These pictures are from Saturday, when we went to scatter my Mom's ashes at "Holy Hill," a monastery and church about an hour from us. We used to go there a lot when I was a kid, and my Mom really liked the area.
Mr Bunches and Mr F didn't really seem to understand why were there. At one point, in front of one of the stations of the cross (the one where Jesus falls a second time) Mr Bunches looked at the statue and asked if Jesus was going to fix the tower and that's why he had the boards.
We told him "Yes."
I'm not sure he's ready for the whole story of the Crucifixion.
While waiting for my scifi novel to come out (probably next spring and now called Codes instead of Find Out Who You Are ), I've finally published the long-awaited sequel to my best-selling book Santa, Godzilla & Jesus Walk Into A Bar...: This one's called "This Stupid Pineapple Is..." and you can read the first chapter below, if you want. Or you can just go get the entire book for free on Amazon from Monday, 10/20 through Friday, 10/24.
stupid pineapple isnever going to shut up!"
yelled Templeton Freeney in frustration, and although he fully expected it, he still
got a little madder than he was already when the stupid pineapple said:
don't you shut me up?"
Freeney sat down hard on the stool that he kept in the kitchen for just that
purpose. It was not the first time the stupid pineapple had driven him to
distraction, and he'd learned about a week before that it was best to have
something to sit down on when that happened, or else he would simply fall on
the floor when he was so driven to distraction that he had to sit down.
the stupid pineapple had been telling knock-knock jokes in its loudest voice at
3:00 a.m., and he had gone down to the kitchen to tell the stupid pineapple to keep
it down because people had to get up to go to work in the morning and the
stupid pineapple had looked at him as he'd come in and said:
don't have any pants on," which had caused Templeton to look down at
himself and then the pineapple said "Made you look," in that silly
way it had which drove Templeton nuts and he'd decided that he was going
to for once and for all throw away the stupid pineapple at that point but as
he'd picked it up the stupid pineapple had said:
Templeton had paused, and said:
shouldn't I?" He'd held the stupid
pineapple by its green leaves over the recyclables bin in the kitchen.
if you let me live, I will give you three wishes," the stupid pineapple
Templeton had said, and had tossed the stupid pineapple into the bin and
started to walk away muttering. "No stupid pineapple has the power to
grant wishes." He'd started back upstairs, checking only momentarily to
ensure that he in fact did still have his pants on.
do," the stupid pineapple had said from inside the bin.
had stopped on the stairs and put his fingers to his temples, the way he always
did when he was thinking very hard about something he did not want to be
thinking about at all. Templeton did that a lot, in fact, as his job was
Ponderer Of Things Nobody Wants To Ponder, a position he'd been appointed to by
the CEO of the company the year before after a tiny wormhole in space and time
had opened up in the men's washroom on the third floor.
wormhole was too small to do much with. Nobody could even really get a finger
inside it, except Rhonda from Accounting, and Rhonda from Accounting had thus
far resisted everyone's entreaties to stick her finger into the tiny wormhole,
steadfastly refusing to do so for the past year. The wormhole had, it must be
pointed out, had many other things put into it, things like paperclips
and push pins and tiny pull-off tabs from soda pop cans and the like, something
that people had started doing when they realized they could, since often it is
simply the realization that something can be done which prompts that
thing to then be done.
had himself succumbed to the allure of the tiny wormhole, one day, while
working late. He'd gone into the third floor washroom and there had been the
tiny wormhole, between the stalls and the sinks, just as it always was.
Templeton had a couple of pens with him, including his green marker that he
used to mark things in green, and on an impulse he looked at the wormhole and
put the green marker into it.
was only the slightest hesitation, and then a zhhoooopo!
was very sure that it wasn't simply a zhoooop, that there was an o
at the end of it, and he'd emphasized that on the Official Report he'd filed
with Customer Relations. Customer Relations wasn't sure what to do about his
green marker or the zhoooopo! or the tiny wormhole in general. Customer
Relations, which had only three employees (Tim, Timothy, and Dan, who resented
the bond that Tim and Timothy had), had only gotten jurisdiction over the tiny
wormhole because nobody else wanted it. Building Services had been the natural
department to handle it, but they'd pointed out that most wormholes lead to
other dimensions and so the tiny wormhole wasn't a part of this building,
per se, and the per se had convinced the few holdouts still pushing
for the assignment, so then Human Resources had been assigned the job of
dealing with the tiny wormhole, on the grounds that while the wormhole was not
human so far as anyone knew, humans were doing things to it, but Human
Resources all called in sick the next day and management, worried about losing
an entire department, had instead assigned the tiny wormhole problem to Tim in
Customer Relations. Tim had then requested authority to hire two other people
to help deal with it, and he'd hired Timothy and Dan, and the three of them had
set out to have an ongoing feud about whether Tim favored Timothy due to their
sharing a name, while getting no work done, which was fine because the company
had no customers, anyway, and as nobody knew what to do about the tiny
wormhole, Customer Relations could hardly be blamed for doing nothing about it.
after the Zhoooopo!, there had been a slight tug on the green marker and
Templeton had felt the green marker pulled from his hand. He'd had to fill out
three different forms requesting a new one and although that was
time-consuming, he'd felt that he should not have to pay for a new green
marker on his own, as he'd lost it on company property.
waiting for Requisitions to deliver the new green marker (Expect it in 6-42
weeks, barring wars, hurricanes, gravitational inversions and mist, the
email had said) he'd gone back into the third-floor washroom and seen, of
course, the tiny wormhole again.
eyed it warily, the same way that he'd eyed warily the stupid pineapple which
had already taken up residence in his house the first time he'd seen it.
he'd stepped up by the tiny wormhole and looked into it and put his mouth right
next to it and said, in a voice he hoped was both friendly and authoritative:
back my green marker, please, as I need it."
had been a pause, and then from the tiny wormhole had come a voice, and that
had paused in shock, and before he could assess what that might mean, a voice
behind him had said:
do you suppose that meant?"
he'd turned to see the CEO of the company, a man everyone simply called
"Gene," since "Gene" was the exact opposite of the
CEO's actual name -- no, nobody got that joke, but Gene always chuckled at it
and so everybody else did, and then wondered what Gene's actual name might be,
and then wondered what the exact opposite of their own name might be
over four years ago proved that for 56% of the population, the opposite of
their name is "Tyler." The remaining 44% break down into three
categories: those whose opposite-names are "Jerome” (12%), those whose are
"Maria" (12.2%) and those whose opposite name can only be spoken in a
long-forgotten Hindi dialect. (45.7%). After mathematicians released that
report, they all went and enjoyed a large chicken dinner.)
-- and Gene strode over to stand next to
Templeton. Gene peered into the wormhole and said: "It talked."
who by that time already had reason to be tired of things talking when they
shouldn't ought to, sighed, and said "It did."
amazing," Gene said.
it?" Templeton asked.
scratched his chin. "Now that I think of it, I'm not so sure it is. I
mean, what do we really know about the tiny wormhole? Maybe all tiny wormholes
Templeton thought, but he didn't say that because he wasn't entirely sure that all
stupid pineapples talked.
leaned down and put his mouth by the tiny wormhole.
all tiny wormholes talk?" he asked it.
was a lengthy silence, during which Templeton wondered if he could leave, as he
was supposed to be home by now, and then the tiny wormhole said:
and Templeton regarded each other, and then Gene said:
it say Iort:?"
nodded. "Yes. Iort," he agreed.
it didn't say Iort," Gene said. "It said Iort:? I heard
stared at the tiny wormhole a moment longer.
does it mean?" Gene asked.
don't know," Templeton said.
someone could, if they wanted to, probably figure it out, what that meant,"
suppose," Templeton had said, and that had led Gene to on the spot promote
him to Ponderer. ("It's not an official title, until now,"
Gene had explained. "You'll have to fill out the paperwork.")
Templeton would put his fingers to his temples and rub them in the way that had
earned him his name in the first place as he pondered the stupid pineapple's
offer to grant him three wishes.
think I can't grant wishes because I'm just a stupid pineapple, but I bet three
months ago you'd have thought that a stupid pineapple couldn't talk, and I
proved you wrong about that, didn't I?" the stupid pineapple said from
inside the bin.
sat down on the stairs and looked at the bin.
I?" asked the stupid pineapple.
going to bed," Templeton said, and started up the stairs, wishing that the
stupid pineapple had never woken him up in the first place and wishing that it
was not Sunday evening because he didn't want to have the spend the entire
night fighting with the stupid pineapple only to get up and begin a whole week
of Pondering the tiny wormhole and other things nobody wanted to ponder. He wished, in fact, that he could have a
vacation, perhaps something on the beach.
That it was Saturday morning on the start of a beach vacation. He paused, looking at a picture of his wife,
and then went to bed. He slept so
soundly that when the team of commandoes stormed into his house two hours
later, in the middle of the night, he completely missed all the windows
breaking, lasers firing, boots kicking down doors, stupid pineapples being
grabbed out of bins, and the other things that generally go along with a team
of commandoes busting into one’s house late at night (e.g.: smashing up the
Templeton might have noticed the aftermath of all that happening when he woke
abruptly the next morning, but he didn’t because he was too distracted by the
sunlight beaming in through his bedroom window and the sound of a phone
ringing. That and the steel drums playing somewhere, lilting just over the
sound of the ocean surf. Those things
kept him from being aware that his house had been ransacked the night
before. Those things and a camel that stuck
its head into the bedroom window.
Before he could react to any of that
– camel, ocean, phone, steel drums, or general ransacking of his home, a cry
echoed out, one that shook him to his very core:
is ready!" he heard his wife yell.
understand why Templeton was so bewildered, you must first know some things
about Templeton beyond what you already have learned about him.
Templeton Freeney lives in Trenton, New Jersey, which is not the kind of place
you find steel drums, oceans, tiki huts of the sort that Templeton found
himself standing in, or camels.
Templeton's wife Ana had left him several years before when she had fallen
madly in love with a man who'd become a huge Hollywood screenwriter after a
movie he'd written about a madman trying to take over the world only to be
foiled by his brother-in-law had become a worldwide smash, leaving Templeton to
raise the children himself.
and this is not really about Templeton, but it is worth mentioning, it was no
longer Sunday-night-leading-into-Monday-morning. A large calendar on the wall
had days marked off in X's made in green marker, and the last day marked off
was Friday, making this Saturday.
he stared around him, Templeton realized the phone was still ringing. He picked
told you so," he heard the stupid pineapple's voice. "I told you I
could grant wishes. Now do you believe me?"
looked out the window, where some teenagers were getting ready to go surfing.
wished for this?" he said.
the stupid pineapple agreed heartily.
of this?" Templeton asked.
Bob," the stupid pineapple concurred.
guess you were right," Templeton said. The sound of surf outside made him
feel like repeating it: "I guess you were right."
that that's settled," the pineapple said, "Can you come rescue