More story bits...

A quail staggered to the counter and asked for a pitcher of prune juice. “This is how I stay in business on the telephone lines... You think I can just ‘blam blam’ like it’s target practise all day? But it ain’t that easy." The quail, named Dawson, was an avian prick with constipation problems...

[Then, a novella about telescopes!]

Vernon's Telescopic Pathos

A constellationist named Vernon opened his telescope-cleaning kit only to find the lens oil had been pilfered. "This can only be the work of Nancy the Clod," he thought to himself, and straightaway rang the polymer factory he had on speed dial.

“Jesse,” he said to the voice on the phone, “I need more Bimutex Silver Sheen. Like, this afternoon!’”

There was a spitting noise. "You gotta be kidding me Vern, the boss is gonna notice the missing cylinders."

“I know Jess. But Nancy took my scope oil, and I got XSZK1-Omega on the sked tonight."

"So what," said Jesse.

“So--I can’t afford another night like Foggy Tuesday. I’ll lose 10 more students. Remember what happened?"

A pause. "Ok, no Foggy Tuesday.... shit."

"Hit me, J. You know I'll be your bitch."

"Bitch-Who's who here? Come by the back and I’ll fix you with 750mL."

"Alright! Sunday night, Big Bop--cracker-shakes on me." And Jesse sighed and hung up.

Vernon’s partner, Gonga Gringo, a Papua New Guinean tracker who moonlighted in telescope viewing atop Mount Panorama phoned just then. “Hey, Vern can you go by the polymer place – Jesse’s got--"

“What you’re borrowing more polymer – what happened to the crate of ethylurethene Auntie Galicia got us for the solstice?"

"Borrowed by Ned Philadelphia to clean his GPS sextant."

"That wacko. You're both wacko. Christ, well Nancy snatched my Bitumex sheen again."

"Nancy. That hobag!" Gonga almost had to laugh. "I’m massively asswenched by these freaks stealing our 'scope oil Vern – it was never like this in the forest."

"Yeah, Gongs. But don't call her a ho-bag."

"Fine. Nancy no-brain.'

"Yeah, well I guess it takes a Foggy Tuesday to smarten us up bout how evil this stargazing can get."

Foggy Tuesday ruined Vernon’s outdoor seminar business for almost a month. It was the year of the Solar Flare, the night comet Flugelheim was streaking directly into Oberon, causing destruction that to astronomers was ballet. But no scope oil and a western fog- after a Monday of prismatic midnight skies-- scuppered Vernon's lenses and the astral dance went unobserved the next night. The veteran constellationists on the Tuesday watch filed a Motion to Impugn and Vern was nearly forced to sell his 900mm Magnum Andromeda in the ensuing scandal . He signed up at the community college to teach Historical Cosmology and for three weeks laid low. Thank god for Jesse and his polymers.

Nancy the Clod was really named Nancy Posie. She loved telescope oil, but didn’t own a telescope. She needed the oil to grease her bike cables. Regular lube didn’t work. she said. Nancy the Clod didn’t follow other people’s conventions. Just like her brother Deacon Noah. Deacon Noah had a python in his robe. No, not a molestation python. An actual snake.

Anyway Nancy the Clod was in attendance at the viewing of XSZK1-Omega. "Hi Vern." She was riding her bike.

"Hi Nancy," he said, but he was thinking you thieving slut.

Nancy and Vernon had had a 9-day relationship a couple years before. It was the year of the Solar Flare...

[unfinished of course... all astronomy-related terms are complete BS]

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