Top: Mark VII Throwing Scone
Bottom: Royal Crumpet and Jam Anti-Personnel Device
Written 2 July, 2008
A Three-Donut Vacation
XVI: Scone Wars
“The demoiselles sit in the shade and dream of framboise filling,” said Sweetie. “Who writes this dialogue? You’re late, BonBon!”
“It could not be helped, Mme. Fashionista Bandit. I was not authorized to sign.”
Sweetie must have triggered her Mystitool, for suddenly the library was filled with harsh pink light. When my eyes adjusted (Sweetie keeps her light set to an intensity of 50 to stun her adversaries), I could make out two figures. One was short, with Daliesque mustaches. The other was my SL brother.
“Scaggs. Mordecai Scaggs,” he said in his best Sean Connery accent. “MI-99.”
“Mordecai!” I exclaimed. “What are you doing here? You mean MI-6, right?”
“MI-99,” he said. “Special Virtual Division. I’m here on Her Majesty’s business. And Brown’s. Which is one and the same, since UPS was high bidder for the Crown.”
“You’re no longer the Queen’s Own Rakehell?” Sweetie said in amazement.
“I was forced out of the Rakehell division when I married,” Mordecai said. “It gave me an unacceptable air of respectability. Or so said all the other rakehells. Those pretenders!”
“Just a minute, said Sweetie. “Before we go any further with the boring background discussion, nice outfit, Mordecai!”
Mordecai did a turn to show off his virtual UPS uniform. “Kacy made it for me. It turned out so well we’ve started a line of Second Life clothing.”
“Oh!” Sweetie said. “We are soooo there!”
“So, can you sign for this package? Time is money.” Mordecai held out a clipboard.
“I’m confused,” I said, reading up the page to just before Sweetie’s clever twin derailments of the conversation. “Brown is the monarch?”
“Well, the Queen is still the titular head of the government,” said Mordecai, “but yes, for all practical purposes.”
“But why are you here?”
Sweetie sighed. “Honey, do you remember your last trip to the post office?”
I thought. “Yes. They asked me if I wanted cash back or donuts.”
“Same as on the planes,” Sweetie said. “No more peanuts; donuts instead.”
“Right,” said Mordecai. “The takeover of the U.S. government has given Krispy Kreme the means to distribute its disgusting sweet pastries for free.”
“Via the TSA and the post office,” I said.
“Indeed. And now they’re pressuring UPS to deliver their bloody* donuts free of charge. And so, in order to compete with the U.S. Postal Service, it has been decided: UPS must have a signature pastry.
“But which pastry would it be?” Mordecai continued. “Well, we have a surfeit of scones. They’re everywhere. We can’t eat them all ourselves—most of us don’t even like them— and we just can’t seem to move them on the international market. In fact, Greece responded with a major push of baklava. So we’re launching the Scone Initiative.”
“Scones?” I asked. “Those little British toothbreakers?”
“No, no!” said Mordecai. “You’re thinking of crumpets! Don’t get me started on the Crumpet Faction! They’ve been nothing but trouble. Scones—most of them, anyway—are triangular.”
“I’m even more confused,” I said. Why are you here at TSA secret headquarters? And why is Mssr. BonBon here?”
“If you’d just sign this receipt, you’d find out,” said Mordecai, holding out the clipboard once again. Sweetie grabbed it and signed.
“The Torley faction is in alliance with UPS,” she said. “And so Mordecai has brought us a box of scones.”
“In four flavors,” said Mordecai. “But no crumpets.”
“But—dare I ask—” I said, “what we’re supposed to do with them?”
“These are special scones,” Mordecai said, “left over from the Falklands War.”
“We’re going to use them as weapons,” said Sweetie. “We need something that won’t show up on TSA’s metal detectors.”
“Right,” said Mordecai. “They’re hard as a rock, although passable to eat if you soak them in tea. These are English throwing scones. You use them like THIS!” And quick as a flash, a pastry was in his hand. He threw it. It spun like a boomerang, and, like a boomerang, it circled and returned to him. He caught it.
“They’ve been sharpened to a razor’s edge,” he said. “If I wasn’t wearing a special glove, that bommerangascone would have taken my fingers.”
* My brother Mordecai does not actually use the epithet bloody. We’ve no idea why.