Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Outlandisher: Chap.19 - Making it in New York

Sant Ambroeus

Jonathan Frank Neil McRandall, Captain of his Majesty's Eighth Dragoons looked like anything but an 18th Century English soldier as he walked down Madison Avenue sporting a sleek, navy Armani blazer, white polo shirt,  second skin light blue denim jeans,  his feet shod in a pair of buttery leather Prada loafers.  His thick, dark hair was shiny and stylishly cut and he carried a dark leather man purse and a Bergdorf Goodman shopping bag.  Pulling off the Oliver Peoples aviators, his brown eyes sparkled as he peeked inside the inviting window of Sant Ambroeus Milanese Pasticceria (and Wine Bar).   Ravenous and liking what he saw, he pushed in the door and settled at one of the small tables near the window.

After browsing through the menu, he ordered a full bodied barolo to accompany the homemade lasagna with sausage and leeks. Looking around,  he decided he would finish up his meal with a frothy cappuccino (his favorite) and a small chunk of aged Parmesan cheese to go with the almond tort he had spied in the glass case.

Settling back to wait for the arrival of his order, he pulled out a small package and unwrapped the book he had purchased titled "Making it in New York!"  He smiled to himself, thinking he wasn't doing so badly thus far, thanks to the funds he had "borrowed" from the good looking, but uncooperative, Gerremy McButler.

Luckily for him, he had been a quick study after being transported to 21st century Manhattan and, thanks to some advice from one of McButler's friends, he had been able to double the money, first by betting on a horse named King Geordie through the bookie that lived in the same apartment building, and then by taking half of his winnings and putting them in oil stocks on the advice of a broker he'd met in a bar.

He'd been surprised how easy it was to make friends.  The stockbroker had been especially easy.  An older man, who had taken a shine to him, Michael Struan had turned out to have a taste for something McRandall was only too happy to provide him with...a little pain with his sex.   The ecstatic Michael had been very helpful in showing him around, taken him shopping  and helped him get credit at a few establishments by vouching for him,  in return for his small investment  and his ability to pleasure the old gent.  He kept several changes of clothing at Michael's luxury Upper East Side apartment and Michael was all too happy to shower him with expensive gifts in exchange for his discreet, but very forceful manner in the bedroom.

Now all he had to do was learn a little more about this bustling city he found himself in and with a few more friends like Michael, he just might have it made.

Yes, Jonathan F. Neil McRandall had very quickly become accustomed to the fine things this century had to offer and he was determined to enjoy every minute of it while it lasted, with little thought to the life or most of the people he'd left behind.

 He knew that Gerremy McButler had found his way back to this century because he had found the mirror missing from the big empty loft in Harlem where he had originally stashed it.  However, in such a big city, he figured his chances of running into him were almost nil and was sure McButler would be more likely to want to forget their time together.  He felt perfectly safe from that quarter.

McRandall's Obesession
The only person he  thought of with a pang of regret was Jamie McFraser.   He had not been able to crack that nut, not even with the beatings he'd administered to the younger man....and not being able to have his way with him, made Jamie McFraser the one prize, above all, that he wanted.  Somehow, somewhere, he knew he would get another chance and that might mean finding a way to travel back and forth through time....which in turn meant he would need to find out how to access the mirror without running into its owner, Gerremy McButler.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of lovely men to be conquered...he just had to find the ones, like Struan, that were fond of his specialty.  Mind you, he was not above forcing matters with some who weren't so fond of pain if they were worth it, but he had to be careful.  Try as he might to conjure up some of the beauties he'd taken his pleasure from,  he couldn't remember their faces.  Like any obsession, his thoughts constantly returned to Jamie McFraser.

His dreamy reverie was interrupted by the arrival of the waiter.   The heavenly aroma of his entree turned his mind to other  physical pleasures.   Unfolding the crisp white napkin and setting it in his lap, he took a sip of his wine, then picking up his fork, opened up the book to Chapter One:  "So you think you want to live in New York?"


The charming time traveler.
Claire "Sassyhack" McFraser sat in her kitchen pondering what to do about the fact she had now not seen hide nor hair of either her husband Jamie nor his friend Gerremy McButler for several weeks now.  She had thought to wait out Jamie's sudden bout of wonderlust, knowing he would eventually return to her.

Of course,  it had helped to be  distracted by her new visitor and fellow time traveler, the strange, but in his own way,very charming McButler.   He and his stories had been so fascinating that she hadn't had time to think about missing Jamie too much.  Now with both of them gone, God knew where, she was finding it hard to concentrate on anything much and that very thing was starting to affect her treating her patients.

Horse Chestnut
Why just today, while thinking of Jamie, she had inadvertently given a patient with a case of very bad piles a cayenne and habanero chile based salve she had mixed for an arthritic patient,  instead of the soothing butcher's broom, horse chestnut and aloe compound she had set aside for him.  It had been very disconcerting to hear the man's screams, as she had rushed to his cottage, correct medication in hand,  to rectify her mistake.   However she had been too late and the curses being uttered, between cries for her head, had kept her from knocking on the door.   She had hurried home and locked her own door, lest the man seek some retribution once he pulled his arse out of the water trough for the horses that she could now see him sitting in from her window.

To compound matters this morning she had had a visit from several soldiers seeking Jamie for questioning about the disappearance of a certain English Captain who had been dogging Jamie's steps for a while now.    Unable to give them any information as to her husband's whereabouts, they had asked her about a suspicious man matching the description of one Gerremy McButler, who had been seen in her company and also observed talking to the missing Captain McRandall shortly before he failed to report for duty.

Luckily for her, if not her patient, she had been in the midst of performing a circumcision on a very large man with a badly lacerated foreskin, when they burst in to question her and the squeamish, gagging soldiers had quickly departed after asking her to report to the fort tomorrow for further questioning.

After applying a poultice of agrimony, yarrow and rose bark to the man's member to stop the bleeding and promote healing, she had swathed it snuggly in bandages and allowed the unconscious man's three sons to carry him home with the advice to keep him drunk, lest he attempt to kill himself from the pain he was surely going to feel once he awakened.

She'd done her best for the sot and felt sorry for him,  but the angrier she got about Jamie being gone so long and putting her in the position where she might be in danger again, the more she thought she would like to perform a like surgery on him.

Sitting there, she suddenly remembered Gerremy McButler had mentioned that he was staying in an Inn with the name Red in it only he hadn't remembered exactly where it was.  It suddenly came to her that he was probably talking about the Red Bull Inn.

Could it be he had fallen ill again and was too sick to leave his room?

With that thought in mind, she went in search of her medical box and decided that she would pay him a visit to see if he needed some doctoring and.... and just maybe he might know where Jamie had gone off to, not to mention the whereabouts of one missing English dragoon.


Laying in bed, Gerremy McButler was thinking how much he'd enjoyed the day today.  Their adventures and narrow escape from the Cock and Ball and the leisurely dinner at the member's only men's club he had taken Jamie McFraser to afterwards, had been pleasurable.  He had fun watching the big Scot's reaction to almost everything, and he was aware of the fact that the man was one hell of a wing man, attracting the attention of women like mad.   He was used to being the main attraction, but he grudgingly let the younger McFraser share the limelight.

In contrast to his own joking way with the ladies, McFraser's shy politeness, lack of conceit and interest in learning from them, made for very different kind of evening than he was accustomed and he found himself  actually enjoying the interesting conversation with the three dancers that joined them, that wasn't necessarily focused on a seduction that would end up with the usual and, sometimes unsatisfying, ending.

One of the funnier things to watch was McFraser's confusion and incredulity about women.  Gerremy had observed that he was very polite to the strippers but perplexed and annoyed with some of the  more "normal" females he had seen.

It was true that "normal"  was a relative term when it came to women.  Aside from the obvious fans who welcomed his attention, he himself had always found it hard to gauge what kind of reception he would get when he approached them, a gleam in his eye.  That gleam could mean a variety of things...he was lonely, she was beautiful, he was horny (when wasn't he?),  he felt an overwhelming compunction for conversation, and a few impulses not even he could explain to himself.   He figured it was just a "moth to the flame" type thing with him,  that kept him going back after them, even at the cost of getting his wings singed, which had happened more than he wanted to admit.

Now, he could see the highlander was thoroughly confused and frustrated as to how one went about distinguishing who was a doxy, who was a "modern" woman, and who was a "decent" woman, as McFraser liked to put it.  In the last two places they'd been to and after seeing Elisa, he was completely baffled how one was to tell them apart.

Of course the vicious slap he had gotten for trying to put a dollar bill down a scantily clad girl's dress at the bodega where they had stopped to get milk,  caught him by surprise and his face had practically turned purple.   The linguistically gifted Scot had shyly translated the strange sounding patois she had thrown at him, saying he had only caught the "filthy cochon" part.  After all, the girls at the Club had been only too happy about this practice and this one didn't have much more on in the way of clothing.

Gerremy had had to explain to him that the money was not so they could buy "somethin' more decent to wear."

He could see he would have give the Highlander a crash course in the finer points of flirting with the female sex.   He had his own personal stable of  "chatting up" lines when he encountered someone interesting and he was going to have to pass on a few to the clueless Jamie.  His favorite,  "You look delicious tonight!" had always worked for him.

When they'd gotten back to his loft, he'd made some hot chocolate and, after elucidating a little more on 21st century females, the talk had turned to Scotland,  a love they both shared and understood, well into the early hours of the morning.

Now he found himself looking forward to another day of showing McFraser a little more of his world before they again set about the task of hunting down one slippery, crooked 18th century English dragoon, running around loose and, most likely,  causing mayhem in 21st century Manhattan.

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. 

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Outlandisher: Chap. 18 - Protecting Your Assets!

Skipping along the ground at a furious speed and hugging his side from laughing so much, Gerremy McButler giggled uncontrollably again.  Looking over at his partner in crime, who had a big grin on his face, he felt a sense of silly comaraderie with this tall, fiery haired Scot.

Their visit to the Cock and Ball had yielded very little in the way helping them track down a certain 18th Century English dragoon running amok in 21st Century Manhattan, but it had provided some very sweat producing, if humorous moments that he would never forget.  It had all started the moment they walked in the door only to be scrutinized in detail by every single eye in the room.

It was true they made a handsome pair, the Highlander with the instant scowl on his face the moment he realized that they were going to be a very popular attraction this evening, and he, himself, enjoying the excitement of the challenge and the constant mirth that ran like a little electrical current through him, making him want to laugh out loud.   Pulling himself together, he put his best poker face on and approached the bartender, a short, balding man wearing leather chaps with built in leather athletic supporter, a short leather vest and little else.

Being careful not to look at Jamie when the man momentarily turned his back on them to grab a bottle and in the process displayed a very white, bare ass with the words "bite" and "me" one tattooed on each cheek, he spoke up.

GMcB:  Hey mate.  How ye doin' this evening?  Any excitement going on around here tonight?

Bartender:   (looking them both over)  Depends on what kind of excitement you're looking for.

GMcB:  Well I suppose ye can start by gettin' my friend here a drink.  Whiskey?

Pointing to a whole section of Scotches, the bartender eyes Jamie.

Bartender:  What's  your pleasure, big fella?  A single malt?

JMcF:  (eying the selection, he names the first one his eyes focus on) The Lagavoolin will do.

Bartender:  Lagavulin?  10 or 16?

GMcB:  Give him the 16!

The bartender pulls out a glass and pours the amber liquid out in front of Jamie then turns to Gerremy.

Bartender:  How about you, green eyes?

GMcB:  Coke?

The bartender gives him a sly look.

Bartender:  Now sonny, you know I can't sell you that stuff here.  You'll have to find your own source.

GMcB:  (grinning)  No, I mean a real coke.  With ice please.

Looking at him to make sure he's serious.

Bartender:  You don't look to me like a teetotaler, but a Coke it is.

Pouring out the coke for Gerremy, he turns to Jamie, who had already put away the first glass.

Bartender:  Man, that's a record for a 16.  Another one, Red?

Jamie puts out his glass.

JMcF:   (nodding silently)   Fill it up this time, if ye don't mind.

Bartender:  (pouring out a healthy dose)  A double for the big man with the big thirst.

He turns back to Gerremy.

Bartender:  What other thirsts are you two looking to quench tonight?   You new in town?

GMcB:  That depends on what you got to offer.  Mind if we look around?

Bartender:  Help yourself.  There's something for everybody at the Cock and Ball.  You two a couple or you looking to hook up?

GMcB:  Depends on the scenery.

To Jamie's amazement, Gerremy lays down two crisp $100 bills.

GMcB:  Keep the change.  We'll look around.

Bartender:  The more serious stuff is downstairs.  We also have a special room for certain appetites upstairs.  If you want to venture that far out, knock twice and tell em Howie said you're okay?

GMcB:   (winking)  Gotcha!

Jamie, having downed the full glass, leans over and whispers to McButler.

JMcF:  What the devil did he mean by  "that far out?"

GMcB:  (shrugging)   I've got no fucking idea, highlander...but I suppose we'll find out soon enough.

Hearing the tinkling of a piano playing some serious music, curiosity draws them in that direction.  With a stupefied look on his face at seeing the serious, well dressed piano player, Gerremy blurts out....

GMcB:   Dr. Avatar?   What are you doing in a place like this?

With a look of equal surprise on his face, the good doctor replies.

Dr. Avatar:   Gerremy?   I seem to be running into you a lot lately.   (lowering his voice)  The owner of this place is a neighbor and he lets me play here some nights after work.  I like to play for pleasure, but it's nice having an audience once in a while, such as it is.

Dr. Avatar looks them both up and down.

Dr. Avatar:   I might ask you the same, especially in that silly get up?

Thinking furiously, Gerremy grins at the doctor.

GMcB: (weakly)  Some research for  a movie role?

Dr. Avatar: (smiling)   Oh.  Well if you don't tell anyone you saw me here, I won't tell anyone I saw you.   (holding out his hand for a handshake)  Deal?

Gerremy takes it.

GMcB:   Deal.   By the way, you haven't seen a slim  English  guy about your height, with thick, dark hair and eyes and long lashes around here, have you?

Shaking his head, the pleasant looking doctor,  with his own thick lashes,  discretely studies Jamie McFraser's face, before his gaze flickers back to Gerremy.

Dr. Avatar:   No, I haven't... (lowering his voice) But you should book an appointment to see about those crow's feet.   You need of a refresher.

GMcB:  (hastily looking at Jamie)  Sure, but let's keep that stuff between you and me, aye?

Dr. Avatar:  (resumes playing)  Got it.  Good luck with your research.

GMcB:  Thanks.  You sound great, by the way.

The doctor smiles at Gerremy as he walks away...then his gaze shifts benevolently to the tall redhead's muscular back.

Dr. Avatar:  (wistfully sings)  Dream...when you're feeling blue....

After checking out the room and keeping an eye out for any signs of the crazy English captain,  Gerremy and Jamie took the flight of stairs down...all the time very aware of the lusting eyes and even several wolf whistles aimed at them.

The rooms downstairs were mostly full of antique looking racks with leather straps and whips, several of which were in use by would be sado-masochists who looked like they were trying out new playground equipment.

There was a wall filled with all kinds of vises  and archaic looking torture instruments of different sizes.

There were several private rooms and Gerremy quietly opened one of them to peek in to find a very large, muscled fellow strapped onto a table with a short, skinny bald man standing on a stool over him and carefully tightening several of these vises to the more delicate parts of the big guy's anatomy.

Gerremy shuddered and quickly closed the door and nodded to Jamie to indicate no sign of McRandall.

After peeking in several doors with varying themes behind them and managing to remain unobserved by the busy occupants, a stoic looking Jamie lead the way to check out the "far out"  room at the top of the stairs.

Trying the door, they found that unlike the others, it was locked.  They could hear some moaning and sounds of laughter coming from the room.  Deciding they had to take a look to make sure McRandall was not here, Gerremy knocked softly on the door.  A moment later he could hear a bolt being pulled back and the door opened a crack.   A tall, thin, angular man with a goatee stuck his head out.

GMcB:  Hey mate, can we come in?  Howie said it would be okay.

He looked them both up and down and a gleeful smile spread over his features.

Man:  Oh, you bet.  We could use some new blood.

Frowning, Gerremy looked back at McFraser, who was peeking into the room over  his shoulder.
The door swung open to reveal about 6 or 7 men, crowded around a table, where a naked man with a very red back and buttocks and a gag over his mouth was being prodded with several extremely large instruments.

As they stood there, speechless, a very mean looking white supremacist type comes up to them.

Man:  These guys said Howie sent em up, Joe.

Joe:  Why not?  The more the merrier.  (pointing to Jamie)  You wannna be next?

The look on Jamie's face made Gerremy step into the breach.

GMcB:  My friend and I would just like to watch a little, if ye don't mind?

Joe:  Hey!   Do I know you?  You look awfully familiar.

GMcF: (nervous) Me?   Don't think so.  You don't look familiar at all.

Joe:  Suit yourself, but your friend here looks like he could take some pain and then some.  Look at those assets!

Reaching over,  and unfortunately for him, he grabbed a handful of Jamie McFraser's posterior assets only to find himself howling with pain, his testicles in a vise that made the mechanical ones seem like child's play.

Squeezing even tighter McFraser brought his other hand up and smashing the man in the face with his big fist, sent him reeling into the group around the table..

JMcF:  That enough pain fer ye, ye cretin?

Gerremy let out a loud whoop and clamped a hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter.

Seconds later,  they found themselves being pummeled by several musclebound types, who despite their numbers, were no match for one enraged, hot blooded highlander and a six foot two Scottish actor who, having little choice in the matter and no stranger to brawling,  found himself hitting first and asking questions later.

Bruised, battered and their clothing torn, they had barely gotten out of there three steps ahead of the squad car's arrival, and fled on foot.  Glancing back over his shoulder, Gerremy had spied Dr. Avatar beating a quick retreat to his car just behind them.

GMcB:  (laughing)  Did ye see the look on the skinny guy's face when ye picked up his friend and hung him from one of the hooks on the wall?  He pissed his pants ye know?

JMcF:  (grinning)  I didna have the heart to hit him after that, although maybe he woulda liked it, ye think?

GMcB:   (laughing)  I think the coup de grace was ye goin' over and untying the bloke on the table an' pulling the soup ladle outta his arse before we left.

JMcF:   (laughing) The poor bastard missed all the fun and there was no one left standing tae cut him loose.

GMcB:  (more serious)  Well, no sign of McRandall there, but.... well, if he's somewhere tied down like that wi' a soup ladle up his arse,  maybe there is some justice after all?

JMcF:  The stripes on my back will tell ye that it's most likely he'll be given'  the pain, not takin' it.  No.  Our dragoon is more likely tae be doin' his mischief in private somewhere and I got a feeling we're going to have to smoke him out, if we're going tae find him.

GMcB:  (thoughtfully)  Uhm.   Thanks highlander.   You just gave me an idea.    I think I may know just exactly how to go about it!

JMcF:  Good!   Now I need tae get out o' these britches before before they strangled me tae death...and by the sound o' my wame,  I need some food.

GMcB:  Come on, lets get outta these rags.  I know just the place to grab a bite, kick back and enjoy some different scenery.

JMcF:  Who are we kicking now?

GMcB:  That's just a figure of speech, my friend.  Kick back as in relax... and the scenery, in this case, consists of some pretty, naked ladies!

JMcF:  (grinning)  Oh....

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. 

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

Monday, May 9, 2011

Someone Needs Some Beauty Sleep

Dear Gerry,

Judging from some recent photographs and comments by some who have seen you lately, I think you may be in serious need of some beauty sleep.  I get it that you don't like to miss out on fun and you love the night life and the daylight(life) and maybe life period, but if you aren't getting adequate sleep, you are on the fast track to an early grave and you're not going to look very good when you get there.

I know you work hard and like to play the same way, but it would pain some of us to see you "live" yourself into the next life when there is still so much good stuff to see and do in this one.

Your body, including your immune system, repairs itself from "everything" during sleep.  Though our cells are constantly renewing themselves, our skin cells renew themselves the most during slumber.  If you need too much caffeine to wake you up and keep you going throughout the day, then it is too much and at best a roller coaster ride to premature aging and bad health, love, no matter how well you eat, how much you exercise, how many cleanses you go through, or how many addictions you've overcome.  It's the truth. Scouts honor.   I wouldn't lie to you.

From my perspective, the world would be a little less bright without your nice face popping up on the big screen a few times a year, so do yourself  (and those of us who give a damn) a favor and maybe drink one less cup of coffee and add one extra hour of sleep to your night or an afternoon nap as your schedule permits.   I guarantee you will enjoy the places you do go a lot more when you don't feel or look like a zombie.  You've chosen a field where your "looks" matter, so sleep is part of the bargain and an investment you make to stay on top of the game.

If you need a warm body next to you to help you get into slumberland, I'm sure there are plenty of them around willing to do it for you....a warm shower, low lights, cool sheets,  a sleep mask,  a soothing relaxation massage,  and whatever else works (yes, of course I mean THAT) to help you slide  gently and naturally into the arms of morpheus.

And if you need more reasons, I can think of another one too.  On a spiritual level, you can soul search all you want for understanding about the nature of things and the meaning of life but,  even if you're asking the right questions, your mind needs to be clear, quiet and rested enough to hear and understand the answers.

You're a smart guy.  Do the math.

If you need help, call me.  I'll send over my masseuse.


Your friendly neighborhood sage

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

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What did you think about The Book of Mormon, Gerry?

It looks like Gerard Butler took some time off from filming down south to take in the popular Broadway show.  The photographs of him leaving the theater with a friend show a sleepy looking, but very much inside his head,  Butler trying to ignore the ever present pap.

I wonder what he thought of the production?   Gerry has been on his own spiritual quest and I think that even though he seeks to come to terms with his own childhood beliefs, as all people growing into a comfortable fit with their own skin, I wonder what he thought of some of the more profane portions of the show?  He is a self admitted South Park fan with his own wicked sense of humor, so I think he probably got some good laughs, like the rest of us who enjoyed this play.

I'm sure he is happy to be back in The Big Apple, if only for a few days.  Everything is in bloom and little beats a crisp, NYC spring.

See my review of The Book of Mormon.

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