Biff, over at Biff Sock Pow graciously offered to contribute this post to Guest in Jest. Since it is Halloween-themed, I didn’t want to wait another day before posting it. So we get a bonus edition today! Biff’s blog is hilarious and his Alistair and Alexis series just tickles my funny bone no end. I am so very happy that I can share it with you here.
Alistair and Alexis — in — “The Haunted Belfry”
I tore into the kitchen at a high rate of speed and slid on the highly polished tiles right up to my beautiful Alexis, light of my life, queen of my heart, pumpkin spice of my latte.
She seemed oblivious to the fact that I was worked up nearly into a full doo-dah because of the horror that was unfolding in our very own house.
She was wearing a festive Halloween apron and humming to herself as she applied orange icing to two dozen cinnamon nutmeg cupcakes using a buttering knife. She seemed unphased by her husband nearly caroming into her.
“Oh, hello, Darling,” she said, smiling up at me. “I’m sorry, but you can’t have a cupcake. These are for the Halloween party tonight.”
“There’s no time for cupcake talk, my sweet honeysuckle blossom.”
“Isn’t there?” she asked, apparently distracted by icing a particularly recalcitrant cupcake. “I thought that’s why you came running in here so fast. I figured you smelled them from all the way upstairs.”
I shook my head emphatically.
“I’ve no wish to cause you undue panic,” I said in an attempt to keep her calm, “But we have bats in our belfry.”
“And by we,” she said, coolly icing another cupcake, “I assume you mean that you have bats in your belfry.”
“According to the community property laws in our state, I mean that we, collectively … to wit: you and I … together forming the insoluble duo of Mr. and Mrs. Callington of Meandering Pheasant Lane, have bats in our collective belfry.”
“But that sort of thing runs on your side of the family, not mine,” she said, setting down her most recent iced cupcake, and licking a bit of orange icing off of the back of her hand, and picking up another cupcake to ice.
“I am not speaking metaphorically or euphemistically,” I said. “I am speaking about our house. Our house has bats in the belfry.”
“Our house doesn’t have a belfry,” she said, frowning a bit as she concentrated on putting just the right amount of icing artistically on the cupcake in her hand.” Then she added, apropos of nothing, “Would you like to put the googly eyes on the cupcakes I’ve already iced?”
“Damn their googly eyes,” I said spiritedly.
“Language, Darling!” she said, never looking up from her cupcake.
“Sorry, Dearest,” I said, stooping to kiss her cheek (and to lick off a bit of orange icing that had somehow come to rest there). “I quite forgot myself due to the aforementioned bats in our belfry. But to answer your question; yes, nothing would make me happier than to put googly eyes on your cupcakes.”
She glanced up at me warily. “You do know I am referring to these cupcakes, here on the counter?” She indicated the tray of cupcakes with her buttering knife.
“Of course, my delicious buttercup. What did you think I was referring to?”
She just smiled her adorably cute little crooked smile and resumed her icing.
“Just checking,” she said.
I sighed and opened the packet of little edible googly eyes, which, according to the package, are not a significant source of vitamins A, B, C, or D, nor, ironically, of beta-carotene.
I began eyeing the cupcakes.
“Returning to the topic of bats,” I said, “Which we seem to have strayed quite a distance away from …”
“No,” she said, reaching over to the cupcake that I’d just given the gift of sight to, “Don’t put them on opposite sides like that. They’re not hammerhead sharks. Like this …”
She moved one eye over closer to the other. She then smoothed out the icing where she’d popped out the eye.
“Much better,” I agreed. “That will probably will help the little fellow quite a bit with his depth perception.”
She giggled and resumed icing the cupcake in her hand while I continued eye-balling the already-iced cupcakes, using the first one as an eye model.
“Anyway,” I continued. “Re: bats in the belfry. We seem to have acquired some.”
“But, like I said, we don’t have a belfry.”
“Sure we do,” I said.
“Where?” she asked, setting down her finished cupcake, applying fine adjustments to the eyes I’d just put into 2 or 3 cupcakes, and then picking up an un-iced cupcake to resume icing.
“Where most belfries are,” I said. “Up on the roof.”
“You mean the cupola.”
“Do I?” I asked. Even my latest cupcake goggled at me in surprise.
“I’m pretty sure you do. Especially since we don’t have a belfry.”
“Well, it looks like a belfry,” I said defensively, eyeing another cupcake or two.
“Belfries have bells in them,” she said, continuing her icing.
“So maybe what we have,” I said, “Is a batfry.”
She smiled and rolled her eyes, doing a very good imitation of the newly-googly-eyed cupcakes that I was working on.
“No,” she said. It is just an ordinary cupola. There are no bells in it.”
She suddenly put her hand on her hip and made a perturbed “tsk!” sound. She reached out and held up a cupcake that had a significant piece of it missing.
“Did you take a bite of this cupcake?” she asked.
“Moe,” I said, trying to unsuccessfully talk with a mouth full of cupcake.
“Darling!” she said admonishingly. “There were for the party tonight. Now we may not have enough.”
I swallowed. “That’s cutting it rather close to the bone, isn’t it? Not even having a single cupcake to spare? What if one had dropped off the tray and made a run for it like the little gingerbread man of song and story?”
“And,” she said, examining the cupcake closer, “It only has one eye.”
“Oh?” I asked. “That explains the crunchy bit. Perhaps we can make it a little eye patch out of licorice or something.”
“We’re not going to set it out for company, Silly!” she giggled. “It has a bite out of it.”
“No one will notice if we disguise it with an eye patch. We will just call it our pirate cupcake.”
“I think the tooth marks may give away his disguise,” she said.
She pinched off a piece of the cupcake and held it up to my lips, which I gladly took.
“Yummy!” I said enthusiastically.
“Some of that was my finger,” she said, pulling back her hand suddenly and laughing.
“Yes, I know. That was the yummy part,” I said.
“Well, no more cupcakes for you if you’re going to bite the hand that feeds you.”
I reached out and likewise took a pinch of the now mostly-gone cupcake and held it up to her lips.
“Turn about is fair play,” I said. “Do your worst.”
She took the piece of proffered cupcake with her lips without nipping my fingers.
“You missed your opportunity,” I said, shaking my head and tsk-tsk’ing.
“The cupcakes were sweet enough as it is,” she said, her beautiful green eyes twinkling. “I didn’t need you to make them any sweeter.”
I made a growling noise and swept my darling Alexis up into my arms, her legs draped over my right arm, and her back supported by my left arm. She squealed loudly at suddenly finding herself off the floor, but she could do nothing about it because her hands were full, one with a buttering knife the other with a quarter of a cupcake.
“Careful!” she gasped. “I have a knife!”
“Are you going to ice me?” I asked, leaning down to kiss her cheek.
“No,” she giggled. “But I’m thinking I may have to put you on ice.”
“Now tell me,” I said. “Why do we have bats in our belfry?”
“Cupola,” she said.
“Okay, Missy. Since you seem to have counted them. Why do we have a cupola bats in our belfry?”
“Because I had a company come out and wire up the front drive, the portico, and the cupola for sound so we can play scary Halloween noises for all the trick-or-treaters.”
I eyed her keenly for a moment.
“Synthetic bats in our artificial belfry?”
“Yes,” she said, taking a swipe of orange icing off of the cupcake in her hand and reaching up to dab it on the tip of my nose. “As artificial as the coloring in this icing.”
“Have I ever mentioned that you drive me batty?” I asked grinning at her.
“I’m pretty sure you were already batty before you met me.”
“And yet, you married me anyway.”
“You had a certain bat-like charm,” she said, smiling.
I kissed her cheek and whispered, “Would you care to join me in my belfry?”
“But what about the cupcakes?” she asked, nuzzling my cheek with hers.
“I don’t think there’ll be room for them in the belfry,” I said.
“Cupola,” she whispered.
“Okay, we can take a cupola cupcakes with us. It’ll help keep our strength up.”
She bopped me lightly on the arm, giggling.
“No, Silly,” she said. “I mean, I can’t just leave them out on the counter. Something might happen to them.”
“They have eyes now,” I said. “They can look out for themselves.”
And with that, I whisked her away from the cupcakes’ prying eyes.
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