His Lordship

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I’m Jason L. Secrest, an aspiring author and impoverished college student. Sometimes I blog. When I’m being real about real world things that other people also believe are real I post at wiseyetharmless.bogspot.com. Then there are the moments that I’m also being real, but in regards to a different real world where there is a real annoying talking demon in my basement and where my non-fake butler/valet/gentleman’s-gentleman knows Jujutsu. In those moment’s I’m Jason L. Secrest, Lord of the Manor, and I blog directly to you from my mansion study at whathowadsworth.blogspot.com.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Texting to the Mansion House Is Not Approved

I have a lot on my mind today: Here's a short list of the things I'd like to cover. We'll see how far I get.
  1. The secret location of the mansion house.
  2. The less secret method of travel to the secret location of the mansion house.
  3. The other people who ride the less secret method of travel to the secret location of the mansion house (but don’t get off there).
  4. Beezle's affinity for quarters.

Some of you may have noticed that I've never been very specific about the exact where of the mansion house. It's because it's a well kept secret, and I don't know it. Wadsworth does. I do not. "But Jason," crys the logical mind, "you live there. You also write posts about riding the bus to and from the mansion house."

That I do, logical mind. That I do. Here's the thing: the most direct route to the manor is through what my great uncle Nicholas calls 'abstract travel'. It takes a special kind of ‘unfocus’ combined with motion. I find that I travel most abstractly on the bus. All I need is a newspaper or an interesting person to watch.

I've never been able to drive to the mansion house. I'd have to be distracted - texting, or something - in fact just the other day a seventeen year old kid from Chicago with the last name of Jones smashed through the conservatory and into a baobab tree. Leon, the more aggressive of our two bangled tigers circled the car for an hour before I got home and saw the kid there, shivering in his boots and screaming for help. I jumped into the car with him as soon as I saw Leon pop out of the brush. (Leon's a touch sadistic. He likes to get a good look at me getting a good look at him before he chases me down. He doesn't hurt me of course, or at least, not much. He just plays aggressively. I can tell you from experience that scratches from a bangled tiger are a slightly bigger deal then the ones from your household kitty. Unfortunately, he's too old to declaw. When he gets out of the conservatory he does murder to our screen doors - thinks he can hang on them like Will's tabby.)

Of course, this unfortunate accident happened on the second thursday of the month -  Wadsworth's day off. Jones and I hunkered down in his beat up old pinto and ate the granola bars I keep in my backpack for exactly these kinds of emergencies. Before that though, we took a moment to express our feelings. Jones yelled at me historically. Called me crazy for keeping a tiger in my house, and thought I should be arrested for endangering public safety. I in turn, tried out a little trick I'd learned from Wadsworth. I raised a brow, glanced pointedly at the phone he still held in a death grip, and rounded the whole expression out with a wistful silent appraisal of the gaping hole in my conservatory. The coupe de gras was the bit where I held out a granola bar and asked if he'd like to share some light refreshments.

After that we talked a bit about girls, grades, parents, and the location of one white tiger named Leon until late in the evening. Jones was fairly open. He told me just about everthing about himself like he thought he was about to die. I thought about getting out of the car, or pushing Jones out just to get things done with so we could go inside, but by a stroke of luck Duncan sauntered around the back of the house looking for me. He understood the situation immediately and growled, "Go to your room." (Leon's 'room' is a small lockable compound where he is confined when he is being disciplined.)

As much as Leon views me as a toy, he sees Duncan as an authority figure. Duncan is, after all, an immense talking grizzly bear. Leon doesn't talk - at least unless when Beezle isn't putting words in his mouth - but he does pout. He pouted at me when I got out of the car. He pouted at Jones (who opted to remain in the car whispering "I'm not crazy" over and over.) He pouted at Nisa, his smaller, more domestic sister when she joined us as we strode to the other end of the conservatory's "Jungle Room." He glared at  Orvil, the Jungle Room parrot, who shrilled out "Na na na na na nana" over and over as we walked under Orvil’s branch.  Leon didn't pout at pout at Duncan though. He wouldn't look at Duncan. Other than Orvill, everyone was silent. That's the rule: when disciplining, everyone who isn’t giving an instruction is quiet. It helps more than you might think.

As Leon slunk moodily into his compound and I secured the gate, I said, "Thanks, Duncan. I wasn't in the mood to 'play' tonight."

Duncan shook his head slowly and rumbled, “You let him walk all over you. You’ve got to get him in line. Or maybe you need to get yourself together. Whenever Wadsworth takes the day off everything goes to pot around here.”

I chuckled and nodded amiably. It doesn’t bother me anymore when Duncan gets gruff with me. He gets gruff with everyone.

Duncan continued, ”Who’s the kid? Another distracted driver?”

“Yep. Third one this year. Most destructive one too. He must have been going pretty fast. Probably texting on the interstate or something before he abstracted here.”

“Stupid kids. They think they’re invincible when they get in a car. I wish they’d abstract into the lake.”

I nodded heartily. “That would make them pay attention. So did you come up just to check on me, or is there something I can help you with?”

“A few years ago I gave your uncle an artifact to hold for me. I need it.”

“Oh, well do you know where it is?”

“In the shed, probably. Looks like a marshmallow roster with a blue glass handle.”

“I know the one. It’s close to the door. What is it?”

A cheerful tone crept into Duncan’s voice. “A kind of  a witch taser. Meg’s been over stepping bounds a bit. I thought I ought to remind her who’s in charge the next time she does it.”

“Well good luck with that. I’m going to let you find it. I’ve got to make some calls to the insurance people. Will you do me a favor and help that kid abstract his car home?  He lives close to Durso Park in Chicago.”

“Oh?” Duncan said, “did you get his name?”

“He goes by Jones. Wouldn’t give me his first name.”

Duncan grinned, “Well this day gets better and better! I’ve had four wards this year from Chicago. Every one of them came in through a Durso Park dumpster at the hands of a kid named Jones. We’ll have to have a little chat. Maybe with a witch taser if all goes well.” (Duncan is a steward over a kind of magical safe house for bullied teens.  That wasn’t what it was originally built for, but for whatever magical reason, anybody who’s hiding terrified in a dumpster has a chance of falling through the dumpster bottom and into Duncan’s protective lap.)

“Don’t be too harsh on him.” I said, “Since he thought he was going to be eaten by a white tiger named Leon he flashed his life before my eyes. He doesn’t have a happy home and he’s failing out of school.”

“Well, maybe a well placed tickle with a marshmallow roaster will help motivate him to finish. I can only see everyone winning in this scenario.”

Duncan went back for Jone’s and I went into the house. What brought this up? Why was I telling this story? Oh. You have to be at least moderately distracted while in motion to get to the mansion house, and then be either lucky or attuned to the location. Speaking of which, I seem to have abstracted to The Mansion House Study. I was wiggling around a little bit in my cheep office chair at my Provo apartment while I was typing. I didn’t know that would do it. That’s good to know. Even better, it’s nearly lunch time. I wonder were having...

Oh. So. I didn’t make much progress on my list.. I got a bit off course. I’ll see when I can get to the rest.


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