Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Outlandisher - Chap. 15 Puppet Strings?

Sitting in his favorite chair in his Manhattan loft, Gerremy McButler was going through his mail.   He was also marking time while waiting for Jamie McFraser to get over his fascination with the multiple shower heads and liquid soap and shampoo dispensers in his bathroom.   He had been in there for well over an hour and last time he had checked on him,  he was producing enough steam to power a scene in a gangster movie bath house.

As if on cue, the Highlander, wrapped in one of Gerremy's  thick cotton towels and looking red as a lobster, strolled in with a big grin on his face.

JMcF:   How often dae ye use those marvelous squirtin' things that moves all o'er ye?  No' even wi'  all the wonders o' the French court ha' I ever seen anything like it.

GMcB: (dryly)  Believe it or not, bathin' is a daily ritual in modern culture.

JMcF:  Well I can see why.... though I'm no' sure aboot all the smelly stuff ye use.  Doesna seem verra manly tae me.

GMcB:  Are ye kiddin' me?   Wimmin love that shit!  

JMcF:  (surprised)  They do?  I must tell Sassyhack.  She's got the best sense o' smell I've ever run across.  She seems tae be especially fond o' sweat and woodsmoke....(thoughtfully)  although she did show me how tae keep ma teeth from fallin' out an'  tae keep ma breath sweet by chewin' on mint and parsley greens.

GMcB:  Yeah, well girls arna so fond o' honest sweat anymore.  Ye gotta smell nice or they say lots o' icky things about ye.   That goes fer yer breath too.    An' as for teeth,  some people arna so good at keepin' em, even in this time.   It's a good thing ye can get new ones pretty quick.   In my profession,  ye not only have tae keep yer teeth, but ye have tae keep em  looking good.

JMcF:  New ones?   I noticed ye show them a lot on the cover o' that moving  picture of yers ye showed me last night.  Will those be all yer own, then?

GMcB:  (sarcastically)   O' course they are!  Well, mostly, anyway. There's stuff they use to make em look white

JMcF:  Ye get them like that by usin' that little rotating brush in yer privy?

GMcB:  Not quite.... But it works.   Did ye use the head I gave ye?

JMcF:   That whirly thing scares me.   Could twist up yer tongue in no time.   I used the plain one wi'  the gooey, sweet stuff ye said was toothpaste?  What dae ye think?

McFraser smiles, pulling his lips away to display his almost perfect teeth.

GMcB:  (dryly)  Lucky bastard!  Ye probably don't even have cavities!

JMcF:   What?

GMcB:   Never mind.   Did ye get any sleep last night?

JMcF:  Slept like a log.

GMcB:   Figures.  Amazing what a "real" bed can do, isn't it?

JMcF:   I found it kind o' firm,  but then I'm used to the goose feather mattresses Sassyhack whips up.

Checking out Jamie's physique, Gerremy was trying to figure out which pieces of his clothing might fit the tall Scot.

GMcB:   I guess we have to find ye something tae wear if we're going tae try an' find that crazy Captain Randall.  Breakfast is on the table over there. I already ate.

Looking around again, marveling at the size and splendor of the actor's apartment,  McFraser ambled to the table and sat down to tackle the ham and eggs and toast and butter with jam that McButler's servant (or hired helper, as Butler called him) had carefully laid out.  Savoring the steaming mug of coffee, he looked over at Gerremy.

JMcF:  This is quite a place ye got here.   I naiver saw anything like it?  Does everyone in the 21st century live like this?

GMcB:  Hardly.   There are some as do, but I make a lot o' money bein' an actor.   I didna have anything near this grand before I got lucky.

One of McButler's many cell phones jangles and startles Jamie.

JMcF:  (chewing on the toast)  I canna get used tae the idea o' people being able to talk tae each other through the air....on that little gadget.

Gerremy shrugs as he picks it up.

GMcB:  We couldn't live without them.

Allaine S.:  (O/S)  Without what?

GMcB:  Cell phones.

Allaine:  (O/S) You mean your sixth appendage?

GMcB:  Very funny.    When are you coming back here?  I gotta find this creep.  He must be spending my money all over town!

Allain:  (O/S)  Let's hope he doesn't do more damage.

GMcB:   Where's my new P/A?   Did she cancel my credit cards?  What I can't figure out is how the devil did he learn about this stuff so fast?

Allaine: (O/S)  Everyone thought he was a friend of yours and was very helpful in showing him the ropes. Who woulda figured anything as bizarre as the tale you're asking me to swallow.

GMcB:  Fuck you!  I'm tellin' ye the truth!

Allaine:  Come on Gerry!   You been smoking dope?    Besides, how was I supposed to know he was a con man?  He said ye were shacking up with some married broad.   I figured ye wanted to fly under the radar for a while and no paps had picked it up...sooo no news became good news!

GMcB:  Ye imbecil!  In all the years ye known me, when have ye eiiiiver  known me to be out o' contact wi'  ye fer any length o' time?

Allaine:  (O/S)  You're kidding me, right?  You want specifics?

GMcB:   (controlling his temper) Look, I'm sorry!   Just fucking get here Allaine!

Allaine:  (O/S)  Yeah.  Sure.  After my nephew's Bar Mitzva.

Temper flaring again,  G throws the cell phone across the room, hitting a wall.

JMcF:  (calmly eating)   I think ye broke it!   Lucky ye have a few more.

As if on cue, another one of the phones ring.   G picks it up.

Allaine:  (O/S)  By the way, the Bank is sending you a new ATM card by messenger today.  This Randall fellow withdrew $25,000  from your cash account just recently, so he has funds on hand.  The credit cards will take longer.   See you in a few days and try to stay out of trouble.

GMcB: (still shouting)  How much longer is a few days?    (softer)  Allaine?

Looking up at Jamie.

GMcB:   The little shit hung up on me!

JMcF:  (calmly sopping up the last of the egg yolk)  What can ye expect wi' ye yelling like a banshee?   Dae ye treat all o' yer friends like that ye must be a very unpopular fellow.

GMcB:  (suddenly confused)  Whaaa?

JMcF:  Only person I let yell at me like that is Sassyhack and that's only because her carrying on an' such usually leads  tae some interestin'  frolicking o' the carnal nature....?

GMcB:  (sarcastically)   Yeah.  I get it.  Ye get laid!    But Allaine is used to me.  He knows I got a big mouth and a short fuse an'  don't mean anythin' by it.  I'm really a nice guy... most of the time.

JMcF:   Well ye couldn't tell by me.  Suck it up man!   How bad can it be?  We just got tae find the Captain and we'll worry aboot the rest later.

GMcB:  (chuckling)  Ye have no idea exactly how bad it can get.  But then why should you?

Shaking his head, he picks up the shattered cell and lays it next to the rest.

GMcB: (surprised)   Shit!  My chick phone is missing!

JMcF:  Chick phone?

GMcB:  (embarrassed)   Never mind.  I guess we'd better find ye something tae wear if we're ever going to track down this nut cake.   A friend of mine is going tae drive us back tae the scene of the crime.

JMcF:  The scene o' the crime?

GMcB:  (thoughtfully)  Yeah.   I gotta get that crazy mirror and the rest of my stuff back.    Allaine says I should keep this quiet or Loopy Lohan's  rehab is going tae look like a walk in the park compared to the looney bin they're going tae lock me up in.

JMcF:  I sympathize wi' ye McButler.  Being married tae Sassyhack is no walk in the woods either and ye're way more strange than her.

GMcB:  Ye think I'm strange?

JMcF:  Well,  ye do ha'  separate names fer all those things ye call cell phones...  There's a naked guy on yer ceiling.... an' ye also have a lot o' funny lookin' hats hangin' around.  How many can a fellow wear?

GMcB:   They come in handy when ye're tryin' to hide in a crowd.

JMcF:   Take it from a fellow who sticks out like a sore thumb.  Those hats arna going tae do the job.

GMcB:   Maybe not, but I like em and that's a good enough reason!

Gerremy gets up.

GMcB:  Listen....I'm expecting someone, but I need to take a shower before they get here.  Can you entertain yerself fer a few minutes?

JMcF:   Shuire thing.  All right if I look through yer books?

GMcG:  Help yerself!

Still clad in only a towel around his waist, Jamie is pulling down random books from the bookshelves in Gerremy's office, when there is a loud knock on the front door.   Opening it,  he finds a tall, leggy brunette with a pretty face on the other side.

The brunette looks him up and down with admiration just as Gerremy, wearing a bathrobe with slicked back, wet hair and smelling like a cross between a wood mill and a flower garden,   comes out.

The brunette goes up to McButler and plants a soft kiss on his mouth.

*Elisa might look like this.
Brunette:  Hello love!   Long time no see.

GMcB:   I've been busy, baby.  Thanks fer comin'  over on such short notice.

Brunett:   Don't I always?   (looking at Jamie appreciatively)   Is your friend joining us today, I hope?

Gerramy puts his arm around her shoulder.

GMcB:  Not a chance darlin!  He's married!    It's just ye an' me, as usual.   This is Jamie, by the way, and Jamie has got a female pulling his puppet strings, so I doubt he's allowed to venture too far into foreign territory.

Brunette:  (still looking at Jamie, who is now blushing)  That's a shame.   He doesn't look like anybody's puppet.

JMcF:   Aren't ye going tae present me tae yer lady friend, ye clod!

GMcB:   This is Elisa...(grinning) an'  she's no lady, thank God.   Elisa here is a damned fine working girl who attends to my needs on occasion.   (looking at her)  Right sweet cheeks?

Brunette:  (laughing)   I'm on exclusive retainer whenever he's in town.

GMcB:   (patting the girl on her bum)   Elisa knows I can't function fer very long without some attention (clearing his throat suggestively) o' a pairsonal nature.

He pulls her along to the bedroom and gently pushes her in before looking back at Jamie.

GMcB:  Sorry mate, but I'm going to be tied up for an hour or so.   If I wasna afraid yer wife would try to geld me again, I woulda asked Elisa tae bring along a friend.

Slipping off his robe, he throws it at Jamie.

GMcB:  Here.  Ye'd better put that on before ye catch a cold.  I won't be needin' it!

Still pink in the face,  Jamie catches the robe as Gerremy disappears behind the bedroom door.

JMcF:  (to himself)  Cheeky bastard!  Just what the devil did he mean by puppet strings?

Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction that exists only in the twilight zone of the writer's mind. Any and all resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. 

* I pictured the purely fictional  Elisa looking a little like this nice looking print model. 

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

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