boy on his face!”

I wondered who was piloting the bus, but could just about see “Slugger” sitting on a pile of books as he–

“A Penguin is driving the bus?!” I yelled out, but Deaf Dave only said, “If she’s a looker and a cooker, then we’ll keep her, regardless of her religion!”

Sal looked like he wasn’t going to like what I was about to say, just as my father who would have said, “Was he a failed Canadian Geologist? Well, then at least you two would have at least one thing in common!” – when the bus hit another bump and careened off the road into the forest!

There I was in mortal combat with a crazed bus driver, and that was not a metaphor, his angry Penguin and Emma who just beat on me with Dave’s Cane….when the Police showed up at last…..

-and that’s what I told the fellows, Wally, Bent and Armand, who bailed me out of the local Hoosegow in downtown Soldotna. It was actually the Immigration Police who surrounded the bus and demanded that all foreigners come out peaceably, before they built a wall around us, keeping our undesirable elements away from the likes of other Americans! I kept on saying that I was an American, but nobody wanted to believe me, and to tell you the truth, by that time, I couldn’t really blame them!

So mom and dad. That is why my visit to you has been delayed for now. Say hello to my pet frog Ribbit and tell him that as soon as the court trial is over and done with, and I haven’t been convicted for Canadian Crimes against the US of A, then I’ll be traveling once again to the three of you in Healy! Just not by bus this time, OK? – your loving son……

PS. Sal was awarded the Medal of Freedom, awarded to those who “contribute to the security or national interests of the United States” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidential_Medal_of_Freedom_recipients)

-which must have been for keeping undesirable elements, like your dear son, away from other regular Americans….?