Monday, October 19, 2009

Mondayne Monday

"There are several possible answers to that question."

-The Book of Matches


  1. Nel squatted next to Delaney, careful not to disturb him. "So, how do we disable the bomb?"

    Delaney inhaled through his teeth and said, "There are several possible answers to that question."

    He was always doing that. Delaney considered all answers - even answers that were guaranteed to lead to bad outcomes - to be possible answers. Every possible solution had to be tested and examined until the best possible solution was found. It could take days. Nel knew Delaney knew they did not have days to find the answer. Nel also knew that Delaney liked to tease her when he was nervous. She was not in the mood.

    "Which answer would ensure that nothing and no one explodes into tiny pieces?"

    Delaney finished examining the bomb and glanced at Nel. "That would be the one in which we choose not to try cutting wires and instead call the bomb squad."

    "According to the warning we got, that thing is going to explode in another two minutes. Is the bomb squad going to teleport over here?" Her watch showed one minute, 48 seconds remaining.

    Delaney stood and walked toward his phone. "I doubt they'll need to do that, although it would be a great entrance. The display says it will explode in 2 hours, not 2 minutes. I'd say they'll get here in time. Are you coming?"

    Delaney was on the way out the door. Either the display or the warning had the correct detonation time. He had high hopes that it was the display, but he wasn't willing to stick around to find out.

    Nel rose and and exited the building with him. "You're hedging your bets that our bomber is an amateur who can't tell the difference between minutes and hours on a timer? You're willing to leave works of art unprotected for this hope?" One minute, eleven seconds left and then her family's business could be destroyed.

    "It's just stuff, Nel. --Yes, hello? 9-1-1? I need to report a bomb." Nel turned away from the building and closed her eyes. She couldn't watch. He could be right, but she didn't want to see the destruction if he was wrong.

  2. “There are several possible answers to that question.”

    I waited. “Such as?”

    “’Yes.’ Or ‘No.’ Possibly ‘Blueberries,’ under certain circumstances.”

    I tugged at my skirt. Formal wear had seemed like a good idea this morning. “Is that it?”

    “Are you paying for another question?”

    “No!” I said, glaring. “I just want to know if I’m getting anything else for my twenty bucks.”

    “I dispense only what the gods provide me.” The little wooden idol was always grinning, but I’d swear its smile widened. “The asking of questions is as much an art as the answering.”

    The door still squeaked and the bell jingled again as I left. I stood outside, fuming. The air was cold after the stuffy booth. I looked left and right, up and down the street. It was time to make a decision.

  3. This is gooey, and I don't know what corner of my girly mind it crept out of, but I apologize in advance. Yeah... here it is:

    "There are several possible answers to that question," he said.

    "Are there? If there are, then maybe the question was wrong," I said. Why? Was I a glutton for punishment? Was it his blue eyes? Maybe his hedge-hog spiked hair.... I'd always had a bit of a thing for guys that wore glasses--was that it? Maybe I just liked guys that weren't interested in me.

    "Well, honestly, I've already been asked to the dance," he said, working on the next problem in the row.

    "Why did you tell me you didn't have a date?" I asked.

    "Well, I said no when she asked," he explained. "You skipped a step on the fourth equation, but you arrived at the right answer." He tapped the answer.

    So, in my mind, the step didn't matter, but this is where our thought processes diverged. Wrinkling up my nose, I considered this predicament. My friends were going to mock the hell out of me. I'd asked him... Brent... and he was so far outside my social status in their minds, and now he was stalling before saying no. Why had I asked? Hopefully, he wouldn't think it was funny to tell people I'd asked and he'd said no.

    "Why do you want to go with me?" he asked, moving on to the next problem.

    Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. "Forget I asked," I said. "Look, I have practice." I tried to take my homework from him. I didn't need to actually wait around for him to reject me.

    He slapped a hand down on the paper and looked at me. "Is this like some sort of social experiment?"

    Blinking in shock, I said, "NO!"

    His eyes narrowed. "Then... what? You were seriously asking me to the dance? No joke?"

    "You know what... keep the homework. Turn it in for me tomorrow," I said, picking up my backpack, and fleeing. What had I been thinking? My friends had already teased me for having a crush on him.

    He caught up with me at my car. I'd totally lied about practice, but I was fairly certain he knew that.

    "Jill, wait," he yelled. "I'm sorry. I just... you're you, and I'm me. I thought it had to be a joke."

    "Yeah, because I always joke around when I ask someone a million times smarter than me to a dance," I said sarcastically, not meeting his eyes.

    "You're a cheerleader," he pointed out. The way he said it... hurt. It was like I was on this whole different level. He was probably guessing I got by on my looks or I'd gone the rounds of the football jocks.

    Tossing the backpack inside the car, I whirled on him. "Look, I'll ask for a different tutor. We can forget this ever happened. You're smart. I'm not. I get it... okay?"

    "That's not it. I don't think that... at all," he said.

    "I'm not a slut," I stated. "Is that the problem?"

    He blinked. Okay, clearly that hadn't been what he'd been thinking either. Wow, Jill, could you make this any more awkward?

    "Yes," he said.

    Whoa! Wow. He thought I was a slut? I had managed to make this a lot more awkward. I would have assumed he'd lie.

    My face must have conveyed my shock, because he frowned in concern. Shaking his head quickly, Brent said, "No, I don't think that. I was saying that yes... I'd love to go to the dance with you."


    He nodded.

    "You're not just saying that out of pity?" I asked.

    He laughed and said, "You're about to take a member of Marching Band to a girl's choice dance, and you think I might be doing it out of pity?"

    I felt flattered by his amusement. "You don't think I'm stupid?" I clarified.

    "I guarantee that up until you asked me to the dance doubts of your intelligence had never crossed my mind," he said.

    "Okay," I said, getting into my car.

    "Okay," he agreed. "I'm going with Jill Conner to a dance."

    I was taking my math tutor to a dance. Wow.

  4. Wow! More good stuff! I love these!
    Wendy, you KNOW I'm a sucker for the gooey! And that delivered. I'm all about gooey. :)

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  6. "There are several possible answers to that question."

    The more Gil Werner thought about it, he knew none of them would be easy to explain.

    "Give me a couple days to get you that information," Gil said.

    Call it "doing his homework" or "his due diligence", Werner was sure these answers would make or break him in the position in which he found himself. The library was of some help. Gil was able to glean some prescient points from the volumes he had found there. The internet even gave some direction on how to approach a rather sensitive subject. And by Wednesday, Gil Werner felt confident that he had the answers that were required to clear the air.

    So when he entered the room, Gil was prepared. He offered charts and illustrations. He had facts and figures. Werner's presentation began as all eyes were on him.

    "You see, there are several possible answers to your question.", he began.

    And as Gil spoke, Jeremy, his young son, sat slack-jawed and wide eyed. He heard his father wind through an entire tap dance about the birds and the bees. Jeremy fidgeted while his father talked about cabbage patches. However, young Werner had all he could handle, with his father's embarrassed explanation about a Mommy with a vagina and a Daddy with a penis. I fact, it scared him a little. Gil realized his son needed some reassurance.

    "Jeremy, does that answer your question about where you came from?" Gil asked sympathetically.

    Jeremy stared at his father and swallowed hard. As he began to speak, his voice was shaky and unsure.

    "Daddy, Jennifer at school said she came from Cleveland. I just wanted to know where I came from?"

  7. Walt, I just burst out into laughter which startled and worried the husband. Your job here is done.

  8. Walt, like Wendy, I burst into laughter too! You really nailed that ending (har har)!

  9. "There are several possible answers to that question-- The first of which is, not for a million dollars! The second of which is, not on your life! And the third of which is, HELL NO!"

    "C'mon, man. The rest of the pledges did it. It's only fair."

    A resounding chorus of "yes's" filled the room.

    "Bite me."

    "It's just a goldfish, you big wussy. One quick drink and it'll be over before you know it."