Monday, November 30, 2020

Dr. Electro, Episode X - Ooops, They Did It Again

 Letters from Josh

  Happy Thanksgiving      11/24/20                                                                   Letter 33

  Howdy, folks!  I’d like to say not only “HAPPY THANKSGIVING”, but also “Happy FRIENDSgiving.”  You see, it’s the celebration of Turkey Day with the family you choose - friends, that is. 

Thanksgiving 2020 finds me incredibly grateful, as strange as that sounds.  Sure, it’s been a year that could be best described using the lyrics to You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.  Full of unwashed socks, triple-decker toadstool and sauerkraut sandwiches with extra arsenic sauce, and cuddly as a crocodile, this gunk of the soul, there have been remarkable examples of perseverance, strength, and beacons of hope that have lit many a dark night and twisty road for me. 

These sparks of hope I speak of, are, of course, you all.  The patience you’ve demonstrated has shown me how to be an adult.  The connections we’ve been able to maintain, and in some cases, forge, have shown me that the Worldly conditions and prevailing winds of current events have little to do with genuine expressions of humanity.  The purpose I’ve found in doing what I can, with what I have, to fix what’s broken right in front of me...has led to a deep sense of meaning and satisfaction of doing work I consider to be Good.  For all of this, and more, am I grateful this Thanksgiving.  Please know I’ll be raising a glass to you all this year with heartfelt thanks and appreciation.  

  Of course, it will be a Thanksgiving wish to celebrate holidays in the very near future without this stupid COVID stuff.  But - I never would have known just how strong we all are, and how brightly we can burn, without this great darkness.  I’m impressed.  Here’s to you!  

  Another thing I’m grateful for - this fun little series of Dr. Electro.  I hope you’re enjoying his adventures as much as I am.  Let’s check in on our fantastical little land, shall we?  And best wishes for a peaceful Thanksgiving. 

Previously on Dr. Electro:  Mabel has tea with an acrobatic lady of mature age, while Henry the Jane Austen-reading clockkeeper puzzles over an unexpected power outage.  

Dr. Electro - Episode X - Ooops, They Did it Again  

  The house lights had joined the strike in the street, and quit as well. Henry fumbled for a match, thinking he might as well read Austen by candlelight.  “Seems right” he mumbled to no one in particular, as the clock overhead ticked louder in the dark (don’t they always?)  Something kept gnawing at him, though, as he squinted at the pages.  Answering the call of this mental mouse, he lumbered to the window, and peered out at the darkness.  The scale of the outage widened his eyes.  The entire city appeared to be cloaked.  His boots echoed on the floor, the door creaked, and swung shut.  Pride and Prejudice lay open and unfinished on the table. Darcy and co were left to contemplate the glowing ember on the end of candle wick as the waxy smoke spiraled up in an empty room. Henry was off to investigate.  

   Back at the Union Street Warehouse, Dr. Electro, Rutherford, Murphy, and their mysterious host Noah, head arc welder,  were all suddenly greeted with that boisterously sullen visitor - the ill-favored cousin who arrives at Thanksgiving trimmed in a black feathered cape, only to sit passive-aggressively quietly in the corner, a gale of “Oh, fine, fine” that must be contended with if the day is to go on.  The visitor, of course, was pitch blackness - a power outage.  Cries, and an occasional crash resulting in muffled profanity made their way closer to the group, as a harried worker appeared holding a light.  “Sorry, boss, we blew the transformer again.  We must have taken out the electricity on the whole block! Cranston thought we might get away with running more juice through the welders tonight, but guess he was wrong.  We’ll get this fixed up right away.”  With that, he vanished back into the blackness.  Noah lit a cigarette, the match flare illuminating a face that was thoughtful, and not entirely convinced that Cranston’s boundless optimism was the cause of the failure.  “Hmmm…” he muttered, taking a drag.  

  “Have a cookie!” the old woman intoned.  Mabel was glad to accept. 
“Your uncle loved these.  We used to eat them when we were plotting against the League of Inquiring Minds.”  “You knew my Uncle?”  “Oh yes.  And he would be so proud of you.  In fact, you remind me of him.  And, it’s high time you showed up.  I think the League is back.”  To be continued...

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