The Count of Monte Bristro
By: sh707wy - Published: 3rd July, 2017
THE COUNT OF MONTE BISTRO
AUTOR’S NOTE: Written with apologies to Edmond Dantes, Mercedes, Danglas, Fernand Mondgo, Fernando DeVille, Caderouse, Villefort, and of course to Alex, r.i.p.
Eugene Danos was elated. Cadillac had accepted his proposal of marriage. The young Frenchman’s highway to paradise was now assured. Together they would travel life’s highways for better or worse; over roads both smooth and rough.
Cadillac, his betrothed, had just rejected Danos’s rival, Fernando DeVille. There would be no Cadillac DeVille, after all. And oh boy was Fernando mad; mad as all Hell; all Dante’s hell. So he planned to orchestrate a coup de ville.
DeVille wasn’t the only one mad at Danos. There was Danglier who Cadillac had kept dangling on a leash and who was envious of Danos’s wealth that he had inherited at such a young age.
Cadillac had cast her spell over Danglier and keep him dangling for quite a spell now. But with his elimination from the spelling bee she found him no longer engaging and broke off their engagement. Be gone with thee for I am no longer spellbound, you see. And off he went, bound no more by the bondage loving Cadillac.
And there also was Chene who was envious of Danos’s higher station in life here in the south of France. Charles, Charlie to his friends, let it be known that if one ever allowed Eugene to call him Charlie, Chene would kick him in the shin and sock his chinny chin chin.
Finding out that he had once been promiscuous as a young teen, Cadillac kicks him out. “Get thee back to indoors China with all its chink chick brothels. There you will have to pay to be promiscuous, you yellow swine.”
And thus it came to pass that Eugene Danos and Cadillac Monarch were at last to be wed for she had found her other suitors unsuited for her bridal bed.
Figuring that three heads were better than one, DeVille, Danglier and Chene devise a diabolic scheme. They would throw a bachelor’s party from which Danos would vanish on the very eve of his wedding. In time this would make way for a Cadillac DeVille. Once that was done, Deville would have the ravaging rage of Marseille all to himself to ravage and rage after he had dropped that de-dangled Danglier and had dumped Chene into the South China Sea. He would have Cadillac all to himself until the day that she made him her ex in an ex parte divorce proceeding. But what the heck? Better that than becoming her beloved departed.
To this end to bring about Danos’s end, the ménage a trois commissions the services of a rogue sea captain by the name of Villeneuve. It takes little effort as Marseille has an inexhaustible supply of rogues. But this Villeneuve was a vile villain all to himself.
The bachelor’s party takes place there right smack in the port on Villeneuve’s small vessel, Marooned. One glass of rouge served by the rogue captain and Danos has to call it a night. The party is over for him. Que sera sera.
It was not until the following morning that Danos is awaken. “Get up, you French scum,” said the Arab as he gave him a punch with his pole. “We’re here.”
“But this isn’t Venice.”
“So; and you ain’t no paying passenger.”
“And you’re no gondolier, either. Looks like we’re poles apart on this issue.”
This “here’” is the infamous prison Chateau d’neuf on the island of Monte Bistro off the coast of North Africa. It is here where Frenchman seeking the Promised Land in North Africa would become marooned by error in their navigation. You see, due to the steep discount offered, the Marseille School Board had ordained that an out-of-date geography book be used. Now explorers think they are sailing the seven rivers.
As a further hindrance to navigation the cheap but out-of-date geography textbook has its maps showing magnetic north and south printed upside down.
If that wasn’t bad enough, ship captains now had to follow the Rules of the Rogues.
Most sinister of all was the fact that others were deliberately sent to Monte Bistro to be held there for ransom. Yes, it was to that lovely isle where those who had managed to save up the money to pay rogues to smuggle them illegally into the promised lands of the Sahara, were sent when caught. And it was here they would stay until their ransoms were paid.
Cadillac was visibly disturbed over the news of Eugene’s disappearance. It was widely known that the bachelor party had been a rip roaring success and that her betrothed had gotten plastered quite early. Beyond that nothing else was known. Even the standard payoff offer to the Marseille maritime authorities had been rejected. They had no clue. Had she tried Long Island?
Cadillac waits and waits. The minutes tick away. The minutes turn into hours. More hours pass, yet still no word. Then the hours turn into days, and yet nothing. She is truly a desperate damsel in distress in damned olde Marseille. Even her attempts to climb up to the widow’s watch are thawed. One had to be married to become eligible for widowhood.
She is told that disappearances in the port of Marseille are commonplace. Apparently he had become but one more victim to the infamous white slave trade to which trafficking tickets simply had to be paid. Yes, Danos was destined to become one more white-foot on the simmering Sahara sands. By cunning design it had been made his destiny by the vile DeVille who had known that Cadillac would never pay the buck eighty-five ransom.
Day after day Cadillac waits. Still nothing. On and on the days pass. Still nothing.
Finally when the days accumulate into a full week she threw in the sponge. In her grief Cadillac pumps the brakes and brakes down to become a broken wreck. Totaled; never to be recalled.
Even that great sage Carnac the Magnificent doesn’t have a clue. He does though come close when he holds the envelope to his forehead and says “a buck eighty-five.” Within the envelope is the question: Ransom, anyone?
Her only saving grace is that the buck eighty-five stays put in her savings account, drawing interest at 1.85 %, compounded.
Fernando DeVille now emerges from his hideaway and shows her a fake death certificate for one Danos, Eugene. Come with me now, he pleads. Together we can succeed; together we can create a renaissance. Together we can launch a new model!
Well, she thought; since her beloved Eugene has apparently gone to hell, what the heck?
Fernando is elated. His coup had worked. A Coup DeVille is his for the riding. Never mind that the marriage certificate would be issued by Triple A.
And thus Cadillac Deville comes to be inducted into Marseillaise society.
Vogue Magazine covers this new, oh so glamorous new model as she struts her stuff in 4 inch heels before the glaring, lustful leaches and heals of Marseille.
Down the ramp she sashays; down a very long ramp which oh so conveniently ends right smack in the showroom where salesmen are standing by.
Talk about a teaser. This is the ultimate bait and switch. The evening gown? Sorry monsieur, it’s sold. A demo of the model then. Bien sur; she’s called Cadillac.
And away they would go through the ville in the Cadillac with Cadillac doing the driving while on commission.
Marseillaise society is smitten. It summarily dismisses those spiteful rumors that she is a back-seat driver who futilely steers Johns into her rear, gambling on scoring the commission daily-double, when little Johnnie is merely wanting to score.
- - - - - - - -
Danos languishes in the Chateau d’neuf. His diet is so, so monotonous. Day in and day out the same food. Mediterranean fish and couscous. Lamb and couscous. How much couscous could one eat? Even dividing it with your fork into cous and cous didn’t help. Sooner or later it would right back to couscous.
Please; I beg you; put me on some good old fashion bread and water. Anything but couscous. Shut up, you filthy French cochon and drink your Chateau de nuef. It’s estate bottled right here on the estate, you know. It’s better than its bitter old parent – chateauneuf du papa. And save room for dessert. The chef makes a simply divine couscous date cake.
Danos considers approaching the warden: Warden Villeneuve; Captain Villeneuve’s one-third brother who the ragheads had hired to run things.
One day he finally musters up the courage to do so. Sorry, he’s not in today. Indeed, he rarely is. He’s a ladies man, you know. Can’t stand this chick-less hellhole. Let’s the friar, friar Flag, run things here. No, the warden bangs away his time away in the Marseille brothels. When he’s not there he’s up on the Riviera where he has family: Three nice nieces in Nice, plus his one-third brother.
In the old days the vile Villeneuve use to rent a Citroen, but when he found it to be a lemon he bought himself what he called his limon. Told the salesman any color but yellow. It’s a duex chevaux, which he had custom upgraded. Still gets great kilometers, even though it’s a trois chevaux. No coup de Ville for him.
Fortunately the friar, Friar Flag who really ran things, takes Danos under his frock to become a member of his inner flock; his inner circle with all its circle-jerks.
One night friar Flag, at great personal risk, sneaks him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a Mountain Dew. They get to talking.
Flag tells him that the fucking ragheads had had a plan to close this Devil’s Island East prison and put it up for sale. However, when he explained that a donation to him as a member of the cloth would entitle them to a tax write-off, they had, in too great a haste, deeded it over to him. That haste got the warden in real trouble. Idiot: the government taxing itself? Where did you get your training? Washington?
So many questions; so few answers. No write-off, after all. The auditor simply laughs off the five sou bribe.
Anyway, the good friar makes a deal with Danos. You handle marketing for me. Round up some of your old cronies back there in Olde Marseille and coral them here for ransom. I’ll cut you in for ten-ninety AND make you the Count of Monte Cristo.
Who gets the ninety?
I do, you fool; you think I’d be the one a-tithing?
But aren’t the cronies on Crony Island? I don’t speak Italian, you know.
“Not those cronies. And not the Coney Island ones either where all those cone heads take a licking as their clocks keep on ticking, licking away on their frigging ice cream cones until someone comes along and cleans their clocks. No, in Marseille, you idiot: French Marseille. As I said, do this for me and I’ll make you a Count. I’ll make you the Count of Monte Bistro!”
Friar Flag fails to tell him about the buried treasure that had been bequeathed to him from a death bed resident. He also fails to mention that as a board certified sadist he had shortened his name from Flagellant du Ville to simply Flag.
Friar Flag, the flagrantly frigging fag.
His Certificate of Board Certification bares the signature of none other than the Grand-friar Lucifer himself which he proudly leaves on display for all to see, to appreciate and digest. You see, Satin had had no choice but to issue it when Flag scored a perfect 666 on his s.a.d.
That friar was such a show-off.
Often the friar would have a fag working away beneath his flea infested flannel frock as he lustfully bore witness to a flagellation. Many a time he would sip nectar from a flagon while he munched on figs. To him it was like every day was a Roman holiday, even though they couldn’t get it there from Netflix.
Though the chef at Monte Bistro was first class all the way, the benevolent friar could himself whip up a flan, third to none. He would summarily dismiss accolades with a simple “don’t make a big flap over my frigging flans. My flapjacks are just as good.”
Nevertheless the fans of the friar’s famous flans remained steadfast; never wavering in their undying devotion of a flan that only the friar could whip up and dish out.
I mentioned that the friar would often munch on figs as he enjoyed a flagellation. Now these here figs were of his own making. Yes, surprisingly enough the friar had a green thumb. Many a day would find the good man working in his frigging herb garden, sans flannel, tenderly nurturing his fig, pepper and ginger roots. You see, he used them in figging the lesser faithful. “Do you have faith, my son?” “More or less.” Wham; ram a jam jam.
At many of his ecclesiastical services his flock would have to sit through his frigging service with a fig or ginger root figging up their arse. If they found his words a bore, by gosh ginger would ale in keeping them awake!
And it worked. Yes, he had gotten to the bottom of that problem; to its very core by having a root up their frigging butts, figging away like a router-router along that less traveled route away down south. And to those not in attendance to hear his words, a tongue lashing.
Yes, with a lick-a-dee spit to the splinter it would split to make way for a ginger root to come in out of the sun and get off the beaten path.
That Friar Flag, a man of multiple, tantalizing and sadistic talents.
- - - - - - - -
And so it came to pass that Captain Villeneuve had yet another commission with the tables reversed, this time.
Passage arrangements were made for one Deville, a married man and owner of a local dealership; for one M. Danglier; and for one M. Chene; Charlie to his friends.
With the help of the vile Warden Villeneuve in no time flat the three became unwilling guests of the Chateau d’neuf in the blue Mediterranean, left with nothing better to do than to sing By the Sea; By the Sea; By the Beautiful Sea.
At last it is payback time for Danos. Oh how he relishes pondering reveling in revenge, for there was enough relish for all three there in the bistro.
Danos’s first order of business is to have a fake death certificate posted to Cadillac. The courier manages to find her, even though she is out on the town on a blind date at the time. Upon reading it she realizes that she would be needing one more for the road that night.
The next morning she lets it be known that Cadillac is back on the rue; ready to rock and roll ride on rich Corinthian leather. No jump-starts needed.
Danos’s second order of business as the newly installed Count is to establish a voucher system. Chits are required to purchase most everything other than the island air and water and one daily, stale baguette bought from out and down vagabonds.
At Friar Flag’s request Danos puts the inmate-resident-guests to work converting the prison to a resort; to a lush island resort. Somewhat begrudgingly the friar withdraws from his buried treasure enough to purchase the building materials. His accountant sees to it that that it is made a business deduction. Overseers are drawn from the last of the departing lot of raghead guards.
In all of this Danos remains visually out of sight and aloof, save for when serving, while wearing a mask, in the purchasing department where the chits are purchased. It was not yet time to reveal his identity. The mysterious purchasing agent becomes to be recognized and addressed as simply the Count of Monte Bistro.
With regard to the chits, they could be purchased with monies sent from home. Somehow or another however it seems that DeVille, Danglier and Chene’s relatives had lost interest in them – or so it was said. For those and others in this situation, of which there were many, the chits had to be purchased by spanks to satisfy the sadistic friar’s fetish appetite.
The Count is allowed to spank there in purchasing. Though the spankings are sponsored and wholeheartedly endorsed by Flag, only on occasion does he himself join in the fun.
For the most part the Friar and Count are mere supervisors and spectators. It isn’t considered an administrative duty of Danos to administer spanks. It is the Turkish Guards who would routinely flog the frogs.
How many chits do you need? Ten? That will be ten spanks, if you please.
It seemed that Friar Flag is very, very much into flagellation. It is part or parcel of his sadistic streak. It is in his vile veins. It also flowed to a lesser degree in the no-account Count’s vengeful veins. Somewhere around 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
The spanks are usually delivered first class with the French martinet. Not those martinets used on children of course, but on adults. The good priest likes those whose falls are long and made of horsehair with fishhook-like projections running their entire lengths. They bring back such delicious memories.
Special delivery is required by the postal authorities for the bullwhip.
Speaking of delicious, chits are required for all items purchased in the bistro, save for the stale, hard-as-a-rock morning baguette. Juice? 3 chits. Butter, 1. Jam, 1. Fresh fruit, 4, if you please. Bouillabaisse, this evening? Of course, monsieur. One of my personal favorites. 10, merci.
Coq du vin with ratatouille, per chance? The ratatouille is made from a base of our local island rats. Quite reasonably priced, this evening. Or per chance the steeply discounted peulet femelle du vin.
As already pointed out, the chits are purchased in purchasing; specifically in the piece du purchasing. There is a sign on the door.
There, Flag the Flagellator, and Danos the Count of Monte Bistro, would sit behind their massive desks, set side by side, up on a stage with a commanding view. Flag would be in his priestly frock. Danos would be wearing his mask, a sparkling designer white one with rhinestones that he always wore when in the presence of the house guests.
Flag and the Count would each have a collection bag on hand beneath their desks should the urge arise during chit purchases. Flag always left the room running on empty. Indeed, sometimes he would have to borrow extra tissue from Danos which lay burrowed in his burrow there beneath his desk.
The daily menu was posted right there in the piece du purchasing and in its anteroom, along with the prices.
Only on occasion did Flag actually do the flogging. Usually he would have one of the black Turks do that, leaving him with a free hand unto himself beneath the desk. Of course whenever the Count wished to try his hand out, Flag would willing acquiesce. It was a nice change to see a lashing dispensed by one wearing a sparkling white mask. But regardless, the Count always bowed to the friar’s commands. Resist and he would find himself flashed by the friar and demoted to Viscount.
It is three days before DeVille finally gives in to his stomach demands and reluctantly appears in purchasing before Flag and the Count. After meticulously studying the posted menu he makes his way to the two purchasing agents. He looked at Danos sitting there as Count, wearing his mask, and at the friar.
“What will you be having, sir,” asked the friar.
“I’ll have the chicken salad for lunch.”
“Will that be with a side salad?”
“A side salad with a chicken salad? How much is it?”
“Two chits. See; it’s right here.”
“That much? I think I’ll pass on the side.”
“We do offer a simply marvelous salad Nicoise.”
“Tempting, but no.”
“For supper this soiree?”
“How’s the bouillabaisse looking?”
“Excellent. Local Mediterranean fish only, you know.”
“Correct; but the roux comes with it at no extra charge.”
“I would most certainly hope so. Still, isn’t that rather expensive? I mean it just local little fishes and crusades. You ain’t importing piranhas from Brazil, blessed by the fickle finger of the fifth pharaoh . . . . Well, okay; I’ll give it a try. Eight; hot damn.”
“Any appetizers for this evening?”
“Think I’ll pass.”
“And for the wine?”
“Lord, there’s even a charge for wine here? How much is it?”
“Two chits a glass for the vin de table; three for the vin de pays, and four for the vintage estate bottled. It’s also there on the back of the menu.”
“I think I’ll be needing two glasses. Vin de pays. Hold that; that would be six. No, make it four for the vin de table.”
“And for dessert? The sous chef makes a wicked souflea; always rises to the occasion. It’s a mere one sou. Should it not rise to your satisfaction you can sue the sous chef for malpractice. Of course that action has to be brought in the Court of Monte Cristo where the alleged tart, I mean tort, occurred.”
“Thanks pal, but I’ll pass.”
“Tres dommage. Fromage then, perhaps. Still no? Very well then, you cheesecape. ”
“Let’s see. That then comes to a total of fourteen. If you would be so kind as to put your clothes on the table and stand on the block there.”
“Credit card won’t do?”
“Even Master Card, master?”
“No; and we don’t accept Visa either. On this island all visas need validating and the valet is away. Most of them are fake, anyway.”
“Really now,” echoed Danos. “On credit? Give us a break here, DeVille.”
DeVille takes a closer look at the masked man. Seemed like there is something familiar here.
Once Deville complies Danos stands from his desk, takes hold of the horsehair martinet and walks in front of the man standing there butt naked on the block. Deville looked at Danos without recognizing him because of the sparkling white mask.
“Hands on you head, s’il vous plait.”
“Where do you wish to be served?”
“Huh? Oh. On my derriere, I suppose.”
“Bon. Will you be wishing assistance, this afternoon?”
When Danos looked up, Deville followed along to see a chain hanging down above him with handcuffs.
“Think I’ll pass. I’m hand-de-capped enough as it is.”
“It’s only five chits. If we have to interrupt and call for assistance during the service, it will be ten. Late fee, you understand.”
“I’ll still pass.”
That said, Danos takes up position behind the man and begins lashing his back with the horrid horsehair martinet. After the third horrific stroke DeVille turns.
“I said my derriere; not my le dos. And don’t lay them on my le so hard.”
“Don’t play the drama queen, DeVille. We already have enough of them as it is. This is merely a spanking for boys who have been bad. Weren’t you ever spanked?”
Danos continues on lashing away with Gusto, the Sicilian.
DeVille struggles on for a few more. Suddenly he takes his hands off his head and starts to jump down. Instantly he is grabbed by two strong arm, bare chested blacks wearing red Turkish bloomers, much as if they were harem guards. That isn’t surprising since they actually are from Constantinople.
In a flash DeVille finds himself back up on the block, ratcheted up onto his tiptoes by the overhead chain.
Danos confronts him with a smile.
“That will call for the surcharge that I mentioned of ten, my bon friend. Late fee, you know.”
The friar interrupts his below deck jacking. Hum; Danos seems to be taking a personal liking to this one. Hummmm.
After another vicious half-dozen Danos pauses. “How are we doing monsieur; let’s see here; it is monsieur DeVille, right?”
“I said my derriere; not my dos, asshole.”
“Must be your accent. Then the acoustics in here do leave room for improvement. The ceiling tiles need replacement. They do wear out, you know. They can only absorb so much screaming.”
Back Danos went to his labor of revenge while the friar resumed his labor on his love piece.
In the past the friar’s dates had always resisted his piece de resistance after the entrée, just when he thought his piece was divine and irresistible. That was when he decided to forget the ladies and to go with the dates there in his garden.
Once again Danos turns to face DeVille.
“How are we doing now, DeVillage,” he asked with a smirk.
The tormented, sweating man with his back ablaze looks Danos in the eye. Yes, there is something familiar about him. “Don’t I know you?”
“Per chance. But you haven’t answered me. How’s it going?”
“To be honest I’d rather be having dinner with Andre.”
“Hey, I heard the other day that Cadillac likes it up her exhaust pipe; that she’s a backseat driving instructor. Any truth to that, DeVillage?”
Good lord, thinks DeVille; he has to be one of them good-old, back-home boys.
“Who told you that?”
“A little birdie; a Thunder-Birdie. They’re a-ford-able these days, you know.”
The friar pauses to put his jackhammer in idle. Hum; double-hum.
“But we need to get along, little birdie.”
“It’s little doggie. And it’s DeVille, mister mysterious mask man.”
“Whatever. But the good friar is giving me the eye. In this room there is a no-loitering rule. Fortunately, business is booming and we must keep things moving along, little doggie, is it.”
By the time Deville completes his horrid payment-in-advance purchase for dinner, his back is bloody jelly; somewhere between strawberry and blueberry.
Deville redresses very so carefully realizing that he would have to be back in response to future stomach demands. When handed his chits he is told that the ten for the hands-assist has already been redeemed for his convenience.
“Bon appetite, DeVillage,” called out Danos as DeVille leaves for a shit, shine, shower and shave before advancing on the bistro. He’d leave it to others to storm the Bastille. You see, the expiration times and dates on the chits were always marked to expire within 24 hours. Take-home bags seemed always to be out of stock. And the open-container rule dashed any thought of bringing home a leftover wine. All had to resort to the resort rules.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Now French cuisine didn’t have a monopoly in the bistro. Though it reigned supreme, there were others dishes served up twice a week.
For Italian night there was no change in the spanking implement used in buying admission chits, but there was a peculiar, mandatory addition. They would get feathered from head to toe.
“Just wait till I get out of here. I’m going to report you to the humane society for your inhumane treatment. Not only that, but I’ll be seeing that the Audubon society gets wind of this. You can look forward to a tar-and-feathering, my fiend. Shit; just when you need a friend, they send you a fiend.”
For the dreaded English Nights, the dessert was always Figgie pudding. Of course figs from the friar’s garden were used - those that didn’t measure up to their intended purpose. The rattan cane soaked in brim was in play for that day. Many an evening the bistro would have vacant tables on English Night. They could add salt to their wounds some other day.
Most dreaded of all was Scottish Night. The entrance ticket was punched with the tawse. Far worse was the fact that the meal was partaken to the cat’s screeching of a piper. For that night chits for tisane were essential for survival digestion, were one simply having to attend. Being an herbal tea, it too was readily available. Herbs went far better in one’s stomach than further up one’s arse.
If a dinner wasn’t well attended there would be a repeat course dished out the following evening. The chef would make things right even if it took three nights in a row.
German Night featured franks and sour sauerkraut. Meals were available via dog-whip purchased chits. As an alternative two-for-one were made available via the horsewhip. Inevitably one would ask how much for that doggie in the window, and to be frank about it.
Bamboo was provided for purchasing chits for Asian Night.
Nights of Arabia chits were bought with the kurbash. The Knights of Columbus would lend a hand in that, wearing their snazzy outfits to provide fine dining atmosphere. Take-home memoirs signed by its Supremes’ cousin, twice removed, and countersigned by the Potentate, trice removed, were provided at no addition charge at the exit door.
Although it was backbreaking work getting tickets to the bistro, once one was there it was well worth it. Far better than trying to survive on a baguette-a jour while your fellow inmates described the previous night dining delicacies. And there was no charge for the cutlery. Chits were only require for wine accessories; one for a straw and two to get ready for a siphon.
The food was excellent as were the wines and the service provided by adolescent ragheads who also assisted from time from time in insuring that the friars prostrate ran dry.
To round out the evening music would be provided to complement both the meal and the digestive.
The standard musical fare was performed by a string quartet that was comprised of those would-be mechanical engineers who had flunked out only then to have their applications to musical school rejected.
Occasionally there would be a strolling accordion player who was said to have once provided background music for Edith Piaf as a child on the playground. And only once.
Then there were the barber-shoppers. Naturally their theme song was ”chit chit arey; chit chit arey.” They were real plagiarists. They went and turned Red Sails in The Sunset into:
“Red Tails in the sunset;”
“Our asses are blue;”
“But we’ll have more fun yet;”
“Before we are through.”
On the Nights in Arabia evening the establishment went all out. A belly dancer would be smuggled in to exhibit her charms, dancing to the sounds of fiddles, the kora, and to the beat of the tama, all played by talented ragheads who would inevitably decline requests for ragtime. They were superior though to the wanted-a-be engineers who had never been able to get through arithmetic with its frigging fractions.
That evening was always well attended with a huge quantity of couscous consumed by the few concierges of couscous.
That was the opposite of Scottish Night when the piper had to be protective by one of the black, Turkish guards as the gruel was gruelingly consumed.
When the Count would see that one of his three old buddies was in the purchasing department he would sometimes have the piper in attendance. As the purchaser was being flogged the piper would prance round and around him a-huffing and a-puffing. Just like with buying “assistance” it would be five chits to have him go away. But if midway through the performance you couldn’t take it anymore, and you feared a busted eardrum, it would be ten so as to include the late fee.
For Scottish Night earplugs and earmuffs were put on sale. You see there was a minimum to have the piper not play. So the earplugs and muffs provided insurance; quite limited as it were by the small print.
The piper had a decent repertoire. His selections that appeared in the top ten on the charts were the worse, you see. The diners would pay chits to have a tune go down and off the chart. Payola in reverse. The same with the chit purchases when one received rather than paid for chits. When questioned, the friar would explain that the Satanic Scriptures were quite clear on this matter. It is better to give than to receive, my son.
No one knew quite how but somehow La Vie En Rose would keep popping up on the Scott’s charts. Any booing and the maitre‘d would call for a sing-a-long. The tune really wasn’t suited for a wind instrument like the bagpipe, but try telling that to him; him so set in his wayward Scottish ways from way, way up north where aspiring young musicians would get high in the highlands.
Another favorite of the piper was When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. That would bring extra tears to the punchers’ eyes while under the lash. What diabolic torture.
Every so often the friar would try to inject himself into a songfest with his rendition of Some Enchanted Evening. But he had grown so tone deft from listening to all that screaming day in and day out that inevitably he would break in off-key.
One day a guest from Leon, gastronomic capital of the known world, couldn’t take it anymore. One more note, if you can call it that, and I’ll be needing a gastrostomy, he cried. When he bought the requisite ten the standby barber-shoppers were substituted who went and stood by the fire singing, over and over and over, Oh the fire is so delightful; let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
“I’ve been ripped off,” he cried. “It’s a scam you scumbags are running here! It never snows here, you snowflakes.”
One afternoon after having dished out lashes without letup for some ten minutes, a Turk takes it upon himself to take a break. He walks around to face the wretched man while holding his arm.
“Does it hurt?” Now the question doesn’t come from the Turk, but from wretched wretch.
“It’s my arthritis. Flares up sometimes, just at the wrong time.”
“Have you tried Aleve?”
“No, but I appreciate your concern.”
He then pulls out a pack of cigs. “Here; want a Lucky?”
“No thanks, but I’d walk a mile for a Camel.”
“Well you did come close but didn’t quite make it to camel-land; nor Camel-ot land either. You might try Dr. Teale’s. A twenty minute soaking in his Epson salt bath works wonders.”
“Enough, already,” yells the Friar. “Get back to working his back, Turk. Then you clean him up with a cold brim shower. You two are getting too kissy kissy here.”
Some days between his first and second cumings the friar would become bored and becalmed. The jester would be summoned before he became bewitched or, far worse, beguiled.
The jester was a midget who did a great imitation of Groucho. He would have a duck standing in the wings ready to waddle in wherever the secret word was spoken.
Day in and day out the only words the duck hears however are AAAAAAAHHHHHH and OOOOOHHHHHH which he misinterpreted for words of acclaim. Of course they weren’t in his lexicon, poultry as it was.
The benevolent friar had thought he was being generous when he had chosen the secret word for the chosen few; one that every wet-back frog would certainly know: ribit. Wrong. ribit; ribit? Double wrong. But I thought two wrongs made for a right. Only for Chinese parents and their baby Wong. Just ask Chene.
“Make that one sing,” screams the friar.
Immediately he lights into Oh What a Beautiful Morning only to be cut off by Flag. “It ain’t morning! It mourning.”
“Sorry. Oh What a Beautiful Mourning.”
“You’re off-key. Belay that and give me an A,” says the Turk.
“B B B B B B.”
The wretch smiles, sheepishly. “Just tuning up; he, he.”
“I’ll tune you up, by friar. THWACK!”
“That wasn’t fair, friar: He didn’t say Simon Says! This is a total farce; a frigging farce.”
That isn’t the only thing he get wrong. When Flag ordains that frog legs be put on the menu, he gets not a single taker. “What do you take us for; frigging cannibals?”
“You seem to like that word frog that you stole from me.”
“Well give me another.”
“Not in Hawaiian; in French, cochon.”
“Forget it. Go back to frigging with my frigging blessing.”
“It isn’t you word anyway.”
“It’s from an old nursery rhyme.”
“Really now. And just which one might that be?”
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the Cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there.
The cupboard was bare,
And so the frigging dog had none.
“I would stand corrected, but that would be rather embarrassing under the circumstances.”
At closing time for the purchasing department, which was fairly early, what with their having bankers hours, the poor duck would be seen dejectedly ducking out with the hallowed chit still in his bill; a chit that could have paid the bill.
Another escape for the friar from bore-doom was meditation. No surprise in that, what with his cutting quite the religious pious figure.
No one really knew the depths of his religion. Thank God for that for his one God Almighty is none other than one Melvin J. Brooks from the lands of brooks – Brooklyn.
Having made so many stars he had come to consider himself to be celestial.
Yes, the friar could always turn to Mel through meditation since writing to his agent got you nowhere. No, no one had an envelope big enough for His zip code. His was an astronomical number of digits that your measly ten could never handle. More than a gazillion gazillion, which is a lot of zillions, by God.
And just you go and try calling him. You’d be put on hold and have to listen to As Time Goes by, over and over and over and over, for all eternity.
When Flag was on duty working up a steam in his hose beneath his desk he would call for one of the Turks to cool him off. You see there was no air conditioning in the purchasing department. One of those bare chested blacks with their red bloomers would come over with his huge red feather and fan him.
At other times a Turk would exchange his Arabian sword for the same feather and feather the chit purchaser as he was being flogged. In-between lashes he would feather the poor souls back much as if he were dusting a lamp shade. Then he would feather his privates, all the while giggling. Those Turks could be such comedians.
Careful however what you say though when they’re toting their sabre, for their French was limited.
Once when the friar had had enough from those M.E. student dropout barber-shoppers and had yelled “coupe” a Turk took him at his word. When the 911 responders arrived they gave him a heads-up which, by that time, was three. When the responder insisted on charging for three, when he could easily accommodate three heads and tails in his one watercraft, the friar throws a tantrum. “Fine; next time you call 119, you cheese cake; I mean cheapskate.”
“What was that” yells Flag.
“I got to go. Where is the head?”
- - - - - - - -
One night when the piper thinks he has it in the bag guess who shows up? No one other than Count Basie himself.
Back home people had told him that since he had played jazz so much on Royal Street with all its bistros, that he and this here Count of Monte Bistro fellow just might be related. Check it out. Miss this and you may be making one royal fuck-up.
Yeah; just look at me, said Ellington.
And what about me, added Presley The First.
That did it. When told to take it from the top, Basie takes it from the top; from the top of the score and lyrics.
Not knowing what the count looked like when Basie gets there it so happens to be Scottish Night. He takes one look at the piper wearing this thing-a-ma-jig and thinks the jig is up. This “guy” is no frigging jig relative of mine from the looks of it. Then he finds out that there is no piano in the bistro either; just the barbershop quartet singing The Trolley Song.
He flips out; goes bananas; grabs a scotch and soda and away he runs with the piper in hot pursuit, which was allowed in this jurisdiction.
“Hey; let’s give it a whirl, man. Never got it on with a Boston Blackie. Need to see if it’s true what they say about Dixie and about y’all having one humongous hell-of-a. . . .”
“Sorry; I don’t know her. Do you mean Miss Dixie Cups? I know The Dixie Chicks’ cups are humongous.”
Speaking of Dixie, a special punishment was administered to those caught poaching in the Friar’s patch. They would be put to the slavish task of de-weeding de weeds as the barber-shoppers sang “Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton.” At such times Flag would show the flag by serving as overseer. “Put your backs into it boys,” he would say as he has a Turkish gardener lash away on their backs. “And don’t you smoke them weeds neither, you hear now.”
Get caught breaking into the winery, or breaking a beaker, and you would quickly find yourself a whining, not whittling away the hours.
But getting back to basics, and to Count Basie, soon both Basie and the piper become winded from the chase. “Let’s take a break. Need to save my wind up for the windbag.”
“Okay, windbad, but not meaning no ill will, you understand, it’s still an ill wind you blow.”
They sit down huffing and a-puffing some hundred fifty decimeters apart.
“Where is that Armstrong fellow now,” asked the Scott.
“He’s back from the moon.”
“Not that one; that Louis fellow.”
“Louis? Oh, the King. He’s out shooting peasants.”
“You mean pheasants.”
“No; he at the range shooting peasants. I hear he’s looking for a new piss-boy. Interested? I could get a word to him. Great benefits. You’d never want to throw in the towel.”
“You’ve got those kind of connections? Wow. Here, let us get connected here. Let’s hook up. Cum on. Besides, as head of state I’d thought he’d be on State Street; that great street where you just want to know . .”
“I know; I know: The time of your life. I knew a man who thrashed his wife.”
“Look, I don’t think you’d be a wanting that piss-boy job, anyway. You’d be overflowed with work. Just like working in a factory manufacturing line. Same old; same old. Just go on back and drain those blue-blooded bourbons of their precious bourbon and bonbons down there on Bourbon Street. Then maybe someday you’ll play at the palace.”
Fearing that they might get hung-up and he’d miss the tide, Basie rejects the indecent proposal and runs off. The Scott tries to follow in hot pursuit but finds that while he’d been sitting he’d been getting ants in his pants that now made him have to dance. Quite the handicap when you’re up against a sprinter rather than his splinter.
Basie makes it to the dock but when he goes to the dock master and has him run his MasterCard to pay for the fairy fare, his card is declined.
“How about visa then,” he pleads.
“Nah; we don’t accept Visa. We’re onto you wetbacks’ visa trickery. Besides, there’s too much identity thief with you frenchees trying to sneak across. All you frogs look alike to us, you know.”
“Sure, says the one raghead to the other.”
“Come on man; do I look French? Do I talk the talk? Do I walk the walk? I’ll even sit in the fairy section on the ferry. Come on man; at least steer me to steerage. Those steers don’t smell to me.”
“No; not even in sewerage class, friend. It’s booked solid with steer dung steered there from steerage.”
Basie becomes desperate and delivers his knockout punch.
“Okay then, master of my cock; I mean dock; let’s call my fiend the piper up there on down here. You’ll just love his rendition of Oh Danny Boy.”
“No; no; not that.”
Basie cups his hands over his mouth preparing to give a howler.
“Anything but that, you terrorist.”
And that does it. Basie has the master’s number, and it sure ain’t Oh Danny Boy.
The dock master gives him a waiver for the wait for the morning tide, plus a copy of an old Field and Stream. He is out of there, waving goodbyes from the crests of the waves to the dock master and blowing kisses to the piper all the while he is shouting “Roll Tide, Roll.”
At substantial cost, all the tide charts now have to be adjusted. Basie doesn’t care. To him it’s good tidings of great joy.
As the island faded into the distance, from high up on the hill Basie sees the Scott shaking his massive fist. “No more gigs here for you, jig. Your jig is up.”
“Boo to you.”
“Boo to you, too, you frigging jig-a-boo. Now I’ve never know.”
He cradles his massive hands to his face and mourns. “You’ll never know just how much I love you. You’ll never know how much I care.”
- - - - - - - - -
And so it went. Day by day Danos obtains satisfaction as he personally tares the hides off of teary DeVille, Danglier and Chene, all to the beat of the meat set by the friar’s drumming which, at twilight, I mean climax times, would accelerando.
But it seemed that he was always flubbing up the service with those three. Why are you beating my feet? But monsieur, wasn’t that what you requested. Why are you caning me? This isn’t English Night. Oh; sorry. I’ll start over.
It was a seemingly never ending chat for chit. Those three could never count on the Count to get it right. So when he would suggest a tip, instead he’d get fucka-you. You’d never report it to the IRS anyway.
But atlas; all good things must of course eventually come to an end.
Danos was running out of hints as to his identity to throw at DeVille as he would taunt him face to face behind his mask. His bank account was overflowing. Checks were now being returned marked excessive funds. It was time to move on for the party was over.
DeVille, Danglier and Chene were all in attendance for his farewell flogation party. It was a grand affair. Flag picked out a sure-fire winner for the bistro: A French evening with five courses.
Snails with a glass of Alfred Gratien Paradis Brut NV champagne. A soup alleged to contain drools of Julia Childs that she had conjured up when called upon to judge. Choice of filet minion or filet gross. Lobster or Dover Sole.
I won’t even attempt to name the wines. Besides, anyone caught reading or writing this tale would never have heard of them anyway.
For dessert the black Turks came prancing in carrying cherries jubilee with sparklers a sparkling. They broke into song.
“For he’s a jolly good flagon; for he’s a jolly good flagon; for he’s a jolly good flagon that nobody can deny.”
DeVille, Danglier and Chene could neither admit nor deny that because Flag had always referred their floggings to the Count. The question was however raised as to just why it was that Captain Villeneuve’s charter boat always featured Alabama rather than cherries jubilee.
Unfortunately few paid for the after dinner coffees and liquors. The bill was simply too much: well over 35 chits. Even the one-chit after dinner mints to shit-chat over went begging.
Deville went all out. Though he had been singled out for a special parting gift to be served up by the departing Count, by damn if he wasn’t going to be intimidated by that masked rascal who seemed to know his life’s story. He was going to blow a full 40 chits on the event. You only go around once, you know. Moreover he planned to respond to each lash with a hit the road (lash) Jack (lash) and don’t you (lash) come back (lash) no mo (lash) no mo (lash) no mo (lash) no mo. What a diabolical scheme. Deville, the would-be party pooper.
Chen tries to sign off with a Simple Simon Says Sayonara. Deville’s retort is “For that screw up of oriental languages, tonight you’ll be chowing down on chow main. And you can skip that skipping in with your tutu when you come for your tofu, too. For you, the party is over, my friend. It’s toot, toot, tootsie, goodbye. So toot a Lou, Tootsie.”
“Well-a fucka you too, Count Of My Royal Ass.”
Deville’s fare-thee-well was less abbreviated.
“Ah, DeVille; a good afternoon to you, sir. I trust you reviewed the menu in the wailing, I mean waiting room”
“Good afternoon to you too, Count. I can always count on receiving your personal, perfectly atrocious, ungodly service. How unkind and unthoughtful you have been in giving me your undivided attention.”
“That’s a lot of un-s but I’m afraid you have that wrong, DeVillage. Just speak to Danglier and Chene.”
“So you’ve have heard that I shall be departing this tropical paradise on the morning tide.”
“But I’ve come to count on you and your personal service, even though you do have the habit of screwing up my purchase orders. Better the unknown than the known, I suppose. There aren’t many here who aren’t impressed when I tell them that the very Count of Monte Bistro himself processes my purchasing orders. Yet I remain sure that we had met before my arrival here. I’m just positive.”
“You are so kind. It’s good to know that you have truly appreciated my services. Tell you what, DeVillage. Since this is my farewell party I’ll reveal my identity.”
“YOU; why it’s YOU!”
“Can I change my order?”
“Sorry; and no substitutes either. Forty, was it?”
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