Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:
Last week a regular eBay customer asked me to put together 1000 stamps and some glassine envelopes for her. I did and shipped them off. She was delighted. Well, I have a gazillion (almost a bazillion) stamps, so, on Sunday, I put together a lot of 575 stamps and listed it. The whole time I was putting stamps on stock sheets for display, then taking them out of the stock sheets after I scanned the stock sheets and put the stamps in piles to be compressed for mailing, I cursed the time it took. The lot sold Sunday evening and I mailed it yesterday to the lucky new owner in Santa Barbara, CA.
This morning I decided to take a nap. But when I got up I put together another lot, this time of 560 stamps (they have to fit on 12 stock sheets so there will be different numbers in each lot according to the various sizes of stamps in the lot), and took them off the stock sheet ready for mailing to another lucky buyer. I noticed that I have a number of glassines empty and am likely to get more, so, I put together a buy it now offering of some used glassine envelopes in lots of 25 for 4¢ each. That is a tad bit too much, but it costs an arm and a leg to mail, pay the eBay and PayPal fees, so there is little I can do about the price.
All the while I was working my fingers to the bone, the cat was sleeping on the bed. I happened to notice her leave the bedroom, which she almost never does of her own volition, so checked. She had deposited a hairball in the middle of the bed. So, I stripped the bed and started washing the brackets, sheets, quilt. Never mind, Nancy did all of this yesterday—Monday is the day she does sheets and blankets. IO guess all of this punishment for my taking the nap and not putting it back earlier and then ignoring Chloe while I made up the eBay lots. I never seem to learn.
Warmest Regards, Ed
023 A Pivot for Each Foot – Two Years Prior to the Present
Fiction in 1029 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Agent White and Special Agent Fleishman materialized over the South Pacific just a few yards from where Agent White had just materialized with Ralph; and, Ralph had let go of her. “Why aren’t we falling?” asked Agent White.
“We are,” replied Special Agent Fleishman. “But, I pivot us up a foot in height every 30th of a second so it would appear we are standing on air, but, we are losing altitude ever so imperceptibly. In an hour or so we will get wet if I keep this up. My goodness,” he said pointing to where Ralph was falling and failing his arms, “I do believe the fellow is attempting flight.”
“I guess I will get an answer to the question of whether or not he can swim,” said Agent White. “Ooh, that must have hurt,” she said when Ralph hit the water.
“It wasn’t the best diving entry I have ever seen,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “Can you still see him?”
“I could,” replied Agent White, “if he hadn’t pivoted. He disappeared from the surface. He definitely didn’t go under. I wonder why he didn’t pivot on the way down?”
“Fear tends to override rational thinking” replied Special Agent Fleishman. Then too, maybe he wanted to swim? We’ll have to ask him.”
“I don’t think he is going to want to talk to me,” said Agent White.
Special Agent Fleishman chuckled and said, “I wonder how he feels about revenge now? Let’s go see.”
The two vanished from over the South Pacific and materialized back at the SUV where they had left Bart standing. A few seconds after they materialized, a very wet Ralph materialized in front of the SUV. Ralph’s expression turned to rage when he saw Agent White. “You nearly got me killed.”
Agent White calmly said, “Nearly. You touch me again and we will correct that.”
Ralph started towards Agent White but was interdicted by a very tall and muscular black man who grasped Ralph by the shoulder. Ralph’s rage turned to pain. “I think she means it,” said Special Agent Fleishman. Maybe you and I could have a talk about how to treat people, especially ones smaller than you.”
“Oww, that hurts,” whined Ralph.
“Surely no more than the bear hug I saw you inflict on the lady,” replied Special Agent Fleishman.
“I didn’t . . . “ Ralph attempted a denial.
Special Agent Fleishman gripped Ralph’s shoulder a bit ‘firmer.’ “You don’t know that I watched the moves you put on her. You don’t know that I find liars should be treated as bugs—stepped on. I am half tempted to turn you loose and let her get even with you.”
“What do you want from me?” whined Ralph.
“Three things,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “I want you to apologize to the lady and mean it. Then I want you to stop lying to me. And finally, I want you to take me to see Stephen.”
“Miss, I am sorry I grabbed you and hurt you,” said Ralph.
Agent White said, “I accept your apology but my injunction about touching me still stands.”
“Yes, Mam,” said Ralph. “I will never touch you again.”
Special Agent Fleishman loosened his grip and said, “There, that wasn’t so bad. Now take me to Stephen.
“I can’t,” Stephen comes to me in this universe.
Special Agent Fleishman completely released Ralph and asked, “Surely you have a way to communicate with your superior.”
Ralph rubbed his shoulder and finally realized that the big man had let go. Ralph pivoted.
Bart looked a bit crestfallen and said, “He lied you know.”
Special Agent Fleishman replied, “Yes, I expected him to.”
Special Agent Fleishman and Agent White pivoted.
[In the other Universe] Ralph materialized in the reception room of what would best be described a combination board room and chief executive office on the top floor of a very tall building. He stood stock still for a few moments until the door to the combination board room and the chief executive office opened. He entered. In front of a window overlooking a cityscape of spires, and behind an acre of desktop sat a middle-aged, balding, slightly overweight man. In a panel of lights on the left side of the desk, a single pink light blinked.
“Stephen, there have been some problems in the other dimension,” said Ralph.
“You might as well have brought the outsiders with you,” asserted Stephen. “They will be here at a time of their choosing now that they know where to come.”
“How could they follow me?” asked Ralph.
“Check your coat pocket,” said Stephen.
Ralph patted his right pocket and his inside pocket and Stephen said, “No, the breast pocket. That is where their tracking device is.”
Ralph withdrew a small object abut the size of a headache pill from his breast pocket. “How did this get there?”
“I can only surmise from your overall physical state of disarray that you were manhandled by an expert,” said Stephen. “Put the tracking device on my desk; and, you go back to finish your job on the other side.”
“But, they . . . “ Ralph started to say by Stephen interrupted him.
“I will deal with the ‘They,” said Stephen. “You go work with the Don’s man to put the money into our bank accounts over there.” He paused for a moment and then in a very quiet voice, “What part of my instructions must I repeat?”
[Two Years Prior to the Present-This Universe] Ralph materialized back at the SUV parked in front of the bank to find Bart standing by himself. “Well, are you ready to go?” he asked Bart.
“Go where?” asked Bart.
“We have a lot of deposits to make,” replied Ralph
“What about the woman?” asked Bart.
“She won’t be a problem, now,” asserted Ralph.
“But, she told me to stay right where I am,” whimpered Bart.
“You afraid of her more that Don Salvatore?” asked Ralph.
“Right now it depends on which one of them is closest to me,” replied Bart.