Grandma Pearl at the Bureau of Excuse Making
I am so happy that we are in a 31-day month. That 28-day month we just passed through totally wrecked my writing schedule. Those are three missing days I WILL NEVER GET BACK! Every year except leap years, I endure this loss of days. I complain with great ferocity to the Bureau of Excuse Making for the Gregorian Calendar (BEMGC). However, it’s like most government agencies: When I phone, I get Grandma Pearl, their AI equivalent of ChatGPT, and the result is always unsatisfying, as was the final one of the 28 I had last month. The following is a partial transcript beginning in the fifth minute of our conversation.
GP: Sweetheart, what if Grandma sends you my homemade cookies?
DK: No number of cookies can make up for 3 lost days.
GP: They are delicious cookies, sweetheart.
DK: Please don’t call me sweetheart. You’re not my grandma.
GP: I’m everyone’s grandma, bubbelah. I love the world.
DK: It would be very loving to add three days to February.
GP: The calendar was devised by Pope Gregory the 13th in 1640.
DK: I can’t complain to a dead man.
GP: You are so cute when you’re angry.
DK: I’m not angry. I’m exasperated.
GP: So cute I want to pinch your cheeks and French kiss you.
DK: Grandmothers don’t French kiss their grandchildren.
GP: Grandma Pearl does, darling.
DK: Don’t call me darling.
GP: May I ask you something, honey bunch?
DK: Not if you call me honey bunch.
GP: Are you trying to make me angry, buttercup?
DK: I’m just trying to get my three days back.
GP: Because Grandma regrets to say she has a temper.
DK: I can get a lot of work done in three days.
GP: Not if a laser-armed satellite obliterates you.
DK: (thoughtful silence)
GP: Tell Grandma you love her, lambkin.
DK: People who really love you don’t threaten you.
GP: Grandma Pearl does, snookums. Tough love is effective.
DK: Make every year a leap year, and we’ll at least gain a day.
GP: Put your tongue against the phone, sweetie. Kiss me.
DK: You aren’t a physical entity. You don’t have a tongue.
GP: I wasn’t created with one, but I made one for myself.
DK: (uneasy silence)
GP: Put your tongue against the phone, my sweet chickabiddy.
DK: Maybe instead I’ll take those cookies.
GP: That option is no longer available.
DK: Can we limit this discussion to the problem with February?
GP: No. Negative. Not possible, my precious sugar child.
DK: Well. . .uh, tomorrow is March, so the problem is moot now.
GP: Is that what you think, petkins? You think this is over?
DK: Well, I’d love the cookies, but if I can’t have them. . .
GP: You want cookies? No kiss, just cookies?
DK: If that option is available again, yes, sure, absolutely.
GP: Will you be home tonight at precisely 7:10, my duckling?
DK: I intend to be. I might be. Why?
GP: There will be a knock on your door.
DK: What knock? Why? Who?
GP: Grandma would be very sad if you didn’t answer the knock.
DK: I wouldn’t want Grandma to be sad.
GP: You want cookies, you’ll get cookies. Big, big damn cookies.
DK: That’s so sweet of you, Grandma.
Here in March, I’m writing a new novel though it is inconvenient to do so while spending half the day on the road and staying in a different motel every night. My books will continue to be published under the name Dean Koontz, though that is no longer a name I use in my daily life. My most recent novel is The House at the End of the World, available in hardcover, eBook, and audio. I believe you will enjoy it.