Mr. Gecko and the Picnic Basket

An adult faerie tale not for kids

One Wednesday, the heavens opened up and the Great Gecko in the Sky on his mushroom perch looked down upon all his creatures. He was not happy. He saw way too much fornication going on down there on earth. So much fornicating that it got his blood boiling. He had to do something, and what he had in mind was something hard and destructive.

Since it was such a pleasant day up there in gecko heaven, the sun shining all nice and warm unlike a week earlier. His heaven had been all gecko hell with the snow and the blizzard. Down-right freezing it was. Not being a fur-bearing kind of god Mr. Gecko hated the cold. But this particular day was a nice heavenly kind of spring day and Mr. Gecko looked around and saw his favorite tree just a bit of a ways off.

It was a tree all fluffy with cherry blossoms. The kind of tree that Mr. Gecko loved to siesta under when he was taking a break from his gecko-god duties or doing his chores assigned to him by Mrs. Gecko, his wife for nigh-on eight and a half eons. A rather long time for a heavenly pair to stay coupled together but still they were as happy as any two middle-aged gods could be under the circumstances. But enough of that. Mr. Gecko had work to do, coming up with a destructive methodology for those fornicating fools.

He strolled over to the cherry blossom tree and sat himself down on the green grass and leaned back to do some thinking. But thinking being what it is, Mr. Gecko could only do it so long and then he was famished. This particularly day in April, the “so long” was about fifteen minutes long and he still had not come up with anything of the destructive ilk yet.

He reached over and pulled his picnic basket closer. A picnic basket Mrs. Gecko had risen up early that morning before sunrise and prepared for him. It was like she read his mind. Like she knew that he was going to have some hard thinking to do that day, knew that he’d need a good nutritious, delicious meal so he could come up with just the right destruction for his fornicating creation.

Mr. Gecko opened up that picnic basket, and lo and behold, what he saw was good. Very good. There were three watercress sandwiches with mustard…oh, yes and a pickle. One of Mrs. Gecko’s prize sweet pickles that she had grown in her vegetable garden behind their lovely white cottage.

In the basket, there was a thermos of his favorite green tea and a bag of Indonesian chips, the chips that made Jakarta famous. And there…no, it just couldn’t be. But it was. A large slice of key lime pie. If he hadn’t known better, he would have believed that he was in hog heaven. But he was a gecko god and he was in heaven just the same.

Then it hit him. If he consumed all that food, he was going to need a siesta. A long siesta. He was not going to be in any kind of destructive mood for quite some time. This was Mrs. Gecko’s way of preventing what he was about to do. First he would come up with The Plan, then he would eat.

When he would comment to Mrs. Gecko on what a fornicating crowd he’d created, all she could say was, “Well, dear, you know that’s how the eight ball bounces. It is in the nature of creation to be about itself creating. And how exactly do you expect your creation to create with nary any fornication?”

Mr. Gecko took another look into the basket. Those chips looked enticing. Well, maybe he would eat just one…no, two…just two…ah, shoot…three then. Soon he had completely consumed not just the chips, but the sandwiches, the pickle and the key lime pie, tossing it all down with his tea. And he was snoring the afternoon away, dreaming of Indra dreaming of Gecko dreaming.

Joe Angel

Joe Angel had been in the crowd during the Queen of Heaven’s coronation. He had been the angel the farthest away from the crowning. But that was the way with Joe. He didn’t get any of the big assignments like kicking Satan’s butt. He would have loved to take on that guy. But, no, his boss, Sgt. Big Angel Pants, told him he didn’t have the goods.

“I want to do something important,” he told the Sergeant.

“You are doing something important. You’re filling out the choir.”

“I’m so far away.”

“We don’t want you messing up the choir. You don’t have the voice to be up close to the Big Guy. Wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself, now would you?”

Joe went away from the meeting, wandering what his purpose was. It always seemed to be that he was not good enough for the better assignments. He headed to the heavenly kitchen for his shift at the dishwasher.

Beverly Angel was waiting for him. “You’re late,” she said.

“How can I be late?” the little guy asked. “We’ve got all eternity.”

“Joe, what’s gotten in to you? Your attitude used to be so positive. Lately it’s gone to hell.”

“I’ve been watching these You Tube videos on getting ahead in life. You got to watch them. You’d realize you don’t have it so good either.”

“Look, if you’re not careful, you’re going…Well, let’s just say you won’t like what happens.”

Just at that moment, Gary Angel peeked in. “Hey, guys, the Big Guy’s coming through tomorrow.”

Beverly jumped up and down and yelled, “Whoopee.” She had happy written all over her face.

But Joe stood dejected.

“Joe, what’s with you? You used to be an up kind of angel. Now look at you.”

Bev said, “You Tube videos.”

“Oh, c’mon. Not you, Joe.”

Bev again, “Yeah, ‘fraid so. And he’s got a bad case of ambitionitis.”

Gary gave a rather large sigh. “Joe, you got to straighten up. You’re an angel. Your glass is filled brimming to the top. Your cup runneth over. Don’t go where you’re going.”

“But, Gary—”

“No ifs, ands or buts. It’s time to turn that frown upside down.” He took Joe’s cheeks and forced his face into a smile. “Now that’s the Joe I like to see.”

Gary turned and headed to the door. Just as he was about to leave, he said, “Oh, Joe, could you please give those wings of yours the once-over. They’re starting to droop.”

As Gary left, he mumbled to himself, “I don’t know what’s happening to this younger generation. I started at that same dishwasher and look at me now. And tomorrow I get to sing tenor in Handel’s Messiah.”

Poor Joe. He always thought being an angel would be the greatest. Flying around on clouds and playing harp. That just hadn’t happened. Those jobs were saved for Michael and Gabriel’s relatives. Nepotism, you know.

Gary ran back into the dishwasher room. “Joe, the Big Guy wants to see you. You’re in trouble now. You’d better scoot over there fast.”

Joe left the kitchen, dejection all over his puss. The Big Guy. Man, this just wasn’t his day.

He walked to the Big Guy Building, showed his i.d. to the Big Guy guards, took the Big Guy elevator to the top floor and the Big Guy Suite. He walked into the lobby of the office. Behind the desk sat a tall blonde angel. She had the sweetest face.

“He’s waiting.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Joe said and entered the Big Guy office.

The Big Guy was reading a file on His desk. “Joe, take a seat.”

Joe sat down. The chair was so soft Joe almost disappeared in it.

The Big Guy looked up at Joe. There was a twinkle in His eyes and a smile on His face.  “We’ve been looking at your file. These last two hundred years you’ve done a slam, bang-up job. First there was the harp factory. Every body loved your harps. They had that special kind of sound We love. Then We sent you over to trumpet cleaning. Gabe was really impressed. And now the Dishwashing Brigade. You took the demotion like an angel. We know you’ve been down-in-the-mouth lately. All those You Tube videos.”

“Here it comes,” Joe thought.

“Thought We’d forgotten about you, didn’t you, Joe? Well, We haven’t.”

“What do you mean, Sir?”

“We’ve been looking for just the right job for a go-getter like yourself. And We’ve finally got something that should be right up your alley.”

“Escorting people to—to the bad place,” Joe thought.

The Big Guy came around His desk. He walked over to Joe and picked the angel up out of his cushiony chair and gave him the kind of hug only the Big Guy could give. When He released Joe from that hug, the angel thought he’d died and gone to heaven.

“Joe, you’re going to be joining Gabriel’s Brigade. You’ll have your own trumpet. You’ll get a new set of wings. And, of course, there’ll be a raise in pay. Think you can manage saying yes.”

“Y-y-y-y-es, Sir.”

Joe left the Big Guy office floating on a cloud. He took the Big Guy elevator down and went back to his dinky little apartment. That night he slept like a lamb.

Over the next two weeks, he reported to the Gabriel Brigade. They gave him new wings, a new robe, a new halo. He began his trumpet training. By the end of the two weeks, he was sounding pretty darn good.

One morning he showed up bright and early for work with that bright-and-early smile of his.

“Gabe wants to see you,” said the sergeant in charge of training the new guys.

Gabriel was tall, really tall. He had a glow on his face that would have put the sun to shame. He got up from his desk and shook Joe’s hand. “Welcome to the Show. I think you’re going to like it here.”

Joe smiled. “Thank you, Sir.”

“Now for your first assignment. Think you can handle it.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“You know it was picked out just for you. By the Big Guy Himself.”

“Wow, just for me.” Joe had the kind of smile that only can an angel can have.

“Yes. Just for you.”

Joe couldn’t believe his luck. Finally he was going to get his just desserts.

Gabe stepped back and gave Joe the old looksee. Nodded and said, “When it comes to this assignment, I’ve got some good news.”

“Oh, boy,” Joe thought. His smile would have made even Gary proud.

“And some bad news.”

micropoem for the day: joy

I was thinking last night about what heaven must be like. Perhaps it is the accumulation of all the moments I have felt joy. The moment I stuck my head out of my momma and announced to the world, in no uncertain terms, “I’m here.” The moment my mother put me in a swing and pushed and went, “Whee.” The moment I went bike riding with a best friend. The moment we sat on the floor, ate popcorn, and watched “Godzilla”. The moment I read my poem to my class and they applauded. These are just a few, and there are so many.

jump into the air
touch the sky
float back to earth