|The Story||The Authors|
Geraldine was having a really tough time being Geraldine. It wasn't so much that the Bagel Gnomes had taken her prisoner, they hadn't, in fact she had ended up going with them at their insistence. They felt rather awful about the mix up with Assistant Principal Hadley, God forgive them, but it was just part of their nature. The smell of the food had just gone to their heads. And it was Zabar's lox. That was enough to drive anyone a little bit out of their senses. (Thank God! He didn't have any of the whitefish salad on him or there would've been no saving him!)|
When the repentant Gnomes finally caught up with them, Hadley had been taken away to clean up and dress and Geraldine was brought to the kitchen for a nosh.("Oy, so thin you are, here have a nice knish. Take two they're so small. You need some kashka with that. Now eat, such skin and bones, tsk tsk tsk...)And so she had whiled away a few hours with the womenfolk as they grumbled amiably about their husbands and fed her. And fed her. She could hardly breathe, they'd stuffed her so full. She felt guilty about it.
In fact she started to become acutely aware of her guilt. Adam was out there lost and alone and probably hungry himself while she sat in the womblike warmth of this kitchen burping quietly to herself. She wanted terribly to get up and leave and find him, but she was also afraid of offending the gnomish womenfolk who were being so kind to her. Even thinking about leaving brought huge waves of unresolved guilt washing over her bloated belly.
"Such a nice girl. No, you are! I poured you a bowl of my famous chicken broth. Everyone loves my broth. It'll help settle your stomach. Drink it. it's good for you"
Geraldine started to protest her inability to swallow another bite and once again a nauseating wave of guilt engulfed her. She sipped some of the broth. It ebbed. But she had to leave and find Adam. More waves of guilt.
"What's the matter, dear, you look sad. Don't you like our company?" Geraldine's insides writhed with spastic electric eels of shame and unworthiness. She was completely at their mercy.
As you no doubt know, one side effect of guilt is that it puts the body into a state of semi-shock; ancient Fight or Flight/Sit n' Spin instincts take over the human metabolism. And in anticipation of an imminent Ice Age or another decade like the 1970s, the body retains fat. Every bit of it. |
Geraldine considered none of this as she devoured the warm, maternal thickness of her twentieth matzoh ball. The old women kept ladling them into her soup. "My name is Geraldine," she burped; "So don't call me Barbara Streisand."
"Barbara Streisand!" exclaimed Ruth Goldsteiner (who seemed to be a sort of uncrowned queen among the Jewish mothers) "Such a singing voice! I saw her at Radio City when Herb and I were first dating..."
"Oy, are you hard of hearing or something, Ruth? That tone-deaf bitch couldn't sing her way out of Cold Spring Harbor College For the Hearing Impaired!" This nugget of wisdom was uttered by Edna Benlevi, a stout, indescribably buxom, chain-smoking bleach-blonde divorcee whose face was still swathed in bandages from a recent facelift.
As the two women began their inevitable argument, Geraldine sank into the deceptive warmth and security of her soup. I can't believe I caused this, she thought. Everywhere I go I make bad things happen... People argue and fight... What's wrong with me... I'm just so awful... My name is Geraldine so don't call me yar-yar-yar-yarmulke... Great tears began to roll down her cheeks, and it was the sound of her blubbering sobs which finally broke up the tiff between Ruth and Edna. "Mein gott!" they exclaimed in unison. "The poor shicksa she's crying!"
"And it's no wonder too, the way you, Edna Benlevi, disparage the goddess Barbra herself! Why shouldn't the schiksa weep? Oh! how I can stand to sit day after day in the same room with such a heartless creature such as you who isn't moved by "Evergreen" or God forbid, "The Way We Were". You have no heart Edna. No heart! It's as shriveled and dry as a smoked fish. Oh and such talent Barbra has. Such talent! She directs her own movies, I tell you. Neil Diamond can't do that! Mandy Patinkin doesn't do that. No heart, edna."|
There was a leaden silence in the room broken only by the gut wrenching sobs of Geraldine. Ruth Goldsteiner had crossed the unspoken line. Agreeing or not about Barbra was one thing, but never, but never talk about Neil that way in front of Edna Benlevi. Edna pulled herself up to her full indignent height of 4'3" and let loose.
"YOU LEAVE NEIL OUT OF THIS YOU DISGUSTING COW! At least he has talent! Unlike Babs who just schtupped her way up! I heard the only producers whose cocks she hasn't sucked were the ones she met before her nose job — the old schnozz was so long she couldn't more than just the tips in her mouth!" |
"Oh, and you'd know all about that, wouldn't you, Mrs. Facelift?" replied Ruth with a sort of ice-cold joviality, and then instantly regretted it.
"I"M NOT THE ONE WHO HAD HER VAGINAL MUSCLES TIGHTENED THREE TIMES IN A ROW TO TRY AND KEEP HER HUSBAND THE PROFESSOR FROM SCHTUPPING HIS STUDENTS!" screeched Edna, a web of spittle flying from her mouth.
At the table Geraldine was sobbing uncontrollably. "Muh-muh-muh-my name is Geraldine," she blubbered, already visibly heavier, rounder, soft luscious pockets of guilt-retained fat forming almost visibly in all the wrong places: hips, thighs, bum, arms, midriff, face, chin, neck. "So duh-duh-duh-don't call me Anorexia."
Bigger and bigger she bulged while the two Gnomish women bickered and spat venomous words at each other about Tom Jones' manly endowments and Barry Manilow's sexual proclivities. She balooned and blossomed like the selfish girl in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" but instead of blue she became flushed a rosy shade of pink. The burgeoning flesh spilled out over the beltline of her jeans and was imprisoned in the legs until they resembled nothing less than a pair of bloated overripe blue bratwurst.|
She wailed as the undersized stool beneath her gave way and dropped her to a now well cushioned fall on her behind. It was almost more than her grieved heart could bear. Now not only had she started the Bagel Gnome women to arguing after all they had done for her, but she was wrecking their furniture too.
"Are you sure she's in here?" Adam asked Gregor as he peered into the kitchen. "I don't see her." |
"Sacre bleu!" exclaimed the dapper cockroach on Adam's shoulder. "Zat ees her, there!"
"Where? I don't see her."
"There, ze fat one on ze floor. Ze fiends! Zey have trapped her with their evil fat retaining guilt! Ze wretched creatures!"
"Yes, it must very tough to be Geraldine today."
At the sound of Geraldine crashing to the floor, Ruth and Edna ceased their bickering and ran to the bawling girl. "Oy, vey, ziss iss versschmutent!" they exclaimed, slapping their foreheads. "What happened to our svelte little Geraldine of only a few hours ago? She's eaten all those recipes we learned from our grandmothers... She's blown up like a balloon. She's the fattest girl in the whole wide world!" This last statement set poor Geraldine to bawling louder than ever. Rivers of tears flowed down her face and body and pooled about her on the linoleum floor. The guilt, she moaned inwardly. Oy, the guilt indeed! Ten thousand poiunds of chopped liver and homemade gefilte fish could not assuage it! |
It was at that moment that two things happened. Adam, Gregor the cockroach, and an appallingly hungover Potter entered the kitchen. Their weight, combined with the weight of that sizeable gaggle of Jewish Mothers and the seven-hundred-pounds-and-counting to which Geraldine had swelled, was too much for the heavy wooden beams supporting the kitchen floor. It gave way and the whole lot of them tumbled into darkness.
"I will handle zis." announced Gregor. He scurried down Adam's arm, then leg and across the floor to the kitchen table where the gnome women were fussing over Geraldine. He climbed atop a potato latke and said very loudly "Boo!" which frightened away the gnome women. (Filthy cockroaches! Such diseases they carry!) Adam and Muff potter tried to help Geraldine off the floor but she was so engulfed in self-loathing and gelatinous flesh that she was unable to move. |
"Geraldine, get a grip!" Adam said. "We have to get out of here before those evil gnomes come back."
"It's all my fault!" Geraldine blubbered. I'm worthless! Just leave me here, I'll only bring you sorrow and shame! Waaaaaah!"
"Your not worthless, it's not your fault! Those gnomes did this to you! Come on and get up, we have to hurry!" Adam said.
"I can't do it! I'm too fat! I can't do anything!"
"Stop whining! It's getting on my nerves."
"See? I told you I was worthless! Waaaaaah!"
"Where is Assistant Principal Hadley?" asked Muff Potter.
"I must have squashed him!" wailed Geraldine. "I'm so fat! Waaaaaaaaaaaah!"
"Oh no!" squealed Gregor. "Ze evil nomes have taken away all her selve ezdeem! Zhe thinks zhe is vat and vorthless!"
"Because I am! Waaaaaaaaah!"
"Don't be silly!" answered Adam. "All you need is a little surgery, suck the fat out and you're good as new!"
"New what? A new blubber ball? Waaaaaaaah!"
"He means zat all you need is zum zlimming. Zen you vill be nice small healthy Geraldine again."
"Yeah right. Where can you find a surgeon in this cave? Or a diet food maker? Or an aerobicist? Or ANYTHING to make me lose weight? Waaaaaaaaah?"
Suddenly a small, very skinny gnome came up. "My name is Sigrid Quyto. I'm a sufoodmist!" she squealed. "I help people lose weight. May I help you?"
"No!" cried Adam. "Don't trust those little buggers!" |
"But they're my friends." whined Geraldine.
Adam grabbed Geraldine by her shoulders. "I know it's hard for you to see right now, Geraldine, but these little gnomes are not your friends! It is they who made you what you are now!"
"No! They were kind to me and fed me! It's my own worthlessness that made me into this! Waaaaaaah!"
Adam could see that there was no reasoning with Geraldine at this point. The gnomes had too strong a grip on her self-esteem. He enlisted Muff Potter's help and they each grabbed one of Geraldine's grossly bloated arms and dragged her out of the kitchen.
As soon as they left the room the music started. Before the door was even shut
several begal gnomes appeared from nowhere and a large roly-poly gnome began to sing the 'Bagel Gnome Song'
"I'm a begal gnome and I'm okay.
Like a harpy's music, this song drew Geraldine back into the room. She was in a trance. Limking arms with the great begal chef, they began to jig.
Geraldine danced and danced and danced with the bagel gnomes. She danced and sang and danced and sang and danced and sang for hours and hours and hours.... OK I'll stop repeating myself. It's just that she danced a whole lot.
"Bagels, bagels are the best,
Bagels, bagels are so fine,
Bagels, bagels are so great,
With a start, Geraldine realized that she had danced so hard and so long that she was nice and slim again. She waved thank-you to the bagel gnomes and went off to find her friends.
The crackle of splintering wood brought her back to reality. Adam and Muff (under the supervision of Gregor) were desperately trying to jam her still expanding girth through the kitchen door. It was hopeless. The doorway was built for Bagel Gnomes not the morbidly obese. She let loose the banshess wail to beat all banshee wails. It was hopeless. The seams on her clothes were starting to give way and everywhere on her huge globules of flesh were startin gto ooze through the openings. The self loathing that the rapid weight gain was engendering only accelerated the process.|
Sacre bleu !said Gregor, "Zis eez lahk tryink to stuff a garbahge bag of ze Jell-o into ze toastair! Oh Mon Dieu!
"It ain't gonna work," said Adam, wiping sweat from his eyes. "She's just too fat!" |
"I seenk I know how we make her ze skee-nee girl again," mused Gregor. "Oui, I seenk zees weel work."
"Do we pop her?" asked Potter, dully but helpfully searching his pockets for a pin.
"Non! Merde et poissons, zeze Americains, zey are always so stupeed, why? Because zey watch too much of zee te-le-vee-jhee-own! Ptooey!"
"How, Gregor, how, then?" gasped Adam and Potter in unison (in much the same manner as the entirely hypothetical occasion of Mutt and Jeff receiving a sound scolding at the hands of none other than Hagar the Horrible's wife...)
"Eet is always laike ze Americains, only when zey are in trouble do zey come to ze Frenchman... Okay, ze jeune femme, she is made gras by ze geelt, comprendez-vous? And what ees ze cure for geelt which my country makes more better zan anywhere else in le monde?"
"Cheese?" gasped Potter...
"Wine?" said Adam. Gregor's eyes just twinkled. "Pate? Cultural egotism? Post-Marxist philosophers who like to be tied up and spanked on their bare bottoms?" Gregor smiled inscrutably and chewed the waxed ends of his moustaches. "I dunno: decadent poets? Creative uses for organ meat...?"
"Cows!" chimed in Potter idiotically. "French fries! French toast!"
Gregor silenced them by raising one of his tiny hands. "My friends. You meess ze point. You do not see ze bois for zee trees. The answair ees seemple: PLEASURE. Ze French make pleasure (he pronounced it play-jhair) more better zan anyone else. And pleasure ees ze only cure for ze geelt."
"But how are we gonna make her happy?" asked Adam, watching the ever growing Geraldine wail.
"Vell, vat is herr favoreet pazdime?"
"Hmmm. Geraldine, what do you like doing?"
"I don't know! I just sit around and grow! Waaaaaaaaah!"
"Vat did you do ze mozt bevore you got zo large?"
"I sat around in the graveyard and drank beer and had hallucinations and wished I could kiss Adam. Waaaaah!"
"Zer you have it, Adamm, you need to kizz herr and zen she vill be happy."
Adam looked up at Geraldine's lips. They were ten feet above his head and about six inches thick. He definetely had a problem.
"Stop exaggerating!" said Gregor. "Come now, zhe iz your girlfriend! Kees her!" |
Adam covered his eyes and puckered his lips but he stopped short of Geraldine's moist, pudgy face. "I can't!"
"You Americains know nothing of love. Stand aside!" Gregor climbed onto Geraldine's shoulder and began whispering into her ear. "Oh, mon petit fleur, your eyes sparkle like zhe rarest emeralds from Columbia, your hair iz like zhe finest silk from China, your skin iz smooth and flawless as porcelain from Paris. When I hear your beautiful voice, I zhink it must be an angel from ze heavens singing to me. Darling, can't you see zat I love you?"
Geraldine stopped wailing and wiped her face on her sleeve.
"Your just saying that to make me feel better. Who could love someone as enormous as me?"
"No, mon amor, you are voluptuous! You are a whole lot of woman!"
Geraldine blushed. "Kees me! Hold me! I wan't to get lost een your folds." Gregor continued. Geraldine giggled and shifted in the doorway. It was working, she was coming loose! Adam and Potter grabbed her arms and began to pull again.
Geraldine let out a deep(and she hoped) sensuous sigh. She was melting to be sure. The soft husky accented voice in her ear was slowly warming the cockles of her heart (and other bits as well) She longed to turn her head to see the possesor of this mellifluous and erotic vocal instrument, but her sixth and seventh chins were as yet still in the way. "I wonder if he's got a car?" she thought and in her mind she prepared to give of herself whatever he desired.|
"Oh Oh Oh mon petit chou chou All ze ozer American girlz zay are so skin-ee. Non, non, non, A real man need a womahn weet zum meat on her. A beeg beautiful womahn, she eez so full of ze erotic possibliteez."
Gregor's charms were decidedly working. Four more of Geraldine's chins had dissolved. And at last she could swivel her neck again. At last she could see her unseen lover. With a coy underswept turn of her head, Geraldine looked with half closed eyes and half open mouth to greet the tender lips of her beaux. It was only then that she noticed that there was a very large cockroach sitting on her shoulder.
|For an instant the fear of this loathsome creature made her want to throw cockroach out her bedroom window although her body was still in ectasy from the seduction. Instead she looked at this wretched insect with adoration and professed this..."Finally the fairy tale has found me ...the beauty has found her beast. Despite my vast body size and all of my dimples and cottage cheese fat deposits you made me feel like the most beauiful woman on earth.". Her body heat was rising again her skin softening her heart racing...She was overwhelmed with desire...She reached over seemingly to kiss him hungry from all of the orgasms Mr. Cockroach had given her. Suddenly the strongest hunger pain struck in her stomach like a bolt of lightening. Ms. Cottage cheese had not eaten for 30 minutes consumed with pleasure from the courtship. Her lips met with his antenna. As she rolled to the side and brought her shoulder up to her chin her other hand came out from under her, captured Mr. Cockroach in her grasp and shoved him into her mouth. The shell on his body crackled on the side of her mouth and the body of Mr. Cockroach had dissolved in her system. For that moment everything was perfect for Ms. Cottage Cheese. She would never have to feel alone again and she wouldn't have to eat for another 30 minutes.|
All manner of strange thoughts and fantasies like this flitted through her head as her body continued to shrink to the husky measured pace of Gregor's sibilant voice... At one point she floated out of her body and looked down the the scene in the kitchen, the vast hole in the floor giving way to the dark hive of the cellars, the huddled, expectant, goggle-eyed gaggle of Jewish mothers over in the corner, clucking their tongues and whispering, oy vey, amongst one another at the bizarre effect they'd had on this strange schicksa who'd waltzed into their kitchen... Adam and Pooter and their... er... talented little friend... And where was Assistant Principal Hadley, eh? And how were they ever going to get out of this mess and this strange place? It was a school night, after all... She felt herself floating, floating above all of this, and the call of a distant place and a great white light, pulsing, drawing her to its epicenter with a gravity that was soft and warm and milky and forever... Se knew she could go to it and never have to return to the trap of her still-shrinking body and its incessant hungers... And she almost did and then she remembered something and she said it sharply to herself and the words tasted of tin and coffee and glass upon her tongue and she kept saying them as she sank back down into her body. "My name is Geraldine," she said. "So don't call me Nefertiti..." Sleep washed over her then like a wave of sun-warmed Dr. Bronner's all-one all-God all-natural liquid peppermint soap... |
Gregor brushed his hands off on his tuxedo trousers and commenced retwirling the ends of his now bedraggled moustaches. "I tell you, you friend she have ze problem zat only ze French can feex, the sweet tongue of ze French language lapping in her ears and ze French invention of ze psychic leeposuction. And zees —" he held up the thick blue erlenmeyeer flask in which swirled the dense gaseous distillation of Geraldine's guilt — "Zees, how you say, Box of Pandora, eet weel fetch me ten meelion francs on ze Black Market. And zen poor Gregor can retire from too many years as ze head waiter and never making ze promotion to ze maitre d'hotel... Ah, it weel be nice..."
Exhausted by metabolizing all that booze from a few chapters back, not to mention a general lack of sleep and food, Muff Potter fell asleep standingt up. He fell to the floor with a crash and commenced snoring. Meanwhile, those empresses of both Judaica and the kitchen, the Bagel Gnomesses, the suddenly found sufficient reason to make themselves scarce. As they made their diminutive, matronly way form the kitchen, Edna Benlevi was the first to burst a seam. A tirade of curses spewed from her thick, rubbery lips. "I don't care whose fucking fault it was," she ranted. "We lost her! Now you, Ruthie, you owe me! When you needed a schicksa, I gave you my own maid for Joey's bar mitzvah! And you promised me! Now, my Hymie's bar mitzvah! is Saturday — that's two days, Ruth — and I am serving Gentile! I will not have those menus reprinted, do you hear me? So you find me a Gentile, and soon — the meat has to marinate overnight, and that doesn't even begin to fit in the amount of time it'll take to clean and skin the thing! Oy, and all this with my Hymie snooping his nose into the kitchen every five minutes, and me trying to surprise him with his favorite dish! Not like if we'd done it today, as we were supposed to, Ruthie, and I could have gotten the whole thing taken care of while he was at his Little League game and then at Hebrew School... So I'm telling you, Ruth, you ridiculous hag, you get me a fucking Gentile by noon tomorrow or — or — or you won't live long enough to regret it!" She blew a thick jet of smoke straight in Ruth's ashen countenance and stormed off down the hall.
Oh well, thought Ruth. Guess I don't get to keep the principal for myself.
Unless...That was when Ruth spotted Muff Potter snoozing by the now empty doorway. Geraldine had lost nearly all of her guilt weight so Adam was able to carry her limp body away from the dangerous kitchen of the gnomesses but he had to leave Potter behind until he could get Geraldine to safety. Ruth smiled at her own cleverness. |
I'll just give this old drunk to Edna, and I can keep the principal for myself after all!
All the blood was rushing to Assistant Principal Hadley's head. It had been for quite some time. Bound hand and foot, he was hanging upside down and naked in a large storage room just off of the kitchen. A tennis ball had been jammed in his mouth and then sealed in with duct tape. A large breasted, big booted Gnomish woman was prodding him disinterestedly with a stick. It was excruciating.|
Normally this sort of treatment cost Assistant Principal Hadley quite a lot of money ("cash or charge up front, no personal checks, and you supply your own bacon grease, diapers, and rubber novelties") But that was also on a strict hourly basis.
He swung back and forth slightly with the prodding of his guard's stick, while all he could make out below him was the drain pan there presumably to catch his blood once his throat was slit. The only thing they needed now was the Rabbi to make sure everything was kosher. Fortunately for Hadley, Rabbi Ben Golem had two bris' and a bar mitzvah to preside over before he could get to him.
|Prinipal Hadley thought back to his years as a Boy Scout Troup leader. What would the Boy Scout Gnome Manual say about how to escape from the dreaded 'Gnome Death Kitchen'. To the best of his recolection, that chapter of the manual was skipped so that they could spend extra time making those cool race cars out of blocks of wood. Oh, my what a nice car Billy Johnson made that year. It was Orange, with purple doors and a big 'STP' logo on the hood. What he wouldn't give to have Billy Johnson here now to help him out of this mess. You see Billy was also the troup's Advanced D&D champion, with a level 57 Half Gnome Magic User/Theif/Cleric. Billy Would know what to do.|
|But then Assistant Principal Hadley forced himself through the unpleasant task of recalling the last time he'd taken the advice of one of the Dungeons & Dragons people, and the ensuing melee. Now that had been a nightmare not to be outdone! Not even by this... He shook his head; the stout guard prodded him again with her stick; a giggle escaped his lips anyway; the guard growled at him...|
|Assistant Principal Hadley was lost in his idle reverie when the door to the storage room burst open. "Minka, stop playing with our dinner help me get this other gentile "longpig" in here."|
The surpirisingly strong little gnomesses hung Potter, with his hands and feet bound, next Hadley. Potter looked at Hadley with pure hate in his bloodshot eyes. |
"If we somehow get out of this alive, I'm gonna make you sorry you ever laid eyes on me you self-absorbed, pompous, ego-maniacal bastard! I'm gonna - " but before Muff could expound on his threat, Minka had stuffed a tennis ball in his mouth and was fixing there with duct tape.
|If Hadley had had his hopes up before that with a clear head there might be a way to get out of this one alive, such hopes were instantly dashed to the ground with the arrival of Potter, that drunken incompetent nincompoop. He thought back to the three consecutive tours he'd done with the Special Forces in Vietnam — it was like being sent out into the jungliest thick of Charlie encumbered by a whizz-banging platoon of cartoon ducks and clones of Lenny from Of Mice and Men... Basically, things sucked. Imprisoned by crazed Jews... Lord knew what they had in store for him... He just hoped they had it in store for Potter first: Hadley wanted the satisfaction of watching.|
|But for now, all they could do was glare at each other. Potter was filled with such hatred for Hadley that it became his new purpose in life, however much he had left, to see Hadley suffer. It wasn't just that it was Hadley's fault that he was down in this god-forsaken hole about to be slaughtered by bagel gnomes. It was even more than Hadley's exploitation of Potter's alcoholism for his own evil and selfish purposes. It went deeper than that. Muff was once a happy man. Happily married to his high school sweetheart, Margie. Until Hadley returned from Vietnam with his romantic tales of horror and heroism. Muff didn't go to Vietnam because of his poor eyesight, but Margie had always said she didn't think he was any less of a man for it. But she had lied and as her infatuation with Hadley grew, so did her contempt for Muff. It wasn't long before she'd packed up her things and their infant daughter and left Muff for Hadley. Muff Potter fell into a deep depression and turned to the bottle for comfort. He soon lost his job and his home and had nowhere to go but the homeless shelter. Several years later Margie and her little girl disappeared under mysterious circumstances and were never found. Muff was certain that Hadley had murdered them but he had no proof and no one would believe the town drunk. Muff himself was under more suspicion than Hadley. But since there was no body or weapon, the case never went to trial. Muff Potter sank further into his alcoholism. But this was the last straw. With all the blood rushing to his head, Muff was thinking clearly for the first time in 20 years. He made a vow to himself that if he lived through this he would never touch the demon bottle to his lips again and he would make Hadley pay for destroying his life.|
They took Muff Potter away, but Hadley could only think of one thing: These can't be Jews. Jews at least beleive in a God... and that murder is wrong... and that they can only eat certain things and people are not on that list of certain things. These must be some savage native tribe. Then he looked up. Potter was gone. "Your turn," whispered a woman.
Meanwhile Gregor hopped and skipped to the Gnome Kitchen, carrying the bottle of Geraldine's guilt and anger. "Here you go," he said, handing it to the Head Gnomess, "Zis vill make vine vlavoring vor many veeks. And remember, leetle Gregorr gets his thouzand dollars..."
Hadley watched the scene confusedly. That stuff... I've seen it before... in Ini Slorg's eyes!!! He was a murderer, and you could see his guilt in his eyes, and eventually he shot himself and I saw it flowing out of the wound, masking his blood... maybe this is what is making the Gnomes crazy! I've got to get it away from them, then maybe they'll get their senses back and let me go...
|It would cost him at least fifty cents.|
|Quite alright, he concluded, as he figured he could spare the price of a lick and stick tatoo for such wonderful splendor.|
The little boy stood in front of the counter and poked around at the change in his hand counting it all up. All his friends already had lick and stick tatoos and he wanted to join the club. |
"46, 47, 48, 49,.......50. There's 50 cents.", said the little voice as he put the bubble gum package on the counter with the lick and stick tatoo inside. The stern woman behind the counter raised her head and looked down through her bifocals punching $0.50 on the register keys. The display said $0.52, and the woman took up the change in her hand, looked it over, looked at the little boy and said, "You need 2 more cents."
Little boy Hadley didn't understand. "Well the price tag says fifty cents, and I gave you fifty cents."
"But there's the tax."
Tax? What's that? How dumb that the price isn't what it says on the label, he thought. He didn't understand. He tried arguing with the woman but she kept talking about the tax and he didn't know or understand what the tax was. As he realized she wasn't going to sell him the bubble gum with the tatoo inside his face began to krinkle and his eyes started to water. Suddenly he felt that all grown-ups were just mean. He'd have to wait until next week's allowance to have enough. His dad gave him fifty cents a week. A week was an eternity.
|...hadley's life was flashing before his eyes.|