911 – Gerard, Bad Bards and Dr. Max | Otter Things E9
The steady motion of a spinning swamp bike wheel will carry you off to dreamland and tomorrow you will wonder, “Was that really Gerard from the TV, and who is Gordon the gecko?”
EPISODE 911 – Gerard, Bad Bards and Dr. Max | Otter Things E9
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary, it’s time for the podcaster who’s here to provide some extra words, patrons. You’re the one that empowers me to provide some nonsense at bedtime. Thanks, patrons. What do you say we get on with the show?
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. When I say ‘we’, it’s the royal…we're gonna be talking about the royal we. There’s so many ways we could go with that. Now I’m so mixed up. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights…rights, and press…pless play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever is keeping you awake. It could be things on your mind that you’re thinking about. So, thoughts, it could be feelings, physical…emotions, thoughts, physical sensations. It could be anything coming up; temperature, time, remnants of the day.
You say well, I’m not sure if this is a thought or a…a feeling, a fraught-fought feeling or…see? It’s a bit of a thought and a feeling and it feels…I say fraught. Don’t worry, I’ve had those before. I’m not fraught…I’m not feeling fraught. I’m having a fraught. Believe it or not, one time when I was a boy…when I was just a lad, they…I said, I’m gonna start my own business. I’m gonna sell frosted fraughts. They said, frosted frogs? I said, chocolate…I thought I was selling frosted fraughts and frosted frogs. No, I just went off-topic. I don’t know what I…I didn’t do that as a lad, but I imagine I would. Frosted fraughts for sale, extra frosty. Anyway, I’m here to take your mind off of stuff, whatever’s keeping you awake. It could be any of those things but it could be something else. You could be, whatever…what are you dealing with? Go ahead, go ahead and let it out. Say, it could…you could just…you don’t even have to…you could say fraught, farumph. You could say harrumph.
You could do one of those oh…let it out a little bit. We don’t get to be as interactive…it’s not always necessary but tonight it feels like it, doesn’t it? Oof. Make one of those faces that cats make in comic books, comedic cats, and then the…but one of the artists or the editor or the writer or the penciller or the inker…someone has to come up with how to put that into words, that face the cat is making. Yeah. Oh, boy. Right? ‘Cause it wouldn’t make sense if the cat said oh boy, unless it was…unless it made sense. Okay, where was I? Sorry; if you’re new, I don’t always go off-topic this early but I normally do. Inevitably, when I say I don’t, I’ve just gone off-topic hundreds of episodes in a row at this time. I already forgot what the first thing we were gonna talk about that was gonna be interesting…oh, the royal we. But let me set up for new listeners. What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night.
I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents. As you’ve seen, I’m gonna go…naturally, I’m gonna go off-topic and get mixed up. If you’re new though, a lot of important things to know. My regular listeners, what up? Why don’t you have a frosted fraught and groan while I talk to these new listeners? Or grimace. You could make a verbal grimace or a silent grimace or just grimace with your body. Go right ahead. That was the funny thing, that…wasn’t there a corporate mascot’s assistant or best friend named Grimace? Grimace always had a smile. I never thought about that ‘til now. Probably hours after leaving the fast food restaurant that where Grimace worked all day long and living in a world based on a fast food belief system…late at night when the cameras weren’t on, Grimace was grimacing ‘cause he said oh, boy. Grimace probably said Ronald, explain this to me again.
What happens to the…’cause I think they were called the Fry Guys which were little kids. You said, what happens to them after they go in your restaurant? That’s oil? Oh, my goodness. A Happy Meal goes to be a place where it’s happy. Right, Ronald? Of course it does, Grimace. It goes to the happiest place it could ever go. Well, a couple different places actually, to be honest with you, Grimace; the belly. The toys will go probably in the car and then under a car seat, eventually. Everything else hopefully goes into their compost or recycling bin. Ronald, what’s the…is the belly the same thing I…wait a second. What about when we go through the fry lane and we sing the It’s Raining Fries song? Okay, how did we get this off-topic? I thought we were gonna talk about the royal we. Okay, so if you’re new, this does…this normally…as I said, this normally happens but I guess I like to pretend it doesn’t. If you’re new, a couple of things to know; this podcast is very different and strange.
I think you’ve seen that already. It is a podcast that is best consumed in a loose way, with a natural grimace if you’re new. Not to bring it back though, or doubt or skepticism. That’s how most people approach this podcast at first and so that’s a totally normal way to think about and look at the show. Totally what most people do. Totally reasonable because it’s different. One thing to know is just kind of barely listen. Sometimes people are new and they’re like, waiting for the story to start and waiting for the sleepy stuff, waiting for the magic to happen, but the magic never really happens. This is where you go to get to…you say well, who’s Grimace and Ronald, Scooter? I say well, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just one of those things in my mind that’s constantly playing in the background and that I say wait a second, is that Donald’s Land over there? I forgot all about it. I still can’t believe that creature’s name was Grimace, now that…’cause isn’t a grimace a face you make when your belly isn’t feeling good?
You say oh, boy. But you’re not totally…you say well, it’s just in a state that I’m not happy. I’m grimacing. Or when Scoots makes a…what’s the face…Alec…what is the face I make when I’m listening to Scooter? Correct; grimace. Okay, so yeah, just basically consume this podcast loosely. Barely listen. That’s the first thing. The second and the other part of the first thing is if you’re doubtful or skeptical or not sure you like this show, that’s totally normal. Most regular listeners say give it two or three tries and then kind of see…assess it after the third try and say oh, I went from a strong loathing to a mild not caring. Then I say, my job is done. That’s a successful transition. But you could say well, I went from a strong loathing to no longer listening. You say okay, that’s good. You’re on your journey to your next thing. Barely listen. The other thing is that this podcast barely puts you to sleep even though you barely listen to it. It’s more here to be your companion in the deep, dark night.
I’m here to be at your bedside talking a little bit of nonsense to take your mind off of stuff, to be your companion as you drift off. My job’s to take your mind off of stuff and distract you. Ideally, as we walk together through the night, you float away off into dreamland. That’s what I hope for you. So, it’s a podcast you don’t listen to. Even though it’s a sleep podcast, it doesn’t really put you to sleep. This show’s about an hour so you have plenty of time to fall asleep and if you can’t sleep as some listeners I know can’t, I’m here. I’m here to the very end to keep you company. I take that job very seriously. You can line up back-to-back-to-back episodes if you’re waking up or you’re going through a tough time or you’re just…that’s your natural state, as they say. Well, I just listen to you for [00:10:00] companionship, Scoots, to be my bore-bud. I’m here for you. I’m more than willing to follow Grimace down Frog-Eye Lane and then…and follow Grimace home where Grimace is sitting on…I picture Grimace with a twin bed, a very simple room.
Not just because he’s probably underpaid, but I don’t know. Spart? Is that what you’d say? Oh, it’s a spartan room. Right now, Grimace is sitting on the edge of Grimace’s bed. Oh, Grimace is like a big, purple being, a bit like…it’s a…I don’t know how else to describe it. Grimace kinda is shaped like an upside-down light bulb, but much more fuzzy and plush. None of that’s probably accurate…with a big, smiling face and big eyes. Oh boy, where was I? I was trying to explain what my sleep podcast was. Okay, so don’t listen, don’t pay attention, don’t worry. I’m here to keep you company while you fall asleep. Structure of the show throws people off, obviously. Show starts off with a greeting; ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends beyond the binary. Then there’s business. That’s what ables us to bring the podcast twice a week for free. Then around six minutes or so into the show, or eight minutes or something, from minute eight to minute twenty or twenty-five is the intro.
The intro’s where I just ramble on and on and on and just introduce the show. For a new listener, you kind of get an idea of what the podcast is gonna be like. I don’t know, it just kinda tries to over-explain everything which is one of my skills. I get distract…in the middle of over-explaining stuff, I go off-topic and get distracted. Then…oh, what else do I talk about? I forget stuff. Oh, but so, the intro for a regular listener though, you kinda see how you adjust to it. You say well, I would like to start it before I get in bed, or I like to listen in bed, or I fall asleep. Or there’s $10 patrons that get two all-intro episodes a month. They say, that’s all I listen to. Just kinda develop how you like to listen. For regular listeners though, the intro’s something different every time but familiar ‘cause I don’t think I’ve talked about McDonald…oh, I shouldn’t have said that ‘cause now they can find me…Grimace’s Family-Land before, but I could have.
I think I talked about Snuffleufagus in the last six months and the…I almost called them the Hobbits…the Fraggles of Fraggle Rock. Oh boy, was I wrong about that ‘cause I looked it up on YouTube and I said well, I get a lot of…I don’t remember much about the Fraggles. That was correct, except for the theme song. I was pretty much spot on about that. Okay, and that they had a belief system…well, yeah, I was wrong about this, but this is not in the intro; some sort of garbage-based belief system. Oh, so that’s the intro. Then there’s business and then there’s a story. Tonight, it’ll be our episodically modular series Otter Things with a bit of seriality. But here’s the thing; you could listen to it in any order ‘cause we’ll catch you up on it. But you could also look at it like…what is this, Episode 9? You could say well, this is Episode 1; all the other episodes are prequels. I’m not kidding. Just like most mass-market paperbacks, you say okay, well, you could read them in order and that’s fine if you want to, but don’t worry. It’s just as sleepy and I’ll catch you up on everything you kinda need…barely need to know, or our hostess will tonight.
Then there’s the thank yous at the end of the show. That’s the structure of the show. I think that’s about it. The podcast is not for everybody. I’ve learned that over 900+ episodes, but a lot of times you don’t know if it’s for you or not until you find out, which takes a little while. Because it’s so different you say well, this is a podcast that’ll barely…I like to be…do you like to be entertained? Okay, most people do. What about barely entertained? Well, I don’t know. I’ve never been barely entertained. I’d say yeah, you might not have been aware of it before because you were thinking about…if you were barely entertained, you were probably…you say oh yeah, that’s right. Just kind of see how it goes. Give it a few tries. I really hope…I make this show for two reasons; one, because I’ve been there and I know how it feels. But two, because I believe you deserve a good night’s sleep and I want to help. Give it a few tries, see how it goes. I’m really glad you checked the show out. I appreciate your time and I really work hard. I yearn and I strive ‘cause I really want to help you fall asleep. Here’s a couple of ways we’re able to do this for you twice a week. Thanks.
Alright everybody, it’s Scooter here. I’m very proud to present our ongoing episodically modular serialized…barely serialized series Otter Things. Due to a magical hostess, we’re able to present this show in almost any order. Well, in the order you’re listening to it in. This is actually the first episode you may be hearing, or it may be the ninth. If it’s the first episode you’re hearing, you can catch up or you can move forward because you are so safe. All will be well in the hands of Emma Otter, our hostess. This is a show about odd things and otters, friendship and family, adventure and discovery. It’s called Otter Things and I’m gonna turn it over to our hostess, Emma Otter. Hey everybody, this is Emma Otter here and I’m just recording. I don’t know…I want you to know all will be well. I start off my radio show…now, this isn’t a live radio show. I’m recording it to be broadcast at another time; audio journal and audio report. I’m Emma Otter.
This is a tale of some odd things that happened where I live. I live in a place…the swamp, a part of a greater swamp area. Our little part of the swamp is surrounded by swamp on three sides and on one side there’s a road and a place beyond the swamp where no one is supposed to go, though we’ve learned that people do work on the other side of that and stuff. But we’re still not, as regular swamp-dwellers, not supposed to go there. That’s the bog walk and Visitor’s Center. It’s separated from our community by a road where strange vehicles can pass from time to time. We’re a town, a community, really; a community of swamp beings, swamp-based beings, SBBs. You know, otters, beavers, weasels. A lot of members are frogs; friends, I like to call them. Particularly, my best friends. Let’s see, we have Willow who is a beaver. We have my brother Teffe who’s an otter, my family of course, my friends LJ and Vaughn. Those are my friends.
We play a game…a role-playing game called Bards and Big Bunnies. We also record radio plays in our spare time. We were living a normal life; middle school kids. I got an older brother. Willow also has a older sister Dari. She lives with her mom, Frances. We lived our life. We dealt with kids that weren’t nice to us and kids that were, teachers we liked, and teachers we didn’t like. Then one day, it was a Sunday night and we were playing Bards and Big Bunnies, our role-playing game. We finished up, then everybody headed home. But Willow took a path less-taken and she went to a place beyond the swamp where we’re still not exactly sure where she is. But as you know because I’ve told you, and I’ll tell you again, all will be well. No need to worry. This is just a recounting of the odd things that happened that led us back to the place where all will be well.
As far as we could tell, she became a plaything of a big bunny with goose features, possibly, in a place beyond or underneath the swamp or both, and was placed in a crib and sang to with some sort of hypnotic, magical spell by this big bunny that makes you sleep and relax. But we didn’t know that [00:20:00] and we still don’t know all the details. We’re still uncovering it, but that’s…you know, that’s odd. You might say well, that’s the oddest thing I’ve ever heard. Oh, just wait because we thought…well, at first we thought where was Emma? Maybe she took the path less-taken or the road less-taken. We hope she’s not on the road. We looked for her as friends are known to do, but then we were told by the authority figures beyond our town that Emma had left and moved to the city and started her career as a musician. She had already achieved success and put out an album. Mostly, her album was goofing on us and our town.
We said well, I guess we weren’t as good friends with Emma…we said that’s odd, very odd. Not Emma’s character. Of course, we were disappointed too, because we said we thought we were friends. But so, I don’t know, there’s something at the pit of our stomach. At the same time, we had found another friend named Billie, a duck-billed beaver named Billie. Billie had actually come from the place beyond the swamp, the Visitor’s Center, which below it is a bunch of places where they do tests and the greater swamp authority conducts experiments and things. But all will be well. Billie actually had either superpowers, magical powers, or enhanced human abilities, particularly when she would throat-sing or sing, and she could do things. Like, Pump Up the Jam, she could pump up something with jam or with air if she sang the throat song Pump It Up or anything like that.
She never did this that I know of, but if she sang any of the songs known as Jump that were popular in the 80s…we’re in the 90s now, she would…you would jump, probably, up in the air. Or, For My Love, Jump In. Or Jump, Jump, Might as Well Jump. So, she had powers and she was also trying to…she was on a journey of discovery. She had left. We didn’t really know a lot about her. Was this discovery of Billie related to Willow? Yes, we found out it was and that she had somehow…but when she lived at the Visitor’s Center under the tutelage of Dr. Max Modine, a fox, who was using her powers to try to use it in…I think to get a better understanding of how they could use powers like hers and hers to be amplified in case humans were real or returned, depending on what your belief system is, if humans are real or not or if they ever were real. Then oh, if they were real, what if they returned or what if they were out there somewhere in a place beyond the swamp as well?
If that’s the case, we should have…instead of being a community-based value system, we should have a defensive-based value system or an offensive-based value system. That’s what Dr. Max Modine was doing with…but while they were doing that, they were using Billie’s powers. She found a organic…what we could only say as a portal to another world that may be its own organic being, and like some beings also have beings within them…or, we all do. There’s different forest friends, microscopic ones that live with me, and I carry with me every day. We live with one another or…I have my own biome. I wish I had said that right away because that sounds so much more friendly. I have my own biome and so do you. This was some sort of biome, possibly, that was connecting worlds, making a tunnel, making a tower, part of a tower. Very confusing but somehow within that thing…we called it the…we associate it with the tower of sorcery…was this goose bunny or this big bunny.
Now, we’re wondering…I don’t know, there’s still a couple missing pieces, right? Meanwhile, yeah, I don’t wanna…I guess the other stuff I could just tell you in two seconds. My brother Teffe and Dari teamed up. Oh, they’re gonna fill you in. I forgot. We’ll catch you up. That’s what we know. I could just start where we are. Vaughn, Billie, and I had gone back to my house. We had relocated Billie, we had dealt with some bullies from my school. Billie had saved us. It was pretty awesome. Made me fly, or made Vaughn fly. I can’t remember. There was flying, though, and even a vehicle. So many things, but we returned home ‘cause we were exhausted. We cleaned Billie off and Billie and I were talking. I was saying jeez, Billie, I’m really sorry ‘cause we had all kinda lost our cool. I said, I’m sorry I lost my cool. I really missed you and I really like being your friend. I guess I really care about you. Billie said I care about you, too.
I don’t want to…you know, it’s between me and Billie, but we felt a level of closeness. I just was like jeez, I was really concerned and also maybe because I lost…I felt the need to apologize and acknowledge that I had caring for Billie. As we just held each other’s paws and flippers together, Vaughn burst in. Vaughn said one of our bikes won’t stop clicking. I think it’s clicking SBBS, not…but whoever’s doing it’s trying to say…it’s LJ, I think, saying SBBS. It’s LJ, SBBS. It’s LJ. So, we listened and it was Vaughn’s bike. ‘Cause we’d communicate with these telegraphs we had; battery-powered, solar-powered, bike-powered telegraphs, radio…wireless telegraphs so we could talk to each other while we were on bike. Really handy ‘cause you just use your thumb on your bike and it actually vibrates through your whole bike frame, so you could feel it in your whole body. We really knew…I guess LJ was excited ‘cause LJ was really good at telegraph code. Then we said, what is it?
Then Vaughn of course had to say SBBS?? Question mark, question mark. Then we were…again, it was like bard-stoppers, bard-blockers. Gerard…wait a second, Gerard bard, bad bard…Gerard bad bard are coming. I said, bad bards are coming but also Gerard? We said, that’s what…he said it fourteen times in a row or something, those combination of words. Then Vaughn ran upstairs to my house and looked outside and saw these vans pull up. One was a news van and the other ones were the vans that LJ had seen earlier of this organization that’s against Bards and Big Bunnies and comic books, and Gerard is a famous investigative reporter who has a show. This particular season’s fixated on how board games make your kids abandon their belief systems and take up other belief systems that aren’t…a little bit, you know, very inventive for fiction. But this was real, this Gerard, or so we thought. Turns out, no. Then Vaughn ran back downstairs and said, we gotta go.
It’s bad bards, I think, undercover. We said okay, and then my mom said what is this hubbub? We said mom, we gotta go. We love you. If anybody asks, we’ll be at…we’re doing a study hall somewhere at the library. Yeah, we’re at the library. As we ran out, we hopped on our bikes. We pulled out of my house and I caught my first glimpse of this Dr. Max Modine, a maximum doctor of moods, I guess. He looked at us, looked at Billie. Billie and Dr. Max made eye contact. Dr. Max kinda furrowed his…furrowed a furrowy, furrowy brow. Then we took off. We have swamp bikes which are bikes [00:30:00] that can go on the ground…they’re like dirt bikes and water bikes. Of course, they have the cool telegraphs. They can go on water and on land which will be important in a minute, ‘cause they started to chase us in our vans which are gas-powered or electric-powered or whatever. Gas-powered, I guess. But actually at the same time, Gerard went to my house.
My mom said, are you Gerard from the TV? Then my dad said, that’s Gerard from the TV. Gerard said, I’m Gerard from the TV; roll the cameras, and said, I wonder if you realize your children are playing a game that has capitalist overtones. Then some of the…they split up. Most of them were following us, but Gerard and the team started to tell my parents this whole nonsensical story about Bards and Big Bunnies, which I kinda don’t need to get too deep into. Because we were…also, we were talking to LJ, or Vaughn was, and relaying it and saying LJ said they’re from the place beyond the swamp. We started to ride and then we met up with LJ and we were trying to take turns and avoid…go through trees that were narrow. But the vans were going fast so we could only…we were slowly losing ground. Also, they had four vans so we were like, we’re never going to be able to lose them. But then we were like oh no, what are we gonna do?
Then LJ said, we’ll go into the water. They’re vans; why didn’t we think of that? But we don’t want them to think that. We went on this long roundabout and then we headed towards the road because we knew we could go left, and then there was this big swampy area that we could ride out our bikes to. We just turned this crank or depending on your bike model, to make these flaps come out on your wheels. The tubing of the bike's all buoyant. You could paddle. So we did that right as the vans were about to catch us and then we headed out on the water. They all skidded to a stop at the last patch of solid ground. Vaughn said ha-ha, ha-ha. We said yeah, so cool. Then we were…right as we were about to keep going and pedaling and discuss what were gonna do next, Vaughn looked back and said oh, no. We heard this sound, these high wind sounds. We saw the backs of the vans open up and these giant turbines pop out of the backs of the vans.
Then underneath the vans, these giant…well, they basically became hover-crafts, these giant air bladders. They started to follow us because they were amphibious. Now, they're amphibious vehicles, perfect for the swamp. They were very fast. Now, we really were out on the open swamp. The road was on one side. We couldn't possibly ride our bikes up the incline. One our left was a road where one van was still following, so we couldn't turn. We were just…it was inevitable they would catch up with us. They were catching up and then Billie, who was riding on the back of my bike, I don't know if I mentioned that; her arms around me, both of us tense. Then I felt a vibration in Billie's chest and I was positive that was the song Winds of Change. As I looked back, the first van that was closest to us, the wind in the back of the van was actually traveling technically by wind-power…changed and reversed and then the van tumbled over itself. But then another van avoided it and got closer to us.
But Billie changed the song. Billie was singing to a song known…called Wholehearted. All of a sudden there started to appear holes in the air bladder and it started flapping. That van just went headfirst into the swamp. Then there was one more amphibious van getting close. That was the one Modine was in, Max Modine. Not driving but in the passenger seat, glaring at us. Billie sang the song Can't Stop This Thing We Started, and then the van stopped very quickly which caused the van to also roll. But of course, everybody was…all will be well, unfortunately for us, because they were all belted in. But then again, there was still the van running parallel with us on the road. Billie turned one last time and sang the song Cream which usually is…but all of a sudden, this…the mud underneath the van started to turn to a creamy mud and just spun its wheels. It didn't go anywhere. Then we kept going. Then we said okay, where are we gonna hide?
We gotta hide somewhere 'cause now we're on…technically we're on the run. We said, let's hide to the…let's head to the what-do-you-call-it station…like, leave a bike trail towards the transfer station and make it look like we hid in the transfer station area. Then we went back out on the water. Then we said well, where are we gonna hide? Then we said what about where they have the…where we have the Community Resource Fair? The community fairgrounds? We said okay, yeah, yeah. We headed there and we got in the tree that you put the acorns in 'cause it's a fake tree. It looks very real, that you drop your acorns in, as part of the Community Resource Festival. It was a good thing we hid out there because then we noticed an airship, like a blimp, a zeppelin that was coming from the place beyond the swamp and circling our town, like looking…assumingly looking for us.
Now, while all this was happening at the Community Resource Office, our town is…we have elected leaders but we also have community resource officers to deal with restorative practices and just keeping the…to watch out, like an authority, I guess. The head of the community resource officers is our friend Bull, Leon. Leon was just getting there with Dari because…or with Frances because Dari and Teffe had got…they had had a run-in with other community resource officers for damaging a mini-disc player or something. They were kinda going through. There was a little bit of work when you first get in trouble, as part of our restorative process, before you make amends and that kind of thing. You have to do all these critical thinking exercises about what you've done while it's fresh in your mind. It's a lot of writing. Also, they were asking why do you have so many carrots? The other community resource officer said are these giant swaddling clothes?
It was another thing they had at the…but then Leon and Frances came in. Leon said, stop the critical thinking skills. They said, but they gotta finish; they already started while it's…then Leon said, I need to talk to them. They said, but this is a ascribed process that we…Leon said, it's…don't worry about it. Then Frances said, this is my daughter. We're going through a time, here. Also, then everyone else said well…and Teffe's so great 'cause everybody loves Teffe. Then Leon said, I need to talk to two of you in my office. They said, you…it doesn't matter. You won't understand if we talk to you about it. They said Leon, I think they have like, five…there's something weird going on. They said, you'll never understand. Leon said, I want to understand all the sides of this problem, all angles. They said, you won't possibly be able to understand it, Leon. Just trust us. Sorry, mom. We'll just finish our critical thinking skills and go home. Then Leon said, in my office.
They went in there and then they were…they said…he said, carrots? They said, yeah. He said, for what? They said, for a giant bunny with a goose head. Maybe two. They kind of explained that they had discovered with Dari underneath the…there was a place underneath the swamp that went to the Visitor's Center, maybe, and down. It maybe was in another [00:40:00] world. There's goop and a giant bunny and a smaller version of our town. But that they were gonna…they said well, we were gonna catch the big bunny because we have…think…we have to believe it has something to do with Willow and Babs not being around anymore. Yeah, they said I know it's confusing and I know you'll probably tell us that…Leon said no, no, no. Frances said Dari, I need to talk to you. We believe you, but…and they went alone. Frances said Dari, why'd you go off on your own? Why didn't you tell me? She said well, you had a lot on your mind, mom. She said, a giant bunny with goose heads?
Dari said, yeah. She said, you went down there below the swamp to find it? She said well, to find Willow and Babs. She said well, I'm here to help. Let the adults handle this from here on out, please. I'm an authority in our family and Leon's an authority in our community. We'll handle it from here on out. But you can help, barely. Then Leon said, back in my office. Then right as he said that, a weasel mother came in with her…one of the weasel sons that had been bothering us. First, Leon said you handle this, lower community resource officers, but said…then said, my son was bothered by a duck-billed beaver. Leon said, a duck-billed beaver? What? She said yeah, it sings songs that made my son do weird things, things that aren't okay, like that song on the radio about the whole Joycelyn Elders thing. Leon said well, that's natural, perfectly normal. The weasel mother clearly did not agree with him on the…she said no, it's not. He said it is, right, Frances?
Frances said well, I'm here…I guess she goes, it's awkward, my daughter's…she goes yes, it is normal. She said well, is singing a song that controls my son's mind and behavior normal? Leon said where's this duck-billed beaver? But meanwhile, Leon and Frances had uncovered that it was a platypus, not a duck-billed beaver. The kid said, it was hanging out with those…said not nice things about me and my friends, those kids that play dress-up and child's games and pretend…because they get…they don't like the audio drama that we make, the radio plays or the games. They're jealous and because we still come to school dressed as our favorite historical characters or historic novelists or whatever, or put…so, whatever. The weasel said a lot of stuff about that but basically said that's who it's with. Then Teffe kind of said, that's my sister you're talking about. Now, I'm not impressed because…they said, you're not being nice to Teffe's sister?
Everybody there said oh boy, you've got critical thinking skills to do before you make amends. The weasel's mom's came and…I came in for his justice to be restored, not for him to restore any…they said, that's not how it works, ma'am. Yeah, you'll have to sit down. Then Leon said yeah, you sit down and I'll be back. Then they snuck out the back; Leon, Frances, Dari, and Teffe. They headed to Teffe and my house because they said, we gotta find your sister. But when they got there, there was…all the vans were there. I guess they had had replacement vans or whatever. Some of them were covered in mud, so maybe two of them were towed. But Gerard was there and they were taking stuff. Teffe wanted to go in and get…Teffe said, I gotta get my otter oil. Leon said, you can't go in there. They're busted. We listened in and they were telling it…we could hear that they told my parents that, again, that we were in some sort of…there was some gecko named Gordon who believed that greed was good, and that was the creator of Bards and Big Bunnies.
Gordon the gecko, and that we…and Teffe…they said that Teffe was the one that introduced us, then Teffe was…holy moly…and that it was about self-first and community second, and bootstrapping and destiny or something. I don't know, I don't know. All this stuff, and that Bards and Big Bunnies was really just about that, and that we may believe in humans and protohumans or something, and that we had believed in amoral behavior, behavior that was neither good nor bad. Obviously, my parents were checked out, so…I mean, in general of my life and my brother's life. They're mostly embarrassed, and that Gerard was there putting them on tape. But it was all fake. Even my parents were listening; they'll say Gerard was just a character…disinformation actor hired by the greater swamp authority. Oh, also about the duck-billed beaver was leaving…living at our house; that was upsetting to my parents, too. But then they had to brainstorm.
They said, we have to track your sister down and her friends. Teffe said, I think I know a way. Frances, can we go back to your house? Dari, does Willow have anything in her room that looks like…Dari said, a telegraph? Teffe said yes, a telegraph; the pressy-pressy thing. That's what I was gonna say. They headed back to Frances' house. Now meanwhile, we were…had kind of a…we were stuck in that tube for a while. Then we said…we had some time to talk. The tube was inside of a fake tree. It was big enough we could all sit in a circle so we had to make eye contact, but it didn't take long for LJ to say wow, you really saved us there, Billie. I guess I was wrong saying that you didn't want to help us find Willow. That just is a journey we're on together. But I was mostly concerned with finding Willow and had some assumptions, and I made assumptions about everything. For that, I'm sorry, and I apologize. Billie said, I used my powers to make you run away. That wasn't okay.
Also, I used my powers because I didn't want to find Willow because I was afraid that if you knew…to be hopefully seen by all of you but now that we're sitting in a circle fully seeing one another…Billie didn't exactly say this. I guess I'm putting words in her mouth. But kind of this was the general ‘je ne sais pas'…was yeah, that now that I can…I feel full trust that friends can be friends around one another, so I'm sorry. They said, I accept your apologies. Then I had to apologize because I said well, I kind of took Billie's side over your side and I've failed to grasp your side of things, LJ, and the wait, and I didn't stay calm. Also, then I had to apologize to Billie again so everybody else would see it 'cause the last apology was private. Then Vaughn apologized kinda to LJ and to Billie; LJ for kind of taking my side more than LJ's and then to Billie for also getting mad at Billie when she made LJ run away. It took a while 'cause we were using more of our…this is a little bit…I'm a little bit older now, so I have better use of my words.
But then we heard one of the bikes start clicking 'cause it was right up against the back side of the tree, so we could hear right through the thing. We said T-E-F…Teffe, where are you? I said, Teffe would never use my…we said, that doesn't make any sense. Vaughn said, it's a trick. It's not Teffe. It's the place beyond the swamp. We all said, this is very odd. Teffe said, where are you? [00:50:00] Answer us. We said well, they could be listening to the telegraphs. Then we said well, how…is there any way we could know it was Teffe? I said yeah, Teffe's the only person that knows where I hide my diary…I assume, on the planet…definitely in the swamp 'cause my parents never found it 'cause I put a…I have ways of discovering if my diary's been read. They said, you have a diary? Are we in it? That was a sweet moment in the middle of the tension. Even Billie got the gist of the fun; said, am I in it? I said, you're all in it, of course. Using a journal's part of my wind-down routine.
We asked Teffe, and I'm not gonna say it on the air even though I moved it. But well, I guess I said…I put some cardboard underneath…I made a cardboard shelf underneath my bookshelf on the bottom, up above the molding so you couldn't see it. But then it would…it was just enough to hold the weight. I used tape and some sticks, so it was a cardboard shelf that I built myself inside the underneath of my bookshelf, where the molding…the molding almost goes to the floor and you can slip your hand under there. Don't know what it for, anyway. If you just hid your journal on the floor in the back, someone that was sweeping or tying their shoe could see it on the floor or they could reach under if they thought you might've hid it there. But if they're sliding their hand, the shelf would be above their hand, so they'd have to feel around. It worked, except Teffe found it 'cause Teffe was watching. Teffe pulled the trick where Teffe said prove it. We were arguing.
Then said prove it like it was a trick. I didn't realize Teffe's bright sometimes. What was the date that we ate all that ice cream? I said, June 7th. Teffe said no, no, no, it was June 22nd. Then I…'cause I knew, because I put it in my diary. Teffe said well, it wouldn't matter 'cause no one would have proof, anyway. I said, I have proof. Then Teffe said well, get it. If you're right, then I'll pay you. This was…I think it was five acorns, we'll say. Then I went and got my…went to go get my diary but Teffe pushed open my door as I was reaching for it. Then Teffe said okay, five acorns, eh? I'll charge you fifteen to leave your diary alone. That was after. After I did that, Teffe basically diary-napped my diary. I said, where did I used to hide…where do I hide my diary? ‘Cause it just…it didn't happen that long ago. Teffe answered, underneath the bookshelf on a fake shelf. Left side. I said that's it, left side, even. But Vaughn was still like, this is some sort of trick. What if Teffe's with the people from the swamp?
Teffe's not trustworthy anyway. Then we were going back and forth, and then it came back that it was Leon. Leon said, where are you? We want to help. Then we said, should we tell him or not? Then Billie said, they might be listening. We said, what are we gonna do? Billie said, answer them. What I'll do is jam all of the other telegraphs in town 'cause they're probably listening to all the telegraphs. I'll put a different answer of where we are in every other telegraph and then I'll need a long nap. As we typed to that one telegraph, we're at the community resource fairgrounds, Billie put in all these different locations. We actually had to…it was a longer process than that. We said hold on, and then we made a long list 'cause Billie…and then we actually had to teach Billie a little bit of telegraph code. But so, we did that and it worked but it was only…there's only thirty-five…we could only come up with thirty-five places, so we knew we didn't have long.
We were hoping…we said hurry, 'cause we said, what if they check this one first? Then we said okay, we'll leave the bikes at the base of the tree and we'll go hide somewhere else. So, we decided actually to hide in the Ferris Wheel, which all the pods were down from the Ferris Wheel, so we were hiding in the base of them, watching the tree and waiting. Eventually, we heard a van pull up and it was these people from beyond the swamp; it's some weasels and some other swamp friends. Not friends, though. They started walking around the tree. We said oh boy, they're gonna…then they found our bikes. We said oh, no. We said as soon as they check that, they're gonna check everywhere else. We were really worried. Vaughn said, see? It was a trick. But then; we didn't know this but Leon and Teffe had pulled up. Leon said Teffe, what do you got in that bag you carry? ‘Cause Teffe carries a bag. He calls it a side-kit.
It's technically a purse where he keeps his otter oil and some other products he uses for his looks. Teffe said, what do you mean? Leon said, there's no way that the tips of the tops of your things are not only shining; but he goes, there's a golden…he goes, you got some golden…he goes yeah, golderizer. I got a golderizer cream. The chief said, give it to me. He started to coat these acorns in this gold thing because again, another thing if you're raised in the swamp at all, is the idea of finding a golden acorn that…the most experienced people of our community can leave these golden acorns, the knowledge of all the most experienced members of our community. If you bring them a golden acorn whether it's someone in your family or you go to the place where they all live, and they get to live out their years where we take care of them and bask in their experience and knowledge, you bring them a golden acorn, they'll tell you a story from their life and their experience, a life lesson.
But they'll also give you a treat if you're a kid. Or if you're an adult, they give you a surprise. It could be anything. It's usually pretty great. It's really…reinforces a lot of positive things. People would say oh, it's manipulative being nice to the most experienced members of our community, but it really burns a pathway where you want to listen to them and you associate the reward with this other reward that you're getting from the parable from their real life that they're telling you. The gold acorns are worth a lot to everybody. Leon started throwing them, four or five of these golden acorns that he had made with Teffe's gold grease or whatever it was called. Then the weasels that were looking for us saw them and they said oh…then they were trying to grab them 'cause they thought oh, they were left over from the…they said they…oh, it's a smooth move. But as each one ran after a golden acorn, Leon used some moves to make them take naps, special naps.
Then Leon found us and said hey, come on, let's go before…we said, what do you mean? He said, let's go now. We left with him. Then it's probably better I can…then we went back and it was bedtime. So, we all went back to Frances and Dari's house. We had a sleepover. Leon said okay, in the morning, we're gonna go through where we are and where we need to be and come up with a plan for tomorrow. But for now, let's all rest together. We know all will be well. We know we're gonna be here to take care of one another and help one another and help find Willow and Babs. We all introduced ourselves. We also hugged one another. This is before we went to bed. I forgot. I hugged Teffe and I said I…and Teffe said, I can't believe this. I said, I can't believe…and I said, I missed you. I say, I missed you too, Teffe. Teffe said, maybe we should be…no more secrets, huh?
I said, no more secrets. Teffe said, have you been hanging out with that duck-billed beaver? [01:00:00] Then we said…anyway, maybe some secrets. Let's respect each other's boundaries but let's be better friends. Dari and Frances were hugging again and Frances was very excited to meet Billie. I don't know, it was a very loving moment. We did a lot of hugging and it was nice. Then we just…Bull fell asleep very fast, then we all fell asleep listening to Bull snoring. It was very gentle and nice, and we slept well. Goodnight.
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