Pup Tent

February 16th, 2009

It must have been one hell of a game of wet blanket bingo I was interrupting by unzipping the tent, if the dark patches providing polka pattern to the sleeping bags were to be believed, and if you can’t believe that, then there was the clear evidence of the call of a wild O-53 to be reckoned with, if you’re a reckoning sort.

And you might not be, a reckoning sort, but I am, and I reckoned I was crawling into trouble, as I dodged another wet patch on the way to my bedroll while noting that Marcy was either an I-24 or a B-3 from the win, a secret it proved difficult to keep. But those were beans that’d have to wait to be spilled: first, I had to get to the source of this leak.

I’d be careful, as I had gingerly reminded others to be careful, not to touch the sides of the tent while it was raining earlier, without even bothering to think that tent canvas engineers should really have improved upon their materials and waterproofing by now. But that wasn’t it – this water was coming from inside, and while the underclad miscreants causing all this would-be chaostrope were certainly capable of producing it from their not unenergetic secretions, it didn’t seem convincing as an explanation.

Let’s face it – I’m not a private-eye, definitely no dick: I can barely keep up with the letter-call routine (although it seems now that Bertie won on a Wild Card, and it looks as if they were well on their way into a new game). And beyond a general paucity of sleuthing skills, it’s not easy to get to the bottom of things when you’re virtually wrapped in the inappropriety of wild nubile limbs – the sort of things that likely aren’t capable of producing sweat or other effusions, so at least we can cross that off the list.

Hettie reaches over me as her paw’s on its way to grabbing a fresh card so she’ll be ready for the next game (is there such a thing as a Wild Card in Bingo? It’s news to me, admittedly not an expert.) while a hand that I suspect belongs to Mathilda tries for what I think is a surreptitious swipe at the outer reaches of my public arch, an attempt which is prompted thwarted (I may be lacking in the sleuthing skills of your run-of-mill de-tective, but I’m quick enough when prodded). It occurs to me that I’d never stopped to count the number of people in this outdoor slumbering vessel, nor to read the label for the number of people it claims to comfortably hold. But it was cramped in here – maybe we were talking about the imprudence of breathy condensation?

Now Evelyn wants a ghost story, a request that has the other occupants of this appliance at alert and their attention rapt up. And I had just been settling into a whodunit, revving up the motor neurons and sending it blazing down the road of those wet spots which led to the moon from there to lunar cycles and landing on synchrony and I was seconds away from my Archimedes moment when told to take that hard left at Ghost Story, but am more in my element with horror and gore. So I settle back to get a good one in telling shape and as things quiet down, Matilda comes in for some mouth-to-ear susurration. I think it’s going to be a few plot suggestions so I listen con gusto, but what enters my inner ear, beyond her tickling newly spouting Mediterranean peach fuzz, if I trust it and if you trust me, was more like “Boy, what I’d give to take my tongue for a ski-trip down the slope of your iliac crest right about now.”

But I keep my countenance close to my cuffs while making sure we know who swears and pants in this family, and at this their liege is well met, abreast and ready to spook the little bastards to a much deserved drive-thru trip to hell and back. But I don’t want to scare them to their senses, just give a collective shock to the spine, so I tell them the one about the guy and his wife and the monkey paw, with their Fausty wishes, and it works, as they’re scared fitless for a moment until I get to the part about their undead son rapping at the door, when Harriet howls a bloodcurler which sends Ethyl jumping straight up, not quite out of her skin but enough to jar the poles holding the tent in full-on pup position, sending the entire thing atopple and collapsing in on all of us, as we squirm and paw our way around and over one another on our way out.

Leave a Reply