Tour’s Books Blog

June 14, 2014

Carly and the Tango Instructor – Part 7

Filed under: Adventures of Reacherfan Groundhog — toursbooks @ 7:56 pm
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RF sat right by Carly and asked the single most pressing question.  “Did you ever see Raul and Alyssa together?”

“No ……… Well, maybe.  It wasn’t like they were in a clinch or something.  Not that kind of ‘together’.  In fact, they both looked kind of mad.  I came in a few minutes early about a week before my accident and saw Alyssa was kind of giving Raul a death glare and he looked so mad, I was a little worried he’d slap her.  I was going to clear my throat or something, but Dimitri came in and they were both smiling and polite, like nothing ever happened.  Dimitri chided Raul for trying to steal his partner while leaving his own partner standing there.  That’s when they realized I’d been there for a few minutes.  Raul glared at me, then he smiled like nothing happened and we did the lesson.”  She gave an embarrassed shrug.  “I’d forgotten all about it till you asked.”

“Did you hear anything?  Anything at all?”  RF sounded intensely interested.

“Well, I could have sworn Raul called her ‘Alice’.  I thought maybe they were fighting about the competition and he thought she was as delusional as Alice in Wonderland.”  Carly went on, thinking things over.  “You know, Alyssa is on the competition organization committee.  She is – I guess was – the treasurer.  She was the one I gave my check to for the entry fee.”

“So Alyssa would know where you lived, because you address was on the check.”  RF looked thoughtful.  “Did you see them talking any other time?”

“Just for a second.  I was pulling into the parking lot and she handed him an envelope.  By the time I was out of my car, they were both gone.”

“Was that before or after you saw them arguing?”

“Oh, it was a week to 10 days before.  I just thought it was credentials for the competition.  It wasn’t a big deal.”  Carly stopped and was obviously going through her memories than said slowly, “You know, there was something just a few days before my accident.  I was entering the studio, from the front doors you look right down the hall to where Caryn and Dimitri have their offices then and there are mens and ladies rooms on the opposite side.  At the far end is a small break room for the instructors.  I hardly ever go down that hall, since I don’t shower there like some of the more advanced students do because they go right to jobs or something.  I just go home and shower there.  But that night I had way too much coffee and needed the bathroom before my lesson started.

“When I walked past Caryn’s office I could hear an argument.  I didn’t want to eavesdrop but I could swear I heard, “Alice bow-something is putting on airs!  But he said the ‘bow-something’ like a person’s name. And then the sound of a face being slapped.  I ducked into the ladies room and when I came out, Raul was his usual self, but it did look like someone had slapped his face.  It was red on one side” She sighed.  “Dance studios have a lot of drama.  I should have written one of my soap opera plots around them.”

RF thought a moment, “Which side of his face looked slapped?”

Carly blinked, then concentrated.  “The right side.  Does it matter?”

“Yes it does.  And you didn’t see Alyssa that night?”

“Oh.  Well yes.  She came in a minute or two after me.”  Carly hesitated, “But she came out of the hallway.  I wondered where she got a key to the back door because it doesn’t open from the outside without one.  I tried one night when it was pouring and had to come around the front.  Caryn said the door was for staff and as a fire exit only.  Not that it rains a lot around here, so it was no big deal.”

“When did the whole ‘slap’ thing happen?”  RF was giving her a penetrating look.

“Just a couple of days before my accident.”  Carly stared at the groundhog as smile crept over her furry face.  “You think this wasn’t an accident.”

Before RF could say anything, RJ handed Carly a fresh pad of paper and pen.  “I need you to write down everything you just told us.  Don’t embellish, just write what you saw and heard just the way you recalled it.  I did record it, but I’d like you to write it out so we can compare the two statements.  When you’re done, your friends can come back in while I contact the detectives.”

“Detectives are investigating my accident?”

“Not at the moment, but I suspect that will change.  Now, just do as I asked and your friends can wait in the hall or down in the common room.”

It took longer than RF expected for Carly to write everything down.  Eventually, RJ came out and ushered them back in after admonishing them NOT to say anything about their speculations about Raul and Alyssa.  He stepped out and called the detectives.

RF trotted in smiling and Trey lifted her up and gently set her on bed.  “Oh well done Carly!  Everything makes sense now. “

“Well, I’m glad it makes sense to someone, because it means nothing to me.”

“We can’t talk about our suspicions until AFTER the detectives speak with you, but we’ll explain everything then.”

RJ walked back in wearing a ‘shit-eating grin’ as her grandma called it.  “Detectives from Laguna Beach will be here in about 3 hours.”

“Laguna Beach?  The studio is in Oceanside.”  Carly looks confused.

“Oceanside has been notified as well.  Now, since we have some time, shall we go ahead and get this contest going?  I expect Mrs Kim is causing quite a scene by now.”  The lawyer grinned, obviously enjoying himself immensely.

Carly laughed.  “Are we doing it here?”  Tormenting her less than convivial roommate was turning out to be great fun.

RJ looked around.  “I think we need a bit more room and more windows.  Maybe even go outside.”

“Are you joking?  It’s hot as hell out there!”

“It’s not that hot.  Trust me.  I know.”  Everyone looked at Rupert, who just shrugged.  Ralph was bouncing with excitement, chanting, “Let’s go!”  Trey considered locking him in a closet.  The ifrit was annoying in any form – but looked really disconcerting as a mongoose with multiple piercings.  Especially the lip rings which looked HUGE on the small animal.  RF made him remove most of them, but even the few that were left gave Trey the creeps.

Not too surprisingly, the Head Nurse Mrs Nagouchi was casually loitering in the hall, so they asked if there was a room suitable for their use.  She thought for a moment and offered a space used for massage and manipulation that had excellent venting and sliding glass doors, but wasn’t visible from the hall.  “This will do.  Now, I’d like oxygen with a face mask, some plastic knives and forks and paper plates.”

Mrs Nagouchi was completely baffled, but when you have a lawyer of Rutledge’s formidable reputation ask politely for something that wasn’t illegal, you obliged.  A cart with various odds and ends was rolled in and right behind a portable oxygen tank.  He thanked Mrs Nagouchi and gently ushered her from the room.

“She wouldn’t have done that for me,” muttered a disgruntled Carly.  Trey laughed, “Me either, so don’t feel bad.”

RJ smiled slightly, “There are times when it pays to be a scary lawyer.”

He looked sternly at RF and Mrs Kim.  “Now, this contest has rules and traditions.  You eat your chosen food, but quantities are limited.  RF can have only 2 eggs and Mrs Kim can have only ¾ cup of kimchee.”

“You bring spicy one, round-eyed devil, not that tasteless winter one?”

“Yes, I brought the traditional spicy style from a Korean specialty shop that makes their own.  You each have 10 minutes to eat, no more.  You may each have one 8 oz glass of water.  The contest starts 30 minutes from then.  It will last 45 minutes.  Belching does not count.  You throw up or need to poop, you’re done.  Are the rules understood and agreed to?”

“Yes.”  RF had no trouble, but it took 5 minutes of arguing with Mrs Kim who wanted the quart of kimchee.  Finally, RJ agreed she could eat all she wanted AFTER the contest IF Vista Knolls approved.  The old woman and the groundhog eyed each other like gun fighters.

Carly whispered to Trey, “I never knew fart contests actually had rules.  In fact, I never knew there were fart contests.”

Trey patted her hand, “Neither did I, but I gather it’s a frat house tradition.”

“Oh, that explains it then.  But how did RF know?”

“I haven’t a clue.”

RJ opened the kimchee and set the plate in from of Mrs Kim.  Everyone moved back.  Then he opened a tightly sealed container and handed RF two 1,000 year eggs.  Carly’s eyes watered and she backed up a lot further – Trey and Rupert with her.  “OMG, they smell like …….”

“Piss,” Rupert offered helpfully.

“Well, yes, I suppose.  I had to look them up on the internet to see what they were.  They were called ‘horse urine eggs’.  And all these years I didn’t think anything could smell as bad as a home perm.”  She looked around, “Are there any tissues?  My nose is running and my eyes are watering.”

Rupert handed her a box – but she had no idea where they came from because his hands were empty moments before.  “Maybe we should wait in the hall,” suggested Trey.

Coughing, Carly nodded agreement.  She was afraid to breath.  Only Cleatus, Ralph and RJ seemed immune.  “GO!” Called RJ and the 3 spectators headed for the hallway when RF cracked open the egg.

Leaning against a wall, Trey gasped like a man who had just run a marathon.  Carly was rather glad Mrs Nagouchi insisted she use a wheelchair as she wheezed for breath.   Rupert fanned his face trying to dispel the lingering odor as he sank slowly to the floor.

The trio watched the door and listened for scratching incase Ralph or Cleatus needed to escape.  Slowly their breathing returned to normal, but they couldn’t smell anything.  “I feel like I need to gargle with Listerine and then use it to flush my sinuses.”  Carly laughed at Trey but would have given a lot for some Scope.  Rupert offered them wintergreen Lifesavers.

“Will this help?”  Trey was not a fan of wintergreen.

“Can you think of any stronger taste that’s still edible?”

The djinn had a point.  Trey popped two in his mouth and the flavor overwhelmed the previous stink, but left an odd aftertaste thanks to the ammonia in the eggs.  He checked his watch.  “I guess the real contest starts right about now.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RF ate her eggs quickly.  If you could get past the awful smell, the taste wasn’t bad, but the appearance was something that took getting used to – especially the grey/black yolk.  RJ had bought chicken eggs.  Duck eggs were better, but then she would have only gotten one, so she didn’t complain.  She peeled the eggs quickly and cut them into wedges and began eating.  Ralph was getting on her nerves with his constant jumping around and verbalizing a play-by-play like a sportscaster.

“RF has finished her first egg and Mrs Kim almost done with her kimchee!  GO MRS KIM!”

RF considered killing him.  “They’re both done, but who be the first to fart?”  She knew from experience the eggs would work quickly on her.  The only problem was certain lingering issues with the small scent sacs that groundhogs had.  It was nothing compared to skunks or stink badgers, but she would be ……. er, potent for several days.

The ever gassy Mrs Kim popped first.  RJ scored duration, loudness, and smell.  Ralph cheered and Mrs Kim gloated.  RF looked around for a weapon.  Then they both let one loose.  RF’s was much riper and louder, but Mrs Kim’s was longer.

“RF has the stronger smell and the loudest fart, but Mrs Kim is showing real endurance here with unusually long releases.  The next one will be important in the scoring.”  RF reached for only thing she could find, a new bedpan, and delivered stunning blow to Ralph.  Unfortunately, the bedpan was child-sized and plastic, so Ralph had a quick recovery.  He shook his head to clear it.

Mrs Kim laughed at him and let loose with a boisterous fart.  Before she was done, RF let go with one strong enough to make even Mrs Kim’s eyes water.  Not having learned his lesson, Ralph started right back to his commentating.  “RF has released a disgusting, rank fart, but Mrs Kim once again has the duration on her side.”

That’s when RF lost it.  She began chasing Ralph, whacking him with the bedpan.  WHACK!  Ralph reeled away, “And RF let’s a world class fart loose and Mrs Kim matches her in loudness, but once again, RF has the edge in smell.” WHACKWHACKWHACKWHACK!  Ralph staggered …. “And Mrs Kim goshhh for a dura….. and dura….. time thingy ……. Ah, ish record ….”  WHACKWHACKWHACKWHACK! RF paused.  Ralph went to stand up.  WHACKWHACK!!!!!!!!  And the plastic bedpan cracked, but Ralph was down.  RJ and Mrs Kim where hysterical with laughter.

Cleatus just shook his head and dragged the groggy mongoose to the door.  He rapped and Trey opened the door and got a mongoose thrown at him.  “Better keep him out here.  He annoyed RF.”

Rupert picked up his cousin.  “What did she do?”

“Beat the snot out of him with a bedpan.”  Rupert dropped Ralph like he was on fire.  “It was a new bedpan, still in plastic.  See you later.”  The door closed behind him, locking in the incredibly bad smells.

Rupert nudged his cousin with the toe of his shoe.  “You have any more of those wintergreen Lifesavers?”, asked Carly as she fanned the air.

They stayed in the hall, hearing laughter, snarls, and really loud farts, the smell creeping under the door to where they waited.  They moved further away.  Twice Ralph got up and fell over again, managing a garbled, “Who won?”  He teetered for moment, then fell over again.  Rupert ignored him.

RJ came staggering out gasping, laughing and smelling to the heavens.  “I kind of lost track of scoring in there thanks to Ralph and RF.  RF won the stink portion, which is 40% and they the remaining 60%, 30% each loudness and duration, so RF is the winner.  Mrs Kim tried to protest, but RF picked up another bedpan and she acknowledged RF the winner.  I believe she is currently being cursed in Korean while she does a victory dance.”  The lawyer leaned against the wall still chuckling.  “I need a shower and changes of clothes.  I’d suggest leaving RF somewhere to work the eggs through her system.  I’ll arrange for Carly to have a private room for a few days and pay for it myself.”

“I couldn’t ask you to do that!”  Carly was embarrassed.

“This partly my fault, so the least I can do is see to it that you are safe from Mrs Kim and her rippers.  Now excuse me while get things moving and get washed before the detectives arrive.”  RJ walked off, humming like a truly happy man.  It was obvious that he hadn’t had a lot of fun lately.  RF was nothing if not a unique experience.

“OK, who gets to go in there and grab RF?”

Carly is no fool.  “Well, I can’t do it.  I’m in a wheel chair.”  She looked weak and tired.  Trey and Rupert went into a stare down mode.  Wow, she was getting a hunk throwdown.  This was way fun.  She’d have to thank RF.

“She’s your partner.”  Point to Rupert.

“You’re bound to her service.”  Ooooohhhhh  Low, but 2 points to Trey.

“She’s made you a wealthy man.”  Good one.  Two points to the djinn

“She saved you from 50 years of service in Hell.”  Wow, another two points to Trey.  “AND she saved you’re worthless cousin there as well!”  Oooooooh, the kill shot.

The djinn growled, threw his shoulders back and walked to the door.  He took a deep breath, opened the door, ran inside, grabbed RF and Cleatus and ran out as Mrs Kim Yelled, “You come back again rat demon!  You fun!  You too blondy demon.  You cute.  Nice tush!”

“Why did you grab me?”  RF looked from Trey to Rupert and back again.

“The detectives are due shortly and need to stop …….. doing what you’re doing.”

“Not going to happen.  Those eggs last awhile.”

Trey looked a bit desperate.  “OK – who was the PI that got the yearbooks?”

RF sighed, this wasn’t going to work.  “Maybe we could talk to them outside.”

“IT’S 102F IN THE SHADE!”

“Well, it’s that or wait till tomorrow.  Now, I need the nearest exit and a handy bush.”  Trey stared at her.  “NOW TREY!!!!!!!”  He checked the signs, grabbed his partner, and headed for the back door.  He just stepped out when she squirmed to be put down and scurried to a distant bush.  The smell was nearly overwhelming.  Dear heavens.  She was sleeping outside tonight.  He stood there melting into the parking lot praying to lose his sense of smell.

“Whew!  That was close.”

“Will this happen a lot?”

She gave a kind of full body shrug.  “A few more times before the eggs are gone.  They’re a strong laxative for me.”

Trey sighed.  “How long will this take?”

“An hour maybe.  I only ate 2 eggs.  The gas, that will take longer, but the worst is over.”

“OK, so we stay outside for an hour and then we can go in and answer a few questions.  I’ll park you over in the shade by those picnic tables and bring cold drinks – you’ll need a sports drink or something.”

“Bring cookies.”

“Cookies?”

“I’m hungry.  Rupert ate all the jelly donuts.”

“OK.  DO NOT WANDER OFF AND GET LOST OR EATEN BY A COYOTE!  I’ll be back in a few minutes, just do …… whatever it is you do when this happens.”

Trey went back in wondering what he’d done to deserve a partner who ate smelly eggs for fart contests and beat ifrits in mongoose form senseless using nothing but a plastic bedpan and brute force.  At least his life wasn’t dull.

 

TO BE CONTINUED ……………………..

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