CRACKER GROW BIG

The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 35

Magic. It is the coin of the realm in Coolieville. You didn’t know that? Sorry. Forgot to mention it.

But we’re talking about a very specific kind of magic. The kind that is perceived by two-year-olds when they observe the regular world of daily life. Oooo Eeee! Look at the magical wooden thing with a knob on it! It opens and closes! Like that.

Most everything, for Coolie and his friends (not Brownstein – she’s the sophisticate in the bunch, as we know), is tinged with the wonder of the truly clueless.

So, one day after checking back into the boring end of the known universe – aka: coming home, someone (some will say it was Mickey, but I think it might have been Blue) accidentally dropped a Ritz cracker in the toilet bowl. Why, you ask, would anyone in their right mind be eating Ritz Crackers – or any other cracker – in in the bathroom? Focus for a moment on the phrase “in their right mind” and you will withdraw your question.

So, as I was saying, the cracker hit the water with a little ‘plink,’ which caught the attention of Blue who called out “everyone come here!” Because, after a couple of seconds, the cracker began to expand.

“It’s magic! Look!” and she started to chant: “Cracker grow big, grow big, grow big.” Now Coolie joined in, then Mickey. Brownstein just rolled her eyes – affectionately, of course.

But the big magic was (I know this will be a surprise to you all) was not happening in the toilet.

Yani Youshouldonly, Mothership’s emissary, had spent the first infinite few moments of residence in C’s Shop flitting from one state of being to another: gaseous, liquid, solid and something we don’t have a name for that was pixelated but not visible. And therefore Cool and friends had picked themselves up and forgotten all about the emissary.

Magic-shmagic, Yani said, when he came back around to the sensory plane and witnessed the hubbub and extreme cracker fervor. You want an inexplicable extravaganza? I’ll give you an inexplicable extravaganza.

The toilet cracker took on a new density and vibrated into an end-of-spectrum rainbow, as it rose first slowly, then faster than the eye could follow, upward. It paused before apparently causing the ceiling to disappear, and continued its ascent, taking with it all who watched.

So now the gang was flying high, rapidly clearing the stratosphere, making their way – led by the inter-cosmic cracker – to a new universe. Naturally. What would you expect?

YY – he (we’ll use that pronoun just for convenience) liked to be called that – was just fooling around. Being at Mothership’s beck and call had a lot of down time. She seldom if ever beck’d, and even more infrequently called. So he wanted to make the most of this outing.

If you are having trouble following all this, know that I am as well. Isn’t that reassuring?

When the ride was over, and the cracker evanesced and exploded simultaneously into what ultimately would become new suns or sons, Coolstein tossed back his hair (which is not easy to do in zero gravity and zero atmosphere) and, with a tone so cool it made Miles jealous – even from beyond the gave – said, “YY, you rock. Take us to the next place.”

Brownstein, ever the philosopher, said, “There is no place else to go but the next place.”

Then it was zap and tingle, whoosh and everlasting silence. But before no time had passed they were in what they quickly figured out (okay, smart Mickey was the one who got it first) was a replica of Earth but with a few nice twists. I’m sure Star Trek fans will be nodding their heads with wise anticipation. But they would be a little off the plane of this existence.

To be continued…

Cool’s back for the rest of the summer

The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 34

See how I interweave it all? That’s nothing compared to the braiding and interconnectedness of the Coolstein brand. He is a man that flows from one thing to the other – no matter how intense either thing is. Flows. He’s so cool.

And now he’s at the shop on St. Mark’s Place, and his new little apartment above it, that just happened to be vacant. (Do I detect the hand of fate? of destiny? Of mothership? Well, she just couldn’t stand – given her limblessness, it was a true figure of speech – the idea of him having to spend one more night at the ersatz parents’ abode).

Nevertheless…

It seems there is a much wider array of sentients below 14th Street than on the Upper West Side. Coolie’s origins were just one of many unexpected creation stories.

Coolie wasn’t disinterested in the tales. He just wasn’t particularly interested either. I’m more about doing than talking about doing. That was his story and he was sticking to it.

But you’re curious, aren’t you? Yes.

For one thing, there was the all rose-colored-clad gender-ambiguous, elf-like, and always-smiling being who lived on the sidewalk to the left of the Shop’s front door. Shazamia – the name embroidered on cap and boots – had grabbed Coolie by the ears (literally and somewhat painfully) the day he opened for business.

“I’ll tell you my story, so you can know, ho, ho.” Shaz sang it, as he/she/it did everything. It was charming for a minute, then got old – very old, and really grating on the lower molars.

“I am the ephemeral come to Earth; I am the new species that hasn’t evolved yet; I am a hick from Hicksville and a third cousin twice removed (for vagrancy) of Elon Musk. Once upon a time I had a cracker or I was a cracker or I wasn’t all I was cracked up to be. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” The chorus was always something of Beatles-origin).

“Hold your horses or your humpless llamas, but never your nose. Breathe deep, while you sleep.”

It was Brownstein who had to have a serious talk with Shazamia; he explained how reality worked now, how it had changed since Coolie came to town, and how the small dog-like entity – that Shaz was trying desperately to scratch behind the ears – was one of the most powerful forces in the known universe,  so don’t fuck with the crew. Brown, of course, said it much nicer.

So…What is the boy up to? He felt very integrated into the neighborhood and there were always three-burner dramas going on. Such as the verbal beat-down Rantie and Rolfie were mutually delivering from the open-windowed apartment above the store. On the street, they were affectionately known as “couple number one,” because they had – it was fabled – been on American Bandstand in their far-distant youth.

Blue was increasing in her loveliness – which was totally pure and without too much intellect. Coolie, are you falling for her? He was. And wasn’t it about time?

Had enough exposition? Sure. On with the action.

Blue had hung a delicate chime on the doorframe of C’s shop. It tinkled. The Cool Enchilada (no, it doesn’t make sense) moved not a muscle, except to raise eyelids a few centimeters in greeting. In walked – or more precisely, galumphed – a creature that looked exactly like the Snuffleupagus. (Oh, spare me the pretense. You know what I’m talking about. I know you still watch Sesame Street when no one’s around.)

It spoke, in a tone like a surprisingly sweet saxophone, through it’s long nose-thing: “Urgent message from the beyooond. You must make way for the grand visitation. Mamaship has sent an emissary from her outer rings. To be arriving….NOW.”

There was a noise like the end of the world (as we know it), and equally fulsome catchinga’s on the other senses. Only someone as cool as the Coolstein could maintain composure in the face of this ultimate disruption. Blue was blown smack against the back wall; her eyeballs were rotating nicely for a few minutes after the entry. Brown had smartly taken cover inside the biggest bin of time-warp tea, and was currently visiting the future of a past we had all disremembered.

And then: “Heeeeeerrrrrrre’s Yani…..”

Don’ you just love abrupt endings?

DAD and Coolie

Would my father have liked Coolie Coolstein? Or would he have thought he was just another asshole?

My father departed the known universe seventeen years ago. He was a man who never suffered fools gladly. Well, that’s an understatement…and he pretty much thought most people were fools.

I began my serious writing career (one non-fiction, one science fiction, two other novels, and my blog – plus a couple of works in progress) all post-Dad. I often imagine conversations with him about his reaction to this writing thing which has taken hold…

He: Are you writing again?

Me: Yes, Daddy, that’s what I do. That’s who I am.

He: Don’t bullshit a bullshitter – You’re the same smart-ass kid (nice to have someone think you’re a kid – even a smart-ass one – at 68.)

Me: Yes, but I want you to read what I’ve written.

He: You think I haven’t? Whaddya take me for, some kind of asshole? I read every word you write. I’m just giving you a hard time.

Me: Oh. Good. (Inside, I’m clanging cymbals at the head of my own marching band.)

Me: So. Do you like it?

He: Coolstein is an asshole.

Me: Yes. But do you like it?

He: (Walking away, mumbling a little…) Yeah.

And the crowds rejoice.

Is it too trite, too obvious? I would trade all kinds of approval for my father’s.

 

KEEP AWAY FROM ARMADILLOS – They spread leprosy

The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 33

Aside from the yuk factor this piece of information would tend to generate, there is another reaction which I suspect you are having.

WHAT? Why are you telling me this? Why would I need to know?
Well, good question.

You can’t be too well informed – especially when it comes to seemingly random information. And Coolie found that out – as close to the hard way as you could get.

Which brings me to our ongoing story…

After all the too-ing and fro-ing and schlepping and flying, and after the heartwarming reunion with his bro, Chauncey Gardner, it was time to go home. Where the heart is; where everybody knows your name (oh, wait, that’s Cheers…); where the welcome mat is always out; and where Sylvie and Morris had been holding their breath.

“Breathe, pseudo parental units, breathe,” was the first thing Coolie said. He was not alarmed. They did this all the time. It was a ploy that stopped working when he was just a tadpole. You might think this is a just a cute reference to his little-boyhood, but he actually was a tadpole – at first.

They were the North Atlantic champions in breath-holding with a room full of cups and ribbons to prove it, and they could go for five or six minutes without an inhale. Everyone knew that. But still, they tried to parlay it into some angst for their wandering son. Morris would turn an interesting shade of chartreuse-tinged magenta; Sylvie would just become fire engine red. They were, as we have said, quite the pair.

When then did, finally, begin to breathe normally, Sylvie rushed in with her news: “It’s good that you’re home again,” she said excitedly, smacking Morris on the head – just a little – out of sheer exuberance. “And, hello to you, too, Barbie.” This was uttered between clenched teeth. Sylvie – like the master she is – deftly grabbed Morris by the back of his undershirt as he lunged forward in Blue’s direction, with a definite wonga-wonga in his eyes. Blue arabesque’d behind Coolie – just to be on the safe side.

“…because your cousins are coming in from Arkansas tomorrow. You know, Bubba and Eloise Stein, and their twins NoNo and Neva.”

And this is where we join the circle:

“I will be working overtime at the shop for the next week or so. I’m cool with the cuz’s but remember, you have to beware of the Armadillo that they like to travel with. Leprosy is no joke.”

“Arf, arf, ai, ai, ai!” (Sylvie barked and yipped a little when she was stunned.) “Should we quarantine them? I mean, all of them, especially Arthur – their Armadillo. What do you think, son?” Sylvie was now unconsciously (we think) slamming Morris into the back of the Barcalounge. He was starting to get that wild look in his eye that signaled an imminent break from reality. Who wouldn’t want a break from this reality?

Coolie had very coolly taken a series of small, almost undetectable steps which placed him right at the entry to the apartment. He did a pivot, lifted Blue into a fish dive with one arm, and threw a “see, ya, folks,” over his shoulder, and he was out the door and back into the street rather gracefully.

Brown and Mickey, who had been cooling their heels on the pavement, gave their palstein a hearty round of applause and skipped off down the road, Wizard of Oz style. They all thought they heard Munchkins singing “ding-dong, Coolie is saved today! No armadillo will get in his way!” but it was Morris, speaking in his high voice, the one he used when his multiple personalities broke through. He was hanging out the window, dangling from his right ankle and swaying catastrophically from side to side. Every ten degrees of swing, he would shift to a new persona – there were eight or so, it was hard to keep track.

The Wizard Coolstein (and his merry band) didn’t miss a step. “Morris,” said Brownstein. “Morris and company,” said the mental one; “Who?” said Blue – but oh so sweetly. “May the Armadillo NOT be with you,” said Coolie, with aplomb.

TOO HOT TO TROT, CANTOR OR EVEN WIGGLE ON YOUR BELLY LIKE A SNAKE

Welcome, once again, to the New York summertime festival of schvitzing. And – like the well-oiled machine it is – ConEdison couldn’t keep it up for even two days of the first, expected, 90-plus degree heat wave. Poor Staten Island. They got socked with the system failure and had to resort to tropical methods of staying cool. There was a lot of alcohol being consumed, for example. You mean that doesn’t cool you down? Maybe not, but who cares? And then, there was the standing on the egg-fryable street giving the ninety-second interview to each news station and paper of record that had to ask the penetrating question, “Are you hot?”

Enough about those poor suckers. I’m not even sure where Staten Island is, you know. I had to walk to the corner to mail a letter. Really, I had to do that. It was toasty. Not, cinnamon raisin toasty – which, as we know, is also tasty – but the “slather on the suntan lotion and wear your wide brim hat and short shorts” toasty. I’m not a fan. And, speaking of fans, when are they going to install street fans – for this very necessary purpose of keeping me – I mean, us – cool? Don’t you agree that’s a good idea? Great big electricity-generating windmills on every corner of every Avenue block. Seems like it would be a win-win.

But, in the meantime, Fresh Direct and every merchant in Manhattan delivers. Praise the lord. I’m staying in until September 18th. Care to visit? I’ll serve iced-coffee – the only good thing about this weather…unless you’re at the beach.

I’m beach-deprived this year. It’s a long story…don’t ask. But, for the first time ever – no ocean for Karen. That should be reason enough for Mother Nature  (Not to be confused with Mothership. Yes, they are cousins, but they don’t speak. I’ll tell you about that another time.) to bypass the swelter this year. But, no, she’s not a compassionate being. Like that’s news. And, she has been holding a grudge against me for a REALLY long time. It had to do with a radish and a tiara. Silly stuff, I agree. But she’s waiting for an apology. Yeah. Till hell freezes over. And you know she could make that happen…but she won’t.

So, I’m just giving voice to what all New Yorkers think and feel right about now. ENOUGH already, with the heat and humidity. Should we move to San Francisco or Diego or one of the other San’s? (Are there any? There must be.) No, it’s mostly an idle threat, designed to scare you, Mother N. It never works but we keep trying, O impervious one. Just throw us a bone. How about a nice cold front? I’m waiting.

Googledom and Brownstein

As I age…now if that opener doesn’t scatter everyone under the age of fifty, I’m a Coolstein’s uncle…access to proper nouns and other concrete memorabilia grows more tenuous. But, here’s Mr. Google, ready and waiting to compensate for those shifting synaptic functions. I don’t actually have to remember the name of the ocean that I’ve spent all my summers encountering. It’ s the one on the East Coast. But the name, Atlantic, decided to hide for half a mo. Google to the rescue.

Which brings us to Brownstein TTR. These two entities are both rescue dogs. But, not really. As we know, Brownstein is a Mothership-created being in the guise of a small fluffy pooch. He has what we simple folk might consider to be superpowers, he’s probably immortal (I have to check on that) and he’s an all-around major player in the known and unknown universe.

Analagously (a word? who knows?), Google is not really a search engine, not a functional, mindless program; no: it’s a world-owning (at least the part not under the control of Amazon), constantly and avariciously expanding dominatrix of data.

Goog, as we refer to it here, has created a subtle but unbreakable dependence amongst a rather large swath of the flesh and blood. And not just the alter-cockers. Who bothers to fix things in memory? Why should we? That kind of retention is just an unnecessary expenditure of energy, right? Sort of like doing lengthy mathematical calculations in your head or (you should pardon the expression) with pencil and ppppaper. (There is actually an internal prohibition against saying that archaic word. Sorry. Didn’t mean to piss you off, O forces of cosmic nature.)

Why stuff your mind full of facts when the Goog has it covered. Got a question? Need to know ANYTHING? Have a disagreement about when or where or who or why or if? Ask and you shall be answered. Doesn’t that sound a little like I’m talking about God? Well, do you really think they share of first two letters of their names by happenstance? God. Google. Good. Goggle.

Try to mix it up and after a while you will realize it’s all the same.

Tigers and Red Wings and Lions, Oh My! or… Coolie, why are you in Detroit?

The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 32

It wasn’t a pretty sight. That’s for sure. The transatlantic travelers deplaned in Motor City, from their second (and last ever) commercial flight . There had been a shoe-bomber and ten crying babies and an incident with a couple in the bathroom. But that was over.

There had been a lot of buzzing in Rome – which was just the way Coolie heard Italian – and he misinterpreted something one of the Roman citizens had said. With hands moving faster than his mouth, Signor Garibaldi had asked the chaotic bunch, Whatsa matta you? Il maledetto trattoria sta bruciando, si spawn di follia di una creatura spaziale!!

Blue was staring at the sun; Mickey was engaged in a philosophical dialogue with a street urchin; Brownstein was taking a quick wash in nearby fountain; and it was up to Coolie to respond. What he heard was, Whatsa matta you? Detroit is more beautiful than Spain; don’t wait – create that special moment. [Actual translation: The damn trattoria is burning, you spawn of a space creature’s insanity.]

And so, the prefab four were on the ground in Detroit. It was hot – but Coolie stayed cool. He kind of knew he had gotten something wrong – especially after Brownstein gave him a telepathic travelogue en route. But, trusting that all things are as they should be – ultimately, and if you look at them with a squinty eye – he and his minions rolled through, taking in the sights. And sure enough, as the saying goes, one and all were feeling quite sore in the eyes. But wait, the good part is coming:

Around a well-graffitied and all but abandoned corner, was a pristine garden. The gardener was diligently at work, planting and weeding and stepping back to admire the vista. Coolie screeched to a halt à la Roadrunner, and exclaimed sotto voce as befitted the coolest guy in our galaxy: Yo! (Yes, he said, “Yo” – it seemed appropriate.) Chauncey, is it you?

And it was. There, now brushing dirt off his knees, was the SECOND coolest guy in any town. He, who was always being there, embraced his long lost brother from another mother. You see, Mothership has an older, somewhat less vibrant sister, who had been the one to try out a bunch of intergalactic glamps and zhuzhes. What do you think her name is? Internship. Yes. Don’t laugh – she’s a bit sensitive. And she has only one offspring (that we know of) and here he stood: Chauncey Gardner.

Well, the entire crew got into the act: Blue was given a garland of lavender and braided ivy which Gardner the gardener whipped together lickety-split; Mickey Mental rolled up one sleeve and one pant leg and began to work the loamy soil alongside Chauncey. Brownstein TTR went airborne and flew a few laps around the perimeter, then fell into his mishpocha’s arms and they hugged it out.

All remnants of her radish resentment gone now, Mothership made an appearance in the sky above them all. A soft grape-hued vibrating energy was at her side. There was much cosmic kvelling and a light-show that put the aurora borealis to shame. (It actually slunk away for about a week – wreaking havoc with the belief system of a segment of the polar bear population.)

“Mommy,” said Chauncey.

And “MOMMY” sang the entire gang in the best falsetto you every heard. (Brown, who was bi-vocal, contributed a baseline that pulsed upward to the heavenly parents). They all held the notes for a couple of rotations of the planet. Blue danced the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy. And a really good time was had by all. In Detroit.

IS IT ROME or AM I JUST ROAMING? Confusion in the Coolstein ranks.

The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 31

Directly after the radish incident or event or – let’s not get stuck on the name of it – Coolie decided he needed a vacation. Brownstein was sanguine about it, but Coolie didn’t know what that meant. As was his way, our Cool person of the millennium cast a wide net of inquiry; it was his own private survey. Coolie liked to know which way the proverbial wind was blowing. He didn’t care so much about the actual wind, but he did love him some proverbs.

The suggestions he got – from Harris Tweed, Shtewie, Mickey, Blue, Sylvia AND Mothership, ranged from :”Pluto (that poor ostracized baby) is nice this time of year;” to “Why do want to go so far, they don’t talk right and what will you eat?” to “You must go to the beach; you’re gonna regret it if you don’t go hang with the ocean (Atlantic, preferably)”; to “Travel, travel, travel. Get on a plane and see a bunch of castles and museums. Nothing like it to broaden the mind.” Coolie knew his mind needed broadening (at least), so he went with door number three.

With his posse in tow (the Brown, the Blue, the endlessly colorful), he decided to travel like the regular folks. On a plane. Oooh, that should be fun – right? Have you flown recently? Our poor innocent boy (and why didn’t anyone warn him?) sat right down into the jaws of hell.

It was Jet Green, and that sounded like a good name, so you would think. First there was the ticketing confusion, or – as they put it at JB – “you must be mistaken.” Instead of four seats together, there were two on either side of an aisle back near the bathroom, and two on the wing. The latter two were sold as discount seats, but – he had been assured – very comfy and very safe. They called them swing seats (see how cleverly they added a letter?)

After endless and fruitless and circular back and forth with the Jet Green customer relations person at the terminal (that is an aptly named structure, don’t you think?), Brown stepped in. She not-all-that-gently placed her bicuspids on the meaty part of the JB person’s right calf and ever-so-slowly began to bear down. No more words were exchanged. This was a woman (maybe) who knew when to fold ’em, and she – so quickly sparks were emitted from her fingers – issued four new tickets.

Blue and Coolie were sitting together and right behind them were Mickey and the Brownstein TTR. They were offered wet nappies and other fancy accoutrements throughout their flight. Which was only delayed seven and half hours, and was piloted by an only moderately suicidal pilot. All the stewardii were almost civil, and no one stuck anyone with anything sharp. It was, by all accounts, one of the best Jet Green flights anyone had experienced in the past decade.

They landed in Rome – which wasn’t exactly where they expected to be, having believed they were flying into Gstaad – and, after about ninety minutes, when the circulation returned to their legs, they began to try to get their bearings. Ball bearings, which they each carried in a little pouch. They had been dumped out of the plane and these silver spheres were rolling along the tarmac, trying to escape (they were semi-sentient). The balls – as usual – were no match for the grabby hands and paws, and they were collected and re-deposited in their leather cages. No one cared about their cries; no one could hear them since they did not make any actual noise in this dimension.

As every fool knows, Rome wasn’t built in a day. What no one could have foreseen, however, was that it could be destroyed in a day. The gang oozed out into hotels and restaurants and ancient sites and museums and you-name-its. Everywhere they went they caused TSC disruption (time, space continuum). Why? You might well ask.

Coolie had forgotten to set his bilateral interspacial time-torrent belt-clock. He – and his fellow travelers – were actually set for the 27th century, but arrived in the 21st. They were inured to the cosmic tide differential, but no one else in the vicinity was. So, everywhere they went, the fragile atomic structures (you probably thought they were more schtarkerish, but you would be wrong) collapsed as soon as they crew departed. Ruins, I tell you ruins, like no one in Rome had ever seen before, followed in their wake.

The oblivious ones finally had enough of speaking with their hands (paws didn’t really cut it here) and hopped the last plane for Detroit at 4am. Why Detroit? Now that’s a good question. TBA.

IMMORTALITY or COOLIE HAS TO DECIDE

The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 30

To be or not to be. Asked and answered, you say? But what about forever? The option of being and being without a final curtain. Would you vote aye or nay to no end in sight? That’s a gimme, isn’t it? But consider this:

Coolie spent an uneventful eon after consuming the cosmic radish – which he wasn’t supposed to do, but you know what it’s like when you’re peckish. Little did he know (I always wanted to say that) – the radish had certain eternal properties. Fact: All radishes can potentially imbue the eater with everlasting life. They just have to be consumed in a particular way. Small, equidistant bites in a perfect line around the circumference, followed by a bisecting bite (side to side, NEVER top to bottom – that’s a whole different trip). And then, just go to town. Try it. Talk to me in 6,000 years; you’ll tell me I was right.

Where was I? Oh yes…

There’s cool and then there’s bored, an unvariagated state that only people on death row can embrace with joy. The coolest guy in the room quickly (and by that I mean excruciatingly slowly) found himself to be the only guy in the room. His adventure buddies had all moved on to another dimension (or so it appeared) and he took to walking in circles. Big circles, circumnavigational circles, but no matter how long he walked, he was right back where he started. Things got so dire, he even missed Morris and Sylive’s nagging and intrusiveness. Coolie would have auctioned off his appendages just for a little action.

Sure, there were other immortals, but they tended to be a clickish bunch and they were not Coolie-ites.

“Why did I eat that radish?” he said (in the sixteen languages he had learned over the years) every hour or so. “This blows worse than melting.”

And, strangely, although he knew she was out there, no word/thought/glamp from Mothership. She was really pissed and that entity knows how to hold a grudge.

Finally, in the last moments of the “Year of the Flood” (interstellar – we’re not talking water, but rather slingowaves), the Man Who Would Have Been Cool sat down on a stump of a giant bonsai. There, at his feet, was a little packet that said “drink me, drink me, drink me…” non-stop in a high-pitched nose-flaring voice.

Okay. Shut up. I’ll drink you. A steaming pot of who knows what and a cup – all very classic and pixelated – appeared. Just happy to have an activity to pass the time, Coolie prepared the drink. His memory being what it was, he had no jolt of recognition until the third swallow.

IT’S TIME-TRAVEL TEAAAAAAAAAA….. There was the obligatory cinematic whirling and whorling, and he went in and out of focus about a million times.

Brownstein TTR was sitting on a chaise lounge – with that Cheshire-y smile he often affected – when Coolie re-emerged.

“You’re back, baby. I had to pretty much blanket the universe with drink-me’s, until you found one.

“Is it still forever?” Coolie whispered anxiously as he stood up.

“Not a chance, cool-again friend. Watch your step.”

BEWARE THE VEGETARIANS or COOLIE IN TRANSITION

The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 29

Coolie is transformed. Not from a man into a woman – no that would be commonplace and unspeakably uncool (on the Coolstein scale also known as the fridge-rater). But, (drumroll, please) into a radish.

Sharp and piquant; a bright red and such a crunch. It had been his secret desire – now realized.

Okay. Not your run-of-the-mill vegetable, of course. This was part of Mothership’s seeding of the unknown universe.

About six thousand and six years ago, give or take fifteen minutes, M’s then young cosmogonic partner-to-be, WavyDavy de Epsilon, swept the skies for the perfect gift to bestow on his love. When he couldn’t find anything suitable, he exhaled into a galaxy few exobeings had ever visited, MACS0647-JD; he called her little Mac. And there, in its very epicenter, was something of unspeakable grandeur and beauty.

He plucked it out and took it with him into the cosmic slide. As he presented it to his love, Mothership, she inquired (with soundless intensity), “What is it – Rad?”

“-Ish,” he replied (since it wasn’t exactly “rad.”)

“Rad-ish. I see.” And she did – in a manner of speaking.

So, it was with great pride and dignity that Coolie, who knew the back-story – having been told it as a bedtime snuggy by Brownstein about a year before – accepted his new form and function. But it necessitated a careful avoidance of vegetable-loving chowhounds.

Brownstein TTR (to the rescue – we’ll just use the initials from here on out) enlisted Blue’s carriage and footmen (no, they weren’t and never had been mice), ensconced Coolie the Radish in its plush interior, and set Mickey up as guard. Brownstein took the reins and gave the rodents – I mean the steeds – a sharp crack on the ass and off they went. To a safe land, where nobody would think of eating a vegetable. Ironically, it was called Big Macland.

The radish thing would only last until the cows came home. Which was – although a long wait – inevitable, as most things are. But Coolie enjoyed his exalted radish-status for the duration. And then some.