By Spider Robinson

The discreet little bar that Jake Stonebender confirmed a number of blocks lower than Duval road was once named easily where. There, quickly Eddie Costigan discovered to curse again at parrots as he performed the home piano; the Reverend Tom Hauptman realized to have a tendency bar bare-chested (without blushing), Long-Drink McGonnigle chanced on the margarita and a number of other se?oritas, and all of the different regulars settled into cozy subtropical niches in their personal. not anyone even spotted them store the universe.Over time, the twice-transplanted consumers of Callahan’s position attracted a suite of neighborhood zanies so quintessentially Key West pixilated that they made the recent York originals look, good, virtually general. The elfin little Key deer, for instance—with a stevedore’s mouth; or the merman with eczema; or Robert Heinlein’s teleporting cat.For ten gradual, merry years, existence used to be solid. The sunlight shone, the espresso dripped, the breeze blew simply strongly sufficient to deplete the scent of the puns, and little supergenius Erin grew to the verge of early life. Then catastrophe struck. throughout the gate one sunny day got here a malevolent, moronic, mastodon of a Mafioso named Tony Donuts Jr., or Little Nuts (don’t ask). He’d determined to resurrect the vintage safeguard racket in Key West—and wager which tavern he picked to hit first? Then, because of very bad accessorizing (she selected the incorrect belt—and no, we’re unlikely to provide an explanation for that one), Jake’s spouse, Zoey, unexpectedly stumbled on herself in a spot with out gentle, no warmth, and no air. And no approach domestic. The pressing query used to be where—precisely where—but that became out to be an issue so complicated that even the full gang, outfitted with teleportation, time shuttle, and telepathic syntony (you can glance it up) will not be in a position to crack it in time.And whereas all this was once happening, demise himself walked into where. yet this time he wouldn't depart by myself. . . .

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The moment I recognized it for what it really was, I started to hear a high distant buzzing in my ears. A briefcase. With an elaborate crest on it that was unmistakably some sort of official seal. I felt a cold, clammy sweat spring out on my forehead and testicles. Suddenly I was deep-down terrified, for the first time in over a decade. My ancient enemy was in my house. The others were oblivious; most of them could not have seen the briefcase from their angle. “No, excuse me, ma’am,” Long-Drink said politely.

The barely audible sound of the conveyor belt stopped and was replaced by the gurgle-bubble sound of magic taking place inside. When it emerged, I knew, it would contain New Guinea Peaberry, Tullamore Dew, three sugars and whipped Jersey cream. “As your physician, I prescribe intoxication,” he told me. ” “I’m Jake’s physician,” Doc Webster said from his seat behind us. “As your attorney,” Long-Drink told him, “I advise you not to contradict me. ’ “No, no,” the Doc said. ” Long-Drink and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes.

Three puns in one verse made it their kind of lyric. When the applause had faded, Erin put a hand on my arm to get my attention. “I think I’ve found the problem, Pop,” she said. “I’m not sure you should call him that,” Willard said. ” She gave him deadpan. So did his wife, Maureen, whose distaste for puns rivals Erin’s. No accounting for distaste. Willard grinned at both of them. ” I was suddenly too agitated for repartee. “You’ve found the problem,” I prompted Erin. She nodded and offered me some printout.

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