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Banovelmouth, chapter 3 [Apr. 26th, 2009|11:12 am]
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Chapter Three: Not a blue woman's friend

One night I was sitting on the couch and reading a book at about 1 in the morning, when Not a blue woman came home from work.  He walked in the door with a good-looking black lady who was wearing a black-and-white striped criminal suit and a black cap.

“Hi, Bananamouth,” said Not a blue woman.  “This is Valerie Custer, my friend and criminal accomplice from work.”


I got up from the couch and shook Valerie’s hand.  “Pleased to meet you, Valerie,” I said

“I’m happy to meet you too, Bananamouth,” Valerie said.  “Not a blue woman tells me you’re a nice person.”

Not a blue woman turned on the radio to the rock music station and started dancing.  “Let’s all dance the Smustle!” he said excitedly.

“Oh boy!” Valerie cried, happily.  “I love to dance the Smustle!”

“So do I!” I said.

We all had a great time dancing the Smustle together for a long time.  When Satellite Ears got up at 6 o’clock that morning, he joined us in our Smustle dance, and then we all had breakfast together.  Not a blue woman cooked us some pancakes, and then promptly fainted on the lawn.

“Oh my God! Is he okay?” said Valerie worriedly.

“He’ll be okay,” said Satellite Ears.  “He must just be really tired from working all night and then dancing all morning.”

Valerie went over to Not a blue woman and woke him up.  She brought him inside and made him lie down on the couch.  Then Satellite Ears left for work, and Valerie and I stood around in the kitchen and talked.

“I like your house,” said Valerie.

“It’s really quite plain,” I said.  “All of us Goodman brothers just started out in our careers, so we haven’t bought too many fancy things yet.”

“I like your set of dining chairs with white legs.  They match your white-legged dining table nicely.”

“Oh, those dining chairs.  Yeah, we got those chairs just the other day.  We’d been saving up for them for a little while.  When we first moved here, we could only afford one dining chair.  So at each meal, only one person could sit at the dining table, and everyone else just stood up or sat on the couch.”

Valerie laughed.  “What else would you like to get for your house?”

“We’d really like a TV.  I think that would be really useful.  We could watch cooking shows, and the news.  I’d really like a chess table, too.”

We went out to the yard.  “I see you have an easel.  Whose painting is that on the easel?”

“Not a blue woman likes to paint,” I said.  “That’s one of his paintings.  He’s not too good at it yet, but hopefully someday he might be able to paint some nice paintings that we can sell, or hang on our walls.”

“That would be great,” said Valerie.  “I have to go home now.”

“Bye, Valerie,” I said.  “Come back any time!”

“Bye, Bananamouth,” she said.  “It was nice to meet you!”  She waved.


One Wednesday when I was at my job at SimLabs, the ESP research team decided that I did not have any psychic powers.  They sent me to see my boss.

“Bananamouth,” said my boss, “you will be moved to the Theoretical Colour Research department.  Go to room 225 on the second floor.”

I walked to room 225, and went inside.  I found a group of people in there.  They made me eat different colours of licorice.  I didn’t really see the point of it, but I went along with it.

“This is a little bit dull,” I thought.  “But it’s so much better than getting shocks or being tested for psychic powers.  I know that if I just hang in there, I’ll survive.  Maybe if I could exercise my mind at home a bit more, I’d move higher up in my career.  I guess I should do more newspaper crossword puzzles.”

When I got home from work that day, I saw that Not a blue woman had invited Valerie Custer over again.  Not a blue woman and Valerie were sitting out on the lawn at the dining table eating grilled cheese sandwiches.  I waved to them, and then collected the newspaper from the front lawn.  I went inside, sat on the couch, and did the crossword.

Satellite Ears came in from the backyard.  “I think we have enough money to get a TV now!” he said.

“Yay!” I exclaimed.

We got a TV set right then and there.  Satellite Ears turned it on.

“I wonder what channels we’ll be getting,” I said.

“I think there’s a cooking channel, a news channel, a kids’ channel, a music video channel…” said Satellite Ears.

“Not a blue woman might enjoy the cooking channel,” I said.

We watched the kids’ channel for a while.  We saw a silly show about a team of Captain Heroes trying to save the world.  Then we watched a kids’ show about a clown.

“This kids’ channel isn’t too bad,” Satellite Ears decided, “though it’s probably more entertaining to watch if you're a kid.

“Yeah,” I agreed.  “Let’s see what’s on the other channels.”

We watched the news channel.  There was a big fire on the news.  The news reporter said it was caused by someone trying to use a flame machine inside their house.  The news report concluded with the news anchor saying, “Remember, viewers, don’t use flame machines inside your house, no matter how badly you want to roast marshmallows indoors.”

“Maybe the person in that flaming house was trying to recreate a certain art museum exhibit in their bathroom,” Satellite Ears suggested.

“Satellite Ears!” I laughed.  “There’s this terrible fire, and people were injured, and they could’ve been killed, and you just make jokes about flaming toilets!”  We laughed.

Valerie came inside.  “Let’s dance the Smustle!” she said.  Not a blue woman turned on the radio to the Oldies station, and we all danced the Smustle to the music for several hours.

“This gives me an idea,” said Not a blue woman, after we’d all gotten tired of dancing and Valerie had gone home.  “We should have a party sometime!”

“Yes!” I said.  “We’ve never had a party.”

“Maybe someday when we’re all home and not out at work,” suggested Satellite Ears.

“We can have dancing, and pizza, and other fun stuff,” said Not a blue woman.

“I don’t know if we have enough friends in the neighbourhood yet to be able to invite a lot of people, though,” I said.

“We can always just invite random people we’ve met,” said Not a blue woman, “since everyone we meet for the first time is always nice enough to give us their phone number.”

“Good idea,” said Satellite Ears.  “Hosting a party would be a good way for us to make some new friends, anyway.”

“Good point!” said Not a blue woman.

“We should invite Valerie!” I said.

“Definitely!” said Not a blue woman happily.

“She’s a nice lady, isn’t she?” said Satellite Ears.

“Oh yeah!” said Not a blue woman.

“How about we have this party on the weekend?”  I suggested.  “We all have time off work on Saturday night, I think.”

“Excellent idea!” said Not a blue woman.  “Let’s do it!”


The next day was a Thursday.  I continued eating coloured licorice pieces at SimLabs.  When I got home, I was very happy to see that we had a chess table!  It was out on the back lawn near the beds.  I wanted to play chess right away, but I was too tired, so I slept in one of the beds for a while first.  When I woke up, it was 9 PM and it was dark out, but for some reason there’s always enough light outside at night to be able to see just about anything you could see during the day, so I figured I’d have no trouble playing chess in the dark.

Not a blue woman came outside.  “I see you’ve found our new chess table,” he said.

“I’m so excited!” I said.  “Would you like to play chess with me?”


Not a blue woman and I sat down at the chess table and played for a while.  While we were playing, Not a blue woman told me that he had been promoted again that day.  Now he would work as a bookie, and would be at work from 11 in the morning until 6 at night.

“I work on Saturdays, though,” he said, “and we’re having the party on Saturday, but we can just have the party after 6 o’clock.”

“Good idea,” I said.

“I can’t wait!” said Not a blue woman.  “I’m so excited.”

“Are you going to invite your friend Valerie?” I asked him.

“Of course I will!” he said.

After a while, Not a blue woman went inside, and I continued practicing chess moves at the chess table.


The next day, I went in to work.  I was testing out some new licorice colours when my boss came into the room.

“Bananamouth, congratulations,” he said to me.  “You’ve just been promoted to Lab Assistant!  Come with me to Lab Three.”

He led me into one of the main lab rooms, which was on the ground floor.

“You’ll be helping out with experiments in here,” said my boss.  “You’ll help the scientists in here with writing reports on experiments, and getting equipment ready, and maybe mixing some chemicals.”  He introduced me to the staff of Lab Three.

“What will my new working hours be?” I asked my boss.

4 PM to 10 PM, and you get weekends off.”

I spent the rest of the day fetching beakers and test tubes for the scientists in Lab Three.  When I got home, I worked on improving my chess game for a while, did the newspaper crossword, and then discussed the next day’s party with my brothers.

“Do you think we should get anything new for our party?” asked Not a blue woman.

“I don’t think we need anything new,” I said.

“Actually,” said Satellite Ears, “It would be nice if we had more chairs of some sort.  It’d give our guests more places to sit.”

“Oh, that’s a good idea,” I agreed.  We got an inexpensive brown armchair, which was put in the living room, and one more wooden dining chair with white legs, which was put at the dining table on the lawn.

“Should we get any special food for the party?” Not a blue woman said.

“I think that what we have in the fridge is enough for everyone,” said Satellite Ears.  “We can just cook something that’s in the fridge.   Or if we don’t want to do that, we can just put out a bunch of Instant Meals or something.”

“I wish we had a DJ machine” said Satellite Ears.

“Well, maybe someday we’ll have enough money for one,” said Not a blue woman.

“I can hardly wait!” I said.  “Our first party!”

“And hopefully not the last!” said Not a blue woman.


I spent most of that Saturday reading and playing chess with Satellite Ears.  I did a bit of studying, too.  Those books in our bookcase sure are educational!  I studied cleaning and mechanical repair, mostly.  When I was finished with the books, I turned on the radio and practiced my dancing for the party.  Then I got tired of dancing and sat down on the couch.

I sat on the couch eating a bag of chips until 6 PM when Not a blue woman came home from work.

“Yay!” shouted Not a blue woman when he came inside.  “Let’s get this party started!  I’ll phone all of our party guests and invite them over.”

A few minutes later, Not a blue woman had phoned all of the people he wanted to invite.  We waited for our guests to arrive.

Carmen Patch was the first person to come.  Shortly after, Kendra McCarthy and Gary Thompson came, followed by Nancy Philippine.  Finally, Valerie Custer arrived.  Not a blue woman looked really happy to see her.

“All right!” said Satellite Ears.  “Let’s get this party started!”

I turned on the radio to the pop music station.  I danced the Smustle with all the party guests while Satellite Ears washed some dishes in the sink and Not a blue woman cooked some hamburgers for the party.

“The food is ready!” called Not a blue woman when he had finished cooking the hamburgers.  He put a plate of burgers on a counter and each guest took one.  Some people sat at the outdoor dining table to eat their burgers, some sat on the couch, and some stood in the living room.

I went outside and sat with Valerie and Not a blue woman at our dining table.

“I’m really enjoying your party, Not a blue woman!” Valerie said.

“Thanks, Valerie,” said Not a blue woman.  “It’s the first party that we’ve ever thrown.  I wish we had a DJ booth and a barbecue.”

“Don’t worry!” said Valerie.  “You’re doing just fine!”

After we all finished our hamburgers, we all stood around talking to each other.  Satellite Ears talked to Nancy about TV shows.  Gary was telling me a story he had heard about people getting abducted by aliens.  I told him about how Not a blue woman got his name, and then Gary showed off his ability to play air guitar.  Not a blue woman and Valerie talked for a long, long time.

Later on, it became time for the party to end.  Our guests told us that they had had a good time!

“Hooray!” said Not a blue woman after the party was over and all of our guests had gone back home.  “Valerie said that maybe we could go on a date sometime!”

“Good for you!”  I said.

“She’s amazing!” Not a blue woman said happily.

“Will you have your date at home, or out in town somewhere?” asked Satellite Ears.

“Hmm, I don’t know,” said Not a blue woman.  “It might be easier to have it at home, but it also might be nice to go out somewhere with her.  I guess I’ll think it over.”


The next week, Not a blue woman had a date with Valerie at our home while I was out at my lab assistant job.  When I got home, he told me that the date had gone really well.

“We hugged romantically, and we shared many tender kisses…” Not a blue woman was saying.

“Okay, okay!” I said.  “Spare me the details, please!”

“Oh, it’s okay,” said Not a blue woman.  “There’s really not much more to say about it, anyway.  We didn’t make out or anything.”

“Not a blue woman!” I said.  “Really!”

“Okay, okay,” Not a blue woman laughed.

Later on that same week, Not a blue woman went out on a date with Valerie to a local restaurant.  He brought her home after the date.  They were both laughing and talking, and it looked like they’d had a great time.

“How was it?” I asked them.

“The food was terrible!” said Valerie.  “But we had a great time anyway!”  She smiled at Not a blue woman, who smiled back.  Well, his mouth is always sort of smiling anyway, but he was smiling really hugely this time.  They then proceeded to make out on the front lawn.  I went inside and danced the Smustle with Satellite Ears.  Soon Valerie and Not a blue woman joined us in dancing.  They danced together long after Satellite Ears and I had gotten tired of dancing and were sitting down on the couch.

“They sure do like each other, don’t they?” Satellite Ears said to me.

“Yep,” I said.  “They sure do.”


That Saturday, Not a blue woman and I were sitting on our living room couch in the morning.

“What should we do today?”  I asked.  “Dance to the radio?  Read books?”

“I think I’ll invite Valerie over and get to know her a bit better!” said Not a blue woman.  He went over to the phone and called Valerie.

“She should be over in a few minutes,” said Not a blue woman when he got off the phone.

“You guys sure are good friends,” I said.

“Yes!” said Not a blue woman.  “I wonder if I can invite Valerie to live with us.  You wouldn’t mind, would you?”

“Oh, does she live alone now?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Not a blue woman.

“Hmm, it seems that most townsfolk are single and live by themselves,” I remarked.  “I guess they get lonely.  Sure, it’d be great if Valerie lived with us!”

“We need to be careful, though, and ask her at just the right moment,” said Not a blue woman, “or she might reject our offer.”

“Good point,” I said.

We heard the doorbell ring.  Not a blue woman rushed to answer it.  He opened the door and Valerie came in, and they hugged passionately.

“I’ll go make some pancakes,” I said.

“Yum!” said Not a blue woman.

I made a stack of pancakes.  Not a blue woman and Valerie and I each ate a pancake while sitting at the dining table outside.  Then I put all our dishes in the kitchen sink.

When I got out of the kitchen and went into the living room, Not a blue woman and Valerie were standing there.

“Valerie,” Not a blue woman said, “We’ve been friends for a while now, I guess.  Would you like to live here with me and my brothers?”

“I’d love to!” exclaimed Valerie.

“Hooray!” shouted Not a blue woman, and he hugged Valerie.

Just then, Not a blue woman’s carpool car drove up to our house.  “I have to go to work now,” said Not a blue woman.

“I don’t work until tomorrow, so you won’t see me at work today,” said Valerie.

“See you later, dear!” said Not a blue woman, and he went outside and got into the carpool car.

Valerie and I stood outside.  “I’ll have to move all my stuff here to this house,” said Valerie.

“It’s great to have you living with us, Valerie,” I said.

Valerie brought an upright piano, a small palm tree in a pot, a ketchup sculpture, and some money to the Goodman household.  We put the ketchup sculpture and the palm tree out on the front lawn, and we put the piano in a small spare room in our house.

Satellite Ears came inside from the backyard, and looked at the piano.  “Hmm, we haven’t put anything in this spare room before,” he said.  “I guess now it’s the piano room!”

“I think it was actually supposed to be a bedroom,” I said.  “Oh well.  We have a perfectly good bedroom in the backyard.”

“That reminds me,” said Valerie, “I’ll need to buy a bed.”

“Yes,” I said, “We only have three beds right now.”

“Maybe we can sell one of our three single beds, and buy a double bed for you and Not a blue woman,” suggested Satellite Ears.

“Oh my!” giggled Valerie.  “I don’t know…..”

“Would it be less expensive than buying two single beds?” I asked.

“Maybe,” said Valerie.

We sold one of the single beds and bought a nice double bed with high pointed wooden bedposts and red covers.  We put the double bed out on the back lawn with the two remaining single beds.

Not a blue woman came home from work.  Valerie went outside and greeted him on the front lawn.  “We’ve added some things to the house while you were out,” she said.  “I hope you like the additions!”

Not a blue woman looked at the ketchup sculpture on the front lawn.  “Umm, very…artistic,” he commented.  “It makes me think of hamburgers and hotdogs.”

He went inside and looked at the piano.  “Wow!” he said.  He sat down and started playing the piano.  He was really good!

When Not a blue woman finished playing the piano, Valerie said to him, “Wow, you’re so good at playing the piano!  Have you ever played piano before?”

“Never!” said Not a blue woman.  “But I guess I can play piano well because I’m an artistic person.  I’ve been doing a lot of painting in my spare time.  I like doing creative things.”

“Wow,” I said, “I didn’t know that good painters are automatically also good piano players.”

“It’s a bit weird, isn’t it?” said Not a blue woman.

Valerie and Not a blue woman and I went out to the backyard.

“Oh, I see that we have a double bed now!” said Not a blue woman.  “This is nice!”

“I hoped you would think so,” said Valerie.  She winked at me.


Valerie lived with my brothers and I in the Goodman house for a few weeks.  I enjoyed having her around.  She was always happy and always kind to everyone.  She and Not a blue woman seemed to like each other more every day.

One day, Not a blue woman and Valerie wanted to tell something to Satellite Ears and I.  We all stood in the backyard.

“Valerie and I would like to move out, by ourselves,” said Not a blue woman.  “This house is a bit small for even three people, let alone four.”

“Okay,” I said.

“Okay,” said Satellite Ears.  “Will you be taking the piano with you?”

“We were thinking of taking the piano and the easel,” said Valerie.  “And the double bed, of course.”

“What about the ketchup sculpture?” asked Satellite Ears.

“Hmm,” said Valerie.  “Would you guys like to keep it here?”

“I like it,” I said.  “It adds character to our front lawn.  I think that we’ll keep it here for now, if that’s okay with you.”

Valerie and Not a blue woman collected the things they wanted to take with them, and phoned the moving company.  A moving van came to our house a few minutes later, and Not a blue woman and Valerie put all their things in it, and got in.  They waved to me and Satellite Ears, and then the van drove away.

Satellite Ears and I stood outside on the front lawn watching the moving van disappear into the distance.  “Well, I guess it’s just the two of us now,” I said.

“Yep,” said Satellite Ears.

“So, what do we do now?” I said.

“Are you up to having an all-night Smustle-dancing party?” said Satellite Ears.

“Sure!” I said.  We went inside, turned on the radio, and danced all night long.  When morning came, we jumped on the couch for another few hours, and then we had toaster pastries for breakfast.

We sat outside at the dining table eating our toaster pastries.  “I hope Not a blue woman and Valerie will be happy in their new house,” I said.

“I’m sure they will be,” said Satellite Ears.