Just before the Bob Marley joint got to me, a phone started ringing, and everyone froze. It turned out to be Lamb’s. She hadta leave The Hole to answer it, and when she came back she looked scared.
“There’s a problem,” she said.
Then she explained how her Youngest Sister just called, and they were on their way back from the concert, and her Younger Sister’s Date might be a Marijuana MeNotzie who might try to Dominate us or even go to War if he knew the Perceptions we were Adventuring with.
“They’ll be here any minute,” Lamb said.
“Gods, no!” someone screamed.
And then everyone panicked and scrambled to escape, hide, and/or air-freshen the room. Wolf saw me moving too slowly and grabbed me.
“Bluebird,” he said, “Do you understand how serious this is? Marijuana MeNotzies are the worst kind of MeNotzie. If they witness any evidence of what we’ve just done, no matter how harmless it actually may be, they will send us all to jail. You have to stay close and follow my lead.”
Then Wolf led whichever of us he could find to get as far away from The Hole as possible. We climbed up the stairs and got to the living room and tried to act like what you’d act like if you hadn’t just been smoking Marijuana Perception. Suddenly the doorbell rang, and we all just looked at it.
“If we weren’t in Marijuana Perception,” Wolf said, “we’d answer the door, right?”
We nodded, and then he bravely volunteered. As soon as he put his hand on the knob, the door suddenly flung open, and Lamb’s Youngest Sister burst thru and shouted “Oh my god!” And all of us had to try hard not to flinch and duck.
“Emperor Penguin is a total RockStar!” she said.
Then he came thru the door still in his golden bowtie tuxedo, followed by two other Realities wearing their own black bowtie tuxedos. One carried a guitar case and the other carried a bongo drum.
After them was Lamb’s Younger Sister and her supposedly MeNotzie date. I thought he was going to look like an armed and bulletproof trooper from the Perception Enforcement Agency, but he actually looked like a smooth-faced, bald-headed Baby, who might have a diaper underneath his sweat-shirt and jeans.
“Where is everyone?” Emperor Penguin asked Wolf. “Weren’t there more Realities coming from The Wedding?”
Wolf’s face got even paler, and it was hard for him to come up with words.
“Um, well, ya know,” he said.
“I don’t really care,” Emperor Penguin said. “Where’s the Alcohol?”
Again Wolf had trouble speaking.
“Um,” he said and shrugged.
“You’re like this Star Perceptionist, and you don’t know where the Alcohol is?”
It was almost as if Wolf was freezing up like me with New Realities. I wanted to follow his lead, but there was no lead to follow. I didn’t want to talk to Emperor Penguin ever, but I felt I hadta do something.
“I know where it is,” I said.
“Why didn’t you say so, Colorado?” he said.
Then I took him and his band of Penguins into the kitchen where we’d left The Stash. A few other Realities in there had already discovered it on their own.
“Gobble, gobble, gobble,” one of them said. “Welcome to the fucking Alcohol Party!”
His face was reddish, and he had a big hanging adam’s apple, and he wore a brown suit with the collar popped up.
“Who are you again?” Emperor Penguin asked him. “Turkey Dinner?”
“No, man” he said. “I’m WildFuckingTurkey.”
“Hey,” he said turning to me. “Fuck that weed shit earlier, right? I saw this Stash and just wanted to get super fucking drunk from the start.”
“I know, MeToo!” I said.
Then he told us all how he’s a bartender from the far off and exciting Realities of Hollywood, California and how he’d make us whatever drinks we wanted.
“Great!” I said. “I wanna JacknDrPepper with cherries.”
“Pff,” Emperor Penguin said.
“I know,” I sighed, “the cherries.”
“No, the whole thing’s a kid’s drink, Colorado. Adults drink their bourbon straight. Or better yet their scotch straight.”
Then he had WildFuckingTurkey pour him and his band nothing but scotch and ice cubes in a little glasses. I wondered why a Reality Traveler like him would want to do anything like an Adult, but him and his band disappeared back in the living room before they explained anything.
“Don’t worry about their bullshit,” WildFuckingTurkey said. “I say any fucking Alcohol is good Alcohol.”
Then he took the biggest glass he could find, and filled it up with way more Jack Daniels than Dr. Pepper.
“I’m gonna get you fucking wasted tonight, man!” he said.
“Alright!” I said, and we toasted.
Then WildFuckingTurkey started strutting around the kitchen, bobbing his head, and telling all of us in the room about what it was like in Hollywood.
“Celebrities are fucking everywhere there, dude,” he said. “One time the guy who fucking played Crocodile Dundee came into my bar.”
“What?!” I said. “No way!”
“Long story fucking short, some fucker at the bar starts fucking with Dundee, ya know with some fucking “you call that a fucking knife,” tough guy shit, and ends up taking a swing at him. Dude is totally wasted, of fucking course, and misses, but Dundee doesn’t even flinch. He punches him right back in the face and fucking knocks him out cold. He was a good dude.”
“Wow,” we all said.
Then Wolf came in stumbling and dazed.
“Wolf, you recently married fucker,” WildFuckingTurkey said. “Let me make you a fucking drink.”
“Are all the Realities here in Alcohol Perception?” he asked us.
“Fuck yeah,” we said.
“Oh no,” Wolf said, holding his head.
“What’s wrong?” I said, and then he took me aside.
“Bluebird,” he said. “I’ve just done a little reconnaissance of the situation here, and it’s not good. There’s been a Reality Schism, and The AfterParty has split into at least three major factions. Scorpion and the Marijuana Realities are hiding out in a secret underground bunker known as Beyond The Hole. The Marijuana MeNotzie and the Sober Realities have taken over the living room. Now I see you and the Alcohol Realities have settled in the kitchen. Everyone wants me to MeToo their faction at the same time, but it’s impossible. And at the same time I’m experiencing TimeFucks everywhere. Scorpion’s New Adult Hole has such nice marble countertops and fine wooden cabinetry, WildFuckingTurkey’s all grown up, and there’s something not quite right with Emperor Penguin, but I can’t seem to put my finger on it. The room is beginning to spin, but not in a good Perceptionism kind of way. I feel like I may be soon overcome with Vertigo, and I’m not sure what to do.”
“What does Scorpion say?”
“He’s not a Reality Traveler. He thinks it should be Every Reality for Themselves.”
“Well, what do the other Reality Travelers here think?”
“Bluebird, you’re not understanding the situation. We are the only two Trained Travelers here. If anyone is going to solve this BoobyTrap it has to be us. I’ll Travel back and forth between Factions as long as I can to buy some time until I can think of something, but this might have to come down to just you finding a way to MeToo us all.”
“But I don’t know how without music…”
WildFuckingTurkey overheard us just then and interrupted.
“Fuck yeah,” he said. “It’s not a fucking party without some music. Somebody gimme a fucking guitar.”
Then he left the kitchen to find one.