Return Of The Red Metal Baby Toy

…and all along we thought it was dead

Behold! At long last, another Violet episode!

On The Road With Violet: In Which A Stealthy Approach Is Used And A Pig Is Underestimated

Under cover of the night, our band of brave rescuers slips out of the marsh and onto the fairly well cleaned up outskirts of the village.

“Right then, we all know what to do”, whispers Violet, “so, let’s get on with it. Good luck.”

With that, Violet and Ranger (for that was the Irish Setter’s name) set out for the Mayor’s house. Meanwhile, Lavender and Verity set off to free the prisoners while Jake and Nick go to deal with the guards set up around the turtle.

The pirates, according to Lavender, were still mostly laying low outside of town. With any luck, Our Heroes hope to be in the turtle and creeping up on the pirate ship before dawn.

The Mayor’s house is dark as Violet and Ranger approach it. As they wind through the rather extensive garden, Violet notices a light coming from a basement window. Moving closer, they stop behind a small juniper bush and try to get a look inside. After a moment, they see the mayor and another man step into view. They seem to be carrying a large metal object between them.

“That’s it, Ranger”, she tells the dog in hushed tones.

“Woof, woof”, he quietly replies.

“I’ve no idea”, says Violet, “but it must be something worth working on in secret late at night. Considering what a wanker that mayor is, it could well be some infernal machine.”

Ranger thinks for a moment and then says, “Ruff, woof, grrr.”

Violet nods. “I can see your point, mate. I reckon they’re all infernal machines to you.”

In the basement, it looks as though the mayor and his companion are attaching cables to the device they were carrying. Suddenly, many lights of different colors come on all over the basement and a low hum fills the air.

Meanwhile, across the village, Verity and Lavender have reached the building where Sir Rupert, Nigel and Hercules are being held. Two large men armed with shotguns are guarding the front door.

“So, Lavender, it looks like you are on”, Verity says, nodding towards the guards.

“Grunt, oink, grunt.”

Verity, who does not speak Swinish as well as Violet does, is pretty sure that Lavender has just told her she will hit them with a melon. However, before she can ask for clarification, Lavender trots off towards the guards.

Seeing the pig coming towards them, the guards (who are, if the truth be known, bored silly) begin making comments about her.

“Oi, Denny, it’s that pig again, the one what’s been wandering around for the last week”, says the guard with the big nose.

Looking at the young porker, Denny says, “I’ve been wondering where she got off to. Didn’t see her about all day today. Probably went off to sleep in the mud.”

The big nosed guard (whose name is Alf) chuckles.

“I expect she did just that. Filthy creatures, pigs. Stupid, too.”

As they laugh, Lavender begins to run around in a circle. Soon, she is running very fast.

“Would ya look at that. Bloody thing has gone off it’s nut”, Alf says.

After a few seconds, Lavender stops running, falls over on her side and, after some dramatic squealing and thrashing about, stops moving.

“Well would ya look at that”, says Denny, “she’s done keeled over dead.”

Stepping forward, Denny bends down to get a closer look. After poking Lavender with his finger, he is about to pronounce her dead when, suddenly, the young sow leaps to her feet and bites him square in the crotch.

Giving forth a high pitched scream that would do any young girl proud, Denny drops his gun and begins trying to pry the pigs jaws loose. Behind him, Alf sets his gun aside and picks up a rock.

“Hang on there, Denny, I’ll get her off ya with…” His sentence is cut short as he falls face first to the ground.

“…a rock to the head?”, Verity says from behind him, hefting her own rock.

Seeing that Verity has done her part, Lavender lets go of Denny’s family jewels. Denny falls over on his side and curls into a fetal position, gasping for air and crying.

After taking the keys off Alf, Verity opens the door to the jail and within minutes, has the boys free of their confinement. A bit of introduction is done and then Hercules and Sir Rupert set off for the turtle, while Verity, Nigel and Lavender head out to lend Violet and Ranger a hand.

The Hot Dog Creatures From Planet Z

…in Technicolor

Here is the latest Violet post, with a new and improved style of chapter titling.

On The Road With Violet: In Which Our Heroine Does Some Thinking, A Fight Breaks Out And News Of The Village Arrives

Upon awakening quite early on the morning of her sixth day at the Ogre Brothers home, Violet (who is not at all hung over due to having not drunk nearly as much as she seemed to) decides to go outside and have herself a think. After spending nearly a week here, she has a fair bit to think about, so, finding a chair as far from the loudly snoring brothers as is possible, she starts to mentally go over what she knows.

First comes the fact that, while they are loud, boisterous, a bit crude and given to drinking and smoking and gambling, the Ogre Brothers are not evil. In fact, they are not even really Ogres. They are, in fact, a couple of “adventurous bums who can get by as musicians” from California. (It should be noted that hearing them talk about life in the Bear Flag Empire made Violet long to go there.) (After finding the City of Glass, of course) It seems that they use a potion developed by a friend of theirs (who may have been in some way connected to the late Dr. Henry Jekyll) to turn into Ogres, thus insuring that, as Jake said, “nobody messes with us”. Of course, even in their natural human form they were a couple of rough tough and scruffy looking fellows, so Violet doubts that many people messed with them anyway. So, they were never a threat to the village, although they may well have been a threat to the village’s liquor supply.

Secondly, Violet is concerned about her friends back in the village. They must be nearly done cleaning up and will be quite worried about her, especially Nigel. She has already decided to go back today, after getting Nick and Jake to promise to remain quiet for a day or two, until she and her friends are long gone. Well, assuming that Hercules and Sir Rupert could get the turtle moving again.

Third on her mind is Lavender. She is rather surprised that the pig had not come looking for her. Whatever could Lavender be up to? Violet supposes she might have met a nice gentleman pig, but she thinks it more likely that Lavender was plotting an escape for the boys. It just seems like the sort of thing a brave young sow might do. Exactly how she might do it, Violet has no idea, but she very much hopes that any escape would not take place until she has a chance to get back and convince the villagers that the Ogre Brothers have left the area.

Finally, Violet thinks of Verity. The younger lass had certainly proven herself able to carouse as well as anyone Violet has ever met. (and Violet’s family has it’s share of carousers, you can be sure) Even more important, Verity has shown a great deal of musical skill, both on the accordion and as a singer. She has the sort of voice that goesy well with singing blues and jazz songs. Additionally, Violet has a sneaking suspicion that Verity and Jake might have had a dalliance or two while Jake was in his human form. Violet thinks that it might not be a bad thing if Verity were to stay with the brothers, since they are considering doing a musical tour of Britain and Scotland, which is why they came here from California anyway.

“So, Violet,” she says to herself, “what is your plan? What next, old girl?”

After a few more minutes, she has decided that she will…

A: Convince the brothers to lay low for a couple of days

B: Tell Verity that she should stay on with the Ogres as a member of the band

C: Go back and rescue the boys, either by conning the villagers or assisting Lavender in some great escape.

D: Find the City of Glass, then go to California.

And she would have done all of those things in that order, if all hell had not broken loose a hour later while she was having breakfast with Verity.

It was then, you see, that Lavender, accompanied by a terribly dirty Irish Setter dog, came bursting out of the marsh with a group of five air pirates in hot pursuit. Squealing in terror, the panicked porker ran up onto Ogre Island and, still accompanied by the dog, dove underneath the cabin.

As the first pirate stepped onto the island, Violet did the only thing she could think of…she tossed her bowl of hot porridge into his face. Yowling like a banshee and clawing at his face, the pirate went down.

Verity was almost as quick as Violet, but instead of flinging porridge, she flung a large tea kettle. It hit the second pirate in the chest, knocking him down and scalding him from neck to kneecaps.

The remaining three pirates were trying to circle around the girls when they saw Nick and Jake coming at them from out of the cabin. All three pirates screamed and tried to run, but the Ogres were too fast for them. It didn’t take long before they were unconscious on the ground.

“Well I’ll be damned, little brother, looks like we caught some pirates.” Nick sounds amused as he says it. “I wonder if they’ve got any treasure?”

Jake chuckles. “Doesn’t look like it. Maybe we can get ’em to teach us that pirate lingo. Yarr, matey!”

While the brothers laugh and joke, Violet and Verity coax Lavender and the dog out of hiding. Once they are out in the open, Lavender began telling Violet everything that has happened since she left the village.

“Grunt, grunt, squeal, oink! Squeal, oink, oink, grunt, squeal!”

Violet is stunned by the news. “Oh my! You say that the Mayor is considering not letting the boys go unless they turn the turtle over to him? And that there is some strange device in the Mayor’s basement?”

Lavender nods. “Grunt, grunt, grunt, oink! Oink, squeal, grunt!”

“So you came up with an escape plan, but then found out that the air pirates had tracked us here?”

“Grunt, oink, grunt. Squeal, squeal, oink, oink!

“Hmm, yes, I see your point. We have no time to lose!”

Violet leaps to her feet and calls out to Verity, Jake, Nick and the dog.

“Look here, everyone, we need to get to the village, rescue my friends, scuttle the plans of those sky pirates, find out what that sod of a mayor is up to and put a stop to it. Are you with me?”

They all agree to help.

Taking A Flying Leap Into The Future

…in less than an hour

And now, my most Patient and Loyal Readers, the last Violet episode of 2007.

Powered by Guinness:)

On The Road With Violet: An Open Invitation To The Blues

(Director’s Note: The Ogre Brothers will be played, under much makeup, by Lee Marvin (Nick) and Tom Waits (Jake), both at age 40)

I come in last night about half past ten
That baby of mine wouldn’t let me in
So move it on over. Rock it on over
Move over little dog, a mean, old dog is movin’ in

She told me not to mess around
But I done let the deal go down
Move it on over. Rock it on over
Move over nice dog, a big, fat dog is movin’ in

She changed the lock on my back door
Now my key won’t fit no more
Move it on over. Rock it on over
Move over nice dog, a mean, old dog is movin’ in

She threw me out just as pretty as she pleased
Pretty soon I’ve been scratchin’ fleas
Move it on over. Slide it on over
Move over nice dog, a mean, old dog is movin’ in

Yeah! Listen to me dog before you start to whine
That side’s yours and this side’s mine
Move it on over. Rock it on over
Move over little dog, a big, old dog is movin’ in

Move it on over. Move it on over
Move it on over. Won’t’cha rock it on over
Move over cool dog, a hot dog’s movin’ in

The music grows louder as Violet and Verity move towards the source. About halfway through the song, they come to a small island, upon which sets a rather ramshackle house. In front of the house are the Ogre Brothers, one of them playing slide guitar and singing (in a voice that reminds Violet of her Uncle Herbert’s singing voice after the partaking of several large whiskey’s) while the other brother plays a stand up bass. They don’t seem to even notice the two women in the boat as it glides up in front of them. They continue singing and playing until they finish the song, at which point, they finally turn to look at the new feminine arrivals.

Now, Dear Reader, we feel very confident that you, like Violet and Verity, have never actually seen an ogre. That being the case, what follows is a quick description that will, we hope, give you a better mental picture of what Our Heroine sees.

The brothers are tall…every bit of 7 feet. They are also quite muscular, altho a bit paunchy. Their skin has a strong grey-green tinge to it and they have horns on their heads like a rams. Both have long brown hair and big brown eyes. Their facial features are thick and their teeth are big and sharp looking. Both wear blue workman’s shirts and dungarees. Their astoundingly large feet are bare.

After a moment of staring a bit bleary eyed at the ladies, the slightly older appearing of the two says…

“Well well, Jake, look at what just drifted up to our doorstep.”

Jake, the brother who was playing the standup bass, lights a cigar and says…

“Uhh, hello there, ladies. Welcome to our little piece o’ heaven. Say, can either of you play a tenor sax?”

Harry Potter And The Horny House Elves

…it made that year at Hogwarts rather nerve wracking

I love my Northern California, but sometimes I just have to laugh at my fellow NorCals. First moderately big storm of the year…quite a bit of rain…windy…and the local tv stations are doing “stormwatch coverage” with teams of reporters covering every little puddle or broken tree branch. Folks from the midwest and east coast would laugh themselves sick at this.

On The Road With Violet: A Bit Of Flashback

Early the next morning, just minutes after sunrise, Violet is seated on a small boat for her journey into the Great Marsh. Her guide is a young lady of 16 years, Verity Blaine, who dresses in a rather boyish style. Denim trousers, blue workman’s shirt, boots and a cap…not the sort of thing Violet would expect a pretty young blonde lass to wear.

Still, Violet can appreciate anyone who flaunts convention, so she gives Verity a big smile and a friendly hello.

“Pleased to meet you, Verity”

To her surprise, Verity blushes.

“Pleased to meet you, Miss Violet. Now you just sit there and enjoy the trip. The marsh is really pretty early on like this.”

Within a few minutes, Verity is expertly poling the boat through the marshy waters and Violet’s thoughts begin to drift back to yesterday.

“Now, dearie, you just come with us”, the Mayor’s wife had said as she and several other women hustled Violet into the house. “We’ll tell you everything you need to know.”

Once inside, they had taken Violet to a very nicely decorated sitting room and offered her a seat in a large and very comfy chair. Quick as a wink, tea and biscuits were served and Violet’s “briefing” began.

“It all began 6 months ago”, Mrs. Mayor said, “when two ogres moved into the marsh. At first, they kept to themselves and nobody thought much about them, except the folks who had reason to go deep into the marsh. You know…hunters, trappers, that sort.”

“But then”, chimed in an elderly lady with blue hair, “the music and singing started.”

Mrs. Mayor shot Blue Hair a sharp look and resumed the story.

“Yes…music and singing…quite loud, it must have been, to drift all this way. Still, you could hear it at all hours of the night. According to the hunters and trappers, it was driving the wildlife away.”

“What sort of music was it?”, Violet asked.

Mrs Mayor gave a haughty sniff and said, “I’m sure I don’t know, but it sounded rather American to me.”

Once again, Blue Hair spoke up. “It sounded rather Bluesy to me.”

Another sharp look and Mrs. Mayor continued. “Whatever it was, it was dreadful. But then, things got worse. They sdtarted to come to town! They’d come in, buy some supplies, drink at the pub and then stagger off into the marsh. Oh, such great ugly crude beasts!”

At that point, Mrs. Mayor had to take a deep breath and sip some tea in order to steady her nerves. After a bit, she went on.

“We tried sending an emissary to ask them to move out of the area, but poor Franklin never returned. Such a dear man…his mother was quite distraught.”

Again, Blue Hair spoke up. “He was a sweet lad…handsome, smart and an excellent dancer.”

Ignoring Blue Hair this time, Mrs. Mayor went on.

“After Franklin’s disappearence, we were at a loss as to how to proceed. Then, about a month ago, Mr. Woolcotton, our librarian, found an old book about ogres and other creatures. After reading it, we decided that a beautiful young woman could be used to charm the ogres and get them to leave this area.”

Violet did not like where this was going.

“And why did you not send a young woman in then, instead of waiting for someone from outside to arrive?”, she said.

Mrs. Mayor sighed. “We wanted to, but there was considerable arguing about exactly whose daughter would go. There was also the problem of finding a beautiful young woman who was also smart and brave enough to accomplish the task. That eliminated pretty much all of them.”

She took a sip of tea and then looked Violet in the eye.

“And then, my dear, you arrived. Beautiful, smart and, unless I’m guessing incorrectly, as brave as any man your age.”

After that, Mrs. Mayor and the village ladies had told her how she would be taken into the marsh by Verity (who was the daughter of a trapper and sister to five others) and left to enchant, cajole, reason with, threaten or even seduce the Ogre Brothers away. When Violet protested, it was made very clear to her that unless she went along with the plan, it would be a very long time before Sir Rupert, Nigel and Hercules saw freedom. In the end, she had no choice but to agree.

Violet is suddenly started out of her reverie by the sound of music starting up somewhere just ahead of them.

Watch Out For The Freaky Swedish Dude

…he’s big and scary

Voting on the last poll was tight…so tight that I had to flip a coin before casting my tie breaking vote. Anyway, the esteemed Mr. Karloff is our mayor.

On The Road With Violet: Slime & Punishment

It takes less than 15 minutes to slog up the street to the Mayor’s house. During the slog, Violet cannot help but feel badly for the townsfolk. It appears that they were just getting the town decorated for a Spring Festival when the swampy tsunami hit. While no expert in village clean up, Violet is pretty sure that getting this village clean again will take more than a few days.

“Oh, Lavender, we’ll be lucky if these people don’t lock us away for a year”, she says to her porcine pal.

“Grunty grunt grunt!”

Violet sniffs the air before replying, “You’re right. It does smell like rotten cabbage and cow flop.”

“Oink, oink, squeal.”

“It is not an improvement on how humans normally smell!”

“Grunt”

Before Violet can reply to Lavender’s dismissive grunt, the crowd stops in front of a very large (and now mud covered) house. A tall, older gentleman, clad in a gardeners outfit (and swamp muck) is standing in what earlier in the day was a no doubt beautiful garden.

“Will you look at this?”, he says in a sad voice. “My roses…my delphiniums…my agapanthus…all fouled by this mud and muck.” Turning, he points to a small pool of swamp water. “That was my new herb garden. I just put it in last Tuesday.”

Turning towards the crowd, he gets an angry look on his face.

“Are these the people responsible for this outrage?”

The tall villager steps forward. “It is, yer Honor. We brought ’em up here straightaway.”

Over the next few minutes, Our Heroes are introduced to the Mayor and then several other people, who turn out to be the town council. Sir Rupert gives an account of of how they came to be here and why the muck wave hit the town and how sorry they are and how they’ll help with clean up.

After a short, huddled consultation, the Mayor and the council make an announcement.

“First off”, the Mayor begins, “we accept your apology. Accidents do happen, even though they are not usually of such a magnitude. Your offer to help clean things up will be taken.”

The crowd nods and agrees. Our Heroes breathe a sigh of relief.

Waving down the noise, the Mayor continues.

“It has also been decided that you must make some payment to the village for ruining our Spring Festival.”

Sir Rupert steps forward and says, “You just name the amount, Mayor, and it’s as good as taken care of.”

The Mayor shakes his head and smiles.

“Good sir, I’m afraid mere money just won’t do. You see, we have a bit of a problem that I believe your Miss Thistledown can help us with.”

Surprised, Violet says, “I shall do anything I can to be of help, sir. What do you need of me?”

An older lady steps forward and, untying Violet’s hands, says, “Come with me, dear and I’ll explain everything while we get you cleaned up.” With that, they walk off into the Mayor’s house.

Nigel, thinking the worst, steps forward.

“Here now, you’re not up to any funny stuff, are you, Mayor?”

The Mayor laughs loudly.

“Oh no, my dear boy. I assure you that she is quite safe while here in our village.”

Nigel and the others relax a bit.

“However,” the Mayor continues, “I cannot predict how things will go when tomorrow she goes into the marsh to meet with the Ogre Brothers.”

Ogre Brothers? Oh my, Dear Readers, that does not sound good at all!

The Story Of The Littlest Elf And How He Blackmailed Santa

…he caught Santa with a ho. Ho ho!

Just put the lump of coal on the pile with all the others, Santa.

On The Road With Violet: Thoroughly Mucked Up

After Nelly the turtle’s head extends back out and her mouth opens, Violet, Sir Rupert and Lavender get as good look at the scene. Sure enough, the entire town is covered in muck, mud, slime, goo and assorted marsh critters of various sizes. The inhabitants of Tuddly-On-The-Marsh, for the moment frozen in place by a mixture of surprise and fear, resemble (to Violet at least) the titular creatures of Doctor Tempest And His Encounter With The Slime People Of Venus.

The crew of the turtle stare at the villagers.

The villagers stare at the crew of the turtle.

After about a minute, a tall villager near the turtle speak up.

“Who the bleedin’ ‘ell are you lot and why’d you splash that great wave ‘o muck all over our village?”

Sir Rupert steps forward, hand exctended. “My good man, I’m so very sorry. I’m Sir Rupert Poppington. These are my associates, Miss Violet Thistledown, Miss Lavender, Mister Nigel Trembly and Mister Hercules Dibbs. We were escaping from road and sky pirates when our flying travel terrapin experienced a mechanical failure. Our landing here was a completely unavoidable accident and I assure you we all deeply regret what has happened to your village. Naturally, we’ll do everything we can to help with the clean up.”

Several villagers have moved in closer to the turtle. They do not look happy.

“Oh, well, I ‘spose that’s alright then.”, the tall villager says as he wipes muck from his shirt. “After all, you couldn’t control yer flyin’ turtle then, could ya? We was all just in the wrong spot fer a great bloody turtle to come crashin’ outta the sky, right? An’ now, you and yer friends can ‘elp us wipe down the place, then ever’thin’ will be right as rain?”

He gets nose to nose with Sir Rupert.

“I don’t bloody think so, mate. GRAB ‘EM!”

The villagers rush forward and in less than a minute, Our Heroes are face down in the muck getting their hands tied behind their backs. Once they are tied, the villagers help them to their feet and begin marching them into town.

“Take ’em to the Mayor’s house.”, says the tall man. “We’ll let him an’ the council sort this out”

Oh dear, Our Heroes are certainly in a sticky (and mucky) situation here.

(Note: Our Younger Readers may wish to consult the Internet Movie Database regarding some of the above choices)

She Was Only a Plaster Caster In Spirit

…but she got her man

If you don’t know who the Plaster Casters were (are?) then go Google it.

On The Road With Violet: Making A Big Splash

(Note: Since “the convergence of two rivers” and “Outside Tuddly-On-The Marsh” tied in voting, I’ve combined the two, as shall soon be revealed)

About two minutes into the flight, Hercules announces that they are travelling at roughly 600 miles an hour and have reached an altitude of 7,000 feet.

“I’m not real sure of our headin’, but I reckon it’s roughly southwest. She seems to be runnin’ smooth as silk.”

“Excellent!”, says Sir Rupert. “With a spot of luck, we’ll touch down near Port Gulliver and be able to have a fine dinner before heading home.”

Puzzled, Violet asks, “But won’t the pirates be watching your home, Sir Rupert? They seemed quite determined to capture the turtle.”

“Oh, yes my dear, they’ll be watching my home and my workshop very closely, but it won’t do them any good. You see, the buildings we’ve been using recently actually belong to my cousin Tom. He’s off on an extended tour of the Americas and won’t be back for some months yet. My actual home, which I might add includes a far larger and better equipped workshop, is just outside London.” He stops to smile, then chuckle. “By the time that scalawag Captain Fox realizes we aren’t coming back, we’ll be safely home where not even the boldest pirate would dare set foot.”

Violet admits that it is indeed a good plan and is just getting ready to ask Sir Rupert about the better dining establishments in Port Gulliver, when the turtle suddenly shoots several hundred feet straight up, then drops about a thousand feet down.

Cursing like an entire shipload of sailors, Hercules once again begins working various controls in an attempt to bring the craft under control. After a minute or so, things calm down a bit, tho they are still bouncing up and down every so often.

At his seat, Nigel quickly consults several meters and gauges. “Bad news, Professor. The Cavorite seems to be becoming unstable. We’d best land now or risk a nasty crash.”

Sir Rupert grips his chair tightly to avoid being thown out of it by the violent ups and downs of the turtle. “Right then. Hercules, find a spot and land us. Violet, you might want to fasten this belt around yourself and the chair.” He hands Violet a large belt made of canvas and attached to a brass buckle.

Witha quick “Aye, Perfesser”, Hercules sets himself to the task of landing. Despite the rollercoster moves of the turtle, he begins decreasing the altitude. Looking through the viewing scope, he gives out another curse.

“Hang on! We’re landin’ in a swamp!”

When the turtle first touches down, it immediately leaps skyward again, skipping like a stone thrown across a pond. Three more skips and then it comes down for good. Unfortunately, since it is still moving at nearly 200 miles an hour, it creates a large tsunami of water and mud in front of it.

Looking through his own viewing scope, Nigel sees a small town in the distance. They are heading right for it.

“Bloody hell! There’s a town ahead and even if we don’t crash into it, that wave ahead of us will swamp it.”

At this point everyone begins speaking at once, offering ideas, worried questions, curses, cries of alarm and, in Lavender’s case, panicked squeals.

And then they come to a stop.

And then the wave hits the town.

And then, after looking through their respective viewing scopes, Hercules and Nigel say in unison…

“Uh oh, we’re buggered now!”