888 – Goop Chase & Duck Billed Beaver | Otter Things Ep2
I speak words, meandering to a sleepy place beyond the swamp where new friends are made, music plays and all is well. Goodnight.
Black Lives Matter. I cannot create a safe place for everyone without stopping to pause and look at what changes I need to make to support that fact. When I say “you deserve a good night’s sleep” it means black lives matter. I have a lot more work to do to back up my words with my body, mind, heart, and spirit. I support The Loveland Foundation- https://thelovelandfoundation.org/
I am trying to gather more resources here- https://linktr.ee/dearestscooter
Here is a list of Anti-racism resources- http://bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES Here is one place you can find support during this or any crisis. If you have more please share them! https://www.crisistextline.org/
EPISODE 888 – Otter Things S1 E2
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary, and my patrons, you make this possible, patrons. You really do and I appreciate it so much. It’s really my honor so what do you say we get on with the show and put you to sleep? Thanks, patrons.
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. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake. It could be thoughts, things on your mind that you’re thinking about, thoughts, feelings, physical sensations. So, anything going through your brain, anything you’re feeling in your body, or you know, where feelings exist kind of in both places and more, or all three. Whatever it is that’s keeping you awake, I’d like to take your mind off of that. What I’m gonna do is, I’m gonna send my voice across…I’m gonna try to create…oh, yeah, I forgot; try to create a safe place, smooth it, pat it, rub it down, and invite you in, or send it your way.
I say signed, sealed, delivered. This safe place is yours. Or it could be not signed or sealed, just delivered or sent your way. The way I do that is I send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents. I’m gonna go off-topic which I’ve probably already done, in some sense. Senseless banter, holy moly. Is that a…yeah, that’s a thing, right? Senseless banter. Definitely banter…I’m the only person when they say are you gonna put up any bunting this year? I say I’m sorry, what’s that? They say that those are the…it’s like, not a flag, but it’s like a…it’s like you kinda…it’s those…I say oh, that. Yeah, no, don’t really…I put out some banter. I’m not actually good…I’m only good at bantering at bedtime. Bedtime banter; have we thought about that before? Bedtime banter. But what I’m gonna do, let’s see, is…what I’m gonna do…oh, send my voice across the…oh, go off-topic, get mixed up.
So, doing that right now. All to take your mind off of stuff and keep you company as you fall asleep. Now, if you’re new, a few pieces of information I’d like you to know. One, if you’re doubtful or skeptical or confused, those are totally normal reactions for a new listener. The confusion will remain but it’ll become a different…it’ll be diffused. Diffused and confused; that’s like, a Sleep With Me listener. Right, confused…I try to diffuse and confuse. I do. I like the way that sounds ‘cause it’s true, though. But if you’re new, it might not seem that way ‘cause nonsense suffuses this show, and goofy stuff. But so, if you’re new, if you are skeptical or doubtful or you’re like, I don’t know if this is for me, that’s a very, very legitimate and normal reaction. That’s why I want to fill you in on a few things. One, if you can, give this show two or three tries. Millions of people have said it took two or three tries to get used to the podcast. Kind of see how it goes and there’s no pressure.
You don’t have to like the show. It doesn’t have to work for you; just see how it goes. I hope, I really do hope it helps you. If you’re doubtful, the other piece is this is a podcast…one of the reasons people are doubtful is ‘cause they’re really listening and waiting for content. That’s a little bit of the…I don’t think it’s irony but yeah, mine is more like a diffuser. Like, when you put something in one of those humidifier-diffusers, right? Even that confuses me. I say well, is it…is this just like a…like a mini-humidifier or not? Then you put like, essential oil in it, maybe. When you drop the oil in, it’s little drops of oil with some scents, I don’t know, probably diffused in there, too. Then it diffuses it into the air. I kind of do that with thoughts where you say okay, at some point, this thought was a…in another person’s mind or on a piece of paper, this was a flower. This was a thought; it was a beautiful thing or a plant or a stem or something. This isn’t a negative thing.
This is just what the…the goo that I do is that…then for me, I’m more like the mist. A regular podcast, yeah, I would say okay, well, that’s what lemongrass…that’s lavender. Oh boy, that’s frankincense there or whatever. You say okay, I know what that is; very clear thoughts, well-formed short intro, gets to the point. Just like you’d look at a flower, when you’re diffusing a flower or whatever…I don’t even know what gets diffused or put into the oils. I don’t know any…cold-pressed, I think, maybe, or something. But you say oh, okay, I like looking at flowers. Don’t need to look at…I’ll look at the mist of a diffused flower smell for a few seconds, about as long as it takes Scooter to say a few seconds. Then I’ll move on ‘cause it’s just mist. It’s not bad to look at but it’s not the same as looking at a flower. You say Scoots, I don’t know if that metaphor…that metaphor would not make any sense in any other context other than your podcast. That’s what regular listeners are saying.
I know that didn’t make any sense, but it kind of does. It’s like, comparing the flower to the mist. I’m the mist, without a doubt. I still smell good. The thing is, I still smell good; flowers smell great. I still, most of the time, smell pretty good. We got that for us. Just barely listen, just like if you were looking at that mist coming out of the humidifier. You say okay, well, it’s…okay, yep. Okay, alright, I’m gonna go do something else. In this case, you just kind of…you say okay, I’m just gonna kinda barely watch it. I mean, here’s a question ‘cause I know people love cat gifs and cat videos; is there any videos of cats looking at mist? Or even as mist out of a diffuser-humidifier…even for a cat, is it like yeah, well, what about a…do you got any laser pointers? That would be a normal podcast and this is the mist. Okay, I think I’ve over and under-explained that enough. This is a podcast you don’t need to listen to. Also, it’s not really a podcast to put you to sleep even though this is a sleep podcast.
It’s here to keep you company while you fall asleep. I’m here to take your mind off of stuff and be your bore-bud and your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-bestie, your bore-cuz, your bore-bruh. Whatever it is you’re comfortable with, and just take your mind off of stuff as you drift off. Those are two pieces of information. The third thing that can throw new people off, and I want to give you this ‘cause it definitely has the strongest reaction, and if you ever have a super-strong reaction, like I said, you know I have…the podcast does not…might not work for you. I wish it did but maybe knowing that people have a strong reaction about this will make you feel like there’s space…there is space for your feelings about this podcast. I want to tell you that. If there is space for it, you could just maybe see how it goes and then be like yeah, you know what? It’s not for me. But so, another thing people…some people have strong feelings about is the structure of the show ‘cause it’s also very different.
The show starts off with a greeting; ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends beyond the binary. That’s greeting everyone and saying I see you, I care that you get a good night’s sleep, and you’re welcome here. Then there’s business so just like the greeting is the door, coming through the door, you say okay, what do you got here? That’s how we keep the show coming out two times a week for free, with the business. That’s maybe two to six minutes or something, I don’t know. Then there’s an intro that’s around twelve to twenty minutes and that’s what we’re, like, maybe halfway or more through, where it’s not business. It’s just me kind of introducing the podcast for a new listener. It actually serves two functions, probably within a spectrum of limitless functions. But if I had to put labels on it, on this…on the further edges of the spectrum, I’d say there’s two parts of the intro spectrum. One is new listeners. It kind of introduces you to the podcast and what to expect, and you kind of get an idea that I can’t get to the point.
Really, this is very misty, very diffused and…I’m diffused and confused. [00:10:00] That might be one of my next autobiographies that I’ll never write. You say wow, you’re not dazed and confused. No, I’m diffused and confused. Yeah, and I’m trying to think of other words that rhyme with it but I should probably move on. Then, so…oh, what was I saying? I forgot. I’m not kidding. Oh, so the intro is to introduce you, if you’re new, and you kind of see how it goes. But as you become a regular listener, and what I’ve discovered over doing this for seven years is that the intro allows a regular listener to either get ready for bed or get comfortable in bed. Or, you know, it’s part of their wind-down routine, wherever they are, wherever you are that you’re listening. That may change over time whether you’re new or you’re a regular listener, or you’re a daytime listener looking for a break. That’s like, another thing, is just kind of see how it goes. Oh, but that’s the intro. It goes on and on and on.
Now, 2% of people skip the intro, start the show at about twenty minutes. Eighteen to twenty minutes, it seems like most people do. Then they just start listening from there. You could get to the point where you say well, I just like to skip the intro. Then after the intro will be business. That’s kind of part of, again, how we keep the show free, is our partners there. Then there’s an episode. Tonight, it’ll be our modular episodic series about otters and things. You could listen to that in any order but it’ll just be a nice, meandering bedtime story. That’s the structure of the show. You know what other thing I forgot to tell you is, this…oh no, I think I told you; the podcast really isn’t here to put you to sleep. Oh, the end of the show ends with thank yous, so that’s the structure of the show. But yeah, this is a podcast you don’t need to listen to and there’s no pressure to fall asleep. That’s kind of how it’s structured that way. If you can’t sleep, here’s the good news…or if it takes you a while to fall asleep or if you need a break during the day or you’re waking up, is the structure of the show is kind of built for that.
You say okay, some people listen to the episode in chunks. Other people listen…everybody figures out their own way but it’s like oh, if you can’t sleep, then it’s like okay, got the intro to look forward to, then the story, then the thank yous. Or if you set your sleep timer for like, thirty minutes or something, you say okay, well, if I wake up, I could just hit play again and it’ll start it wherever Scoots left off. Neither one of us, Scoots or I, will know what he’s talking about. That’s kind of the structure of the show and that’s, I think, the most important things for new listeners to know other than this, which is that the reason I make the show is because you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve some rest and if it’s at all possible, I would love to provide that for you. I hope it does and the reason I care is, I mean, the world will be a better place, your world will be a better place if you get some rest, and you get the rest that you deserve. But also, because I’ve been there.
I was there last night or somewhere between the night and the morning so I know how it feels. If I can help interrupt that or take your mind off that or make it a little bit less intense, it’s my honor. That’s why I make the show. That’s kind of how people listen. Just kind of see how it goes. If you’re a regular listener, thanks so…I’m so glad I could be here for you and I’m so glad you’re here to be here to kind of barely listen to me. It is such a pleasure for me to make this show even though this is like, the middle of the intro or whatever, I just keep coming back to how much I love making this show, how much I love telling bedtime stories and how lucky I feel to be able to do it and have it be of service. It really is an honor. I say that but I mean it. Those words have huge meaning for me and the idea that you deserve a good night’s sleep and I want you to feel seen and welcome is really important to me. I can’t accomplish that all the time.
I stumble just like everybody else but I hope we could create a space for that. Just like if the podcast isn’t for you or you don’t like it, I’m trying to grow and create space for that too and say hey, well, just see how goes and then check out another sleep podcast or something else. Maybe Rick Steves or something, that’s one that keeps coming back up. I think that’s it. I’m really glad you’re here, I really hope and yearn and I work hard and strive ‘cause I really want to help you fall asleep. So, thanks again for coming by and here’s a couple of ways we’re able to make this podcast free for everybody.
Alright, hey everybody, it’s Scoots and welcome to our ongoing episodically modular and a bit serial but you could listen to it in any order story; Otter Things, that’s O-T-T-E-R, capital O-T-T-E-R space Things, T-H-I-N-G-S. It’s a touch of satire and parody, like a couple of your favorite things or a couple of my favorite things. I know that for sure. Based on a historical archive that I recovered out on the transverse plane where I used to hang out a lot. That’s really all the setup I need to do; someone else is gonna catch you up because this is a audio thing. They’ll be catching you up on all the details ‘cause the…but just so you know, yeah, you could listen to this kind of in any order ‘cause you’re gonna find out more as I turn this over to Emma Otter.
Hey, it’s Emma again. I’m recording. Is this recording? Okay, it’s recording. Hey, it’s me, and I don’t know where you are or where you’re listening but I just want you to know that I’m sitting here in a chair with a microphone. I’m in the present moment for me. Present moment I’m S-A-F-E so I just wanted you to know that before I tell my story, that all is well. You could think about that as I tell you the journey my friends and I have been on and my community has been on. You can know that all is well and all will be well as you get comfortable, too. I want to fill you in. I also have, like…I’m trying to upgrade a little bit of the production of the show so I have a famous…our most famous resident here and they’re gonna come in. Oh, they’re gonna do it now ‘cause they can only do it…then I’ll catch you up on everything. Probably, you know, my brother Teffe thinks he’s the hunkiest otter in the world but everyone knows…everyone around here knows the hunkiest otter is the otter that’s coming in just to say a few lines because he’s so generous; Mr. Antonio Banderas, the otter. Thank you, Emma.
The ladies, the gentlemen, the boys, the girls, the friends beyond the binary, otters, muskrats, and all the creatures of the swamp, it’s time for a tale, a tale that all will be well, even when you experience Otter Things. Swishy, swishy, swish. Yeah. Thank you, Antonio. Oh, he already jumped…Antonio’s got a meeting, I think, to get to. Where were we, where were we? Well, we last left off with my friends and I. That was one part of the story, is my friends and I. My friends, my best friends, in case they were listening. If they think there’s a pecking order of best friends, they know where they stand. It’s not necessarily or not not necessarily the order I say the names, but my friends Vaughn and LJ and I were in my basement where we play our game Big Bunnies and Bards, Bards and Big Bunnies. We had just been looking for our friend Willow who, according to the adults, we had double-dared to go beyond the swamp where we live, to the unknown regions.
But we were more thinking…or other adult thoughts were that Emma had gone to strike out on her own as…oh, sorry, I’m saying Emma. I’m projecting. My friend Willow…I was trying to get into a little method; I got a too-far method. But my friend Willow, that she struck out on her own, started her own career. We’ll hear more about that tonight but that was another thought. But my friends and I, we got the sense that maybe Willow, you know, went off and…I don’t know, we started to believe a little bit about the Big Bunny and Bards, and…or the goose chases, the gooses that lead kids on wild goose chases until they’re tired and [00:20:00] muddy. We wanted to find our friend Willow and we were looking for her out on the edge of the swamp when we saw this being, this person who was very tough to describe. It felt like they were a kid right around our age but what…who were they, what were they? Because they had a bill but they looked a bit like a beaver.
That’s why we thought it was Emma. I mean, Willow. Oh, boy. This is only my second episode of what I think one day will be called a podcast radio show. But so, with…so, a beaver with a duck’s bill and webbed feet. Never seen anything like it before in my time. But currently, so we took her home, we wrapped her up ‘cause they, at the time, seemed to be cold. They were sitting in my basement with Vaughn and LJ and we were having a pretty strong discussion about this. We said jeesh, shouldn’t we go back and start looking for Willow again? The goose chases, big bunnies, the place beyond the swamp, the what-ifs. I said what about this poor being here? They’re cold. The last thing the being had said to us was ‘I speak words’ as we were talking. But they hadn’t said anything since. They were just watching us. Kind of a little bit not easy, especially with Vaughn and LJ. LJ was very concerned – of course Willow’s waiting for us to come get her – and trying to build consensus, especially with Vaughn, that we need adults.
We should just go upstairs and tell your mom or your dad about what’s going on. I said hold on, let’s get some more…I said…we said where are you from? No answer. Are you from the tunnel? Are you from the place beyond the swamp? What is…? Why…? Then Vaughn was, of course, interested more in the…what’s it like having webbed feet? Could you pick up this pencil? What’s your bill? Do you walk like a duck? You know, thoughts that are less…anyway, I gotta get back to…so, there was a lot of questions for our poor friend there. Then Vaughn even brought up; what if you’re from the bottom of the river? Another mythos of childhood, the things that live in the bottom of the swamp in the river. Or even from river bottom algae, he said. I said okay, quiet, quiet, quiet. I’ll come up with a plan. I don’t want to tell my mom now because we’d already gone out without permission to look for Willow. Then Vaughn, again, said about this comic book about animals and other beings and science and experimentation. For the good of all, Vaughn said.
Of course, it’s for the good of all. Secret projects, then he went into a tangent about outer space. Are you from outer space or the moon? Is that why you have a bill and fur and webbed feet? Is the inside of the moon liquid cheese? I said you’re too loud; you’re making this poor, poor billed creature nervous. We’re supposed to help. I said it’s okay, it’s okay. Everybody calm down. We’re scaring the beaver-duck. It’s okay, I have a plan. I was coming up with a plan while we were talking. Here’s the plan; we’ll all go home and go to bed. I’m gonna wrap this beaver-duck up warm and help it dry off. Then tomorrow morning I’ll have the beaver-duck and go in my backyard and make a bunch of noise, like knock over the trashcans. My mom’s so nice; she’ll go out and say oh, you’re knocking…please don’t eat our trash. You know, like those…some of those…the creatures on all four legs. Maybe this is a four…not a two…are you just learning to walk on two feet? Then the duck-billed creature said, I walk, I talk. We looked at one another; okay, whoa.
It was a little bit odd. It wasn’t our first odder thing but this was an odd, odd thing. I said, go home. I said, I’ll help dry…then LJ said do you got a name? Who are you? Then there was…behind…I couldn’t tell if it was an ear or a gill or something; I said what the heck? There was a little tag that said BE. We said, is your B? B? Then Vaughn said what about Bill? Billie? Is your name Billie? The duck-beaver looked at us and nodded. It was a very distinctive nodding of the bill and said yes, I Billie. I’m Billie. We said okay, Billie, okay. Everything’s gonna be okay. I said don’t worry; my mom will know what to do. They went home and helped Billie and we made a blanket fort and Billie got comfortable and nested in a thing of blankets. I said it’s gonna be okay, Billie. Then I went upstairs and I said I’ll see you in the morning; goodnight. Billie said, goodnight. Oh, I had shared my name, of course. I’m Emma. Goodnight, Emma. Goodnight, Billie. I said, I’ll leave a night…please leave a nightlight on.
That was another thing. It’s like okay, don’t worry, I’ll leave a nightlight on. It’s a new place; of course. Then, even the radio…so I said okay, we’ll put the radio on. Billie seemed to like the hits station, so we put it on. I think it was Z89. Then I went to bed. Now, the next day, I’ll catch you up on a couple other things ‘cause Willow lives with her mom Frances and her sister Dari. Of course, they were really wondering where Willow was ‘cause the most sensible thing was that Willow moved away and wanted to start her career early, or Willow got taken on a goose chase by the gooses or they just didn’t know, and that’s not easy. When it’s unknown, it’s not easy and Dari knew that Frances…it was breakfast and Dari said mom, you gotta eat breakfast. I know there’s some unknowns but today we’ll get some clarity. We’ll find out…Paul’s looking into it, we’ll look into it. There’s this phone call that…come in. I said don’t worry, we’re gonna figure this out. Everything…all will be well, mom.
Mom looked at Dari in a way that said even though moms are authority figures, they’re not always authority figures, or sometimes we just imagine them to be. They held hands and they held each other and comforted each other and they ate delicious breakfast cereal. Dari said mom, just breathe and eat your breakfast, and hold my hand. We’ll find Willow and we’ll all get to the bottom of this together. But right as Dari said that, there was a knock at the door and it was Bull. Now, Bull is a resource officer in charge of resources and you know, keeping everything going in our town. Not like a mayor; more of a community…he would say hey, you’re not following the rules. Let’s do this, or these are the rules, or this is…so, that kind of thing. Bull kind of was playing hey, how’s it going you two? You eating some puffs, eh? I heard you said that Willow called or something. Frances said yeah, Willow called. Then Bull looked at the phone; it wasn’t working. He said well, that’s interesting.
Your phone’s not working. Are you sure it wasn’t the storm or something? Frances said, I know what my daughter sounds like even in static from a storm. Bull said well, the thing is that when the geese go on the geese chases, they bring these kids on the geese chases for fun. This is just River Bottom-style action. Sometimes they like to call the house and even give the parents a hard time, create a sense of uncertainty. You know, they’re tricksters. They’re not trickster gods; they’re just birds from…Canada geese, Bull said, though a couple [00:30:00] of other geese run with them. Frances said, it wasn’t Canada geese or any other kind of geese on the phone, Bull. It was my daughter Willow. Bull said okay, okay, well, just trust me. I’m trying to work. Then Frances said you need to trust me, too, Bull. Bull said okay, so, Willow called and there was a lot of static. That’s what we know, right, for sure? Frances said, yes. Then Bull said well, what about Lenny?
That was Willow and Dari’s father. He would roll like a rolling stone so no moss gathered on him; another musician, though not very accomplished musician, who had moved to River Bottom years ago. Not in any big bands though, like you hear about from River Bottom; more of just a busker. Frances said I haven’t heard from Lenny in a while. Then Dari said Lenny’s a J to the E to the R to the K. Bull said well, maybe I should just check in with Lenny in case Willow went to…is there any chance Willow went to visit Lenny? Of course, Frances said no. Bull said okay, well, trust; hear me out. What if Willow was just contemplating starting her career early? Not a good choice, but whatever. We know that happens. It’s happened with other kids in the community. They get this idea of quick…that they’re gonna have a big career and they move to River Bottom or Hensontown or somewhere else to start their career. The only successful person was Antonio Banderas and that wasn’t even music.
But yeah, so maybe to make it a little bit easier, or maybe Willow got there and find…well, I don’t like this. Let me just check in with Lenny. Let’s just check in with Lenny and just see if that’s a possibility. Then Bull said things are gonna be okay, Frances. We’re gonna figure this out together, okay? We’ll figure this out. Then Bull headed out but I know that Dari headed out right after Bull and said, Bull, wait up. Bull said what’s up, Dari? You should be inside helping your mother. This isn’t easy on her. Dari said don’t worry, I’ve got things under control, too. I’m soothing my mom and comforting her. Dari said, didn’t you used to work in River Bottom on their resource team in the big city? Weren’t you starting your own family and all of that? Bull said that was a long time ago, Dari. What’s your point? Dari said, didn’t it not go so great? Like, your reputation in River Bottom? Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just go see Lenny? I don’t think you and Lenny get along, either.
Bull said no, no, no, you stay here with your mom. I’ll go talk to Lenny. Dari said well, Lenny will be more open to talking to me than you. Just a thought. You don’t have to do everything, Bull. Bull, are you okay? You look really…are you okay? I know you don’t sing and all that and you’re staring off at the distance silently, only half-listening to me. Probably thinking about your past in River Bottom, huh, Bull? Bull was staring off with that stare you’ve seen right off-camera, the jaw…even of a frog, going loose. Said yeah, I got bad luck, bad luck in River Bottom and bad luck followed me here, probably. I don’t know what it is about me. It probably was born under bad…anyway, Dari, you’re too…you don’t understand. You wouldn’t understand. You’re just a kid. But forget about talking to Lenny. I’ll handle it later today or tomorrow. I’m on top of it. I just gotta get a couple other geese in a row. I’m pretty sure it’s not…I’m pretty sure it’s the geese but we’ll figure it out. Bull took off.
Now, meanwhile, while they were having breakfast and discussing things, my family was having breakfast. My mom, my dad, my youngest in my family, and then my brother Teffe, the otter who learned to love himself so much that…the shiniest otter in town. I was trying to eat fast. I mean, really, so I could bring part of my breakfast down to Billie. But mom kind of was like, jeez, I don’t know with Willow…come home right after school. My dad was reading the latest news about stuff unrelated to our day-to-day lives. Teffe was mostly eating…whatever, this super breakfast; super foods and preening himself. It was getting on my nerves ‘cause I could see something in his eye. Then he cleared his throat and said hey mom, I got an idea; it can’t be easy on Dari and Frances and everything. I was thinking about helping out with the flyers. They gotta figure out this goose chase thing. My mom said Teffe, I think you should just stay out of it.
I said, handing out a flyer doesn’t really sound like your style, Teffe. What does that even mean, handing out flyers? Teffe said well, flyers cost money and I was thinking we could do…I could do a fundraiser after school and we could raise money to pay for them to get a bunch of flyers. But yeah, you’re right, mom; it’s probably not the best idea. I know Willow’s family’s not easy…as easy for them as it is for us. I’m grateful for everything you and dad provide for us, mom and dad. Maybe I’ll just forget the whole idea and forget the flyers. Yeah, you’re right. Teffe knew what to say to my mom ‘cause she said well, Teffe, just come home, alright, after the fundraiser. You’re so caring and so loving. I said what kind of…sounds loving, Teffe, ‘cause you love to party, right? Is it gonna be a fundraiser party? Teffe said well, actually, I’m…that’s a great question. I wouldn’t call it a party but you can’t have a fundraiser without fun. Just good, clean fun though, of course.
Good, clean, comforting fun, in this case. So, less fun and more comfort. I said, another brilliant Teffe idea, huh, mom? Wonder how this…mom said, Emma, just finish your breakfast and get ready to go to school. Then come home after school, please. I said I don’t even know how Teffe defines clean and responsible, either. Mom said, Emma. Then I went downstairs to pretend to get ready for school in the basement. I went down and checked in with Billie who was, you know, obviously in a new place and not totally comfortable but also very hungry, so really enjoying the breakfast I provided which are known as Dino Puffs, the puff that’s…but anyway, so really enjoying that breakfast. I said listen, Billie; I’m gonna pretend to go to school and what you gotta do is after you eat, just go out in the backyard and knock over the garbage cans, okay? Then my mom will hear it. You gotta do it now before she leaves for work but she’ll hear you knock over the garbage cans. She’ll come out and she’ll help you.
She’ll find out where you’re supposed to be, where your mom and dad are, or whoever you live with. She’ll help you find your way home. That’s the plan and my mom’s the best, so she’ll totally help you. Billie just kind of stared at me. It was just on the side of Billie’s bill, a Dino Puff marshmallow and a little bit of dripping…Billie said…at first with a beak full of…went, no. I said, I’m sorry, did you say no? Then Billie waved their bill back and forth, ‘no.’ I said, no…? Billie said, no mom. I said, you don’t have a mom? Billie said, no; pointed to me. No, your mom. No plan. No garbage. No mom. I said, why? She made a kind of universal symbol for looking around [00:40:00] and scouting the horizon. She said, Dr. Max is gonna be looking for me. Dr. Max can’t be trusted. I said how do you…I said what do you mean? Billie said, Dr. Max will take me back. I said, back where? Billie said, to the other side of the swamp. Then I said, okay, okay. Alright, well, I’ll figure out another plan, then.
You could stay here, okay? Just don’t do anything. I’ll skip school; I’ll come back. I’ll pretend I’m gonna go to school and come back. You just stay hiding out here, okay? Billie said, okay. I pretended to head out at school. Now, meanwhile at school, Vaughn and LJ had gotten to school. School had started. At first, they were wondering where I was but then they said oh, of course, Emma probably stayed home to enact a plan. LJ said good; then that duck-bill thing will be back where they belong and we could start to find Willow again, our friend Willow, ‘cause Emma seems to have forgotten about Willow. Vaughn had a couple laughs at the duck-bill and the webbed feet and did a walk around and said yeah, it’s good. Only adults can help with this kind of stuff. LJ said yeah, only adults can help with this kind of stuff. They kind of went back and forth. Meanwhile, also at school…my brother Teffe got to school and Dari was there and believe it or not, Dari was actually…Dari has a friend named Babs and Babs comes…Babs was the kind of person that had a lot of resources and Babs…Dari was already talking to Babs about getting flyers made ‘cause Babs’ family has all that kind of stuff.
I don’t even know how you make a flyer. Babs said, no problem. Then Dari said, do you think we could use your car, too? Babs said no, I got…remember when I snuck out that…two weeks ago? I don’t have access to my car anymore. I’m grounded. Car-free, no driving. Dari said well, I just need your car for today. I just need to borrow it. Can we sneak it out? Babs said no, they took the keys and everything. I’d give it to you for sure; I’m not worried about that. I know you wanna figure out stuff with your sister. Teffe rolled up and said hey, hey, hey, Babs. Hey, Dari. I heard you talking about cars and flyers. I was thinking about having a little fundraiser after school today, a fundraiser. Maybe take your mind off of stuff in a field…a little field party fundraiser. We could charge all the other kids to come to it and bring in some money to pay for those flyers or whatever else you might need, Dari. It’d be a good time. We could really have a good time, at least for a little while.
Dari looked at Teffe and narrowed her eyes. Babs said field parties are lame, Teffe, just so you know. That’s like, kid stuff. Dari said yeah, I’m thinking about my sister. I don’t want to be standing around in a bunch of mud with you and your friends, Teffe, drinking bog water. Babs made a bog water face, like bog water’s not good, though older kids say it is. Teffe said come on Babs, you know, you tell her; we could still figure out some way to have fun. We could do something. Babs said no thanks, Teffe. But then Dari was looking the whole time and listening, and the wheels were turning in Dari’s head. Dari said you know what, Teffe, Babs? You know what might be fun? Cutting school. Maybe taking a road trip. I don’t know, that’s what Babs and I were talking about before you got here, Teffe. That would be fun. The only issue is we don’t have a car because Babs lost her keys. Her parents took them away. Teffe said interesting, interesting. Huh. Like, a road trip, the three of us, for fun.
Dari said yeah, I gotta make…I got a totally cool place we could check out, with a great view and everything. Teffe said really? Babs is like, I don’t know, I don’t know. Babs wasn’t playing; she said, I don’t know, I’d rather not the three of us hang out. Me, you, and Teffe; no thank you. Dari said come on, Babs, we’ll have fun. You could be…we’ll both keep Teffe in line and keep his nonsense to a minimum. Teffe said okay, okay, I got an idea. Meet me in front of school or not in front of school, some place on the other side of the sports field at lunch. I’ll have a car. We’ll do a little road trip and cut school. They said okay, and then back in town, in our beautiful downtown area, Frances was heading into where she works, at the Fines and Dines. It’s our everything store. It’s got a diner, it’s got groceries, and it’s got most of the stuff you would need. She had worked there a long time and not for a lot of glory. Her boss was there and he said Frances, what are you doing here?
It’s not your day to work. Frances said, I need a phone. Her boss said okay, that’ll be $22.22 and Babs said, you know what? I’m trying to figure…I’m waiting for Willow to call me. He said oh, okay. I’ll put it on your account. Then Frances said, you know what? I need…I also need two week’s pay. Two week’s pay? Frances said, you gotta be kidding me; I worked here a long, long time, even on the holidays, and I got two kids at home. I expect to be paid two week’s advance right now. Her boss said okay, okay. Then she said; and some sugared cereal, Dino…Double Dino Puffs. Then he said okay, okay, Frances. Take care, take care. Frances headed home and I had headed home, too. I was showing Billie my room and a lot of the toys I play with, my physics lab, my kind of punch card computing device I had been working on for a long time, and then of course, my…well, this is what you don’t know. This isn’t the first thing I recorded, really.
My friends and I, we used to do radio theatre in method, so we would…we had a lot of…not just a recording setup in the basement and in my room, but we also had outfits. We would play kind of a dress-up recording thing. Some things were in the world of Bards and Big Bunnies and then some things were in a more noir world. We had other outfits. We started dressing up and pretending we were different characters. We were kind of having fun and then, I don’t know, even Billie said…I said this is…friends. We’re friends; friends play dress-up and this is called play. I realized this was new to her. She had never tried it or never done it before. I was pretending to be different things and even for a second, Billie kind of pretended to be Dr. Max. Just for a second, and then we heard my front door. We heard the stairs and I said it’s my mom. You gotta pretend you’re…just don’t move. Sit down in my miniature rocking chair and don’t move. Pretend you’re a full-sized doll.
Then my door swung open ‘cause Teffe had heard me. Teffe said, what are you doing home? I said, what are you doing home? Teffe said, what is that doll? Is that a bill on a beaver? Ugh, dressed-up…what is that dressed-up as? I said that’s…anyway, what are you doing home from school, Teffe? Teffe said, what are you doing home from school? I said, I don’t feel good, you know, with Willow and stuff. [00:50:00] Teffe said oh yeah, well, I mean, that makes sense. I’m trying to help Dari with some stuff. I’m like, I’m sure you are. He said no, really. Where are the keys to Uncle Emmett’s truck? I said, I have no idea. He said, I know you know. You know everything. Come on, Emma. I know you know where Uncle Emmett’s keys are. I said, I don’t know. Teffe said I’ll tell you what; if you tell me where Uncle Emmett’s keys are, I’ll forget that you and whoever that is pretending to be a duck-billed doll…I don’t know if that’s Vaughn or LJ dressed up, that you’re not…neither one of you’s at school or sick. I’ll forget to tell mom all about this.
I said, they’re in the bowl with all the marbles at the bottom. He said okay, I’ll see you later, then. He headed out and I breathed a sigh of relief, and so did Billie. But Billie kind of looked after…I said don’t…my brother’s…don’t worry. That’s just…that’s not his natural otter oils. Those are store-bought otter oils that make him shine like that. Now, Frances had gotten home and Frances had set up a new phone and was like, I’m gonna wait here for my daughter. Now, one thing I did forget to mention that’s kind of an important part is we’re all musical. We all play instruments but Frances, and she never quite found the way to do this and I think probably Lenny had something to do with this, Frances was a big maker of windchimes, but tuned windchimes. You could almost…the wind could play as a instrument or even someone could play as an instrument. Frances was also passing the time tuning a windchime or tuning the parts of it…I don’t know much about windchime creation but a windchime that was like a steel drum and playing those sounds, waiting for the phone to ring.
Meanwhile, Teffe had got my Uncle Emmett’s truck and gone back to school at lunchtime, and Dari and Babs were waiting. They hopped in the car and Teffe said, where to? Dari said River Bottom. Teffe said, what are you…Dari said trust me, I got a big surprise. Like I said, beautiful view. Just trust me. I’ll tell you how to get there. Teffe said okay, sounds cool. They hit the road. While they were on the road, school had let out and Vaughn and LJ went right to my house and headed over and knocked on the door. I let them in and they said so, what happened? Your mom…and then they saw in the background, they saw Billie. They said, what is that still doing here? I said let’s go up to my room and talk in case my parents come home. LJ said we’re here…why didn’t you tell your mom? That was the plan. Vaughn said yeah, what if the…no offense, Billie, but what if Billie’s an alien or something? Making all these sound effects from all these sci-fi shows that Vaughn watches too much of.
LJ said what about Willow? We’re supposed to be looking for Willow, not dealing with this duck-billed beaver with web…you know. This might even be…what, did you hatch out of an egg or something? I said LJ, please calm down and be more appropriate and kind. LJ said appropriate and kind again? Our mission is Willow. Willow could be with a Big…we’re supposed to be Big Bunnies and Bards and Willow is our friend. I’m gonna go tell your parents. I’m gonna go call my parents. I’m gonna tell an adult to deal with this. As LJ went to leave the room, this sound started to come from deep inside of Billie’s bill and it was…at first it sounded like…I don’t know, like an engine starting but quickly we realized that because we listen to a lot of music and we play a lot of music, that it was a song, being almost like a hummed…or vibrating through the bill. Vaughn was the first person to realize. He said, that’s the song Right Here, Right Now that we always used to sing on the radio by Jesus Jones.
I said wait, and then right as I said that, I couldn’t speak anymore and LJ’s hand had frozen as he was reaching for the doorknob. We were all kind of stuck right here, right now as Billie kind of hummed the song. Then we kind of started to hum along with it. But we quickly realized that it was a power and Billie said no adults, and then looked at me. I said we can’t…there’s some sort of Dr. Max beyond the swamp. That lab stuff might be right, Vaughn. Then Vaughn and LJ were staring at me. The echoes of the song were still in our head. I said she’s got some sort of musical powers. Vaughn said, just like in the comic books; super powers. How’d you know that was one of our favorite songs? We used to sing that; right here, right now, there’s no other place we’d rather be. While we were doing that, Dari, Babs, and Teffe had gotten to River Bottom and they pulled up to Lenny’s house. Teffe said where’s the view, Babs? Teffe said where’s the view, Dari?
Dari said look at this; this is a city, an industrial section of a city. It’s not like anything we see. Teffe said, this seems dull. Dari said, you two keep each other company. I’m gonna hop out; I gotta knock on this door. Teffe said, why? She said, well, that’s where my dad lives. I gotta ask him something. You two stay put. Dari knocked on the door and eventually dealt with Lenny’s friend-in-Lenny. Lenny was a bit like oh, well, you got…why don’t you let adults take care of this? What about Bull? He still in town? No, I haven’t heard from Willow. I wish Frances was better. Then that was all Dari needed to hear and said, forget it. Forget it, I gotta go. Lenny said, don’t you wanna hang? This is a big city. We could go out; we could busk together. Dari said, I gotta figure out Willow. Dari headed out down the steps. As she was at the last step, away from Lenny’s house, she realized that the windows of Uncle Emmett’s truck had kind of fogged up a little bit.
She suspected something was strange and then she reached for the passenger door. She opened it and she heard a gasp. She saw that there wasn’t anybody in the driver’s seat and that Lenny and Babs were in the back K-I-S-S-I-N-G-ing. You know, it’s no secret that Dari thought that…that Dari was into Teffe a little bit and she thought Teffe was into her. Babs was always making a deal about how Teffe wasn’t cool and a jerk and not her cup of tea. Dari was not happy. They said whoa, whoa…then Dari said just let me drive back. You two stay in the back and keep each other company. But Dari started to get more and more irritated and eventually kind of drove…took the long way home where she also had this view, this side-road that had a view of the place beyond the swamp, of the road where none of our cars go. Like I said, where the strange vehicles go. She parked there and they had kind of fallen asleep snuggling which she was not happy about, either.
Now, back in my house, we had stopped singing and we’re still trying to process what this all meant. I said don’t worry, we’ll work this all out. Billie started looking around and saw a picture and was staring at a picture of Willow and us and held it. Then said [01:00:00] what’s this? Then I said, those are friends. We’re friends. You know what a friend is? Billie said, no. I said, remember when we played? Friends play together. Friends help each other. Willow’s our friend; we can’t find her. Then it was LJ that said you know, someone…my friends, I’d do anything for them. Everything I do, I do for my friends. Then Billie got a dreamy look in Billie’s eye and said, everything I do, I do it for you, and started humming that song which was a big hit on the radio at the time, too. But kind of more humming it absent-mindedly as she walked down to the basement and we followed her. She got out our board for our Big Bunny and Bards game and she turned it upside-down.
Then she put the figure that Willow always played on the downside on the board and said, friend. We said yeah, you do know…that’s Willow. You know where Willow is? Then she took a big bunny and put it on board next to her. Then we were all like…it was mostly silent except for her humming of (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, which kind of suffused us with some sort of magical energy, it felt like. Now meanwhile, Frances was at home waiting for the phone to ring. It finally did ring and she dropped the windchime she was working on. That got caught around her ankle and it was ringing, and she was trying to get to the phone. Then there was nothing there but static. She said Willow, is that you? Willow, Willow? Where are you, Willow? She heard the squawks of Canada geese or something. That’s what she thought because that was the idea planted in her head. She wondered if it was Willow. Then again, the phone shorted out.
Then all the music devices in the house started to play, starting with the windchime, the steel drum windchime wrapped around her ankles somehow. But all the music in Dari and Willow’s room started to play louder and louder. She went in there and she said Willow, Willow? What’s going on? All with some sort of, again, suffused with magical power and playing songs moms didn’t want her kids listening to, like I Want to Give You A Kiss by this band Bad Colors and other songs like that. She said Willow, you’re not supposed to listen to this song. Is that you? Then she started to sense…she looked out the window and she saw big bunny ears, giant bunny ears outside the window. At first, she rushed outside looking for a bunny and then she kind of felt the earth tremble like a big bunny was bouncing. Then she ran to her car and said what if a big bunny is bouncing? That’s no good. She got in her car and was ready to drive away but then she thought about Willow and the music, and then the windchimes all started to play, all the windchimes she had made for her family and that she was making on commission or spec for other people started playing.
She sat there and listened and said Willow? Willow, is that you? It was all playing in different things…I want to…oh, I Want to Kiss You Up. She thought well, this is an odder thing right now. Then Dari was getting more and more…a little bit frustrated and was like, you know what I’m gonna do, is park this car and throw the keys in the swamp, and then go home to kind of give Teffe some payback for…and Babs for making out. She pulled off and she said, I’m gonna throw them right into the tunnel. No way even Teffe will go in there for the keys and then Teffe will get in trouble. She pulled off and parked the car and took the keys out. Teffe woke up. Babs didn’t quite wake up yet. Dari slammed the door and stormed off. Teffe followed after her; said wait, wait, wait a second, Dari. Where are you going? Dari got ready to throw the keys into the swamp tunnel. Teffe said wait, wait, wait, I’m really sorry. It was just like, me and Babs were just sitting there and we had…I don’t know.
I know I should make an excuse like we’re not dating or we haven’t kissed. Maybe we could kiss right now. Then Dari got ready to throw the keys and Teffe said no, no, no, really, I apologize. It was very…I should have been more sensitive to everything that’s going on. I should have said Babs, it’s not a good time for you to try to kiss me right now. Then Dari almost threw the keys and he said no, no, or…say, Babs, what do you think about kissing while we pass the time? I’m sorry, Dari. It was wrong. I’m sorry. If I can make it right somehow, I will. But I was definitely wrong. Dari lowered her hand and tossed the keys back to Teffe and said just drop…you know what? Just drop me off. I don’t care. Whatever, I’m probably just stressed about my sister. Teffe said, I understand and I’m wrong for not knowing that. I’ll try to help. We’ll get those flyers printed and I’ll help, really. Dari said thanks, Teffe. Teffe said it can’t be easy. Dari said, no.
Then they got back to the car and Babs’ door was open and Babs wasn’t there anymore. He said, Babs? You around? Babs didn’t respond. Teffe said well, that’s weird. Then Dari said well, Babs doesn’t live that far from here. Maybe she walked home. Teffe said, maybe. I said it’s weird; there’s some goose feathers here. He goes, but slimy goose feathers. She said maybe a goose flew over and left a goose present. Teffe said probably. Let me bring you home. Yeah, and she said well, at least now I don’t gotta worry about…if you drop me off or Babs off first. Yeah, just bring me home and then I’m gonna get in bed and go to sleep and then we’ll figure out everything tomorrow. Teffe said that sounds like an idea. Then Dari went home and I got Billie back in Billie’s tent and we all went home and we all got in bed. We said well, we’ll just deal with everything tomorrow. Let’s just get a good night’s sleep. Goodnight.
[END OF RECORDING]