Monday, July 14, 2008

The Wind Cried . . . Dunesteef?

So, my friend, calling himself Big Ankelvich, talked long and hard about creating a podcast. He wanted to do an audio fiction magazine, where people send us stories and we read them. He asked if I was interested, and I told him frankly that I'd always wanted to be a radio DJ or what they call in L.A. "a radio personality," and somehow, we combined our ideas into a podcast we've been recording every Sunday night.

When I asked him what we'd call it (deliciously ribald titles springing to mind), he proclaimed that it would be called "The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine!" Dunesteef, you ask, What's Dunesteef?

B.A. then related a story to me that I can't do justice to, so I'll just repeat it in his own words.

My wife Kari and I went to a Chinese restaurant about six months after we'd gotten married, and her younger sister Kami decided to come along. It was a little bit odd, because I had these two hot young things making eyes at me throughout the meal, and while Kari stroked my hand, Kami was rubbing her foot against my leg under the table.

I ate quickly, and when the fortune cookies came, I didn't even want to open them. But the sisters insisted, giggling at the old "in bed" addition to the end of each of them. I didn't miss that both of them were looking my way as they read each of them aloud. So, I cracked my cookie, pulled out the paper, and then stopped.

There was only one word there, on the front and the back. It was "Dunesteef." I showed them the fortune, wondering if it meant something to the girls, and when I said the word aloud, I heard a crashing sound behind me. I whirled to see a very old Chinese woman bending to pick up the shattered plate she had dropped onto the tiled floor. A moment later, an even older Chinese man came out of the backroom, all antsy and nervous, with a big white denture-filled grin for the three of us.

"You good customers!" he said, helping me up, "I not charge three good customers, you go now."

Kari didn't understand what he was saying and Kami turned red, asking if we'd done something wrong. The Chinese man said, "No, no, you very good customers, you make me happy by not paying for meal. It on me, very good day for everyone." He was literally ushering us out of the restaurant as he said it, patting each of us on the back like we were little burros going up a mountain (or whatever they call burros in Peking).

I was really suspicious about this and I stopped, right before we reached the door. "I don't mind paying for the meal, mister, if you'd just give me a chance to get my--"

"You keep money, good sir," the old man insisted, "You spend it on pretty young wives. Yes?" And with that, he got the door for us and gave us a little bow like the Green Hornet's driver used to do. We went out to the car, chuckling about the experience, but when I remembered it later, I found that the fortune I'd read at the table had disappeared.

So, there you go. If you'd like to hear us read stories and attempt to make listenable banter, go here, and suffer through it. That's, in case my spelling sucks.

It's turned out to be a lot more work than I had anticipated. I think we can make things better, both as storytellers and hosts, but that will require even more work on my part.

If you know me at all, you'd understand how much that scares me.

Rish "Underachiever . . . And Proud Of It, Man" Outfield

*This is a totally, 100% accurate portrayal of his story, except that it wasn't B.A.'s foot she was carressing)

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