Duct Tape

Duct Tape

Himself is on a mission; he is scouting locations for his upcoming project - which, of course, must remain a secret for now. Realizing that he does rather stand out in a crowd, he has decided that a field trip to the country for his loyal and hard-working staff would provide a good cover for his work as a scout. And he feels strangely drawn back to a certain farm in Hamilton County.

Rivergirl, who, in spite of her age and advanced dottiness, adores adventure, is excited about the field trip. And, of course, the opportunity to visit with Farmboy, her even older and stranger cousin, is always a plus. Osiris, who considers everything west of North Tarrytown to be outside the known worlds, is less than enthusiastic.

"How come I have to go with you?" he whines. "I'll bet it's something shady. That's it, isn't it?" His Beloved Employer tries to assure him that everything will be fine, but Osiris will have none of it. "I know what it'll be like;" he complains, "I can already feel the wind in my hair and the bugs on my teeth."

Their Beloved Employer, gracious as he may appear, can be surprisingly firm in dealing with his worthy hirelings, and he, Rivergirl and the reluctant Osiris are soon headed out into the country. Rivergirl babbles on in her usual incoherence; Osiris glowers from his seat in the high dudgeon, and Himself gives up, once again, trying to be understood.

Act II

Once they arrive at the farm, Himself heads off for a solitary, and therefore peaceful, walk in the woods. Rivergirl immediately heads for the large kitchen of Farmboy's Victorian farmhouse. After the unfortunate jelly incident, she is delighted to be out of the cramped kitchen in the deserted post office box. She checks the pantry and finds fresh eggs, fresh fruit and, of course, chocolate. She will be baking for awhile.

Osiris, left alone in the yard, finally climbs down off his high dudgeon and wanders over to inspect the creatures on the other side of the fence. He is amazed by their placid gaze - they truly do not strive to be anything; they are simply content to Be. He is beginning to think that these creatures, which he thinks are called 'cows,' have discovered the secret to inner peace. He is astounded, therefore, when some cows
suddenly look shocked as they tip sideways and land with a loud thud.

Osiris has, of course, gotten quite used to women falling over with a loud THUD whenever his Beloved Employer smiles. But these are not women, and Himself is nowhere in sight. This phenomenon requires some considerable thought. Eventually, Osiris comes to a conclusion (and so will this ridiculous story, I promise). He turns to the woman who has joined him at the fence and says, "If they weren't so intensely
self-absorbed, they would realize that all of life is a struggle for balance."

The woman, who is the official keeper of the duct tape, looks at Osiris with pity in her eyes. "I had an epiphany like that once, City Kid. But then I hammered something mercilessly until it went away."

Chapter doesn't she know enough to quit when she's ahead?
Osiris, having come to a conclusion about the cows, feels compelled to act. But what to do? Just then he sees his Beloved Employer returning from his scouting trip followed at a discreet distance by six feet and 200 pounds of pure Captain D, his head of security. At almost the same moment, Rivergirl comes out of the house with her latest culinary triumph. Osiris seizes the moment and outlines his plan.

"Sir," he says, "you take Captain D and prop up the unbalanced bovines. Rivergirl, once they've got the creatures upright, you distract them (the cows, not your Beloved Employer, you adlepated old...) with the cookies. You," he says to the keeper of the duct tape, "you help me duct tape them (the cows, not my Beloved
Employer) to the fence so they'll be able to stand."

"Do you approve of my plan?" he asks, adding, "Please, please, please, please don't discourage me." Actually, everyone is delighted with O's plan, and anyway, a discouraging word is seldom heard at Farmboy's. The whole crew immediately jumps to complete their assigned tasks.

Himself and Captain D lift the cows into a standing position with little or no trouble. Rivergirl runs to keep each newly balanced bovine distracted while Osiris and his new assistant work feverishly to duct tape them to the fence. This is, of course, the most delicate part of the entire operation - the struggle between meaning and a need to
create art. The duct tape is everywhere, with as much of it landing on our brave crew as on the cows.

Just then, the farmyard is filled with a cloud of dust and the lawyer slams the breaks on her black and orange, tiger striped Porsche. She leaps out of the car, her fiery eyes clouded with disgust. She looks at Himself, Osiris, Rivergirl, Captain D and their new friend and announces imperiously, "Duct tape is just so last year!"


Chronicle's Home

D.Consortium Home