Writing bug bites again

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"Rob, do you want to go to Golden Lake tomorrow with Ann and Bill?" asked Marie. "They went there this morning to check on Pat and the other beavers. Ann said they saw the four beavers, all apparently healthy, but none have gold teeth! Something just doesn't add up."

"No gold teeth?" questioned Rob. "Must be some mistake. Did Ann get a good look at all of them? Did she see all four of them?"

Ann smiled. "Unlike some others in this country, she can count :-) And yes, she got a good look. So did Bill. No gold teeth - but one is definitely androgynous."

"Sheesh! Pat better still have gold teeth. I paid for them! With my jiggle ju..., uh, I mean, with my own money! Maybe we should go down there with them tomorrow."

"Ok, for once I agree with you. I'll call Ann now, before everyone turns in for the night, and let her know."


It is the middle of the night. Quiet, dark, still. A soft bluish-white light cuts through the darkness, illuminating the inside of the beavers dam. The ship soundlessly hovers over the stream, unseen by human eyes, unheard.

They have returned.

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, and Pat leave the dam together to go out and investigate. A beam of light stabs down from the bottom of the craft, shines on Pat, and the beaver is 'floated' up and aboard. Once the beaver is on the ship, the beam instantly goes off.

Darkenss again. Silently the ship hovers in place and at the same time begins rotating - slowly at first, then ever more quickly. All at once, the craft ascends into the evening sky and races across the heavens. Within seconds, it is indistinguishable from the stars.

It is time for Pat's 'checkup'.

-- (thesonofdust@herewego.again), November 15, 2000


ROB!!! :-) There you are... We missed you!

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), November 16, 2000.

Their teeth don't add up....??????

Uh oh.

Sounds like a statistical problem.

I demand a recount.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 16, 2000.

Gayla, Gayla, Gayla!!! I missed youz guyz too! Glad to see you still here, and hope you enjoy the story :)

Good Sir Robert of Cook: Perhaps we could change the title - instead of electing a President, maybe we could elect a Count. I think they do that in Europa. Then we could have a Counts count, or Counts re-count. And we probably would not need a hand count as that number would most likely always be two. Anyway, it seems to me that a Counts count could more easily be counted on. Naturally, we would also need a vice count :) and that should really be interesting! On a less serious note, I read with disinterest your good work (at least some of it) over at FreeRep. All FRLdumb is proud to call you an FRLian. Congratulations, Oh Bearer of the Metal of Fruitfulness!

-- (thesonofdust@hi.gang), November 16, 2000.


And a story, too! Wow!

Welcome back, oh chief fruitcake :-) We *Really* missed you.

You missed the reports of southern going stealth geese... they all managed to leave a bit late this year, but the last of them left about 3 weeks ago (before the first snows).

Say hi to Marie for me, and thank her for the loan of your time :-)

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), November 16, 2000.

(((Tricia))) Sweet Princess, Dear and Loyal FRLian, Honored Field Marshall: Thank you for the Geese Report! It is great to hear from you and be back here where I belong! It has been almost two months (I think) since I've posted so I guess I owe you at least two Happy Birthdays!!!!! :)

Hope you enjoy the story. BTW, any requests to work something in will be entertained since I don't have any clear idea what I'll write in the story after this post! And now, on with the story . . .


The next day, after eating lunch together, they took Bill's station wagon to the lake. It took several minutes to walk to the beavers lodge. They immediately saw Eeny, Meeny, and Miney on the far bank of the stream. The three beavers were busy gathering branches for their dam. There was no sign of Pat.

"I tell ya, there were four here yesterday" said Bill, as Ann nodded in agreement.

Marie frowned. "Well, maybe Pat is inside the lodge now. Let's wait awhile," she suggested.

So they waited. Ann and Marie watched Pat's siblings on the other side of the stream as Rob and Bill examined the lodge area. After another hour there was still no sign of Pat. They walked dejectedly back to the car and went home, frustrated and confused.

They talked about it, but there were no ready answers. All agreed that Pat wouldn't just go off alone somewhere and leave the family - "at least not voluntarily," Marie added, almost to herself. Ann turned to her and asked: "Do you think someone kidnapped Pat to get the golden teeth?" Marie looked thoughtful for a second then said: "One person was stupid enough to try that before - that hunter - and he is still missing. I admit it makes some sense, but somehow I just don't think it fits this time." All of them looked worried at the possibility.

The remainder of the short drive back was done in an uneasy silence. They had come to see about Pat's gold teeth and instead found another mystery. "Where was the beaver?" they all wondered as Bill drove home. They decided to come back tomorrow and look again. If Pat still wasn't there, well, they would just have to figure out what to do then. At the moment, nobody had a clue.


The ship was loitering just out of Earth orbit. Its occupants had completed the examination, with special attention to the beaver's white bone teeth. They still had no idea why these teeth were so unlike the two mysterious golden ones they had removed previously and still had in their safe-keeping. They needed to know the reason for the difference.

They had monitored the beavers vital signs and general behavior since release, but were unable to discern any problems whatsoever. Pat seemed perfectly content with the bone teeth. So why did it have golden teeth when they first abducted it? What was the purpose of the gold teeth? Why did the beaver have them to begin with, when they didn't seem to be necessary after all? Their 'study' would not be complete without this information. They decided that the only way to find answers was to do a little experiment on Pat...

-- (thesonofdust@gold.teeth), November 16, 2000.

He's bbaaaaaaaacckk!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), November 17, 2000.

Hi A&L! The other day I was thinking of youz guyz since Greenspan was in the news. (I don't think I'll ever forget that take-off you did on his speech :) Truly a shining and indelible hysterical moment.

Now back to this silly story.


Unlike their other operations on Pat, this one was not at all complicated. It was over quickly. Shortly afterwards, a small scout vessel detached from the Mother Ship and sped down towards the Earth. Pat was going home.

It was the middle of the night when the three beavers saw the bluish-white light illuminate their dam. Eeny and Meeny scurried outside to see what was going on while the always-cautious Miney stayed in the lodge. The ship had arrived without a sound and was hovering, as a scene just like before played itself out - only this time in reverse. Pat floated down the beam to join his family. The scout vessel, it's mission complete, sped away. They would be able to closely monitor the experiment regardless of distance, and monitor they would.

On the other side of the mountain the Michaels were all sound asleep - even their 14 year-old orange cat named Murphy. Ann and Bill Porter lived in the same community, but on the other side of the Lake. They were also asleep. In a matter of hours they would all wake up and go to the beaver's home in hopes of solving a mystery. At least that is what they went to sleep thinking they were going to do. None would believe what fate had in store for them instead. . .

-- (thesonofdust@hi.A&L), November 17, 2000.

Well, Rob... I don't have any marvellous suggestions for you, unfortunately... But if you can lure Lon into another collaboration, I'm sure he'll find something outrageous to do to your poor alter-egos :-)

Maybe they can meet up with DiETer??? (He's disappeared, still)

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), November 18, 2000.

Attaboy Robbie!!!

A story just in time for the Thanksgiving holidays. It's been WAY too long since we heard from you.


-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), November 18, 2000.

Lon ol' buddy! You're right, it has been way too long. BTW, I was wonderin' if there was gonna be any special vintages of JJ bottled for this here comin' Holidaze Seasoning. Let me know. It's been too long since I had some of Cuz'n Iggie's best. Shhhhhhh. Don't let on to 'you know who' or I'll be cooked (No disrespect to Sir Robert :)


Ann had called Marie in the morning. Each had a million things to do, since it would be Thanksgiving in just a few days. They had to go shopping and start getting ready for their annual Thanksgiving dinner, which always turned out be an all day feast and party. Each year they alternated houses. This Thanksgiving, it was to be over the Porter's. As a result, a little change to the plan was needed. They decided to send Rob and Bill to Golden Lake to see if Pat was there or not. They did have some second thoughts though...

"Do you think its ok sending the two of them alone?" Ann asked. "After all, every time they go off unsupervised there is usually some kind of trouble. Remember the last time? That crazy plot to scam the insurance company?"

Marie sighed. "I know, Ann, but they should only be gone for a few hours this time, and we know exactly where they are going, and the job is simple enough. All they have to do is see about Pat. Even they should be able to handle that! Besides, they learned a good lesson last time, and miraculously it still hasn't worn off - knock on wood."

Both women laughed. It was decided.

The ship's occupants continue monitoring Pats every breath and movement. So far, the experiment has not yielded any results. They still do not have any idea about Pat's teeth. In every respect, Pat acts the same regardless of whatever teeth it has. They continue monitoring Pat, and everything else in the beavers immediate environment, for clues.

Only two hours before dusk, Rob arrived at Bill's house and they started off to the lake. They thought it best to wait until then, since that time of day the beavers are most active and they have the best chance of finding Pat. Once again they took Bill's wagon for the short drive. They talked about the New Jersey Devils recent slump, and if the 1999 Stanley Cup Champs might win it all again this year. Then they discussed the prospects for the coming ice fishing season.

In only a few minutes the wagon pulls onto the service road that leads to the Lake and the small parking lot. They arrive to find, not unexpectedly, that they are the only ones around. Unfortunately they are wrong.

Very wrong.

They begin walking the short distance to where the lodge is, never suspecting in their wildest dreams what is to happen to them next.

-- (thesonofdust@hi.lon), November 18, 2000.

Ah, Rob, I love your cliff-hangers!

-- Tricia the Canuck, clinging to the edge of her seat (jayles@telusplanet.net), November 20, 2000.

The two men came to the stream where the lodge was and stopped dead in their tracks at what they saw. Before them, only a short distance ahead, were the beavers - all four of them.

"Well I'll be" exclaimed Rob.

"Told ya we saw four of 'em!" Bill laughed.

Rob smiled, then asked "But how do we know the fourth one is Pat? You said that when you saw them last nonehad gold teeth."

Bill paused a moment before answering. "The only way to be sure is to go and check I suppose. It should be pretty easy to do. Either one has gold teeth or not. Let's go."

Things inside the ship had suddenly turned from the quiet routine of tedious monitoring to high alertness and cautious excitement. Here were two 'higher animals' that came upon the monitoring scene looking for the beavers - and for Pat specifically. While they did not understand the animals speech, they did understand their thoughts. They knew that the higher animals had come looking for beavers, for Pat in particular. And even more mysterious was that the higher animals thoughts were now clearly focused on one thing...

the same thing that they themselves were so interested in...

golden teeth.

If it were physically possible for the ship's leader to frown, then She would have done so. The experiment was in jeopardy! Yet this was also a clear opportunity. But something must be done immediately.

The leader came to a quick decision, then issued the order.

-- (thesonofdust@having.fun), November 20, 2000.

Well technically speaking Tricia, this is NOT a "cliff-hanger" - since Cliff is not hanging from this here thread......Pat, however, IS hanging in this thread, by not over Cliff.

However, it is a "Lake-Parker" - which may also be interesting depending upon what one does while parking at the lake with whoever one is parking with at the lake while parking at the lake.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 20, 2000.

Pat had seen the two men and went scurrying over to meet them. The beaver recognized them as being the same people that had brought them from Dr. Gold's animal clinic to their new home here at Golden Lake. Eeny and Meeny followed. Miney also came, but followed more slowly - always the cautious one.

It only took a glance to see that one of the beavers did in fact have golden teeth. Both men smiled. Rob couldn't help some good-natured ribbing. He turned to his friend and said "I thought you and Ann said that none of 'em had gold teeth. Sheesh! Making us come all the way out here on a wild stealth goose chase. Sheesh! Next time one of ya might think better of it and actually take your eyeglasses along for the ride."

Bill poked Rob hard in the side and got out his cell phone. He dialed the number. Ann answered on the second ring. "You'll never believe it honey! We got here and walked over to the lodge and---


"Bill? Are you there? Bill?"

Ann frowned. Damn cell phone. He probably forgot to charge it! Well, maybe the signal dropped. That happens sometimes. She waited a few minutes for him to call back. Nothing. She dialed his number. Nothing. Just as I thought. The nuthead didn't charge the damn battery before going out. Men! Just like 'em to leave me hanging on the edge of a cliff :) Might as well just get dinner started. One way or the other they'll be back soon.

But they wouldn't be back soon. And the cell phone was fully charged. Nothing on this Earth was wrong with it. Ann began making a dinner that nobody would ever get to eat.

-- (thesonofdust@the.cliff), November 20, 2000.

An instant after the order was given, two pulsating balls of blue light were dispatched out of the Mother ship. They sped down towards the unsuspecting men and arrived at the very moment that Bill had begun speaking on his cell phone. The men were instantly and completely paralyzed as the blue light engulfed them. Bill's phone dropped from his hand and landed on the ground in mid-sentence. By the time Ann had realized something was wrong, the men were already inside the light carriers and being transported to the waiting Alien vessel. The beavers simply followed Pat back to their dam.

An hour later, Ann was completing her dinner preparations. The men were still not back. Marie would be over any minute, for they were all supposed to have dinner together tonight. With each passing minute, Ann's feeling of uneasiness increased. She went over and over what Bill had said, and went through the possibilities of what he didn't get a chance to finish saying. This made her even more nervous. By the time Marie arrived she was obviously upset. The two friends sat down and Ann told Marie about the phone call.

"Well, said Marie, it wouldn't be unlike them to have gotten into some mischief. They certainly should have been here by now. Hopefully there is a reasonable explanation. Maybe Bill's wagon is on the fritz - who knows. Too bad Rob doesn't carry a cell phone. We'll just have to wait and see."

While Ann wasn't happy about waiting, she did feel a bit calmer having Marie by her side. They would wait it out together, and that at least was better than waiting alone. Neither would have believed that their husbands were approximately 24 thousand miles away at the moment, and not coming home any time soon.

-- (thesonofdust@uh.oh), November 21, 2000.

Rob and Bill were aboard the Mother Ship, still inside the blue balls of light. They were completely paralyzed, but conscious. They were also isolated from each other, and even though they could see dimly through the transparent walls of the light that engulfed them, neither could make any sense out of what they were seeing. They were both absolutely terrified.

In another part of the ship the leader was planning their 'reception'. It would not take long for her to do. The animals were incapacitated and harmless. They were captured for one reason - to provide information about the gold teeth. And provide it they would, in the right 'setting'. The alien leader gave the final orders, and moments later everything was ready - the 'setting' was created in realistic, minute detail.

Marie and Ann looked at the clock again. It was almost midnight and there was still no sign of the two men. They were both worried, and agreed that if their husbands did not come back by morning, they would take Marie's car to the Lake and see if Bill's car, and the men, were there. Ann wanted to call the police but Marie talked her out of it, saying that they had better go to the lake as soon as it got light out and find out all they can first. They waited and worried. What on Earth could their husbands be up to this time?

-- (thesonofdust@wait.worry), November 21, 2000.

24,000 miles? That's not far enough. My plane flew at 35,000 miles last night and I could still see lights on the ground. Better get them out there a little further! ;-) Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt during the story. Carry on! :-)

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), November 21, 2000.

The two bubbles burst at the same instant, releasing their captives. Rob and Bill were no longer paralyzed. The memory of their journey to the ship and their corresponding terror was erased.

They looked around to find that they were resting on a wooden floor in a small dark room. On one end of the room was a short counter with and several stools, and behind the counter stood a small figure, somewhat shrouded in a haze of what smelled like a mix of cigar and cigarette smoke.

The clear sounds of music - the chicken dance - echoed softly throughout the room. They were in a bar! They walked over to the counter, sat down, and looked at the bartender expectantly.

InfiDeLs! WilL You sIT hERe aLL nIgHT? DO yOu waNt to DrinK oR nOT???

Rob and Bill exchanged glances, then smiled. Rob cleared his throat. "You wouldn't happen to have any uh, Jiggle Juice now would ya?" he asked. Bill nodded his head in agreement with this truly sensible request.

PepPerOni! WoulD yoU liKE tHe reGuLar viNTagE or the SpecIAL AnNiVErsAry bREw?

"Special Anniversary," Bill replied quickly. Rob grabbed a handful of beer nuts and started popping them into his mouth as Bill grabbed for a cigar and lit up.

-- (thesonofdust@35000feet.not35000miles :)), November 21, 2000.

LOL! I think you're right! :-)

-- Silly girl (me@gain.too), November 21, 2000.

The men sat and talked and drank happily for what seemed like half an hour or so, the strange bartender serving them as quickly as they could have wanted. Indeed, by now they were both smashed. The alien impersonating a bartender got down to the real mission.

Rob and Bill were happy to tell him everything they knew about Pat the androgynous beaver with the teeth of gold; how Rob fell out of a tree and knocked Pat's two front teeth out - how they brought Pat to Doctor Gold - how the vet replaced Pat's teeth with golden ones. How they relocated Pat and the other three beavers to the small lake on the other side of the mountain...

In short order the aliens had all of the answers they needed, the mystery of Pat's teeth was solved! And so it was time for their 'guests' to be returned. The next thing Rob and Bill knew they were back inside the blue balls of light. Their fear and terror returned. They remembered nothing of the bar scene.

In only a few minutes, they were back in the woods by the stream - and there was Pat, golden teeth and all, and the other three beavers. The two men remembered nothing of the entire alien encounter. Oddly, it seemed to have gotten dark quick, almost instantly - perhaps because they were in the woods Bill thought.

Bill looked down and picked up his cell phone, wondering why it had suddenly dropped out of his hand. Rob stood quietly nearby, rubbing his ribs where Bill just poked him. Bill pressed the power button on the phone, but it was dead. "That's funny," he said almost to himself, "I just charged this thing this morning!"

The two men walked leisurely back to the waiting station wagon. They were both shocked to see that eight hours had passed according to the car clock. 2am? Can't be! Why, it is only just after dark! Must be wrong they both thought. We couldn't have been gone for more than an hour!

Bill started the wagon for the short drive home. They had found Pat and even seen the beaver's golden teeth. Mission accomplished! Rob turned to bill, smiling, and said "Man oh man, Marie and Ann are gonna be so happy with us!" "Yep," Bill replied, "we done good. Now I can't wait to see whats for dinner!"

-- (thesonofdust@THE.END), November 21, 2000.

LOL, I love it, Rob!!

DieTeR and Cliff hanging and sheer enjoyment all in one swellfoop :-)

What are the ladies gonna think when the men drive in at 2:30 or 3 in the morning? Will they ever figure out that there's a connection to the lady from the vet's office who disappeared? And what became of her and Lon?

Will I ever be willing to see the end of your stories?? ;-)

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), November 22, 2000.


Lettuce see here if I got this math right.

24,000 miles is about 1/10 the way to the moon.

She's flying (last night) at 35,000 miles up.

35,000 feet is 1/5280 of 35,000 miles. Airplanes generally fly in the atmosphere to keep their engines running.

I wonder ..... 8<)

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 22, 2000.

To the MOON, Alice! ;-)

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), November 22, 2000.

I think Gayla was just high on getting to go home for Thanksgiving. You know how giddy school girls are.


-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), November 22, 2000.

Tricia: "swellfoop"? That's the way I talk after I've had a few jolts of jiggle! Folks think I have a peach inspediment :)

Good Sir Robert: I knew that you were mathmatically inclined and all but fractions? You know fractions? I am truly impressed!!!! And to think all this time we forced SOBob to do all the counting since no one else could. He'd be mad if he found out you could have lent him a hand all those months!

Now all youz guys better stop pickling on Gayla. It was an honest mistake, and we've all made 'em from time to time. Remember that as Chief Investigatress of this here FRL she is owed some measure (in feet or miles) of due respect :) And if that ani't enough for ya, just think back to her fighting prowess during the first FRLian War! Sheesh! We want her on our side!!!!

-- (thesonofdust@here.now), November 22, 2000.

Well, I didn't want to say "fell swoop", because it wasn't fell, it was really good.... and my mom occasionally says swell foop, so...

Besides, how can you defend Gayla's right to make mistakes and then call me on mine :-( Favouritism! See if I make any more stealth goose reports to you (hmmph)!

Keep writing, and I just might forgive you, though :-)

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), November 23, 2000.


I rode the space shuttle home! LOL (((Tricia,))) I understood what you said!

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), November 23, 2000.

Ok Tricia, you win. Guess I'll have to keep writing after all!

Gayla: I don't remember what emot :-P means. Help!

FRLians: Happy Thanksgiving from the Porters' and Michaels' and Dr. Gold and Julie and the Aliens too :)

-- (thesonofdust@gobble.gobble), November 23, 2000.

Rob, I believe she is sticking her tongue out at us! Or maybe it's just anticipation over turkey and candied yams.

And just what have you been doing?? Don't you know that we are waiting for more of your story? Sheesh! You'd think it was a holiday or somethin'.


-- Lon Frank (lgal@exp.net), November 23, 2000.

Sticking her tongue out at us huh, well, at least she didn't start throwing those flaming fruicakes again! Guess that's just one more thing to be thankful about today.

Now Lon, ol' pal, ol' buddy, did ya notice that Tricia asked about the Clown and Julie? There's no way I could do a follow up on that without You. Now I don't wanna put ya on the spot or nothin, we know your busy and all, but how 'bout considering another collaboration if ya find some time? Maybe we could work on something in time for our upcoming FRLian anniversary. Hard to believe the FRL will be 2 years old this December 12th!

-- (thesonofdust@thank.ful), November 23, 2000.

Just for grins, here is a little trip down memory lane - the FRL Thanksgiving thread from last year. It's been about that long since I made a link so I hope this works :)

ht tp://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001qlz

-- (thesonofdust@last.thanksgiving), November 23, 2000.

Arrrggghhh, I have the typing flu.... it took me 3 tries to type my addy and another 3 for my name...

So, a short Thanksgiving wish: I hope you all have much to be thankful for today and for the entire next year, too!

Now, since it's not Thanksgiving here (we Canucks are *way* ahead of you!) I gotta go to work. Bless you all

And thanks for the memory lane trip, Rob! Laughter is so good for the soul!

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), November 23, 2000.


Link to that pre-post-principal Thanksgave thread worked...but the animated gifs over there didn't .....curious.

But.....there were preserved for antiquity all the links to all the other threads.....oooooh. Ahhhh.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 28, 2000.

Well, Robert, Diane very kindly pasted those links on my original posting here, FRL #20. This can be found in the archives or URL


So, you can find them whenever you feel like :-)

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), November 29, 2000.


-- (more@more.more), December 02, 2000.

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