Angus was cleaning the ice cream glasses behind the bar. The window behind him read “Angus’s Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor.” It was afternoon at Angus’s restaurant, in the heart of TerrierTown at the Rainbow Bridge – on the corner of Stubborn Street and Stoic Avenue.
“Hey Angus, was anybody at the Transit Station today coming in on the Afternoon Earth Express?” said a black Scottie nursing what was left of his Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Sundae at a booth across the mostly empty restaurant.
“No, Ollie. I waited there in the Great Arrivals Hall, and didn’t see any Scotties I knew.” said Angus
“No good looking girls?” said Ollie
“Well, I saw lots of dogs coming in, but not many Scotties today. And no girls that would want to be with the likes of you, Ollie!” Angus teased
Just then the door opened. In WALKED the world famous theoretical physicist.
The man spoke. “Hello, sir,” he said, addressing Angus. “I just got here this morning. My name is Step…”
Angus interrupted him “I know who you are. I imagine we all do. And my sister back home on the world was a big fan of yours, she fancied herself a scientist herself. She watched all your lectures, and had your poster up in her room. I saw you on the TV a time or two myself. But I never seen you use those fancy new legs of yours, or heard you speak with that voice before.”
The physicist continued – “Yes, isn’t it nifty? Well, glad to meet you,” holding out his hand, which Angus ignored, because Angus was never a Scottie to shake paws with anyone.
The man withdrew his hand slowly and continued – “I am new to the otherworld and need some employment. I have to stay busy. Would you…” he paused, looking around, thinking about his pitch. “I’m good at math and science. Let’s see, I could help fix your equipment when it breaks down, and maybe be your cashier? I’m good at numbers and can certainly easily make change for your customers”
Angus pointed up a sign on the wall above the register. It read “CHANGE IS FOR SUCKERS”
Angus said “No, don’t need your kind around here. Not looking to expand the payroll. Either buy something or go pound sand, bub.’
The man reluctantly left. As he left the restaurant, and turned right on Stoic Avenue, he was stopped by a leaner, taller, brown Terrier. A Border Terrier. The Terrier spoke:
“So the Terrier was rude to you huh? That’s why I call them Snottie Terriers. Threw you out?”
“Yes, he was quite grouchy. Let me introduce my self – my name is Ste-”
“I know who you are,” the Border Terrier said. “Ol Angus ain’t as bad as likes to behave sometimes. A bit moody though. That Snottie doesn’t like me much. Didn’t like me back on Earth neither, so I decided to really tick him off by opening up right next door. I do a good business too” – he pointed to a sign at his restaurant that read “Dusty Moon’s Good Eats and Good Time Bar and Grill”
The Physicist said “Oh, you are a proprietor too, are you? Are you looking for help? I have lots of skills, I might can help you.”
“Nah” said the Border Terrier. “I don’t like to hire too many dudes. But I know who you can help. Walk down this street a few blocks, and look for a sign that says Rainbow Bridge City Hall. Big Building. Go in, and on the 4th floor you will see a door that says “Cloud and Weather Formation Department.” Go in. I know the superintendent. It’s a Scottie named Commander Rascal B. Dascal. He is a bit like Angus, but not quite as ornery. Likes to go on and on about his copperhead snake fighting days down in North Carolina though. So make sure you humor him, and he will like ya. Anyway, one of his machines that is supposed to make cumulus clouds is acting up – instead of cumulus it is churning out cirrus and stratus clouds, causing all sorts of nasty weather back on Earth. Caused three bad storms in the Northeast just in the last 2 weeks. Think you can help the Commander out?”
“Yes, I believe I do know a bit about the skies. Thank you, I will do that!” and the physicist then used his new legs to walk away.
Back in Angus’s Parlor, Angus was back cleaning the ice cream glasses, while Ollie was continuing to finish off his sundae, reading out loud his paper.
“Lookie here Angus, the Rainbow Bridge News and Otherworld Report has this story about how this airline down on the world did something terrible. Says here this flight attendant made this poor mother put her dog..”
Just then, a small puppy, a French Bulldog, walked walked in the restaurant.
“Gee Whiz, what is this today, Grand Central Station??? Everybody coming in. What do you want, boy? You are way lost to be coming in here all by yourself. This is a terrier establishment, yknow.” barked Angus, peering at the young dog while Angus was still wiping clean ice cream glasses.
“ex-excuse me sir,” the bulldog said in a small tentative voice. “I’m aw-aw- awfully lost and confused. And miss my family terribly. I don’t really know what I’m doing here. Can you help me?”
“NO! Kindness is for suckers! Hit the street, bub!” said Angus
“ANGUS! Where are your manners? Is that rude mouth the same one that you licked your mama with?” said a Scottie, walking out of the kitchen, wearing an apron that said “Sadie Mae”
Angus, for a fleeting moment, looked guilty, embarrassed. He realized he might have been getting carried away and gone too far. Very few Scotties could correct him like this, in fact you could count the number of Scotties who Angus would worry about upsetting on the claws of one paw, and Sadie Mae, Angus’s niece, was one of them.
“Come here, laddie. My name is Sadie Mae. Please excuse my Uncle Angus. Come with me, I read all about you in the papers today. Terrible thing. Here, you must be hungry. Come with me.”
The French Bulldog followed Sadie Mae into the kitchen. The kitchen was warm, and smelled great. Several Scotties were working with eggs coming off a conveyor belt. Other Scotties were minding the egg boiler. The little pup was so hungry and tired, but kept following Sadie Mae, his new found protector. The pup knew he could trust Sadie Mae. Sadie Mae led him to a dessert table, full of desserts, tended to by a Golden Retriever, with the words “Cary Grant – Head Dessert Chef” monogrammed on his apron.
“Cary – this here is the French Bulldog that we read about in the paper. He has to be famished. And, your brother Angus was quite rude to him” said Sadie Mae
“Sure thing, Sadie Mae” said Cary. “Don’t worry about Angus. We’ll take care of you. Here – hop on this stool and have one of my boiled egg ice cream sundaes.” Cary watched the bulldog eagerly devour the ice cream and egg concoction. “Slow down fella! You can have another one if you want. And, I can get you a vanilla ice cream milkshake in a cup to take with you too. It’s the finest of the flavors.”
Sadie said “Cary, you still dating that Standard Poodle over in Poodleburg? After the wee-one here gets his fill, can you take him over to BulldogVille? It’s near Poodleburg – you can see your girlfriend on the way.”
“Sounds great,” said Cary. “In fact, she is modeling today at a fashion show in Bulldogville. I will take this little guy over there as soon as he has had his fill and set him up with some of his bulldog relatives. They will take care of him good. I got time before the dinner rush – just cover for me with Angus, ok?”
And that was an afternoon this week at the Rainbow Bridge.
At least that’s the word I got from the street. – Ainsley McKenna