Baker's Dozen - First Batch
October, and as luck would have it, Boston surprised everybody with an
unseasonably hot and sunny day.
Not that Jodi and I have any complaints.
We're free to spend our vacation touring the city's historical,
cultural, and shopping districts.
We have no obligations to be anywhere or do anything that we don't
want to do.
such a gorgeous day, normal people would undoubtedly hop aboard a whale
watch vessel or throw fake boxes of tea off the genuine replica of the
Boston tea party ship.
to tell you the truth, (and please don't share this with my buddy), Jodi
missed the boat long ago.
She's paddling with one oar, if you catch my drift.
She dragged me to Boston on a mission: to
track down a knight.
You know, the artist formerly known as the "cute one."
The one who absolutely loves and adores the gloved wonder.
You guessed it:
Sir What's His Face.
know he's in town because we saw Sir Knight last night at his Boston
to Jodi's demented standards, this trip is a bargain.
see it a little differently.
I see a trip that cost me $600 for the plane fare, $500 for the
nosebleed tickets, $2500 for the hotel, and $4 in subway tokens.
And remember, I'm only paying half the cost!
Jodi's picking up the rest.
visited Boston last month to scope out hotels that could potentially attract
Sir Mac. Based
on her research, she decided that he would hang his knightly helmet at the
Four Seasons Hotel.
As proof that the Four Seasons was our best bet, she told me that
(a) it's the fanciest hotel in town by her standards (in other words,
she couldn't afford a room there), and (b) During yesterday's last minute
scope out, she noticed a big tour bus parked outside that said "Paul
McCartney Tour Bus."
a savvy fan and all, Jodi told me that the sign on the bus might just be a
She went on and on about other places where Paul McCartney could
potentially stay, when an urgent need ended the argument.
I need a ladies room.
Dianne, maybe we should check out the Ritz, just in case."
should see Jodi when I wrap my hands around her neck.
It isn't pretty.
the Four Seasons ladies room is gorgeous.
Jodi couldn't get over the paper towels.
(I know, I know, she doesn't get out much).
But seriously, I think that these towels are designed by NASA.
They're made of some sort of indestructible paper.
Believe me, I spent enough time trying to rip one apart.
any of you accuse me of not getting out much either, I don't want to hear
I knew what was going on, Jodi grabbed a handful of towels and stuffed them
into her purse.
are you going to do with those things?
Sell them on the Internet?"
gave me this sour look.
"Paul may be staying in this hotel."
He didn't come in here, I can guarantee it."
he might have stood outside the door.
And if he did that, then his breath might have wafted onto these
shook my head, then I made a stupid, stupid, stupid mistake.
"Well, you can't be sure which towel his breath is on, can you?
What if you missed one?"
screeched, and before I could stop her, she stuffed the remaining towels
into my purse.
rolled my eyes.
"Do you feel better now?"
Let's get out of here."
with that, we headed down into the hotel lobby.
I grabbed Jodi's elbow and steered her towards a large display.
look at that beautiful bouquet of white flowers.
Let's get closer and figure out which one of them smells so
followed me over, but she didn't look at the flowers.
Her eyes swept across the lobby in search of her knight.
at those two men over there," Jodi whispered.
"I think that one of them must be a somebody."
that," I said as I leaned into the bouquet and sniffed.
"I think I found the one that smells really nice."
I examined the flower, a blaring voice shouted across the lobby, "And
even Paul McCartney doesn't know about it!"
slammed into me, and I slammed into the bouquet.
Fortunately, we did this in a most lady like fashion, so the bouquet
didn't clatter to the floor.
However, Jodi did have to help me extricate the lily from my nose.
casually, we made our way towards the loud British voice.
Miraculously, we spotted two empty chairs directly across from him.
He was a scruffy sort of fellow wearing blue jeans and an untucked
He was talking to a nice looking gentleman who wore a suit and was
scribbling furiously on a pad of paper.
we carefully settled into our two seats, Jodi's purse very gracefully flew
from her hands and spilled two tons of Four Season paper towels across
marbled tiled floor.
you hang out with Jodi, you learn how to behave in all sorts of emergency
situations like this one.
"Who made that awful mess?"
doesn't always understand my technique, but once in a while she gets it
should be good Samaritans and clean that up before someone gets hurt!"
She lowered her voice.
"Did they see us, are they looking at us?"
you were a somebody, would you look at us?"
I asked as I shoved a towel into my pocket.
"I sure wouldn't want to know us."
who is that guy?"
Jodi asked as she started folding a towel into a paper airplane.
slapped my hand around her wrist and squeezed.
"I think it's Paul's Press Agent," I whispered back.
man who does his ironing?"
shook my head.
"Arent' you supposed to be the be all and end all of McCartney
"He's the press agent who does all of Paul's publicity.
That's Geoff Baker."
smarty pants, who's the other guy?"
do I look like, Martin Lewis?"
you do have a similar haircut."
snapped Jodi's purse shut.
"Just sit in your seat and pretend that you're not listening to
course I'm not listening to their conversation, I'm listening to your
And for the record, it's very boring."
Sit down and listen to them."
Now when should I start listening?"
two men stopped talking and turned to face us.
missing a beat, I folded my arms.
"Now we must pray," I said in my humblest voice.
Jodi imitated the gesture, although her puzzled frown told me that
she had no idea what had just happened.
The two men returned to their conversation.
we pretended to pray, Geoff's voice washed over us.
"And when Paul plays ‘Let 'em In,’ we'll focus the spotlight
on the drums, and Ringo will be sitting there."
thinks of me as this petite little thing, but 20 years later, my high school
pole vaulting record still stands.
I launched myself across the table and slammed my hand over Jodi's
face turned purple as the scream was forced back down her throat.
you please cover your mouth when you sneeze!"
I said in a loud voice.
"Here, let me give you a paper towel."
don't need a paper towel," Jodi hissed.
"I need to hear about Paul and Ringo."
if you shut your mouth, you would!"
the one who won't shut up!"
both shut up on three.
handsome man cleared his throat.
"Is it true that Yoko can sing louder than your amps can
I admit it.
I'm one of the few, the proud, the Yoko fans and Jodi knows it.
She sprang into action before I could disgrace myself in public.
have a breath mint," Jodi shoved something between my lips.
gasped as tears sprang to my eyes.
"You ninny, this is an aspirin!"
yummy," Jodi said loudly.
"I have more."
me some water," I sputtered.
a paper towel," Jodi cooed.
"Your make up is running."
does it! I
balled up a paper towel and lobbed it at Jodi's head.
Naturally, the thing missed Jodi completely, skidded across the
marble floor and landed in front of a tall, lean passerby.
by the unexpected movement the man cried "A mouse!" and promptly
fell to the floor.
He slid into Geoff Baker, and his baggage skidded towards Jodi's
look, a mandolin case," a delighted Jodi cried.
who was sitting next to me at the show last night?"
"You, or an incredible simulation?"
frowned as she bent to pick up the instrument case.
"Why are you always so mean to me?"
don't you remember the teeny tiny guitar-looking instrument that Paul
ukulele that George had given him?
Same shape as the object in your very hands?"
eyebrows skyrocketed as I detected a scream building within Jodi.
it down," I ordered.
"Put down the nice uke and let the nice man nicely pick it
"I can't put it down.
What if I break it?"
then, the tall man approached Jodi.
With a shy grin and a beautiful British accent he said, "Thanks
for rescuing my baggage."
held out his hands and indicated that Jodi should return the instrument to
shook her head and had, what I like to call, a "stupid attack."
keepers," Jodi smiled.
man wrinkled his brow.
I'm not sorry," Jodi said.
I'm well versed in countering stupid attacks.
"Hey Jodi, catch," I yelled.
to form, Jodi dropped the uke in favor of the flying paper towel.
Luckily, the man had good reflexes.
He snatched up the bag and skirted off.
"It was MINE!"
a sigh, I folded my arms and bowed my head.
"MINE is the kingdom and the glory forever and ever," I
agreed Geoff and the handsome interviewer.
God," I hissed.
"Shut up and sit down.
Try to act normal.
Maybe we can still get away with this eavesdropping business."
Jodi suddenly demanded.
attack number two," I muttered.
"Here comes the cavalry."
I raised my voice.
said, that PAULINE, is such a pain.
I hate it when she makes us wait."
across the room, Geoff Baker gave me a sympathetic nod.
sister," I snapped, then gasped as I realized my mistake.
"You know, Ringoletta, my cousin the secret agent.
The one who always listens and never speaks.
The one who is so clever that she can eavesdrop on any conversation
and nobody knows she's there."
never told me about these people," Jodi complained.
why I'm talking about them now," I nodded.
Then I leaned toward my potentially soon to be ex-friend.
"I was covering up your goof, then my goof, you goof!"
"Thank you for explaining absolutely nothing."
Geoff Baker's loud voice interrupted this line of bickering.
so much for introducing yourself," he boomed as he grasped the man's
stay in touch."
you, I will," the man smiled, then headed out the front door.
watched the man leave, then turned to face us.
"Ladies, I'll be ready for your interview in a moment.
I just have to make a quick call."
began blinking rapidly as Geoff pulled out a cell phone.
towels began piling up on the floor as I started rooting through my purse.
"Jodi, do you have a notepad?"
about a pen?"
you realize that you're here to meet Paul McCartney and you have nothing for
him to sign? Ninny,
go to the gift shop and get a notepad and a pen.
I'll stall Geoff."
Baker wants to give us an interview.
He must think we're someone else."
get the pen and paper."
disappeared around a corner while I freshened up my lipstick and powdered my
returned a few minutes later.
"Here's the pen."
the paper, Jodi?
You only had to remember two things.
Couldn't you do that?"
when the pen cost me thirty dollars," Jodi said.
dollars for a pen!
Why didn't you buy something cheap?"
was the cheapest one they had.
You should see the prices in this gift shop.
Postcards are five dollars a piece!"
are you doing looking at postcards?
We have a notepad emergency!"
start at fifty dollars.
The pen was the end of my credit card limit."
I'm ready for you now," Geoff motioned us to join him on the couch.
be the photographer," I hissed.
"You do have a camera in that purse, don't you?"
the paper towels didn't crush it," Jodi whispered.
"What are you going to write on?"
do you think?"
I gathered up my paper towels, then headed over to Geoff.
Baker placed his cell phone on a coffee table, stood and offered his hand to
both of us.
After we picked Jodi up off the floor, I sat on the couch next to
Geoff, and Jodi took a seat in the chair next to the sofa.
remind me what publication you represent," Geoff said.
Four Reasons," I blurted as my eye fell onto the hotel logo on the
yes, I read the one you sent me.
I especially like reason number three."
this point, dear readers, I must interrupt to provide you with this handy
There is no such Four Reasons publications, therefore, how could
Geoff Baker possibly have read it?
He was just as much an ad libber as me!
Too bad Jodi couldn't figure that out.
what did you like about the third Fourth Reason?"
Geoff fumbled, I pretended to laugh.
You know how it is with photographers thinking they can be
You have to admire her ambition, though."
patted Jodi's knee.
"Keep at it,miss,
you'll get that promotion someday."
glared at me, while gently placing her hand over Geoff's.
I ripped apart one formerly indestructible paper towel, then casually
stuffed it under a sofa cushion.
turned to me and said, "I'm ready for your first question."
a real pro, I blurted out, "Exactly when are you going to tell Sir Paul
the information that he doesn't know about?"
know about that?"
course," I smiled.
"Jodi, maybe you want to take a picture now?"
idea," Jodi agreed.
"Give me a second to set it up."
frowned and turned to me.
"Where's she going?" he asked.
"She's on the other side of the lobby."
a very special camera," I explained.
"The focus is very sensitive.
It only takes photos that are more than twenty feet away from the
"I think your photographer is a little nervous.
She's focusing a pair of binoculars at me."
Jodi called from across the room.
casually as I could manage, I leaned into the picture as well.
"It really is a camera," I assured him.
"She sneaks it into concer... ah... safaris when they don't
allow you to bring a camera."
won't let you bring a camera on a safari?"
again," Jodi called.
know, it's not an object you would normally find in the wild," I ad
nodded as Jodi returned to her seat.
else do you need to know?"
tell me," I responded archly.
I could tell you Paul's plans for this afternoon," Geoff smiled,
"But I won't."
we could tell you our plans too," Jodi said proudly.
"But we won't do that either."
yes," Geoff gave a puzzled grin.
us the truth," I asked.
"Did Paul's guitarist mean to fall down at last night's
performance, or was that an accident?"
did you see the Strong Man who appeared before Paul did?"
Jodi piped up.
course, he's part of the warm up act," Geoff nodded.
did you notice that he really isn't all that muscular?
That he's really wearing a padded costume?"
blinked at me.
"She 's very new at this, isn't she?"
Sir Paul accidentally or on purpose forget his nephew's name?"
you mean what's his face?"
we got that straightened out," Geoff agreed as he glanced at his watch.
"Well ladies, this has indeed been a pleasure, but I really must
luck with your newspaper.
Send me a copy when you write up this article."
course," I nodded.
"And by the way, you wouldn't mind signing two copies of our
release form, would you?
It's just standard stuff."
handed Geoff the thirty dollar
pen and two paper towels.
"We'll send you a copy of the contract if you want to read the
shook his head as he signed the paper towels.
"Save yourself the postage.
I'll never read the thing."
pen," Geoff grinned as he pocketed it.
He shook my hand, wagged his finger at Jodi, and headed off into an
he give you an address where to send our newspaper?"
"And is he going to pay me back for the pen?"
don't have a newspaper!
All we've got are a bunch of paper towels, two autographs, and a
couple of pictures on your binocular camera.
And I'm not even going to bother responding to that bit about getting
your money back for the pen."
don't forget about the matches," Jodi sulked."
fourteen books of matches that I swiped off all the tables on my way to the
for you!" I said sarcastically.
"Now let's get out of here."
then the cell phone on the coffee table began to ring.
don't touch that!
Geoff must have forgotten--"
had already picked it up.
No, this is Jodi.
Yes, Geoff is on his way up.
You want what?
The biggest one?
Don't worry, we can get it for you.
No really, it isn't a problem at all.
Dianne will help me.
Talk to you later.
closed up the phone and admired it.
"Okay, this works as a substitute for the pen.
Dianne, will you please pick your jaw up off the floor?"
felt sweat break out across my forehead.
"Jodi, who was that on the phone?"
thought for a second.
Then she paled.
"That was... that was... HIMMMMMMM!!!! It
with a capital Him?"
began to shake.
"What did Him want?"
don't have time to explain.
Just follow me."
had already bolted out the front door.
Stay tuned for Jodi and Dianne's next batch of misadventures in the Baker's Dozen series.
Lisha Goldberg is a freelance writer and editor. She also writes a newsletter for a Boston piano studio. Lisha has won several prizes for her writing, including the Boston Herald Star Trek Competition (write a eulogy for Captain Kirk!), CompuServe's Beatle Essay Contest, and Writers Digest Magazine Award for best Inspirational Short Story.
Cheryl Mortensen has been a Beatle fanatic since the 1960s, but somehow went on to other things in the late 1960s, only rediscovering her passion for "all things Beatle" in the late 1990s (and on into the new century). She is a computer programmer and an avid photographer. (Concert photos of bands and performers is her favorite area -- ask her about her Ringo pictures!!) Cheryl lives with her husband of many years (Mike), her German Shepherd (Sorsha), and a bunch of fish in the tank and the pond that they've never bothered to name.
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