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.”

7.12 – 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.

7.10 – 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.

7.5 – Scorpion’s New Hole

Since Wolf had Graduated Perceptionism School, Scorpion had gotten a job, a wife, and a New Hole in Philadelphia Suburbs (Pennsylvania).  Wolf had never been there before, but we followed Scorpion’s directions.  I imagined he lived in some kinda pile of rocks or crevice in the desert or at least an unsuspecting boot, but when we got there it was actually a neighborhood of condos.  Each one looked exactly like the one next to it, and you hadta go thru a maze of identical looking streets and parking lots and landscaping before you got to one that had Scorpion’s van out front.

“This kinda looks like an Adult neighborhood,” I said when we got out.

“Yes,” Wolf scratched his chin and then held his head, “it’s making me a little dizzy.”

Then to cheer him up I showed him The Stash in the trunk.  There were two big cardboard boxes each holding nine bottles of all the different varieties of Alcohol.  Wolf looked at it and licked his chops.

“That does look tasty,” he said.

“How could Scorpion say no to this?” I said.

“How indeed… but he can be a bit of a Perceptionist Snob.”

“Oh.”

We decided we should bring it in anyway, and we all went inside. Wolf put down his box, and Scorpion and his wife hugged Wolf&Lamb, and then gave us all a tour.

The inside of Scorpion’s Hole looked as Adult as the outside.  The living room was full of furniture like a couch and a coffee table and a television.  The kitchen had appliances like a dishwasher and a microwave.  Everywhere the walls were a sparkling bright white, and there was no clutter or Perceptionist Paraphernalia anywhere.  The only strange thing was a mysterious shiny gold wheelchair hiding in a little nook under the staircase.  Otherwise it was not much different than my parent’s Nest or Kat’s parents’ place, and I wondered how such a mythic Perceptionist could live there.

All of the younger Realities from The Wedding seemed to be there already, except for Emperor Penguin, whose band apparently hadta play a concert before coming over, and Lamb’s sisters who went to see the show.  Everyone who was there hugged and congratulated Wolf&Lamb and told them how beautiful the Wedding was and apologized for taking off in the van so quickly.  No one seemed to notice I was standing there the whole time with a big box of Alcohol in my arms, except Wolf.

“Alright,” Wolf said to everyone, “it’s time to decide on the Common Perception for the night.  My fellow Reality Traveler, Bluebird here, has secured for us quite a bit of leftover Lubricant from The Wedding.”

Then he pointed at The Stash, but no one got as excited as I thought.

Scorpion stared at it, waved his tail just a little and shook his head.

“We have to choose something that all of us can handle tho,” Wolf said.  “We can’t just try to seek The Highest Most Powerful Perception tonight.”

Scorpion said nothing.

Wolf hadta shake his head like a wet dog.

“Alright,” he said.  “What do you have in mind then?”

Scorpion stared at him for a second.  “Marijuana Perception,” he then said.

“As you know Marijuana is my Preferred Perception, but I have to acknowledge that not every Reality here feels the same way.”

Wolf looked over at me.  Scorpion looked over at me too and then turned back to Wolf.

“So?” he said.

Then Wolf tried to explain the RealityFuck at hand and how important Common Perception would be.  But Scorpion wasn’t listening.  He raised one claw and pointed it at what looked like a basement door.

“The Marijuana Perception is in my Hole,” he said

“Alright,” Wolf said.  “If that’s the only thing you’re willing to Adventure with then that will just have to be The Common Perception.  But everyone has to do it together.”

Everyone agreed, and then I hadta put The Stash down and go into the Hole.