January 2008

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Two Stories by Signe Baumane 

Latvian-born animator Signe Baumane presents two bedtime stories for animators.

illustration by Signe Baumane

A Story of a Car

A woman lived in a small village not far from a bigger town. She didn't have a car and had to go shopping in a golf cart.

Everyone in her village understood the need for shopping, and empathized with the lack of car.

But the people in the bigger town were unsympathetic. "Go away!" they would yell at the woman when she wheeled into town.

They complained to local authorities, and the police put up signs all over the town: "No Golf Carts Allowed".

So, the woman would stop her golf cart at the first such sign and walk to the grocery store.

One day, the police spotted her golf cart and towed it away. The woman had to walk 10 miles back to her village, with groceries in her hands. On the way, she twisted her ankle.

She sued the town's police department. She claimed that towing her golf cart was illegal, and her health had suffered as a consequence of the towing.

The village people no longer supported the woman and distanced themselves from this business. The bigger town's people wanted to erase the woman (and her golf cart) from the face of Earth! They were certain that justice was on their side.

The court ruled that the police overstepped their power. Not only was the towing illegal, but forbidding golf carts in town didn't coincide with laws and rules of the state.

The court also ruled against the woman's demand for compensation for damages.

So the woman got nothing, and the police had to remove their ban to golf carts.

The townspeople were enraged. They did not want to see the golf cart in town again. They secretly sent a few of their citizens to the small village to destroy the cart.

The citizens did not find the cart (it was in a mechanic's shop, for minor repairs), but they were on the mission, and it was a night, and they were high on adrenaline.....

They decided to destroy the woman's house.

The woman woke up to a stone coming through her bedroom window. She jumped out of bed and peeped out. She could see about six or eight men in front of her house with stones in their hands. She didn't make the connection between the men and the cart, she just knew there was a danger.

She didn't have a phone at home. Nor internet. But she did have a great sound system that a neighbor (once intimate with her) had left when he moved away to the Big City (He had thought a new life in the Big City needed even bigger sound.).

The woman pulled out the first CD that came to her hand, and slipped it into the player. She pushed "play", turned the volume to "10". A Verdi opera blasted from the thin walls of the house. The whole building shook with the power of the music.

The men with the stones stood stunned and confused.

The neighbors woke to the music, put their robes and went out to listen. The woman peeped out and saw the neighbors. She, too, put on a robe and went outside. She stood there looking at the men with stones and at her neighbors.

An hour later, the music ended. The men put down their stones and headed back to the bigger town. The neighbors stood there looking at the woman for another half an hour, then went back to their beds.

The woman boarded up her broken window.

The next day the small villagers went to the bigger town. Three days later they returned, presenting the woman with a car, bought from the money collected from village and townspeople.

She accepted.

Story of a Sailing Man and His Wife

There was a man who loved to sail, so he had a boat. He was rich and could afford it.

He also had a wife , a beautiful woman. Unlike the other rich men's wives, she was only eight years younger than him. She had a different background than he, men from his circle would often marry women less rich. She was a decent human being, always cheerful. She was grateful to her husband for the lifestyle he provided. She could afford anything, but she never took more than she needed.

In summertime, they would take off from their beautiful house and live on the boat, sailing from place to place. This particular summer, they moored at the pier of a busy city. They enjoyed the city so much that they stayed a few weeks. They would invite people they met for cocktails and dinners and have lively conversations in evenings.

Mornings, though, would be hard for the husband. He somehow dreaded to start each day. He felt the weight of upcoming day trying to crush him. He resisted that pressure, but the resistance would drain him.

Evenings were different - the pressure of the day would subdue as the day went, so by the evening things seemed brighter and more promising. A couple of drinks would help too - he even did a polar bear dance on the deck one night.

Right before bed he would take a swig from the whisky bottle - just to have a taste in his mouth, it helped to fall asleep. Sometimes, if he thought about morning coming in few hours, he would lie in bed, sleepless, already crushed .

One day, midday, his wife said, "I'll go shopping."

He nodded.

She added, "I may do my hair, too."

"Good." he replied. He had a money meeting that day and was gathering the courage to face five other people with whom he would have to talk business and have drinks.

So she went.

When he got back from the meeting, he noticed a shoe box on the table at the stern of the boat. "She's done some shopping." he thought, and walked inside. There were more shoe boxes. He went to their bedroom. His wife was in bed, asleep.

"Darling, it is 8 pm and we have the Drownies coming in half an hour." the husband said with reprimand.

"I got some shoes." his wife sleepily mumbled from the bed. "Did you see?"

"Yes, I saw the boxes." he said, impatiently. "But you have to get up for the Drownies!"

"You deal with them." she answered, turning over.

He was stunned. This was the first time she had ever talked to him like this, and left him with HER task to entertain.

The evening was lame. The Drownies were not amused.

contact FLIP

©.2007 Moore Studios, Inc.

illustration by Signe Baumane

In the morning, the wife got up early and said. "I am off shopping."

In short - every day she would come back with more and more shoes, all kinds of shoes - cheap, expensive, Blahnicks, Payless, made in China, made in Italy, made in Minnesota, Doctor Martin, sneaker, sandals - until
there was no room for shoes on the boat anymore.

The arguments they had!

One night they were expecting guests that didn't show up (much later he learned that she had called the guests to cancel the dinner). While waiting, they sat at the stern and had wine.

The wife got really buzzed on wine and put her hand on his thigh. A brief moment later, she insisted on having sex on the floor of the stern. "What if someone sees us!" he worried, but she somehow took his rational thinking away. They both were swept away with sudden desire, and had sweaty sex on the floor of the boat, between the shoe boxes, crushing them, spilling the shoes everywhere.

He woke up in the middle of the night, thinking she must have had put something in his wine glass. They normally did not have much sex, maybe once in three months, and it was boring. But that night, it was startingly pleasurable.

The wife got up early. She had her little summer dress on and that little tiny purse he never specially liked. "I am off shopping!"

"Bye!" he said, still in bed, crushed by another day to come.

He heard her steps walking away. He waited in bed 20 minutes 33 seconds, then swiftly got up, brushed his teeth, took a shower, put on his white sailing shirt, khaki shorts, and his favorite deck shoes. He carefully checked all the gadgets on the boat. Shoes and boxed were thrown overboard, as were her clothes, and all of her things.
He turned on the motor and pulled the boat out of the harbor.

When he reached the open sea, he cut the motor and put up the sails. Hope and bright longing for a different place accompanied him now.