Monday, March 5, 2012

Grist for the Rumor Mill

“Hey!” Louie yelled. “Whatcha doon with my paper?”

Gil crushed Louie’s copy of the Guts and Butts Gazette in his hands and slammed it into the kitchen’s trash barrel. “I’ll get you another one later, if you’re gonna cry about it. But right now, I’ve had enough copies stuck in my face and heard enough crap to last me forever.”

“I ain’t crying. I’m laughing.”

“Yeah, you and everybody else in Talbot’s Peak. How many times do I have to say it? It wasn’t me!”

“Try telling that to the population. We got bunnies and otters and rats”—Louie buffed his nails on his apron modestly—“and whatnot, but only one known squirrel. A’course they’re gonna think it was you.”

Gil grumbled words Louie had first heard on the playground back in Jersey. Ignoring them, Louie fished the innocent, abused newspaper out of the trash and shook off the carrot shavings. Finding the offensive page was a snap; he’d had the paper folded to it when Gil went on his rampage.

Squirrel Causes Havoc at Church Service,” he read.

“It wasn’t me!” Gil blasted. “Some wolf kid brought a snack to the service. He thought it was dead. Turns out it was just unconscious. It revived during the sermon. I had nothing to do with it.”

“You sure?”

Gil ground his teeth. “One: it’s over a week till the next full moon. Two: it happened during daylight. Three: I know better than to run up some broad’s hairy leg. You think I’m a pervert or something?”

“Pastor Tim’s already forgiven you.”

“It wasn’t me!”

“A’course, that ain’t the best part,” Louie went on as if Gil hadn’t screamed. “You seen the gossip column? The stuff Bertha blurted out when the squirrel went up her leg?”

Gil’s face turned the color of pastry dough. “There’s more?”

“Oh yeah, there’s tons more. Sounds like our Bertha’s been a dirty girl. She did a public confession and everything. Pastor Tim damn near fainted. Says here a couple’a the ladies really did.”

“C’mon. Almost the whole congregation’s shifters. They eat raw meat in the woods. Some brontosaurus in a dress goes humping somebody, they’re not gonna pass out.”

“Okay, maybe the story’s exaggerating a bit. But she did name names. Including the mayor’s. Says here Dolly Link came this close to flinging scat at her, right in the pews.”

“Damn,” Gil said. “I almost wish I had been there. That would’ve been something to see.”

“Anyway,” Louie continued, “things got hairy after that, and I mean really hairy. The ladies started shifting. That Bertha don’t just wear mink, y’know what I’m saying?”

“That explains her humping everything in sight. I’ve heard scary stories about minks.”

“Not half as scary as a chimp on the warpath. Mrs. Mayor was gonna wear her for a stole.”


“Yeah, ouch. Says here Pastor Tim had to call in his brother. You know, the cop? The two of ‘em got the congregation rounded up, finally, but I bet the church was a mess.” Louie flipped the page. “Says here the squirrel made a break for it during all the fuss, and all the males went chasing after it. Or maybe they was just trying to get away from the ladies.” He grinned behind the paper. “So how’d you get away?”

“For the last friggin’ time: I. Was. Not. There. It. Wasn’t. Me. You got that?”

“Sure, Gil. Anything you say.”

“And wipe that smirk off your face, you damn stinking rat. You got table 6’s order ready yet or not?”

“Sure, here y’go. Try not to run up any customer’s legs tonight, okay?”

“I’m warning you—”

“Yeah, yeah.” Louie chuckled. Still grumbling, Gil stalked out of the kitchen with the tray.

He came back fifteen minutes later, with his hand clenched around something. Louie noted his dazed expression and asked, “Wazzup?”

“Table 3 gave me a standing ovation,” Gil said. He opened his hand. The bill in it slowly unfurled. “And a fifty-dollar tip.”

“There, y’see? You should go to services more often. Good for the soul. Don’t hurt business, neither. Now get out there and let ‘em get a look atcha. We ain’t been this busy on a Monday night since Sue divebombed that wolf. Scat on a cracker. Maybe I ought’a start going to church.”


Savanna Kougar said...

LOL!!! Sounds like church is the place to be... and, well, Mrs. Link should be aiming for hubby... that is, if he did the dirty deed with Bertha.

Lots of G&B issues sold, betcha!

Serena Shay said...

LMAO! No one's ever gonna believe poor Gil, but at least he's getting something out of the deal!!

Hairy legs Bertha better watch her tail...I've heard old Dolly can get wicked scary. ;)

Ha, a little peaparrot whispered in my ear that the G&B was considering a second run on this edition. hehehe

Pat C. said...

I believe they did go back to press ... and Lance spent the night on the couch. Dolly was heard to mutter something about overripe bananas.

Savanna Kougar said...

Overripe bananas... don't they get mushy-limp darn quick?

Pat C. said...

Maybe that's why Lance feels the need to swing through someone else's tree on occasion.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hmmm... I think Mrs. Link needs to start swinging with someone who isn't mushy, and will give her the lusty and loving attention she deserves. Lots of good 'herbal' supplements to increase the strength and vigor of Lance's banana.