The Hunt for Ruber’s Mother: Solved?!

Often, we find the things we’ve searched for aren’t the things we’ve wanted. ~ V. Shnodgrate


Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 1.17.01 PM

And we ran into them.

Ruber and Sandra Salami, that is.

“Whoa me!” Ruber exclaimed.

“I say!” exclaimed Lucy.

“Professor!” Sandra said.

“Sandra!” I said.

“Everyone!” Lucy said.

“You’ve some explaining to do,” I said, looking straight at Sandra—and just a bit at Ruber. “We ran into Daddy Salami—”

“No!” Sandra seemed worried.

“Yes!” Lucy said. “Yes indeed. And he said that you told him everything about our searching for his wife!”

“I didn’t!” Sandra was adamant.

Now this was an interest, for Daddy Salami seemed to know all about it.

“He knew all about it! How?” Lucy asked.

Ruber was shaking his head. “Okay, okay. So, I told him, eh?!”

We all turned on him. The brute! He’s betrayed us. And you know how it goes: If one betrays; one gets feathers, tar, and roses. All over himself, too.

I was just about to tell Ruber this, but he continued:

“Me dad cornered me. So, I told him. I had to.”

“No, you didn’t!” Sandra snapped.

“What harm, eh?” Ruber asked.

He really didn’t seem to know.

“Well maybe that he’s onto us and might try to stop us, you blundering scamp!” Lucy exclaimed.

Ruber shrugged.

“Whatever.” Sandra shook her head. “Anyway, we got a lead.”

“So do we!” I said.

“You do?” Ruber asked. “A wonder you two did anything productive.”

“How rude!” replied Lucy. “I shall have you know that we are often being productive.”

“How so, eh?” asked Ruber.

“Well, you know…” Lucy was fumbling for an example. “Producing things…that’s productive!”

“Oi! All you two produce is loud noises and bad smells.”

“Rather like your kitchen!”

“Enough!” Sandra was always ordering. “What’s your lead, P.VJ?”

“Madam Zelna,” I said.

Sandra seemed a bit shocked. “That ours too! I found another Daddy Salami letter…this one was addressed to his cook: Madam Zelna, and—”

“And,” Ruber said interrupting, “we tracked her to this very castle.”

“To the kitchens!” I said.

And we all set off.

Now, you should know, it’s a wonder trying to get through a maze. Especially a gray, dark maze. It probably took us about two hours to make it back to where the party was taking place. (We followed the sound of Fats Henry’s boomings. Like a thunderclap, you know.)

The party was still in full force.

And now there was dancing.

And then we got separated.

And then…well, it was horrid after that.

Lucy and I followed a chap (he didn’t now we were following him) who led us to the kitchens.

You wouldn’t believe the kitchens either. So many people hard at work. It was like a mill full of rats—or something like that.

“Where is she?” I shouted to Lucy. You had to shout to be heard.

“Over there by the fryers!” Lucy shouted back. “She is like a vicious-looking hedgehog!”

Lucy was right. Across the kitchen there was a lady giving orders. She was small and possessed a long, fat nose. Short gray hair and little beady eyes. It had to be her.

We made our way over.

“What?!” she demanded upon seeing us. “Are you here to chop carrots? Get to work, then!”

“No, no,” Lucy said quickly, “We here to ask if know where we can find Daddy Salami’s wife!”

That stopped her cold. And she just stared. Her beady eyes got beadier.

“Why you want to know?”

“‘Cause,” I said, “Sandra is searching for her.”

“Sandra?” she asked.

“That’s Salami’s adopted daughter,” Lucy said.

Madam Zelna scratched her cheek.

“And we thought you might know where she was…” I trailed off, and Lucy picked it up.

“Because you were his cook, all those years ago!”

Madam Zelna said, “Maybe I’m her.” And with that, she started giving orders again.

That’s when Ruber came flying into the kitchen. “Get out!” he was yelling at us. “Dad is really mad and the whole party is in an uproar!”

Everything after that was chaos, you know. People running here, people running there, people running everywhere—but not in heaven or hell.

We managed to escape the castle that night.

I didn’t really believe Madam Zelna and neither, apparently, did Sandra. We related everything to her the following day. For, you see, after that, the whole search was dropped.

You know how it is: Sometimes it’s better not to know who your mother is than to know and regret.

That, folks, is the moral.

Written by Professor VJ Duke and Lucy Brazier
Copyright Now & Then

Professorish Note: PLF! So, TPL will be taking a bit of a break. There is some editing and updating that I must do, see. I think I may even have to hunt for a new theme. But we’ll be back! Promise.


79 Responses to “The Hunt for Ruber’s Mother: Solved?!”

  1. 1 erinkenobi2893 October 5, 2015 at 12:25

    OH MY. 0_0
    Poor Ruber!

    • 2 Professor VJ Duke October 5, 2015 at 21:17

      *laughs* Is there any hope for him?

      • 3 erinkenobi2893 October 6, 2015 at 03:03

        Some. Just make sure Ruber isn’t informed of these latest developments. ;-P

      • 4 Professor VJ Duke October 6, 2015 at 18:28

        I’ll keep it from him.

      • 5 erinkenobi2893 October 6, 2015 at 20:01


  2. 6 Heartafire June 7, 2015 at 18:48

    Because you don’t come up in my reader and you don’t frequent my blog (much) I missed this. An exciting ending and fine moral. Hats off to you Professor Duke, I will be waiting here at your blog for further instruction.

  3. 7 Lady Dunamis June 3, 2015 at 00:03

    Virtual high five for the moral of the story!

    • 8 Professor VJ Duke June 3, 2015 at 14:19

      *laughing lots* Many thanks, Lady D.

  4. 9 Nancy Loderick May 27, 2015 at 20:51

    Hey Professor,

    Enjoy your well-deserved break. All your TPL fans will be anxiously awaiting your return. :)


    • 10 Professor VJ Duke May 28, 2015 at 20:19

      And I shall return–on an eagle!

  5. 11 bardictale May 26, 2015 at 07:15

    You better be back, sir. It’s too hot to launch a search party, so I’ll be rather miffed if you disappear!

    • 12 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 19:01

      Quite right, Bard! I shall be right back. I’ve got some redesigning to do, you know.

      • 13 bardictale May 27, 2015 at 08:32

        Good luck on that; I’m eager to see the result. Come by for refreshments when needed!

      • 14 Professor VJ Duke May 27, 2015 at 19:58

        Thank you! I soooooooooo appreciate it.

  6. 15 Audrey Dawn - Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister May 25, 2015 at 21:34

    All for not?!, Duke… I’d have you no other way, my dear. I love when you entertain. Zelna is a name one never hears and I think it suits the story. I suppose if one can live with never ever knowing, then yes, leave it be. I don’t believe I could, Duke.

    Shall miss you, my friend. Enjoy your break. ♡

    • 16 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 19:01

      Audith! Well…do you suppose it was her, overall? (We need to connect on FB, I’ve decided. And I’ve just decided it out of nowhere. You could put all your vacation pictures one there. I’d go fishing with you, that’s for sure.)

      • 17 Audrey Dawn - Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister May 26, 2015 at 23:23

        Duketh! I don’t know…must have been her, I think. You have me wondering and you certainly have not made it clear enough either way. Why is that? I usually can tell when you’re pulling one way or the other, Sir. What has happened!? (*giggles* Have you thought this through? I mean truly…you’ll never rid of me, you see. Goodness. I feel so important all the sudden. My vacation pictures…imagine bombarding you with photos. You’d get sick of me, for sure. I’d love to go fishing with you, Duke. Come with me!)

      • 18 Professor VJ Duke May 27, 2015 at 19:57

        *laughs* Well…I did it on purpose! Now it’s an interest that you can’t tell one way or the other way, or even the other way. (I have! I’ve made such good friends through TPL…I don’t want to lose contact! I think it’d be my honor to see your vacation photos. I mean, you sure don’t have to!)

      • 19 Audrey Dawn - Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister May 27, 2015 at 20:17

        *laughs with a snort (a small one)* Shouldn’t be after two years, you know. I should reread…somethings fishy. (Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister has a FB page. It would be my honor to show you my travels, Duke. I can’t lose contact with you. You mean too much to me. Why do I feel like this is goodbye??! *cries*)

      • 20 Professor VJ Duke May 28, 2015 at 20:18

        *laughs* Not a goodbye at all! I’ll go find the page, in a bit here. TPL will be back, promise. How’s that?

      • 21 Audrey Dawn - Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister May 28, 2015 at 22:14

        *smiles brightly* Okay, I’ll sit on your blog and wait for your return.

      • 22 Professor VJ Duke June 1, 2015 at 00:21

        I shall be back! Like a mountain lion running in the lush woods of the Amazon. How’s that for a comparison?

      • 23 Audrey Dawn - Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister June 1, 2015 at 04:19

        *faints* Sounds thrilling, but down right scary. Be careful, would you?!

      • 24 Professor VJ Duke June 3, 2015 at 14:18

        *laughing* I bet a big snake would kill a mountain lion…if he was about running through the Amazon.

  7. 25 desertdweller29 May 23, 2015 at 04:24

    This sounds like an I Love Lucy episode. She had a lot of “esplaining” to do, too. Will the Professor be sunning himself during this break? Can I request a new guitar video? I do love those…

    • 26 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 18:56

      Sunning! I might. But I’m deathly scared of the sun burn. *shudders*

      You sure can! Umm…can we connect on FB?

      • 27 desertdweller29 May 26, 2015 at 19:40

        Would you believe I’m not on FB? It’s true! The last human being to hold out… But I can request here, no? How about something by the Eagles? That guitar riff in Hotel California would be awesome! You could put a classical twist on it… Just a thought.

      • 28 Professor VJ Duke May 27, 2015 at 19:53

        Seriously? Super awesome of you! I wouldn’t be on FB…if I had a choice. Good for you, DD. You certainly can! Coolness. I could definitely see something with that. I’ll keep it in mind. It will have to be a few months out….since I’m scheduled can you believe!

      • 29 desertdweller29 May 27, 2015 at 19:56

        Wonderful! I can be very patient. Your classical twist on it is going to be killer!

        Yeah, people keep telling me writers have to be on FB. I say to hell with that. :)

      • 30 Professor VJ Duke May 27, 2015 at 19:59

        Aw, thanks, DD! I’m working on Kashmir now, can you believe.

        Go you! I’m very proud of you, the sudden.

  8. 31 Angeline M May 22, 2015 at 23:28

    So glad you wrapped up the adventure before your break. It was a grand story, and I thank M.Zelna is the one!

    • 32 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 18:56

      Many thanks, Angeline! Do you! How interesting. You could be right. Did she have red hair?

  9. 33 Susan P May 22, 2015 at 23:19

    “This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.”
    – TS Eliot

    Farewell, fine professor. Until we meet again.

    • 34 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 18:55

      I shall return! And everything will be much spicier. Don’t you believe it?

      • 35 Susan P May 26, 2015 at 20:10

        I think it will at least be interesting.

      • 36 Professor VJ Duke May 27, 2015 at 19:54

        That’s the spirit. Plus, I’ve got some of that cool stuff you’ve given me.

      • 37 Susan P May 27, 2015 at 20:02

        You must be thinking of someone else.

      • 38 Professor VJ Duke May 28, 2015 at 20:18

        Story line ideas, madam.

      • 39 Susan P May 28, 2015 at 21:02

        Okay–I got slammed with two books that I am finished editing but now I need to check to make sure the writers made the changes. One and a half done, half to be done. I wasn’t expecting the second one, but one must do what one must do. Someday they will actually pay me for all of this. :D Anyway, look for story lines no later than Tuesday.

      • 40 Professor VJ Duke June 1, 2015 at 00:19

        Nice! You know, don’t stress yourself out over it. I already have the other ones you sent me. TPL should be back online in 2 weeks. Big changes coming, I think. And thank you. I appreciate you, Susan.

      • 41 Susan P June 1, 2015 at 00:32

        Thank you. I will get there. Big changes? Oooo…. I appreciate you, too, VJ. You have the power to make me smile. One can never have too many friends of that sort.

      • 42 Professor VJ Duke June 3, 2015 at 14:17

        And you make me smile, too! Yes…I’m about working on it right now.

      • 43 Susan P June 3, 2015 at 19:42

        *sits down and waits*

      • 44 Professor VJ Duke June 7, 2015 at 18:12

        *sits down with Susan*

      • 45 Susan P June 7, 2015 at 18:30

        Waits to hear more guitar.

  10. 46 Jackie May 22, 2015 at 16:00

    Enjoy your break – see you soon!

    • 47 Professor VJ Duke May 22, 2015 at 20:05

      *bows* Thanks, Jackie!

  11. 48 Debbie May 22, 2015 at 14:55

    All that and no definitive solution?? Professor, you’re pulling our legs again! Oh, well, we’ll just have to come up with our own answers — and perhaps Sandra is better off not knowing anyway. Who’d want to be related to a “beady-eyed” hedgehog of a woman?!?

    Best wishes for a productive break! I’m guessing you’re going to be VERY BUSY (don’t fret, I’m still praying!). We’ll miss you!!

    • 49 Professor VJ Duke May 22, 2015 at 20:05

      *laughing* I know! I’m a bit sorry, but…well, do you suppose it was her?

      Thanks, Debbie!!! I so need it right now. I’ll be back!

      • 50 Debbie May 27, 2015 at 21:27

        I’m with DD — no Facebook for me! It’s my way of rebelling (or something!). One can’t do EVERYTHING — not enough hours in the day, not enough umph to even try. Where are you going the sudden? I thought your competition was in a month or so. You’d better be back, you know!!

      • 51 Professor VJ Duke May 28, 2015 at 20:20

        *laughing* Good for you too! *fist thingy* Awesome. Well…I’ve just got to design some things is all. I’ll be back, promise! And TPL will go back on line. Isn’t that exciting?

      • 52 Debbie May 28, 2015 at 21:07

        “Design some things”?? Hmm, that’s an interest. You’re not toying with web design, are you?? Or is this a guitar sort of design?

      • 53 Professor VJ Duke June 1, 2015 at 00:20

        *laughs* Well, it was for a guitar website. I wouldn’t call it web design–like you do! I have a host and…I just build things a bit. No much code at all, thank goodness!

  12. 54 FictionFan May 22, 2015 at 13:55

    Have a great break, Prof and all the team! You will be missed!

    • 55 Professor VJ Duke May 22, 2015 at 20:05

      Many thanks, FEF! I’m going to try to be able to upload MP3s…

      • 56 FictionFan May 23, 2015 at 17:42

        Really? Is that possible? I do hope this doesn’t signal the demise of the music vid though… *fearful face*

      • 57 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 18:57

        You know…with certain themes…I think that is possible. I’ll just be using that for the TPL skits as of now. The music videos aren’t going anywhere. I’m getting shoots together for OK!

      • 58 FictionFan May 26, 2015 at 20:30

        Good, good! Love the new one, by the way! Cool waterfall, cool shades, cool music! *smiles bigly* (Decided to stop pestering you with fan-mail since you’re so busy.)

      • 59 Professor VJ Duke May 27, 2015 at 19:55

        Aw, thanks, FEF! Really appreciate it! (Don’t you ever feel that way, young lady! I’m never too busy for you and you know it, dadblameit! Your fan-mail is the best.)

  13. 60 L. Marie May 22, 2015 at 13:55

    I also think that Madame Zelna was Daddy Salami’s wife. I can’t imagine anyone staying married to him for long.

    Blessings on your renovations and any other projects you have!

    • 61 Professor VJ Duke May 22, 2015 at 20:04

      Do you suppose they’re still married? That’s an intense interest.

      Thanks, Linda!

      • 62 L. Marie May 22, 2015 at 23:55

        I would certainly hope they’re not still married. Ugh. But I wonder what they saw in each other.

      • 63 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 18:56

        Maybe their parents made them marry?

  14. 64 PorterGirl May 22, 2015 at 13:19

    I’m thinking, myself, that she IS DS’s wife. it would explain why Ruber is so good at cooking, see. Even though we shall never know for sure, it was a top adventure nonetheless. It has been a pleasure, P.VJ. Best wishes to all the TPL team and I look forward to seeing the all-new Punchy Land!

    • 65 Professor VJ Duke May 22, 2015 at 20:03

      Ooo! Interesting thought right there, Lucy. You could be right, too. It’s a big interest. I mean…Sandra just dropped it…wonder why! Yes, time to create a bit.

      • 66 PorterGirl May 23, 2015 at 09:36

        I do love a good unsolved solved mystery! Perhaps one day we shall know the truth, perhaps not. Maybe Sandra didn’t want to know, afterall!

      • 67 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 18:57

        I think she got scared, personally. So…what do you suppose is a good price to charge her (and Dr. Z) for our services?

      • 68 PorterGirl May 26, 2015 at 19:49

        Somehow, I don’t blame her. I think we should charge them 3 smoked porks, a dozen muffins and a case of cherry tea. That should about cover it!

      • 69 Professor VJ Duke May 27, 2015 at 19:53

        Awwwwww…yes! So many yes’s. Then we can have a two-way party.

      • 70 PorterGirl May 28, 2015 at 05:18


      • 71 Professor VJ Duke May 28, 2015 at 20:20


  15. 72 John W. Howell May 22, 2015 at 12:53

    Fine moral and good luck on the renovations. I noticed that some trees need a bit of touching up. Cheers.

    • 73 Professor VJ Duke May 22, 2015 at 20:03

      *laughing* Those trees! They’ve been complaining horribly, you know.

      • 74 John W. Howell May 22, 2015 at 21:32

        I can only wonder how they got in that condition.

      • 75 Professor VJ Duke May 26, 2015 at 18:52

        *hides sword* I’ve got no clue.

      • 76 John W. Howell May 26, 2015 at 19:47

        *laugh out loud*

      • 77 Professor VJ Duke May 27, 2015 at 19:53

        *laughs too*

  16. 78 Louis from VA May 22, 2015 at 12:48

    Ah! Surprise ending! It’s too bad we’ll never get to know for sure though.
    Here’s to the renovations. We shall eagerly await the day of your return.

    • 79 Professor VJ Duke May 22, 2015 at 20:02

      *bows* Thank you, my man. I think I have to bring in bulldozers for this one.

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Depends on the day, see.

Punchy Argot:

1. Dadblameit.
2. Humdinger
3. Chickit
4. Chicky-woot-woot
5. Malediction
6. Rapscallion
7. Gardoobled
8. Congratulilolations
9. Togoggin
10. Gargonic
11. Two and Five Gurgles
12. Rats and a Heifer
13. Two nods, a wink, and an astroid
14. A bit, bits, and little bits
15. Huff-Hum and a Roar
16. So many thanks, I can't begin to thank you
17. Ri-do-diculous


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