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Remember Bob - Chapter 3

by Alex in Toulouse Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 10:57:13 AM EST

Agnès' extraordinary output on the Windmill series has reminded me that it's time to move on with Bob's story. Here we go.

Previous content:

Remember Bob - Prologue
Remember Bob - Chapter 1
Remember Bob - Chapter 2


Chapter 3
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Just about everyone jumped. If puzzlement was a state of mind that could produce a sound, then an orgy of decibels would have flooded the hall and blanked out the notes.

Some people turned around, either cluelessly or aimlessly looking for the source of these blasted, repeated, sounds, but others actually noticed Bob. Bob would focus his attention on the latter, as soon enough all the others had zapped their puzzlement and were already getting on with their business. He took the didgeridoo off his lips and screamed at the top of his lungs: "LISTEN UP YOU PEOPLE, I'VE GOT A GUN".

What was intended as a warning quickly spread as a debatable rumour. "No no, he said he was about to make a pun" said a cocky blond with a bathing towel slung over his shoulder, before turning his intentionally charming gaze back towards the secretary at the main desk. "That ain't not a gun, that's a dimbgerischmoo" disagreed a young mom standing in the center of the hall, holding a 4-year old boy wrapped in an oversized kimono in her arms. Nearly simultaneously another man standing near Bob said "So what, I have a gun too", while his teenage girl, in a hurry to get home in time for the next episode of the Simpsons, tugged continuously at his shirt. Right away another voice said "Yeah, I've got a gun too.". "And my dad knows someone who has one" cracked a high-pitched voice. Soon enough a flurry of voices were arguing about the pertinence of Bob's message.

This wasn't the reaction that Bob was hoping for, but he had meticulously planned for it too.

"BIG DEAL, I'VE GOT ONE RIGHT HERE AND THE NEXT PERSON TO INTERRUPT ME WILL GET A TASTE OF IT" quickly barked Bob over the ambient chatter, as he put the didgeridoo down, and started tapping it slowly on the floor to get Winch to slide out of its hiding place. While Bob was tapping away, in what seemed to be a maneuver that he hadn't practiced much, people started walking away. "Come on Manfie, we ain't got no time for no crack head" complained the kimono mom, taking off. At the desk, the cocky blond carried on: "Which reminds me, do you know what I call a gorgeous secretary sitting at a desk?". The Bart & Homer fan was now getting impatient, "Dad can we go now, the Simpsons are gonna start", she begged, tugging and tugging. "Just give Dad a minute, ok Milly? I want to see what kind of gun that man has. I think he may have put it inside his didgeburrito" replied her dad. While the cocky blond, leaning on the desk even further forward, smiled and said: "A sacred cherry".

As Bob tapped harder and harder, most of those who had been listening to him were now walking away. Life in the main hall was quickly returning to its usual bustle and hustle of kids shrieking, dads croaking, and moms chirping. Only two people now stood fast near Bob, intent on seeing this through. André, the father of the Simpsons fan. And Amina, a basketball pretendee who also happened to be a toy gun freak, which could be construed as a rare hobby among teenage girls.

Getting Winch out turned out to be more of a problem than Bob had planned for. Winch was in all appearances stuck, almost defiantly so. Only the tip of its two barrels was now showing. André ushered Milly away: "Here's some change, why don't you take the bus home, and if Mom's there then tell her I'll be in a little later", and walked up to Bob to give him a hand. Amina had had the very same idea. André was the first to intervene: "Here I'll hold the nozzle, while you two pull at the top".

Bob was boiling with anger.

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Display:
Bob!  I was getting worried, I thought you might be giving up on him.

Fabulous chapter.

Small question:  Have you done any research to find out whether it's actually possible to hide a shotgun inside a didgeridoo and still play the didgeridoo?

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 12:35:45 PM EST
I know professional players put microphones inside during concerts. I've never actually tried putting a gun inside one though, but as long as some air gets through, there should be a noise, methinks.

But good point! I'll try when I next see my mom, she has a didgeridoo at home ... I'll try shoving a metal rod inside, just to see.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 01:08:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh.  You could also just tell me to keep quiet.

When I used to work in the theater (er, thea-tah) we had this thing we'd say whenever a plot twist stretched the bounds of the believable:  suspend your disbelief... it's the magic of thea-tah!

And then we would snort snarkily.

At any rate, I imagine the unexpected sound of a shotgun-obstructed didgeridoo would be even more alarming than that of a normal didgeridoo....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 01:19:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You could use a double-barrelled didgeridoo...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 05:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good chapter, Alex,

I'm holding my breath... What's going to happen next?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 05:39:06 PM EST
For all the Bob fans out there (if you exist), here is a comment that will help you notice him (as this chapter went by ET like a Formula 1 in front of the tribunes in Malaysia)
by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 01:53:41 PM EST
You mean, notice on that picture? ;-)

Alex, if you kill Bob in the end by suicide, I will buy an express train ticket, and you'll hear the didgeridoo in a few days...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 02:26:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No worries, Bob will never go out without a fight. Well at least he thinks he won't.
by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 02:34:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About the picture, are you familiar with the type of thing it is? (juuuuuuust checking, I know I've seen it in the UK, France and Spain, and wonder if it's known everywhere)
by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 02:35:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I wondered for long what it is. Maybe a visual riddle?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 05:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a "Where's Waldo/Wally" picture. The idea is to find Waldo/Wally in a group of people (it's meant for kids).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where%27s_Wally%3F

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 06:34:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh!

Is Waldo the hand and foot protruding on the upper right of the tent slightly to the left of the center of the image?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:21:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure he's the guy in the red-and-white-striped shirt and hat, holding the cotton candy, front and center.  Hiding in plain sight, if you will.

Why I remember what Waldo looks like, I have no idea.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:40:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
D'oh...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:46:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That looks like a girl. I think he's the guy holding a stick up the air, hiding behind a woman with a green shirt who's holding a balloon, and a grandma with a pink top on a red dress, near the dead center of the picture (that are standing to the left or the circular basin of sorts)
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:52:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For anyone else who wants to try, the full size pic is here:
http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/~tpapalias/webpageteam/waldo.jpg
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 07:53:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's wearing yellow, that's cheating. ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 08:03:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah that yellow clone is a masterful decoy just next to the real one, these guys are good!
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 08:16:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
D'oh.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 08:19:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he's Odlaw, Waldo's nemesis: see the Wikipedia page.

He appears nearly the same as Wally, except that his clothes are yellow and black striped instead of red and white; his glasses have a blue tint to them; and he has a moustache.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 24th, 2006 at 06:14:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, you're right.  In the small picture I couldn't see her ponytail.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 08:05:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funnily enough, after a cursory reading of the stormy present (forgot that about cotton candy), I did find the one you described.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 08:58:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talk about whooshing by, I didn't even notice this episode till today!

Very good. What a MESS, that Bob character! Why did he choose a didgeridoo anyway? (This has probably been explained and I've forgotten).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 04:00:57 PM EST
Well, erm ... argh, I didn't actually explain it, I thought of leaving up to you, Bob's die-hard fan club.

I suppose it could go along the lines of "it's easier to travel discretely with a didgeridoo than with a gun, as that would anyhow need very a large bag" and "didgeridoos are good to get people's attention"?

Then again, Bob never gets noticed, so he could have just travelled with this gun, I suppose.

I am no Salman Rushdie, that's for sure (how writers even manage to hold it all together I wonder). But I'm going for that small niche of ET writers, outrageously bathing in the auspicious opportunities opened up by Agnès' success.

by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Mar 22nd, 2006 at 04:10:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I said Bob was a MESS, that wasn't a meta-comment on your writing, it was a character judgement. I was hoping to get a reaction out of that nobody. But what makes him mad is when people don't notice him, so I suppose he likes criticism as much as he might like praise -- as long as he's actually being noticed.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 24th, 2006 at 06:17:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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