Dozer, the Bulldog

Dozer, the Bulldog
Feeling the "Bern"

Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae
No time for gates...

Ollie Mac

Ollie Mac
My cooking assistant

Ollie and Annie

Ollie and Annie
Azorean grandmother


38 years on this mountain, come May 31st...



Papa and Ollie Mac

Papa and Ollie Mac
Priorities, Baby


Annie, my Sweetest of Apple Blossoms

My first portrait

My first portrait
"Mr. Farmer"

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Case of the Missing Choo-Choo (Based on a True Story)

The lil dude staggered into my office, looking slightly lost, almost as though he needed an oil change and a lube. The umbrella did not help. Standing about two-and-a-half feet tall, and weighing in at 27 pounds, he appeared to have been partying last night. There was more than a trace of whipped cream on his upper lip, and crumbs from a chocolate cake clung to his jammies.

Indeed, he was still in his jammies, and he was clutching an orange, plastic tractor (with trailer), that he was never going to let go of. He looked dejected and though his mama was still in view, getting back into her little Subi, her departure was not the reason for his unhappiness. 

“Is that you, Little Man? Did you survive your birthday party? You don’t turn two every day of the week, you know,” I began, just to show him that my heart was on the right side.

“Papi,” he began, and I knew he had something on his mind, “Strofnab kaboom uh oh dor-snuggle, choo-choo, exfekno see ya gjkfufeeyon ducktrimp,” he explained, enunciating every syllable for me.

“Seriously?” I exclaimed. “You think your choo-choo has been train-napped? When’s the last time you saw it?” I was not afraid to ask the hard, biting questions.

He's up to something...
“Yadredsey,” he informed me, but I knew that wasn’t right. We had not put any tracks together for the last two days at least. Besides, I had a photo of Ollie himself, clutching the four little choo-choo cars and heading toward me, away from my bedroom. I marked the pic, Exhibit P, for pointless, but I told Ollie the “p” stood for perfect.

He indicated my bedroom and informed me in no certain terms, that the choo-choo bromnopsied coco jorflicted sissled.

“I see. Well, let’s have a look right here, shall we? Let’s get a flashlight and start with the couch.” I signaled to my secretary to cancel all my appointments, but then remembered, I had no secretary. “Never mind,” I hollered to her anyway, because that’s what I would have said, if I had had [Editor: You DON’T!]


“Afos?” Ollie looked at me, confused. 

“Couch, sofa, whatever. I’ll lift it up and you look under it. Sound like a plan?” We were sailing now.

The plan went according to, well, er, except the minute I lifted that couch sofa up, Little Man scuttled under it, clearly excited. Out came a small orange ball, a glass bead or three and a small red block, but what did not come out, besides the choo-choo, was Little Man.

“Hey, I hate to bug you, Lil Dude, but this sofa up in the air wants to take a rest. Could you hook a Papi up and amscray out from under there?”

“Papi, snorbbery uckldidje choo-choo kaboom, uh oh!”

What I lack in style,
Ollie Mac makes up for...
“Let’s conjecture later! Right now I need you out from under there, muy pronto!” Responding more to the note of urgency in my voice, than my fluid use of Spanish, Little Man backed out slowly, not unlike a crab being forced out from under a rock, by being probed with a piece of driftwood.

Mercifully, I set the sofa down, grabbed the flashlight and headed down to the lower part of our living space, where we proceeded to examine every nook, cranny and drawer, occasionally crying out in despair, “Choo-Choo! Here, Choo-Choo!” all to no avail.

We circumnavigated the downstairs of the house again and again, getting a little more extreme in our search as we went. We went through every pocket of the coats and hoodies on the coat rack; we looked though all of the kitchen cupboards and drawers that were under three feet tall, and we ransacked the pantry. 

I knew I had a flask in there somewhere, and By Ollie, I was right. Unfortunately, the flask was as dry as my throat. 

At least we got a bonus when we found that package of dried mango, but we did not find any choo-choo’s.

I examined the glass case where all the elephants like to congregate, but no dice. No choo-choo, either.

We went through all of Ollie Mac’s cubbies, looked along the book cases, and even searched in the box down below my little kitchen office, where I found the missing computer wire a month or so ago.

Fergeddit it.

Finally, we gave up our efforts for the morning, and adjourned to the living room, where the jigsaw puzzle sat, beckoning. About to engage said puzzle head-on, I sidestepped the xylophone and decided to relocate it before I tripped over it. I like skateboarding, but not on a xylophone.

A funny thing happened when I picked it up, however; there was a distinct rattle. I looked closer, obviously, than ever before, and noted for the first time that it was actually a container, with a curious door on one  end. Still not yet connecting the blinking neon dots, out spilled one of the missing choo-choo’s when I tilted the xylophone on its side.

The missing train was inside the xylophone. Not to be outdone by a musical instrument, I started jumping up and down with Joy, who was only there to drop off some produce, and did not appreciate my enthusiasm.

Well, I didn’t appreciate her sticking me in the eyeball with a carrot, either, but that didn’t happen until-[Editor: Not relevant…]

Well, there’s not an awful lot left to say, except that Joy and I have settled our grievances, and that I won’t be dancing with her anymore.

Little Man is so overjoyed to get his choo-choo’s back, that he has piled them into that brilliant orange tractor I was telling you about. 

The one with the trailer?

I made a mental note of that fact, and went back to pestering my secretary. I’m trying to talk her into having coffee with me.

Well, I would, I mean, if I had a secretary…