They financed their quest with Alec Baldwin’s credit card. Bi-Ju-Ju had swiped it on the last day of his stay in Uncle Alec's Malibu guest house as a kind of parting shot to the man who had let him live rent free for more than three months. If not for the fact that he’d also devoured the famous actor’s flower garden, he might still be living in the lap of luxury rather than tooling around America with an angry Postmaster General.
“I smell roses,” C Everett Koop Jr. announced as he steered the van into the parking lot of a Circle K. “Damn it, Billy. Did you expel gas?”
“What kind of gas?”
“Any kind. Hey, what are you eating? And why is the flower missing from my lapel?”
Billy looked out the window, avoiding the Postmaster's glare as he finished chewing his snack.
“Oh for god’s sake," the Postmaster barked. "Run into that store and get us some real food.”
“Okeedoke,” Billy Baldwin Jr. Jr. said as he climbed down from the van. He was already reaching into his back pocket for the platinum card as he passed the old man in the rocking chair.
The Postmaster sat in the driver’s seat growling to himself until Billy returned with several bags of ice "to keep us cool", a bag of Cheetoes, thirty dollars worth of beef jerky, a two liter bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper, and a bouquet of flowers.
The Postmaster snatched the bag containing the beef jerky. “We’ll never find Jenna this way. Go ask that old coot in the rocker if he's seen her."
"I'll do you one better," Billy said. "I'll show him a picture." He sauntered over to the old man and lifted his shirt. “Hey, old man. Have you seen this woman?”
The old man leaned forward and squinted as he inspected the pale mound of paunch.
“You know something, Sonny,” He paused to spit tobacco juice out of the side of his mouth. “They have these things nowadays called cameras that can capture a person’s likeness. You don’t have to draw on your belly.”
“I told him that,” C Everett Jr. barked.
The old man glanced up at the red-bearded figure leaning out of the driver's side window. The Postmaster scowled and then disappeared into the van.
Have you seen her or not?” Billy asked.
The old man rocked and silently puffed at his pipe. “I’ve never seen that vile temptress before in my life," he said.
"Do you want a bite of my Hydrangea?" Billy asked.
After several hours driving randomly through the desert, they found the entrance of the cave.
Bi-Ju-Ju sniffed the air. "Jenna's been to this place. I can smell her perfume."
Jenna had, in fact, visited the cave six months earlier. The cave's occupant, a Star Wars-crazed hermit who called himself Obi Juan, had tried everything he could think of to scrub away the scent of the girl who had stolen his heart, but her perfume was cheap and extremely powerful. Even the desert wind lacked the force necessary to eradicate its lingering odor.
"I bought her that perfume," Bi-Ju-Ju said, his voice dripping with nostalgia. "I dropped a quarter into a gumball machine and out it came."
Postmaster Koop J. furrowed his bushy eyebrows and scowled at his younger, dumber companion. He was tempted to deliver a ferocious karate chop to the little nimrod's neck and rid himself of his competitor once and for all. Postmaster Koop J., a.k.a. Karate Master Koop J., a.k.a. Jam Master Koopy Doop, was a 22nd degree black belt. He knew he could kill Bi-Ju-Ju with a single sliver of ear hair if he had to, and there was plenty more where that came from, but unfortunately he needed Billy. Back when they had set off on this little journey, they had taken Billy's van. The Postmaster wasn't insured to drive it. As long as they were in that van, Billy would have to remain alive.
"Curses," he said and scowled again. He slammed the door of the van and headed toward the entrance.
The cave had fallen into disrepair of late. Now that the love of his life was gone, Obi Juan had given up on cleaning. Everything, it seemed, had changed since that woman walked into his life
It was Jenna who had broken the news to Obi-Juan that George Lucas had continued to make sequels to Star Wars. It was a revelation that rocked him to the core. These last thirty five years, he'd spent his life in isolation, training in the ways of the Force and modeling himself after the old Jedi master when he could have been watching the entire Star Wars franchise over and over again. What a waste! Jenna had showed him that the gaping hole in his life could now be filled with more Star Wars.
He fled the cave as fast as he could. His first stop, upon returning to the city, was at his old bank.
Back in 1977, Obi-Juan, then known simply as Juan, had invested three hundred dollars in a local bank. He did it not as an investment but to serve a civic duty. But after he dumped his old life and retired to the desert to study the force, the bank was purchased by a larger regional institution. The stock split and the price rose. Then an even larger bank bought the regional bank. The stock split again and once again the price began to climb. Then that bank was bought up by a multi-national corporation. The stock split yet again and the price skyrocketed. Obi-Juan’s original investment climbed to something like four hundred thousand dollars. Obi-Juan was rich and he didn’t even know it! Then the big bank was bought out by Washington Mutual. By the time Obi-Juan heard the news his stock was worthless.
Luckily, he had also invested three hundred dollars in a regular savings account. With the accrued interest plus the principal he was able to fix up his cave.
The world changed a great deal while he was gone. A universe of promotional merchandise now opened up before him. He bought all the posters and action figures for the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Oh how much time had been lost that he could have spent learning to talk like Yoda! He bought a used VCR and watched the movies over and over again. Then he discovered DVD players and digitally re-mastered DVDs with bonus features. He cursed himself for failing to track the advance of technology and for wasting his money on outdated equipment. Then he learned all about the internet and that he could basically get all the same content for free if he looked hard enough. He threw his VCR and DVD player into the junk pile behind his cave. Then he saw the new Star Wars movies and that pretty much ended his interest in Star Wars. After that, he started getting into The Lord of the Rings. Too bad there was no one to share his new interest with.
When Bi-Ju-Ju and C-Ju found him, Obi Juan had stripped down to a loin cloth and was busy learning to speak like a Gollum. “Who are you?” he squealed.
His visitors were in no mood for role-playing. Bi-Ju-Ju leapt across the couch and put Obi-Juan in a sleeper hold. C Everett Jr. marched up to him. “We know she was here. Where is she?” he cried.
Obi-Juan’s eyes widened. “My precious.”
“She’s our precious too,” Bi-Ju-Ju howled.
C-Ju slapped the Gollum hard across the face. “I said, where is she?”
“Smeagol doesn’t know,” Obi-Juan, or rather, Smeagol squealed. “Smeagol loved Jenna. She left Smeagol alone in his cave.”
“What should we do?” Billy asked.
“There’s only one thing to do,” C Everett said as he stroked his beard. “We’ve got to keep looking. To your van!”
Billy tossed Smeagol on the couch and followed.
They were three boobs on the loose with no idea where they were going and no idea how to get there if they did (They couldn't read maps). But they each knew something. Deep down, each man knew that things were about to get really super freaking oily.
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5