88 Attempt a murder, stub a toe

Three bicyclists were alive but not kicking. Two half-heartedly jumped baby Drew. He terminated them with extreme prejudice, a semantic notion with respect to APOCALYPSE NOW. Granny Guss liked all the parts with helicopters. Baby Drew, precociously perhaps, loved watching the Playmate of the Year dance solo to “Suzie Q,” especially when she shimmied languidly but with complete focus. Perhaps it foretold his facility with The Madison.
He hit one of the bicyclists and made a baby-beep.
“Beep.” It meant, You’re dead.
He hit the other whose lunge from the hardwood floor was so enervated by fear it was as though he’d stubbed his toe. No matter. Baby Drew said, “Boop,” a variation on the theme. San Anselmo was looking more and more like Tombstone, Arizona back in the day, although the kindly, hard of hearing Racanellis, back at the confluence of Alder Avenue and Yolanda Drive (i.e. the seat of the American Dream, within walking distance of good public schools) might argue too loudly yet without an iota of vituperation, that it was more like Dodge City, so enamored were they of GUNSMOKE.
“Beep boop,” was picked up by the worthless Sunday drop-ins, ever at the Plip Plop Coffe Shop on Tuesday mornings. It was their kind of language.
Of the pack of thirty bicyclists, only Reluctant Dissenter #2 lived.
The vigilant hawk eyes of the little Guss scion had atypically missed him.
Reluctant Dissenter #2 was as coy as he was craven, and managed to slip behind baby Drew’s back while others fell.
He thought he was going to survive; furthermore, he thought he was going to kill baby Drew independently. And Lance would love him, the smartest bicyclist of them all.
But every one of the Little League champions was instantly cognizant, availed of all the windows along the side of the cafe, sharing them with the six hitherto unlaid ladies of San Francisco and no other. What Reluctant Dissenter #2 did was nothing more than a typical baseball ploy, disappearing, as it were, from the game. Pitchers pretended not to notice a baserunner taking too long a lead, as if they were preoccupied in a huddle with the catcher and shortstop. When the runner took the bait and dashed within the corner of the pitcher’s eye for the next base, the ball was out of the mitt and on its way to an infielder for the tag. Cat and mouse. The Good Hustle Ninja sent a warning look to Alain de Tochigi, the Frisco Ninja, and an explanatory vibration.
“Boss!” Frisco relayed the Little Leaguer’s analysis to Ross Valley.
“Maybe step in now!” he added, more a question.
Ross Valley prevailed on him not to. It was critical to find out the extent of little Andrew Guss’s tactical genius.
“Keep the Little Leaguers quiet. I don’t want them to give the scummy bicyclist away. Let us witness fate.”
“Oh, God, Ross!” _____ _____ panted. This was more exciting than “Casino Royale,” a part she’d nearly landed. But she hadn’t tried hard enough, auditioning not too well because her ambition cautioned her about the wayward history of Bond girls being stamped for life.
The Frisco Ninja relayed Ross Valley’s instructions to Huancho de la Vega, the Good Hustle Ninja, who made a baseball sign to his teammates. They should put a lid on their instinct to save the baby because there were more things in heaven and earth, homies, than are dreamt of in your rudimentary philosophies.
Smarm and slime and pure good-for-nothing, Reluctant Dissenter #2, Bicyclist, Aging Boy, Pest, Despicant, held back, moving side to side, right foot back, right foot forth – “Have you ever seen a laddie, Go this way and that? Go THIS way, and THAT way, Go THIS . . .” – always out of baby Drew’s sight, waiting for the moment.
“The moment!” he swooned. Lance, Tour de France, Bicycle Boy Magazine, Marshal of Fifty Mile Memorial Rides, Glory, Glory, Glory! “All I have to do is murder the baby.”
Like a man possessed, he laughed, “Ah ha ha ha ha ha!” but not out loud, lest baby Drew discover his position. It wasn’t in a bicyclist’s character to face anything one on one.
The white-haired beauty and the Sourpuss Ninja were fronting the Strollin’ Bluegrass Band with graceful harmonies, the sensualist transported to an amateur’s joy, the matriarch all business and grudgingly benign.
The Patron of the Arts marveled how novelistic the tableau had become at her favorite meeting place. She took heart. Her roundtables were not simply an exercise, after all.
Mikkim Ttommott caught the caffeinated absurdities with line and shade, inspired by opportunity in every sense, High Renaissance antecedents of composition, and Kierkegaardian concerns in every square inch.
The owner of the Plip Plop shot a harried glance at the Employees Only entrance in back, ‘neath a middling oil on canvas California poppy landscape. He noticed for the first time that the poppies were not poppy-colored.
Swami Skinrash, the Tocaloma Ninja, devised ways to explain scavenging was enlightened. He felt this perhaps was his last chance, with capitals at L and C.
“Awh awh awh awh awh,” chortled the Froggy Ninja. He dominated the countertop, despite the display of made from scratch scones. “Awh awh awh awh awh. Baby Drew’s a big boy, he is, he is. Awh awh awh awh awh.”
The Frisco Ninja looked at the other baby, then was at peace.
“Ah so.”


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