Friday, July 17, 2009

The Ambassador Interviews Alastair

Prentice and the Embarrassed Ambassador were very pleased that Winter was able to arrange for Alastair Lupin to agree to be interviewed. He had an excellent reputation. The Ambassador however was concerned about other things. He wondered, for instance if he was going native. There were indeed more and more Poppets arriving in Poppetropolis everyday and some chose to settle elsewhere but all of them stopped by to at least check in. And that was unifying, and indeed it was Poppety, but as he expressed to Prentice, he was beginning to wonder if the area around the Embassy was a bit too much like the Silly Humans he was being an Ambassador to and for. Was it really natural for Poppets to have things like houses and cafes that were Poppet sized? Shouldn't Poppets be observers rather than participants?

Prentice did think about it for a bit. After all one couldn't really "Have a Poppet Day" if one were not "keeping it real" as it were, and being true to Poppet Culture. Upon asking the construction folk if they thought that the local Poppets were assimilating, they were reassured that as much as the Poppets might be doing things that Humans do they were still doing things in ways that Humans wouldn't quite do them. Aside from which, the construction workers pointed out, the Embassy is on Sesame Street, there are all sorts of beings here and size is very fluid.

Prentice thanked them but the Ambassador was still not reassured.

Meanwhile across town Alastair prepared for his interview with his children helping. The oldest helped him get his best cravat and the middle child wanted to know why the Poppets were interested in working with him. " I thought they only worked with each other and the Brains?". Alastair patiently explained that an Embassy meant that the people who made one specifically wanted to work with the people who were already where the Embassy was going to be. So that meant that the Poppets wanted to work with muppets, and mice, and brains, and birds, and grouches, and monsters and even with crazy humans who ran the historical society. But to do that sometimes they needed help from locals.

The children agreed that their father was very good at helping so it would be an excellent choice.


Alastair was a bit nervous before the interview. He was a quiet and introverted rabbit and the nature of things had changed greatly even before the Poppets had arrived. He wondered if his brand of traditionalism would fit in with the culture that was growing up around him. Instinctively he knew, there was a way that bunny rabbits and Poppets fit together. The differences would make the combination interesting.

Prentice greeted him at the door. They were very pleased to see him. Alastair complemented the furniture and the dedication to keeping the local architecture.
The Ambassador was working on the renovations needed to make the space bigger on the inside than the out, and once that was done, they would have more time to personalize things. It took a great deal of energy to accomplish that and a large team of people, poppets and brains.

As a Matter of Fact, Prentice pointed out, that was one of the reasons they were hoping he would come work with them. There was a great deal of entertaining, and interviewing and paperwork to be done and it was more than one Poppet or even two could do alone.

Upstairs in the office, the Ambassador was reviewing the plans from the Bilaterians for the expandable park.

And getting reports about new residents.

And trying to figure out if he should sponsor a party.

And seeing about getting permits for the Skeleton to get a Flower Shop.

And looking into the catering contracts for the Poppet Cafe.

And being asked if he would like to go Syracuse to speak about "How to rip up a city block and make lots of glorious noise while altering time and space." and also be a guest on a panel about "How to fit a three ring circus and elephant parade into a single dumpster." by one O.T.G. for an annual convention.

And seeing if there was a problem with the Poufle Pub's liquor license and inspection.

And scheduling in the theater season.

And reviewing the Petition from the Associated Organization of Perfectly Content Scientists.

And many, many, many other bits and pieces of things. And this didn't even count the bits and pieces of things that he had already handed off to his Cousin Prentice.


So the Ambassador could be forgiven for looking a bit worried when Alastair was introduced.

They got along very well for they both liked books, and they both believed in education, and they both thought that using the proper silverware should not be that much of a mystery as long as the host wasn't being mean. It should, of course, always be working from the outside in with dessert on top of the plate.

Alastair for his part was able to help fill in the Ambassador and Prentice on the local traditions such as impromptu musical numbers and sudden story telling. Things changed size depending on the angles, and settings had been known to go from urban to suddenly pastoral or magical for a three block radius. It was a bit like building on a fault line populated by the faerie.

It did explain some of the unforeseen plumbing problems they were having with the building.

Alastair was offered the position of Embarrassed Attache and taught the official motto "We Apologize for the Inconvenience." Upon acceptance the Ambassador sat him right down at the desk and gave him access to all of the required files.

"If you wouldn't mind sorting this all out into some kind of schedule? I'm terribly afraid I'm already late for some meetings and a prophesy or two."

Prentice offered to stay and help. The Ambassador hurried downstairs, after telling his new attache how pleased he was to have one, especially one with such a lovely cravat, and promising to bring him back a coffee and danish from the Cafe.

However upon opening the door to make it to his next place to be, he very nearly tripped over something he had never encountered before.



"We are here." they announced.

Why yes. Yes, they were indeed here.

"We are small."

Quite.

"We shall look at things!"

Well of course, that's only natural.

"That is all."

Then they brushed past him into the Embassy and began looking quite energetically.

"Alastair!"

"Yes Sir, I'll be right on it Sir, Mini Poppets at teatime, I've already got it in the schedule. You should be on your way Sir."

"How . . . . .? Oh Dear. I'm really rather late. "

Alastair came down the stairs with a selection of mini sandwiches and a small pot of tea putting it down infront of the fireplace for the new arrivals and shooed the Ambassador out the door. "Here Sir, take my grandfather's pocket watch with you. It should protect you against randomly punctual royalty."

And the Ambassador found himself walking down the street suddenly feeling much better about things. Perhaps this was what Attaches were for, when reality suddenly changed radically right underneath you? It really did make it better to have one. He did wonder where the Mini Poppets came from though. He hoped they would like it here. Despite the risks of assimilation he most certainly did.



1 comment:

Jessie said...

I love your world. You make me want cotton candy.