FURTHERMORE AND THE TROUBLEMAKER IN OUR MIDST
Brother Furthermore Raven was all a-flutter (it’s a bird thing) when I
arrived in the deep cavern below the house last night.
“Look! Look at this!” he screeched, banking off the flying buttresses and
dropping at mach 2 to the top of the right pillar. “Look! We have a
troublemaker in our midst, Brother Skip!”
Sure enough, right there on the old oaken cadaver table we use as a
trestleboard/wet bar, there was a sheet of yellowed paper, affixed to the
wood with the tyler’s sword. It was sort of hard to miss, you know?
Furthermore adjusted his trifocals and stalked across the page, stabbing
each word with a claw as he read.
“You lazy fools! Why do you fight the inevitable? Your obligations are
worthless and of no account! I will summon Devil and make lasting charges
Of course, it was unsigned. There was something vaguely and troublingly
familiar about it, however, something that would haunt me until far past my
bed time. For the moment, however, Furthermore had thoughtfully concocted a
brace of chilled martinis to fortify us as we contemplated this intrusion
into the heart of all we hold dear.
I will attempt to make a long story short. I know you find this hard to
believe, but the effort is good for my soul. During the next four days, we
received similar messages each day. All threats. Three were on that yellow
paper again. The fourth showed up on my cavern computer. This was
especially troubling for two reasons: (1) I don’t tell people the address
for that computer and (2) I didn’t know it still worked. High tech the bird
and I are not, you know? Yeh. You probably do.
By now, these threats were disrupting the harmony of our lives.
“It’s you they are after, you know?” accused Furthermore Raven. “It has to
be! They don’t know about me!” He paused a moment and gave me an accusing
look. “They don’t know about me---do they?” To which I had to admit that I
had mentioned him casually to a few friends. That didn’t do a thing for our
Then he had an inspiration. “We could get Nelson or Harley to track the
computer message! They do it all the time! We’ll get the evil cowan
troublemaker for sure!”
I didn’t think so. “Yeh, but everyone they track ends up at some obscure
college dorm room in the United Kingdom. That would explain the computer
message but not the ones sticking to the table, you know?”
Well, I had him there. We fixed more martinis to aid in our contemplation.
It was the next morning—a Saturday, if memory serves—that we finally found
the Light. Furthermore was sleeping in and I was at breakfast with my wife,
who doesn’t figure in these chronicles often but is always just off screen.
“Are you finally going to fix the bathroom sink today,” she inquired
pointedly. “You promised, you know?” Now, I’ve learned never to disagree
with someone holding a pot of hot coffee in the general vicinity of my lap.
So I decidedly to tap dance.
“Gosh, honey. I didn’t forget, but the hardware store is out of the
G32-x78 double-edged hex washers I need. They won’t have them for a week or
so. I’ll take care of it then.”
My wife and I have been married for more than 30 years, which means she has
a finely tuned BS meter and right then it was pegging off the scale.
“Not so fast! I’ve been leaving you messages all week to remind you to
take care of that stuff. You promised! Now, I want it done today or I’ll
call Devil Plumbing and you know how much they charge!”
Later, Brother Furthermore—who has no mercy—pointed out the obvious. “We
should have known, Brother Twit! The yellow paper!”
Well, duh! Of course. It’s my wife’s letterhead. Even has her name on the
top. I just knew it looked familiar, you know?
The only salvaging grace in this shameful situation is this: Now we know
the name of the troublemaker in our midst. I rejoiced in this knowledge as I
struggled with the sink.