“Master of boners. Ride the boner. And boners for all. The black boner. Metalliboner.”
The Countess Penelope of Arcadia was muttering to herself, draped across the couch in striped socks and an over-sized tee with a faded photograph of The Clash on it. Her face was inches away from the fan, and she was talking into it, crazy from the heat, just listening to the sound of her voice for amusement.
“System of a Boner. Army of Boners. Indiana Jones and the Boner of Doom. Pee Wee’s Big Boner.”
At this she began to howl like one of those monkeys that howl. You know…
Yes, darling, thank you. Like a howler monkey.
“Too far,” she wheezed between bouts of braying. “Sweet Francis Dolarhyde, zat eez, how you seely Americans say, ‘Too fucking far.’ Inapropes. Fucking inapropes!”
“Ahem,” I said, aheming her. Shut up, it is too a word.
“Helena,” the confounded Countess Penelope said, with an utterly unconvincing display of disinterest at my unexpected arrival. “I thought you were out for the evening. Oh my Dallas Green — the Flaming Boners!”
At this, the Countess Penelope of Arcadia fell off the couch laughing, and must have banged her not-so-funny bone on the coffee table, because she let out a yelp of surprise and pain amidst her hyena-esque howling.
I thought it was more of a Howler Monkey thing.
“Penny, what the hell are you doing?” I asked, more annoyed than actually curious. The humidity was wreaking havok on my disposition. “Are you high?”
The Banana Bread Debacle aside, the young Countess does not ordinarily indulge in psychotropic substances, but what with Prince Justin, the fair and noble Prime Minister of our dear nation’s stance on the green leafy stuff, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least raise the question. After all, I am sort of Penny’s authority figure.
Shut up, you. I cut quite the authority figure. You should see me in my Dominatrix outfit. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
“Jon Bon Boner,” Penny replied, ignoring my question. “Lay me down in a bed of boners.”
“I see,” I said, not seeing at all, darlings. “You’ve gone mad.”
Penny grinned a Cheshire Cat grin and gave me a predictable “Oh, we’re all mad here.”
“Yes, yes, of course,” I sighed. “And this heat isn’t helping any. But you haven’t answered my question.”
“No, I’m not high, Aunt Helena,” Penny protested. “I’m just amusing myself by playing the Boner game.”
“I see,” I said again, still not seeing, not one bit.
“I was bored,” Penny pouted. “And there was no one here to make me laugh, so I decided to take the task upon myself. Led Boner. Whole Lotta Boners.”
Penny broke into more laughter that, to my mind, was disproportionate to the humour of her boner jokes.
“So, the Boner game?” I inquired.
“Please,” Penny rolled her eyes at me so hard that I feared she’d dislocate her eye sockets. As if on cue, she dropped into her now famous Dickensian street urchin voice. “I mean, beggin’ your pardon my ladyship, but, you’re old and all that, wot wot, but you’re not, loik, ancient and full of decrepitudinal decrepitude.”
“I’m going to try not to take that as an insult,” I said, rolling my eyes back at her, and what with my advanced years, I’d perfected the eye roll before Penny was even in a zygotic state. She may be a natural study, but I’m the goddamned prototype, darlings.
“I’ve never insulted you,” Penny declared, and chocolate milk came shooting out of my nose as I began to laugh in disbelief. Would you believe that I wasn’t even drinking chocolate milk at the time, darlings? Milk and hot weather do not good bedfellows make, after all.
“I have proof of your insults,” I argued upon recovery from my immaculate dairy explosion experience. “I’ve got documented proof in black and white.”
Penny made a vulgar sound with her mouth, sort of what it might sound like if a duck’s ass exploded while being corn-holed by some inbred good old boy from Mississippi.
What? I told you it was vulgar, darlings. Don’t look at me, I didn’t make the noise, it was Penny.
“What, you mean your books?” Penny asked after making the aforementioned vulgar noise. “Everyone knows they’re all lies.”
“Not all of it,” I insisted quite insistently.
“Helena Boner-Basquiat,” Penny laughed. “Memoirs of a Boner.”
“Cut it out, you little scamp!” I snapped.
“Oh, come on, it’s funny,” Penny giggled. “You try.”
“Grow up,” I said, shaking my head and turning away from Penny so she didn’t see me grinning. Goddammit, she’d gotten something stuck in my head. Nope nope nope nope nope. I was wasn’t going to play along.
Shit. I got the giggles.
“What?” Penny demanded to know. “What, Helena? C’mon, that’s not fair! Share with the class!”
What the hell.
“Happiness is a Warm Boner,” I said, barely able to breathe. “Strawboner Fields Forever. Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Boner. Boner Lane. For the Benefit of Mr. Boner. The Continuing Story of Buffalo Boner.”
“Beatles themed,” Penny said, still hanging upside down, her hair blowing in the breeze of the fan. “Excellent.”
“Boner Runner,” I offered.
“Blade Boner,” Penny suggested.
“Oh my god,” I groaned, picturing it. Penny beat me to the punch.
“You Nexus Six,” the Countess Penelope of Arcadia, which is a dystopian neighbourhood in a Ridley Scott film, apparently, said, re-writing the famous scene from Blade Runner. “I make your boner.”
“If only you could see where I’ve been with your boner,” I replied, doing my very best Rutger Hauer, which really isn’t that good, darlings. I think I sounded something more like Bishop the android from Aliens.
“Hey, let me ask you a Star Wars-related question,” Penny said, and I groaned.
“I told you before…”
“You don’t like those movies, right, right. But you have seen them. All of them. Multiple times. So I think you’re enough of an expert to answer a simple question.”
“Fine,” I relented. “Go ahead.”
“‘Kayso, if people who can use The Force just have a higher mitochondrial count…”
“Midichlorian,” I corrected.
“I thought you said you don’t like those movies,” Penny smirked.
“I don’t,” I insisted most insistently, waving an impatient hand for her to continue.
“So, if users of The Force just have a higher midi-whosamawhatsit count, then do you suppose that if I got a blood transfusion from a Jedi, that I could have Jedi powers, too?”
“I…” I started, but couldn’t finish. I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for that, George Lucas, you meddling fuck.
“Well?” Penny demanded.
“Hypothetically,” I allowed. “I suppose. But… what the hell, Penny. Are you high?”
“A little,” Penny grinned a cheeky grin, and then began singing the operatic bit of Bohemian Rhapsody into the fan.
“Young lady,” I said, affecting the stance of someone who should be scolding, but who was, in fact, only amused. “What do you have to say for yourself?”
Penny paused, as if unsure of what to say, and her face scrunched up in that way it does when she’s thinking really hard about something.
“Um, do you want some?” She finally asked.
“Yes,” I said, considering the day I’d had. “Yes. Yes I do.”