140 Icing on the cake

Aunt Kar dropped a tear. The plasma screen as large as all of Memorial Park was waving gently in a respectable wind current. Surrounding it at all points, the Little League champions and their eager retinue each clutched the edge with one hand while the opposite arm flapped to maintain altitude and stability. The children were like stars sparkling, not so far fetched when their victory over San Rafael and the Good Hustle Ninja’s miraculous third-to-first pivot and peg get consideration. The special broadcast presented Kelly draped in red, Reeg in a navy blue blazer and snow white dress shirt. Kar wept for the American flag, the red, white, and blue waving in the breeze, colors identical to the frosting she’d ordered for baby Drew’s christening party cake. The cake Governor Schwarzenegger sent was lovely – the Governor of California saved the day! – but it had no icing. Perhaps the wind resistance in the Sourpuss Ninja’s supersonic flight peeled the frosting off. A lovely cake still, but without the patriotically irresistible frosting, would it be as much fun when baby Drew cut the first piece? She noticed the pool service man kept laughing. His shoulders shook uncontrollably. What was funny about a couple of plastic bottles of chlorine, one per hand? Was it ironic laughter, self-deprecation because of the drab gray uniform with the unintelligible name tag sewn on? Was he just like Uncle Joe, believing he was meant for finer things, but rather than bitter, he’d become inappropriately merry? Kar sought the answer by looking up. Ross Valley, as a perfect host, wiped away her remnant tear. He looked over her shoulder, at the pool service man hilariously setting down the chlorine bottles and snatching the leaf catcher on the automatic pool sweep, then gasped: “Alain!” “Ah so! So far, best disguise!” the Frisco Ninja confessed. “You didn’t fool me!” Kelly boomed over Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, and Fairfax, scaring the deer. Hundreds of squirrels leaped across oak branches. “Alain de Tochigi, the Frisco Ninja!” Reeg continued by way of introduction. Frisco quit the shoulder-shaking laughter and provided simple assurance to everyone present: “First, honorable gardener. Coit Tower tutor of love, next. Then wily coffee shop troubleshooter, in snot-nose disguise. Excellent pool service technician, for now. Next stop, cake decorator. Red, white, and blue frosting chop-chop! Number one! No sweat.” “It’s all up to you now, Monsignor Quinn,” Kelly cautioned. “You betcha, Father,” confirmed Regis. “Awh awh awh awh awh!” shared the lofty altitudes, and the prideful old priest became an absolute believer again. Looking up at Kelly Ripa, larger than life, Aunt Kar understood something about Granny Guss.


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