Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day Two Hundred-Fourteen: Land octopus toupee

Maaaaan, I got in so much trouble today. The castle dudes shoulda known better than to trust me with watching over some ambassadors, but… still… maaaaaan. So much trouble.

I mentioned earlier this week that a buncha dignitaries from some foreign power are at the castle right now. I didn't figure it was much of a big deal to mention, 'cause I don't give two hoots about politics. Plus, y'know, there's always some outta-towner passin' through the castle. Grylock's an ambassador, and I barely EVER mention him. So why chat about the rest?

WELL. Today, Eve was given the assignment of watching over a trade conversation thinger with a couple of these ambassadors. When I say 'given', of course, I mean that The Baron asked her reeeeeal nicely, and she actually went along with it. Go figure. Since I was still shadowing her today, that meant I went along for the ride as well.

I figured, 'Hey! They won't have any animals to kill in a meeting! I won't be puking everywhere! That's totally a good thing. I can do this.' And it's true, I didn't puke even once - but I still got in trouble. Mainly 'cause I'm kind of a dunce. Yeah, I'll take the blame this time, diary.

The meeting took place in the king's dining hall, the same place I watched Logan get etiquette lessons from Driscol the Count and The Baron. The hall's as unnecessarily massive and opulent as ever, though it looks like King Jeffrey's had Libby at work modernizing the place. There's a system of hand-cranked conveyor belts criss-crossing everywhere overhead, allowing waiters to deliver food to patrons without ever leaving their loading stations. They plop the food on the belt, they start crankin', the food moves to its intended recipient and flops down onto the table in front of 'em.

It’s… well, it's dumb, to be honest. The belts get in the way, they're ugly hanging from the ceiling, and it'd be a hell of a lot easier for the waiters to serve food normally. BUT, the king being the king, that's how things'll stay.

There was no king today, just a bunch of suits at a table that's way too big, supping on octopus dishes and chatting about foreign policy and trade. Leading the discussion was Lady Evangelina, who - and I totally did not know this before today! - is the castle's official ambassador. Might explain why I don't see her too often: she's always out making connections with other kingdoms.

(Considering she's all cosy with that douchebag Driscol, I don't know that that's such a good thing for everyone else. But, y'know.)

I didn't pay much attention to what they were saying. I was fixated on my daughter, Eve, who was standing off to the side of Evangelina. She didn't seem to give two craps 'bout the trade negotiations, either, so I guess she's verifiably family. We all hate politics. She also wasn't paying attention to ME, though, so… does that mean…? Well, hell, I dunno what runs through her head.

Evangelina was going on and on about some 'mutually beneficial' agreement, and some bulbous dude in a dress seemed quite keen on listening to her. They went back and forth for a while, and I, well, not only was I bored, I was anxious to get Eve's attention. Y'know, in a forum where she's NOT slaughtering things. So I… might… have kinda forgotten where I was, standing guard at a diplomatic event…

… when I quietly whistled at Eve.

A couple people turned to look at me. I ignored 'em. Whistled again. Eve checked over her shoulder, veeeeeery slightly, but turned back when she saw who it was. Guess I'm not interesting enough on my own. Hmph.

I started to ponder, huming and hawing so loudly that a few nobles told me to shush up. What would get Eve's attention? What could I do to get into her good books, and, perhaps, help her to open up? More important, what does a father do for his child to prove that he cares? Quite a conundrum, that, but I eventually boiled it down to two things:

Killing and eating.

The average kid wouldn't be so much on the first. I hope. Number two, though… EVERYBODY can relate to number two. And I don't just mean bowel movements. Oho! Zing. I'm priceless.

I can't help Eve with the first one. She loves to kill, and she can do that on her own. Don't need no help from her pappy. Eating, though… I'd been watching her for two hours, and I hadn't seen Eve eat once. Surely she was getting hungry. Babies GET hungry, and often. They're tiny eating machines. Eve may not LOOK like a baby, but she still is.

I like to think so.


All the food was going to the table in the centre of the room, and Eve didn't look all that inclined to move for it. I figured she'd decided to behave herself for once, and not gorge in front of a bunch of important people. I couldn't just walk over to the table and start picking up entrees, though, so… what was I to do?

The answer, when I looked around a bit, was pretty simple: redirect one of the belts delivering the food.

Even though they're fancy-dancy technology at its finest, the belts aren't complex. They hang from the ceiling by ropes that turn whenever a waiter wants to change the course of the belt. They usually do this from the side of the room, but I could tell, just by lookin' at the ropes, that I could twist a belt in a different direction just by grabbing hold and yanking. Do it subtly enough and nobody would notice.

Yeah. THAT didn't happen.

My courage screwed up, I grabbed. I pulled. And, stupidly, I lifted, just in time to get a big plate of steaming octopus on an incline. As I was wrestling to get the belt in the right position, it wriggled out of control -

- and the plate, er, upended on the head of one of the ambassadors. Splat. Tentacles everywhere.

It didn't end there, though. I'm convinced - CONVINCED - that one of the waiters, noticing my nonsense, decided to go crank-crazy. Four more octopus dishes went flying down the belt from the sides of the room. I was still wrestling, the belt zipping this way and that, so I managed to nail three more ambassadors. Everybody stood away from the table, outraged, and started yelling at me. Because, clearly, I was the ONLY one to blame.

I'll find out which of those waiters took advantage of me, diary, gods as my witnesses. And he will PAY.

Most of the screaming came from Lady Evangelina. She told me I was a worthless bucket of slime, no better than the dirt under her makeup table, and banished me from the room. Last I saw, she was leading the ambassadors away to wash up and talk somewhere else. Away from me.


The job shadowing isn't done yet, so I followed Eve around for the rest of the day. She, ah, went back to murdering as usual, and didn't seem at all put out by the octopus fiasco. She also didn't eat during the meeting, so, once again, I've failed my fatherly duties. Maybe she's not big on inky land-dwelling-sea-dwellers? 'least I didn't get any seafood on her head, like I managed with everyone else.

Sigh. I'm gonna get it now. Lord Knight for a daughter or no, I'm in deep shit.


Dragomir the Guard


  1. Just like I said, try find the common ground. But next time, go with the cryptic talk!! I'm pullin' for you buddy!!

  2. By the way, why is it that the Mindless Walkabout won't let me choose my St. Elred monicker? Because I wanted to express that I felt he should name the rat Vimhtaar, or Vim for short but I was unable to do so!! Very upsetting.

    1. I... have no idea. I'll try and fiddle with the settings.

    2. There we go. Forgot to make so ANYONE could comment. Give it a shot now, Elred.

    3. Thank you for your swift response!