Newcomers to town were never quite sure what to make of The Dipper, a boat moored in the parking lot of the convenience store/seaweed sake shop.
The long time locals laughed when someone, astonished at the sight that somehow they missed when they took the spot two spaces over, asked “why isn’t it on the water?”
“Well, now,” said Mr. McPherson-O’Toole of the Lower Bay Road O’Tooles (not to be confused with the McPherson’s of Upper Bay Road) from his perch by the seawall. “Well now,” for any opening uttered twice captured attention quicker than a whistle, “why would you be needing water when there’s adventure behind every door?”
“Adventure?” the newcomer inevitably asked.
“Adventure,” came the firm reply.
Newcomers always felt they’d exhausted the adventure in their souls by the time they arrived in a new place. Most simply couldn’t face anything else new without absolute guarantees of safety and a good grocery store, and invariably they stood and looked at the boat (2 minutes 43 second was the average time) then turned away, muttering about another day.
But this evening, Hannah Applewood and her younger brother Harry, who’d napped most of the ride here and were simply full of the need for adventure, looked at the boat, each other, the boat, Mr. McPherson-O’Toole, the boat and then their parents.
“Please sir,” Hannah turned back to the older man to ask, “how do you start the adventure?”
“Oh now, Hannah,” said her mother, “we just need to get dinner and then settled in the house. We don’t have time for anything new.”
“But can’t I just know?” She asked. Inspired, she added, “It’s gathering research, for future important decisions and adventures.”
Knowing Hannah very well, Mrs. Hester Applewood looked directly in her eyes and said, “Just one. No run on sentences, no parenthetical additions. You have 14 words to ask your question.” This, she was sure, would lessen the time in the parking lot.
Hannah looked at the boat, then the sky, then at Harry. They nodded in unison and turned to Mr. McPherson-O’Toole.
“Please sir, what kind of adventures and how do we start?” She’d left one word off in case she needed to say Yes or No.
“Simple as can be, young lady,” answered Mr. McPherson-O’Toole. “You pick a door: Red for excitement, yellow for happiness, blue for calm and green for growth.”
“Thanks!” shouted Hannah, happy to know something new.
“But,” warned Mr. McPherson-O’Toole, “that all can change on the fifth night of the waning moon!”
Hannah had used up her words. She had so many questions and she could feel Harry quivering with his own right next to her. Darn the word restriction! Mom sure knew how to get her to go along.
But she and Harry would be back to find out more. For research and important information in order to make sound decisions.
I saw this twice in the last couple of years and itched to tell the story of the boat with the primary + one doors. I’ll add intermittently.