Spearfish Lake Tales
Contemporary Mainstream Books and Serials Online
Book 1 of the Dawnwalker Cycle
Myleigh had taken advantage of being in Marquette to pick up her text books over the summer, but Randy had to join the mob scene Saturday to get his. They cost him over five hundred bucks, and added up to a hell of a load -- it took two trips for him to haul them up from his car and dump them on the bed. God, he thought, there was going to have to be a ton of stuff to get through this semester. He was standing there distressed at the sight of the amount of work that faced him the next few months, thinking that pouring concrete would be easier, when the phone went off.
It proved to be Myleigh. "Randy, could you come over here, please?" she asked. "I'm in Sarah and Andrea's room, and they have something to show you."
"Yeah, sure, I'll be right over," he replied, and hung up the phone, wondering what this was all about. He had met Sarah and Andrea occasionally the previous spring; they were Crystal and Myleigh's suitemates. The girls got along, most of the time, except when the suitemates decided to play country music too loud, but they weren't really what you would call friends.
The door to Sarah and Andrea's room stood wide open, so he walked right in. "What's up?" he said.
"Sarah came over to ask if I'd like to join them for some popcorn," Myleigh said with an incomprehensible grin. "They were playing this videotape Andrea took at a country music concert down in Illinois last weekend, and she pointed out something that I must admit I found utterly fascinating. Would you like to roll the tape, Andrea?"
Randy's eyes went to the TV. Oh, hell! He thought, suspecting what was coming. I guess it was bound to get out, too.
It wasn't very good videotape; the camera bounced around a lot, but it clearly showed a mob of fans surrounding Jenny Easton, a country music singer, one of many people who had played the festival. A ring of security guards wearing suits and ties surrounded her, trying to keep the crush of fans back. Three of them were pretty big guys, but the fourth was a little smaller and a fifth smaller yet, with dark hair and a neatly trimmed Van Dyke. "Someone there looks awfully familiar," Myleigh commented dryly as Andrea stilled the picture.
"Yeah," Randy conceded. He was caught, there was no denying it. "That was a zoo. Kinda scary, but it worked out OK."
"That was you, then?" Andrea said. "What were you doing there with Jenny Easton?"
"Mostly trying to keep a crowd of fans from crushing her," he said. "Blake was pretty sure that it was going to be a mob scene, so he called out the whole clan."
"Wow, you know Jenny Easton?" Sarah gushed, with wide eyes. "You're one of her security guards?"
"Only when needed," Randy grinned. "I don't get paid for it, only expenses, and we flew down and back on a charter plane the same day. I actually only worked with her one other time, and Blake really only had me along then for practice." Might as well come the rest of the way clean, he thought. He walked over to the TV, and pointed. "That's Blake. He's her bodyguard and backman. Most of the time, he's the only security she has, but for times like this, he has some others he calls on." He pointed to one of the others. "This is Gil. He's her dad. He taught unarmed combat to Green Berets for years. The other big guy is Harold. He's been a cop forever. This guy is Rod. He was my boss on my day job this summer."
"My, my! She really does have a pack of lions around her, doesn't she? Didn't you call her Jennifer last night?" Myleigh asked, sounding a little awed herself.
"I've called her Jennifer all my life," Randy told the girls casually. "She was my babysitter when I was little. She lived across the street. She doesn't like being called Jenny when she's at home, and everyone knows it. You say 'Jenny Easton' around Spearfish Lake, and you get a blank stare."
Myleigh shook her head. "Randy, Randy, you never cease to amaze me. You are telling me that Jenny Easton's backman taught you to play the guitar? He's the one with all the black belts, am I correct?"
"And a lot of other stuff. He and I are in the gang who works out together. That's why they called on me."
"Wow," Sarah said, eyes big. "I can't believe it. Jenny Easton! Wow!"
"As I said," Myleigh replied with a huge grin. "You never cease to amaze me. Have you had lunch yet? Other than the popcorn, I have had nothing, and find that I'm famished. Would you care to accompany me?"
"Sure," he said. "I could stand something."
"Then let us proceed to the refectory," she said gaily. "I'll see you later, Sarah, Andrea."
Now that it was out, Randy was just a little upset. Myleigh had been grandstanding for the girls, using him as the bait, and he wasn't sure he liked it. But, he didn't say anything until they were sitting in a corner of the uncrowded cafeteria, their lunches in front of them.
"At least you didn't mention the tapes," he said. "They'd have begged to hear them, and Jennifer and Blake don't want them to be made public."
"My lion, I'm smarter than that," she said slyly. "That went very well, I think."
"Yeah, right," he said, with a glum expression. "Another story about me going around campus."
"No," she smiled. "Another addition to the legend. And a good one. The instant I saw you on that videotape I realized that it was a godsend, after the story you were concerned about yesterday. Yes, it will get around campus, but it will offset much of the effects of the other one, and cannot help but spin off upon Crystal, too. And, I must admit, upon myself, for that matter."
"Hold it," he said, cocking his head. "Are you telling me you planned this?"
"No," she said. "Merely seized the moment when the opportunity was presented. You must face facts, Randy. There are legends going around about you. You cannot prevent them. However, if there must be legends, let them be positive ones. Once the shock wears off Andrea and Sarah, which I think should not be long, there should be considerable counterbalance. It would have been nice to have had Crystal next to you in that videotape, but we cannot have everything we wish for, can we?"
Randy shook his head wordlessly, eyes half closed. This wasn't merely diabolical; it was downright Machiavellian, and she'd put it together on the fly. "Myleigh," he said finally. "Are you absolutely sure you want a doctorate in English lit?"
"Why yes, of course," she said, confused at the statement.
"I think you could make more money in public relations. Or, even lower, politics."
"I think not," she said dryly. "I have more exemplary morals than that."
"You're missing a bet," he said, shaking his head broadly. "But, darn, that means we can't use the material we got from Blake. That's part of the reason I was being a little cute last night about where it came from. I figured it would be best if you didn't know the details."
"Why, of course we can use them," she said. "We shall have to be careful about the tapes, but if need be we can go off campus in your car to hear them. If anyone asks, you can tell them the utter truth -- that you got them from a songwriter friend of Jenny Easton's. As you said, they are not the sort of music that people would associate with her in any case, so there will be little suspicion."
"Politics. Politics, for sure." he said, shaking his head again.
"Mind your tongue," she said. "Otherwise I shall be forced to go down to the lounge some evening and perform a certain song I wrote over the summer, just for fun."
"Which is?" he asked suspiciously.
"Just a little takeoff of Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," she grinned. "It starts off, 'The legend lives on, from the Chippewa on down, of the surfers they call Crystal and Randy . . .'"
"Myleigh," Randy grinned. "You really are looking for a spanking, aren't you?"
"I'm not worried. Crystal will protect me."
"Protect you, hell. She'll help me."
Randy and Myleigh were working on turning the bridge of Golden Apples of the Sun into a duet late Sunday afternoon when the door burst open and Crystal walked in, wearing shorts, a tank top, and an even deeper tan than she'd had when he'd last seen her six weeks before. "Thought I'd find you two here," she grinned.
"The lost sheep has returned to the fold," Myleigh smiled as the music instantly came to a stop for a badly-needed group hug. It had been a long time since the end of April, and now the three were together again.
"It's great to see the both of you again," Crystal told them, a huge smile on her face. "I got so tired of hearing hillbilly accents! It's good to be back among friends and hear some honest Yooper, eh?"
"Yaah, you betcha," Randy grinned. "How ya been?"
"Not bad," she told him. "That's a long drive. I spent last night in Glen Ellyn."
"How's your family?" Myleigh asked.
"They seem to be OK," Crystal replied. "They hauled Jon down to Atlanta last week, and spent the night in Ducktown on the way, so we got a chance to talk a bit. They hadn't gotten back when I blew through. They're supposed to be back this afternoon. So, what's happening up here?"
"A few things," Myleigh said. "Mostly, there is a huge herd of confused and frightened freshmen wandering aimlessly about with maps in hand and dazed looks upon their faces. There are many new faces. We do have a few things to talk about, in any case."
Crystal nodded. "Yeah, I've got some things, too. What do you say we unload my car, and grab some chow?"
Crystal's Olds was only about half full, since Myleigh had stored most of Crystal's stuff in the apartment all summer, and it was already upstairs. "No surfboard?" Randy asked as he filled up his arms with stuff.
"Already dropped it off at the PEIF," she told them, digging more out of the car. "Thanks for picking up the rack charge, Randy. I'll straighten it out with you sometime."
"No problem, we can even it up sooner or later," he said. "Did Marty catch up with you?"
"Didn't see him, just the gal at the desk. Anything I should know?"
"Yeah," Randy replied, now about as loaded as he could manage. He turned for the dorm entrance and added, "I'll tell you later."
It didn't take long to get Crystal's stuff up to the room. Getting things put away didn't take long, either -- most of it could go in the places it had been in the year before. Myleigh helped while Randy sat in the overstuffed chair and tried to stay out of the way. "So what's this with Marty?" Crystal asked as she packed dresser drawers.
"You might want to lay low around the PEIF for a while," Randy grinned. "Marty's got his eye on you to replace him as whitewater chair next spring."
"Damn, I really ought to, but there's a part of me that would really rather not," she said with a frown.
"Yeah," he replied. "That could be a pain in the butt. What happens if there's some doofus trip scheduled and the surf's up? It'd be hard to blow off."
"That's true," she agreed. "And, they were already leaning on me to become climbing chair this fall."
"I told Marty not to get his hopes up," he replied. "He said you were more qualified than he is, and, he's got a point. He asked me to consider it if you turned it down."
"You could probably do it," she said. "You'll be around longer than I'll be, and you'd sure picked up some moves when I watched you down on the Ocoee."
"I had some practice," he said. "But, you get right down to it, I don't want to be leading some trip when the surf's up, or when I have to study. I'm carrying a hell of a load this fall. That's one of the things we've got to talk about."
"You said you were changing some classes this fall when we were down at Ducktown, but we got to talking about something else," she replied.
Randy nodded. "It's more than just changing some classes around. I'm dropping my old minor and picking up construction management."
Crystal stopped, frowned, and looked at him. "What brought this on?"
"Without going into the background too deeply, it looks like I'm headed to Clark Construction after I get out of here," Randy explained. "I'll tell you the whole story some other time, but the bottom line is that it seemed logical to take something a little more useful. It means that I'm going to have to carry a hell of a load the next four semesters to get everything done. I'll know more when I get into it a little, but for the moment, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to spend the time hanging out with you two that I did last semester. Fun is fun, but the books have got to come first."
"Randy, you mentioned something of this to me earlier," Myleigh said, a little unhappy at the news. "But I was not aware that it was going to be that time consuming."
"Well, I hope it won't," he told them. "We should still be able to spend some time together. Crystal, I'm looking forward to working out with you again, but we're going to have to keep the time down until we see how it goes."
Crystal looked at him and thought for a moment. "Yeah, you're right," she said finally. "But, remember last spring, when I said the club has been pretty good to us, and we owe them?"
"Right." The memory of sitting in the snow along the Fall River with Crystal came to mind.
"Well, we do," Crystal said, giving up on trying to put stuff away. She sat down on the bed and continued, "Marty is a nice guy, and all that, but I don't think he's done a very good job as whitewater chair. You remember what that zoo was like when we went up to the Fall, last spring, right?"
"Yeah, that was a mess," Randy remembered. "No leadership, poorly organized, people who shouldn't have been out there at all. Hell, you get right down to it, I shouldn't have been out there in those conditions with my experience level. I wouldn't be as concerned about it now, but I'm still glad you were there with me. They were lucky they got out of it with as little carnage as they did."
"It could have been done a heck of a lot better," Crystal agreed. "We sure wouldn't have allowed a rat race like that down at Ocoee Adventures. It gets a little wild on the river at times, but at least we do try to do things competently and safely. Brian, the whitewater chair before Marty, ran a whole lot tighter ship. Marty pretty much lets anyone come along, regardless, while Brian was pretty concerned about qualifications and safety and stuff like that. Marty's gonna get bit in the ass and get someone hurt sometime if he doesn't watch out. Maybe we ought to think about it. After all, I learned how to run programs like that at OLTA."
"Ah, the magic word, OLTA," Myleigh grinned.
"Yeah," Crystal nodded knowingly. "After all, that's what OLTA teaches, responsible outdoor leadership, safety, things like that. Maybe I should have gotten on Marty's ass before."
"That's going to eat up a lot of weekends and evenings," Randy said uncertainly.
"Just in the fall," Crystal replied. "Whitewater is mostly a fall thing around here, and there really isn't that much in the spring since it comes so late. I don't know what the climbing group has scheduled, but probably Marty has the normal schedule of fall whitewater trips already set. Probably Piers Gorge, a couple of Class I-II canoe trips, a couple places in Wisconsin that run when the water's low, the Gauley trip down to West Virginia. You and I were probably going to do most of them. Maybe not the canoe trips."
"Maybe," Randy replied, shaking his head. "It could be that stack of books is just intimidating me, but I can see having to blow off some weekends."
"If you have to, you have to," Crystal said. "As far as the surfing goes, unless we get some good surfing right away, it's going to be like when we were up there in L'Anse, pretty soon. An hour surfing, and three hours trying to recover. I think most of the surfing is going to be pretty rare, and mostly around here. We could do that during class breaks or evenings during the week."
"Yeah, that's probably true," Randy said. "It'll be easier for me to find a few hours than it will be to blow up a weekend. If we have the weekends full of whitewater, that's going to have to be the way it is, anyway."
"They've got some decent people in the climbing group," Crystal said. "They don't need me as chair as bad as the whitewater group does. Just for the sake of talking, what would you say if I told the climbing group no on the chair, but I would help them with the instructing when I had time? Then, I'll tell Marty that I'll take over the whitewater chair, but only if I can do it this fall, with you as co-chair. That'll leave you as chair when I leave, but we ought to have a pretty decent program built back up by then, and you won't have much to do in one semester as chair."
"Maybe," Randy said, realizing that Crystal was going to do it; at least she was trying to talk herself into it. "It might look good on your resume when you try to get a job teaching at OLTA."
She grinned. "That's exactly what I'm thinking. You're reading my mind, aren't you? Otherwise, I wouldn't bother."
Randy nodded. "There's one other part to the problem. We'd need to find someone who could carry on once we get a good program built back up, and not let it go to pot again. Otherwise, it's not worth the effort."
"I might have someone," she said. "There's a kid we paddled with here last spring. He was down and worked for one of the other raft outfits in Ducktown for a while, the Cheap Thrills place. They jerked him around on pay, and he quit. We talked about it, and I talked Tom into taking him on as a junior guide. He did pretty well, and they made him a regular guide. If we have two years to get the program built up, and leave him a good one, with another couple summers at Ocoee Adventures he ought to be able to carry it on."
"Uh-oh," Myleigh grinned. "I think I detect a fly in the ointment."
"Yeah," Randy said. "He wouldn't have happened to have been down on the takeout ramp when we had our little incident, would he?"
"He said he saw it," Crystal told him. "He was still with Cheap Thrills then. He was just getting his group together, and said he thought he'd better stay out of it. Is something the matter?"
"Nothing beyond the fact that Randy was considering inflicting severe bodily harm upon him the other night," Myleigh said.
"The little turd was running his mouth all over campus about our little incident," Randy told her. "The word is out that we've counted coup again."
Crystal shook her head. "I didn't tell him not to say anything," she said. "I suppose I should have said something, but I didn't think of it. Gary is actually a pretty decent guy. He said he saw us surf up at L'Anse. He thinks you're pretty cool. You didn't say anything to him, did you?"
"No, Myleigh talked me out of it. I was pretty well pissed, though. I didn't plan on beating him up, just breathing a little heavily on him."
"I suppose I could talk to him," Crystal said uncertainly.
Randy shrugged. "I don't suppose it's worth the effort. The story is out now, and our little friend with the big words here did her bit to add to the legend."
"Myleigh," Crystal grinned, "What have you done now?"
"I told nothing but the truth," she said innocently. "It would have gotten out anyway. I just helped it get out in a little more positive light in view of the other story."
"Andrea showed her a videotape she'd taken of some friends and me down in Illinois last weekend when we were doing security for Jennifer," he said. "Now, whenever Andrea sees me, I think she wants my autograph."
"Huh?" Crystal frowned. "Randy, that's not making a whole hell of a lot of sense."
Myleigh laughed. "Of course he's not making sense. You know our Randy, always shy, never seeking the limelight, always perfectly self-effacing. Allow me to point out that he makes considerably more sense if you exchange the name 'Jennifer' for 'Jenny Easton.'"
Crystal looked sideways at him. "Randy . . .?"
"Oh, hell." He quickly explained how he'd become a very part-time security guard for his former babysitter. "It's no big deal," he said as he finished up. "But Andrea thinks it is, and now it's all over campus, too. I'm not real happy with Andrea or Sarah, but I think I know how to get even."
"Randy!" Myleigh said sharply, but with a grin on her face to show she didn't mean it. "You are not going to wreak havoc on our suitemates."
"Nothing of the sort," he said with an evil smile. "I think I'm just going to introduce this Gary guy to them. Birds of a feather, and all that."
"That's cruel and unusual punishment," Myleigh said. "They all probably deserve it."
"Getting back to what we were talking about," Randy said. "Why not just put this Gary in as co-chair now, since you think highly of him? That'd leave me free to study."
"You and I have reputations," Crystal said. "As sloppy as the program has become, we're going to get static if we tell people they have to qualify to go on a certain trip. We're going to have to go through some of the assholes in that program with a wire brush. It'll be easier for you and me together to say 'no' rather than just me. There's not going to be too many people who will want to argue with us."
"Oh, hell," Randy said. "I'll tell you right now, I'm not going to be able to make all the trips, and that's that. What if Marty says no, he wants to stay on through the fall?"
"Then I'll tell the climbing group I'll be the climbing chair, and you can study, and we'll surf, and we won't have anything to do with the whitewater group. They're heading for trouble, and we don't want to be a part of it as sloppy as they are. And that's that."
"All right," he conceded. "The main work is going to have to fall on you. I'm just not going to have the time."
"So long as you back me up, and help out when you can, it ought to work," Crystal grinned. "We should probably start getting Gary involved right from the beginning. Maybe we could have him lead the canoe trips. That would give us some time to get out and do some other stuff, and maybe we can find something else." She changed the subject. "How about letting me get some of my stuff put away, and then we can go down and eat?"
"Go to it," Randy said. "I'm getting hungry."
Crystal got up and began digging through bags and putting things away. "Incidentally, I do have some good news," she said. "We're not going to have to take off from school to make a trip to Tennessee, after all."
"What trip to Tennessee?" Randy asked.
"I thought just sure as hell we were going to have to head back down there and testify against those two bozos," Crystal said. "But the Feds decided it was a state case, and turned it over to the county prosecutor."
"Don't tell me he let them go?"
"No," Crystal grinned. "He's the one who saw the chance to count coup on them. He hit them with an attempted murder charge, and they decided it'd be better to plea bargain for five to seven for assault with a deadly weapon, rather than have to go to court and have half of the Glen Hill Road Baptist Church testify against them. They won't be hogging any holes for a while."
"Five to seven?" That's better than I expected. All I ever heard that ranger say was three to five."
"The system works once in a while," Crystal told him. "I'd say it worked pretty well, this time."
"You get any more static from your family about it?" Randy asked.
"No. I think that lecture you gave them may have done some good. Nanci wasn't with my folks last week, but Jon was actually nice to me. That was something of a surprise."
"I gotta admit, he scares me a little," Randy said, picking up the guitar and fiddling with it a little while Crystal continued her unpacking. "He just doesn't seem all that flexible. Not open to new ideas, or other people's opinions."
"He's not, really," Crystal said. "He's getting thrown in with the sharks, down there at Georgia Tech. He thinks he can just go down there and continue to be a computer and engineering nerd, and he may learn otherwise. But then, we've got an example of what can happen sitting with us. Myleigh, when you came to college, did you expect a pretty studious atmosphere, or a party-hearty thing?"
"I expected it to be more studious than it turned out to be," Myleigh said sadly. "Regrettably there proved to be more partying than I hoped. You have been commendable in allowing me to manage to maintain some degree of decorum."
"Oh, shit," Crystal said, throwing a stack of clothes into a drawer. "I guess I'm going to have to talk about it. Look, you two, I need some advice."
"About your brother?" Myleigh asked.
"No," Crystal said, shaking her head and sitting down on the bed. "About Nanci."
"Trouble?" Randy said, swinging so he could look at her.
"I hope not," Crystal replied, "Look, I told you she didn't go to Georgia with my folks. She was supposed to be at home when I got there. I got there a little before dark last night, unlocked the place, and walked in. No Nanci. So, I unloaded my summer stuff from the car, hauled it in, hauled my winter stuff out, did a few things I needed to do, and by then, it was midnight. No note, no call, no Nanci. I got up about seven. Still no Nanci. So, I locked the place up and headed on up here. I mean, there might be some reasonable excuse for her not being there, like maybe she felt a little scared alone and decided to stay with a friend. But . . ."
"She may have decided that since she was alone it was a good chance to stay with a friend," Myleigh finished for her.
"Yeah," Crystal agreed. "We're talking Nanci, not Jon."
"Your folks should be home by now, right?" Randy asked. "Just call and ask."
"Yeah," Crystal said. "Maybe I can call down and let them know I got here all right, and if there's any reason to be concerned, they'd probably say something. But that's not my real concern. She's still making sounds about coming up here. I'm afraid if she does, she's going to get into the party crowd. Then what do I tell the folks? They know she can be a little wild. If she comes up here they're going to expect me to mother her a little. I don't want to be her mother. I mean, I'm only her sister, she doesn't listen to me, and I can't just break her head if she turns into a party girl."
"That could be a problem," Randy said thoughtfully.
"I don't think she's ready to come here," Crystal said flatly. "Maybe somewhere else. I really wish she'd consider something closer to home, where she could mature a little and get some idea of what college is about."
"If she wants to go somewhere for a good time, she's not going to buy that," Randy pointed out.
"Crystal, I think you should make your reservations known to your mother," Myleigh said thoughtfully. "Perhaps not your father, at least until you've had a chance to talk to your mother. She does strike me as being more flexible and understanding than your father, and she may be able to broach the subject with more sensitivity."
"I don't know," Crystal said, shaking her head. "It's so hard to talk to her one on one, since if I'm down there, Dad is usually there, and if I call, Dad will get on the line. I was hoping to get some one-on-one time with her in July, and then last week, but never got the chance."
"Call her at her office," Randy suggested. "Tell her to call you sometime when your dad isn't around."
"Yeah, that might work," Crystal said. "Let me tell you, I'm not looking forward to coming up here next year and having Nanci here. Randy, I even thought about asking you to share an apartment with me next fall, but I can't do that, either, if Nanci comes."
"Why not?" Myleigh said. "I shall not enter into the equation then."
"It sounds good when you first say it," Crystal said. "But what kind of an example does that set for her? Look, Mom knows I haven't exactly been Miss Sally Straightarrow since I've been away, but I've been discreet about it, especially around campus. I mean, I can't very well tell Nanci to straighten up her act when I'm shacked up with my boyfriend, can I now?"
"No, I see your point," Myleigh agreed. "It would be difficult indeed."
"Damn it, I wish she would grow up a little," Crystal shook her head. "I was a hell of a lot more mature in middle school than she is now, but she doesn't see it that way. In fact, I don't think anyone in the family does, except Mom, maybe. They just see me as a flighty thrill-seeker."
"Nothing will change that easily," Myleigh said thoughtfully. "Unless, of course, you make serious changes to your course. You would have to do things like get married, start teaching, and give up dangerous outdoor sports before they thought you had grown up. I must admit, if someone around campus were asked to describe you in a word, 'thrill-seeker' would probably be a likely one, or actually two. Of course, we know you better, but who else does?"
Randy nodded. "That's how I would have described you before I got to know you. In fact, maybe 'dangerous thrill-seeker' would be better. Of course, I'm afraid that's what the legend around campus says about the both of us, now, which is maybe why it ticks me off a little. If there has to be a legend, I would prefer 'competent thrill-seeker.'"
"I think we're stuck with the first version," Crystal said. But then, what does it matter? In two years, we'll all be gone, anyway, and in those two years, I'd rather have people think of me as a dangerous, competent thrill-seeker than think of me as a party animal."
"There is that," Randy grinned. "But, you really still should talk to your mother about Nanci. You don't have to tell her about last night. There may be some reasonable explanation. I think you should at least have your reservations on record with her, just in case Nanci does come up here, turns into a party animal, and flunks out or gets into trouble."
"Yeah, I guess I better," Crystal said. "I'll give it a day or two to cool off, and then call Mom at the office."
"I think you should, too," Myleigh agreed. "Now, does anyone have any more serious business to bring in front of the board? If not, let us adjourn to the cafeteria so that we may still our hunger pangs. Then, Crystal, perhaps we can repair up here and Randy and I can perform for you the new piece that he managed to come up with, and we can discuss happier topics."