30 March 2011

Page 14

“The dream will answer your questions about the drone.”

He took the pipe out of his mouth, tapped it against his hand, and stuck it in his shirt pocket. “It’s for effect-really. I don’t actually smoke. I keep it in my mouth for safe-keeping. It’s a little like chicle in that regard.”

“Chicle?” asked Maurice.

“The perfect chemical. That’s what chewing gum is made of. A good wad of sugar-flavored chicle between the cheek and gum, massaging the salivary glands, is like manna from Wrigleys. Even better than squid…from my sea-faring days…and chicle grows in trees and won’t squirt you with ink. Nor will a chicle tree try to eat you should you fall overboard.”

Polly smiled. “I do same thing with much of the food I review. I don’t actually eat the horrid stuff. I simply observe it and visualize how it affects my taste buds. You’d be surprised how accurate this is.”

Maurice wondered why he didn’t think of this before the spamburgers arrived and made a mental note to mentally try squid someday.

“About the dream, Mr. Walder. You we’re saying…”

“Yes, yes-the dream. Do you believe in Predestination?”

“Why yes I do,” said Polly.

“I believe in Fate,” said Maurice.

“What would you say if I told you I dreamed the two of you would be sitting here with me, and Ell, and Scrap Iron, and Russell, and Buck (This must be the two checker players thought Maurice) on April the 1st, 2011?”

“Today is the last day of March,” said Maurice.

“Not in New Zealand,” chimed Polly.

“Predestination is like being a character in a book. The book has already been written and it’s up to us to decide who plays all the parts.”

“Oh…Ok,” said Maurice. “But who wrote the book?”

Jakob ignored the question. “Threads. Each of us, and you two in particular, are a single strand of thread connected to the Creator of Life…you can think of him as the writer of the Book of Life too. In my dream I saw two strands working together to create a mesh that stopped a great evil from poisoning the planet. The evil has many names and is real. I think you called him Destruction in your dream, Mr. Perez.”

Maurice’s heart skipped a beat and he felt his face grow warm.

“These microchips Z-Tech inserts into people…yes, I know about them. They bother you and not just a little bit. It’s a bit unsettling how they use facial recognition algorithmns to recognize and track aliens.

You know with your heart this…this numbering and tracking…is wrong, but do not know why.”

“And Polly-you are an artist and writer and intuitively know why beauty and uniqueness is important in life. You also hate spiders.”

Polly jerked and nearly knocked her tea on the floor. She considered spiders as little incarnations of evil and had a particularly bad nightmare about a very large tarantula the night before.

“The two of you should work together to fight this encroachment of civil liberties. Now in my dream, I saw the two strands weaving a web that trapped this great beast.”

“Please Mr. Walder, this sounds exciting, but it’s a little…fantastic, and unsettling, and…and…”

“Arachnodiculous,” said Maurice.

“Yes. Arachno…arachna…what Maurice just said,” said Polly.

29 March 2011

Page 13

Maurice and the former statue shook hands.

"Pleased to meet you Jakob. May I introduce Polly B. Frottin? We're old friends from five minutes ago. One of my company's drones mistook her and Malachi for an unchip alien making a run for it."

Polly and Jakob shook hands. "Where were you going?"

"Borders...the bookstore. It's one of my homes away from home."

Jakob scratched his long dusty beard and gazed gravely at Maurice and Polly. The deep wrinkles about his eyes gave one the impression of great wisdom-of a deep knowledge of scientific and philosophical subjects. His eyes twinkled and made Polly think of Michelangelo's Moses, but without the horns. They were the most distinctive feature of his face. Set farther apart than usual, they gave him a remarkable field of vision. His deep penetrating gaze at Maurice seemed to slice to his inner being. One could tell at once that before him stood a man that perceived much more than most. Both felt drawn to him immediately.

"I had a dream about the you of you."

23 March 2011

Page 12 (For those of you who have been waiting)

Polly Bee Frottin, Ell, Earl Grey, and two plates with two rectangle-shaped cheeseburgers arrived at the same time.

"Over here, Miss Frottin," said Maurice as he lifted his hand."Do you know why I asked to meet you today?"

"I believe it has to do with one of Z-Tech's drones playing laser tag with Malachi."


"My MG roadster. I named him after malachite. It's a dark greeny rock used in jewelry and architecture. It's also used to celebrate one's 13-year-wedding anniversary."

Maurice felt an odd sensation in his belly at this thought. "Thirteen years is a long time you know," he sighed.

"And I'm not being facetious either. And to be even more truthful, I don't even know what facetious means." She said this in the same tone of voice people use when disputing speeding tickets. "It simply feels like the right thing to say. It's an intuitive thing really. It's the right and proper thing to do. Like not eating spam. You know you should never eat spam because it will do nasty things to your liver and kidneys."

"I...I...think they used...spam for hamburger." Polly gazed mournfully at Maurice, gazed even more mournfully at her food. Then drastically cheered up when she spotted 'Scrap Iron' open a mournful eye. And before you could say the sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick, Polly removed the spam and tossed it into the general direction of the dog. "You would not be-lieve how many menu fiascos I've read these past three years," Polly continued.

"You...um...write manifestos?"

"Menu fiascos...It's part of my job at the Times. Every Saturday I travel to a new restaurant, deli, cafe, diner...what have you...and write a review for the Sunday edition"

"I see." Maurice stared at his spamburger and thanked God he didn't order the catfish souffle.

"Bless this meat, darn the skin, while I cover my nose, and cram it in."
Maurice lowered his voice, "I have never considered myself an overly-religious man, but sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry."


The statue sneezed.

"Gesundheit!" said Maurice and Polly simultaneously.

"Vielen Dank," replied the statue in a very unstatue-like and vaguely German way.

"O' goodness," whispered Polly. "Pinnochio...is...real."

"I could not help but overhear your conversation," said the apparently real man. "By the way, my name is Jakob Walder."

21 March 2011

Page 11

Maurice sauntered into the Dew Drop Inn whistling a modified version of the 'Theme to the Pink Panther.' He cared not that the lady sitting by the cash register reading Good Housekeeping hardly noticed as he walked in. Two minutes later, he grew antsy when she was still reading the magazine.

The Pink Panther merged into the theme song to Jeopardy.

Two more minutes passed and she showed no signs of moving. He peered over her shoulder to find her engrossed in an article concerning global warming and the evolution of ceramic cats.

Jeopardy ended. She turned to him and asked,

"What is this world coming to?"

"They say it will come to an end," he replied.

The woman's name tag read Ell. Maurice figured it was a typo or she was trying to curse like the British.

"I'll have two cups of Earl Grey tea, Ms. Ell. And two cheeseburgers."

The Dew Drop Inn was a rustic sort of place. It was part gas station, part convenience store, part restaurant, and part moose lodge. The convenience part resembled a 1980's era Soviet grocery store; a box of Corn Flakes, some matches, those little spoons with flags on them, a stack of dusty Spam. . .and all watched over by a dog of dubious lineage named 'Scrap Iron' in the corner. He sat down by the window and watched as two old men stared intently at a dirty checkerboard. The first man resembled a mannequin; the second man resembled the first man, but talked even less. Neither got invited to many parties, had wooden personalities, and enjoyed watching Lawrence Welk and re-runs of Hee-Haw for hours on end with nary so much as moving a finger. It is rather difficult to explain how Maurice knew this, but he had a well-developed intuition concerning people which was one reason he felt called to be a monk.

In another corner stood a statue that looked to be whittled from a Hickory tree. A corncob pipe was stuck in it's mouth and it had a sort of crooked nose that if an inch shorter would make it appear almost life-like. It was rather dusty and he wondered why Ell didn't vacuum it's shaggy beard more often.

16 March 2011

Page 10

At 4 P.M. that same day, an observer at the right altitude would have seen a small, British racing-green blur and a long, pink, horizontal flapping blur, dangling from a flesh-colored round thing as it tore along the road leading from Canaan Valley to Goshen, Va. The same observer might also have seen a silver Mercedes C280 driving on the same road at a speed roughly consistent with the 45 m.p.h. speed limit.

At 4:15 P.M. the same observer would have seen a well-dressed man in his mid-thirties park the C280 outside the Dew Drop Inn. Twenty minutes later the same observer, if his hot-air balloon hadn’t drifted away, might have seen the same British racing-green blur screech to a halt in the same parking lot. Watch as an attractive young woman in her late twenties and pink scarf with reddish-blond hair exits the former blur and shake her head violently as she looks at her watch. And, observe her pick up a stick and poke the grill of her car, and grimace as she removes something that might have been a small flying creature in a past life.

The man would be Mr. Maurice Perez originally from the melancholic state of Maine, and current resident of Goshen, Va. The woman would be Miss Polly Bee Frottin, lifestyle editor of the Shenandoah Valley Times, only daughter of Mr. Ludwig Van Frottin, current resident of Canaan Valley, WV, and murderer of her third Picoides borealis…sometimes known as the Red-headed Cockaded woodpecker as the compilers of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species List affectionately like to call it.

14 March 2011

Page 9

The entire chip and drone project bothered Maurice. The concept of implanting microchips into a certain class of people, (even with good intentions), simply did not seem right. He felt like an accomplice in a plot to debase humans-to lower them to the level of mere animals and rank them like so many herd of cattle.

Little did most know that aliens were not the only ones with embedded microchips. Many members of congress, all U.S. ambassadors, some high-ranking military officers, all NFL football players, nearly all U.S. prisoners, and an untold number of the elderly secretly had the Z-Tech chips. Maurice knew this and also knew of the little-known law that should a major catastrophe strike, all U.S. citizens would be embedded…with or without their consent.

The Z-Tech chips are really a form of slavery,’ he thought on more than one occasion…’and should more drones mis-fire…

Maurice grimaced. He stared at the disassembled drone and said,

“Put Humpy-Dumpty back together again…only this time insert a new un-used facial recognizance microchip and perform another test run.”

“But all the rats are gone boss.”

“Use the chimps…and lower the voltage. We don’t want another accident on our hands.”

“Yes, boss.”

Maurice returned to his office.

“Candy-I want you to get me the telephone number of a Polly Frottin.”

“A Polly-what?” she asked.

“A Miss Polly Frottin. She’s the first non-alien to get zapped in seven years by one of our drones.”

Is Polly her real name? It sounds like a screen name…or a foreign name…or one of those names people use when they turn recluse, and introverted, and hide out in a log cabin in Utah and write manifestos.”

“I don’t think Polly writes manifestos, Candy”

“Then what does she write….Hmmmm?”

“I don’t know that she writes anything. I do know we need to find a cure for this seven-year-hitch.”

“Yes, we do,” Candy replied in a voice only a rabbit would hear.

09 March 2011

Page 8

In the early days, the drones had trouble distinguishing non-chipper aliens from non-chipper natives and the problem was thought to be solved with the newest advances in facial recognition software.

Until recently.

On one of her Sunday afternoon adventures, Miss Polly Frottin was zapped by a Z-Tech drone as she was speeding down Rt.66 between Canaan Valley, WV and Goshen, VA. The day was warm and sunny, the music was blaring, and the top was down on her little green MG roadster. The theory held by the technicians was the drone was momentarily confused by the blur of flashing green (the car) and Miss Polly’s windswept hair (reddish-blond), along with her Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses. The combination must have given the drone the impression of a very unchip alien who was late for work.

Fortunately, the laser merely shocked her car and aside from the complete inability of her car stereo to tune into NPR, left Miss Polly unscathed. She promptly stopped her car at a quaint little deli and gas station called Quaker Steaks and Lube and told the owner, “Take a look at my car. It seems to be producing quite a bit of static electricity…oh’ and I’ll have a cheese steak sandwich, fries, and 5 quarts of motor oil if you please.”

The incident might have been forgotten except that three days later another incident involving the same drone occurred.

Witnesses at the scene reported that approximately 2:30 P.M. a Z-Tech drone zapped the mayor of Goshen’s girlfriend…a one Miss Petunia C. Noggins…just minutes after she left the Blue Moose beauty salon and Wrinkle Reduction Centre with a new haircut and botox injections. Miss Noggins was madder than a hornet and threatened to report the crime to the local papers when the wise and very rich mayor persuaded her to maintain a low profile and that he would talk to one of the Z-Tech scientists himself.

That was yesterday and the scientist happened to be Maurice.

05 March 2011

The Maine Character


Follow the link above to continue reading about The Adventures of Maurice the Maine character...a work in progress...(and sometimes regress)

Page 7

The Class E α–male drone was specifically designed by Z-Tech to hover soundlessly over the countryside as an un-manned surveillance craft to guard against illegal alien entry and activities. Legal aliens, however, were judged to be good for the economy and welcomed with open arms and coupons for free drinks at the local taverns. This was primarily due to some undisclosed wild rave parties reputably held in Roswell, New Mexico during the 1940’s that government agents to this day still rarely talk about.

The big problem was determining the legality of an alien.

Z-Tech’s answer was to insert a rice-sized microchip into the legal alien’s arm. Because of its tiny size, it was practically undetectable once embedded. A polyethylene cover helped the chip bond with the skin to prevent migration.

The chip worked in much the same manner as the bar code scanner at your local grocery store. Only instead of a bar code, one has the half inch long microchip in your shoulder. When a scanner or reader passed over, a radio signal energized the dormant microchip which then transmitted a unique sixteen digit identification number. This number was used to provide access to a secure database in Switzerland containing the person’s complete medical history, bank records, and ability to have a good time.

So if the drone detected an unchipped alien…an unchipper one, it immediately zapped it with a laser which reminded it to lighten up and get a chip in it’s shoulder. If, after a reasonable period of time, the illegal alien still did not get a chip in it’s shoulder, the drone zapped the illegal alien with an even more compelling reminder to hurry things up a bit, as everyone knows foreigners with chips in their shoulders tell really good stories and do neat tricks that natives general haven’t thought about.

03 March 2011

Life in the Desert

There is something about solitude that draws men closer to the heart of God. In a silent world, it is easier to perceive the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart strings-urging you to come closer and closer to His presence-leading you deeper and deeper into a reality more real and vivid than you've ever known before. It is in the silent places one most feels the Holy Spirit pressing upon you-covering you like a blanket and yearning for something your heart desires more than anything in the world. Something richer, deeper, more intimate, and fulfilling than all the best things you can imagine combined. Something inarticulable. The Something has parallels and shadows in this world, yet as good as these may be, they are only a hint of what will be experienced moments after one closes one's eyes for the last time on planet Earth.

Page 6

“A-hem,” his neighbor coughed. “Well Maurice, I do hope you get some rest. You look positively exhausted.” And with that he trudged off to his bright red barn.

The dream bothered Maurice. Why did not the giant recognize him? Was he really hidden from his view? One thing was certain-‘getting back to nature’ was for the birds and the furry woodland creatures who regularly visited his backyard garden during their nocturnal shopping trips. Another thing that was certain was his need to be at work in a couple of hours looking like he had a good night’s sleep.

At exactly 7:58 A.M. Maurice walked through the double-paned glass doors of Z-Tech Pharmaceutical, Industrial, and Culinary Consultants, Inc.

“Good morning Maurice,” came the cheery voice of Candy Skipper.

“Any messages?” he asked.

Candy Skipper, fond of chewing-gum, mini-skirts, different hair styles, and Celtic pewter jewelry was his secretary. She was his complete opposite, yet for obscure reasons unfathomable to her creative mind, she had developed something similar to, but not quite exactly like a crush on Maurice. It was more like the affection a cave-woman feels towards a large woolly mammoth sweater with a hole in the shoulder. A sweater that keeps one warm on those cold Ice Age nights during college basketball season, but lets in just enough cold drafty air to act as an irritant. Whether he knew this is a matter of some debate, but Candy, due to her unique mindset, felt it would be a serious social faux pas to come out and tell him.

In celebration of pay day, Candy wore green hair, gold shirt, and silver skirt.

“The techies have been calling all morning. They’re down in room 312…”

The drone lay on a white table. Its insides spread out like a bad car wreck.
“What have you found?” asked Maurice.


“At all?”

“To speak of. All the systems were working properly, at least until we completely disassembled everything.”

“I want a test run.”

“We’ve done that.”


“It went perfectly. Killed all our test rats in one fell swoop. Even Smart Sparky got zapped.”

“Sparky’s dead?”

“Tragic, I know boss…but science is science.”

Page 5

Maurice, though, had never drunk alcohol in his life.

There was really no reason why. People offered him drinks plenty of times and he always politely refused with the simple reply,

“No thanks. I’m abstaining until marriage or 2050 A.D…whichever comes first.”

Maurice thought long and hard about this and believed his refusal of alcohol was a subconscious rejection of something else entirely. That is, beer and wine were a metaphor for some innate hated thing that wronged him in his formative years. In this, Id and Ego agreed.

“What could it be,” he thought. “Is it grapes?”

Grapes were not his favorite fruit. They looked good on the outside, but were soft and mushy in the middle. And there was always that infernal seed lurking inside that ruined any hope of a joyful culinary experience. But seedless grapes existed. He loved seedless grapes.

“Could it be the yellow jackets that built their paper homes in my parent’s vineyards?”

That didn’t seem right either. He brooded more over the situation.

“Seeds, yellow jackets, paper houses, cheap houses, trailer park ’houses’, purple trailer park houses, seedy houses, back to the infernal seeds again, mushy middles…” Something sinister lurked in man’s history concerning the purple fruit of the vine.

“Vine, whine, wine…”

Martin Luther said, “He who loves not wine, women, and song remains a fool his whole life long.”

“Perhaps I should drink wine,” he said aloud and rather quickly. “Was it not Pliny the Elder who said, “In wine there is truth.” And truth be told he was on a life-long search for truth.