It was a dark night, a light rain falling, I was thinking of turning in, when a light knock came on the library door and Mrs. Simpson announced, ‘Mr. Wales, you have a visitor.I assumed it rather odd that somebody would call at such an hour, but having passed the scrutiny of Mrs. Simpson, I asked her to show the person in.
Imagine my surprise when in came an ideal beggar. Bowing slightly, he stood in the doorway waiting for me to ask him in. This gave me an opportunity to look him over; he was of medium height, rather gaunt, his coat and trousers, once serviceable, were now little greater than rags. He did not smell and he was not begrimed, but he had seen some hard times. He was wearing a pair of rather scuffed, red slippers.
I asked him his name and he responded that we were already acquainted and did I not recognize him? I demurred and when pressed, he said his name was Harold Buttz. Hearing the name, I used to be taken back to a sitting room of a house in London. ‘Good lord. Harry!I exclaimed, ‘Come in, come in. Have a seat.He came further into the room and sat within the chair I motioned to. Placing a cloth bag on the floor, he asked if he might trouble me for a cup of coffee. I immediately obliged. He nodded when asked if he would take a little flavor in his coffee; Mr. Bushmills provided the welcome additive.
It had been nearly three years since I had last seen Harold. My goodness, how he had changed! Yes, yes we all change in three years, but not like this. He was almost a unique person. His eyeshis eyes were the eyes of someone who had looked into the abyss.
A bit greater than three years ago, Harold came for a visit, as he often did, in those days. He was a bit upset at something he had done on Quora. I, having some experience in things Quora, suggested that he go to confession, as this might help ease his troubled mind. That was the last I might see of Harold for three years. Until this night, when he arrived, unannounced, looking like a beggar.
His tale began when Harold, as penitent Quoran, went to provide confession.
02 The Confession
Entering the confessional, Harold got down on his knees and fiddled with his rosaries, he made the sign of the Q and said, ‘Forgive me, Moderator, for I have sinned 3 times whilst on Quora.br>‘What is it you might have done, my son?’
‘I..I…I have used memes.br>‘Often?br>‘Very often,Harry replies, softly.
‘Hmm…, yes. Well, continue.br>‘I…I was UNUR to someone.br>‘UNUR?,the Moderator asked questioningly.
‘UNUR is Un-Nice, Un-Respectful.br>‘Ah, I see,said the Moderator, ‘Continue.br>‘I told someone they needed to be a raving lunatic to believe that the one people to fix the economic crisis were the ones who caused the issue in the first place.br>‘And?br>‘I…I called him, a weenie.br>‘Oh, was this person a Tea Partier?br>‘Yes sir.br>‘I understand your frustration in coping with such, nevertheless, that’s a no-no,said the Moderator. ‘And your third transgression?br>‘I repeatedly asked trollish questions within the Atheist-Theist topic.br>‘Hmm…, how would anyone know,mumbled the Moderator.
‘Excuse me, I did not quite hear you,br>‘Oh nothing, nothing, I used to be just thinking to myself.br>‘Father Moderator, do you think I could be forgiven?asked the young man, almost pleading.
‘My son, fear not, Quora is a giant tent and is willing to forgive much. As I see it, your sins are minor and you need not…br>The confession is interrupted by the ringing of a phone.
‘Just a moment,says the Moderator.
‘Good afternoon your Quoraness. It is sort of an honor tobr>‘Yes,br>‘Yes,br>‘Yes, I understand your Quoraness,br>‘Yes.br>‘Let me say that it is a good hon…Hello? Hello?br>‘He hung up on me./p>
The Moderator turned back to the young man and with a grave look on his face said, ‘It seems, my son, that I have been a tad hasty in saying that your sins were on the trivial side. I’ve been told that you will need to go to Castle Quora to be forgiven./p>
‘Castle Quora?asked the young man, a glance of panic starting in his eyes.
‘Yes.br>‘You meansobbed the young man.
‘Yes, over the river and through the woods, past grandma’s house, turn right at Gilroy, keep going through the San Johaze, and enter the Holy City of Quora.
It seems, you might be to make the good Journey. Congratulations, Pilgrim./p>
‘What? How do I start? Where do I am going first?/h2>
‘First, you need to make your approach to Port Pointnclick, where you could find passage on a vessel that plies between Port Pointnclick and BNBR Bay. From there it’s just a brief stage coach ride to the H.C. of Quora./p>
The Pilgrim nods as if in a daze. With this the Moderator made the sign of the Q and our hero left the confessional to start his pilgrimage to the H.C. of Q.
03 The Journey Begins
Once we next find our hero, he’s on the shoulder of a freeway on-ramp, within the rain, holding an indication that reads, ‘Pointnclick He has been standing there for hours and nobody has so much as given him a re-evaluation. Despite having an umbrella, he’s drenched to the skin, his feet hurt, he’s hungry, and the roar of the traffic and fumes have given him a pounding headache. As our hero is deciding whether to call it a day, a homeless man approaches. The man, pushing a shopping cart, stinking and dirty, looks at our hero’s shoes and says, ’Son, those shoes will never do. Wouldn’t you rather have these?and holds out a pair of red slippers.
Our hero looks on the pumps, then at the homeless man, and reaches out mechanically to take the pumps. The homeless man smiles and says, ‘Good boy. Now try ‘um on Our hero looks dubiously at the obviously too small pumps. ‘It shall be okaysays the homeless man softly. Our hero slides out of his shoes and slips into the pumps. They fit perfectly. They feel wonderful.
Because the homeless man starts to walk away, our hero says, ‘Here take these,handing his umbrella and his old shoes to the homeless man. ‘Thank you, pilgrim,Our hero is a bit shocked to be addressed as ‘pilgrim but before he can say anything, the homeless man asks, ‘You ever hear of Dorothy Gale?Our hero shakes his head in response. The homeless man nods his head and says, ‘Too bad. Well, those shoes once belonged to Dorothy.…/p>
Before he could finish a flat bed truck, with two Irish Wolfhounds chained to the back of the cab, skids to a halt, gravel flying. The driver, a white haired woman with an eye fixed patch, gestures for our hero to climb up on the bed of the truck. She slides open the window behind her and yells, ‘Don’t get too near Eloise or Susie or will probably be da last thing ya ever does,and without another word she punches the gas and roars onto the freeway. It is all our hero can do to maintain from rolling off the bed of the truck or coming within range of the snarling dogs. The homeless man shouts something about a head. The rain continues to fall.
Hours later the truck comes to a screeching stop in front of a sleazy waterfront dive with a broken neon sign that intermittently sputters, eer, eer, eer.
The driver jumps down from the cab and shouts, ‘Rise up, Pilgrim! We’re here.Our hero, stiff with cold, sits up and gets slightly too close to Eloise and, just as quick as that, the dog gets hold of his bag and it’s only by wriggling out of it that he isn’t eaten. ‘Ha! Lucky yer not pet food, too. Now, come on.Panting, our hero jumps to the ground and stumbles. The woman helping him up and says, ‘Nice shoes. You don’t know Dorothy Gale, do you? You going for the pinnacle?‘No. What? Where are we?our hero asks confusedly. The white haired woman cocks her head to the side, lifts up the patch over her glass eye and says, ‘We’re here./p>
He follows the white haired woman into the bar and is brought up short by the weirdness of the scene; sawdust on the floor, the reek of stale beer, through the haze he sees that the place is appears to be crammed with pirates. When he regains composure he looks for the white haired woman and she’s nowhere to be seen.
Steeling himself, he walks as much as the bar and waits for the bartender to notice him. ‘What’ll it’s, mate?asks the barkeep. ‘I’ll have a beer,says our hero. To this the bartender rolls his eyes and says, ‘Going into a bar and saying, I’ll have a beer, is like going into a restaurant and asking for food. So, I’ll ask you again, What’ll or not it’s?Our hero thinks for a second and gestures at the glass of the guy in paint stained overalls standing next to him and says, ‘Gimme a type of.The bartender raises an eyebrow and makes the drink. Taking a swig, our hero quickly spits it out. ‘Goddamn!, What the BNBR! That tastes like turpentine.‘It is turpentine,says the bartender, ‘Just like you ordered.Just then the white haired woman reappears and says, ‘Otis, quit being a jerk, he’s with me.The white haired woman turns to our hero and says, ‘Come on Pilgrim, there’s folks you gotta meet./p>
Following the white haired woman across the bar they arrive to a table where two casually dressed individuals are sitting. The pair are doing alternating shots of tequila shooters and Peppermint Schnapps, with occasional sips from long neck Buds. They pause in their drinking to try our hero. Before our hero has an opportunity to say anything, the man says, ‘You stink like turpentine. Nice shoes The girl, looking down on the shoes, says, ‘Sweet. ‘You know Dorothy? ‘Grab a chair,interrupts the man. ‘My name’s Max and that is Wanda,Wanda gives him a smile, ‘Nadine here tells me you’re in search of passage to BNBR Bay.‘Yes, sir.replies our hero. ‘Good. We weigh anchor in the morning. Let’s have drinks.And so they did.
04 Shipwreck – Castaway
When our hero wakes up, it is to that sickening up – down – roll – up – down – roll of a boat. He barely makes it to the deck before blowing biscuit over the side. ‘Good morning laddie!,booms Max’s voice behind him. Before our hero can respond, there is a great lurch and crash. The mast topples over the side and there’s general panic aboard. Someone shouts that they have run aground on the shoals of LGBTQ Pronouns and are sinking. The boat starts to list badly. ‘Abandon Ship!is heard.
Our hero jumps over the side and starts swimming away from the sinking vessel. He chances on a spar from the ship and grasps it gratefully. Looking around, he can see a life boat some 400 meters away, but the sea is running too high to attempt swimming to it.
And so, he holds on to his spar hoping that something good will come. As the day progresses he realizes that there is land to the west and that he’s drifting toward it. If he can hold on, he might make it. Was that a fin?
The night is long, but both the water and air are warm and best of all of the sea is calming. Dawn breaks with the sea calm and no boat in sight. Fortunately he sees a degree of land some distance away and decides to make swim for it. After a long and hard swim our hero drags himself out of the water and falls, exhausted, to the sand. When he next opens his eyes, he looks around and sees not another soul.
The beach is completely deserted; not a person or anything other than sand and jungle is in sight. As he scans his surroundings our hero notices a line of foot prints that seem to weave unsteadily down the beach. With nothing however the clothes he swam ashore in, our hero follows the foot prints.
Presently, our hero involves a big shack made of palm fronds and whiskey crates. There are about a dozen pink plastic flamingos gathered near the entrance. He shouts a ‘helloand getting no response goes inside. It is dark and cool inside; as his eyes adjust, he sees a longish room with two rows of pews. Instead of some form of alter there is a Ford Fairlane convertible. In the car, fast asleep, is man with a protracted gray ponytail, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, loin cloth, and huaraches. The dulcet sounds Billy Holliday will be heard purring from the 8-track.
As our hero stands dumbfounded, the gray haired man opens his eyes, looks at our hero, and calmly asks, ‘Well pilgrim, what’s your story?‘I have sinned and must go to the H.C. of Quora,answers our hero. ‘Bummer,says the man. ‘I’m Rufus, how about a drink?As Rufus steps out of the car, he notices our hero’s footwear and asks, ‘Don’t you understand Dorothy Gale?Our hero, still dazed from his adventure can only gurgle an unintelligible answer. Rufus says, ‘Never mind, how about that drink?/p>
While they drink, the man talks of the Road to Quora, occasionally referring to a dog eared book. He explains that because our hero didn’t get to BNBR Bay that he must travel overland. The journey, though long and perilous, is feasible for someone with grit and determination.
After drinks and a siesta in the Ford Fairlane, Rufus and our hero start up a trail to the interior. From the top of a slight rise they see a road entering the jungle. Rufus points to the road and says, ‘The road to Quora. Good luck, pilgrim.Our hero thanks him and starts walking. After a couple of steps, Rufus calls out, ‘Hey, pilgrim! Here, take this book.Our hero walks back and takes the proffered book. The title reads, Fear and Loathing on the Quora Trail. ‘Thank you.he says. ‘Take this, too, and use it well.’ says Rufus, handing our hero a wicked looking machete.
‘Good luck, pilgrim. Bring back the pinnacle.Before our hero can ask about the pinnacle, Rufus turns on his heel and runs back toward the beach. Our hero looks on the retreating Rufus, then on the road, and at last on the book. He starts walking – hefting the machete. His shoes glint in the sun.
This is part 1 of 3
Bring Me the pinnacle of Adam D’Angelo. Part 2
Bring Me the head of Adam D’Angelo.