7.17 – Shitshow

As the sing-along continued, Wolf summoned me and Scorpion into the kitchen.

“Well done, Bluebird,” Wolf said.  “I can’t believe I got the full blown Vertigo.  It was actually fascinating, like its own Perception.”

“I’m sorry,” Scorpion said.  “I underestimated the significance of this RealityFuck phenomenon.”

“It’s Alright,” Wolf said, “but now that all these Realities are together again, we have to maintain the MeTooing with a Common Perception at once.”

“I don’t feel comfortable doing any Perception with that Marijuana MeNotzie here,” Scorpion said.

“I’ve been watching him all night,” I said. “He’s had a lot of chances to be a MeNotzie but hasn’t.  In fact, I think he’s dying to MeToo with us.”

Then we looked back in the living room at him. The Baby was jumping up and down and clapping and had a big smile on his innocent puff-cheek face.

“I’ll admit he does look quite innocent,” Scorpion said.

“Yes,” Wolf scratched his chin, “I trust Bluebird’s assessment.”

“Alright,” Scorpion said.  “The only problem now is that we’re already deep into our own separate Perceptions.”

“There’s got to be something we can do tho,” Wolf said.

“Well,” Scorpion said.  “It’s a risk.  But we could try a having a Shitshow.”

“Of course!” Wolf said.

“What’s a Shitshow?” I asked.

“It’s a fringe theory of Perceptionism,” Wolf said, “suggesting if a Reality is at an extreme magnitude of a given Perception, or in other words Shitfaced, then they will be able to MeToo another Shitfaced Reality even if in a completely different Perception.  It’s unproven tho, and even if it did work, I’m not sure how to account for all these Sober Realities.”

“What if the Sober Realities get Shitfaced on a weak and unpowerful Perception like, say, Caffeine?” Scorpion suggested.

“I’ve still got a lot of Dr. Pepper in my car,” I said.

“Alright,” Wolf said, “we have no choice but to try.”

I left to get the Caffeine Perception, and when I got back Wolf was in the living room directing everything.  He had Emperor Penguin and The Penguins play every Marley song they knew, and Lamb kept everyone singing along.  WildFuckingTurkey was going around with bottles of Alcohol around and making sure everyone was drinking more than they could handle.

“Bluebird,” Wolf came up to me, “make sure the Sobers get fucking wired.”

“Alright,” I said.

Then I started handing out whole Dr. Peppers to each of them.

“I loveDr. Pepper,” The Baby said, “but I’m not allowed to have any too close to bedtime.”

“It’s Alright, The Baby,” I said.  “You can drink as much as you want after a Wedding.”

“Oh, alright!” he said and started happily suckling on his very own two liter Baby bottle.

Then Scorpion came back with The Marijuana Perception.  He was still cautious and trying to sneak the Octobong behind his back.  But the Baby saw it anyway.

“Hey!” he said. “What’s that cool looking Octopus thing?”

Scorpion was startled and was about to crawl right back into The Hole, but Wolf stopped him before he could.

“It’s alright,” he said, “just show him what it is.”

Then Scorpion brought it over, and The Baby started playing with it like it was new toy.

“What’s it for?” The Baby asked.

“You smoke Marijuana Perception out of it,” Scorpion said.

“I wanna try!”

“You do?”

“Yeah!”

The Scorpion sat next to The Baby and showed him which tentacle was which so you could smoke out of it.  The Baby took a hit and coughed and a minute later was giggling uncontrollably.

“I like it!” he said.

After that everyone in the room was inspired to try every Perception available at once.  I even took a couple more hits off the Octobong, and Emperor Penguin put some Dr. Pepper in his scotch.  Soon we were all Shitfaced, and the MeToos were flying around the room, and everyone got a chance to sit on The Throne.  Then it’s hard to remember what happened next.  I remember at some point looking up and Wolf was in the middle of the whole Shitshow smiling with his arm around Lamb.

And I remember sometime later waking up on the hard living room floor, and my head was right next to Emperor Penguin’s.

“Hey, Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains,” he said.

“What?” I said.

“You came all the way from there?”

“Yeah.”

“By yourself?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s Alright.”

“Thanks.”

 

“Hey, Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains.”

“Yeah?”

“I think I’m gonna keep the band together.”

“Cool.”

“Hey… Wherethe…

“Yeah?”

“I’m shitfaced, man.”

“MeToo,” I said, and then I passed out.

7.16 – The Concert to Save Wolf

Emperor Penguin &The Penguins were in the kitchen when I got back in, but they were busy and didn’t seem to notice me.

“I can’t take it anymore,” Emperor Penguin told them.  “I mean, a Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania) community center basement? Our gigs just keep getting shittier and shittier.”

The Penguins nodded.

“We’re just going backwards,” he said, “and we’re not getting money or recognition.”

“But aren’t we in it for the MeToos?” the band said.

“Even those are fewer and fewer.”

“What do we do tho? Give up?”

“It may be time to face the facts.  We’ve gone as far as we can go with this band. A Reality I know says he can get me a fulltime job in an office.  I think I’m going to take it.”

“I don’t know, man. That’s sounds pretty Adult.”

“Maybe we should’ve just tried to be Adults all along.”

“What about Reality Travel?  I heard if you quit The Gods will make you depressed.”

“I’m not sure I even believe in Reality Travel or The Gods anymore.  Maybe it’s just something we made up to feel more important than we are.”

“So we’re breaking up?”

“I think so.”

Just then WildFuckingTurkey came in.

“Hey,” he said, “Lamb just sent me.  We need your fucking help.”

“We’re in the middle of something,” Emperor Penguin said.

“Okay, but Wolf’s apparently got some fucking Traveler Vertigo thing, and he’s pretty much passed out cold, and doesn’t even know who he is anymore, and she doesn’t know what to fucking do.”

“I don’t know. I’ve never even heard of ‘Traveler Vertigo.’”

“But you’re a fucking Reality Traveler, right?”

“Not anymore.  Ask that Colorado kid, he’s actually Trained believe it or not.”

Then I came forward.

“You’re a fucking…?” WildFuckingTurkey asked me.

“Yeah,” I rasped.

“What happened to your fucking voice?  You sound like my hangover tomorrow.”

“Pfft,” Emperor Penguin said, “he blew it out over-singing that Springsteen.”

Their comments knocked me back for a moment, but I was able to easily look down and see My True Traveler Name and it helped me keep going.

“Enough!” I rasped.  “I’m the Bluebird, and I have The Dead Voice just cuz I’m too passionate about car singing.  But none of this matters right now, cuz we all have to work together to save Wolf.”

Then they knew I was for real and listened up as I explained how Vertigo worked and how we needed all the AfterParty Factions to come together to end The Schism and MeToo.

“How are we going to do that?” Emperor Penguin said. “We can’t even find half the party.”

“We can lure them in with music,” I rasped.

“We’ve been playing music.  No one’s into it.”

“We’ve only been playing for ourselves tho.  We need to play one that MeToos everyone.”

“There’s no song that can MeToo everyone.  That’s a myth.”

“Bob Marley’s ‘One Love.’  I know for a fact it was written by The Gods themselves, and it’s got as good-a-chance as any.”

“That is a good song,” The Penguins said.

“Yeah it fucking is,” WildFuckingTurkey said. “Getting together and feelin Alright is actually all I ever want.”

Everyone looked over at Emperor Penguin and waited for his ‘pfft.’

“It’s probably not going to work,” he said, “but it is a good song.”

“I can’t sing,” I told him, “so you have to lead the sing-along.”

“Alright,” he shrugged.  “Let’s play some Marley.”

Then we gathered everyone we could find and led them back into the living room.  Everyone in there looked completely bored or Vertigo’d.  Wolf was on the couch with his eyes shut and his mouth hanging open, while Lamb wiped off his drool with a napkin.

“Hey!” Lamb’s Youngest Sister looked up. “Are you going to play again?”

Emperor Penguin nodded and Lamb’s Younger Sister wheeled the Throne over to him.

“Wait a second,” Wild Turkey said.  “This is Wolf&Lamb’s fucking Wedding night, they should be sitting in The Fucking Throne, right?”

We all agreed and then worked together to lift Wolf’s Vertigo’d body up from the couch and stuff him in the seat, while Lamb sat on his lap.  Then Emperor Penguin stood in front of us in a RockStar power stance.

“Alright,” he said, “it’s time for the Concert to Save Wolf.  Anyone here dig Bob Marley?”

“Yes!” everyone said.

“Alright then,” he said.  “Let’s do a little number called “One Love.”

Then he nodded to the band and The Penguins came in and they knew that one cold,too.  Then Emperor Penguin came in and started nailing it with his high and powerful voice, and it made everyone sit up in their seats and start clapping to the beat.

“Alright, everyone,” he said when he got to the next chorus.  “You all know the words.  Sing along.”

One Love, One Heart, let’s get together and feel Alright,” we all sang.

Many Realities in the room could not sing. WildFuckingTurkey continued to gobble off key, and The Baby sang nonsense goo-goo-ga-gas instead of the right lyrics, and I could only sing in a whisper.  But somehow it all sounded good and much more high and powerful than any one Reality could sing on their own.  It felt so good we just kept singing the words over and over.

One Love, One Heart, let’s get together and feel Alright.”

 And then we saw a Reality peaking their head up from The Hole.  They started creeping forward to get a closer look, and we waved them towards us.  Then other heads peaked out and followed.  And when they got into the living room they couldn’t help but to sing along, too. Finally Scorpion came out and had a suspicious look on his face and pointed his stinger at the Marijuana MeNotzie, but the song soon calmed him, and even he ended up getting swept up in the sing along.  I looked over at Wolf, and his eyes were now open and alert, and his body was upright, and he was howling the loudest out of all of us.

 One Love, One Heart, let’s get together and feel Alright.”

7.14 – The Bluebird Show

“Alright, everyone,” I stood up and said.  “I’m going to sing now!”

But no one was paying attention.  Wolf was in an almost total Vertigo state while Lamb tended to him.  The Baby was playing peek-a-boo with Lamb’s Younger Sister.  Wild Fucking Turkey was hitting himself in the head again in the kitchen.  Emperor Penguin had gone looking for Scorpion and Lamb’s Youngest Sister was tagging along.  And the Penguins were putting away their instruments and talking about leaving the AfterParty all together.

“Hold on guys,” I said, “can you do just one more song with me?”

“Eh,” they said. “This party’s kinduv over…”

“Springsteen.”

The Penguins eyes widened.

“You know any of his songs?” I asked.

They came closer and whispered to me.

“We love him,” they said.  “Everyone from Jersey does.  Except Emperor Penguin.”

“Why not?”

“We’ve never been able to figure it out.”

“Well, he’s not here right now,” I said.  “Do you think you can do ‘Thunder Road?’”

They simply nodded and got their instruments back out.  When they were ready I looked over at them and said “Alright, hit it!”

The Penguins didn’t have all the instruments they needed, but they knew the chords and rhythm and started nailing it right away. Then I came in and was high and powerful right from the start, and whatever audience was around started taking notice.

“Hey!” the Baby said.  “Is this Springsteen?  I love him cuz I’m from Jersey!”

It was adorable, and soon the other Realities started coming back in the living room.  Emperor Penguin came back and had a surprised look on his face, and Wolf was even able to lift himself up off the couch again.  I was just about to hit the high and powerful,“Sit tight, take cover, Thunder Road!” part, but then it started to happen.  One by one the spots on my throat rapidly went numb, and nothing happened when I vibrated air off them.

“No, not now, Dead Voice!” I thought to myself.

But there was nothing I could do.  I realized I’d been singing at the top of my lungs in the car for several days straight.  I could soon only speak the words in a low and unpowerful rasp that wasn’t even worth it. The Penguins looked up in confusion, and when I eventually just gave up in the middle of the song, they hadta give up, too.  No one in the audience got to Woo! or clap,or say where they hit the Thunder Roadfrom, and it was like we never pulled out of The-Town-Full-of-Losers at all.  Soon Realities started leaving again, and Wolf collapsed back down on the couch.

“Pfft,” Emperor Penguin said loudly so everyone could hear.  “The problem with Springsteen is that he tries too hard.  The music tries too hard, the words try too hard, the stageshow tries too hard, and the the themes especially try too hard.”

Then he started singing to Lamb’s Youngest Sister in a mock Springsteen voice.

Come on, baby, hop in my ride and all our dreams will come true,” he made up.

Lamb’s Youngest Sister started laughing hard, and the Emperor Penguin got on his knees in front of her and reached out his arms.

I just know we can make it to the Promised Land!” he made up.

Lamb’s Youngest Sister started laughing even harder.

Everything’s gonna be Alright, Baby!” he made up.

And then Lamb’s Youngest Sister laughed so hard she had to fall down and start hitting the floor over and over with her hand.

“There is no Promised Land,” Emperor Penguin said. “There’s nowhere to go.  Life sucks everywhere.  Just deal with it.”

I wanted to shout out “Damn you, you MeNotzie Penguin and your pffts!”  right at him, but The Dead Voice would only allow a ‘Dff’ to come out, and it wasn’t powerful enough to put anyone in their place.  I hadta just get outta The Throne in failure and try to get to Alone Reality as fast as possible.

7.12 – The Emperor Penguin & The Penguins Show

The DrumPenguin got out his bongo drum, and the GuitarPenguin tuned up his guitar, but Emperor Penguin was slouched down on the couch even tho that was against The Rules of Singing.

“What are you doing?” Lamb’s Youngest Sister told him. “You’re not allowed to sit there.”

“Where else would I sit?” he said.

“Over there in the wheelchair,” she pointed.

“Why?”

“Cuz it’s The Throne.”

Then Emperor Penguin shrugged and got up and sat in it.

“Okay,” he said and pointed at Wolf, “this one’s for you from back in the HighSchool days.”

Then Emperor Penguin &The Penguins started playing “Smoke Two Joints,” popularized by Sublime.

“Smoke Two Joints” is a song about a Reality who likes Marijuana Perception so much that smoking one joint at once is not enough so they have to smoke two at once.

The band was actually nailing it. The BongoPenguin bopped away, and the GuitarPenguin hit the off beats of the reggae rhythm, and Emperor Penguin’s voice was just as high and powerful as Sublime’s singer Bradley Nowell.

But the living room audience was quiet, and no one was MeTooing.  Somehow despite coming to the party with him, it seemed The Penguins weren’t aware of the possible Marijuana MeNotzie.  For those who were, no one could seem like they were enjoying the song too much, and they were all staring at the Marijuana MeNotzie to see what he would do.

I wondered if you could throw a whole band in Perception Prison just for singing a song about that.  But The Baby didn’t throw anyone in jail, at least right away.  He didn’t cry or poop himself or anything either.  He just sat there with his thumb in his mouth, and didn’t seem to even realize what the song was about.

“Play another one,” Lamb’s Youngest Sister said.  “A good one this time, not a weird one.”

“Nah,” Emperor Penguin said.  “No one’s feeling it.”

Then he got up out of the wheelchair in failure.

“The problem is no one’s fucking drunk enough,” WildFuckingTurkey came back in and said.

Then he started going around the room trying to get everyone to take a swig from the jumbo bottle of Jack Daniels.  When he got to Lamb’s Sisters and The Baby they all shook their hands and said, “No thanks.”

WildFuckingTurkey wouldn’t let The Baby off the hook tho.

“You mean you’re a fucking Alcohol MeNotzie, too?” he said.

“I don’t know what that means,” The Baby said, “but your song made it seem like Alcohol causes a lot of problems.”

“Of course it causes fucking problems.  Problems are fucking fun!”

It almost seemed like WildFuckingTurkey was going to waddle-slap him in the Baby face.

“Not every Reality likes Alcohol,” Emperor Penguin butted in.  “Maybe he’s more of a Marijuana Reality.”

Everyone in the room gasped.  The Baby’s face got red, but he just shook his head and giggled.

“Speaking of which, Wolf,” Emperor Penguin said.  “Where is the weed?”

But Wolf by now was lying flat on his belly on the couch and could barely respond.

“I know that Scorpion is a total Marijuana Perception Addict.  Where is he, anyway?  Isn’t this his home?”

Wolf gave a weak little whimper.

“It’s about to happen,” he said.

“The Vertigo?” Lamb asked.

He nodded and then looked at me, and I knew it was time to save him.

“Alright,” I said, and then I took over The Throne.

7.11 – Wolf&EmperorPenguin

“Emperor Penguin,” Wolf said, “was my best friend in HighSchool.  We met in Health class.  I’d just started experimenting on my own with the basic Perceptions like Alcohol and Marijuana and discovering their many benefits.  Health class, however, was trying to teach us that any Perception was a dangerous and unhealthy mistake, which could only destroy your life.

‘Marijuana is a gateway to all the other drugs,’ the Health Teacher said.  ‘It may seem harmless, but before you know it, you’ll be dying of a heroin overdose.’

Everyone in the class was listening closely and taking notes so they could get a good grade on a test.  But there was one lone voice in the back of the class who went “pfft.” I looked back, and it was Emperor Penguin.  I didn’t know much about him, but he seemed cool and well dressed and wasn’t afraid to speak out in class.

‘That’s bullshit,’ he said, ‘I know lots of Realities who smoke Marijuana, and they don’t die.  They just think everything is greater for a little while.”

The Health Teacher wouldn’t listen to him and scolded him for swearing, but I was intrigued because I hadn’t met anyone else in person who’d had Perceptionist experiences yet.  I knew I had to approach him after class.

‘Oh yeah,’ he said, ‘they’re just trying to Train us to become Future Adults, and you can’t get a good Adult job or something if you don’t do the ‘right’ Perceptions.  I’m not going to be an Adult tho.  I’m a Reality Traveler.’

I’d never heard the words before that and asked him what it meant.

“It’s about calling people out on their bullshit so we can all MeToo over the truth,” he said and then explained the rest of what he knew.

He was young and misunderstood some things about Reality Travel, but he had the basics mostly down.  He also mentioned he was the lead singer of a band that Traveled to Realities all over Philadelphia Suburbs, both Jersey and Pennsylvania, to musically MeToo them, and he invited me to their next show.  I was scared because I’d only really Traveled to family and school Realities before, but there was something about the words “Reality Travel” that lured me in, and I decided I had to Get Out There for the first time.

Emperor Penguin picked me up and took us to the show in the close by but exciting Realities of DowntownPhiladelphia, where I’d rarely been before and never without my parents.  They were playing in some old shabby music club, and I got to hang out with the band backstage.  It was dingy and dark, and there was a pungent yet familiar smell in the air. When I met the band they were in a circle passing around the Marijuana Perception.

‘Is he cool?’ one of the band members asked Emperor Penguin about me.

‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘he’s a Reality Traveler like us.’

‘Cool,’ they said.

And then I got to join them, and as the Marijuana Perception went around I realized that it was making everything greater for all of us at the same time.

“So,” one of them asked me, “what do you MeToo via?”

I knew almost nothing about Reality Travel until that day, but somehow I knew the answer and responded right away.

‘I MeToo about Perceptions like this one,’ I said.

‘Cool,’ they said.

And that was the moment when I received The Calling.  Emperor Penguin and I went on many Travels after that and have been friends ever since.

7.10 – The WildFuckingTurkey Show

“Gobble Gobble Gobble,” WildFuckingTurkey said.  “It’s time for The WildFuckingTurkey Show!”

The living room had been taken over by the Sober Realities. Most of them had been sitting quietly in their chairs drinking glasses of water, and when WildFuckingTurkey came in they looked up like some crazed outdoor animal had just gotten loose inside the house.

He took one of the Penguins’ guitars and stood on top of a chair.

“What’s with you guys?” WildFuckingTurkey said. “This is a fucking party.  Where’s the music?  Where’s the booze?  Where’s the fucking fun?”

No one answered him tho.  They just sat there hugging their legs so WildFuckingTurkey couldn’t jump down and peck them.

“No,” Lamb’s Youngest Sister said, “Emperor Penguin, you and your band should play instead.”

“I don’t know,” he said.  “We’ve played enough tonight.”

“Oh come on, please.”

But Emperor Penguin just took a sip of his scotch and shook his head.

“Alright then, listen fucking up,” WildFuckingTurkey said and started strumming the guitar.

Then he paused.

“Wait a fucking second,” he said.  “Why is there a fucking wheelchair over there?”

No one knew.  WildFuckingTurkey went across the hall to the nook and rolled the chair over to the living room.

“I like it,” WildFuckingTurkey said.  “It’s kinda like a fucking throne.”

Then he sat in it and started wheeling it around a little and then nodded and started strumming the guitar again.

“Alright, now you can fucking listen up,” he said.  “It’s the WildFucking TurkeyShow!”

“Aren’t you going to tune it?” one of the Penguins asked him.

“No, I’ll be al-fucking-right,” he said.

Then he pointed at Wolf&Lamb who sat uncomfortably on the couch.

“This one goes out to you my old friend and your new wife.  It’s my favorite song, “Marga-fucking-ritaville.”

“Margaritaville” is a song about a Reality in a far off and exciting tropical Reality who’s always in Alcohol Perception, and it causes problems like not doing anything all summer, getting a regrettable tattoo, injuring his foot, and not being able to find the salt for his margarita.

Then WildFuckingTurkey tried to play it, but it sounded nothing like the song.  The guitar was too out of tune, and the chords were wrong anyway, and his gobble voice was low and unpowerful, and he couldn’t remember enough of the words.

“But there’s booze in the blender, and soon na-na-na-na, the fu-fu-fu-fu-fuck that helps me hang on,” he sang.

Making it worse, whenever he got stuck he kept going back to the beginning of the song and starting over.  Everyone in the living room was having trouble MeTooing it.

“What’s a Maggaveedaful?” I heard The alleged Marijuana MeNotzie Baby ask Lamb’s Younger Sister.

“I think some kind of Alcoholic drink,” she said, “but I’m not sure.”

Even the other Alcohol Realities were having trouble MeTooing it.

“You sure there’s not another song you actually know how to play?” Emperor Penguin said.

“Fuck!” WildFuckingTurkey said.  “I know this one, I fucking swear.”

WildFuckingTurkey could tell the audience wanted to carve him up like Thanksgiving dinner tho, so he hadta step down from the wheelchair and give the guitar back in failure.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he said as he went back to kitchen for more Lubricant, while he slapped himself in the head like he was in a drunken fight with himself.

Wolf was looking down at the floor and holding his head with both hands.  Lamb was trying to help by rubbing his shoulders, but you knew he needed a MeToo quickly or else.

“This sucks,” Lamb’s Youngest Sister said. “Emperor Penguin, you have to play some music for real now.”

Then she went over and sat in his lap and started stroking his head like he was her stuffed animal penguin.

“Pleeease,” she said.

“Fine,” he finally said and gave the other Penguins a nod, and they began to set up.

7.8 – The Schism

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.