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.


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


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.