The Hunt for Ruber’s Mother: Dr. Zauberer’s Castle

We travel, but not outside of time. To travel outside of time wouldn’t be to travel at all.

~ V. Shnodgrate


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There’s many ways to travel.

That’s a fact, see.

But only a very few ways to travel to Dr. Zauberer’s castle.

For instance, you could take a balloon (one of the big ones you can ride in) but then you wouldn’t be able to land in the woods where his castle is located.

This is how it must be done: One must travel to Austria (you can take anything to do that), then one has to hike to the castle.

It’s a four-hour jaunt.

It’s not fun.

It shouldn’t be done.

So, the professor and Lucy found themselves at the foot of a mountain and at the edge of some black woods.

“His castle is somewhere up and in,” I said. “I think, personally, that Sandra is just messing with us overall. She probably didn’t want to do this, see.”

“As fond as I am of Sandra,” Lucy replies “She is not best known for her adventuring. It upsets her sensibilities, apparently. It looks like we might be on our own with this one. Pah.”

I nodded. What dadblamery!

And I was just about ready to put the first foot forward, and start the hike in and up when—the sudden—we were joined by none other than Mr. Ratherquite and the Ladies.

Oh, dear.

“Why, P.VJ!” Mr. Ratherquite said. “How good to see you! And…who is this lady!”

Mr. Ratherquite’s two ladies started giggling.

I looked at Lucy. “Well… this…this is…”

“I am Lucy, friend of a friend of the Professor and an investigator, of sorts. I am not so much of a lady, you know.”

Lucy offered her hand by way of greeting, but it was ignored.

One of Mr. Ratherquite’s Ladies—she had blonde hair—said: “What are you doing here, P.VJ? Are you going to Dr. Zauberer’s party, too?”

“Yes,” I answered. “How did you know?”

Of course, I didn’t know there was a party.

She shrugged and laughed.

“Goodness, that laugh could melt butter!” Lucy said under her breath.

“But I’m curious about something,” this professor said. “Certainly, Mr. Ratherquite, you don’t intend to take the four-hour hike to Dr. Zauberer’s castle, do you?”

“Don’t you think we could make it?” the red-haired lady asked, maybe a bit insulted.

“Not in those shoes, I’ll wager,” replied Lucy, eyeing her dainty footwear with a degree of envy.

Mr. Ratherquite laughed and grabbed Lucy’s hand.

Oh dear. This was not good, see.

“You’re very lovely, dear,” he said.

“Not only am I not a ‘dear’,” Lucy huffed, her temper straining at the seams, “but I am also, as you may yet discover, not especially lovely.”

“Ah, I’ll be the one to pass judgement on that, my dear,” Mr. Ratherquite continued, squeezing her hand more forcefully than was wise.

Lucy pulled her hand away sharply and shoved it in her pocket.

“I say that your ladies should keep you on a tighter leash,” she sniffed.

“Woof, woof!” Mr. Ratherquite replied, rather enthusiastically.

The ladies both seemed jealous the sudden.

“Woof, woof?! What does that mean?” this professor asked.

“So, anyway,” Mr. Ratherquite said. “We plan not to walk, P.VJ. However, since we were invited, a carriage will be coming to pick us up.”

Then, just like magic, I heard the sound of hooves.

A carriage was coming, but it was only drawn by one horse. This would be a struggle for the poor beast.

This professor looked at Lucy. “Let’s try to catch a ride on the carriage, don’t you suppose?”

“That’s good thinking, professor,” Lucy replied. “They may very well have tea and cake aboard.”

The carriage pulled up and stopped, and an ugly fellow jumped down. (You know, they ride on the top, usually. Too ugly to be inside.)

“What’s this?!” he cried. “I was told I was only picking up three people! Let me see your invitations.”

And he roughly grabbed Mr. Ratherquite’s, and his Ladies, invitations.

Then he turned to Lucy and me.

“Yours?!” he questioned.

“You know what,” I answered, thinking fast, “I left my on the train.”

“I think I left mine on the… boat,” Lucy said, not thinking quite so fast as the professor.

The coachman crossed his arms. “I can’t take you, then.”

“But if you don’t, my legs might fall off,” I answered.

“And I care because why?” he asked.

“Because we shall take your legs in their place!” Lucy exclaimed. “And then where will you be with your smart remarks? Hmm!”

But the coachman wouldn’t have none of it. He took off without us.

And we trekked the four hours to the castle.

“We’ll get revenge,” I told Lucy. “We’ll find him once we get there!”

“Too right,” she agreed. “But best make sure those legs are screwed on tight. They look a little wobbly to me.”

So, my legs didn’t fall off, but I can’t be sure: I couldn’t feel them when we reached the castle.

Story written by Professor VJ Duke & Lucy Brazier

Copyright: Where the stars are

Skipping, Jogging, and Running

Cashew City is the perfect place to have a snack (if you like cashews—which, the sudden, you must!) and catch up with different PL’ers. You see, it’s a gathering joint of sorts.

Now, I got embroiled in an interesting conversation. The conversation was about skipping, jogging, and running.

Mr. Ratherquite chuckled softly, but it was loud enough to let Ruber Salami know that he though his point was ridiculous.

“What, eh?” Ruber asked, his one eyebrow twitching a bit. “Don’t you like me point?”

“Not at all,” Mr. Ratherquite said. “Jogging is the best form of exercise one could possibly have.”

Now, the red-haired lady, who was sitting on Mr. Ratherquite’s left, and the blond-curled lady, who was sitting on his right, seemed shocked with that assessment.

“But, Mr. Ratherquite,” the red-haired lady said. “Running is by far better for a person’s cardiovascular system.”

Mr. Ratherquite chuckled again, and patted her hand. “Not at all, dear. You’re completely wrong.”

“No, no, no,” Sandra Salami said (she was sitting across from Mr. Ratherquite), “she has an excellent point.”

Mr. Ratherquite smiled. It was a belittling smile, too. “No, she doesn’t.”

Sandra was just as obstinate. “Yes, she does.”

The ladies both giggled. Mr. Ratherquite’s ladies, that is.

“I’m with Sandra,” Ruber announced.

“Me too,” Schwarz Tauptinker said. “Your points are all chicky.” He was looking at Mr. Ratherquite.

Mr. Ratherquite shook his head. “You’re all just ganging up on me just to gang up. And that’s rude and quite crude.”

Now, up to this point, I’d been quiet, but I decided to say:

“Now see here, here’s how it is, you should know: Little girls and boys skip about (or a very vicious older man might do that) and people who don’t want to jog, sprint. And people who don’t want to sprint, jog.”

I think everyone seemed to agree with that.

Except Mr. Ratherquite. “You’re wrong, dear P.VJ…”

“No, he’s not,” Sandra said. I don’t think she really likes Mr. Ratherquite.

“Tell you what,” Schwarz put in, “we’re all right in different ways.”

“Now, how is that possible?” Ruber asked.

Schwarz laughed. “It’s not.”

“I oughta beat your eyes in!”

“Chickit!” Schwarz exclaimed. “You do that and I’ll beat your eyes in!”

“Enough fighting!” Mr. Ratherquite called out suddenly. “The fact is what the fact is. Skipping is far better for one that either jogging or running.”

“Hold on a for an hour!” I called. “You changed! Before you said jogging was the best.”

Mr. Ratherquite went red. “Did I?”

The ladies both nodded.

“Well, then…”

“The fact is what the fact is,” Schwarz reminded.

And Mr. Ratherquite left.

Political Function, Part 2

DSCN1014So, the Commissioner stood to speak.

And this professor yawned.

You know how it is: Speakers are usually dadblame boring. It’s like a curse of sorts.

As a result of that, this professor began to look about a bit. Now, that’s when I saw name tags. The annoying young lady’s name was Mrs. Kohl, and the fellows name was Mr. Kohl.

I felt bad for them immediately.

Now the interest is, this professor was not wearing a name tag. At first, I was glad. I prefer not to be announced. At second, I was insulted. Why wasn’t I good enough to get a name tag? At third, I decided to cause some mischief.

Now, the Commissioner was still speaking. And about nothing in particular. He was dribbling on and on.

The professor took another sip from that drink–you know, the one Mr. Triangle gave me, the one with an olive and a cherry in it–then I moved forward to the podium.

I ascended the stage, walked over to the Commissioner, wrapped my arm around him, and then gently shoved him out of the way.

It wasn’t at all my fault he couldn’t keep his balance, and that he landed in the midst of the Kohls.

A bit of an exclamation went up, you know.

One thing we can conclude: The Commissioner’s security was horrid and a few.

“Good evening to most of you,” I said, through the mic attached to the podium. “I would wish you all a good evening, but I fear you might get the wrong idea and think I like you all very well. I probably don’t. In fact, I probably like only a handful of you because we never met. If we met, I probably wouldn’t like you either.”

There were more exclamations at this, but I was thirsty. That drink, see, was becoming tasty. I maybe took another sip.

And that’s when Mrs. Kohl spoke up: “Is someone going to stop him?”

“Where’s security?” another lady cried out.

“I don’t know!” a beefy fellow said. “But let’s get ‘im down from there!”

The Commissioner had sorta recovered. I say, he had a bump on his head.

But I wasn’t finished.

“Now, then,” I said. “We should have speaks about something that is close to all of our hearts. But it might hurt. That’s the way of it. Things that are close to your heart sometimes hurt the worst. And that’s just because ‘heart’ and ‘hurt’ are so close. Think about it. The only difference betwixt them is an ‘e’ and ‘u.’ And should we let those little differences bother us? I say not, gentlemen!”

And I think that was it.

A few of the fellows had grouped together and were coming up.

Parting words: “A good evening and a good thanks to you!”

And the professor threw the contents of my drink into the air. Everyone should get to enjoy it. Then, I fled through the doors.

I ran into a few police officers, I fear.

“He’s in there,” I said, pointing to the room I’d just vacated.

They rushed in, and I continued to rush out.

Eventually, I came to Mr. Triangle.

“Good evening,” I said as I passed. “And if you ever make me a drink like that again: I’ll cut your eyes out.”

What an evening.

Moral: Don’t ever drink something with an olive and a cherry in it. It’s bad for one’s health.

The Hunt for Ruber’s Mother: The Letter

Letters contain interesting things. That’s why I always try to write letters. ~ Mr. Magi


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This professor never liked to look for things.

Overall, I mean.

And this is how one should think on it: If something is hiding so well that one can’t find it, one shouldn’t bother with it anymore; it’s obvious that the something doesn’t want to bother with you, see.

Anyway, I did know that there was no possible way to get Sandra Salami off the hunt for her adoptive mother. So, this professor gave up beforehand—as a precaution.

“This is it,” Sandra said, reaching into her coat pocket and pulling out a folded letter. “This is a letter that should convince you to help!”

She handed it to me. And I repositioned it so both Lucy and I could read its contents.

Ruber, I fear, was still lounging and couldn’t be more disinterested.

This is what it said:

September 28th
Me Diary

Well, turtles, good things happen. And recently, somethin’ really nice happened, hehaha. I left me wife and fleded away. That’s right: I ran, and you would too…if you had to deal with her.

Daddy Salami

I must confess: I was a bit disappointed.

“That’s all?” I asked.

“Interesting,” said Lucy, nodding. “I particularly like the way he writes in his laugh. That should tell you something.”

“That is an interest,” I said. “Imagine writing in your laugh!”

Sandra nodded. “But do you two see what it means?

“Salami is scared of his wife!” Lucy exclaimed.

And Sandra jumped on that. “Exactly!” she said.

“And this means what–overall?” the professor asked. “I’m not sure.”

Sandra shrugged. “Well…if we can find my mother…I bet she’d keep Salami under control and quite behaved!”

Ruber started laughing. “Fat chance, that. Yeah right.”

Sandra ignored him. “So…”

Now this was a good thing. See, if we could find someone who would deal with Daddy Salami…well, that was a good thing. Plus, an adventure is an adventure. The professor was game.

Sandra and Lucy were staring at me.

I nodded. “I think I’ll agree to do this thing.”

“That’s a yes, then, is it?” Lucy asked, smiling.

Sandra nodded. “Yes…was it?”

I nodded. “Yes, it was, and it was a yes. Yes.”

“Perfect!” Sandra said. “Now, one thing: We should not tell Daddy Salami what we’re up to. He might get in the way.”

“Agreed,” I said.

“Discretion is my middle name!” Lucy announced.

“Is it really?” this professor asked. “Now there’s a thing or a few.”

Lucy Discretion… That’s an interest of a middle name, you must admit.

“First mission,” Sandra said. “You two must go to Dr. Zauberer’s castle in Austria.”

“The one in the black woods?” I asked.

“Yes, of course,” Sandra said. “There is no other.”

I turned to Lucy. “You don’t want to go there. It’s too dark and scary!”

“Oh, it sounds perfect,” replied Lucy. “I laugh in the face of the dark and tweak the nose of scary.”

Now that was impressive. Tweak the nose. We should all do that to the gentleman down the corner.

“Once there,” Sandra continued, “question Dr. Zauberer on the matter. He might have a few leads.”

“What are you going to do?” Lucy asked.

And it was a good question. I was wondering that, too, you know.

“I have something I have to look into here,” Sandra replied. “But we’ll be in contact, and we’ll meet up soon.”

“As long as you don’t get into mischief,” Lucy said, eyes narrowing. “Mischief is my department. Do be careful, my dear Sandra.”

And we were off to Dr. Zauberer’s castle.

The adventure had begun.

Story written by Professor VJ Duke & Lucy Brazier

Copyright: When the grass is fresh

Political Function

There is a principle similarity between the veiled insult, the humorous insult, the direct insult, and the complimentary insult: Each is an insult. ~ V. Shnodgrate



The Commissioner was a blunt fellow.

He had a blunt nose.

Blunt forehead.

And blunt mouth.

He was indeed a blunt fellow.

Now, I don’t tell you this to scare you; rather, I mention it just because the other day this professor was attending a political function that he was throwing.

It was a dressy occasion, so I thought I’d put on a tie. And there is a main problem with ties: They get tight about the neck.

So, this professor had it loosened. It wagged about happily, too.

Anyways and a few, when I arrived, I was lost.

You see, this political function was being held in a hotel, and hotels are larger than one assumes. That is the exact reason I made my way to a triangular fellow who was behind a short desk. (Triangular: His cheekbones and chin made a perfect obtuse triangle.)

“Hello, sir,” I said, engaging contact,. “Now see here, where is the political function taking place, if you don’t mind?”

And I fear he cast a supercilious eye on me. “This is a dressy event.”

“That’s why I’m wearing this tie here.” I waved it broadly so he could see it.

The sad part is I don’t think he did. His eyes stayed locked on mine.

Then he said: “I sell drinks.”

“My apologies,” I said. “I took you for a fellow that new the way. I see that you do not. Weren’t you invited?”

“Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“I doubt it, since you haven’t helped me yet. You know…strike that and reverse it. I’d like a drink.”

Mr. Triangle sighed. “What would you like?”

“Umm…” I began.

It wasn’t the best of beginnings, agreed, but I might’ve been at a loss.

“Give me the usual.” And I was confident in this answer—at first.

“There is no usual.”

“Okay…” I said. “I’ll have some of this”—I indicated a bottle—“a bit of that, some of this bottle here, a bit of that, and…oh, that cherry and olive right there.”

He stared for the longest time. Then he made it, and handed it to me.

I sipped it—it was awful.

“$56,” he said.

“Put it on my bill,” I said.

And I left, turning the corner quickly.

I did move quickly, since I could hear him calling after me. I don’t think he was happy. Imagine a $56 drink! A toggogin.

Anyway, I made it to where the convention was taking place. It was in a ballroom.

The first thing I noticed was that everyone was drinking something. I took another sip of the concoction that dull fellow had forced on me. It was probably a mistake.

I ventured further into the room.

There was a young lady standing with a fellow who was wearing a castle on his bow tie. (It’s the new thing: Imprinting things on bow ties.)

“I just don’t know!” the young lady was saying. Very melodramatically, too. “It takes me so long to get ready for such events. I really can’t believe I ever get ready. Do you know—”she was having speaks with the fellow, but I think she wanted everyone to pay an ear or two to what she was saying—“do you know it took me a full five hours to get ready?”

The fellow just shook his head and smiled.

I had to say something, you know, you know.

The professor moved closer.

The fellow cast a strange glass towards my drink. “That’s an interesting drink. A cherry and an olive.”

“Look here for a second,” I began, “it takes everyone just as long to get ready. Going over a certain time period is referred to in the jungle as ‘self-inflicted torture.’ And ladies, I fear, generally do that, and then blame the consequences on the fellows. Case closed. And—look!—there’s a period.”

That caught the lady and made her cranky. “Really?” she said.

I nodded. “I wouldn’t lie so blatantly. Look! I had to get ready.”

She cast an eye at my loosened tie—which I waved (I’m always waving ties, I fear)—and said: “Pleeeeeeeeease.” That was accompanied by a roll of the eyes.

The fellow chuckled a bit.

“You may not,” I said.

“What?!” the lady asked.

“I don’t know you well enough first off,” I replied, “and besides Mr. Triangle made it specially for me.”

“What are you talking about?” the fellow said.

And I did my best to looked shocked. “Well, I though the lady was asking if she could please have a sip of my fantastic drink. And I must say I have to refuse.”

The conversation ended there, thankfully, as the Commissioner stood to speak.

TPL Schedule

Monday: TPL Story
Tuesday: TPL Story
Wednesday: NEW! TPL Series
Thursday: Professorish Things

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Professorish Smiley:




Depends on the day.

Punchy Argot:

1. Manothunder.
2. Dadblameit.
3. Maburnit.
4. Punchinny.
5. Wowawee.
6. Humdinger.
7. Punchalicioius.
8. Plumbtastic.
9. Chickit.
10. Chicky-woot-woot.
[abbrev. C-W-W.]
11. Laws.
12. Malediction.
13. Ja-beanwicky.
14. Rapscallion.
15. "Jazzy Couldren Laughed!"
16. Gardoobuled.
[alt. spelling: Gardoobled.]
17. Congratulilolations.
18. Togoggin.
19. Gargonic.
20. Warts and Popcorn.
21. Two and Five Gurgles.
22. Rats and a Heifer.
23. Two nods, a wink, and an astroid.
24. A bit, bits, and little bits.
25. Huff-Hum and a Roar.
26. So many thanks, I can't begin to thank you.
27. Ri-do-diculous.
28. Humphalicious
29. Grossapopoluss

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