It’s important to be very clear about such things


A good friend of mine has recently taken an interest in the “Sparking weirdo” who lives at our place, and I fear I may have confused him just a bit with regard to the diminutive fellow’s extraction, motivations and family life.  A sad loss to all, were it to stand.

First it must be said that we bought Sparky at the unbelievably wonderful novelty store that used to be just next to pawnshop row on Church street near King E. This place really was a surreal wonderland – everything in it felt like it was from another era – serried rows of roll-back spring cars, airplanes and stunt-bikes – shelves and cases full of vintage tin-toy robots and mechanical-scenes – and the memory-kicker – display cards full of everything you ever yearned-for as a kid from the local variety store – anytime between 1950 and 2000!  That first nifty pocket-knife with plastic fake mother of pearl on the handle, the collapsible fold up pocket-binoculars (still have and love those, too), cheesy corncob pipes, the three-comb set, coin-purses that would ‘burp’ exactly one token – and crazy toys of every description, as long as they were cheap, weird, colourful and silly.

This fellow literally came in a tray painted all around it’s base with a faded purple and orange alien planet, and the bold (flame-enhanced) legend, “Sparking Weirdo” And yes of course when you rev his wheels, he does indeed spark!

Now about his recent turn as an unexpectedly diligent caregiver. It all really started with the Babblebrooks. When they saw me bring home that new space shuttle they got really excited.  We were almost deafened by their excited squeals “Road-trip in space!” – and hey, in principle, why not?  I only wish that I could spare the time to join them for a jaunt.

They asked Sparky to look after the baby for a day or two, he had a spare beach chair on the greeting card (thanks Nada) that he’d taken over as his home, so it all seemed like a very sensible arrangement.

The whole Babblebrook family was excited about this trip – not just Rocky!

Anyhow, thing is, that was quite some time ago – no sign of their return, which leaves Sparky with a baby to look after. Thankfully, he is not alone in this task – he has a good friend and ally, in the form of Mustafa, who arrived some time ago from Alexandria, and is not to be confused with Edgar.

Edgar (Rice-Burroughs) is really not happy lately, thanks to the fact that I still haven’t constructed the cardboard home I drew up and cut-out for him one rainy afternoon (just can’t think where the heck to put it).  Being anyhow surly thanks to that grand let-down, he is really not best-pleased to be confused with anyone at all.  Spends most of his time muttering veiled threats about duplicitous contractors.

He is pretty big on vendettas, if you bother him unduly.  Best to watch your step with this particular fellow

Mustafa on the other hand could not possibly be sweeter or more generous. He’s delighted to share the chores of looking after the baby, and very pleased to have found a nice peaceful home and a very loyal friend.

Of course, I have no idea what’s going to happen when the Babblebrooks do finally cruise on back into town again. At this point, I really don’t think the baby could sleep through the night without the smell of sulphur!

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