“So that’s how that caper went,” KidBro says, “The Case of the Ugly Mugz.
“We really cleaned up on that one,” the Wheenerman puns.
“Yep, the entire Pizzia Van,” I add.
“So you’re going to help me with my promotional program?” KidBro asks the Wheener.
“I’m always willing to help people pull off stunts,” the Wheenerman nods.
“But how do we go about this,” I try to think.
“Say there,” a patron from a nearby table butts in. The Patron is none other than Sam Bascom. I was over here getting my Morning Coffee and Danish,” he informs us, “But I couldn’t help but overhear that you are in the market for a Promotional Gimmick, er, program,” Sam gins broadly, ‘And I couldn’t help but remember to that one May at Burdock Central High School when Scout there was servivng as the Humor Editor at the good old BC Chronicles.”
“For all of six weeks,” I grimace.
“And you came up with one of the greatest gimmicks I’ve ever heard of in all the time I’ve been in business in this here town,” Sam Bascom smiles.
“One I’m trying to forget,” I remark, pulling my farm hat down over my eyes.
“Oh No, It was the Nub of inspiration,” Sam Bascom reassures me.
“Nub of exasperation,” I reply.
“Actually, I thought it turned out sort of funny,” HM WeenerMan remarks.
“How long has that been? ” KidBro asks.
Sam considers, “Seems like forever.”
Wheenerman growls under this breath, “Scheming Burdock Center for Generations.”
Sam looks over, “Say What? Dreaming for the future of Burdock Center, Hey thanks, I’ll use that for a slogan.”
“Welcome, maybe,” the WheenerMan furrows his brow.
Sam Basom barrels on, “That was some stunt you puloled, back that May. Maybe the bigggest Practical Joke this town has ever seen.”
Despite my misgivings, I can’t help but to observe, “I don’t know aobut that, this town has enough practical jokes going on, there’s no way to compare them all fairly.”
“Could be, could be,” Sam bascom concedes, “But you run that promotion about the BC Chronicle sponsering an event and you wanting people to turn out For A Kool Egg-hunt and find the secret egg with a Ten-dollar gift certificate to the Burdock Pizzia and Eatery in it.”
Even the Wheenerman grins some, “And nearly everybody in the Township shows up and nearly pull Burdock Central apart looking for the Secret Egg, that one did turn out pretty good.”
“Well they should have figured it out,” I say, “It was rather all obvious.”
“For A Kool Egghunt,” Sam Bascom says appreciatively, “Spells out F.A.K.E.”
Wheenerman counts on his fingers, “It does,” he says with a certain degree of surprise.
“F.A.K.E. Egghunt touted right on the Humor Page of the BC Chronicle, darn clever,” Sam Bascom chuckles, “Thought there was something fishy about it when I first laid eyes on the piece.”
“You mean the article was about fish?” HM asks, “He really faked everybody out, Scout never catches that many fish.”
“Um yes, Son,” Sam Bascom astrides the Wheenerman’s assertion, “But right there, F.A.K.E. Egghunt right accross the Humor Pages, and what gets me, they all showed up.”
The WheenerMan gives that one a thumbs up, “Nearly the entire Township anyways.”
“Even Judge Patrick had an afternoon he could take off of the Circuit and stopped in,” KidBro remembers.
“The Hizzoner Himself,” Sam Bascom adds.
“Just my luck, an afternoon in May at Random, and None the less than Judge Patrick has to show up,” I growl, “In the Middle of a Joke.”
“You ended up pulling quite a Joke,” Sam Bascom grins.
“Yeah, on Me,” I frown.
“Don’tworry too much,” the WheenerMan flashes a big smile, “You was just keeping up a Family Tradition.”
“A most wonderful prank,” Sam Bascom grins slowly, “Everyone had most of the town park and school yard tore up looking for the secret egg, and by four o’clock started getting restless.”
“Sure were a lot of people who were asking what was going on there,” Kid Bro observes.
“And wondering what All-fire was going on,” Sam Bascom chuckles.
“And then Someone hands me the mega-phone,” I frown.
“You looked like the party for the most responsible explanation,” the Wheenerman shrugs.
“And you’d get a two-step jump if anything turned out wrong,” I go on.
The Wheenerman holds back a smile, “Seemed like a good idea at the time. Survival Instinct and all.”
I start back, “And so I’m standing there with the mega-phone when I hear this gruff voice approaching saying, ‘It’s five o’clock , you’re permit is expired.”
The Wheenerman says, “It’s Judge Patrick approaching,” and then HM Weenerman reaches up, grabs a branch low overhead and pulls himself up to disappear into the foilage of the tree.
Taking a deep breath I fire up the megaphone. There is a squawking sound from the bull-horn. Gives me cover to grind out, “Sorry Folks, but it’s fiveo’clock, the Great ‘For A Kool Egghunt’ is now over.”One bearded fellow who has a szeable rock over-turned up, looks up and retorts, “But I hasn’t found the Secret Prize Egg yet, you ripping me off.”
“But you didn’t have to buy anything,” I start.
“Oh yes we did,” the guys Wife retorts, “We had to buy that lousey Skool-paper to read on that there so-called funny page about this here EggHunt.”
“Yeah, Yeah,” everyone looks up from their Search. Some even take a step in the direction of the headquarters tree, “show us where it’s at.”
“What?” I ask hoping to change the Subject.
“The Secret Grand-Prize Egg,” the bearded guy replies. Apparently I hadn’t done that well in getting the subject to change.
Then I hear a voice speaking to me from up in the tree, “Tell them about the Accounting Firm.”
“What,” I ask the tree.
“You know, Pierre, Roberre, and Zsa-Zsa, the bonded accounting firm that hid the Secret Egg,”
Of course, the Wheenerman had a great idea there, so I crank up the megaphone and speak up, “Sorry folks, but there is a problem here; in the interest of fairness,the Secret Egg has been hidden by the Bonded Accounting Firm of Pierre, Roberre, and Zsa-Zsa . But since then, Pierre, Roberre, and Zsa-Zsa have departed to fly back to Paris and we will be unable to restablish contact for quite some time.”
There are groans and sighs from amongst the People, I shrug and say with great empathy, “Sorry folks, sometimes when you break a few eggs stuff happens.”
One old Farmer is scratching his head and looking at a business card.
“Beg Pard?” the bearded guy asks the Farmer.
‘Oh nothing much,” the old Farmer replies, “Just my cousin sent me this here Business Card from his Accounting Firm. And they’re called Pierre, Robere, and Zsa-Zsa CPA’s LLC too. Funny coincidence.”
The bearded guys’ wife snatches the card and reads the fine print, “With Offices in Paris, Quebec; say something’s funny going on.”
I give the logical explanation, “Aye, Uhm,”
But then we hear a patent-leather boot tapping impatiently.
Everyone looks over to see Judge Patrick standing there, impatiently tweedling his moustache, “We have an impasses here,” he states the obvious.
“And a log-jam too,” a by-stander calls out.
“Plus the permit is expired, ” the Judge announces, “So I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, I’ll settle this according to the Green River Territory Bylaws.”
Even the bearded guy scratches his head, “I thought the Green River Ordinance covered door-to-door salesman.”
“That it does,” Judge Patrick jovially agrees, “And the Green River Territories By-laws cover fly-by-night contests. And you gotta agree, these here are fly-by-night.”
The bearded guys wife agrees, “They don’t get much more fly-by-night than that.”
“Hey,” I start. But Judge Patrick already has his hat off and is passing it around for everybody to write their name onto for deposit in the Judge’s hat.
“That’s good, that’s good,” Judge Patrick instructs the egg-hunters, “The Releif called for by the Green River By-Laws is for the contesting parties to place their names into the hat for a drawing to award the Grand Prize.”
“But-But,” I start, “There isn’t any,”
“There isn’t any what?” Judge Patrick asks with a certain innocent detached air. My wariness alarms go off.
“There isn’t any time to waste,” I come up brightly, still wondering about where I’d come up with a Grand Prize Certificate.
“One such Certificate had best show up,” Judge Patrick announces firmly, “or there’s going to be some suspects to be dealt with.”
Just then there is a whistling from up in the tree, “What’s that?” asks the bearded-guys wife.
“The forever-innocent Weener-warbler,” I roll my eyes and explain.
“So where’s the Grand Prize Cerificate now?” the bearded guys wife asks.
“Ahhm,” I reply.
Judge Patrick shakes his hat back and forth, “I sure hope there is a Grand Prize Certificate, I’d sure hate to have to act on behalf of these here disappointed township-people.”
But then there is a shrill whisltle and out from the Burdock Pizzia comes Twisty announcing in a voice that doesn’t need amplification, “Guess What?? You-all’s is Winners!!”
The bearded guy looks depressed, “You are Most right Miss Twisty, we in this Township are all a bunch of Weeners.”
“No, just you shush up,” Twistene talks back, “Thew Wheenerman is the Weener, but everyone else here is a Grand Prize Winner!” For a limited time Only, This afternoon to be exact, everybody here can stop into the Burdock for a free slice of piazzia and get a Cerificate to buy additional pizzias at half-off.”
Her cousin Pyrene waves the half-off coupons in the air, “Just think folks, 50% off.
The bearded guy says excitedly to his wife, “They included half-off too.”
She grabs his arm and says, “Let’s Go!”
The good citizens of Weenerman Township quickly calculate and decide the sure-thing pizzia slice and 50% coupon beat out a grand Prize Egg that did or didn’t exist. Soon a long line winds its way from the Burdock and people tlaking anxiously about pizzia.
Judge Patrick watches the Citizens que up. He scowls. Dumps the names in the garbage can, and slaps his broad-brimmed hat back on his head.
“Going to have a Pizzia, Judge?” I try to make awkward conversation.
Judge Patrick frowns, “Nah, seem to have lost my Appetite lately,” then he gives me a stern look, “But you better stay on your Best Behavior, I WILL be keeping my eye out for any odd-ball anticks from you ‘nd yur crowd.”
“Sure Judge,” I answer brightly, “Between the Ditches, and all, You can count on Me.”
The Judge gives a skeptical, ‘Hmmmph,” and saunters off.
“Whew,” I wipe my brow and turn. There stand’s Twisty’s cousin Pyrene holding a pail full of soap and paper towls, with an innocent look on her face.
“Whoops,” I say out loud.
“Wellll,” Pyrene says inncently enough, “The Monthly Health-Inspection is tomorrow, and with the big line-up of customers for our Afternoon Half-off Pizzia Special, I’m worried that the job of scrubbing out the garbage-dumpster might not get done by then, with all the sudden busness and all.”
I adjust the farm-hat on my head, “Yeah, that could be a bit of a tight-fit,” I try to let it slide by.
“And of course,” Pyrene continues, much more sensible and a lot less innocent, “It would be quite awkward to explain to a Township Magistrate about that lack of time coming from staging a quick-step Afternoon Pizzia Special to draw people’s attention from a Certain Prize Egg that may or may not have been rumoured to exist beyond someone’s fervid imagination.”
I kick the ground, “Looks like you got me there,” look up, “But a little help wouldn’t hurt either.”
Just then there is a loud crashing a shout out, “YAH-HOOEY!” then a crashing sound in the next tree over, “Yah-Hooey!” then a crashing sound into the next tree, “Yah-hooey!” and so forth, receding off into the distance.
Pyrene looks a bit astonished as she looks in the direction of the receding, ‘yah-hooeys,’ “I just saw a six-foot three hairy thing swinging limb to limb at a very high speed, was that?”
“The same,” I answer with an amused grin, “actually one of the weenerman’s better times, ought to get the world-record people out here to time him.”
“Wouldn’t work,” Pyrene shakes her head, “They don’t have a category for Howler Monkey Sapiens.”