Saturday, December 27, 2014


Gill tried to inhale.  Nothing helped.  His hands shook as he read the birth notice section on the front page of the paper.  Headlines in bold print stood out.  Nick and Ziva’s twins along with Rachel and Tyburn’s two.  At the top of the list in italics were his and Chloe’s names.  Someone had started a betting pool on the names for all of the kids born within days of each other.  He and Chloe topped the list with the most screwball ones.   Mallard for the boy since he decided to outweigh his sisters.  Manx and Minx were the top two for the identical twin girls.  Who came up with these he didn’t know.  If this kept up, what monikers were the others going to get stuck on them?  Parents named their children.  Not the whole damn town.  He doubted though his kids would have their own names as many were already referring to them as the town’s kids.  The kicker was the list of popular puppy and kitten names some fool ran alongside the birth announcements.  Who the frack started this damn pool and why?

“Hey Gill,” Louie called out coming entering the dining area from the kitchen.  He stopped dead in his tracks.  Gill looked up from the paper.  A large sheepish grin began where Louie’s open mouth stopped gapping open.  He pointed to the paper and shrugged.

“Please tell me you didn’t?”  Gill laid the paper on the bar.  He counted to ten in every known language of the peak.  Speaking a few phrases of each helped from time to time during council meetings.

“I don’t bullshit my friends and family.  You’re both you know.”  Louie sat on the stool closest to where Gill stood.
“Okay, why would you do this to family or friends?”  Gill leaned on the bar refusing to look away.  Louie usually had a good reason for most things he did.  Bettina sometimes had to reel him in.

“Look you wouldn’t take our help when we offered it.  You know when Chloe announced her pregnancy.  So we—the town—decided this was the way to go.”  Louie pulled the paper to him.

“What kind of help are you talking about?”  Gill hoped he wasn’t scowling.

“Moola man.  It takes money to feed and clothes those youngsters.  Yours, Nick and Ziva’s, along with Tyburn and Rachel’s.   We want to help.  Us the citizens of Talbot’s Peak.”  Louie stood up and walked around the bar.  He reached beneath it close to the cash register.  He sat a large water bottle full of coin and loose bills on the bar.

Gill fought his mouth dropping open.  That was his tip jar.  When had this happened?  He looked at Louie and back to the jar.

Louie flung his arm around Gill’s shoulders as he spoke.  “You got friends.  Nick and Ziva too.  Even that Phoenix pain Tyburn.  Rachel is a favorite of the wives of the council members.  So stop fussing and know you split the pot with whoever wins the name pool. “

“Yes and what they get is free food and drinks equal to the amount of the money in the pool all over town.  So you ready to stop fussin’?”  Louie walked back around the bar waiting for Gill’s response.

All Gill could do was nod and separate coin and bills as he dumped his tip jar on the bar.



So naming all our new babies started.  Who is going to win the name pool lottery?  Got suggestions?

Keep warm and sane as you and yours welcome the New Year next week.  We here at the Spice Homestead wish you and yours the happiest, healthiest, and safest one possible.

Until Next Week,



Pat C. said...

Patricia's a good, solid name, and there are so many ways you can go with it: Pat, Patty, Trish, Trixie, Scooter (maybe not that one). I may be biased here.

Or they could name the kids after nuts, like Hazel or Filbert. I don't think their son Macadamia will be too happy with them, though.

Savanna Kougar said...

Good on Louie, helping out with the new arrivals.

Ah, the name game... let's just hope all the new parents can agree, and start the new year out right with names they both like.

I vote for unusual but good-sounding names that fit the personality of the Peak's latest members.

Rebecca Gillan said...

Louie's awesome! He may not be the Rat King, but he's definitely the king of rats. And the best of screw-ball friends!