Saturday, March 31, 2018

Return Of The Bunny Bandit

Daddy Steve:  You may recall that last Easter Frank ran amok and ate every chocolate bunny ear in sight.  This Easter, the boys were all determined to prevent a repeat.  They started planning their strategy early...

Giancarlo: We'll wear Frank out the day before, so he won't be able to get up before the rest of us on Easter morning.
Robin: Luke, since you're Frank's bunk-mate, we'll put you in charge of keeping an eye on him during the night--as an added precaution.
Luke: You can count on Krakatoa and me, right boy?
Krakatoa: Yip!

On the Saturday before Easter, they put Operation Save The Bunny Ears into effect.

Ezra: Hey Frank, wanna race around the house?  Winner gets the last cupcake!
Frank: You're on!

Sebastian: How about a game of 'Tag', Frank?  I'll be 'it.'
Frank: Sure!

Tyler: Frank, come play soccer with us!
Frank: Eh, maybe later....zzzzzzzzzzzz
Mikko, whispering: It's working!

That evening...

Robin, whispering: Remember, Luke, you and Krakatoa have to watch Frank tonight so he doesn't get up to any shenanigans.
Luke: We'll keep a constant lookout.  Um, but if we do happen to nod off for just a second, I have a backup plan.  I'm going to tie one end of this string to my hand and the other to Frank's foot.
Robin: Brilliant!

So, come Easter morning...

Giancarlo: Well, Luke, how'd it go?
Luke: Operation Save The Bunny Ears was a success!  He never moved once all night.  Right Krakatoa?
Krakatoa: Yip! Yip!
Robin: It looks like we really outsmarted him this time.
Blake: Hmmmmm.  I'm not so sure; since when does Frank sleep with a cap on?

Giancarlo: Hey!  It's just a pile of clothes and a Jack O'Lantern head!
Emile: Sacre bleu!  'E 'as done eet again!

Luke: B-b-but how?  Krakatoa never made a sound all night.
Blake: What's that on the floor?

Giancarlo: An empty bag of 'Yip-Yums,' Krakatoa's favorite treat!

Luke: Oh, no.  Did he bribe you, boy?
Krakatoa: >whine<
Blake: I didn't think Frank was that clever.
Robin: Oh, well.  I don't suppose anyone will complain about a few missing chocolate bunny ears.

Holly Belle: HEY!  What's the big idea?!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The New Couple

Daddy Steve: To review: We have two sets of twins here in Gregoropolis.

Self-proclaimed twins Sasha and Miguel (who really aren't twins at all, but don't try to tell them that)...

Sasha: Can't you see how much we look alike?

...and nearly identical twins Tyler Charles and Charles Tyler (who are definitely not identical in temperament).  Tyler is the family daredevil, while nerdy Charles prefers computers and frogs.

Tyler and Charles (both thinking): He's such a strange kid.

We now have a third pair of twins living here in Gregoropolis!  Twins because they are both from 1969 and they both arrived on the same day, although from different places.  Ready to meet them?

Yes, Gregoropolis is no longer an all-boy household.  Before we get to the little miss, let's start with her brother.  His name is Oliver, which is appropriate as his life has taken some rather Dickensian twists.  When I first saw him on eBay, this is what he looked like:

We all have differing ideas of what looks nice, but I couldn't help feeling this was just not a good look for him.  Normally I'm not swayed by hard luck cases, but he just looked so pathetic that I decided if I could get him for a reasonable price I would rescue him.

The reason the poor guy was wearing a wig was because he was one of those unfortunate brunettes who had lost of his hair.  Save for a few bits of stubble, he was completely bald.

Oliver: Please, sir, may I have some more hair?

Despite his lack of hair, he was quite appealing with very nice eye paint.  Note the little suggestions of lashes at the edges of his eyelids.  I call these 'eye wings'.

As soon as he arrived, I started working on solutions to his hair loss.  I initially thought of having him re-rooted; I thought he would look sensational as a redhead.  However, I have seen so very few boy re-roots that it's difficult to commit to that kind of expense without having an idea of the outcome.  Marti Murphy suggested trying a Prince Gregor wig, and I remembered that I did have a spare PG wig.  I really like the PG wigs and it seemed worth a try, though I wondered if it might be too big or not come down far enough to cover the empty rooting holes. 

The wig turned out to be a big success and far exceeded my expectations.  It fits quite snug so there's no chance of it going askew, which is surprising considering he's a bit smaller than my PG boy Robin.  The wig hides all of the rooting holes, and I think the light brown color really suits him.  It's always nice to find a simple, easy solution to a problem.

Oliver: Oh, thank you!  This is so much better!

Oliver's sister is named Holly Belle.  She is a 1969 gingham girl and Gregoropolis' first girl resident!

Meet Holly Belle

I think she's very pretty in a girl-next-door sort of way.  She's in wonderful condition, as is her full original outfit and gold tag.  I believe she was probably stored away for much of her life.  Despite a reasonable opening bid, she seemed to generate zero interest on eBay.  I suspect the blond gingham girls are so ubiquitous that they sometimes get lost in the shuffle.  I kept watching her and wondering why no one had bid on her.  I then began to wonder if anyone would ever bid on her.  Then I wondered if I bid on her whether or not anyone would bid against me.  You can see where this is going...

The Girl Next Door

Though not planned, Holly makes a nice addition to our family.  One of the reasons we created Gregoropolis was to showcase the boys because we think it's fair to say that they get less attention than the girls.  Diversity is important and it's good to have a female perspective.  

Holly is a very confident little girl, and not the least bit shy about speaking her mind.  She will be more than a match for her brothers.  They're intrigued by this 'exotic' new resident; although there has been the odd grumble that she can be a tiny bit bossy at times.  

For her part, Holly thinks it's interesting to be living with all these 'kids' (in her mind, boys = kids whereas girls are something entirely different).

Holly Belle: It's nice to change into something new (a gift from the generous girls in Sasha Village).  I'm going to need a lot more clothes, though, Daddy Steve!

Holly Belle's name may sound Christmas-y, but it's actually a little tongue-in-cheek tribute.  You may remember how I got Sasha, my first Gregor, when I was a child.  My mother bought him for me at Dayton's Department Store in downtown Minneapolis.  Dayton's is no more, but was a beloved institution in Minnesota, one that is still remembered fondly.  

One bit of Dayton's history is the in-store phone directory known as 'Holly Bell.'  The Minneapolis store was vast and something of a labyrinth.  If you were a shopper searching for lampshades or wallets or dolls, you need only pick up the nearest Holly Bell phone and a very pleasant and knowledgeable operator would tell you where they were located.  If you were to mention the name 'Holly Bell' to any longtime Minneapolis resident, they would know exactly who you were talking about.

Holly Belle: Yes, go ahead, ask me.  I'm quite knowledgeable!

That's the story of our newest residents.  Gregoropolis might never be the same!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Walk Among The Spiders

Daddy Steve:  The calendar may say that spring is just around the corner, but the view out the window presents a far different reality.  It still looks a lot like winter where we live.

We're all eager to get outside, but we make do with what we have.  For Rolf and Paul, this means taking a little stroll around 'The Jungle': the kitchen window.  The two large spider plants do make it look a bit like a mini-jungle.  They're the only house plants that Daddy Steve has any success with.

Rolf is not a big fan of spiders, but Paul assures him that these spiders are nothing to be frightened of.

Rolf: Eeeek!  Spinnen!

Paul: Relax, Rolf, these spiders won't chase you around.  They the clean the air, too!

Rolf: Ah, das ist schön zu hören.
(Oh, that's nice to hear)

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Daddy Steve: My little intellectuals Patrick and Ravi have decided to form a literary discussion group.  They've named it the New Bloomsbury Group, after the famous English literary set.  I'm not sure just how much they actually know about the original Bloomsbury Group, although considering these two, probably a fair amount.  I think more than anything, they just liked the name.

Patrick: It all sounds rather posh, don't you think?
Ravi: Oh yes.  Definitely.

They spent a great deal of time crafting their mission statement.

Ravi: "Dedicated to fine literature, intriguing ideas, and other stuff."  How's that sound?
Patrick: Yes!  I like the 'other stuff' part.  Good idea to keep it open-ended.
Ravi: That's what I thought, too.

They next began organizing for their first meeting.

Ravi: So far the attendees are you and me, and Blake is interested, too.  Providing we talk about Harry Potter.
Patrick: Well, Harry Potter certainly is fine literature, with lots of intriguing ideas, and plenty of 'other stuff.'  We really could use at least one more person, though.  Three doesn't seem like much of a group.  Herbert will certainly attend.  He's a good listener, but he can be rather shy in groups.  What about Tyler or Mikko?
Ravi: I asked, but they said they were far too busy searching for a diamond mine in the basement.
PatrickAh.  Those two can be so illogical.  Perhaps Blake has some ideas.

Blake: Well, what about Frank?
Ravi: Do you really think Frank would be interested?
Blake: Oh, I think with the right enticements he could be.

Ravi: Hey Frank, we're wondering if you would like to take part in our little salon.
Frank: I don't need a haircut.
Patrick: It's a literary discussion group.
Frank: Oh.  You mean books and stuff?  Hmmm...I'm kinda busy.
Blake: Of course, there will be refreshments.
Frank: Well, why didn't you say so?  I think my social calendar has some free spots!

And so, at the inaugural meeting...

Ravi: So, Frank, what is your interpretation of the poem?  Frank?
Frank: Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Blake: Frank's in a doughnut coma.
Patrick: It looks like we'll have to cut back on some of the 'other stuff.'

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Here Comes The Spider-Man!

Daddy Steve: I recently bought a really cute pair of Spider-Man sweatpants for the boys on eBay.  Frank was given the honor of wearing them first (wearing new clothes first is a very big deal here in Gregoropolis).  He was absolutely thrilled, and has spent the last three days singing the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon theme song non-stop...and I do mean non-stop.

Frank:  Spider-Man, Spider-Man
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size
Catches thieves just like flies
Look out!
Here comes the Spider-Man

Frank may be quite tuneless as a singer, but he makes up for it in enthusiasm. And volume.

Frank: Is he strong?
Listen, bud
He's got radioactive blood
Can he swing from a thread?
Take a look overhead
Hey, there
There goes the Spider-Man

Anthony: What on earth is all the racket in here?!
John Martin: It's just Spider-Frank

He even made up a dance to go with his singing, which seems to consist of random flailing about.

Frank: In the chill of night
At the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light
He arrives just in time

Paul: Is Frank okay?
Rolf: ???

Frank: Spider-Man, Spider-Man
Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Wealth and fame
He's ignored
Action is his reward

Ravi: Well...that's different
Patrick: So illogical

We're all hoping that we will be saved by his short attention span, but so far that hasn't happened.

Frank: To him, life is great big bang-up
Whenever there's a hang-up
You'll find the Spider-Man

Ezra: How long will he keep this up?
Blake: It's painful to watch and listen to.
Benjamin Roy: Maybe that's how Spider-Man gets the bad guys to surrender.

Copyright: Lyrics©Original Writer and Publisher