Before leaving Pinky to his business, Kitty froze him, while he was in mid sentence. After exactly sixty seconds, she released him. He finished his sentence from the word he’d been cut off at. The King of Horror knew naught of what had happened to him.

As she sat in the lobby, awaiting the arrival of the international dealer of shade, Kitty tested her new power. She froze every employee she saw. Then she tried to make them perform physical tasks. Nope. On and off, nothing else.

She tried to make them perform physical tasks without freezing them. Nope.

When Gotcha walked through the doors, Kitty tried to freeze him. Nope. Nothing doing. Not even when he was standing rigt in front of her, saying, “Hello Kitty!”

“Good day, Gotcha. How are ya?”

Taking a seat across from her, Gotcha replied, “I am honoured to be in your company, on a day nearly a beautiful as you.”

Kitty’s suggestive grin mirrored the one on Gotcha’s face. Wondering if the old guy had game, she was tempted to see if he would escalate to a full on charm offensive, if she reciprocated in kind. She leaned forward, just enough to clearly show that she wasn’t wearing a bra. Eyes glued to Kitty’s girls, Gotcha leaned forward to hear what she was gonna say.

After giving him a moment of false hope, Kitty killed the game by leaning back and asking, “What have you learned about Wuhan, since last we met?”

Disappointed that Kitty didn’t wanna play one game, Gotcha tried to rope her into another. Letting the smile on his face dissolve, he leaned back and asked, “How did you know?”

Kitty wasn’t playing that game, either, “What have you learned about Wuhan, since last we met?”

Disappointed that Kitty didn’t wanna play that game, either, and fully understanding that the girl would dictate what games were played, when, where, and how, Gotcha gave up, and gave her an answer, “The lab was evacuated. They’re saying it was either a false alarm, or a drill.” Knowing there was more to come, Kitty waited. Gotcha delivered, “But our people have gone incommunicado. Disappeared.”

“So, how do you know what’s being claimed?”

“The evacuation is an open secret in the intel world. All eyes are on that lab. When the eyes in the sky see hundreds of people spilling out of it, with alarms blaring, it’s impossible to miss. When phones start ringing, answers have to be given.”

“Is anyone buying the answer?”

“Cautiously, yes. The doors re-opened less than an hour after the alarms started. The consensus is that that would not be the case, if they were at all worried that anything escaped.”

“What about your people?”

“Don’t know. We’re looking.”

Satisfied that he was telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, Kitty moved on. “How much time do you have?”

“I’m all yours.”

“And I’m all yours,” Kitty said, with a suggestive overtone. “Pinky will not be joining us.”

“Yeah, he called and told me. Would you care to dine at my club? It’s out in the valley, about a half hour drive, with the streets empty. Beautiful spot.”

“Far from the madding crowds?” Kitty laughed.

“Come on. You’ll love it.”

There was no way in Hell Kitty was going anywhere with him, at least until she had some idea of why she couldn’t freeze him, but was able to pry inside the filing cabinets in his mind.

In fact, she wasn’t going anywhere with him, unless she had a quick and easy way out, just in case.

Then she realized that she had no quick and easy way out of anywhere, except her suite, on the grounds of Parliament Hill, or underneath the giant spider, outside the National Gallery.

“No, let’s stay here. I want to be nearby, in case Pinky has problems holding his liquor.”

Nodding, Gotcha said, “That’s very sweet. Okay, all the food here is first rate. A little lacking in vegan options, but I imagine you already know that, so….”

“You’ll have to pardon me for a couple minutes, please and thank you. I have to go back to my room.” When Gotcha raised an eyebrow, Kitty answered his silent question, “I’ve just now discovered that I am not pregnant,” she laughed.

Miss Kaboodle knew that Gotcha could have been suspicious about her claim that she had, just at that moment, discovered that she was not pregnant. But she also knew that guys are instinctively averse to discussing menstruation on a first date, so there would be no questions asked. “You stay rigt here. I’ll be rigt back,” she said, before rising and heading to the elevator.

As soon as Kitty got into her suite, she disappeared into the tunnel. She went to the hub, then punched a portal into the restaurant, rigt next to a table with a view.





The brothers Staal pounded on the door of Sidney Crosby’s abode with the ferocity of the anti-terrorism unit of the karma police finally looking to execute a search warrant at God’s corporate head office. “Open up! Open the door, rigt now, or we’ll kick it in!”

Sid was expecting them, and suspected there would be shenanigans, so he opened the door with an expectant grin. As soon as he did, the brothers shoved him aside, rushed into the house, and demanded, “Quick, Close it. Lock it! Bolt it! He’s chasing us.”

Having watched Slapshot more than a hundred times, Sid laughed when he saw their Charlestown Chiefs sweaters, and knew how to play along. He slammed the door, and bolted it, as Eric, Marc and Jordan rushed to the bay window to close the curtains and peak out. “It’s okay, my crib is Ogilthorpe proof,” he assured them.

Eric turned to Sid and said, “Ogilthorpe? No. It’s Ovechkin!”

Laughing, Sid sought to placate the brothers, “Hey, if my crib can withstand an attack by Ogilthorpe, it can survive one from Ovechkin.”

“He’s drunk!” Eric shrieked.

“Oh, fuck!,” Crosby laughed. “Quick, you call the cops. Get them to scramble the SWAT Team. I’ll unleash the tigers, and get my elephant gun!”

Laughing wildly, the brothers gave it up when Jordan opened his daypack, pulled out a frosty Mr. Canoehead, and tossed it to Crosby. Sid studied the can, “Mr. Canoehead? Okay, but it’s a little early, no?” As the Staals cracked their beers, Crosby said, “It must be five o’clock somewhere,” and cracked his.

“Dude, we keep telling you; it’s always five o’clock in Thunder,” Marc replied.

“You guys are maniacs,” Sid said. “C’mon, sit down.” The boys parked themselves on a couple couches. “What the fuck is going on? What are you doing here?”

Eric and Marc pointed at Jordan, who said, “We want you to fight Ovechkin.”

Thinking they were kidding, Crosby laughed, “Do I get to fuck Anna Kornikova when I beat his ugly ass?”

The mention of Anna Kornikova threw the brothers off their rush. “Wait, what? You know something we don’t?” asked Eric.

Surprised, Sid said, “Seriously? You don’t know?”

“There’s no way she’s fucking him,” said Eric.

“She did. When he brought the Cup to Moscow,” Crosby announced. “I thought that went all over the league. You guys never heard it?”

“Fuck off,” scoffed Marc. “There’s no way a babe like her would fuck an ugly swamp troll like him.”

“Seriously; how drunk would she have to be to fuck him?” asked Eric.

Passed out drunk,” laughed Jordan.

“He’s the ugliest fucker to ever play hockey,” Eric insisted. “No one’s kissed the Cup since he planted his ugly lips on it.”

“I gotta admit, I damn ear chundered when I saw that,” chuckled Sid. “But Tim Hunter is still the ugliest fucker to ever lace ‘em up. That’s why the Caps re-hired him as an ass, in ’12. Ovechkin was depressed because he he’s so fucking ugly. It was some sort of mid career, existential crisis for him.

“They had a big meeting of the brain trust, because they were scared it would kill his game. So, McPhee hired Hunter, so Ovechkin wouldn’t be the ugliest fucker in the room.”

“Did Kornikova fuck Hunter, too?” Marc laughed.

“I’m serious; she fucked him when he brought the Cup to Moscow,” Crosby insisted. “I can’t believe you haven’t heard.”

“Where did you hear that bullshit?” Jordan wanted to know.

“Gino,” was Sid’s answer. “He says she did it to piss off Federov. Hell hath no fury like a Russian trollop beaten in a divorce settlement.”

“Gino? Pffttt,” Jordan scoffed. “Three years Super League!” he mocked with a Russian accent. “Gino’s full of shit. There’s no way a babe like her would fuck anyone as ugly as Ovechkin. If I were a barnyard sow, I wouldn’t let Ovechkin fuck me.”

“Would you let Sid fuck you, if you were a barnyard sow?” asked Eric.

Jordan thought for a second. “ Sid’s pretty pretty, so… yeah, I would!”

“I wouldn’t fuck you with his dick,” Sid laughed, pointing at Marc. “Or his,” he added, pointing at Eric. “Not even if you were wearing lipstick, and were so drunk that you wouldn’t be able to pick me out of a perp walk!”

“Oh, yeah?” chuckled Jordan. “Well I wouldn’t fuck you if I were Better Than Doug.”

“He fucked her, too!” Crosby yelled. “In Sochi. Putin made them all fuck her, when they crashed and burned.” Sid knew no one believed him, so he added evidence. “Gino told me. He had to do it, too. It was either that, or off to the salt mines with them! Putin paid Better Than Doug ten million bucks, and paid Kornikova a million bucks to let Better Than Doug fuck her.”.”

“Well, that I believe,” said Jordan. “Gino’s a certified pig fucker.”

“Oh, I know it,” said Sid. “He’s a horn dog. He’ll fuck a donut in the bathroom of a Tim Horton’s. He’s a menace on the road.”

“Yeah, I remember that,” said Jordan. “Whenever he went AWOL, even for a couple hours, you knew he was back door raw-dogging an esky at the closest whorehouse.”

“The fucker racked up my credit card, when he was whoring on the road, a couple years ago,” said Sid, shaking his head.

“Seriously?” laughed Marc. “That’s fucking funny!”

“The fucker pulled one the cards I never use, out of the back of my wallet, when we were in Florida. He went whoring with it in Dallas, Nashville and St. Louis, after starting in Tampa.”

“That’s hilarious!” laughed Eric. “How’d you catch him?”

“How do you think I caught him? I got the statements. Actually, it was Kathy that found out. She knew I never use that card, so when she saw the envelope, she opened it.”

The Staals were howling laughter. “That may be the best prank ever,” said Eric. “Pure genius!”

“Yeah, it may have been, but Kathy figured it out, rigt away, even before I did. She called him, and said she had the security camera footage of him going into the massage parlours. Said she was going to the team, then the league, then the cops, then immigration, then the media, in that order, and nothing could stop her.

“She had it on speaker phone. The fucker was almost crying, begging her not to. We had to hit mute a couple times, we were laughing so hard.

“Then I doubled down and fucked him that summer, when he went back to Russia.” This was too good for the brothers to interrupt, so they let Sid carry on. “I got Gonchy to call his parents, saying he was from the KGB, sex crimes division, and he needed to talk to Gino, rigt away.”

The brothers exploded in laughter. “Fuck off! You did not!” laughed Jordan.

“Fuck yeah, I did,” Crosby insisted. “He gave them a fake name, and told them to get Gino to come to the KGB headquarters, ASAP.

“Then, I doubled down, a couple days later. Me and Bergy were day drunk in the titty bars, in Montreal.”

“Bergeron?” asked, Marc. “Patrice, or Marc?”

“Yeah, Patty,” Sid clarified. “I told him about it. He couldn’t stop laughing. He insisted I give him Gino’s parent’s phone number, so I did. He called the club manager over, and asked if he had any Russian dancers. He did, so he let us use his office to make the call.

“She was riding him, and translating. She told his parents that the RCMP sex crimes department had a warrant for his arrest, for unnatural and unlawful acts with farm animals. Said he needed to surrender himself at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow.”

The boys were in hysterics. When he stopped laughing, Jordan asked, “Did he ever find out it was you?”

“Oh, the fucker knows it was me, and he fuckin’ eh knows it was revenge, but he has never said a word about it to anyone. He doesn’t want anyone finding out about this one. He’d never hear the end of it.

“Once in a while, I’ll look at him, and start laughing my ass off, remembering it. He just looks at me, and mutters in Russian. Three years, Super League that, motherfucker!”

The boys cracked fresh beers, and toasted the merry prankster. “That, definitely, is the best prank ever,” proclaimed Eric.

“Fuckin; eh, it is,” laughed Crosby. “And let it be a lesson to you; never, ever fuck with Sid the Kid!”





 Having been assured by Madonna that the royal runaways were devoid of pretense, Lance Lear, son of Stephen, not Lance, the boy who would be King, decided to see if they, collectively or singularly, had a sense of humour.

So, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived, precisely on time, Lance curtseyed when Madonna introduced them at the doorway. The Duke and Duchess, who were reeking of weed, took it in the spirit they assumed was intended. Meghan laughed, “Oh, you Americans! You’re so ignorant of royal protocol.”

“Not at all, not at all,” chucked Harry, returning Lance’s curtsy. Meghan joined the game by bowing, first to Madonna, then to Lance, and lastly to her husband. Madonna did the same, and everything was off to a good start.

Satisfied that the royal runaways were, indeed, playful, not pretentious, Lance asked, “So, how do I address you? What do I call you? The King and Queen, or the Prince and Princess, of Blighty?”

Harry deferred to his wife, who laughed, and answered, “If you do, I’ll have you thrown in the Tower! And, following a sham trial before her court, with a wave her royal hand, Granny will say, ‘Off with his head!’”

Playing along, Lance played the fool, and asked, “Do you still do that?”

“Sadly, no,” said the Duke. “If it were still so, the heads of every paparazzi in the Kingdom would be mounted along the Tower Bridge.”

Intervening, before her husband started spewing his disdain for the paparazzi, Meghan enlightened the commoner, “Actually, our official titles are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But, good God, we’ve had enough of that.”

“The Duke and Duchess of Success,” Lance chuckled. “It has a nice ring. There’s some a Seussian fun to be had with that:

The Duchess of Success
was attired to impress
But the Duke of Success
Well, his costume was a mess

You can’t wear that
Cried the Duchess of Success
That’s your grandmother’s hat
And it clashes with my dress

Well, wear another dress
Laughed the Duke of Success
‘cause you shan’t wear that
for it makes you look… a brat

Grinning, the Duchess said, “Nice save, Lance. I thought for sure you were gonna say fat!”

“He did it on purpose, I assure you,” Madonna assured the Duchess. “The boy likes mischief, and he has a way with words.”

“You’re your father’s son,” the Duke said, smiling at Lance.

“I’m my father’s bastard son,” Lance corrected, with a wink to Madonna.

The royal runaways fell silent over the awkward declaration, so Madonna winked back at the boy, and said, “A story for another day.” With her eye still on Lance, she said, “I think Harry and Meghan would be happy if you called them Harry and Meghan.”

The so far charming couple nodded their agreement. Then Madonna proved that, like her current boy toy’s bastard son, she too liked to make mischief, by adding, “Although I have it, from a reliable source, that they call each other something a little more romantic.”

Just a little aghast, and totally surprised, Harry looked at Meghan, and asked, “You told her?”

The Duchess put on a feigned frown, shrugged and answered, “C’mon, cut me some slack, Jack. I was day drunk. And Madge has a way of getting shit out of everyone.”

“So I’ve heard,” Harry grinned. Pointing at the pop star, he said, “You’d make a great tabloid hack.”

“It’s true, I do! It’s true, I would. But I’d have made a great nun, too!” Madge exclaimed. She looked at Harry and added, “But I only got the names out of her, not the story behind them.”

Once again, husband looked at wife, who said, “Oh, go on. It’s a beautiful story. And it’s not as if Madonna’s gonna run to the tabloids, and squeal.”

Harry looked at Meghan, once again, and once again, she said, “Oh, go on.”

“Okay,” said the Duke. “It is a good story. A few weeks back, I came down the stairs, where I saw Beebee playing a video game. As soon as she saw me, she stopped playing her game, and stared at me. She was looking thoroughly enchanting … and thoroughly enchanted. Then she uttered three magic words… ‘Husband shaped bunny!’”

“Oh… my… God! That’s so adorable,” Madonna gasped.

“Tell me about it,” Harry agreed. “I swear, I’ve never felt so much love in my life. Those three little words stopped me dead in my tracks. They hit me like a 40 foot wave of cream and honey, which drove me backwards, into a cotton candy forest, where everything stuck to me, and it all felt, smelled, and tasted like love.”

“Oh… my… God! That’s so adorable!” Madonna repeated, as the royal runaways made koogley eyes at each other.

“That’s some mighty impressive word work,” said the writer. “Can you repeat it? So I can steal it, I mean.”

“That’s very flattering, Lance,” said Harry. “Sure, you can steal it. God knows my family has been stealing everything we have been able to get our thieving, bloody hands on for as long as anyone can remember. Maybe you can work it into the Seussian story you started, somehow.”

“Looking at his adoring wife, Harry said it again,  “’Husband shaped bunny!’ Those three little words stopped me dead in my tracks. They hit me like a 40 foot wave of cream and honey, which drove me backwards, into a cotton candy forest, where everything stuck to me, and it all felt, smelled, and tasted like love.”

“Fantastic!” said Lance, clapping. “Bravo, brave wordsmith. So, she calls you Husband Shaped Bunny, but what do you call her? Wife Shaped Bunny?”

Harry deferred to his wife. “No. Ever since that day, ever since that moment, I have called Harry my little red rabbit.”

“And I have called Meghan my little black bunny!”

And with that, the Duchess of Success bunny hopped ove to the Duke of Success, and plopped herself in his lap, “Oh, I love you!”

“Oh, I love you.”

“I love you, and you, and you, and only you, I really do, I do, I do.”

“It is true, my little Beebee Baboo, and I love you, and you, and all of you, and everything about you.”

And before you knew it, they were playing tonsil hockey, running their hands through each other’s hair.

The little Black Bunny straddled the Red Rabbit, and started riding him, both of them completely lost in the moment.

Madonna looked at Lance, and couldn’t help but notice that the boy was rising to the occasion. Biting her lip, she managed to resist the temptation to grab him by the hair, throw him to the floor, and have her way with him. Turning her attention back to the royal runaways, who were starting to grunt and groan, Madonna said, “Yo!” loudly enough to get their attention. “I am certainly not averse to watching two beautiful people make love, but you’re welcome to use the bedroom, if you’d prefer some privacy.”

Black Bunny smiled at Madge, and winked. Then she smiled at her little Red Rabbit, took him by the hand, and disappeared with him into the bedroom.