Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

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TazManiac
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Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by TazManiac » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:09 pm

There was a Disturbance in the Force, the very Firmament was Disturbed, Jolted even.

Things were intact but everything seemed out of kilter and disjointed.

Folks, not out of any discernible reason, began to filter into Mucho Mocha in dribs and drabs, trying to come to terms with a shift in the Cosmos, there was an overall sense of hesitancy, a waiting for things yet to come...

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jwhouk
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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by jwhouk » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:42 pm

The door to the room opened slowly, letting the exterior light in briefly - enough that the solitary figure could see enough to find the light switch.

A set of fluorescent bulbs illuminated the room from the ballast fixtures overhead, revealing the long table with chairs alongside them.

Satisfied, he walks around to the back of the room, and over to the doorway next to the scroll window, separating the kitchen.

The door opens, and another light switch illuminates the kitchen - immaculately clean. Emerauld, he thought. She must have cleaned up after the last time. This was confirmed by the plate of seed cake that was sitting neatly wrapped on the counter.

He went to the fridge to check stock - candied carrots, abuelita chocolate, a few two-liters of vanilla Coke, several bottles of seltzer water. The freezer had a few gallons of ice cream, along with one of orange sherbet.

Closing the fridge back up, he checked the pantry. Rosalita out did herself. Enough feed in here to keep us going until Pablo returns.

He returned to the main room. A smile came across his face, considering that the main storyline of the comic was about the shenanigans in the Gryphon activity room. That place has nothing on this setup, he thought.

He went over to the wall, flipped a switch that turned on an electronic whiteboard. Using his finger, he simply wrote:

OPEN FOR BUSINESS DURING RENOVATION

---

He turned around, and, as an afterthought, went back over to the opening in the one wall - one that looked like a simple archway that had been bricked over - and pressed his hand on a panel next to it.

A beep, a flash, and a VORP sound emitted from the wall, and he was standing in the foyer of a Mexican-themed coffee shop somewhere in the Twin Cities.

"Hey, Tina," he said, approaching the counter. "You can let the regulars know that The Room is back open. Also, we need some coffee for the espresso machine. Someone apparently took off with the last batch."

A silver-eyed woman with a toothy smile nodded and replied, "Comin' right up. I'll let the usual suspects know. Things have been rather... tense around here lately..."
"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: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by Sgt. Howard » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:15 am

Just then, a six-foot fellow of rather slender build strolled into the front door of the coffee place and peered at the Menu displayed.
Tina turned and saw the gent- a bit ragged from several decades of hard living, yet still pretty much intact.
"Sarge, why do you bother? You want an large Americano with a dose of Abuelita chocolate and a depth charge of espresso."
A sly grin lifted the right half of his face- "Just curious what else you got on the board is all- am I the only one... JOE!!! HAH!!! Seems like old times, compadre!"
"Sargent Howard, welcome back! there's been a few renovations from what I can tell. For one thing, the coffee machine seems to have walked off..."
"THAT nasty thing?" Tina interjected, "... no, the carbonized remains of the last batch of sludge left in it finally ate through the glass carafe! I threw it out- you have a direct door to here, after all,"
"We are well stocked- there's all manner of goodies in the pantry area..." Joe added.
"Pantry?!?" Sgt. Howard exclaimed, "Pantry? Damn, seems we've gone a bit upscale there... almost like we're a bit further downriver these days... I DO hope the gent who brought the fry-bread makes a showing- I REALLY liked that stuff."
"I thought your cardiologist told you to leave that stuff alone." Tina admonished him.
"Yea, well... he ain't here... Joe, who else is gonna show? Any clue?"
"No idea at the moment... what is it you always say? 'Play the ball..."
"...'Where the monkey drops it'!- HAH! Rule seventeen of the Bombay golf course!" Sarge finished the line for him.
Rule 17 of the Bombay Golf Course- "You shall play the ball where the monkey drops it,"
I speak fluent Limrick-
the Old Sgt.

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by jwhouk » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:24 pm

"Remember, we did give Rosalita that key to the place," I told Greg as we headed out with a freshly ground bag of Tina's best - and a few cartons of pastries in another bag.

"Ah, yes, the Alexander's mistress of the kitchen," Greg reminisced fondly. "I've always loved that one dish..."

We both stopped as we entered the room through the portal - to discover a winged figure, sitting at the table, hunched over.

Greg and I both tilted our heads.

"Ari?" he called out. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, GREG!" She looked up - tears in her eyes - and only froze for a second before nearly flying over to him for a hug. "It's been MISERABLE! I was at Building Two yesterday, and I came over here to see if there was any fresh coffee. And then - time seemed to suddenly STOP!" Arania's wings had covered up Greg in a hug, so all I could see was just one great big set of wings.

"Uh, you've been stuck in here since yesterday, then?" I asked quietly.

"Huh?" The wings retracted back as she released Greg - who appeared more stunned than anything else - and Ari turned towards me. "Oh, yes. Yes, and I couldn't get the portal to work, either!"

"Well, don't you still have that whole block thing going where you can't use the portal system?" I asked.

"I can usually use it for little things, like Tina's and coming here." She grabbed a napkin off the table to wipe some of the tears. "But it stopped working right after I got in here."

"Well, we had no trouble getting over here from Tina's," Greg mentioned. "Hol' on, I c'n get y'all back over to Building Two lickety-split." He walked over to the panel, then tapped the control pad.

Nothing happened.

"What the..." he said. "Joe, did y'all do som'thin' to this thing?"

I went over to the panel, held my palm against it, tapped it briefly.

Nothing.

I bit my lip, and looked at Greg.

"Now what?"
"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: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by TazManiac » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:50 pm

(heeheehee...) <-- that was supposed to come across as a gleeful cackle...
Last edited by TazManiac on Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by jwhouk » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:22 pm

Erza Molin sat back on his deck chair overlooking the ocean. He had a brief thought that he'd forgotten to do something, but he wasn't sure what. He shrugged and went back to sipping his lemonade.
"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: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by Sgt. Howard » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:09 pm

"Well... thunderin' buckets o' tar! THIS hain't right... lemme see iffen Ah kin... " he pulled his cellphone to dial- halfway through the number, he looked at his phone.
"No signal...Joe, you got a signal?"
"Don't bother," Ari said, "There is no reception in here. My phone went dead and I have no charger... but I couldn't get out at all."
Sarge considered his options- "Whal now, sumbody's gonna come through th' door at Tina's... we holds it open and vamoose... "
"But, wait," Joe commented, "I was holding the door when Ifirst came in here... and I didn't see Ari until you closed it... "
"I never saw the door open," Ari gasped, "... what the hell?"
"It's a one way trap! Why would somebody...." Joe stopped in mid-sentance.

Deep in the library, Nudge felt a sudden shiver go up and down her spine. Looking around and seeing nothing, she mused momentarily on the event before returning to her magazine...
Rule 17 of the Bombay Golf Course- "You shall play the ball where the monkey drops it,"
I speak fluent Limrick-
the Old Sgt.

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by jwhouk » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:21 pm

"Wait a minute - didn't this thing actually have a real door at one time?" I asked.

"Not since that one 'splosion thayut Glytch set off 'n tha kitchen," Greg mused.

I looked back into the kitchen. The door that had led off to a real world location was bricked over.

"Wonderful. Just wonderful. Well," I looked around in the kitchen, "at least we have provisions for a while."
"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: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by TazManiac » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:50 pm

Stan pulled up in front of the coffee shop and jumped out of the Alfa Romeo he'd been working on. This had been it's first trip out-and-about since he'd gotten the motor back in and she only had a temp sticker in the window.

He was a bit nervous, leaving her at the curb; after all they didn't make these any more & she wasn't really dialed in yet.

Still, he'd gotten the call that the Whole Bean Sampler Pack he'd ordered had come in, so he was in a very jocular mood as he swung through the door...

"Moonbeam!" His face began to heat a bit as he was hailed across the open space by the Demon Barista; he'd asked her to not take so much joy in embarrassing him in public, but she did it anyway, and he couldn't really deny her the fun she had with it.

"Hey babe, I understand you have something nice and tangy, but not too bitter for me..." his grin revealing his own fun in hitting the ball back over the net.

As he got closer, she stepped over to the end of the counter. Her voice changed and she began a kind of stream-of-consciousness murmur; "You've been communing with steel and oil again, but this time it hasn't led you to a satisfying conclusion..."

Stan stood still and listened intently, a skill he'd had to develop over the last weeks and months of knowing this very strange creature. It wasn't at all like opening a Fortune Cookie, but more like a visit to the Oracle at Delphi. You knew to listen, even if you didn't always like what you heard...

After a moment, the gal behind the counter seemed to come back to the here and now and smiled a big cheezy grin, showing all kinds of teeth, including a set of very impressive canines. "I've got your package right here", lifting it onto the counter.

Seeing that the cardboard container wouldn't fit the opening of the Messenger Bag he had slung over his shoulder, Stan proceeded to open and decant the contents- some six individual one-pound packages of whole bean coffees from around the world. One by one he slipped them under the flap & into the bag. When done he had an empty carton but the messenger bag didn't seem to be any fuller, not on the outside anyway.

Smiling, he turned his attention back to the workings and doings of those around him; how the customers queued up to place their orders and how things behind the counter seemed to move like a choreographed dance. The music was accompanied by the percussive 'tack!, tack!, tack!' of the Espresso strainers being emptied, the slight rustle and shuffle of feet on the floor & the swish of aprons and other clothing. Live Steam 'shwerrshed!' it's way though the just ground grounds, giving rise to a persuasive aroma in the air. Voices sang out over the background hum of conversations, people speaking to each other just out of reach of distant understanding.

It was cacophonous and he loved it, especially seeing Tina navigate with an effortless grace amongst all the otherwise chaotic motion, never colliding, contradicting her ofttimes clumsy seeming nature.

He was smitten. He knew it, and he liked it.
Last edited by TazManiac on Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by Opus the Poet » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:17 am

Well, now... :mrgreen:

I have a crock pot and a rice cooker along with several pounds of beans and another pound of brown rice, and a fresh jar of Cayenne Pepper Powder (aka dry Mace). Anyone up for some beans and rice North Texas style? It has been a while since I cooked for other people than myself and Mrs. the Poet. So should I make a batch at Mrs. the Poet heat (sensitive people can feel it) or should I set the pot on (kill)? I think there are some Habs at the local Tom Thumb for people feeling really adventurous.
I ride my bike to ride my bike, and sometimes it takes me where I need to go.

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by TazManiac » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Stan had been lounging in the corner, sipping a small Mocha & checking emails when he looked up to see Tina had strolled over. The day's rush of customers had died down a bit and things weren't as busy as before.

Glancing out the window towards the street, Tina noticed the Italian Sport Coupe parked at the curb and turning to Stan asked him "Is that the new 'beasty' you've been tinkering with?"

"I hardly call the amount of work I've been putting into it as 'tinkering', but yeah, thats Her alright..."
"Huh" Tina replied, "I think I should be jealous, but I'm not sure which one of us is the Maid and which is the Mistress...".

Stan was glad he hadn't actually been sipping his beverage at the time, it would have been awkward to spit-take Mocha all over, might even be seen as a critique of it's craftswomanship, in a way.
Rising to both his feet & the occasion, he stood to get their faces closer to each other and spoke in a very quiet voice; "Let there be no mistaking your ranking and placement dear Lady, I'd think I'd have convinced all of those party-goers runn'n around inside you by now".
"Or do they need more, direct, and vigorous, convincing?..."

Tina turned a bit to hide her cheeks' fresh glow, asking if he'd gotten all the bugs worked out of the Alfa, and conveniently changing the subject.

Stan took the hint and letting her off the hook explained a bit about the learning curve he was having with the Italian SPICA Fuel Injection and wanting to get the Fuel to Air Ratio right.
Having learned from past experiences not to pontificate on too long about details the other person could care less about, he wrapped it up with "I'm not quite ready to go touring in the country side with you ma'dear- you know how I enjoy our feral picnicking and all, but it might be time to ask for some help with this project, and call in a ringer."

"Well, some of your fellow worshipers at the alter of rusty old iron were just in here a little while ago, maybe they can help...".

Closing the laptop on the table, stashing it in the messenger bag whose strap he hoisted up over his head, and lofting the remnants of the cooling Mocha to his lips,
Stan followed her pointing finger across the open space and down the hallway...

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by jwhouk » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:21 pm

The image of Opus wandering through with chili caught the three of us by surprise. Before any one of us could say anything, the portal behind him VORPED shut.

"Well... thanks for the chili, but we're gonna be here a while. It appears that portal you just came through is one-way. For some reason, the portal's 'send' mode got shut down."

"Ooh, chili!" Ari said. "Is it spicy? Greg's stuff here always seems a bit bland for me."
"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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TazManiac
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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by TazManiac » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:18 pm

(c'mon in Opus, da waters fine...)

PS- In case it's not very clear, I'm breaking 4th Wall to open an invitation to Every&Anybody who wants to join-
We're making Hay* while the Sun that is Pablo gets his Healing On. So, in the absence of a daily Comic Update, we have:

Community Contributions.


Join this one or make your own.

(I'm sorry to have assumed on other's behalf, but frack it all- lets have fun..)

* Maybe that is better said by this ol' chestnut: "The Cat's away..."

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by GlytchMeister » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:23 am

The portal turned back on several into the week, and in walked what appeared at first to be a zombie in a dirty navy hoodie and black work pants. A short KaBar was belted to his waist, dirty gloves stuck out of a back pocket, and his glasses were askew on his dirt and grease-smeared face.
The young man made a salutary grunt before shambling to the kitchen, returning with a two-liter of Vanilla Coke, and flumped down into a chair by the wall. “Just pulled my... is it the third or fourth 70-hour week?... whatever, just pulled another seventy hour workweek. Wake me up at 5 AM Monday if my phone doesn’t do the trick, please.”

The bedraggled young man coughed and groaned from the stress to his lungs from speaking, then very promptly fell asleep.
He's mister GlytchMeister, he's mister code
He's mister exploiter, he's mister ones and zeros
They call me GlytchMeister, whatever I touch
Starts to glitch in my clutch!
I'm too much!

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:15 am

TazManiac wrote:Join this one or make your own.

(I'm sorry to have assumed on other's behalf, but frack it all- lets have fun..)

* Maybe that is better said by this ol' chestnut: "The Cat's away..."
"Well, that is definitely the first time someone has ever compared me to a mouse... an elephant, perhaps, or a hippopotamus, or at the very least, a draft horse, but not a mouse..."

A 6' tall, overweight man had entered the room, dressed in jeans, a plaid shirt, suspenders and belt, and work boots, and sporting a greying bear entered the room. To be honest, he could easily have been mistaken for a lumberjack, or something. Except that lumberjacks don't usually wear old, worn out cowboy hats...

And this one brought with him a pan of home-made bread pudding with a bottle of maple syrup to accompany it. After depositing the dessert on the table, he went and sat on a chair.

"So, anyone else, here, caught themselves checking for the comic, before remembering that there wouldn't be one, during the week?"

[I started writing this last night, when I definitely would have been the next poster, so I wouldn't have needed to include any quoted text, but I fell asleep at the computer, with the non-posted text on my screen... When I got up to go to bed, the screensaver was on, so I forgot about this until I came this morning to check the weather forecast, and there was my text, still waiting for me, while someone else had had time to post in the meantime... :roll: :lol: ]

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by Dave » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:47 am

From a dark corner of the room there comes a scraping sound, followed by a dull thud and a muted "Ooof!"

A balding man dressed in jeans and t-shirt unceremoniously plunges into the room through a chute visible through a sliding panel which has mysteriously appeared in one wall. The panel then closes and fades into invisibility again, leaving a seamless wall which somehow conveys the impression of a smug Cheshire-cat grin.

The new arrival picks himself up and dusts himself off.

"Ow. Saying PLUGH doesn't work as smoothly as it used to. Well, yes, lake_wrangler, you're not alone in that. There's an old saying which says that insanity consists of doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. By that standard, most of us here are probably insane.

"Is there any drinkable coffee in the house?"

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by Atomic » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:07 pm

He'd been kicking around the Twin Cities for a couple of days now, checking out the various sights and art shows. By no means a big time collector, he preferred going for the unique rather than the popular (and horribly expensive) stuff that show people bought for showing people they were show people. Jeans, dockers, and a slightly faded Hawaiian shirt under a plain jacket on an average frame both displayed and belied his background. He wasn't afraid to spend good money for good art, he just wasn't one to go nuts about it.

The last time he was in town was for the gallery sale of the late Ed Clarke, whose prison life was crowned by a small collection of water colors and pencils sold after his death. It was a memorial to Clarke's exoneration for murder (too late, alas) and loving testimony to the murdered wife and daughter he's suffered for. It was at that sale he met the two women he saw coming down the street towards him. They recognized him, too!

“Miss Pratt, and Miss McBride! So good to see you again!”

“Chuck! What are you doing in town?” asked Lilly Pratt. “We haven't seen you since that art show!”

“Yes,” added Suzi McBride, “It's good to see you too! Have you been losing weight?” she added with a wink.

“Alas, it keeps finding me again – part of why I''m doing the walking tour, eh?” He laughed with them. “I'm so glad you both look so well. I'm only vaguely aware of the part you played in his passing and the consequences – I can only imagine. My sincerest condolences, and my apologies if I'm intruding. May there be peace for you with that.”

Lilly leaned forward and gave him a hug, then Suzi. “It's OK, things are going all right,” said Lilly, “and actually, you're a part of that.”

“Yes,” offered Suzi, “it was very, ah, instructive, talking to you at the show. We just had to attend, to try and appreciate his works by hearing how others viewed them. Sadly, most of the people there seemed to be snobs of one stripe or another.”

“I was actually sad for that one twit,” added Lilly, “That guy with the silver hair and bright blue suit? I'm surprised he didn't bang his nose on the way in the door. Maybe he knew his stuff, but I have a very low tolerance for projectile conceit. When he talked about how much these would be worth in 10 years, I nearly hit him.”

“But you,” continued Suzi, “explained things in terms of theme, structure, comparison, and counterpoint. It's clear you loved the work for the work itself. Just the historical stuff was its own delight. Not that I'm out shopping for masterpieces these days, but the movie posters in our apartment are a step up from the ones we had!”

“And that one you bought,” said Lilly, “just a simple four color abstract – yellow, blue, green, black – of the mother nursing her child. You connected it to so many cultures in history. Just wonderful.”

“Well thank you that I was somehow inspirational for you!” replied Chuck. “The other ones were way out of my reach anyway, and deservedly so. Still, I'm happy to have it and share it as part of my public collection. Speaking of which, I think it's time to collect some food! Anywhere good to snack around here?”

“Ah, Mucho Mocha is just around the corner!” said Suzi. “They've got baked goods as well – muffins and the like, and the best coffees anywhere.”

“So maybe I can luck out with a pot of Oolong and a cinnamon bun, you think? So let me buy the first round. Ladies?”

“Sure thing, Chuck!”
Last edited by Atomic on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:57 pm

^^^^^ I remember the fanfic this refers to. It was a nice, touching read. ^^^^^

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:00 pm

Dave wrote:"Ow. Saying PLUGH doesn't work as smoothly as it used to. Well, yes, lake_wrangler, you're not alone in that. There's an old saying which says that insanity consists of doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. By that standard, most of us here are probably insane.
"I've read something along those lines, but I didn't believe it, so I read about it some more..." :mrgreen:


"By the way, may I strongly recommend the bread pudding with some maple syrup... It is deliecious! (And, I don't want to have to bring any back home, because If I do, I'll be the only one to stuff myself with it, much to the detriment of my waist line...)" ;)

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Re: Meanwhile, Elsewhere... (Mar 2018 Edition)

Post by TazManiac » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:48 pm

Walking back towards the counter, Stan approached Tina with a puzzled look on his face...

"Babe?" he broached, catching her attention, and said "I looked in the room back that way, in fact I had my hand on the doorknob, but when I swung the portal open... there didn't seem to be anybody in there."

"So, I shut the door."

"I could have sworn I smelled real Maple Syrup though...".

Tina's slightly bemused expression didn't seem to register with Stan as he went on explaining.

"Look, I gotta get that car out there under cover again, so I'll catch you later, 'kay?"

Tina, smiled at him as he moved towards the exit, slightly tilting her head as he left...

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