Wednesday, October 22, 2003

TNT: Intermezzo

This might be good time to explain seating arrangements. It might not, but that's what's happening so get with it. When Vlad and Eric first entered the car in ch. 1 (continued), Eric was driving and Vlad was sitting next to him. This is the logical way for two people to ride in a car together. Then Eric, realizing he was going nowhere fast, let Vlad drive there while he jumped in back (Ch. 2). So how did they end up switching places between then and chapter 3, when Eric is quite clearly driving and Vlad is in the back seat?

They switched, at a rest stop, because Vlad was tired. Now back to the story.

Friday, October 17, 2003

TNT Ch. 3

The road to Wheatsfield was long and after only an hour, Eric was tired of Vlad's stories. So, when he saw a hitchhiker on the side of the road, and she didn't look like a serial killer, he pulled over. Plus, she was pretty cute.
"I'm headed for New York," she said, "Going that way?"
He wasn't.
"No, but anything New York's got, Wheatsfield Illinois' got better."
"Including Broadway?"
"You've never heard of the Wheatsfield Theatre Strip?"
"Nor have I," piped up Vlad from the back seat.
"Well, it's Wheatsfield's best kept secret."
"Everything in Wheatsfield is it's best kept secret," she said, "Since no one's heard of it at all! Now, can you take me where I want to go or not?"
"Okay, sounds good." She got in the car. "My name's Annette, but you can call me Gina."
"Sure, why not," replied Eric, who had long since given up on sanity, "We're on the quest for the perfect toaster."
"Sounds fun," she replied, and they were on the road again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

TNT: Chapter 2

It's all very well and good to dream the impossible dream and all that, but what never comes up in the original vow is what exactly you do once the wild winds of fortune have carried you onward. THis is the problem Eric was facing, having gotten as far as his car with Vlad and not having a clue where to go next. Not wanting to look stupid in front of the large Norwegian man, who really seemed to admire him, Eric just started driving. To break the akward silence, he struck up a conversation.
"So, Vlad," he asked, "Where ya from?"
"Norway originally. I came to this country with my parents when I was 12. I remember it was just after we moved in that my father bought our first toaster. It was an old used toaster, that had seen too much burning and overbuttering in it's time. It was bitter. And somehow, the toast was bitter too. I remember when Father brought it home, he said 'Boy, this is America. A land where you can put your bread in a box, and it comes out better.' and Mother replied 'Don't listen to your father. We had a better toaster than this in the old country.' Ahh, those were the days." He fell silent.
"So," asked Eric, "If you don't mind my asking, Why are you called Vlad? Isn't that a Russian name?"
"My father always loved America, and wanted to give me a good american name. Trouble was, the only American names were the ones off the news. And one day when my parents were watching the news the name Vladimir was in it, and my father fell in love with it. Of course, later they found out it was Russian, but it was too late. I tell ya, though, must confuse the helvete out of the census bureau!" At this he laughed very hard, despite the fact that it wasn't funny.
"Yeah." Eric replied. He had stopped listening to Vlad anyway, and was desperately trying to decide where to find this toaster. Other stores would probably have the same problem, as would garage sales. Who would know about toasters, though?What about toaster makers? That was it!
"Vlad, is the box to my old toaster in the back seat?"
"Take the wheel for a minute." Eric climbed back to the back seat. Looking back, he would question the wisdom of letting Vlad drive his car, but now he was on a mission. He looked at the box. Where was it? There!

Send questions, comments, or complaints to:
Imini Appliance Company
17768 Sandusky Blvd
Wheatsfield, IL

What luck! Wheatsfield was only four hours away.
"Mr. Smellick," came the voice from the front seat, "I have no problem driving but, um, where are we going?"
"Wheatsfield, Illinois, Vlad. Onward, to victory."

Monday, October 13, 2003

TNT: Chapter 1 continued

Five minutes later, Vlad walked in. Vlad was a heavy-set norwegian man with dark blonde hair and a bushy mustache. He had a big grin on his face. He spoke in a deep voice as he extended his hand for a handshake. It was a bone-cruncher.
"Name's Vladimir," he said, "But you can call me Vlad. I'm the anthropro- antherpor- the new toaster soul guy."
"Eric Smellick."
"So, what are we looking for today? A vicious guard toaster? A generally nice but prone to fits of toast-burning anger toaster? Maybe a timid, ineffective one?"
"I'm just looking for a respectful, obedient toaster," Eric cheerfully replied.
Vlad's grin fell. "I was afraid you'd say that. I'm afraid we don't have any of those."
"Why not!?!" Eric asked, incredulous.
"As far as I know, there are none. Toasters just aren't that kind."
"I refuse to accept that! There are good toasters, there must be! Toasters were created to serve us, and somewhere, some toaster must do that! If you don't don't have it, I'll look elsewhere. I'll search unto the ends of the earth! Mark my words, Vladimir, I will find this toaster."
Immediately Vlad fell to the ground in awe. "Such fire! Such passion! I will follow you, Eric Smellick, on your quest for the perfect toaster, and together we shall find it!"
And they set out.
"Wait a minute. Don't you work here?" asked Eric.
Vlad walked back into the store. "Jack, I'm going on a quest cover for me!"
And they set out for real.