Tobias awoke before the dew began to rise, sprayed himself with a gallon or so of perfume, stuck a pigeon feather in his oily hair, and skipped happily out of the garbage dumpster he and Oliver had passed the night in, off towards his job interview with Fenni Frog at City Hall.
"Do remember the eggs, won't you?" Oliver called after Tobias.
Tobias didn't have the focus to answer. He usually needed a few cups of glint before his mind thought thoughts, and today was no exception. Even by the time he had reached City Hall, after a good forty-five minutes of walking through the harsh Bask heat, Tobias was unable to form a coherent sentence.
"Frog, here for Fenni see?" he asked someone at the greeting desk.
"Down the hall, to the right, third door on the left," the greeter answered. "Say, you look and smell terrible... is everything alright?"
"Dumpster friend Oliver from new here, cannot went," Tobias replied, rubbing his weary eyes.
"You'll make an excellent politician," the greeter groaned. He grabbed a cigar and smudged some greasepaint on his upper lip. "Now get outta here, kid, you're making me look bad."
Tobias stumbled, like a drunken elk, down the Lego-brick halls of the City's main governmental building. All along the walls were depictions of boat explosions, for some reason, which grew in artistic intensity until poor Tobias was whimpering like a confused drunk.
"Man from boat!" Fenni Frog called out from a nearby doorway. "Excellent, you've made it!" I see you're admiring the boat explosion pictures. They really capture the sense of a boat exploding, don't they?"
"Because of sink from rain but hot worse," Tobias answered. He was sure he was communicating with an ostrich.
"From rain but hot worse indeed," Fenni said. "Come on in to my office, I'll be right back. Have some Altoids, check out my wicked collection of Entertainment Weekly magazines."
Tobias fell face-first into a chair inside Fenni's office, and began to snore, though he wasn't asleep.
"Kali-mali-ratootani!" Az-Kabani, the sultry dark secretary to Fenni said to Tobias from across the room. "Your actions are not in keeping with one who has mastery of themselves."
In his stupor, Az-Kabani appeared to Tobias as an orangutan. "Monkey!" he screamed, and then fell again and hit his head and passed out.
When Tobias awoke, Fenni Frog was eating grapes and listening to a Victrola. "Don't write songs like they used to, do they? Hole in the wall, fill the hole in my heart..." he sang, "glory of soul, glory of hole..."
"Calliope from before now when were," Tobias barked.
"It looks like you need some glint," Fenni said, offering him some glint. "Here."
Tobias took the pot of glint from Fenni and poured it straight into his mouth. The steaming liquid spilled down over his face and neck and then all down his garbage-encrusted clothing. He screamed bloody murder at the unbearable pain of the searing heat, shot up in the air, spun around a few times, and then alighted. "Ah! There it is. The drink of sages. Ambrosia indeed."
"Your face is kind of melting," Fenni said. "No, not there. Up a little. To the left. Got it."
"What's another hole in the cheek, anyway?" Tobias laughed. "Now about my position..."
"Yes, about it," Fenni said, "please get off my floor."
"Done," Tobias said, standing up and brushing himself off. "I trust you've kept the position of country Ale-taster available for me?"
"Indeed," Fenni said. "What sort of two-day-old friend would I be otherwise? 'struth, you'll be going pub-to-pub, tasting the ales to ensure that the bartenders aren't watering them down or putting in anything else untoward."
"Untoward?" Tobias asked.
"Indeed. Why, just last week there was a 'tender on the north side of town who was pouring vinegar and orange juice for his guests. Now, I have a country full of criminals and whores that I need to keep drunk, and so, obviously, this is unacceptable," Fenni explained.
"Unacceptable indeed," Tobias agreed. "This is definitely something I can do for you. And what shall be my salary?"
"Oh, no, we don't pay people in vegetables anymore. This is the new Bask. You'll be getting a thousand goldquartz a month for your services, a 1983 Honda, and a sinful woman of your choosing," Fenni said.
"Oh glorious day!" Tobias said, flocks of little bluebirds springing from his trousers. "I've finally made a name for myself in the new world, and left my wife behind!"
"That's great, chief," Fenni said. "Just... what was your name again? Oh, and there is a message here for you from a Plessy Bilge. She was here this morning to speak with you. Something about... indiscretions."
Tobias vomited. As he tried to scoop up his off-tossal and hide it under a croissant, he lamented, "Not one day could I enjoy it, not one. My new life, already sallied. I know what I must do. I'll have to face that woman head-on, if I ever hope to be free of her!"
"That's great," Fenni said. "Now get out of my office, kid, you're annoying me."
NEXT TIME: MOAR STUPIDITY