No less a famous personage than ScottO arrived in Chicago this past weekend for some spurious business affair involving his wife. Probably some Strangers on a Train sort of thing. But ScottO discovered that his dearest wife (which makes one wonder about the other wives he grammatically has) was occupied on Tuesday, meaning he was free for lunch.
What does a highly intelligent, reasonably adventurous man do when in Chicago by himself? Simple! He calls the Gormogons.
Evidently, he also borrows a 12-cylinder Aston Martin Rapide to burn down around Michigan Avenue, but we’ll let him tell you that story. Later.
Imagine ScottO’s surprise when the Czar and the Mandarin agreed to have lunch with him downtown! It surprised the hell out of us, too. Allegedly, ScottO asked his dearest wife if she would be inclined to join us for lunch.
You want to have lunch with a couple of guys you’ve met over the internet, and have no idea who they really are or even what they look like. How do you know one of them isn’t an axe murderer? ScottO said he had no reasonable answer for that question, although it did cross his mind that Mandarin, who is one of us, definitely doesn’t use an axe. So that technically counts.
Now, at some point, this story is going to go off-the-rails exaggerated, so pay attention so that you can better guess where.
Thus the Czar and Mandarin headed in from their respective locations and found him sitting quietly but keenly aware of his hotel surroundings at the appointed time. We dined at a nice restaurant in the shadow of the John Hancock Building, and talked of many things. Mostly sealing wax. Those two each enjoyed a decent portion of ravioli, and the Czar scarfed down a large chopped salad. ScottO mentioned that Reno is longitudinally further West than Los Angeles is, a fact which the Czar did not know and became immediately obsessed with. Mandarin regaled him with all sorts of tales regarding the demon-haunted Castle, and curious tales of our prominent writers.
The point is we had a great time, up until the pirates arrived. ScottO spotted them first, as they crashed their frigate into the fifth floor of the building. Crying Avast, ScottO grabbed a knife and placed the blade smartly into his teeth, scurrying up the ropes to the bow. Mandarin jumped out of his chair, in time, and began to boot a variety of pirates squarely in the gut, one after the other. The Czar, axe in hand, chopped a hole in the bow and ensured that any escape attempts by them would result in immediate capsizing.By now, you’re probably thinking What a load of horse crap. Wouldn’t they use their cannons? Indeed they did, and the Czar headed into the hole he chopped. Mandarin studiously dodged each cannon ball, watching the heavy metal spheres bounce and skitter across the cracked marble floor of the eatery. ScottO lured one of the pirates to fire a cannon at him; when the pirate inevitably took the bait, ScottO jumped up to the jib, letting the cannon ball sail under him to shatter the bow. How the pirates slashed their cutlasses at him, but ScottO taunted them from the forestays, raining both sarcasm and fire upon them.
The ship was soon engulfed in flames: above, from ScottO, and below from your humble Czar who ignited their powder magazine. Soon, the top deck was swarming with flaming, muscular pirates, which sounds pretty homoerotic but was in fact the literal truth. As ScottO and the Czar exited the burning remains of the frigate, we enjoyed a hearty laugh as the Mandarin forced several of the pirates into mind-control obedience. The shot of us laughing froze as the credits rolled.
Now you tell us. What did you for lunch yesterday? Bet it wasn’t that.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.