The Giant Gnat of Sinatra(The Three Writers are © their respective parents, and damned if they aren’t
© 2009 by Marmel, Costello and Reimer
the most compelling arguments ever known for eugenics.)
(Leonard and Susan Allworthy © Walter Reimer.
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is largely coincidental,
and we’ll be taking steps to correct it as quickly as possible,
but you know we’re all just so gosh-darned busy at the moment . . . >bonk<)
- Conclusion -
or, if you sign right here,
this lovely tract of Florida waterfront property is yours.
I sat back and looked at my dinner companions.
Reggie was still blinking.
Rosie was looking at me thoughtfully.
Inocenta looked as if she were mentally taking down notes.
Les . . . looked uncomfortable.
It was Reggie who recovered first. “Cracking good story, Willow.” He scratched at an antler. “Are you sure you didn’t embellish it?”
I smiled serenely. “I’m not one to embellish a story, Reggie. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”
“So,” Rosie asked, “what happened after you reached Batavia?”
“We did some business with Royal Dutch Shell, then headed on to Manila,” Les said, a bit too quickly. “I wanted to get away from the Dutch East Indies.”
“As far away as possible,” I agreed. “And after spending Christmas in Manila we went to Australia.” I grinned. “George and Laura were glad to see us, and she was very much in the family way by that time.”
Rosie snickered. “She have any idea who the father was?”
My ears dipped in a blush. “I admit I asked her, and she said, hang on, let me think of it . . . ah. ‘Numquam nisi nave plena tollo vectorem.’”*
Reggie blushed fiercely.
Les thought a moment as he turned the Latin over in his head, and promptly looked embarrassed.
Rosie looked irritated. “Well?”
I translated, and she laughed. “Good planning on her part, then.”
“Yeah. I’m told it’s a kangaroo thing.”
Les looked at his fiancée and flinched a little. “Er, Inocenta . . . “
“Um, you don’t, er, mind, that is, that I . . . ?”
Inocenta smiled at him, and gave him a smooch on the tip of his nose. "Inocenta no grudge the Leslie-puppy being with the other women before he meet Inocenta, as he is all man and must exercise his manhood. But if Leslie-puppy stray from Inocenta,” and here she wagged a finger under his nose, “Inocenta will see to it that Leslie-puppy no longer have need to exercise his manhood."
Leslie gulped, and returned the kiss.
“One thing, though,” Reggie said. “Why haven’t I heard anything about the Gnat? You’d think it’d be all over the radio.”
“Oh, it was an immediate hit when it reached America, but Obscurity Records made the mistake of unveiling it in Boston, where it played – “
“Let me guess,” Rosie said.
“Tea for Two.”
We all said it, and looked at each other.
The laughter was general.
*(Editor’s Note: Laura said, “I never take on a passenger unless the vessel is full.”)