Coyote Ugly

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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby DinkyInky » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:48 am

Just a query, because it doesn't make sense to me.

Why would the Sphinx have eaten a drunk instead of calling MIB?

I cannot see an ordinary drunk doing anything worth death(puking isn't kill-worthy, making them piss themselves, on the other hand...). I was under the impression Apotrophaic Sphinxes only hunted evil, and riddled others for worthiness to access the Library.

I can, however see MIB mind-wiping the drunk, and then shutting it down.
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby FreeFlier » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:25 am

DinkyInky wrote:Just a query, because it doesn't make sense to me.

Why would the Sphinx have eaten a drunk instead of calling MIB?

She was hungry?

Aposphinxes aren't exactly civilized by human standards.

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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby jwhouk » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:36 am

It was an unfortunate combination of circumstances.

The drunk stumbled through the door of what he thought was the bathroom. Instead he found himself in the Library - where said Apo (not Phix) was unsuccessfully trying to nap. The drunk apparently mistook the Apo's hindquarters for the toilet, and promptly puked all over her.

This wouldn't have been enough to do anything but push the guy back out the door, but immediately afterwards he belched loudly, got up and relieved himself in what he thought was the toilet. It was her lunch.

The final straw was when he was done - and had used said Apo's shirt to wipe himself - that he turned, saw her standing there, and said, "What the **** are you doin' in the men's room, biatch?"

Instinct kicked in at that point.

It was shortly afterwards that the council of Apos, mostly on the suggestion of Shelly, decided to close the portal to the In 'N Out Burger on Signal Butte. The usage rate for the portal was minimal at best - or, at least, that's what Phix told me.
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby Dave » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:01 am

Sounds to me as if the drunk's Crudeness demon was working overtime: acting out beyond the limits of the "only hurt the one you inhabit" rule. That would have given the Apo a valid reason (by her standards) to act.

Seems like a low-quality meal, though... probably more than a bit gamey.
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby jwhouk » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:38 pm

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Before I post this section, I want to state the obvious - yes, I did it again. The old "go back and rehash everything" part of the story for the newcomer. Most of this I wrote while I was still a wage slave for the SOWI, but that doesn't excuse me repeating myself. However, I did want to get Miranda to meet Tina and Monica, so this was the only way I could do it.

Stay tuned, this story's not quite done - considering I haven't even moved to AZ yet IRL...


The bell rang on the door to the shop, indicating to the silver-eyed barista that she had customers. She poked her head out from behind the espresso machine to catch the end of the conversation between two women – neither of which appeared to be dressed for the mid-February weather in the Twin Cities.

"Ohmigod, I forgot how cold it gets up north!" was the exclamation from the older of the two. Her aura was clearly that of a paranormal – a lycanthrope, which was confirmed by the nearly undetectable scent she gave off.

The other woman was familiar: "Sarah! How's things with the new trailer?" She promptly pulled out a couple of bags of chai tea and went to work on making her latte.

"Just fine, Tina," she replied. "This is our neighbor and park manager, Miranda Phearson. She's never had the pleasure of having your coffee before."

"I see that," Tina commented after putting the teabags in the water. "Hm. I also see she doesn't get along with theobromines, though."

"I can tolerate decaf coffee, however," she stated in return.

"Theo what now?" Sarah asked.

"Theobromines," Mindy explained. "They're the things in cocoa and caffeinated beverages that are poison to canines. Usually, I stick to decaf coffee with creamer and…"

"…A whole lot of sugar to make it sweet, got it," Tina finished, and went off to make her drink.

This caught Mindy by surprise.

"Does she always do that?"

"Frequently," came another voice behind them. A short, buxom woman with long brownish tresses walked up to them. "Hey, Sarah, how's the move to Arizona going?"

"Great! Just came back to get some of Tina's finest – and introduce my neighbor here to her offerings." Sarah turned to Mindy, who was staring, wide-eyed, at the woman in front of her. "Mindy, this is Monica Villarreal…"

"The Jaguar Girl," she blurted out. "Sarah mentioned that she knew you, but…"

Monica's eyes went from Sarah to Mindy.

"Do I know you?" she asked her.

"Uh, no, not really," Mindy managed to get out. "I, uh, used to work in the Phoenix office of MIB. Quite some time ago. Nowadays I manage Coyote Den Mobile Home Estates. Uh, where Joe and Sarah are, now."

"Oh, hey! I thought I heard you come in, Sunshine!" Tina popped out from behind the espresso machine. To her, the bright aura that always seemed to surround Monica was shining through as always. "I'll get your French Press going in a moment. Here's your decaf with sugar, Miss Mindy!" She handed the wolf hybrid her drink, then sashayed back behind the counter.

"A little flighty, isn't she?" Mindy suggested out loud.

"Well, when you have a conglomerate running the show, it makes for interesting conversations at times," Monica observed. "What made you quit MIB and go into managing trailer parks?"

"Well, first off, they're not trailers," Mindy replied after taking a sip from her coffee. "The preferred term is 'manufactured homes' nowadays. Mostly because none of the units have wheels on them, and pretty much all of them aren't very mobile. And as to why – it was easier dealing with homeowners and maintenance issues than it was with the drug dealers and ne'er-do-wells we were constantly running up against." She gave Monica a look. "As you are well aware, there are criminal elements within the paranormal world. Some of them are more difficult to deal with than others."

"Guess I've just been lucky in my dealings with paras, then," Monica explained. "My experience suggests most evil in this world comes from humans, not paras."

"True, but there are some paras who aren't above doing things for humans, if it serves their purposes." Mindy shook her head. "Ugh, I told myself I had to stop trying to talk shop all the time. Even Joe gets on me about that – and he's always telling me stories about his days in corrections."

"Okay, Sarah – here's your chai latte, and Sunshine – here's your French Press with zest! Enjoy!" Tina handed both their drinks, and payment was made for all three. Tina rang them up, then went back behind the espresso machine in a blur.

"I've got a bit of time," Monica said, motioning to one of the tables in the shop. "Care to have a seat and chat?"

"Sure," Sarah piped in. The three were situated in their chairs around one of the bistro-style tables with a view out onto Franklin Avenue.

"So – what I've never quite understood is how you and Joe know Miss Villarreal here," Mindy asked of Sarah.

Sarah pointed to Monica. "She'd be the one to explain that." Monica just shrugged.

"He found my dog." She took a slow drink on her coffee, leaving Mindy with a sense of expectation that she would be forthcoming with other details. Monica, however, put her drink down and just shrugged and smiled at Sarah.

"Wait – that's it? He found your dog? Oh, come on…"

"Okay, it's a bit more than that," Monica began. "It was – what, over a decade ago now? – that Joe was up in Minneapolis for some union-related thing…"

"A steward training thing, through AFSCME," Sarah explained.

"…And he decides to go explore the city – including his first visit here to Tina's. He ended up over on the shores of Lake Calhoun, where he found my little boxer, Dietzel." She laughed briefly, then continued. "He calls the number on his tag, I call him back, frantic to discover my dog had gotten out. He comes over to my house, and drops him off. I offer him a reward, and he takes said reward and we go out for a late lunch at Burger Bomb." She shrugged in summary, then took another sip of her coffee.

"And that's how he got the code name 'Fearless'?" Mindy asked.

"No, that was for something else. He was getting a bit of a runaround through the portal system, thanks to Nudge…"

"Oh, her," was Mindy's response.

"Yeah. She thought it was funny, keeping him out of the Library itself while forcing him to different portal entrances and exits. That changed, though, after two things happened. First, he had to deal with a Fae that had lost his antennae. Second, he ended up at Phix's wedding."

"So which one got him the 'Fearless' moniker?"

"Dealing with Cavin Foxglove, the crown prince of the Fae." Monica sipped on her coffee briefly. "I had a small hand in that one, I'll admit. He e-mailed me, asking for help dealing with him. I got him two contacts – Jin Adeobie and Katherine Gilchrist."

"Geez, you don't mess around when it comes to contacts, do you?"

"Well, given that they're both friends of mine…" Monica shrugged demurely and smiled.

"That explains a few things." Mindy took a long drink of her decaf.

"Explains what?" Sarah wasn't quite catching on to the conversation.

"Well, the PA-1 rating, for starters." Monica now had the quizzical look on her face. "MIB assigns levels of paranormal contact to humans who are actually aware of people like Miss Adeobie. The letter rating indicates type of paranormal status – for example, until she became an MIB consultant, your Miss Gilchrist was PC-1. That meant that she knew you, but she didn't immediately know about the paranormal. That changed after you brought her to the Library; she then moved up to the same level Joe was at – until that whole incident at Mapimi."

"Oh? What happened to her status then?"

"PR-1A. Paranormal Relation, level 1-A. The 'A' tag stands for her status as an MIB consultant."

Monica eyed her skeptically.

"Do I want to know what my rating is?" she asked.

"Uh, well," Mindy stammered a bit. "The, uh, Library kinda changed your status a few years back – to ST-1. Sub-Titan, level 1." She bit her lip. "You're considered pretty damn powerful, even to the MIB."

"Everyone keeps telling me that," she replied in a bout of frustration. "I feel more cursed than powerful at times."

"Okay, now I'm really lost," Sarah interjected.

"Sarah dear, Monica here is better known as…"

"…the Jaguar Girl, yeah," Monica finished for Mindy. "It's a title I seem to have been given because of this stupid rod in my head."

Sarah's look made it obvious she was completely confused.

"Reader's Digest version: me, Shelly, and the threesome of Bud, Brandi and Jin had to fix an old clock mechanism that was causing all of time to reset after about two millennia. In doing so, I ended up with a metal rod in my skull that activated powers within me that make it where I can tangle with demons, can't be killed, and make me as agile as a cat. For my troubles, I was given the title of Sub-Titan – one step below the 'gods' of Lanthis. Even people like Shelly's mom are intimidated by me."

"Wait – that little girl with the tiara I've seen wandering around at times?"

"Yes – but Bia is a bit more powerful than she lets on. Her dad forced her into that little-girl motif – until just recently, if what Phix told me is true."

"Ohhhh-kay," Sarah said, still not quite understanding all this.

"It's a lot to take in, that's for certain," Mindy added, helpfully. "Still, PA-1 is a pretty high rank, all things considered."
"Yeah – among humans, it's pretty rare that anyone gets access to the Library. I don't even think Amanda would even have that rank, to be honest."

"You mean the photographer?" Mindy asked. "She's at least visited the Library, but I don't think she's got the PA-1 rating. PA-2, maybe…"

"She does, however, happen to be one of my best friends," Monica added. "And I think we've overloaded Sarah here with information," she added, turning to her.

"That's an understatement."

"Suffice to say my life got really weird after I found that one Mayan artifact. Of course, I realize now that I was about the only one who could read the inscription on it."

"That weird language of the Lanthians?" Mindy asked.

"The same. Long story, don't want to go into it further." Monica downed the last of her coffee, and smiled after putting the cup down. "I do, however, have an appointment with a gentleman about a lot of antiques for the shop." She rose and waved at the pair. "Take care, and tell Joe I said hello."

"I will," Sarah said while waving.

The two watched as Monica walked out of the shop.

"Okay, you can call me impressed," Mindy said. "That was very enlightening."

"I dunno, I'm more confused than ever."
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby Atomic » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:16 am

The "As you know, Bob," repetition isn't so bad really, as long as you're reminding the reader of some subtle but significant points along the way. The Bob Rehash of major items is poor plot design.

The worst Bob Rehash I've ever seen was in a puppet Thunderbirds type movie where the opening glossed over the spectacular rocket ship, space port complex, dyna-vista-matic buildings and through the window into the briefing room, where Commander Big Guy started the movie narration with (something like) "As you know men, this mission to Mars is very important."

Dear God - six people in silver spacesuits report for work this morning like every other day and just now find out they're flying to Mars in and hour or so. Damn well better be important! They'll miss their kid's soccer game and all that.
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby TazManiac » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:19 pm

Don't forget, before 'Pitch Perfect', there was this:

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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby jwhouk » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:06 am

I was wondering when someone would mention the movie...
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby TazManiac » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:43 pm

jwhouk wrote:I was wondering when someone would mention the movie...
(I was holding back but just got finished a binge-watch redo of Covert Affairs, one of my guilty pleasures, in the same group w/ 'Nikita' & 'Dollhouse', etc...) Pic linky: ... _v8_aa.jpg

<insert musical snippet)- I trys ma bess', not to be 'shamed...

'Hey wait, why are the Lobby Lights blinking like that?...' :roll:
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby jwhouk » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:24 pm

(And now, back to our story...)

The rows and rows of carts at Apache Trail Golf Carts were becoming mind numbing. The salesman was droning on about the versatility of having a storage box on the back of their KartGo DL model, and it was far from what I was looking for.

I put up a hand to finally stop him. "Look, I really appreciate the pitch, but what I'm looking for isn't just a cart for tooling around your typical trailer park."

He looked at me a bit funny, then asked, "Okay, what exactly are you looking for?"

"Something a bit more all-terrain vehicle, but with a utility side. Something on the lines of a Cushman, but not as a strict work vehicle."

"Oh, well – we don't sell anything like that," he explained. "If you want a four-wheel ATV, you'd want to go over to a Kawasaki or Kubota dealer."

"That's the problem," I responded in frustration. "I need something that's electric or low-emissions, not a motorcycle on four wheels."

The salesman thought, then shrugged. "Perhaps trying one of the lawn care dealers here in AJ?"

"Lemme guess, John Deere or something like that?"

"Well, yeah – though there is that AHI dealer on Superstition, near Ocotillo," he said. "However, I'd recommend trying…"

"Wait, wait… an AHI dealer? As in Alexander Harvesters?"

"Yeah – you've heard of them?"

A small smile crossed my lips.

"I've heard of them. Where are they located again?"

"2160 West Superstition Boulevard. They're about halfway between Delaware and Ocotillo."

I shook the man's hand, thanked him profusely, jumped in my car – and drove off in search of this place.

A few minutes later I was in front of a somewhat unassuming metal building with a pair of garage doors – one open – next to a metal barred fence that housed tractors of various sizes. The sign on the front said "SUPERSTITION TRACTOR & EQUIPMENT – OFFICIAL AHI DEALER – SALES / SERVICE / RENTALS." The familiar AHI logo – centaur with a scythe – was displayed directly below the sign.

Bingo, I thought. They would know what I'm looking for – and if they don't have it, they'd be able to order it for me.

I pulled into the dirt parking lot, next to a white pickup that had the newer, stylized AHI logo on the side. There was a logo on the rear fender of the pickup bed indicating that it was a CNG vehicle. When I got out of my car, I noticed there was an older tractor sitting just inside the garage, in the blue-and-white colors of AHI.

Smiling, I stepped in the main door of the dealership. Inside was a small-ish showroom, with some riding mowers beside a long, curved counter that took up about a quarter of the floorspace. An office that shared a wall (and a window) with the garage was in the back, along with a table and some chairs as a waiting area.

A lady with long auburn hair, braided back neatly, looked up from her chair behind the counter. "Hello, may I help you?" she asked politely.

"Yes, I'm looking for a utility vehicle for use at my mobile home park?"

"All right, I can help you with that," she said, standing up and emerging from behind the desk. The woman was powerfully built, but not exceptionally large. Her dark eyes and longer nose reminded me of someone else – and it didn't take long for me to figure out who, or why.

She reached out and offered her hand. "Julie Gutierrez. My husband and I have owned ST&E for decades now, and we've been selling the AHI UVW 1300 series for quite some time."


"Utility Vehicle Workman. Sometimes I wonder what the ad people back in the home office are thinking when they name some of our equipment." Before I could reply, she motioned me to a side door, behind the tractors that were on display. "There's a few on the lot in back."

We went back out into the brisk Arizona mid-morning, and she asked me what exactly I was looking for in a utility vehicle.

"Well, the park we're in is a bit set back from the rest of civilization," I explained. "And they prefer non-emission vehicles over gas or diesel."

"You're in luck; we have several of the 1390 series in stock." We walked to the back of the fenced-in lot, passing up some smaller to medium-sized tractors and other pieces of farming equipment, to a selection of two-dozen utility vehicles.

"Here we go – a 1390e, and it looks like it's charging," she said, pointing to the cord coming from the back of the vehicle. "These things have an industry-best 100-mile range between charges, so they're really economical."

"I know," I said. "I've driven around in one, albeit briefly."

"Oh? In your park?"

"No. The Alexander Estate in Maple Plain, Minnesota."

She stopped and turned to look at me.

"Really?" she said in mild surprise. "You know the Alexanders?"

"Welp… You aware of a little incident that happened at the old Pillsbury A-Mill workshop a few years back?"

Her eyebrows shot up.


"I was involved in all of that. Friend of the bride's family. Had to camp out at the Alexander's before the wedding, because of all the bounty stuff."

"You were one of the ones who had a bounty against you?"

I gave her a half-smile, as she didn't realize she'd pretty much gave herself away.

"Yeah, it was over an issue with where I used to work and a drug dealer. By the way, my name's Joseph Houk. In some circles, though, I'm known as 'Fearless'."

She shook my hand out of habit, then realization hit.

"Fearless?" Her voice broke as she spoke.

"You can cut the charade, dear," I said with my eyes closed. "I pretty much figured out already that you – and probably your husband – are centaurs. That's just fine with me, obviously."

"But – you're the one who dealt with that Fae boy," she replied.

"I had a lot of help. Just like I'm going to need a lot of help with this thing," I motioned back to the UVW. "By the way, I can relay to Buck that they really should rename the thing. Though I bet they have a corner on the people with OCD market."

She just looked at me for a moment, then started laughing – a laugh that combined human and horse laughter at once.

"All right, you've got us. But let's go over the features on this thing first."
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby TazManiac » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:34 am

"Wait, wait… an AHI dealer? As in Alexander Harvesters?"
heh heh heh...
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby lake_wrangler » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:07 am

TazManiac wrote:heh heh heh...
Wait a minute! Are you channelling Dr. Narbon Sr??? :shock:
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby TazManiac » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:14 am

No, it might well be more sinister than that...
edit- That reply req's an emojicon: :twisted:

That'll do....
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby lake_wrangler » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:37 am

More sinister than Dr. Narbon Sr??? :shock: :shock: :shock:
It boggles the mind!

Run for the hills! Cower in fear!

Just to make sure, you DO know who Dr. Narbon Sr. is, right?
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Re: Coyote Ugly

Postby jwhouk » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:20 pm

Sarah and I sat back on the porch swing next to our mobile home, enjoying the warm afternoon. There was a brief deedle-deedle-deedle from my phone.

I reached over to the small table next to the swing, and picked up my iPhone. It was a text message from Monica:

Feliz Navidad from Minnesota! Having fun here with Kath and the gang at Casa Alexander.

I smiled, showed Sarah the text, and typed back:

Merry Christmas to you too. Enjoying the sunny skies and 70 degrees here after visiting with the folks. Tell Buck thanks for the help with the UVW again.

I hit send and set back on the swing.

"I told her about the seventy-degree temps and thanks for the help with the cart."

"She's over at Casa Alexander?" Sarah asked, her head up from her tablet.

"Yep. Al and Daisy are having their usual soiree at Maple Plain."

"Hm. What's the temperature up there, again?"

I swiped around on my phone, then brought up the Weather app. A couple of touches and I had the answer:

"One degree above zero, and snow flurries in the forecast."

"I think I prefer to just stay here, then," Sarah replied, sitting back and looking out at the mountains.

"Yeah. Besides, there's that buffet over at the clubhouse Mindy told us about this evening."

"Uh huh. Long as there's no doggie biscuits."

"I think it won't be like that." I turned to look at her. "You're still embarrassed about that one incident last month at Thanksgiving?"

"They looked like cookies!"

"They also didn't taste that bad," I replied. "It was good for a laugh, that's all."

We both sat back and enjoyed the warmth of the afternoon sun in Arizona.
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