Thursday, August 17, 2006


Fell asleep under the tree yesterday, so here's two chapters today.

Chapter 3 – Time to Go

“Got your stuff here,” the master said.

“Mind if I ask you a question?”

“Nope, go right ahead.”

“Do you like the new management?”

“Well,” he settled himself down on some of the crates. “It used to be that you could come here, drop your load, and wash up a bit. Oh, sure, they’d always remind you of the laws, but you’d always hear the good news, too. We’d sing the old songs, you could get a bite to eat and drink, and get back on your ship feeling rested and refreshed.”

“And now?” I prompted.

“Now,” he growled, “it’s like a Las Vegas floor show!” Look at those hoity-toity yachts. I’m telling you, there’s big money ‘round here somewhere. And those dancing girls all dressed in purple on the cruise ship decks… ‘liturgical’ they call themselves. I call them ‘Santa’s Reindeer.’”

I couldn’t figure that one out, so I asked. “You know,” he said. “Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen?”

I glanced at the Pinafore captain. He was looking straight ahead, stony faced, and all ears.

My friend continued, “Look.” He pointed and said, “There’s the place where you used to be able to wash up a bit. They’re building a band stage over it!”

“I take it you don’t like it much?”

“Some of my mates do, but I don’t. Well, I best be getting back to work. Do you need some help with your boxes?”

I declined. I could feel the Pinafore captain’s gaze burning into my back as I left the docks. I needed to drop these things off quickly, and leave.

Chapter 4 - I Feel a Song Coming On

My plan was simple. I’d put the boxes on Ms. Kirche’s door step and get outta Dodge. I pulled up. It would seem my simple plan wasn’t to be so simple after all. Apparently the entire Hot-n-Taught College of Pyrotechnics choir had decided to take their spring break together on a cruise. That explained the “H-T/P-T” shirts I’d seen. They’d been especially excited because one of their stops was the town of their favorite son, Doctor Trinabus Knott. The whole community had gathered for an impromptu concert. I decided to hunker down in my car and wait it out.

They started off with the Hot-n-Taught school song. Out came guitars and a banjo. The tune was familiar…was it Rocky Top?

“We all love our dear old Hot-n-Taught
College of Pyro-T skills.
Lots of firy smoke at Hot-n-Taught!
Lots of cash for the tills!
Baptists, Luth’rans all love Hot-n-Taught,
E-Frees, Methodists, too.
We tell folks the Spirit can be caught,
And keep track when we do.

Hot-n-Taught you will always be
Home, sweet home to me!
Good ol’ Hot-n-Taught;
Hot-n-Taught, Pyro-T
Hot-n-Taught, Pyro-T”

Then Trinabus stepped forward for a solo!

“Anyone can come to Hot-n-Taught;
Don’t need doctrinal skill.
There are no programs at Hot-n-Taught,
Only a test of your will.
We catch visions here at Hot-n-Taught;
See the flames leap and grow!
Even though the Spirit can’t be bought,
Please send us lots of dough!

The choir joined him: “Hot-n-Taught you will always be
Home, sweet home to me!
Good ol’ Hot-n-Taught;
Hot-n-Taught, Pyro-T
Hot-n-Taught, Pyro-T”

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