"So, Steve and Millie were married on the beach of their Island in front of God. They held hands and made up their vows as they went along. Steve didn't even pass out, really. He may have swooned a little but he made it thought.
They ever got a nice gift, kind of.
Itwas a ship of sorts that Steve and Millie got for a wedding present. Some would call it a land yacht. So in the interest of continuing the adventures of Steve and Millie, they were given the keys to a brand spanking new fully loaded Winnebago and a brand new Sony Vaio laptop with the address to MapQuest already book marked. With Brook safely in the arms of Bridgid the writer for the night, the couple would spend their last day on the island enjoying a peaceful honeymoon. It would all happen in the long long long long trailer.
The first stop, Branson Missouri and the Roy Rogers Museum, we join them there.
Something is not right about that."
Millie stood in front of the prancing palomino with the glass eyes. Brook had one arm draped over her moms shoulder and the other clutching a wrinkle into the neck of her shirt as she decided if the stuffed equine was more frightening or funny.
"C'mon Mil. You told me that Roy Rogers was your hero. He stuffed old Trigger here so everyone could enjoy seeing him in his prime. Doesn't Buttermilk look pretty and Bullet is so...animated. I read somewhere that Roy wanted Dale and himself done up the same way and added to this exhibit."
"That's disturbing to me, Steve. It's hard enough looking at the wax figures with all of the wax kids around them."
"Okay. Let's go back to our motor home. I've got tickets for us for the Dolly Parton Dixie Stampede later. I hope you enjoy that more than the Roy Rogers museum."
"It adds a new meaning to dinner theater. A rodeo, Dolly and dinner all in the same place. How will I ever recover from the awe?"
Steve had been admiring Dale Evans sequined outfit when Millie said that. He turned rather quickly to glare at her and in the process Dale's wax arm went with him. "Oh shit. Oh shit, shit shit shit."
"Steve what did you just do?" Millie moved to stand where she could cover him as he tried to replace the appendage."
"I don't know. Do you have a lighter a match anything I could use to melt this back on?"
"No I do not. Just leave it, Steve. Let's get out of her before someone discovers what you've done."
"Daddy bad!" Brook pointed at him over her mothers shoulder.
Millie balanced her on her hip and bounced her in the way moms do. "Shhh, no honey, Daddy's not bad. He's helping the lady."
"There, I think I got it." Steve announced. He stepped back to admire his handiwork and Millie turned to look.
"Oh my God! Steve!"
The arm was propped up against Dale's silver gun belt so that the hand rested against her face. It kind of looked as if she were thumbing her nose."
"It'll have to do. C'mon." placing a hand on Millie's lower back, Steve shuttled her out of the museum. They spilled out onto Branson strip as if nothing happened.
"They're gonna lynch you if they find out what you did."
"Don't worry about it, Mil. I'm sure this kind of thing happens all the time."
"Never mind. Just keep walking."
So they did. Heading down the main street of Branson Missouri the three stopped to look at a few of the attractions on their way back to the Winnebago. One in particular sparked Millie.
"Why is this here?"
Steve shrugged as he gazed up at the fifty foot forecastle and taller stacks of a ship. A ship in Missouri?
"It says Titanic. Let's check it out."
"Oh no. Anything that has the name Titanic on it has to be doomed. I'll take a pass on this one."
"C'mon, Mil. It could be interesting." he pressured his hand on the small of her back to urge her in. Just as they entered the doors a man stopped them and issued each of them a replica ticket to the ship with a genuine passengers name on it.
"How bout that." Millie chirped. '"I get to be the Molly Brown, The unsinkable Molly Brown. What's yours say, Steve."
"Father Francis Browne. Who the hell..heck was he?" he flipped the ticket over and read the back of it. Father Browne was a photographer and a Jesuit priest. He took the only pictures of the Titanic's maiden and final voyage that survived. What does Brookies say?"
"Treasteall Peacock. What the hell kind of a name is that?" she turned the ticket over. "It says she was three years old and born in Cornwall." Millie shrugged. They continued their walk into the ship as it wound up the grand staircase and onto the bridge. Steve bought Millie a Coke and a Titanic bumper sticker at a concession that didn't seem to fit with the decor then they made their way into the radio room. There sat the telegraph office and it fascinated Millie. She toyed with the keys a little, tapping out an SOS on it."
"Mommie, drink." Brook interrupted her moment to demand a sip of the coke. Millie sat her down on the telegraph desk and popped the lid off the cup to give her a sip. "Just a little, honey. We'll get you something healthier." she pulled the cup away and Brook protested.
"More!" she demanded as she reached for the cup. Tipping it just enough for a few of the ice cubes to spill out, they bobbled across the desk and vanished into the electronic console."
"Oh great!" Millie exclaimed and for good reason. Things popped and sizzled. Steam rose and suddenly flames appeared. The alarm and sprinkler system activated before anyone had a chance to react. Steve grabbed Millie and Brook and shoved them both toward the door as water began to pool up. There were people running everywhere in a frantic attempt to get off the Titanic. Water ran down the grand staircase chasing the trio as they backtracked to get the hell out of there. They made it through the front doors just as the Branson fire department arrived on scene. Brook was crying, Millie looked like a drowned rat and Steve; well he just turned to take a picture.
"Steve. Can we start this day over?" Millie gasped as she took one last look at the ship.
"Nothing else could possibly go wrong today." He reached to take Brook from Millie's arms to try to comfort her. "It's okay sweetheart. You didn't break the ship. The ice did it."
There were no more stops. The family headed straight back to the Winnebago without passing GO. They climbed inside of their rolling home with a sigh of relief.
"Maybe we should skip the Dixie Stampede. There's something about the word stampede that scares me."
"Don't be silly. What could go wrong, Mil?"
She had a sinking feeling about it though she felt a little better after they were all fed and changed. The family managed an afternoon nap and got up just in time to go to the theater.
It was actually a large arena with a stable outside where everyone could meet and greet the horses and animals from the show. Brook was thrilled to see a real live horse. She'd probably have nightmares from the stuffed one earlier.
The first curtain was announced and everyone filed their way into the arena. It was actually quite spectacular in typical Dolly Parton fashion. Of course she did everything on a grand scale, including her hair.
Brook sat on Steve's lap as the show began. They were served the first course of the meal just as a herd of buffalo came running through a bank of machine made fog. The music was loud and bombastic and the buffalo retreated backstage. They were followed by a rather odd act. One rebel soldier and on yank soldier in full civil war regalia jousted with each other in to a thrumming rendition of Dixie. The only problem with the whole display was that the soldiers were mounted on ostriches. After that the queen of Pigeon Forge herself, Miss Dolly Parton rode out with a group of American flag carrying girls on horseback. A trick rider circled the ring and it seemed no one knew which way to look. It put Barnum and Bailey's three ring extravaganza to shame.
Everyone clapped as Dolly whooped out a redneck howdy to the crowd. She guided her white quarter horse in front of the diners as she started to sing the first few bars of Nine to Five. Everything seemed to be going just fine until...
The next act included a couple of cute little pigs who were pitted against each other in a kind of steeple chase. They lept over standards and ran around the arena skidding sideways with each turn. Brook giggled with delight at the amusing sight and she thought she'd contribute something to the show. Grasping on to one of the Green Giant mini niblet ears of corn on her daddy's plate, she hurled it out into the arena. Pig number one rounded the bend just in time to see his favorite treat hit the sawdust. He bolted for the ear of corn but pig number two beat him to it. A fight ensued between the swine and it upset one of the ostriches so much that it pooped. If you think a pigeon poops big...well. The slick glob was a proverbial banana peel for Dolly's steed and the horse sent her over its head to land face down in something else on the arena floor.
"Son of a bitch!" she shouted into her microphone and it made one irate customer stand up.
"Hey! This is Branson Missouri lady. A family place. We've got kids with us!" he in turn hurled a half dozen biscuits toward the big bosomed star. As security filed in to the show more food began to fly and a half dozen hungry buffalo thought it would be a good time to get their share of the action. They seemed to like the biscuits and corn and didn't mind being pelted but the horses were pretty damn upset. One trick rider bounced on her ass across the ring as she hung from a stirrup and another joined a family of four from Utah at their table. The barnyard frenzy was stirred further as people began to flee screaming in fear of the marauding beasts. Steve was already standing with Brook in his arms and Millie close by his side as the ring leader pointed his way.
"Its his fault! Get him!" Dolly yelled out. There was a moment of silence before the Parton posse mounted up.
"Time to go!" Steve announced as he ran dragging Millie and carrying Brook toward the tunnel that led out. There were pigs and dogs, horses and chickens in hot pursuit of the three as they scrambled toward the parking lot. The big Winnebago seemed to be miles away and there was no telling if they'd make it.
Dolly drew her prop pistol and fired a blank into the air. It scared the barnyard posse just long enough for Steve et al to make it safely into the confines of the big motor home. He shoved Brook into Millie's arms and jumped behind the wheel to crank the behemoth up. It nearly capsized as they sped out of the lot an onto Highway seventy six. The posse chased them for a mile or so until the horses tired but they'd keep an eye out for a Winnebago with a Titanic bumper sticker on it. Luckily Steve, Millie and Brook got out of Dodge before the lynching occurred.
Where will we find our vagabonds next week? Hopefully not your town or mine.