The Do’s Series: Segment 1
Of The Nature of Pasta
© Grandpa Jim
Rain falls straight and thick. All around is leaning wet.
The girl pulls the slicker tight to her body, bends her hooded head, reaches out a tanned hand, rings the bell, and waits.
Scraping sounds follow the heavy door as it cracks open and stops. Yellow light seeps into the night.
At first she sees no one.
“You are not a midget,” a voice states from below.
“Good evening,” she lowers her eyes, “Master Dwarf.”
The smaller person’s brow furrows.
“You are right, my worried halfling, I am not a midget.” The young girl smiles. “Are you looking for a band?”
“A small one, yes.” The dwarf bends and looks past her. “Do you have such? I see no others”
“They are here.” She pats a pocket of the slicker. “I think you will be surprised to see them.”
A puzzled expression crosses the dwarf’s face. He hesitates, pushes the door open, turns, and walks down the hall. “Follow me,” he calls back.
The Music Room is big, no windows, a slightly raised platform at the far end.
The girl points to the stage. “Can we set up there?” The hood of her slicker falls back to reveal flowing chestnut hair.
“Of course.” The dwarf offers an exaggerated bow. “As M’Lady wishes.”
The young woman curtsies politely and flashes long dark eyelashes at the little man. She straightens, strides with sure steps across the room and drops to one knee.
From a slicker pocket, the maiden raises a closed hand and places it on the polished wooden surface. Slowly opening the fingers, she arranges small bent pieces on the surface of the stage. From another pocket, she places a tiny instrument near each.
“What are those bent tan bits?” the dwarf asks and points. “Is that a stringed player?”
“This is a guitar. I’ve placed other instruments here and here. The ‘tan bits’, as you call them, are pasta. For the moment, elbow macaroni.”
“What is ‘pasta’?”
“An ancient food first found in a distant place called ‘China.’ Old tales tell that these pasta macaroni were brought back in the Long Ago by a traveler named ‘Marco Polo.’”
“Marco Polo! I know this name. It is a game. The little ones play it. The blindfolded one says ‘Marco’ and the others must say ‘Polo’. It is how they play.”
“These play.” A small black purse appears in the girl’s hand. Unclasping the lock, she places a thumb and forefinger inside. Lifting the pinched fingers, she rubs them quickly together. Powdery flakes float down.
“Fairy dust?” the dwarf asks.
“A very old cheese. From the land of ‘Italy’ in the Long Ago.”
“Old cheese? The Long Ago? I do not understand.”
Loud music and happy singing rise from the stage:
“Sunday, Monday, Happy Days,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days,
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days,
The weekend comes, my cycle hums
Ready to race to you.”
“The Fonz! It is he. A macaroni is now him?” The dwarf drops to his knees, leans closer and squints at the small players. “And the rest of the pasta are now his friends? All playing the tiny instruments?” Head moving up and down, the dwarf’s body shakes and quivers as he hums along to the music, tears streaming down his face. “How can this marvelous thing be? How can it be?”
The music slows and ends. Standing, the dwarf turns to the girl. “My name is RhineHold HuffSpot.” Taking a deep breath, the dwarf pulls himself to his full height and continues. “Are you, Oh Hooded One, now ready to close the space between us and make the contract of agreement?”
“My name is LoveJoy KickStart, DwarfMaster RhineHold HuffSpot, and I am now ready to make the contract of agreement between us.”
The dwarf intones the opening: “Then and thus shall it be said and done in The Do’s Words, which are They The Segments, the binding words of oral agreement in The Now & Present Days.”
The girl and dwarf bow deeply to each other.
“I, RhineHold HuffSpot, now make the offer to you of your task to do. Do you, LoveJoy KickStart, commit to present The Macaroni Band with The Fonz each Tuesday a week at the sitcom gathering of the Family HuffSpot, with acknowledged and agreed times off for Glue Days and New Bread, until our ways do part and this spoken agreement then end?”
“I, LoveJoy KickStart, do accept and commit. And do you, MasterDwarf, commit for the consideration of the contract to make weekly deposits of twenty-four-and-one-half Mr. BoJangles. . . .”
“That is a princely sum!”
LoveJoy continues, “Twenty-four-and-one-half Mr. BoJangles to my account in the Large Place of Tight Sums, until our ways do part and this agreement then end.”
The dwarf hesitates, takes another deep breath and answers. “I do commit.” Head back, eyes to the ceiling, the dwarf sings the ending in a full bass voice. “Be it so pronounced in The Binding Speech of The New & Free Peoples. We are both to each other sealed and contracted. The space is closed and drawn shut. It is done.” He looks down. “They are so small, and their music is so good.”
“And so loud. You will not be disappointed, RhineHold HuffSpot.” From a bag in her hand, the girl sprinkles specks of dust onto the stage.
“More Parmesan?” the dwarf asks.
“Reggiano. Another cheese. To return them to the that, from which and where they were before.”
“I would see.” RhineHold reaches for the bag.
“You may not.” LoveJoy folds her fingers into her hand, protecting the powder. “The Do’s Are Done and The Segments Are Set. This is not of yours.” She places the bag deep in a side pocket of her slicker. Bending, she retrieves the macaroni and playing instruments, and hides both away in other pockets.
“The Band and the Fonz are so small.” The dwarf lord’s words are soft and distant.
“For some, size matters little. This you know well, Dwarf Friend RhineHold HuffSpot.” She shakes her long chestnut hair back into the hood of the slicker, pulls the dark covering tight around her thin body and moves with sure, strong steps out of the room, down the long hall to the open door. “For some, size matters little,” echoes back as her figure disappears into the night.
“Your words are true, M’Lady.” The dwarf lord raises a hand to honor the parting.
From the wet outside, he hears her far voice. “Never underestimate The Fonz, Master Dwarf. Never underestimate The Fonz.”
Here follows a video of the Happy Days Theme Song with The Fonz. The picture quality is regrettably poor. These frames are from the Long Age. The sound is sure and as strong and true as that of The Macaroni Band and The Fonz to play next Tuesday a week at the sitcom gathering of the Family HuffSpot. Never underestimate The Fonz. And I would advise all to: Never underestimate LoveJoy Kickstart, either.