|The Story||The Authors|
|"How dare you think that of me," he said. "I'm looking for someone more beautiful and wiser than you because I'm looking for love. Are you my Matchmaker?|
|"Well sorry, I'm not!, the old man said," but I know where you can find one. His name is San Sung Fun. He lives in the remote mountains. The trip is dangerous and long but well worth it. He found a match for me and he can do the same for you to. Bring something to trade for this match. He is old and wise and will help you. Now be on your journey. You want to get there before winter hits or'll you'll never make it.|
Then the old man looked her right up close in the eyes. "Riddle me this," he cackled. "There are three men in a lifeboat. They have four cigarettes but no matches. How do they smoke?" |
She puzzled that one out for awhile. She pictured them, the three men, the gently bobbing boat, the increasing need for nicotine as the hours passed and the salt-spray inflated their tarry lungs...She couldn't figure it out. It must be one of those inscrutable koans for which these wise sons of the Celestial Empire were known, 'Sound of one hand clapping' and all that rot... The old man sat motionless in the corner beneath his oversized sombrero. She looked at the clock. She sighed. She threw her hands up. "Alright," she said. "I give. How do they smoke?"
"They throw one cigarette overboard, which makes the boat a cigarette lighter. Get it it? A cigarette lighter." He collapsed on the floor, convulsed with hysterical giggles.
She stepped back and regarded him. If this is an omen of what's to come, she thought, it is not a particularly auspicious one...
Mr Tickles was seasick. he'd long since given up on wearing the silver space helmet. No matter how stylish it looked, after the first time he lost control of his heaving entrails in it overboard it went. Even the delights of their impending arrival held no joy for him at the moment. the merest whiff of a thought of rich devil's food and creamy filling was enough to send him skittering to the railing. mostly he just lay on a deck chair with a blanket cursing Injun Joe for convincing him to undertake this journey.|
Injun Joe for his part was nonplussed by the trip. He spent his time meditating crosslegged with his peace pipe on the foredeck. his thoughts drifting far away. Soon, he thought, the Mystery would reveal itself and he would find his purpose and his mate.
|At the ship's helm, Cap'n Cupcake and his old friend Big Chief Big Wheel took turns steering the vessel along on her tremulous course and eating delicious Hostess Fruit Pies˙. Sharks coursed in the foam along both sides of the brig, Ignavia, leaping up to snap at delicious Hostess Fruit Pie˙ crumbs which the stiff wind carried from the walruslike moustaches of the Cap'n and the Indian Headdress of his portly old buddy. The sea-air invigorated them again and each though, in his own way, that, grey in me muzzle or not, ache in me old bones or not, a sailor's always a sailor, even if he's a red injun to boot! And, by the hagfish and all her briny minions, it's good to be sailing back to Cupcake Island, after all these years...|
|The sound of all that munching on sugary baked goods only aggravated Mr. Tickles' seasickness. He threw back his blanket and stumbled to the railing where he heaved bilious fluid from deep within his bowls out to the deep blue sea. Injun Joe approached the ailing dwarf and put a hand on his shoulder. "You lookum heap mighty green." said the red man and he offered Mr. Tickles a toke off his peace pipe. Mr. Tickles refused, he was drinker, not a smoker. Injun Joe just shrugged and then offered his diminutive companion a handful of Dramamine which Mr. Tickles gobbled down in an instant. Over the wind and the sound of the waves slapping the bow, they could hear Big Chief Big Wheel calling "Land ho!" Mr. Tickles was overcome with relief and flopped himself back down on his deck chair.|