The Octopus Knows- Round Robin #8

The Octopus Knows – Part 8

And so here it is my turn to write an installment of the progressive story, The Octopus Knows, originally conceived and created by the always inventive, Laird Sapir. I admit it’s a wee bit intimidating to contemplate this increasingly sticky predicament that Ninja and Simon now find themselves in, and I can only hope my writing brain kicks in to nudge our conflicted heroes in the right direction.  After seven very creative installments to-date, the most recent by Ellen Gregory (links to all installments can be found on Laird’s round robin page) we find the heinously kidnapped Ninja being held hostage in a whirlpool tub, and Simon foolishly fishing in his unflushed toilet with his toothbrush in order to recover the card containing the address of  Braden–aka Ninja’s unscrupulous kidnapper.

As we left off:

A minute later, staring at the soggy card covered with illegible watery blue ink, Simon reflected this wasn’t his finest hour. The address couldn’t be read, his wand was in the toilet, Braden had Ninja and Mr Jones was on his way to claim him.

For the first time in over a year, Simon’s immediate inclination isn’t to eat something; although it’s possible that his reluctance to self medicate with a fistful of Oreos has less to do with any sense of renewed discipline, as it relates to the distasteful condition of the card he now held in his hand.

He dropped the paper to the floor and gently laid the wand in the sink before turning the handle on the faucet to the far left–watching as the water gushed warm, then hot, over the wand.

Okay,so maybe this was it.  This was what it felt like to hit the wall at full force. He’d spent the entire past year overeating in an attempt to forget, and yet an expanding waistline had done little to dim the pain. Nothing had changed, and now Jones was back in town, towing  Marguerite like a shipwreck that gravity should’ve sunk long ago.  No question, that dame was resilient. She had no qualms about baring her fangs when cornered, and yet, in a strange way, Simon thought he might even admire her tenacity.  He wished he could say the same about himself.  But instead he’d gone soft. Traded his soul for a Twinkie.

The truth was that whatever Braden had written on the card didn’t matter. Simon knew where to find Ninja–the very place he’d long promised himself to never return. What’s more, whether he liked it or not–and he sure as hell didn’t–he somehow had to stuff himself back into those damned pants or otherwise risk losing Ninga.

And the bag–he needed to grab the bag from where he’d stashed it at the back of the refrigerator behind the gracefully molding cheese, praying hard and fast that the meticulously wrapped package inside hadn’t expired.

Steam now billowed up from the sink and with a hard twist on the faucet handle, Simon shut off the water and grabbed the wand from the sink.  He didn’t have much time and every instant was crucial. His fingers quivered like jello on bone as he attempted to handle the wand with essential care–turning the still hot tip in his fingers as he unscrewed it from the shaft.  Separating the two sections, he slid the slender glass vile encased inside into his palm. And he didn’t stop to consider risk or consequence as he popped off the lid and upended the contents onto his tongue.

Far off,  on the other end of town, Ninja’s eyes blinked open as the water in the tub all at once began churning, rolling, sloshing wildly.  A high pitched girlish scream that could only be Braden, broke loose beyond the closed bathroom door.  

With all eight tentacles reaching to grasp the edge of the tub, Ninja held tight to keep from being pitched onto the tile floor.  And if he’d had a set of lips instead of a beak he would’ve smiled.  He almost couldn’t believe it.  At long last it looked like his boy Simon had grown a set.  High time to lock and load, baby …

To be continued…

And now I respectfully pass the keyboard to Carrie Dawes 😀  Stay tuned!

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Reality TV, Is it Really?

Seriously, but this IS NOT a rant about what and why we watch what we do on TV.  Certainly there are plenty of offerings that inspire brain growth — Science, History, Travel, LIFETIME MOVIES!– and that’s all good for filling up the Einstein quadrant in our brains, but honestly, (and rest assured, no one can see your hand go up in agreement) doesn’t it also feel sinfully delicious when we’re craving just a little taste of junk-food, to succumb to an episode of Jersey Shore, Gypsy Weddings, any assortment of Housewives, or the especially disturbing Tots in Tiaras (please oh please, but tell me that people don’t ACTUALLY behave like this!)?   If only because it can be so exhausting being a real person living a real life. And isn’t it strangely true that the more heinous the train wreck, the more likely we are to keep our eyeballs chained to the screen?

That’s Entertainment

Hey, it’s exhausting being a real person living a real life. Really, I get it.  It can be a truly welcome diversion after a day of being out in the world Fighting the Good Fight, to drop into the nearest comfy chair and tune into the angst of a bachelorette working her way through a dozen dishy men in order to find Mr. Old Spice on a White Horse, or another Bride driven to crazed meltdown at the bakery because the Fondant on her wedding cake is a hair-shade to dark to properly compliment the cascading butter-creme sweetheart roses.

It’s sort’ve like eating a Twinkie, so dreadful, and yet we nevertheless feel compelled to eat one now and again, (though preferably when no one is looking). And isn’t it strangely true (strange as in, the part of human nature we all recognize but are loathe to admit) that the more heinous the train wreck, the more likely we are to keep our eyeballs chained to the screen?

And Then There’s Real Life 

But, herein lies the problem, it’s when viewers get confused and start to believe that what they’re seeing out there in Crazy Land, is actually the reality of our day-to-day interactions. Case in point, recently I read a blog post by Patricia Caviglia titled Be A Good Guest, which perfectly nails what I’m getting at, which is that REAL people don’t sure as hell shouldn’t behave like the reality stars on the telly. In REAL LIFE good manners are still required, disagreements are preferably settled away from public places (although welcome and expected on TV, where table-flipping and unnatural hair extension removal are encouraged and rewarded with frequent replays), good parenting does not involve berating small children into fulfilling all of miserable parent’s lost dreams, sessions with ones therapist are still a private endeavor and not necessary dinner party conversation, and certainly our Multi Million Dollar weddings hold on even after our People Magazine covers have gone out to the recycling bin.

So, what’s the scoop? Are you finding more and more Reality Personalities creeping  into your own real space?