Official Story Behind the Official Website

I wanted to make my official website different than anyone else's official website. So I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea. I would hire someone to give guided tours of my website! I was all set to take out a Help Wanted ad for a tour guide when I came up with another brilliant idea. (It was a day full of brilliant ideas.) "I'll get a character from one of my books to give a guided tour of my website!"

parrotThe first character I interviewed for the job was the parrot from the Obi books, Mr. Smithers.

"So Mr. Smithers," I said. "Tell me a little bit about yourself."

"Erp! Erp! Tell me a little bit about yourself! Erp! Erp! Tell me a little bit about yourself!" the parrot replied.

"Oh! Well, I'm the author of three Obi books," I said. "In fact, OBI, GERBIL ON A SCHOOL TRIP! was just published. So what can you tell me about yourself?"

"What can you tell me about yourself? Erp! Erp! What can you tell me about yourself?"

"I told you about myself!" I replied. "Now it's your turn, Mr. Smithers!"

"Now it's your turn! Erp! Now it's your turn! Erp!"

I glowered at Mr. Smithers and said, "No, it's YOUR turn!"

"No, it's YOUR turn! No, it's YOUR turn! Erp! Erp!" he answered.

I could feel my blood starting to boil. What was with this parrot!? Did he have to repeat everything I said? If I hired him to give tours of my website, what would visitors to my website say? Well, whatever they said, one thing was for sure: Mr. Smithers would say it, too!

I decided that perhaps Mr. Smithers was not right for the job.

* * *

Mr Durkins The next character I interviewed for the job was the old, embittered mouse, Mr. Durkins, who is also from the Obi books.

"So Mr. Durkins," I said. "This job calls for someone who has good people skills. What kind of people skills would you say you have?"

"I hate people!" he snapped back at me.

"Oh! Well! That could be a problem," I told him.

"People are my enemy!" Mr. Durkins snarled. "They're out to get me! They're out to get all of us rodents! But don't worry! If you make me your tour guide, I have something evil planned! Something really diabolical! Hey, what was that?"

"What was what?"

"That noise!"

"What noise?" I asked, glancing around. "I didn't hear anything."

"There it is again!" Mr. Durkins cried. "Did you hear it?"


"Someone is reading this! Whoever it is just breathed!"

"How do you know that?" I asked incredulously.

"I know everything that happens on this website!" Mr. Durkins replied, rubbing his two front paws together, looking very sinister.

I decided that perhaps Mr. Durkins was a little too creepy for me – and for the job. So I thanked him and sent him off on his creepy, little way.

* * *


The cat, Sugar Smacks, was the next character I interviewed for the job.

"Give me three adjectives, Sugar Smacks, that you think best describe you," I said to the tiger cat. Sugar Smacks shook her head and wagged her front paw at me. "Sorry," she said, "but it doesn't work that way, Mr. Delaney!"

"It doesn't?" I asked, surprised.

"No, it doesn't!" replied Sugar Smacks.

"How does it work?"

"You touch my paw with your hand and if you can yank your hand away before I can scratch it with my claws, I'll answer one of your questions."

"How many job interviews have you been on?" I asked.

"I'm sorry but if you want me to answer your question you are going to have to touch my paw!"

Sugar Smacks held out her front paw. I lifted my hand and held it just above her paw. I waited for just the right moment, then, moving quickly, I touched her furry paw and pulled back my hand.

"Hee-hee-hee-hee-hee!" giggled Sugar Smacks. "Do it again! Do it again!"

"But I didn't get to ask a question!" I said.

"Oh, all right, ask a question!" said Sugar Smacks impatiently.

"What three adjectives would you say best describe you?" I asked.

"Sorry that's three questions, not one!"

"That's not three questions!" I said. "That's one question with three adjectives. You know, Sugar Smacks, I'm not sure you being my tour guide is going to work out."

"Why not?"

"Because as a tour guide you'll probably be asked lots of questions by people visiting the website," I explained. "You can't tell them you'll only answer their questions if they touch your paw."

"Why not?"

"Because you can't!"

"But they'll love it!"

"How do you know?"

Sugar Smacks wagged her paw at me like I was trying to pull a fast one on her. "Uh-uh!" she said, shaking her head. "If you want me to answer your question, Mr. Delaney, you'll have to touch my paw! Those are my rules!" I ended my interview with Sugar Smacks. I didn't need to ask her any more questions.

* * *

birdAfter Sugar Smacks left, who should fly into room then but Akka, the tick bird from BIRDBRAIN AMOS.

"How are you today, Akka?" I asked.

"Good question!" cried Akka, looking very impressed. "I would've asked you the exact same thing if I was interviewing you!"

"You would have?"

Akka looked startled. "I can't believe you just asked me that! That is exact same thing I would've asked you, too! You and I are just alike, Mr. Delaney! We really are! This is incredible! Whoever would've guessed a tick bird and a human could have so much in common? But we do!"

It was at this point that I decided that, well, perhaps I didn't need a tour guide for my website, after all.

So I guess you're on your own. Feel free to wander about the site wherever you please. Thanks and I hope you like the site.

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