13 September, 2009

Ellen and Swancutt part ways

After Blarin parachuted from Robert Swancutt’s blimp, Ellen turned to Swancutt.
“So, where do you think he’s going next?” she asked.
“He believes he thinks best in areas of the country that are least affected by sunspot activity,” he replied.

Then Ellen asked Robert about a photo she found on Blarin’s desk.
“You were in a photo from when you and Blarin were at an airport in London. I assume the fellow behind you is your body guard. Who is the guy behind him?” she asked.
“That’s his body guard,” Swancutt replied.

After a brief pause, Swancutt continued.
“I’ll be glad to drop you back off on top of Blarin’s building," he said.

Soon, Ellen, still dressed as Mary Scot of Queens, was back on Blarin’s roof.
As the blimp drifted away, Swancutt yelled one last message to Ellen.
“If you need to send note," he said, "send it by falcon.”

12 September, 2009

Dinner-table conversation continued

As Blarin, Ellen and Robert were finishing their meal, Ellen said, “This is nice wine, Robert.” Blarin picked up the bottle
“Yes, this is from Robert’s own vineyard – “Minyard Vineyard.”
There was a picture on the label of a swan in a barber chair getting a hair cut.

Then Blarin leaned over to Ellen and said: “Thanks, Mary for taking care of the birds.”
Then he handed her a note and said: “I forgot to tell you I changed my password.”
He paused and continued.
“A young lady tracked me down in Kansas City. She’s writing a paper about me. If you meet her, feel free to be helpful.”

He then stood up, looking at his watch. He left the table saying: “Excuse me, it’s already 80 after 6.”
Robert turned to Ellen. “He means it’s 20 after 7 p.m.” he said.
Ellen nodded, clearly understanding Blarin’s math.
He returned wearing a parachute. “I stated in my memoirs that I had sky dived. So here I go," Blarin said before he leaped from the blimp.
Ellen and Robert ran over to the blimp door and looked out.
They saw Blarin plummeting. The shoot opened. On its top, Blarin had painted the words: “This side up.”

08 September, 2009

Blarin talks law suit, cell phones and blimps

Ellen found dinning with Blarin and Robert Swancutt quite. While at the table, she decided to ask Blarin a question or two for her research.
“Blarin,” she asked, “About that libel suit you filed against yourself regarding your autobiography – how is that proceeding?”
Blarin responded: “Thanks for asking. The judge has issued a gag order on the case. I’m not allowed to talk to myself.”
Ellen further inquired: “By the way, there’s a cell phone your desk that has been taken apart. Should I move it?”
Blarin said: “No. I stated in my memoirs that I invited a new call alert type for people’s phones. They can either ring, vibrate or give off a little smell. I’m still working on that little smell.”
Blarin continued: “Swancutt here has been working on a new air sport idea called bumper blimp. Blimps bump into each other and bounce around, right Robert?” he asked looking at Swancutt.
“Right, Blarin,” Robert answered. “At this point I’ve had no takers. In fact, I’ve noticed other airship operators staying as far away on the horizon as possible.”

07 September, 2009

Sir Robert Swancutt's blimp

Still dressed as Mary Scot of Queens, Ellen walked into the main cabin of Robert Swancutt’s air ship. Blarin and Swancutt were talking, holding wine glasses in their hands. Blarin stopped in their conversation, saying: “Hello, Mary.”
Swancutt introduced himself and handed Ellen a glass. Blarin continued his story about going to South America and meeting a witch doctor.
“The tribe was very friendly to me,” he said. “They gave me a plot of ground to stay on the next time I came. It has enough space for a hut with room to spear.”

At that point, Swancutt announced dinner would be served. The three took their places at the table. Swancutt poured more wine. Ellen took a look at the faire. The spread consisted of braised goat with mushrooms and yogurt sauce and a side dish of artichokes and eggs. At first taste, Ellen said to Swancutt, “My compliments to the chef.”
Robert replied: “Thank you Mary, he is quite good. And, I’m proud of my new dish washer. He just finished his years of study at the prestigious school of dishwashing in France. He is now a master dishwasher.”
Blarin added: “Yes, he’s an interesting fellow. He’s an Eskimo. He tried taking his first classes at home via the internet, but the steam from the dishwater melted his igloo.”

28 August, 2009

Robert Swancutt's blimp

Ellen reached in her pocket, grabbing Robert Swancutt’s note inviting her and Blarin to dinner. She noticed the dinner invitation was for that day as well as instructions: “Meet at Central Park.”
Still dressed as Mary Scot, Ellen left Blarin’s apartment and proceeded walking down the stairs to ground level. She crossed the street, entering Central Park.
As she entered the park, the vagueness of Swancutt’s instructions entered her mind – Central Park is more than 800 acres and he didn’t mention a specific place to meet.
Just then, the sky darkened and she looked up to notice she was in the shadow of a blimp. There was Swancutt leaning out with a bull horn, shouting: “I’m lowering a rope ladder, Mary. Climb aboard.”
Once inside the cabin of the air ship, she noticed Blarin was already inside.

Blarin the storm chaser

Back at Blarin’s desk, Ellen saw another entry in his journal. This one referenced the beat-up storm chaser’s car he’d purchased months ago. In the journal, Blarin described how, once obtaining the car, he decided to try his hand at storm chasing.
He drove to southern Oklahoma. He received a call from a worried farmer, Horace Crumb, about an approaching thunderstorm. Blarin drove out and met the farmer who asked: “Are you a storm chaser?”
“Yes,” Blarin replied.
Crumb responded: “Can you chase that storm away from here?”
“We’re here to observe storms,” Blarin replied, “not run them off.”

27 August, 2009

Feeding Falcon

Ellen approached the birds outside Blarin’s rooftop dwelling. There were three pigeons and a falcon. The birds appeared calm. Ellen guessed it was due to the familiar sight of her Mary Scot of Queens disguise. While feeding them, she noticed each bird had a name tag on its perch. They were named Alpha, Beta and Charlie. The falcon’s name was Falcon.

Each pigeon had a small pouch attached to one leg. Ellen figured they were carrier pigeons. The falcon also had a pouch. She further figured Blarin had managed to train himself a carrier falcon. There was a note in Falcon’s pouch. Ellen spoke to the falcon, “Hi Falcon.” The falcon flew and landed on her shoulder faster than she could duck. She retrieved the note. It was a message from Sir Robert Swancutt inviting Blarin to dinner on Swancutt’s blimp. The note mentioned to invite Mary Scot of Queens as well. Ellen put the message in her pocket.

24 August, 2009

Blarin the layman linguist

Ellen realized Blarin fancies himself to be a laymen linguist. She stumbled across a collection of words Blarin was hoping to have added to the Oxford dictionary he’d brought back from the university. He even hand wrote them into their proper places in his copy of the book.

Contrahilarious – A serious or solemn situation.
Postcautionary – Being careful after a mishap occurs.
Yestermorrow - The present day. Also see today.
Igtremendous – Being of no particular interest.

Escargot

Ellen punched on Blarin’s computer. Blarin evidently tried to organize a hunting expedition. It was to be a snail hunt. Although he had no takers for the event, he had an amazing number of inquires.

She looked up from the computer screen when she heard a tapping on Blarin’s front window glass. The falcon was hanging upside down from the eave of Blarin’s shack, tapping his beak on the glass. Ellen remembered the bird food she was given at Pedro’s Salad Bar and realized she was now responsible for the birds.

21 August, 2009

Blarin finds his keys

Thumbing through Blarin’s travel diary, Ellen noticed an entry where Blarin described trying to find his set of keys he’d lost while tromping through the Florida Everglades. He described happening upon what he realized to be the Fountain of Youth, but disregarded the find. He was intent on finding his keys.

A trivial lawsuit

Ellen Games made it back to Blarin’s desk. She picked up a highlighted newspaper clipping. Evidently, Blarin found interest in a local legal matter.
According to the article, a man had spit on a sidewalk. Someone behind him slipped on the spot and cracked an elbow. A law suit resulted. To remain anonymous, the spitter’s name was changed to Sebastian V. Calatorian III. Sebastian’s lawyer countersued, shifting the blame on the city. His lawyer stated: “The city should know people spit on the sidewalk from time to time. They should have installed spit-absorbing sidewalks.”

16 August, 2009

The storm chaser's car

Blarin attempted to buy a car he saw advertised at a used car dealership online. When he got to the lot, he asked the dealer about the extensive damage to the car’s body.
“Why is it completely covered in dents?” he asked.
“The previous owner was a storm chaser,” the dealer responded with a smile, clearly hoping its history would be a selling point.
“What about the hole in the roof?” Blarin continued asking.
The dealer replied: “The storm chaser cut that out so the hail stones would fill his ice chest.”

Ellen as Mary Scot

Ellen left Blarin’s building with the napkin from Pedro’s Salad Bar in hand. Once on the sidewalk, she happily discovered the salad bar just a block away. In she went. A few voices called out: “Hi Mary” “Hello Mary.” She initially didn’t respond. She needed to remind herself she was in Mary Scot’s disguise.
The patron’s were a truly diverse mix. Beyond the array of salads, she noticed a bar. She walked up, sitting at one of the stools.
She noticed a couple of painting on the wall. One pictured a western scene of a cowboy roping a calf with a beautiful sunset in the background. In the foreground was a cowboy reacting to a snake bite. The other painting depicted a Norseman of royalty posing for a portrait. A brass tag on the frame named him as King Threshold of Doorway.
The bartender asked if she wanted her regular.
“Yes,” she said, not knowing what that might be. He delivered a Bloody Mary with two sticks of celery. Then he pounded down two bags onto the bar.
“Here’s Blarin’s pigeon seed and food for his falcon,” the bartender said.
She began to realize the likely reason the birds on Blarin’s roof stared at her.
Then a tap came on her shoulder. A man handed her a short strand of twine.
“Here’s the string I borrowed from Blarin,” he said. “I didn’t want him to think I was going to run off with it.”
Upon that, she finished her drink, took the string and bird food and headed back to Blarin’s penthouse.

13 August, 2009

Becoming Mary Scot of Queens

Ellen noticed a note taped to Blarin’s pencil sharpener. His assistant had left her farewell.

The note read: “I regret to leave my position. I’m getting married and my husband and I will head to the northwest to look for Big Foot. I’m leaving my Mary Scot of Queens outfit by your desk. Thanks for everything, you know, Mary.”

Ellen turned and saw the box Mary’s disguise. She tried it on. The shoes, the dress, the wig and the hat all fit well enough. She grabbed Blarin’s poem – the poem he’d scribbled on a napkin from Pedro’s Salad Bar. Ellen took off dressed as Mary Scot.

She intended to find Blarin’s hang outs. She left the penthouse, descending the stairs from the roof and taking the elevator the rest of the way. On the way down, she encountered several of the building staff. They each greeted her with “Hello, Mary.” As she exited the building, the doorman gave her a tip.

12 August, 2009

Organized crime

Ellen noticed a letter on Blarin’s desk. Blarin’s great aunt Elsa wrote of her dismay over her husband’s incarceration. Seymour Horne always engaged in mobster activities, she wrote. Elsa explained many gangsters met their end due to being prosecuted for simple tax evasion as authorities often couldn’t pin larger crimes on them. Seymour went down due to an overdue library book.

Recalling aliens

In a note, Blarin attempted to describe the space alien he’d previously witnessed - though he wasn't sure if he'd seen them in a dream or in real life. They had big bulging eyes. They could see all the way around themselves except straight in front. That could explain their short, flattened in noses.

10 August, 2009

Nudists

Blarin was invited to be a guest speaker at an area nudist colony. Though he was honored by the invitation, he was a bit concerned and confused when he realized it would be casual Friday.

Nostalgia for the near-present

Ellen discovered Blarin might have a tendency to get nostalgic over events that have just happened. She found a poem he’d written on a cafĂ© napkin:

“Thinking back on yesterminute
And everything that happened in it
It seems just like a moment in time
Before I started writing this rhyme.”

06 August, 2009

CDs on Blarin's desk

Sorting through the items on Blarin’s desk, Ellen Games spotted two CDs.
One was an audio book about speed reading by internationally recognized speed reader Eric The Read.

Ellen noticed a sticky note on the other CD’s case. Judging by the note, she realized that, at Blarin’s request, a friend put together a CD of background sounds to go to sleep by. Blarin had neglected to mention any particular theme for the sounds.
The disc included selections such as; distant sirens, dripping faucet, dropping tools, cafeteria clatter, lone mosquito, falling down stairs, agitated parrot, and constant vacuuming with occasional wall bumps.

05 August, 2009

Blarin receives Chicago-politics-style threat

At Blarin’s desk, Ellen discovered the likely reason she believes Blarin took off, abandoning his penthouse. It was a piece of mail.
Blarin had previously sued himself over a remark he’d made about himself in his autobiography. The package seemed to be in response to the suit. Blarin sent himself a threatening letter as well as a dead fish.

Out-of-this-world dream

Not knowing if it was an alien encounter or just a dream, Blarin found himself sitting straight up in bed. An unidentified craft landed. The lead alien approached a small crowd, including Blarin. The space man spoke: “Sorry, we seem to have forgotten something. We’ll be back in 10,000 years.”

02 August, 2009

The truth detector

Blarin was walking down a sidewalk when he was approached by a researcher shouting: “Mr. Horne, Mr. Horne!” Blarin turned and faced the fellow. With a stare that could penetrate the known universe, Blarin said: “Yes.” The researcher continued.
“It is said you are a bit of an inventor,” the man said. “Are you working on anything new?”
Blarin smiled and said: “I’m working on a device I call a truth detector to be used on politicians.”

Controversial typo

Blarin, writing a guest column for a political news magazine, created a bit of a controversy with a typo about same-sex mirages. Conservative pundits didn’t know what the phrase meant, but they knew they didn’t like it.

31 July, 2009

Police brief

College student Ellen Games continued looking at the clipping on Blarin's desk. She noticed several lines of a police brief:
Local authorities are at odds with Blarin Horne, a would-be-inventor. He is working on a device for his car. If another motorist cuts him off, he can, by remote control, activate their air bag.

After reading that clip, Ellen was startled when she looked back up from the desk. The falcon on the roof was now upside down peering in the window at her.

Carpet-hiking-stud

Another entry surfaced in Blarin’s failed dating service attempt. He described himself as a “real indoorsman” sometimes camping in his closet for a couple of days. He added: “I might occasionally venture out for a bit of mantel climbing.”

Blarin thought this would help

Ellen found a sympathetic note Blarin had started to his friend Hank Penelope. Hank had opened a menswear store. He complained to Blarin that only women and their little daughters were coming in. Blarin suggested he rename his store Hank’s.

30 July, 2009

On the desk of Blarin Horne

After the Tulsa episode, Ellen lost track of Blarin. She decided to head back to square one and find Blarin’s penthouse. In the building at the top of a long flight of stairs she came to a locked door. Behind her, a voice said: “Are you Mr. Horne’s new assistant?” She turned and looked. A janitor. Before she could muster an answer, he handed her a key. On the roof she spotted Blarin’s shed with a couple of pigeons and a falcon perched on top. Inside, Ellen sat at Blarin’s desk. There were sacks of article clippings, notes and a copy of Mr. Horne’s manuscript. She looked up and out the window to see the falcon peering in at her upside down.

She noticed a clipping where Blarin had taken out a classified ad about a cat. It was a black cat. The ad read: “Lost cat. Doesn’t answer to the name ‘Pepper.’” The story has it, she found out, the neighbor bellow stuck his head out the window and yelled up at Blarin. “I think I saw your cat,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it was him. He didn’t come when I called his name.”

The consort of Queens

Before Blarin left New York to fulfill his already written memoirs, he had employed the services of a young lady to serve as his personal assistant. Among her duties, she picked up his research materials and daily newspapers. While on the streets of New York tending to these tasks, Blarin insisted she go incognito. She chose to dress as a downtown bag lady and go by the name Mary Scot of Queens.

Blarin and the milk jugs

Back at the karaoke bar in Tulsa, Oxford University student Ellen Games brought up another entry in Blarin’s attempt with a dating service. A question asked if he had any hobbies. Blarin's response: “Yes, I have begun juggling milk jugs. However, I find it much easier if I drink the milk first.”

27 July, 2009

Horne picks the wrong chicken

Blarin once found himself chased away from a church picnic. He’d brought in a caterer with three choices of fried chicken – crispy, extra crispy, or crucifried.

Close encounters

Posed with the question: “Do you have any fantasies?”, Blarin paused as if all mental activity had stopped.
Then he responded abruptly: “I would like a close encounter with space aliens. I’d like to abduct one of them, take them on a drive down the freeway, and return the alien to his crew. He would need to try to explain his unaccountable loss of time.”

26 July, 2009

Blarin in South America

Hoping to organize a field trip experience to the jungles of South America, Blarin asked for applicants to accompany his group. One lone applicant signed on. As Blarin and his group of one approached a remote village, they noticed a warrior running toward them. A witch doctor holding a blow gun stood up and blew a dart. Blarin and his group ducked. The dart hit the witch doctor’s own tribesman in the back.
When Blarin questioned him about the incident, the witch doctor simply stated: “My people are afraid of shots. This is the only way I can immunize them.”

24 July, 2009

Blarin on luck

Blarin, contemplating a visit to Las Vegas, once quipped: “It’s pretty easy to spot bad luck and good luck. It’s neutral luck that is hard to observe.”

Sir Robert Swancutt

In his autobiography, Blarin recalled meeting a man named Sir Robert Swancutt during his dictionary-purchasing trip to the University of Oxford. In an airport terminal, Blarin remembered, Robert seemed very anxious and fidgety.
Taking his seat in the plane, Blarin noticed Robert was sitting next to him. Once aloft, Blarin spoke: “You seemed pretty nervous back there on the ground. You look calm now.”
Reclining in his seat, Robert responded: “Now that we’re in the air I’m fine. You see, I have a fear of not flying.”

19 July, 2009

Memoirs, Goliath and a tornado

To fulfill the goals of his already written memoir’s, Blarin acquired a small horse race track in Kentucky. Along with the deal came a very large horse named Goliath. Thus, he named the track “Goliath Downs”.
During the first race, cameras caught images of the winner with Goliath trailing far in the background. Beyond Goliath could be seen an approaching tornado. The storm heavily damaged the venue. Once repaired, Blarin renamed the track “Hunker Downs”.

Horne's security system

Horne recently installed a high-tech security device hoping to limit unwanted entry to his previously unsecured penthouse. To get in, one needs to place their elbow on a pad while pressing their finger on a print reader while gazing into a retinal scanner. If after the second attempt fails, one is instructed to say into the speaker: “It’s me.”

18 July, 2009

A college newspaper reporter’s account of a Horne sighting

I spotted Blarin Horne in the campus library last fall. Realizing the potential for a story, I approached him. I forgot to start my tape recorder until the brief interview was almost over, but here it is:
“Mr. Horne, you’ve said in a past interview that you never attended Oxford, which no one disputes,” I said. “You said you went there in the early ‘90s on the Concord. What was that trip about?”
“Well, I went to get a copy of the Oxford Dictionary – needed to make a quick reference,” Horne replied.
“You know you could have gotten a copy of that at any book store here in the states, don’t you?” I asked.
Blarin’s response was inaudible.

Weeks later, Horne agreed to a sit-down interview with a new-age magazine writer.
The writer hoped to explore a side of Horne no other reporter had uncovered before.
“They say some people dream in black and white,” the writer told Horne. “Do you dream in black and white or in color?”
Horne seemed ready for the question.
“Not only do I dream in color,” he replied, "but also in Dolby sound.”

15 July, 2009

Tulsa, karaoke and a biclops

Oxford student Ellen Games flew from Kansas City to Tulsa following Horne as he attempted to avoid sunspot activity. She checked into a motel and went to the lounge. There was Blarin behind the karaoke machine.
During his break, Ellen cornered him with a question. “You mentioned in your writings you had no luck attracting a lady through a dating service. On a question about your appearance, you said you were a biclops. What do mean by that?”

Confused, Horne answered: “Well, I have two eyes.”

A news paper clipping on Horne's desk

A reporter once quizzed Blarin about why he attempted to write his unauthorized autobiography so early in life.
Blarin responded: “To avoid procrastination. I decided to write my memoirs now and then set out to do all the things I said I’ve done.”

13 July, 2009

Controversy, interview and sun spots

It seems Blarin Horne has filed suit against himself over a slanderous remark written about himself in his unauthorized autobiography. When asked if rumors of the lawsuit were true, Blarin answered: “It’s as true as you are willing to believe.”

Among his other works, Blarin attempted to publish a coloring book for depressed adults about the life of Ernest Hemingway. But the last few pages didn’t do them any particular good.

Intrigued by Horne’s writings, Ellen Games, a graduate student at Oxford, is taking a hiatus from her summer classes to track down Horne. She hopes to write a research paper about him. Rumors of Horne’s whereabouts led her to the outskirts of Kansas City. By chance, he was one of the first people she found (advice from Horne’s old college roommate that he was “not hard to miss” proved to be true in more than one regard). When she asked Blarin why he was in the Midwestern city, Horne, looking to the sky, responded: “Dodging sunspot activity.”

Ellen soon asked Blarin about a line in his book:
“You wrote about a brief near-death experience in which you were hesitant to look at the bright light at the end of the tunnel,” she asked pointing to a highlighted line in Horne’s unnecessarily controversial book.“What made you finally decide to stare at the light?”
After a brief pause and glance at the sky, Blarin responded: “I needed to sneeze.”

Blarin’s response sounded very weak. Games looked up from her note pad. Blarin was halfway down the block.
Ellen shouted: “What are you doing way down there?”
“The sun spots are moving,” Blarin yelled back. “I’m off to Tulsa.”
She mumbled to herself: “I don’t know if I can afford this.”