then a cookie, washed down with a beer. Repeat as necessary.
For a cookie and a beer, though the way today is going, beer should come first, and often.
or a beer..........
the taliban have no place in here brother, thinking about a new story just now!!!!1
Another opens, Ripple. Is it the end or the beginning? I dunno...I felt as if the thing had kind of petered out, and I'm not sure that I want to follow the Taliban into the plot, but hey, who knows?
the beginning or the end? thought thease monkeys flew off months ago are they back
....were actually reeper and predator drones designed to fool he Taliban. by locating the yellow brick road and it's adjacent crops. This they did very well and returned with a light "thud" to the bus where they were fed terminator remnants.
Now, there were good and bad flying monkeys and the micro-bus had unfortunately discovered the wrong kind. What was called for now were empathetic healing flying monkey drones to replenish the crops.and bring peace to the kingdom, hippy & bertha.
For this story, so I thought I'd bring it to an end...but made sure it wasn't really an end to the story, just in case someone might like to pick it up again at a later date.
The end of what, many might ask....
The mission was on.
The road that runs through Oz (known as "the Yellow Brick Road," and by some, "The Golden Road") is nigh on impossible to navigate for the novice. The are no maps, few signs or dividing lines, and very few rules to guide. The roads themselves have a habit of dead-ending without warning; circling back on themselves; and scarier still, a path that leads to Point A one day may lead to Point B, or Z for that matter, days, weeks, or years later.
This basic unreliability meant that in order to have a prayer of getting to where you want to go, you need to bring a boatload, a damn supertanker load, of experience and intuition to the process.
Bertha (the woman) possessed both in spades. Not only had she made hundreds of trips over Oz hill and dale, but she could always tell the deuces from the aces in a deck of cards, easily avoided the Suicide Jack, and under her gaze, the Queen of Diamonds would shine like the sun.
Bertha (the woman) therefore found herself at the wheel of Bertha (the van), Hippy riding shotgun, various and sundry of the crew piled into the back, and a group of flying monkeys settled atop the roof. Though Hippy had driven the van millions of miles, Bertha (the woman) had logged more than a few hundred thousand behind the wheel herself, spelling Hippy during their trips through the desert, taking the wheel when he was seeing double during many a San Fransiscan night. Though a few decades had passed since she'd planted her butt in that driver's seat, Bertha felt right at home.
Bertha depressed the clutch, turned the key, gave the old van some gas, let out the clutch. Bertha (the van) lurched forward about 3 feet and stalled out. Bertha's clutch, you see, had a miniscule (some would say microscopic) sweet spot: if you didn't hit it and finesse it just right, your trip in Bertha was bound to be confined to a series of very annoying three-foot forward lurches...assuming that you were on level ground.
Bertha (the woman) turned to Hippy and said, "You've been keeping this bucket of bolts running for close to half a century and you NEVER FIXED THE FRIGGIN' CLUTCH??"
Hippy chuckled for a few seconds, then responded, "C'mon Bertha, of COURSE I fixed it. Problem is, when I got it just exactly perfect, I hated it. You have no idea how long it took me to fine tune it back to the way it was before I started 'fixing' the sucker."
Bertha (the woman) touched Hippy's hand and gave him a great big smile, and Hippy's heart melted a little bit more than just a little. She cranked up the van's engine again, popped the clutch, and smoothly shifted through the gears up to cruising speed. "Just like riding a bicycle," she said, right pleased and amazed at the wonders of muscle memory. "We're off to see the Wizard!" she exclaimed, more out of tradition than intent.
Thus the crew began its journey down the Golden Road: Bertha's eyes fixed on the road, confidently making decisions at each fork and crossroads, Hippy's eyes fixed on Bertha, the monkeys playing five-card stud on the roof, and everyone else in the back cranking Dead tunes and playing video games.
Bertha (the woman)'s good mood slowly dissipated. It started when she began to notice that the surrounding fields and forests were encroaching on the road: in some places, the yellow bricks were visible only as narrow tracks. Infrastructure problems in Oz were unheard of, and Bertha had no idea why the road wasn't being maintained. And then,
They faced a vast cornfield, and the road forked wide, right and left. An empty scarecrow stand was directly ahead of them, and though there was a sign at the juncture, it characteristically and unhelpfully pointed nowhere in particular. Bertha stopped the van. She felt nothing, no inkling of the direction to take.
She stuck her head out the window and said something to the flying monkeys. Immediately two monkeys folded their hands and flapped up from the van. One headed left, one headed right down the road.
Bertha (the woman) looked at Hippy and said, "Hippy, something is very wrong here. I've sent those two to do some recon for us, but I have a bad feeling that we may never see them again. We need to be thinking about what to do if they don't come back, because this very well could be...the end."